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The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

List Criteria: Only hard rock artists. Pure metal bands like Sabbath, Maiden, Priest or punk bands like Pistols, Ramones belong on other lists

Hard rock is a genre that started with bands like Cream, Mountain, Steppenwolf, and Grand Funk in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and filled stadiums in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Hard rock bands are rooted in garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock and over time, hard rock has come to include elements of post-punk. That said, some of the greatest bands of all time are hard rock bands. Featuring iconic guitar solos, aggressive music and heavy drumming, top hard rock bands remain some of the most beloved bands in history and their songs continue to be played on radio today.

So, what are the best hard rock bands? Any top 100 list of hard rock bands has to include the likes of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, AC/DC, Queen, Aerosmith, Deep Purple and Guns N Roses. These bands are considered among the best in hard rock and with good reason. They continue to endure and their songs hold up - even as new hard rock songs fight for space on radio waves. In the cases of the hard rock bands that have retired or long broken up, they continue to have fans, which is a testament to their staying power.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best hard rock bands. If you like hard rock and noticed that someone is missing from this list of hard rock bands, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best hard rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest hard rock musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular hard rock bands that you might've heard of.

The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists Bands/Musicians
  • 29 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1145
    - 398

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin II

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  2. 2
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    - 395


    Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

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  3. 3
    + 659
    - 333


    Machine Head, Live in Japan, Deep Purple in Rock

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  4. 4
    + 758
    - 461


    A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

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  5. 5
    + 931
    - 339

    ranked low on reranks
    Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

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  6. 6
    + 769
    - 411


    Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

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  7. 7
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    - 397


    Toys in the Attic, Pump, Permanent Vacation

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  8. 8
    + 633
    - 335


    Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

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  9. 9
    + 419
    - 168

    added by DukeArcher
    First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi ...

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  10. 10
    + 419
    - 321


    Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet

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  11. 11
    + 452
    - 352


    Moving Pictures, 2112, Hemispheres

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  12. 12
    + 549
    - 263

    ranked low on reranks
    Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, The Ultimate Sin

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  13. 13
    + 398
    - 289


    Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud

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  14. 14
    + 437
    - 342


    Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

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  15. 15
    + 449
    - 339


    Destroyer, Icon, Revenge

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  16. 16
    + 285
    - 117

    ranked low on reranks & added by Bella70
    Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

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  17. 17
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    - 197

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse

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  18. 18
    + 362
    - 292


    Dirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift

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  19. 19
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    - 237


    Rising, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll

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  20. 20
    + 263
    - 270


    Boston, Greatest Hits, Third Stage

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  21. 21
    + 264
    - 223


    Disraeli Gears, The Very Best of Cream, Fresh Cream

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  22. 22
    + 260
    - 223


    Agents of Fortune, Tyranny and Mutation, Fire of Unknown Origin

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  23. 23
    + 359
    - 336


    Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Cross Road

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  24. 24
    + 325
    - 246


    1987, Lovehunter, Slide It In

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  25. 25
    + 255
    - 253

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Superunknown, Badmotorfinger, Down on the Upside

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  26. 26
    + 341
    - 236

    ranked low on reranks
    Girls Girls Girls, Shout at the Devil, Dr. Feelgood

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  27. 27
    + 255
    - 210


    Ænima, Lateralus, 10

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  28. 28
    + 286
    - 253


    Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles

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  29. 29
    + 274
    - 202


    Rust in Peace, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?, Youthanasia

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  30. 30
    + 188
    - 218


    Hair of the Dog, Razamanaz, Loud 'n' Proud

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  31. 31
    + 231
    - 134

    ranked low on reranks & added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Vulgar Display of Power, Cowboys From Hell, Far Beyond Driven

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  32. 32
    + 197
    - 212


    I Love Rock 'n' Roll, Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth, Fetish

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  33. 33
    + 157
    - 172


    Point of Know Return, Leftoverture, Kansas

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  34. 34
    + 178
    - 197


    Stay Hungry, You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll, Under the Blade

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  35. 35
    + 167
    - 270

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals, Portrait of an American Family ...

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  36. 36
    + 168
    - 214

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Fallen, My Immortal, The Open Door

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  37. 37
    + 226
    - 268


    American Capitalist, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of ...

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  38. 38
    + 190
    - 213


    Purple, Core, Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop

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  39. 39
    + 160
    - 167


    Strangers in the Night, Lights Out, The Wild

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  40. 40
    + 159
    - 113

    ranked low on reranks & added by DukeArcher
    Ramones, Rocket to Russia, End of the Century

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  41. 41
    + 204
    - 259

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Faceless, IV, Awake

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  42. 42
    + 181
    - 172

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss

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  43. 43
    + 161
    - 210

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Invasion of Your Privacy, Out of the Cellar, Detonator

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  44. 44
    + 227
    - 200

    ranked low on reranks
    Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race

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  45. 45
    + 200
    - 233


    Follow the Leader, The Vinyl Classics, Issues

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  46. 46
    + 136
    - 161


    Sonic Temple, Electric, The Cult

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  47. 47
    + 172
    - 171


    The Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future

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  48. 48
    + 186
    - 246


    Night Songs, Long Cold Winter, Heartbreak Station

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  49. 49
    + 92
    - 148

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Larks' Tongues in Aspic, In the Court of the Crimson King, In the Wake of ...

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  50. 50
    + 85
    - 144

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Climbing!, Mystic Fire, Nantucket Sleighride

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253 +

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