Music

The Best Rock Trios Of All Time 

Ranker Music
Updated April 26, 2020 4.2k votes 446 voters 4.6k views 53 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite three-person rock groups.

Rock fans, this list is for you. We’re ranking the best trios in rock music. Is it The Police - or are you more of a Nirvana fan? Either way, you should find some of your favorites on this list of famous rock music trios.

Rush and Muse are two other great examples of 3 piece rock bands that we can’t stop listening to. Genesis is a good example of a more classic rock trio, while HAIM is one of our favorite recent rock bands with three members.

Who are your favorite rock groups with three members? Check out our list, and be sure to vote your favorite trio bands in rock music up to the top of the list. And if we’ve missed one of the popular rock trios that you love, feel free to add it to the list. 

list ordered by
1
Rush is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Moving Pictures, 2112, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Fly by Night, + more

Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion). Formed in 1968, the band went through several ...more

More Rush 

#427 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #20 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #22 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

2
Cream is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Disraeli Gears, The Very Best of Cream, Fresh Cream, Wheels of Fire, Those Were the Days, + more

Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/singer Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/singer Eric Clapton. Their unique sound was characterised by a ...more

More Cream 

The Best Cream Albums of All-Time #39 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #21 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

3
The Jimi Hendrix Experie... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Electric Ladyland, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Live at Monterey, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, + more

The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an English-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Composed of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and ...more

More The Jimi Hendrix Experience 

#9 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #32 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #32 of 544 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time

4
ZZ Top is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Tres Hombres, Eliminator, Rio Grande Mud, Greatest Hits, Fandango!, + more

ZZ Top is an American rock band formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band has, since 1970, consisted of vocalist/guitarist Billy Gibbons (the band's leader, main lyricist and musical arranger), ...more

More ZZ Top 

The Best ZZ Top Songs of All Time #133 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #24 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

5
The Police is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta, Every Breath You Take: The Singles, Outlandos d'Amour, + more

The Police were a British rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar, primary songwriter), Andy Summers (guitar) and ...more

More The Police 

The Best Police Albums of All Time #434 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #43 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

6
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Nevermind, In Utero, MTV Unplugged in New York, Bleach, Heart‐Shaped Box, + more

Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, ...more

More Nirvana 

Behind The Scenes Of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ #217 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #8 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

7
Stevie Ray Vaughan and D... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood, The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Sky Is Crying, + more

Double Trouble is an American blues rock band from Austin, Texas, formed by guitarist/singer Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1978. The group was active throughout the 1980s and responsible for reviving ...more

More Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble 

#314 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #75 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands #32 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

8
Emerson, Lake & Palm... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Emerson Lake & Palmer, Brain Salad Surgery, Tarkus, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends, Trilogy, + more

Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of keyboardist Keith Emerson; singer, bassist, guitarist and producer ...more

More Emerson, Lake & Palmer 

#47 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #257 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #110 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

9
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Genesis, Foxtrot, A Trick of the Tail, Trespass, + more

Genesis were an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The most successful and longest-lasting line-up consisted of keyboardist Tony Banks, ...more

More Genesis 

The Best Genesis Albums of All Time #449 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #51 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

10
Grand Funk Railroad is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Closer to Home, On Time, Survival, Good Singin', Good Playin', + more

Grand Funk Railroad, sometimes shortened as Grand Funk, is an American hard rock band popular during the 1970s, when they toured extensively and played to packed arenas worldwide. David Fricke ...more

More Grand Funk Railroad 

The Best Grand Funk Railroad Albums of All Time #18 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #302 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

11
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse, Motorhead: Extended Versions, Bastards, + more

Motörhead () were an English rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member, guitarist Larry Wallis and ...more

More Motörhead 

#21 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #276 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #149 of 263 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

12
James Gang is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Rides Again, Passin' Thru, Miami, Thirds, Bang, + more

The James Gang was a rock band formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1966. The band enjoyed moderate success with the singles "Funk #49" and "Walk Away," and are perhaps best ...more

More James Gang 

The Best James Gang Albums of All Time #119 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #613 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

13
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: American Idiot, Dookie, 21st Century Breakdown, ¡Dos!, Insomniac, + more

Green Day is an American rock band formed in 1986 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt. For much of the band's career, they have been a trio with drummer ...more

More Green Day 

The Best Green Day Songs of All Time #233 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #56 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

14
George Thorogood & T... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time
George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Albums: 30 Years Greatest, The Baddest of George Thorogood and the Destroyers, I Drink Alone, Anthology, 30th Anniversary Tour: Live, + more

George Thorogood & The Destroyers is an American blues rock band comprised of Thorogood and his band, The Delaware Destroyers. With his band, Thorogood has released over 20 albums, of which ...more

More George Thorogood & The Destroyers 

#64 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands #220 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #133 of 225 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

15
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time
MIKEBTM added

Albums: Paul's Boutique, Licensed to Ill, Check Your Head, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Hello Nasty, + more

The Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City formed in 1981. The group comprised Michael "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam "MCA" Yauch (vocals, ...more

More Beastie Boys 

The Best Beastie Boys Songs #230 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #10 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

16
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time
Scott Merritt added

Albums: 20th Century Masters: The Christmas Collection: The Best of The Supremes, Diana Ross & the Supremes: 20 Golden Greats, Love Child, Diana Ross & the Supremes: Greatest Hits, Where Did Our Love Go, + more

The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most ...more

More The Supremes 

The Best Supremes Albums of All Time #27 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #106 of 157 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever

17
Muse is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, The 2nd Law, Black Holes and Revelations, The Resistance, + more

Muse are an English rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The band consists of Matt Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Chris Wolstenholme (bass guitar, backing vocals), and ...more

More Muse 

#325 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #197 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #138 of 383 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

18
Stray Cats is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Built for Speed, Stray Cats, Rock This Town, Shake, Rattle and Roll: Live at TK's Place, + more

Stray Cats are an American rockabilly band formed in 1979 by guitarist and vocalist Brian Setzer, double bassist Lee Rocker, and drummer Slim Jim Phantom in the Long Island town of Massapequa, ...more

More Stray Cats 

The Best Stray Cats Albums of All Time #255 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #1,155 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

19
The Crickets is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time
Scott Merritt added The Crickets

Albums: 20 Golden Greats, The "Chirping" Crickets, That'll Be The Day, In Style with the Crickets, From Original Masters, + more

The Crickets are an American rock and roll band from Lubbock, Texas, formed by singer/songwriter Buddy Holly in the 1950s. Their first hit record was "That'll Be the Day", released in ...more

More The Crickets 

#145 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #125 of 265 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees #58 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names

20
King's X is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Dogman, Ear Candy, Faith Hope Love, XV, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, + more

King's X is an American rock band that combines progressive metal, funk and soul with vocal arrangements influenced by gospel, blues, and British Invasion rock groups. Despite a largely ...more

More King's X 

The Best King's X Albums of All Time #1,278 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #54 of 110 The Best Musical Trios Of All-Time

21
Blink-182 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Enema of the State, Dude Ranch, blink-182, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, Cheshire Cat, + more

Blink-182 is an American rock band formed in Poway, a suburb of San Diego, California in 1992. The band currently consists of bassist and vocalist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker, while ...more

More Blink-182 

One Of Blink-182’s Lead Singers Left The Band To Become An Outspoken UFO Researcher #637 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #225 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

22
The Outfield is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Big Innings: Best of The Outfield, Playing the Field, Diamond Days, Live in Brazil, Voices of Babylon, + more

The Outfield is an English pop rock/power pop power trio based in Manchester, England. The Outfield is unusual for a British band in that it enjoyed commercial success in the U.S., but never ...more

More The Outfield 

#444 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #253 of 294 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s #203 of 465 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '80s

23
Primus is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Sailing the Seas of Cheese, Pork Soda, Frizzle Fry, Tales From the Punchbowl, Brown Album, + more

Primus is an American funk metal band based in San Francisco, California, currently composed of bassist/vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry "Ler" LaLonde and drummer Tim ...more

More Primus 

#729 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #676 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #242 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

24
Hüsker Dü is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Zen Arcade, Flip Your Wig, Warehouse: Songs and Stories, Candy Apple Grey, New Day Rising, + more

Hüsker Dü was an American rock band formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1979. The band's continual members were guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer/vocalist ...more

More Hüsker Dü 

#282 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #755 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #793 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

25
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Violent Femmes, Add It Up (1981–1993), Machine, Why Do Birds Sing?, Freak Magnet, + more

{{Infobox musical artist | name = Violent Femmes | image = Violent Femmes 8221.jpg | caption = Violent Femmes, 2006 | background = group_or_band | origin = Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. | genre = | ...more

More Violent Femmes 

The Best Violent Femmes Albums of All Time #225 of 360 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #895 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time