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
2,681 1,351
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

2
1,980 1,366
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
2,168 1,258
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
1,376 1,026
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pearl Jam Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

5
1,094 977
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

6
2,085 1,213
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
1,183 965
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
1,587 955
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
1,128 636
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added The Killers Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

10
1,570 1,347
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
863 590
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Arcana Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

12
1,367 768
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

13
1,173 740
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Weezer Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

14
1,675 1,014
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Arctic Monkeys Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

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15
962 521
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added The Cure Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

16
1,027 649
The White Stripes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added The White Stripes Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

17
902 668
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

18
832 611
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
1,397 850
Muse is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

20
785 547
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

21
946 685
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
644 569
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
1,107 624
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
743 616
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Offspring Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

25
893 507
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Blink-182 Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

26
640 540
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nine Inch Nails Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

27
784 555
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Black Keys Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

28
1,293 650
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
BayzidAnando added Linkin Park Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

The Best New Country Artists

29
790 728
U2 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

30
1,136 759
Fall Out Boy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Fall Out Boy Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

31
789 516
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

32
783 523
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

33
654 526
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Qanea added System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

34
385 189
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

35
716 536
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

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36
499 146
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

37
504 358
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
496 453
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

39
498 383
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Stone Temple Pilots Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

40
635 331
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
466 324
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

42
579 426
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

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43
736 408
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Cage the Elephant Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

44
440 147
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

45
406 406
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Incubus Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

46
532 476
Queens of the Stone Age is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Queens of the Stone Age Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

47
287 197
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Modest Mouse Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

48
432 343
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Beastie Boys Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

49
341 343
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jane's Addiction Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

50
252 132
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music