Bands/Musicians The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists  

Reference
6.3k votes 777 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
142 72
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock

2
192 119
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

3
17 1
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

4
89 49
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

5
138 89
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 92
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Heavy metal

7
76 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 54
The Mothers of Invention is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Protopunk, Jazz fusion

9
199 151
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

10
63 42
Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Space rock

11
62 47
Brian Eno is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Electronic music, Experimental rock, Experimental classical music

12
33 20
Mr. Bungle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
JackSalvucci added Noise rock, Experimental rock, Funk metal

13
42 30
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 13 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.

14
55 44
Neil Young is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Grunge

15
52 41
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word

16
44 33
Kraftwerk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
TCUhimself added Krautrock, Synthpop, Electronic music

17
38 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 8
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 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
45 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
33 26
Robert Fripp is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added New Wave, Experimental rock, Instrumental rock

22
28 21
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 22 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)

23
55 51
Swans is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
bigwackywilly added Noise rock, Rock music, No wave

24
40 36
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

25
35 31
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 35
The Mars Volta is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Krautrock, Noise rock, Space rock

27
33 34
Beck Hansen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Alternative hip hop, Anti-folk, Country rap

28
29 30
Ween is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Neo-psychedelia

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

30
31 35
Animal Collective is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Psychedelic folk, New Weird America, Electronic music

31
21 23
Einstürzende Neubauten is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
kirk datema added Dark ambient, Noise rock, Industrial rock

32
24 27
Massive Attack is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Alternative hip hop

33
2 0
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

34
2 0
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

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
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Noise rock, Rock music, Neo-psychedelia

37
10 11
My Bloody Valentine is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Pavementor added Indie pop, Noise rock, Shoegazing

38
27 33
Gorillaz is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Synthpop

39
2 1
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

40
26 32
PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Punk blues, Grunge, Electronica

41
1 0
Gong is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

42
1 0
The Amazing World of Arthur Br... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Rock music, Shock rock, Pop rock

43
1 0
Screamin' Jay Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Shock rock, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

44
1 0
Joe Meek is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Pop music, Rock music

45
1 0
Jefferson Airplane is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Blues-rock, Psychedelic folk, Rock music

46
1 0
The Shaggs is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Pop music, Rock music, Outsider music

47
1 0
Flipper is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Noise rock, Sludge metal, Punk rock

48
1 0
Captain Beefheart & His Magic ... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added Blues-rock, Spoken word, Garage rock

49
1 0
Adam Ant is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
Kassie Lanzarotta added New Wave, Pop music, Power pop

50
18 22
Robert Wyatt is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Experimental Rock Bands/Artists
passionsears added Experimental rock, Jazz fusion, Experimental music