rock The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time  

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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. {#nodes}
list ordered by

1
555 393
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

The Best Rock Vocalists The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

2
570 308
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

3
211 243
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

4
234 231
Yes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Yes Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

5
323 313
Queen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

6
257 248
The Who is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

7
156 111
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Sixten Kastalje added The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

8
309 272
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

9
349 295
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

10
132 134
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Moody Blues Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

11
458 415
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

12
218 215
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

13
137 128
Rush is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

14
152 175
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Supertramp New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

15
142 139
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Electric Light Orchestra Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time The Top 500 Musical Groups/Artists of All Time

16
273 256
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
King Crimson New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
92 72
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
eg0654 added Kate Bush Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

18
197 173
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

19
186 197
Tool is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

20
218 206
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

21
89 107
The Alan Parsons Project is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Alan Parsons Project Pop rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock

22
172 168
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

23
64 47
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

24
115 129
Devo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

25
108 103
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

26
173 189
Arcade Fire is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Arcade Fire Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

27
55 57
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

28
91 109
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

29
111 120
Television is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Television New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

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30
96 102
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

31
109 145
Muse is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

32
35 42
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

33
63 63
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

34
43 10
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
*DSO* added The Arcana Albums: Lemon Freddy Phantom of the Sky (2017) Tomorrow is Yesterday (2016)

35
43 46
CAN is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

36
64 73
Steve Miller Band is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Steve Miller Band Classic rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

37
44 56
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tame Impala Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

38
104 98
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

39
60 81
Styx is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Styx Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

40
28 37
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

41
67 98
Asia is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Asia Rock music, Arena rock, Pop rock

42
58 86
Love is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Love Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

43
26 8
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
hepennypacker@gmx.com added The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

The Greatest Songs by One-Hit Wonders The Best Stacy's Pita Chips Flavors of All Time

44
49 72
Wire is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Wire Electronic music, Experimental rock, Industrial music

45
25 35
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added Sigur Rós Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

46
49 43
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

47
24 36
The Flaming Lips is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added The Flaming Lips Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

48
37 54
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Cocteau Twins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

49
89 99
Bryan Ferry is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Bryan Ferry New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

50
85 95
Procol Harum is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Procol Harum Blues-rock, Raga rock, Progressive rock