Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY
Music

The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists 

Reference
Originally by
Updated November 5, 2019 212.8k votes 15.8k voters 379.8k views

List Rules Only hard rock artists. Pure metal bands like Sabbath, Maiden, Priest or punk bands like Pistols, Ramones belong on other lists

Hard rock is a genre that started with bands like Cream, Mountain, Steppenwolf, and Grand Funk in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and filled stadiums in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Hard rock bands are rooted in garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock and over time, hard rock has come to include elements of post-punk. That said, some of the greatest bands of all time are hard rock bands. Featuring iconic guitar solos, aggressive music and heavy drumming, top hard rock bands remain some of the most beloved bands in history and their songs continue to be played on radio today.

So, what are the best hard rock bands? Any top 100 list of hard rock bands has to include the likes of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, AC/DC, Queen, Aerosmith, Deep Purple and Guns N Roses. These bands are considered among the best in hard rock and with good reason. They continue to endure and their songs hold up - even as new hard rock songs fight for space on radio waves. In the cases of the hard rock bands that have retired or long broken up, they continue to have fans, which is a testament to their staying power.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best hard rock bands. If you like hard rock and noticed that someone is missing from this list of hard rock bands, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best hard rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest hard 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 hard rock bands that you might've heard of.
list ordered by
1
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
2
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
3
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
4
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
5
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
6
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
7
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
8
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
9
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
10
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
11
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
12
ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
13
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
14
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
15
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
16
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
17
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
18
Blue Öyster Cult is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
19
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Jon Heinly added
20
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
21
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
22
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
23
Rush is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
24
Cream is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
25
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists