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
2,237 1,062
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nirvana Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

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2
1,664 1,116
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
1,769 1,022
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
868 753
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
1,700 1,004
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Green Day Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

6
950 783
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
R.E.M. Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

7
1,133 836
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pearl Jam Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

8
1,287 756
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
717 353
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
1,113 651
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

11
1,418 831
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
936 616
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Weezer Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

13
1,302 1,075
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

14
844 553
The White Stripes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added The White Stripes Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

15
744 568
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pixies Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

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16
1,223 741
Muse is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

17
877 510
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added The Killers Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

18
651 526
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
777 581
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

20
753 461
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
621 458
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

22
606 526
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Offspring Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

23
635 446
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

24
512 472
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Nine Inch Nails Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

25
635 632
U2 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added U2 Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

26
878 494
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added My Chemical Romance Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

27
540 436
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Qanea added System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

28
715 407
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Blink-182 Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

29
542 482
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Sublime Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

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30
384 330
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Stone Temple Pilots Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

31
613 473
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added The Strokes Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

32
992 551
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
BayzidAnando added Linkin Park Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

33
912 627
Fall Out Boy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Fall Out Boy Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

34
410 399
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

35
344 97
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

36
678 481
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Black Keys Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

37
597 453
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

38
373 285
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

39
404 315
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Beck Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

40
466 389
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Depeche Mode Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

41
271 149
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

42
596 350
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Cage the Elephant Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

43
395 203
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
cole-faraday added Imagine Dragons Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

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44
463 428
Queens of the Stone Age is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Queens of the Stone Age Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

45
268 308
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jane's Addiction Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

46
345 344
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Incubus Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

47
283 108
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

48
130 67
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
338 307
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
188 104
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