Bands/Musicians The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists  

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6.3k votes 785 voters 41.5k views 104 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?"(104 items)
list ordered by

1
145 73
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

2
193 119
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
90 49
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

4
21 2
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

5
138 90
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

6
141 93
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

7
77 41
Talking Heads is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
RayFracalossy added New Wave, Rock music, Punk funk

8
89 55
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

9
199 152
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

10
63 43
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

11
62 48
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

12
43 30
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
AdamBell added 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.

13
56 44
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

14
53 41
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

15
33 21
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
JackSalvucci added Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

16
44 34
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
TCUhimself added Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

17
39 29
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

18
18 9
Tangerine Dream is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Krautrock, New Age music, Electronic music

19
32 25
The Residents is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
RayFracalossy added Noise rock, Rock music, Experimental rock

20
56 52
Swans is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
bigwackywilly added Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

21
45 40
CAN is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
carl-taylor added Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

22
33 27
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

23
41 36
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

24
28 22
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
*DSO* added

The Arcana are a British rock band that formed in 2015. Albums: Lemon Freddy Phantom of the Sky (2017), Tomorrow is Yesterday (2016)

25
35 32
The Flaming Lips is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

26
38 36
The Mars Volta is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Krautrock, Noise rock, Space rock

27
29 29
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

28
33 35
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

29
29 31
Ween is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

30
3 0
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

31
3 0
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

32
31 36
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Psychedelic folk, New Weird America, Electronic music

33
3 1
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

34
2 0
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Noise rock, Rock music, Neo-psychedelia

35
2 0
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Experimental rock, Grunge, Noise

36
2 0
Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

37
21 24
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
kirk datema added Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

38
28 33
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

39
24 28
Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

40
10 11
My Bloody Valentine is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pavementor added Indie pop, Noise rock, Shoegazing

41
26 32
PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Punk blues, Grunge, Electronica

42
1 0
Joe Meek is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Pop music, Rock music

43
1 0
Flipper is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Noise rock, Sludge metal, Punk rock

44
1 0
Adam Ant is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added New Wave, Pop music, Power pop

45
1 0
The Amazing World of Arthur Br... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Shock rock, Pop rock

46
1 0
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

47
1 0
Gong is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

48
1 0
The Shaggs is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

49
1 0
Screamin' Jay Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Shock rock, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

50
16 20
Faust is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
RayFracalossy added Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock