Music

The Best Grunge Bands  

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45.4k votes 5.1k voters 75.4k views 73 items

The beginning of the 1990s saw a new genre of rock emerge: grunge music. Grunge bands emerged left and right, primarily from Seattle. A subgenre of alternative rock, grunge music is a stripped down version of rock, but also includes elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal along with distorted guitars, contrasting song dynamics, and angry lyrics. Some of the best bands of that decade are grunge bands. The best grunge bands are also considered among the greatest bands of all time

So, who are the best grunge bands? Any list of grunge bands has to start with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. These two iconic bands couldn't have had a different path to music glory. Nirvana was only around for three studio albums and Pearl Jam continues to make music today. Yet both are considered popular grunge music bands and the top grunge music bands. Other grunge music artists include Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Screaming Trees.

That said, who are considered the greatest grunge music bands? It's up to you to decide. There are a lot of good grunge bands, but only the best can be on the list of grunge bands. This poll answers the questions "who are the best grunge music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest grunge music musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular grunge music bands that you might've heard of. (73 items)

list ordered by
1
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, ...more

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#19 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #127 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singersfeaturing The Best Nirvana Songs

2
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Pearl Jam is an American rock band, formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has comprised Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. The ...more

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#81 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #32 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Timefeaturing The Best Pearl Jam Songs of All Time

3
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Alice in Chains (often abbreviated as AIC) is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1987 by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney, who later recruited ...more

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#144 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #201 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Alice In Chains Songs of All Time

4
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil (both of whom are the only members to appear ...more

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#29 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #113 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #72 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

5
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Stone Temple Pilots (often abbreviated as STP) are an American rock band from San Diego, California, that originally consisted of Scott Weiland (lead vocals), brothers Dean DeLeo (guitar) and ...more

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#575 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #115 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Timefeaturing The Best Stone Temple Pilots Songs

6
Temple of the Dog is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Temple of the Dog was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. It was conceived by vocalist Chris Cornell of Soundgarden as a tribute to his friend, the late Andrew ...more

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#577 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #135 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #209 of 329 The Best Bands With Animal Names

7
The Smashing Pumpkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
selfloathingbutttoucher added
The Smashing Pumpkins (or Smashing Pumpkins) are an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1988 by frontman Billy Corgan (lead vocals, guitar), D'arcy Wretzky (bass), ...more

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#81 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #200 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs of All Time

8
Bush is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Bush are an English rock band formed in London, England in 1992. Their current lineup consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Gavin Rossdale, drummer Robin Goodridge, lead guitarist Chris ...more

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#507 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #264 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #196 of 222 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album

9
Silverchair is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Silverchair were an Australian rock band, which formed in 1992 as Innocent Criminals in Merewether, Newcastle with Ben Gillies on drums, Daniel Johns on vocals and guitars, and Chris Joannou on ...more

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#1,205 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #301 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Timelisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

10
Mother Love Bone is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Mother Love Bone was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988. The band was active from 1988 to 1990. Frontman Andrew Wood's personality and compositions helped to ...more

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#616 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #516 of 626 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time #324 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

11
Screaming Trees is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Screaming Trees was an American rock band formed in Ellensburg, Washington in 1985 by vocalist Mark Lanegan, guitarist Gary Lee Conner, bass player Van Conner and drummer Mark Pickerel. Pickerel ...more

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#852 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #227 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90sfeaturing The Best Screaming Trees Albums

12
Mudhoney is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Mudhoney are an American alternative rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988. Following the demise of Green River, Mudhoney's members are singer and rhythm guitarist Mark Arm, lead ...more

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#757 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #235 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #281 of 354 The Greatest American Rock Bands

13
Tool is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
NatanPereiraAl-Radabari added
Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up includes drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Justin Chancellor has ...more

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#249 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #239 of 353 The Greatest Classic Rock Bandsfeaturing The Best Tool Albums of All-Time

14
Hole is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Hole was an American alternative rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1989 by singer-songwriter Courtney Love and lead guitarist Eric Erlandson. The band had a revolving line-up ...more

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#706 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #291 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers #327 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

15
Melvins is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Melvins are an American rock band whose early work was key to the development of both grunge and sludge metal. The band formed in 1983 in Montesano, Washington. They have mostly performed as a ...more

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#277 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #1,308 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #222 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

16
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
PaperVinnie added
Sonic Youth was an American rock band based in New York City, formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass, vocals, guitar) and Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals) ...more

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#30 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #189 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Sonic Youth Songs of All Time

17
Mad Season is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Mad Season can refer to: Mad Season (band) Mad Season (album), an album by the band Matchbox Twenty "Mad Season" (song), title song of the album

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#678 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #29 of 70 The Best Supergroups Ever Made #7 of 77 The Best Music Side Projects

18
Soul Asylum is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band that formed in 1981, and officially in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1983. The band originally formed in 1981 under the name Loud Fast Rules, with ...more

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#581 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #430 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #25 of 222 Bands/Artists With Only One Great Album

19
Dinosaur Jr is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Dinosaur Jr. is an American rock band formed in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1984, originally simply called Dinosaur until legal issues forced a change in name. The band was founded by J Mascis ...more

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#127 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #1,398 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Dinosaur Jr Songs

20
Candlebox is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Candlebox is an American rock band from Seattle, Washington. Since its formation in 1990, the group has released five studio albums, which have achieved multi-platinum and gold certification, as ...more

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#702 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #426 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #310 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

21
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
The Pixies are an American rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986. The group currently consists of founders Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering. Co-founder Kim Deal left ...more

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#102 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #102 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Timefeaturing The Best Pixies Albums of All-Time

22
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
NatanPereiraAl-Radabari added
Butthole Surfers are an American rock band formed by singer Gibby Haynes and guitarist Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas, in 1981. The band has had numerous personnel changes, but its core lineup ...more

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#269 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #606 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Timefeaturing The Best Butthole Surfers Albums of All Time

23
Meat Puppets is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
NatanPereiraAl-Radabari added
Meat Puppets are an American rock band formed in January 1980 in Phoenix, Arizona. The group's original lineup was Curt Kirkwood (guitar/vocals), his brother Cris Kirkwood (bass guitar/vocals), ...more

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#805 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #212 of 410 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90sfeaturing The Best Meat Puppets Albums of All Time

24
L7 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
L7 is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, first active from 1985 to 2001 and re-formed since 2014. Due to their sound and image, they are often associated with the grunge ...more

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#556 of 2,219 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #34 of 156 The Greatest Chick Rock Bands Ever #513 of 570 The Most Hipster Bands

25
Garbage is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Garbage is an American rock band formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1993. The band consists of Scottish musician and lead singer Shirley Manson and American musicians Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, ...more

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#151 of 283 Musicians Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #494 of 2,186 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #149 of 465 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers