bands/musicians The Best College Rock Bands/Artists

2.5k votes 31k views 93 items Embed
Popular in the 1980s and 1990s, college rock bands were some of the first alternative rock bands before the genre shot to prominence. College radio programmers who eschewed the mainstream rock of that time often leaned on these quirky bands that didn't quite squeeze into the mainstream. College rock bands primarily consisted of bands whose music had traces of post-punk rock, new wave with traces of catchy indie pop. Yet, they were underground rock bands. Thus, due to their popularity on campuses, these were called college rock bands. Over the years, college rock has expanded and the genre includes all bands who are played on college radio. But, many college rock bands graduated from college rock and became more mainstream. For that, they can thank their friends and champions who support them from those lean early years when commercial radio wouldn't play their music.

So, what are the best college rock bands? No list of college rock would be complete without the inclusion of R.E.M., the Pixies, Sonic Youth and the Replacements. All of these great rock bands owe a slice of their success to college radio. Without being labeled as college rock, it's unlikely that these alternative bands would have been able to build a fanbase on their own. Thus the best college rock bands are well known among music fans. Even today, with satellite radio, college rock is more easily accessible than it was when it first became an important, tastemaking genre.

Ultimately it's up to you to decide what are good college rock bands. By nature, college rock is exactly what it is described as. But, if you notice a college rock band that isn't on here, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best college rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest college 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 college rock bands that you might've heard of. (93 items)

1
+ - 89 27
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock College rock

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2
+ - 81 25
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge Noise

3
+ - 58 24
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music No wave

4
+ - 52 24
The Replacements is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Replacements Jangle pop, Pop punk Heartland rock

5
+ - 28 10
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock Rock music

6
+ - 42 23
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop Alternative rock

7
+ - 32 15
Guided by Voices is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Guided by Voices Indie pop, Alternative rock Indie rock

8
+ - 41 26
They Might Be Giants is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
They Might Be Giants Experimental rock, Children's music Alternative rock

9
+ - 31 19
Dinosaur Jr is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Dinosaur Jr Noise rock, Grunge Alternative rock

10
+ - 22 11
The Lemonheads is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Lemonheads Alternative rock, Punk rock Indie rock

11
+ - 33 22
Hüsker Dü is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Hüsker Dü Alternative rock, Punk rock Post-hardcore

12
+ - 17 7
XTC is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
XTC Indie pop, New Wave Psychedelic pop

13
+ - 28 19
Sebadoh is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Sebadoh Indie rock, Lo-fi music

14
+ - 39 30
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Violent Femmes Alternative rock, Punk rock Folk punk

15
+ - 26 18
Echo & the Bunnymen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Echo & the Bunnymen New Wave, Neo-psychedelia Alternative rock

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16
+ - 16 9
Dead Milkmen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Dead Milkmen Pop punk, Alternative rock Punk rock

17
+ - 16 9
Camper Van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Camper Van Beethoven Pop music, Ska World music

18
+ - 23 17
Yo La Tengo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Yo La Tengo Noise rock, Shoegazing Experimental rock

19
+ - 16 10
The Jesus and Mary Chain is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Jesus and Mary Chain Indie pop, Shoegazing Alternative rock

20
+ - 15 9
Descendents is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Descendents Pop punk, Melodic hardcore Skate punk

21
+ - 15 9
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music Folk music

22
+ - 19 14
Blake Babies is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Blake Babies Rock music, Grunge Alternative rock

23
+ - 15 10
Ween is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Ween Rock music, Experimental rock Neo-psychedelia

24
+ - 15 10
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Siouxsie & the Banshees New Wave, Gothic rock Alternative rock

25
+ - 12 7
Minutemen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Minutemen Dance-punk, Experimental music Alternative rock

26
+ - 19 16
Superchunk is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Superchunk Pop punk, Emo Alternative rock

27
+ - 29 27
10,000 Maniacs is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
10,000 Maniacs Jangle pop, Rock music Folk rock

28
+ - 14 11
Throwing Muses is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Throwing Muses Alternative rock, Post-punk

29
+ - 12 9
Marc with a C is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Marc with a C Indie, Pop music Lo-fi music

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30
+ - 24 23
The Smithereens is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Smithereens Jangle pop, Rock music Pop rock

31
+ - 11 10
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Butthole Surfers Noise rock, Rock music Neo-psychedelia

32
+ - 8 7
Midnight Oil is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Midnight Oil Rock music, Alternative rock Progressive rock

33
+ - 16 17
The Connells is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Connells Jangle pop, Rock music Power pop

34
+ - 15 16
Love and Rockets is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Love and Rockets Gothic rock, Alternative rock College rock

35
+ - 1 0
Bush is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Bush Grunge, Post-grunge Alternative rock

36
+ - 1 0
The Jim Carroll Band is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Jim Carroll Band college, alternative

37
+ - 14 15
Hoodoo Gurus is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Hoodoo Gurus New Wave, Rock music College rock

38
+ - 13 14
PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
PJ Harvey Punk blues, Grunge Electronica

39
+ - 12 13
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Fall Alternative rock, Punk rock Avant-garde

40
+ - 12 13
Rilo Kiley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Rilo Kiley Indie pop, Alternative rock Indie rock

41
+ - 12 13
Mazzy Star is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Mazzy Star Indie, Psychedelic folk Shoegazing

42
+ - 10 11
Buffalo Tom is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Buffalo Tom Rock music, Alternative rock

43
+ - 9 10
Concrete Blonde is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Concrete Blonde Alternative rock

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+ - 15 17
The Feelies is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Feelies New Wave, Rock music College rock

45
+ - 8 9
The Rugburns is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Rugburns Rock music, Pop rock Post-grunge

46
+ - 14 16
The Pogues is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Pogues Celtic punk, Celtic fusion Folk rock

47
+ - 3 4
Jason & The Scorchers is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
Jason & The Scorchers Rock music, Country rock Alternative country

48
+ - 16 20
The Mighty Lemon Drops is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Mighty Lemon Drops Jangle pop, Indie Alternative rock

49
+ - 10 13
U2 is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
U2 Rock music, Alternative rock Punk rock

50
+ - 10 14
The Housemartins is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best College Rock Bands/Artists
The Housemartins Jangle pop, Pop music Alternative rock