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
2,861 1,460
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

2
2,105 1,494
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
2,310 1,376
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
1,474 1,117
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

5
1,179 1,063
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
2,233 1,321
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
1,271 1,045
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

8
1,693 1,035
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

9
1,225 720
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

10
1,667 1,472
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
1,483 822
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

12
1,279 804
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
970 720
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

14
1,777 1,083
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

15
866 683
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

16
1,062 558
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

17
1,100 698
The White Stripes is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

18
912 655
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
861 596
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
1,482 908
Muse is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

21
1,009 735
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

22
696 615
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
864 569
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

24
803 658
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
1,181 690
My Chemical Romance is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Pop music, Rock music

26
702 582
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

27
965 552
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

28
829 584
The Black Keys is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Blues-rock, Punk blues, Rock music

29
1,395 693
Linkin Park is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
BayzidAnando added Hip hop music, Nu metal, Rock music

30
857 782
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
1,221 821
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
848 553
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

33
711 566
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
449 217
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
558 384
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

36
579 171
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

37
769 563
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

38
532 481
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

39
546 412
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
731 399
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
518 352
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

42
628 450
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
789 432
Cage the Elephant is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
but chickens double d added Punk blues, Garage rock, Garage punk

44
504 176
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

45
437 437
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

46
562 505
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
271 281
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

48
478 373
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
319 224
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

50
370 367
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal