Music

The Best Outsider Artists 

Reference
Updated December 17, 2019 4.9k votes 653 voters 13.2k views 76 items

Outsider music artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good outsider music bands includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top outsider music bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Outsider music groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all outsider music bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest outsider music bands of all time, since the most famous outsider music artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best outsider music music.

You can click on the outsider music band names to see more information about that particular notable outsider music group. If they're near the top of the best outsider music artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top outsider music bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the outsider music band names themselves.

Artists include everything from Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band to Brian Wilson. Make sure to upvote the best artists on this list to see them rise to the top. Downvote the artists you hate (Daniel Johnston, Swans, etc.) or show them some love by voting them up if you like them.

All important, significant and iconic names in outsider music music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new outsider music bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of outsider music, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into outsider music music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good outsider music bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent outsider music bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best outsider music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest outsider 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 outsider music bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

You can change the order of the list by posting the list to your Tumblr so that they can vote too. (76 items)
list ordered by
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Ranker Video
Outsider Music added

"Andrew Neil" Maternick. Outsider music/lo-fi/Grunge-Folk/Alternative Rock Artist.  An artist with some intriguing mystery surrounding him.  The music seemed to start out of nowhere.   Started writing songs following a head injury (car accident) in 2009. Has written 350 songs since then. His guitar work is raw and unpolished, his lyric are uncompromising.  Was hospitalized for 3 years.  The 11 songs on his album "Code Purple -Andrew Neil" were written and recorded in his hospital room. Andrew writes songs that ignore standard musical and lyrical conventions.  He had no formal training and does not follow formal rules of songwriting. He  has no idea what notes/chords he is playing or what key he is in or what scales are all about.  He defies music theory. He just plays by ear.... up and down the fretboard.  He manages to wrap his guitar work around the lyrics.  The result is a raw, yet effective and emotionally charged song.  He writes prolifically and in most cases his songs are deep and introspective.... themes of loneliness, angst, mental illness, longing to be "normal".  Some have likened him to a Kurt Cobain meets Nick Drake and Elliot Smith with the simplicity of Daniel Johnston's "pure and childlike soul" thrown in.  Andrew Neil Discography includes two lo-fi albums.  "Andrew Neil Live at Para Coffee" (Feb 2012) and "Code Purple-Andrew Neil" (Oct 2017).  Code Purple is unique in that all the songs were written and recorded in a State Mental Hospital (Western State Hospital) where he was a patient for three years.  He wrote and recorded almost 70 songs there.  The Album includes 11 of those songs…..Exactly the way he recorded them.   https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/AndrewNeil ;  https://www.discogs.com/artist/5198941-Andrew-Neil-Maternick;  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Neil_Maternick

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Daniel Johnston is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Syd Barrett is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Captain Beefheart & ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Skip Spence is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Nick Drake is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Sun Ra is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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The Fugs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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R. Stevie Moore is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Moondog is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Quint Baker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
Quint Baker added
Quint Baker is best known for his Psychic Cat'z Golden Fleece record release in 2010.
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The Red Krayola is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Jandek is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Ranker Video
coffeecigsandi added
Outsider music, lo-fi, obscure. http://www.rickyparker.com
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Weird Paul is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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John Revitte is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
Outsider Music added

John Revitte is a visual and music artist.  His songs have been described as "raw emotion from the soul."  In many ways his writing reflects a strong Bob Dylan influence.   He just writes and sings what comes out with little to no editing. The music and lyrics come out the way they were supposed to come out...from the moment. 

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Iggy Pop is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Ariel Pink is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Tiny Tim is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Tom Waits is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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The Shaggs is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Steve Lieberman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Outsider Artists
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Wild Man Fischer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Outsider Artists