The Best Classic Metal Bands Bands/Musicians

The Best Classic Metal Bands

4.4k votes 473 voters 12k views 54 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only bands that play classic metal style; no nu metal or extreme metal of any sort

When heavy metal first emerged at the beginning of the 1970s, naysayers would have never suspected that the bands from those early years would be considered some of the classic metal bands. These outfits are widely considered among the top heavy metal bands of all time, and with good reason. They are recognizable and their songs are some of the greatest songs in metal history. 

So, who are the best classic heavy metal bands? Every lists must have Black Sabbath at or near the top. The Birmingham, UK natives pretty much invented the genre, and all of heavy metal. Between Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and Tony Iommi's guitar, the entire foundation for all heavy metal bands was laid. If not for Sabbath, bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or even Metallica may not have existed. Even the best classic metal bands owe a debt of gratitude to Black Sabbath. No matter which edition of Black Sabbath you like - Ozzy or Dio edition - they are easily the most influential classic metal band. 

What band should be at the top of the list of classic metal bands? If you're a heavy metal fan and know everything there is to know about the top classic metal bands, then you should have your voice heard. This list answers the questions "who are the best classic metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest classic metal musician ever?" if you notice that a popular classic metal band isn't on this list, feel free to add them. (54 items)
List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 246
    - 54

    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

    ;
  2. 2
    + 216
    - 48

    Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

    ;
  3. 3
    + 189
    - 45

    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

    ;
  4. 4
    + 150
    - 39

    Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  5. 5
    + 140
    - 51

    Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

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  6. 6
    + 128
    - 54
    Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

  7. 7
    + 117
    - 50
    Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

  8. 8
    + 143
    - 84
    Metallica is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

  9. 9
    + 79
    - 45

    added by tpengitore
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

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  10. 10
    + 91
    - 59

    Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

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  11. 11
    + 68
    - 69

    Power metal, Heavy metal, True metal

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  12. 12
    + 19
    - 4

    added by udoudo
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

    ;
  13. 13
    + 20
    - 15

    added by mohamed-said
    Melodic Rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

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  14. 14
    + 13
    - 7

    added by udoudo
    Power metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

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  15. 15
    + 59
    - 84
    Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

  16. 16
    + 23
    - 25
    Dokken is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Melodic Rock, Glam metal, Rock music

  17. 17
    + 38
    - 51

    New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  18. 18
    + 24
    - 30

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  19. 19
    + 33
    - 47

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

    ;
  20. 20
    + 19
    - 25

    added by harry-pittman
    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

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  21. 21
    + 48
    - 79

    Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

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  22. 22
    + 21
    - 30
    Ratt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

  23. 23
    + 6
    - 3

    added by Alex Gaginsky
    Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

    ;
  24. 24
    + 41
    - 69

    Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

    ;
  25. 25
    + 25
    - 40

    added by RobertPhelps
    Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  26. 26
    + 4
    - 6
    Trouble is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    added by strangeways
    Psalm 9, The Skull, Trouble, Manic Frustration, Plastic Green Head, Distortion Field

  27. 27
    + 3
    - 4

    added by Alex Gaginsky

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  28. 28
    + 25
    - 51

    Glam metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

    ;
  29. 29
    + 18
    - 39

    added by NicholasChabiram
    Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

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  30. 30
    + 1
    - 4

    added by Alex Gaginsky
    Heavy metal

    ;
  31. 31
    + 1
    - 4
    Krokus is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

    added by Trey Guyton
    Heavy metal, Hard rock

  32. 32
    + 4
    - 11

    added by MattSchwarck
    Glam metal, Nu metal, Rock music

    ;
  33. 33
    + 30
    - 68

    Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

    ;
  34. 34
    + 21
    - 66

    Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  35. 35
    + 14
    - 56

    Glam metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

    ;
  36. 36
    + 11
    - 50

    Progressive metal, Power metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  37. 37
    + 3
    - 20

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Glam metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  38. 38
    + 7
    - 47

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

    ;
  39. 39
    + 7
    - 52

    Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  40. 40
    + 5
    - 51

    Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal, Christian metal

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  41. 41
    + 5
    - 58

    Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

    ;
  42. 42
    + 2
    - 33
    No image
  43. 43
    + 3
    - 44
    No image

    Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

  44. 44
    + 3
    - 46

    Doom metal, Viking metal, Power metal

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  45. 45
    + 3
    - 46

    Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

    ;
  46. 46
    + 3
    - 47

    Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

    ;
  47. 47
    + 3
    - 48

    Power metal, Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

    ;
  48. 48
    + 3
    - 49

    Nu metal, Heavy metal, Glam rock

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  49. 49
    + 3
    - 49

    Death-doom, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

    ;
  50. 50
    + 3
    - 58

    Glam metal, Power metal, Heavy metal

    ;
55 +

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