Music

The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time 

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68k votes 4.6k voters 107.6k views 114 items

Fusing influences ranging as far as experimental rock and classical music, art rock is a form of music where the best musicians are willing to take chances with sound that only a few of their contemporaries would ever contemplate doing. The best art rock bands not only experimented with their sound, but made it sound great in the process. Art rock has always had an underground following and some of the biggest bands were from rock's formative years in the 1960s and 1970s, where bands took traditional rock and decided to test how far they could take it. Art rock, thus, remains a highbrow genre and retains a strong following among its fans.

So, what are the best art rock bands? Any list has to include the likes of David Bowie, Pink Floyd, the Velvet Underground, Peter Gabriel, Arcade Fire, Radiohead and Roxy Music. Those bands are only a batch of the best art rock bands. What distinguishes these groups from others is that they are widely recognized not only as art rock bands, but also musicians willing to push themselves and their music by challenging themselves and implenting other genres into their sound. Thus, no art rock band's one song or album is considered different or more forward thinking than their last.

That said, it's up to you to determine what is the best art rock band. If you notice a band that should be on this list, and isn't, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best art rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest art rock musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular art rock bands that you might've heard of. (114 items)
list ordered by
1
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock
2
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock
3
Yes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock
4
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock
5
The Velvet Underground ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music
6
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk
7
Television is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk
8
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music
9
Queen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal
10
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Sixten Kastalje added
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock
11
10cc is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Classic rock, Pop music, Rock music
12
Nautilus Pompilius is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Lom added
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music
13
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music
14
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
hepennypacker@gmx.com added
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk
15
The Pineapple Thief is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Lom added
New Prog, Alternative rock, Progressive rock
16
Electric Light Orchestra... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music
17
David Garrett is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Lom added
Classical Crossover, Western Classical Music, Romanticism
18
The Who is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music
19
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
eg0654 added
Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock
20
The Alan Parsons Project... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Pop rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock
21
Porcupine Tree is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added
Progressive metal, Space rock, Britpop
22
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
New Wave, Pop music, Rock music
23
Emerson, Lake & Palm... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock
24
Procol Harum is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Blues-rock, Raga rock, Progressive rock
25
Styx is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal