alternative music The Best Alternative Bands/Artists  

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At the end of the 1980s, at the peak of glam rock and hair metal, a new genre began to emerge from the underground. Since it served as an option to the bloated sound of those genres that was all over the airwaves and MTV, it was aptly titled alternative rock. Over the years, alternative rock has become part of mainstream rock. But at its beginning, alt rock and all of the alternative artists were on the cutting edge of what was going on in response to those more commercial genres. The origins of the best alternative bands are in cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and various college towns around the country.

So, who can be considered one of the top alternative bands, or even a good alternative band? Any list isn't complete without Husker Du and R.E.M., who represent the best college rock musicians. These alternative music bands had a huge impact on the alternative scene and influenced many, if not all alternative rock bands. Jane's Addiction can also be lumped into that category. Other popular alternative artists include Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Oasis, Blur and Smashing Pumpkins. These groups' legacy and impact on alternative music is indisputable and they continue to crank out the hits.

Who is on your top 100 alternative bands list? We know this list isn't 100 bands/artists long. . . we did that on purpose because we're alternative.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what is the best alternative band. If you think an alternative artist or band isn't on here and should, feel free to add them to this list. This list answers the questions "who are the best alternative bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest alternative musician ever?"
list ordered by

1
2,507 1,232
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

2
1,857 1,271
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

3
2,004 1,160
Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
CilasLee added Red Hot Chili Peppers Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music

4
1,008 882
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

5
1,270 949
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pearl Jam Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

6
1,936 1,136
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Green Day Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

7
1,096 892
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

8
1,461 890
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Foo Fighters Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

9
841 499
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Arcana Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

10
1,488 1,244
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
1,587 952
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Arctic Monkeys Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

12
1,044 579
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added The Killers Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

13
1,265 732
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

14
1,079 697
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Weezer Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

Famous Schizophrenics

15
960 611
The White Stripes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added The White Stripes Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

16
841 627
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

17
715 511
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

18
755 575
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
1,335 811
Muse is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

20
869 497
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added The Cure Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

21
879 642
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

The Best Grammy-Nominated Alternative Albums of the 1990s

22
599 530
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

23
1,044 566
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added My Chemical Romance Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

24
614 483
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Qanea added System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

25
722 481
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

26
685 571
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Offspring Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

27
827 466
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Blink-182 Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

28
750 523
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Black Keys Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

The Greatest Artists Who Have Never Won a Grammy

29
594 513
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nine Inch Nails Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

30
1,194 606
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
BayzidAnando added Linkin Park Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

31
730 693
U2 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

32
1,068 702
Fall Out Boy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Fall Out Boy Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

33
453 361
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Stone Temple Pilots Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

34
710 492
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

35
671 511
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added The Strokes Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

The Best Documentary Films On Amazon Prime

36
462 431
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

37
463 339
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Beck Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

38
336 170
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

39
436 125
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

40
563 271
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
cole-faraday added Imagine Dragons Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

41
685 383
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Cage the Elephant Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

42
380 375
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Incubus Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

Wild Stories About The Spice Girls That Prove They Are The Definition Of Girl Power

43
430 306
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

44
529 406
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

45
511 450
Queens of the Stone Age is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Queens of the Stone Age Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

46
374 128
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

47
312 329
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jane's Addiction Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

48
180 83
The Cranberries is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Lura Barden added The Cranberries Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

49
399 324
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

50
251 178
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Modest Mouse Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock