Music

The Best Grunge Bands 

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Updated October 9, 2019 65.5k votes 7.1k voters 91.9k 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
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 1 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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#54 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #111 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #59 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

2
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 2 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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The Best Alice In Chains Songs of All Time #230 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #149 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

3
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 3 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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The Best Pearl Jam Songs of All Time #137 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #27 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

4
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 4 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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At Their Peaks, Guns N' Roses And Nirvana Hated Each Other - But They Found Common Ground In Rock #216 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #54 of 466 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

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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The Best Stone Temple Pilots Songs #271 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #130 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

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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#418 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #80 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #132 of 320 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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The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs of All Time #80 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #106 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists 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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#502 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #714 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #33 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

9
Tool is listed (or ranked) 9 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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The Best Tool Albums of All-Time #289 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #269 of 333 The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

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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#849 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #198 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #584 of 620 The Greatest Live Bands of All Time

11
Mudhoney is listed (or ranked) 11 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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#597 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #292 of 318 The Greatest American Rock Bands #268 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

12
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 12 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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The Best Sonic Youth Songs of All Time #218 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #359 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

13
Soul Asylum is listed (or ranked) 13 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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#531 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #86 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #545 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

14
Candlebox is listed (or ranked) 14 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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#639 of 2,047 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #816 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #187 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

15
Mad Season is listed (or ranked) 15 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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#1,379 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #4 of 78 The Best Music Side Projects #32 of 70 The Best Supergroups Ever Made

16
Silverchair is listed (or ranked) 16 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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#1,597 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #751 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Timelisted on List of Famous Bands from Australia

17
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 17 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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The Best Pixies Albums of All-Time #219 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #275 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

18
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 18 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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The Best Butthole Surfers Albums of All Time #223 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #392 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

19
Garbage is listed (or ranked) 19 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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#104 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #492 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #198 of 466 The Best Current Pop Groups/Singers

20
Melvins is listed (or ranked) 20 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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#359 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #1,143 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #313 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

21
Screaming Trees is listed (or ranked) 21 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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The Best Screaming Trees Albums #467 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #226 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

22
Veruca Salt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Veruca Salt is an American alternative rock band founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1993 by vocalist-guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post, drummer Jim Shapiro and bassist Steve Lack.

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#1,887 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,030 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #172 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s

23
The Presidents of the Un... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
The Presidents of the United States of America (occasionally referred to as PUSA, The Presidents or Pot USA) was an American alternative rock power trio band. The band formed in Seattle, ...more

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#831 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #95 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s #677 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

24
Dinosaur Jr is listed (or ranked) 24 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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The Best Dinosaur Jr Songs #324 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame #1,710 of 2,042 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

25
Meat Puppets is listed (or ranked) 25 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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The Best Meat Puppets Albums of All Time #783 of 2,211 The Best Rock Bands of All Time #230 of 408 The Greatest Musical Artists of the '90s