rock The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time  

Reference
Originally by
24.5k votes 2.4k voters 94.7k views 94 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. (94 items)

1
724 439
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
726 344
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
323 291
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
273 161
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Sixten Kastalje added The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

5
324 280
Yes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Yes Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

6
465 351
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
359 291
The Who is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

8
539 490
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
195 181
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Moody Blues Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

10
223 217
Supertramp is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Supertramp New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

11
403 360
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

12
370 329
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

13
215 176
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
204 167
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
272 258
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
132 153
The Alan Parsons Project is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Alan Parsons Project Pop rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock

17
325 308
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
King Crimson New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
156 134
The Cars is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Cars Bubblegum pop, Synthpop, New Wave

19
233 255
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
102 28
The Doors is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
hepennypacker@gmx.com added The Doors Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

21
135 153
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

The Best Drummers of All Time

22
106 110
Steve Miller Band is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Steve Miller Band Classic rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

23
113 131
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
86 26
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
hepennypacker@gmx.com added Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

25
93 104
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added The Smashing Pumpkins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

26
104 124
Styx is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Styx Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

27
85 108
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

28
132 193
Devo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Devo Synthpunk, New Wave, Synthpop

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

29
138 204
Muse is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Muse Space rock, Rock music, Electronic music

30
211 209
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

31
251 263
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

32
224 231
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

33
153 137
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

34
86 142
Asia is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Asia Rock music, Arena rock, Pop rock

35
133 132
Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Roger Waters Folk rock, Progressive rock, Art rock

21 Most Annoyingly Over-Used Movie Trailer Songs

36
94 70
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 36 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)

37
89 80
The Beach Boys is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
The Beach Boys Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

38
49 93
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Tangerine Dream Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

39
185 248
Arcade Fire is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Arcade Fire Indie pop, Alternative rock, Art rock

40
51 106
Queensr├┐che is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Queensr├┐che Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

41
39 87
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
48 36
Steely Dan is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
hepennypacker@gmx.com added Steely Dan Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues

Famous Schizophrenics

43
82 100
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

44
106 140
Procol Harum is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Procol Harum Blues-rock, Raga rock, Progressive rock

45
46 105
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Cocteau Twins Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

46
31 81
The Flaming Lips is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added The Flaming Lips Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

47
31 85
Porcupine Tree is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
passionsears added Porcupine Tree Progressive metal, Space rock, Britpop

48
118 175
Television is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Television New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

49
101 145
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
89 130
Jeff Lynne is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Art Rock Bands & Artists of All Time
Jeff Lynne Disco, Pop music, Rock music