The Best Musical Trios Of All-Time

Over 11.0K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Musical Trios Of All-Time
Voting Rules
3 piece bands...
Recently, Sublime fell out of the top 25, replaced by Placebo
Most divisive: Muse

Across all types of music, who is the best 3 piece band ever?

Listed below are the best musical trios of all-time across every genre, ranging from country and hip hop to alternative rock and pop. Heck, even popera as well! The best bands with three members consist of rich diversity and profound musical styles, many of which have received countless Grammys, AMAs, VMAs, and other prestigious music industry awards.

Even though these 3 person bands and music groups run the spectrum from A-list fame to, well, not so famous indie status, these trios are nonetheless the best in the biz. So please don't vote based on fame or media popularity -- because (obviously), it's about the music! Who is your favorite three piece band? Vote up your favorite groups below.

Ranked by
  • Rush
    5,601 votes

    Perhaps the most legendary trio in progressive rock, boasting the combined talents of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, who each achieved virtuosic status within their respective roles as bassist/vocalist, guitarist, and drummer. Their unique blend of complex song structures, heavy riffs, and thought-provoking lyrics earned them a fiercely dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim throughout their 40-year career. The band has sold over 40 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best-selling rock bands of all time.

  • Featuring the unparalleled guitar genius of Jimi Hendrix alongside the powerful rhythm section of Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, this trio redefined the limits of what rock music could be in the late 1960s. Their fusion of blues, psychedelia, and hard rock set a new standard for musicianship and innovation that still stands today, as evidenced by their iconic performance at Woodstock. They remain one of the most influential and celebrated rock bands in history, despite only releasing three albums before Hendrix's untimely death at age 27.

  • The Police
    3,756 votes

    Comprising the superb talents of Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland, this British trio revolutionized the worlds of punk, reggae, and pop music with their infectious hooks and innovative approach to songwriting in the late '70s and early '80s. Each member brought a unique skill set to the group - Sting's distinctive voice and bass playing, Summers' groundbreaking guitar work, and Copeland's dynamic drumming. With five chart-topping albums to their name and a lasting impact on musicians across genres, they're undoubtedly one of the greatest trios ever.

  • Nirvana
    4,227 votes

    Undoubtedly one of the most iconic trios in alternative rock, and perhaps in all of music, this powerhouse group composed of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl shattered musical conventions and spearheaded the grunge movement in the early 1990s. With their raw, emotional songwriting and powerful live performances, they became the voice of a disaffected generation. Selling over 75 million records worldwide, their impact on rock music is still felt today, long after Cobain's tragic passing in 1994.

  • Cream
    3,224 votes

    As one of the first "supergroups", this powerhouse trio featuring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker combined exceptional musicianship with a driving blues-rock sound that would prove highly influential on the future of rock music. Their remarkable individual talents were showcased in a series of groundbreaking albums that made them one of the most successful and respected bands of the 1960s. With timeless hits like "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room," Cream's legacy as a great musical trio remains firmly intact.

  • ZZ Top
    3,180 votes

    This enduring and unmistakable trio from Texas, consisting of Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard, has been dishing out bluesy, hard-rocking tunes since the early 1970s. Known for their catchy riffs, massive beards (except for Beard, ironically), and a seamless blend of Southern rock and blues, they've maintained a loyal fanbase and cultural relevance spanning five decades. With over 25 million albums sold in the United States alone, they've more than earned their place among the all-time great musical trios.