Metal The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists  

Reference
Originally by
166.1k votes 12.9k voters 336.4k views 235 items

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.
Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
3,269 1,499
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

2
3,721 1,429
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

3
2,395 1,543
Queen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
2,026 1,508
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

5
2,353 1,518
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

6
1,887 1,233
Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

7
1,919 1,144
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

8
2,796 1,209
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

9
1,322 1,065
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

10
1,349 1,148
Rush is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

11
1,235 815
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Bella70 added Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

12
1,534 808
Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

13
1,326 1,016
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

14
1,639 768
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

15
1,197 795
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
HillaryBeckmanHarvey added New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

16
1,148 823
ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

17
829 941
Boston is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Classic rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

18
1,001 768
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

19
1,133 877
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

20
1,382 1,038
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

21
877 744
Blue Öyster Cult is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Heavy metal, Stoner rock

22
1,024 1,051
Bon Jovi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

23
1,151 679
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

24
892 755
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

25
888 659
Cream is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music