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
2,927 1,500
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

2
2,157 1,541
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
2,364 1,424
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
1,513 1,159
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

5
1,207 1,095
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

6
2,289 1,361
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Pop punk, Rock music, Alternative rock

7
1,306 1,079
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

8
1,736 1,068
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

9
1,266 758
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

10
1,699 1,525
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
1,530 846
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

12
1,326 834
Weezer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Pop punk, Rock music, Garage rock

13
999 744
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

14
1,813 1,113
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

15
1,100 578
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

16
1,135 722
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
867 718
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

18
951 674
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
1,049 761
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

20
884 624
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

21
1,515 938
Muse is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

22
713 642
Sublime is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Rock music

23
895 603
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

24
820 683
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

25
730 599
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

26
1,213 720
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

27
993 577
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

28
1,443 720
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
BayzidAnando added Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

29
850 609
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

30
888 807
U2 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Rock music, Alternative rock, Punk rock

31
1,254 848
Fall Out Boy is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

32
877 573
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

33
725 592
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Qanea added Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

34
619 182
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

35
473 235
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

36
582 399
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

37
790 579
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

38
552 498
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

39
564 430
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

40
774 430
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
cole-faraday added Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

41
544 364
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

42
650 464
Depeche Mode is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

43
534 189
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

44
809 451
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

45
445 458
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

46
577 520
Queens of the Stone Age is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Rock music, Desert rock, Experimental rock

47
287 296
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

48
500 388
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Hip hop music, Pop punk, Alternative hip hop

49
334 239
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

50
382 382
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal