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The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

Updated November 5, 2019 190.8k votes 16.3k voters 388.7k views

List RulesOnly 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.
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  • 1
    AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 2
    Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 3
    Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 4
    Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 5
    Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 6
    Aerosmith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 7
    Queen is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 8
    Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 9
    Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 10
    Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 11
    Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 12
    Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 13
    Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 14
    Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 15
    Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 16
    ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 17
    Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 18
    Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 19
    Kiss is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 20
    Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 21
    Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 22
    Blue Öyster Cult is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 23
    Cream is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 24
    Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 25
    Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists
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