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. (105 items)
list ordered by

1
659 422
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

2
668 333
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
280 274
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
290 260
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
419 333
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
323 272
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
231 139
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
506 457
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

9
384 335
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
351 304
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

11
174 165
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Moody Blues Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

12
191 206
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Supertramp New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

13
189 163
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Electric Light Orchestra Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

14
178 154
Rush is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

The Best Rock Vocalists

15
252 245
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Peter Gabriel New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

16
306 293
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
116 141
The Alan Parsons Project is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Alan Parsons Project Pop rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock

18
217 232
Tool is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

19
123 131
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

20
242 242
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
216 213
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

22
195 199
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
104 116
Kate Bush is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
eg0654 added Kate Bush Synthpop, Pop rock, Alternative rock

24
133 124
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

25
139 126
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
127 170
Devo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

27
79 88
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
129 182
Muse is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

29
97 96
Steve Miller Band is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Steve Miller Band Classic rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

30
183 232
Arcade Fire is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Arcade Fire Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

31
99 104
Styx is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Styx Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

32
78 88
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

33
75 21
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
hepennypacker@gmx.com added The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

34
45 77
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

35
116 159
Television is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Television New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

The Worst Albums by Great Bands

36
67 17
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
hepennypacker@gmx.com added Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

37
73 99
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

38
90 52
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 38 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)

39
82 126
Asia is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Asia Rock music, Arena rock, Pop rock

40
53 83
CAN is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

41
81 65
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

42
51 93
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tame Impala Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

The 22 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces

43
120 125
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

44
66 122
Love is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Love Rock music, Garage rock, Folk rock

45
56 107
Wire is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Wire Electronic music, Experimental rock, Industrial music

46
47 91
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

47
34 72
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
31 66
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
julian-matthias added Sigur Rós Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

49
54 115
Alt-J is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Alt-J Psychedelic folk, Experimental music, Alternative rock

50
44 89
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Cocteau Twins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave