Bands/Musicians The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists  

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3.7k votes 358 voters 14.7k views 227 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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1
128 25
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

2
73 10
The Residents is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
The Residents Noise rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

3
92 20
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

4
88 21
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
King Crimson New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
37 4
Pere Ubu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Pere Ubu New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

6
46 8
Edgard Varèse is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Edgard Varèse Musique concrète, Experimental classical music, Avant-garde music

7
39 7
John Cage is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added John Cage Opera, Ballet, Aleatoric music

8
61 25
CAN is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

9
53 24
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

10
46 19
Nico is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Nico Pop music, Folk music, Folk rock

11
38 17
Throbbing Gristle is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Throbbing Gristle Noise rock, Dark ambient, Electronic music

12
7 0
Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
kent787 added Tom Waits Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music

13
48 28
Björk is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Björk Electronic dance music, Jazz, Tribal house

14
29 13
Harry Partch is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Harry Partch Experimental classical music, Avant-garde music

15
22 9
Sun Ra is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Sun Ra Doo-wop, Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz

16
37 23
Swans is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Swans Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

17
31 18
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

18
44 30
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Mr. Bungle Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

19
28 16
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Einstürzende Neubauten Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

20
40 27
John Zorn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
John Zorn Dark ambient, Noise rock, Klezmer

21
27 17
Henry Cow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Henry Cow Avant-progressive rock, Experimental rock, Jazz fusion

22
26 17
Naked City is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Naked City Noise rock, Avant-garde jazz, Experimental rock

23
28 19
Mike Patton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Mike Patton Hip hop music, Noise rock, Rock music

24
18 10
Laurie Anderson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Laurie Anderson Experimental music, Art rock

25
12 5
This Heat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added This Heat Experimental rock, Industrial rock, Industrial music

26
20 13
Nurse with Wound is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Nurse with Wound Dark ambient, Drone music, Industrial music

27
54 46
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

28
7 1
Faust is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Faust Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock

29
5 0
Gong is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Gong Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

30
9 4
DNA is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added DNA No wave, Noise music, Punk rock

31
7 2
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Sigur Rós Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

32
11 6
Psychic TV is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Psychic TV Acid house, Electronic music, Post-industrial music

33
20 15
John Frusciante is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
John Frusciante Rock music, Electronic dance music, Protopunk

34
15 10
The Pop Group is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
The Pop Group Noise rock, Punk rock, Punk funk

35
17 13
Buckethead is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Buckethead Noise rock, Dark ambient, Space rock

36
14 10
Diamanda Galás is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Diamanda Galás Gothic rock, No wave, Electronic music

37
13 9
Yellow Magic Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Yellow Magic Orchestra Hip hop music, Synthpop, New Wave

38
9 5
David Sylvian is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
David Sylvian New Wave, Electronic music, Classical music

39
9 5
Merzbow is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Merzbow Dark ambient, Musique concrète, Noise

40
9 5
Isao Tomita is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Isao Tomita Synthpop, Electronic music, Classical music

41
8 4
Glenn Branca is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Roy Osengar added Glenn Branca

42
5 1
Thelonious Monk is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Thelonious Monk Stride, Cool jazz, Hard bop

43
5 1
Soft Machine is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
phrygia added Soft Machine Rock music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock

44
15 12
Faith No More is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Faith No More Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

45
14 11
Renaldo & The Loaf is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Renaldo & The Loaf Experimental music, Avant-garde music

46
12 9
Bill Laswell is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Bill Laswell Industrial hip hop, Experimental music, Dub

47
12 9
Hans-Joachim Roedelius is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Hans-Joachim Roedelius Krautrock, Synthpop, German rock

48
11 8
Ryuichi Sakamoto is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Ryuichi Sakamoto Soundtrack, Synthpop, New Wave

49
9 6
Coil is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Coil Dark ambient, Electronic music, Noise music

50
6 3
Battles is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Avant-garde Bands/Artists
Battles Dance-punk, New Prog, Experimental rock