Alternative Music The Best Alternative Bands/Artists  

Reference
Originally by
144k votes 13.1k voters 341.7k views 653 items

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
2,969 1,525
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

2
2,193 1,565
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
2,398 1,442
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
1,540 1,185
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

5
1,229 1,114
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
2,317 1,377
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
1,327 1,092
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

8
1,761 1,080
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

9
1,290 779
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

10
1,727 1,555
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
1,558 858
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

12
1,346 846
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
1,016 756
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

14
1,837 1,126
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

15
1,127 588
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

16
1,161 734
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
867 732
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

18
967 683
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
901 635
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
1,069 776
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

21
1,536 953
Muse is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

22
723 653
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
912 614
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

24
750 610
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

25
835 692
The Offspring is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Pop punk, Ska punk, Rock music

26
1,237 735
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
1,470 733
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
BayzidAnando added Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

28
1,010 593
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

29
858 621
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
898 821
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
1,275 861
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
889 586
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

33
738 604
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
483 243
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

35
635 193
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

36
589 411
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
800 592
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

38
562 506
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

39
575 437
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
555 373
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

41
791 454
Imagine Dragons is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
cole-faraday added Indie pop, Pop music, Alternative rock

42
661 473
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
554 197
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

44
820 461
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
450 465
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

46
588 526
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
296 302
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

48
518 392
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
339 245
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

50
390 388
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal