Bands/Musicians The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists  

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6.1k votes 723 voters 41.2k 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
185 108
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

2
140 88
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

3
194 132
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

4
112 70
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

5
121 88
The Velvet Underground is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

6
73 48
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

7
62 39
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
58 40
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

9
62 46
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

10
68 52
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

11
52 40
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

12
40 28
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
31 19
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
JackSalvucci added Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

14
44 33
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
TCUhimself added Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

15
54 44
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

16
38 29
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

17
28 20
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 17 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)

18
33 26
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

19
31 24
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
44 39
CAN is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
carl-taylor added Krautrock, Rock music, Electronic music

21
54 51
Swans is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
bigwackywilly added Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

22
40 36
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

23
35 31
The Flaming Lips is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Psychedelic pop

24
38 35
The Mars Volta is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Krautrock, Noise rock, Space rock

25
33 34
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

26
29 30
Ween is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

27
28 29
Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

28
31 34
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Psychedelic folk, New Weird America, Electronic music

29
24 26
Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

30
27 31
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

31
10 10
My Bloody Valentine is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pavementor added Indie pop, Noise rock, Shoegazing

32
20 23
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
kirk datema added Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

33
26 32
PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Punk blues, Grunge, Electronica

34
18 22
Robert Wyatt is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Experimental rock, Jazz fusion, Experimental music

35
16 20
Faust is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
RayFracalossy added Krautrock, Experimental rock, Progressive rock

36
26 34
Atoms for Peace is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Alternative rock

37
24 32
At the Drive‐In is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Emo, New Prog

38
14 19
Chrome is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
WillyG added Rock music, Experimental rock, Industrial music

39
6 9
Death Grips is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Luke Albright added Alternative hip hop, Experimental hip hop, Industrial hip hop

40
17 24
Thee Silver Mt. Zion is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Experimental rock, Post-rock

41
8 13
Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Experimental music, Progressive rock, Psychedelic music

42
8 14
Steven Wilson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Krautrock, Industrial rock, Electronic music

43
5 10
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
*DSO* added

44
13 22
TV on the Radio is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Shoegazing, Rock music, Experimental rock

45
8 15
Sean Lennon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Rock music, Experimental rock

46
15 25
Babymetal is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
adlangilbuz added Hip hop music, Bubblegum pop, Eurobeat

47
10 18
Magma is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Avant-progressive rock, Experimental rock, Jazz fusion

48
7 14
Kevin Ayers is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Pop music, Experimental music, Psychedelic music

49
6 13
Bill Laswell is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Industrial hip hop, Experimental music, Dub

50
8 16
The United States of America is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop