Music

The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists 

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Updated March 28, 2019 4.3k votes 547 voters 28.4k views 197 items

Avant-garde musicians are among the most interesting musicians in the world, Their curious creative nature allows to experiment with different music and stylistic forms that less creative bands would be afraid to touch. The best avant-garde musicians also bring an element of theatricality to their stage show that often times will reflect the ideas presented and different musical structures of their songs. Art rock bands are considered avant-garde music as well. The best avant-garde music is ahead of its time and the best avant-garde artists are legends because of this forward thinking.

So who are the best avant-garde bands and avant-garde artists? If you look into the recent past, you'll definitely considered art rock bands like Roxy Music and the iconic David Bowie to have taken avant-garde futuristic music and push the envelope well beyond what people expected to hear. Fusing unusual genres along with a new image, in the case of Bowie, the whole Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke image, is considered avant-garde. These artists weren't afraid of bending and breaking conventional wisdom and are revered among avant-garde music fans.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best avant-garde artists. If you notice one of the best avant-garde artists not here, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best avant-garde bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest avant-garde 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 avant-garde bands that you might've heard of (197 items)
list ordered by
1
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
2
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
3
Captain Beefheart & ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
4
Björk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
5
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
6
The Residents is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
7
Nico is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
8
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
9
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
10
Mike Patton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
11
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
dan808 added
12
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
13
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
14
Fantomas is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
dan808 added
15
Laurie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
16
Pere Ubu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Primus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Public Image Ltd is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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David Sylvian is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Einstürzende Neubau... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Devo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Les Claypool is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
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Moondog is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists