Music

The Best Grunge Bands  

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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. (76 items)

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1
Soundgarden is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron ...more
2
Nirvana is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. The initial lineup was rounded ...more
4
Pearl Jam is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
Stone Temple Pilots is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Stone Temple Pilots is an American rock band from San Diego, California, that consists of brothers Robert and Dean DeLeo, Eric Kretz, and Chester Bennington. Since the band's formation in 1985, ...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 are an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan and James Iha, the band included Jimmy Chamberlin and D'arcy ...more
8
Mother Love Bone is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Bush is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Bush are a British rock band formed in London in 1992. The band found their immediate success with the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, which is certified 6× ...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
Mudhoney is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Mudhoney is 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
12
Melvins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
The Melvins are an American band that formed in 1983. They usually perform as a trio, but in recent years have performed as a four piece with two drummers. Since 1984, singer and guitarist Buzz ...more
13
Mad Season is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Mad Season was an American rock supergroup formed in Seattle, Washington in 1994 by members of three popular Seattle-based bands: Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees. Mad Season ...more
14
Silverchair is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Silverchair were an Australian rock band, which formed in 1992 as Innocent Criminals in Merewether, Newcastle with the line-up of Ben Gillies on drums, Chris Joannou on bass guitar and Daniel ...more
15
Hole is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Dinosaur Jr is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Sonic Youth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
PaperVinnie added
Sonic Youth was an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. Their most recent lineup consisted of Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley and Mark Ibold. In their ...more
18
Pixies is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Tool is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
NatanPereiraAl-Radabari added
Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up includes drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Since 1995, ...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
L7 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
L7 are an American grunge band from Los Angeles. They were active from 1985 to 2001, and reunited in 2014. Due to their sound and image, they are often associated with the grunge movement of the ...more
22
Green River is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
Green River was an American rock band from Seattle, Washington. Although the band had little commercial impact outside of its native Seattle, it proved to have significant influence on the genre ...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, his brother Cris Kirkwood, and Derrick Bostrom. The Kirkwood ...more
24
Soul Asylum is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
Butthole Surfers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Grunge Bands
NatanPereiraAl-Radabari added
Butthole Surfers is an American rock band formed by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1981. The band has had numerous personnel changes, but its core lineup of Haynes, Leary, ...more