The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

63k votes 5.2k voters 188k views 203 items tags f p @

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.
Collection Photo:  via wikimedia
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  1. 1
    + 1,495
    - 495

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

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  2. 2
    + 1,685
    - 507
    AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

  3. 3
    + 883
    - 456
    Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

  4. 4
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    - 552
    Metallica is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  5. 5
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    - 585


    Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  6. 6
    + 1,189
    - 456
    Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    ranked low on reranks
    Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  7. 7
    + 836
    - 399
    Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  8. 8
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    Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Aerosmith Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  9. 9
    + 573
    - 229

    added by DukeArcher
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

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  10. 10
    + 536
    - 391
    Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

  11. 11
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    - 430
    Rush is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  12. 12
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    - 317
    Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    ranked low on reranks
    Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

  13. 13
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    Kiss is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  14. 14
    + 424
    - 176
    Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    ranked low on reranks & added by Bella70
    Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

  15. 15
    + 568
    - 407
    Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  16. 16
    + 507
    - 353
    ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    ZZ Top Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

  17. 17
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    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

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  18. 18
    + 353
    - 267


    Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

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  19. 19
    + 453
    - 253
    Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    ranked low on reranks & added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

  20. 20
    + 395
    - 280


    Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

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  21. 21
    + 331
    - 330
    Boston is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Boston Classic rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

  22. 22
    + 338
    - 277


    Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

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  23. 23
    + 441
    - 411
    Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Bon Jovi Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  24. 24
    + 406
    - 301
    Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  25. 25
    + 323
    - 314
    Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

  26. 26
    + 442
    - 284

    ranked low on reranks
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  27. 27
    + 335
    - 275


    Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

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  28. 28
    + 247
    - 261
    Nazareth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Nazareth Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

  29. 29
    + 365
    - 311


    Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

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  30. 30
    + 351
    - 252


    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

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  31. 31
    + 248
    - 263
    Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Rock music, Punk rock, Hard rock

  32. 32
    + 236
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    Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

  33. 33
    + 202
    - 228
    Kansas is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

  34. 34
    + 302
    - 185

    ranked low on reranks & added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

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  35. 35
    + 207
    - 372

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Glam metal, Industrial metal, Rock music

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  36. 36
    + 240
    - 270


    Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

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  37. 37
    + 276
    - 347


    Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

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  38. 38
    + 209
    - 215


    Blues-rock, Rock music, Space rock

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  39. 39
    + 213
    - 307
    Evanescence is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Evanescence Rock music, Gothic metal, Alternative rock

  40. 40
    + 254
    - 321


    Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

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  41. 41
    + 236
    - 216

    ranked low on reranks & added by HillaryBeckmanHarvey
    Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

    ;
  42. 42
    + 199
    - 264
    Ratt is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ratt Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  43. 43
    + 185
    - 204


    Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

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  44. 44
    + 210
    - 164

    ranked low on reranks & added by DukeArcher
    Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk

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  45. 45
    + 289
    - 250
    Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

    ranked low on reranks
    Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

  46. 46
    + 247
    - 305


    Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

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  47. 47
    + 217
    - 220


    Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

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  48. 48
    + 130
    - 195

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

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  49. 49
    + 226
    - 295
    Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists


    Cinderella Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  50. 50
    + 116
    - 188

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
204 +

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