Metal The Best Classic Metal Bands  

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List Rules Only bands that play classic metal style; no nu metal or extreme metal of any sort

When heavy metal first emerged at the beginning of the 1970s, naysayers would have never suspected that the bands from those early years would be considered some of the classic metal bands. These outfits are widely considered among the top heavy metal bands of all time, and with good reason. They are recognizable and their songs are some of the greatest songs in metal history. 

So, who are the best classic heavy metal bands? Every lists must have Black Sabbath at or near the top. The Birmingham, UK natives pretty much invented the genre, and all of heavy metal. Between Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and Tony Iommi's guitar, the entire foundation for all heavy metal bands was laid. If not for Sabbath, bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or even Metallica may not have existed. Even the best classic metal bands owe a debt of gratitude to Black Sabbath. No matter which edition of Black Sabbath you like - Ozzy or Dio edition - they are easily the most influential classic metal band. 

What band should be at the top of the list of classic metal bands? If you're a heavy metal fan and know everything there is to know about the top classic metal bands, then you should have your voice heard. This list answers the questions "who are the best classic metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest classic metal musician ever?" if you notice that a popular classic metal band isn't on this list, feel free to add them. 

1
447 92
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

2
462 100
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

3
374 73
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

4
299 80
Dio is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

5
269 117
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

6
224 96
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

7
229 114
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

8
289 225
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

9
202 152
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
tpengitore added Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

10
180 141
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Manowar Power metal, Heavy metal, True metal

11
64 28
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
manofoccasionalthought added Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

12
149 152
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

13
76 61
Accept is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
udoudo added Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

14
102 99
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
harry-pittman added Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

15
44 21
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Scott Kerr added AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

16
38 13
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Burak Alanyalı added Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

17
69 64
Savatage is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
mohamed-said added Savatage Melodic Rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

18
104 147
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

19
72 95
Warlock is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Warlock Glam metal, Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

20
63 80
Ratt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Ratt Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

21
68 89
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

22
40 44
Doro is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Doro

23
60 84
Dokken is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Dokken Melodic Rock, Glam metal, Rock music

24
87 140
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

25
59 92
Overkill is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
RobertPhelps added Overkill Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

26
62 99
Diamond Head is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Diamond Head New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

27
33 44
Aria is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Aria Heavy metal

28
75 127
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

29
37 54
U.D.O. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
udoudo added U.D.O. Power metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

30
32 45
Krokus is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Trey Guyton added Krokus Heavy metal, Hard rock

31
28 41
Blind Guardian is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Blind Guardian Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

32
8 4
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
thatperson added Mötley Crüe Motley Crue: absolute metal LEGENDS  Mötley Crüe was an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California -was ranked tenth on MTV's list "Top 10 Heavy Metal Bands of ...

33
27 49
Stryper is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MattSchwarck added Stryper Glam metal, Nu metal, Rock music

34
6 7
Venom is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Κατερίνα added Venom New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

35
52 109
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
NicholasChabiram added Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

36
1 0
Nitro is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
LivinYourFantasy added Nitro Glam metal, Power metal, Heavy metal - Nitro is an American heavy metal band from Hollywood, California. Formed in 1988. Nitro released its debut album O.F.R. in 1989, which reached number 140 on the US Billboard 200.

37
1 0
Hawk is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
LivinYourFantasy added Hawk Glam Metal, Heavy Metal

38
1 0
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
LivinYourFantasy added W.A.S.P. Shock Rock, Glam Metal, Heavy Metal - W.A.S.P. is an American heavy metal band formed in 1982. They emerged from the early 1980s Los Angeles heavy metal scene. The band's popularity peaked that decade, yet they continue to record and tour, making them one of ...

39
39 86
LOUDNESS is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
LOUDNESS Glam metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

40
0 0
Impellitteri is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
LivinYourFantasy added Impellitteri Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal, Speed metal

41
53 125
Godsmack is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Godsmack Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

42
15 46
Trouble is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
strangeways added Trouble Psalm 9, The Skull, Trouble, Manic Frustration, Plastic Green Head, Distortion Field

43
26 90
X Japan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
X Japan Glam metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

44
33 119
Stone Sour is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Stone Sour Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

45
11 51
Ezo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Ezo Glam metal, Heavy metal

46
14 72
Doomsword is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Doomsword Doom metal, Viking metal, Power metal

47
14 79
Angra is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Angra Progressive metal, Power metal, Heavy metal

48
10 82
Gorky Park is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Gorky Park Glam metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

49
9 84
Stage Dolls is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Stage Dolls Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
7 74
Darkseed is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Darkseed Death-doom, Gothic metal, Heavy metal