bands/musicians The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists  

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5.3k votes 629 voters 40k views 87 items

Similarly to avant-garde rock and avant-garde rock bands, experimental rock takes rock music and takes it to places where many mainstream bands are afraid to go. Experimental rock bands are among the most interesting bands with extremely rabid, loyal fanbases. Usually, experimental rock bands will tinker with things like song structure, and showcases a different side of a rock band. Technical prowess is crucial for experimental rock bands to challenge the status quo. Beginning in the 1960s, experimental rock used elements from free jazz, classical music and even psychedelic rock to create a sound people had never heard before. Experimental rock has also called post-rock.

So, who are considered experimental rock bands? You can't think of experimental rock without bringing up Frank Zappa, Brian Eno and even Neil Young. These guys took traditional rock music and decide to create their own subtexture to their sound. How else can you accurately explain what Zappa and the Mothers of Invention did? They took traditional music and made it their own, hence the experimental rock label. Elements of Krautrock, ambient music and underground music were embraced by experimental rock bands.

This list of experimental rock bands should be a guide to the genre. Experimental rock This list answers the questions "who are the best experimental rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest experimental rock musician ever?"(87 items)
list ordered by

1
149 100
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

2
168 116
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

3
116 77
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Frank Zappa Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

4
93 62
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
King Crimson New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
52 28
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
RayFracalossy added Talking Heads New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

6
106 75
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
The Velvet Underground Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

7
28 11
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
*DSO* added The Arcana The Arcana are a British rock band that formed in 2015. Albums: Lemon Freddy Phantom of the Sky (2017), Tomorrow is Yesterday (2016)

8
57 40
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Sonic Youth Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

9
47 32
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

10
49 34
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Syd Barrett Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

11
59 44
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
The Mothers of Invention Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

12
40 26
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
TCUhimself added Kraftwerk Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

13
29 16
The Residents is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
RayFracalossy added The Residents Noise rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

14
54 40
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Brian Eno Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

Rolling Stone: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

15
29 19
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Robert Fripp New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

16
33 23
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
45 36
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Neil Young Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

18
28 21
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
AdamBell added Soundgarden Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal - An interesting mix of metal, psychedelia, hard rock, punk, and eastern music that became iconic of one of the big four of the Seattle scene.

19
20 13
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
JackSalvucci added Mr. Bungle Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

20
32 27
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Beck Hansen Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

21
38 34
CAN is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
carl-taylor added CAN Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

The Best Rock Vocalists

22
48 45
Swans is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
bigwackywilly added Swans Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

23
34 30
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

24
30 26
The Flaming Lips is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
The Flaming Lips Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

25
30 27
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Animal Collective Psychedelic folk, New Weird America, Electronic music

26
8 4
My Bloody Valentine is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pavementor added My Bloody Valentine Indie pop, Noise rock, Shoegazing

27
31 30
The Mars Volta is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
The Mars Volta Krautrock, Noise rock, Space rock

28
24 23
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Brian Wilson Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

The Top 20 Indie Albums of All Time

29
24 24
Ween is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Ween Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

30
20 21
Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Massive Attack Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

31
5 4
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
*DSO* added The Arcana

32
16 17
Robert Wyatt is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Robert Wyatt Experimental rock, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

33
23 26
PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
PJ Harvey Punk blues, Grunge, Electronica

34
16 18
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
kirk datema added Einstürzende Neubauten Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

35
21 25
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Gorillaz Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

The Best Techno Artists

36
4 5
Death Grips is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Luke Albright added Death Grips Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop, Industrial hip hop

37
21 26
At the Drive‐In is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
At the Drive‐In Rock music, Emo, New Prog

38
24 30
Atoms for Peace is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Atoms for Peace Electronic music, Experimental rock, Alternative rock

39
16 21
Thee Silver Mt. Zion is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Experimental rock, Post-rock

40
7 10
Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come Experimental music, Progressive rock, Psychedelic music

41
11 15
Faust is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
RayFracalossy added Faust Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock

42
12 17
Chrome is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
WillyG added Chrome Rock music, Experimental rock, Industrial music

Coachella 2010 Review - Coachella Festival Rankings

43
14 20
Babymetal is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
adlangilbuz added Babymetal Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Eurobeat

44
5 9
Zero Point Giant is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
JackLimpsey added Zero Point Giant Experimental Rock, Indie, Symphonic Rock

45
5 9
Bill Laswell is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Bill Laswell Industrial hip hop, Experimental music, Dub

46
8 13
Fred Frith is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Fred Frith Avant-progressive rock, Experimental rock, Experimental music

47
6 11
The United States of America is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added The United States of America Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

48
12 19
TV on the Radio is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
TV on the Radio Shoegazing, Rock music, Experimental rock

49
7 13
Sean Lennon is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Sean Lennon Indie pop, Rock music, Experimental rock

50
10 17
MGMT is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
MGMT Synthpop, New Wave, Dance-punk