music The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists  

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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
2,129 898
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

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2
2,462 884
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

3
1,530 975
Queen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
1,342 854
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

5
1,482 1,008
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

6
1,253 792
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Aerosmith Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

7
1,270 712
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

8
1,787 799
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

9
930 498
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
DukeArcher added Jimi Hendrix Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

10
795 640
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

11
891 756
Rush is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

12
888 634
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

13
1,081 488
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

14
751 428
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Bella70 added Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
743 488
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
HillaryBeckmanHarvey added Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

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16
868 687
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

17
756 528
ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
ZZ Top Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

18
550 553
Boston is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Boston Classic rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

19
732 564
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

20
544 455
Blue Öyster Cult is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blue Öyster Cult Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

21
630 450
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

22
542 445
Cream is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Cream Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

23
540 481
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

24
642 674
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Bon Jovi Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

25
596 476
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

26
706 459
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

27
530 525
Tool is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

28
389 440
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Rock music, Punk rock, Hard rock

29
534 531
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

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30
431 416
Nazareth is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Nazareth Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
308 415
Kansas is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Kansas Heartland rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

32
562 397
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

33
498 368
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
HillaryBeckmanHarvey added Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

34
387 419
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Stone Temple Pilots Rock music, Grunge, Neo-psychedelia

35
345 388
UFO is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
UFO Blues-rock, Rock music, Space rock

36
306 413
Ratt is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Ratt Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

37
382 532
Godsmack is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Godsmack Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

38
335 563
Evanescence is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
HillaryBeckmanHarvey added Evanescence Rock music, Gothic metal, Alternative rock

39
335 314
The Cult is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
The Cult Gothic rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

40
418 384
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

41
362 330
Ramones is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
DukeArcher added Ramones Pop punk, Rock music, Classic Punk

42
362 437
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

43
251 398
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

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44
431 583
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

45
322 410
Poison is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Poison Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

46
384 414
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Cinderella Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

47
323 627
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Marilyn Manson Glam metal, Industrial metal, Rock music

48
179 52
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

49
224 355
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
King Crimson New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

50
262 348
Faith No More is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Faith No More Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal