Music

The Best Rock Trios Of All Time 

Ranker Music
Updated March 15, 2020 3.2k votes 320 voters 2.7k 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

Labels: Atlantic Records, Roadrunner Records, Moon Records (Canada), Mercury, Anthem Records

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

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#29 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #150 of 367 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s #14 of 618 The Greatest Live 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

Labels: RSO Records, ATCO Records, Polydor Records, Reprise Records, Reaction Records

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

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#45 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #26 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time The Best Cream Albums of All-Time

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

Labels: MCA Records, Polydor Records, Reprise Records, Barclay Records, Track Records

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

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#20 of 277 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees #48 of 81 The Best Trios 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

Labels: London Records, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Rhino Entertainment, American Recordings, Eagle Rock Records, + 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

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#39 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #107 of 367 The Best Pop Artists of the 1980s The Best ZZ Top Songs of All Time

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

Labels: A&M Records, Illegal Records, Universal Music Group, Polydor Records

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

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#468 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #24 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time The Best Police Albums of All Time

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

Labels: Geffen Records, DGC Records, Sub Pop

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

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#10 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #10 of 344 The Greatest American Rock Bands 15 Crazy But True Stories About Nirvana

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

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#466 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #79 of 277 Rank the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

8
James Gang is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

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

Labels: ABC Records, MCA Records, ATCO Records

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

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#673 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #321 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time The Best James Gang Albums of All Time

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

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

Labels: MCA Records, Warner Bros. Records, Capitol Records

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

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#155 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #20 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Best Grand Funk Railroad Albums of All Time

10
Emerson, Lake & Palm... is listed (or ranked) 10 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

Labels: Atlantic Records, Island Records, Cotillion Records, Victor Entertainment, Rhino Entertainment, + 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

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#155 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #22 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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

Labels: GWR Records, SPV, Epic Records, Sanctuary Records Group, Bronze Records

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

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#258 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #134 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #93 of 618 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time

12
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 12 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

Labels: Decca Records, ABC Records, Atlantic Records, ATCO Records, Charisma Records, + 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

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#34 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #42 of 618 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time The Best Genesis Albums of All Time

13
George Thorogood & T... is listed (or ranked) 13 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

Labels: Rounder Records, Eagle Records, MCA Records, EMI, CMC International

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

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#456 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #88 of 208 The Best Hard Rock Bands/Artists

14
Green Day is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

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

Labels: Adeline Records, Lookout! Records, Epitaph Records, Skene! Records, Reprise Records

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

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#127 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #40 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time The Best Green Day Songs of All Time

15
The Supremes is listed (or ranked) 15 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

Labels: Motown Records, Lu Pine Records

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

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#86 of 344 The Greatest American Rock Bands #36 of 156 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever The Best Supremes Albums of All Time

16
Stray Cats is listed (or ranked) 16 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

Labels: EMI America Records, Arista Records

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

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#246 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #160 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Best Stray Cats Albums of All Time

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

Labels: Mushroom Records, Dangerous Records, Taste Media, Helium-3, Warner Bros. Records

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

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#176 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #44 of 618 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time #204 of 409 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

18
Hüsker Dü is listed (or ranked) 18 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

Labels: SST Records, Alternative Tentacles, Warner Bros. Records, New Alliance Records

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

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#747 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #87 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

19
Violent Femmes is listed (or ranked) 19 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

Labels: Mushroom Records, Slash Records, Def Jam Recordings, Reprise Records, Elektra Records, + 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

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#1,378 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #107 of 284 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Best Violent Femmes Albums of All Time

20
Wolfmother is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Wolfmother, Wolfmother EP, Cosmic Egg, COSMIC EGG (DELUXE EDITION), Woman, + more

Labels: Universal Records, Island Records, Modular Recordings, DGC Records, Universal Music Group, + more

Wolfmother are an Australian hard rock band from Sydney, New South Wales. Formed in 2004, the group is centred around vocalist and guitarist Andrew Stockdale, who is the only constant member of ...more

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#1,434 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #113 of 319 The Best Bands With Animal Nameslisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

21
King's X is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

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

Labels: Atlantic Records, Megaforce Records, Metal Blade Records, Inside Out Music

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

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#1,339 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,671 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time The Best King's X Albums of All Time

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

Labels: MCA Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Music Corporation of America, Columbia

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

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#1,836 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #288 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

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

Labels: Prawn Song Records, ATO Records, Interscope Records, Caroline Records

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

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#173 of 344 The Greatest American Rock Bands #953 of 1,037 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time

24
Them Crooked Vultures is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Rock Trios Of All Time

Albums: Them Crooked Vultures, Mind Eraser, No Chaser, New Fang

Labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Interscope Records

Them Crooked Vultures is a rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles in 2009 by John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl, and Josh Homme. The group also includes guitarist Alain Johannes during live ...more

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#922 of 2,209 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #86 of 319 The Best Bands With Animal Names #5 of 77 The Best Music Side Projects

25
Beastie Boys is listed (or ranked) 25 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

Labels: Def Jam Recordings, Rat Cage Records, Grand Royal, Capitol Records

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

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#171 of 2,175 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #915 of 1,037 The Worst Bands & Musicians of All Time The Best Beastie Boys Albums of All Time