Bands/Musicians 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 current 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?"

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list ordered by
1
3,451 1,773
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock
2
2,557 1,859
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog
3
2,809 1,710
Red Hot Chili Peppers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
CilasLee added Classic rock, Jazz-funk, Rock music
4
1,843 1,423
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge
5
2,670 1,618
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock
6
2,089 1,270
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock
7
1,600 1,265
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock
8
1,463 1,348
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock
9
1,550 1,008
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave
10
1,602 1,075
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock
11
1,828 1,031
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock
12
1,416 711
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk
13
1,238 914
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise
14
1,972 1,888
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop
15
2,077 1,336
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock
16
1,414 892
The White Stripes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music
17
1,199 804
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal
18
1,289 952
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock
19
1,116 779
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop
20
878 960
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock
21
869 811
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music
22
1,757 1,118
Muse is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music
23
1,205 772
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk
24
986 761
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music
25
1,077 705
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock