Bands/Musicians The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists  

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3.8k votes 363 voters 14.9k views 228 items

Avant-garde music artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good avant-garde music bands includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top avant-garde music bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Avant-garde music groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all avant-garde music bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest avant-garde music bands of all time, since the most famous avant-garde music artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best avant-garde music music.

You can click on the avant-garde music band names to see more information about that particular notable avant-garde music group. If they're near the top of the best avant-garde music artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top avant-garde music bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the avant-garde music band names themselves.

This list features Pink Floyd, Radiohead and more. The order of this list changes dyanimcally based on who likes what -- so make your voice heard by voting for your favorite artists. The fun part of voting on multiple artists is making the hard choices, like what's better Frank Zappa or The Velvet Underground?

All important, significant and iconic names in avant-garde music music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new avant-garde music bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of avant-garde music, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into avant-garde music music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good avant-garde music bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent avant-garde music bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best avant-garde music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest avant-garde music 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 music bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

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list ordered by

1
129 25
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

2
75 10
The Residents is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

3
94 20
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

4
91 21
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
39 4
Pere Ubu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

6
11 0
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
kent787 added Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

7
47 8
Edgard Varèse is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Musique concrète, Experimental classical music, Avant-garde music

8
41 7
John Cage is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Opera, Ballet, Aleatoric music

9
64 25
CAN is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

10
49 19
Nico is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Pop music, Folk music, Folk rock

11
54 24
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

12
39 17
Throbbing Gristle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Dark ambient, Electronic music

13
49 28
Björk is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house

14
30 13
Harry Partch is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Experimental classical music, Avant-garde music

15
19 4
Joe Meek is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Mark Lanzarotta added Pop music, Rock music

16
23 9
Sun Ra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Doo-wop, Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz

17
32 18
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

18
45 30
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

19
37 23
Swans is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

20
29 16
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

21
41 27
John Zorn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Noise rock, Klezmer

22
27 17
Henry Cow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Avant-progressive rock, Experimental rock, Jazz fusion

23
19 10
Laurie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Experimental music, Art rock

24
26 17
Naked City is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Avant-garde jazz, Experimental rock

25
28 19
Mike Patton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Noise rock, Rock music

26
13 5
This Heat is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Experimental rock, Industrial rock, Industrial music

27
21 13
Nurse with Wound is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Drone music, Industrial music

28
8 1
Faust is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock

29
54 47
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

30
8 2
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

31
10 4
DNA is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added No wave, Noise music, Punk rock

32
12 6
Psychic TV is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Acid house, Electronic music, Post-industrial music

33
16 10
The Pop Group is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Punk rock, Punk funk

34
20 15
John Frusciante is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic dance music, Protopunk

35
9 4
Glenn Branca is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added

36
15 10
Diamanda Galás is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Gothic rock, No wave, Electronic music

37
5 0
Gong is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

38
10 5
Merzbow is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Dark ambient, Musique concrète, Noise

39
10 5
Isao Tomita is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Electronic music, Classical music

40
14 9
Yellow Magic Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

41
10 5
David Sylvian is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
New Wave, Electronic music, Classical music

42
6 1
Soft Machine is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Rock music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock

43
15 11
Renaldo & The Loaf is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Experimental music, Avant-garde music

44
13 9
Bill Laswell is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Industrial hip hop, Experimental music, Dub

45
13 9
Hans-Joachim Roedelius is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Krautrock, Synthpop, German rock

46
12 8
Ryuichi Sakamoto is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Soundtrack, Synthpop, New Wave

47
10 6
Coil is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Dark ambient, Electronic music, Noise music

48
7 3
Battles is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Dance-punk, New Prog, Experimental rock

49
5 1
Van der Graaf Generator is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Progressive rock

50
17 14
Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock