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
2,874 1,471
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

2
2,115 1,502
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
2,321 1,386
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
1,485 1,129
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Post-grunge

5
1,184 1,073
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
2,243 1,331
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
1,277 1,056
R.E.M. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Alternative rock, College rock

8
1,702 1,045
Foo Fighters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Post-grunge, Alternative rock

9
1,231 730
The Killers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Synthpop, New Wave

10
1,673 1,484
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

11
1,492 829
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

12
1,288 811
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
978 726
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

14
1,782 1,092
Arctic Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Trip hop, Dance-punk, Garage rock

15
1,070 564
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Gothic rock, Alternative rock, Post-punk

16
867 694
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

17
1,105 705
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
919 661
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
865 603
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
1,491 913
Muse is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

21
1,020 740
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

22
700 621
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
872 574
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

24
806 665
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
710 584
Nine Inch Nails is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Industrial metal, Electronic music

26
1,189 696
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
972 557
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added Pop punk, Rock music, Skate punk

28
834 591
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
1,404 700
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
866 790
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
1,227 828
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
854 558
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
FabianMariani added Rock music, Grunge, Alternative rock

33
713 573
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
456 222
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
589 174
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

36
565 388
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
776 567
The Strokes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
RobDiLorenzo added Garage rock, Power pop, Alternative rock

38
538 485
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

39
551 416
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
738 406
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
526 354
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
ryanjjjj8 added New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

42
636 452
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
514 179
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

44
792 436
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
438 444
Incubus is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
rodrincubus added Nu metal, Rock music, Experimental rock

46
565 510
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
275 286
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Alternative rock, Punk rock, Folk punk

48
483 376
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
323 229
Modest Mouse is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
muzziac added Indie pop, Garage rock, Space rock

50
376 370
Jane's Addiction is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Alternative Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal