Music

The Best Grunge Bands  

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34.6k votes 4.1k voters 68.8k views 74 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. (74 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
9
Mother Love Bone is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Screaming Trees is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Silverchair is listed (or ranked) 11 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
18
Dinosaur Jr is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 19 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
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
21
Soul Asylum is listed (or ranked) 21 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
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
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
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
25
Toadies is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Toadies is an American rock band formed in 1989 in Fort Worth, Texas, best known for the song "Possum Kingdom". The band's classic lineup consisted of Vaden Todd Lewis (lead vocals, ...more