Best 3 Man Rock Bands


August 1, 2015 - Most bands have a total of four of five members. However, there is that rare instance where only 3 people get together and are able to create some amazing tunes. These are what I consider to be some of the best bands that only had three members. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Alex, full of life and what a writer, arranger, manager. Geddy Lee, so much talent, such energy and personality... A front man adored by all. Neil, unmatched with the sticks and his words are the missing element other bands long for... Please come down from the razor's edge and know that they are waiting for you where the streets have no name.
It was obvious that Rush would be on this list. Geddy Lee's ability to play bass, keyboards, AND sing is widely recognized. Neil Peart's drumming is widely recognized amongst the greatest styles of drumming, and Alex Lifeson takes his hard style of guitar playing and contributes to the prog rock sound of this Canadian trio.


When Geddy and Alex first met in school I bet they never thought they would create something almost like a religion. Each member of this group feeds off of each other, that's why if someone left the band, it would end because no other person could step into that role,
[Newest]Such dynamic and ever evolving music these guys create. No doubt the best 3 man band and arguably (at least one of ) the best bands ever, though it's hard to argue against the Beatles for that title

Nirvana is one! None of these bands are really my generation but green day isn't that good so top 3 obviously nirvana rush and jimi hendrix experience. I feel compelled to look up these other bands ahead of nirvana but chevelle should be on this list as well above police and green day because there music sounds so similar to each other meaning all police songs sound the same and all green day songs sound the same.
The Nevermind album is widely considered to be a gem by many music fans and critics. They followed it up with In Utero, which challenged poser Nirvana fans with true supporters. It's a shame Cobain had to kill himself, or who knows what kind of music Nirvana would be releasing nowadays.


COME ON PEOPLE! I guarantee you that most have not heard of any of the above aside from rush and jimi hendrix. Like rush and hendrix they created a whole new genre and yet they are still underneath triumph! VOTE NOW!
[Newest]The best, not rush

3The Police
One of New Wave's most iconic groups, Sting is an example of singers who also play the bass. Stewart Copeland doesn't get enough credit as a drummer. All 5 of their albums produced hit singles (Roxanne, Message in a Bottle, Don't Stand So Close to Me, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Every Breath You Take), and they recently did a reunion tour a few years ago.


All Police songs do not sound the same and if you dig deeper and take the time to listen to their stuff that is not heard on radio then you would have to give them more credit than you do. My definition of a classic album is one that you play the entire side then flip it over and listen to the other side also, very rare indeed, but I think all the police albums qualify.
[Newest]My standing #3 band (after Rush and ELP).

4ZZ Top
Blues rock and hard rock never sounded finer. Recognizable for their long beards, Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill's guitar tones are some of the smoothest, yet roughest in rock. Their drummer, Frank Beard (who ironically has no beard), is technically strong and able to produce beats that people want to get up and dance to.


Before Eliminator, these guys maintained a sex and alcohol induced blues rock empire, they have so many riffs used in heavy metal today, and their groove is unlike anything anyone's ever heard. Dusty and Billy have some of the best voices
Definitely one of the best bands! My children are 17, 20, 26, 28 and they are still listening, dancing and enjoying ZZ Top! Makes me proud.

5The Jimi Hendrix Experience
One of the earliest three man bands, The Jimi Hendrix Experience was well known for their technical skill, as well as the way that Jimi would set his guitar on fire or play it with his teeth. It's a shame that Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell don't get any credit for their contributions to music.


I sadly admit I did not know this was a trio. Great band.

6Green Day
Well the early stuff was just flat out fun, and didn't care to impress anyone. I think that after nimrod they declined a bit but warning had two good singles and then they took a chance with American idiot and I think proved how complex a three man group can be, there's some amazing writing on that album. Although not as popular 21st Century Breakdown was the most complex thing they did yet, and some of the songs that werent popular were actually some of their best
Green Day are amazing, most bands try to make their songs complex and build too much on the structure, but Green Day don't and their music is some of the worlds best
Green Day are one of the most well known and popular bands there are they had set the bar for 3 man bands around the world
[Newest]Something that is better than best! Sounds like Green Day to me.

One of the earliest supergroups in rock history, Cream's album Disraeli Gears is widely regarded as their best album. Launching Eric Clapton into the mainstream world of rock helps your cause. Hearing them at their best live is possible on the double album Wheels of Fire.


If it weren't for ego and a lack of team work. I think Cream would still be around today. But Bruce and Baker had a serious rivalry which in the end destroyed the band. Sad but true. I could listen to them for hours and be hypnotized by Clapton's voice and the floaty sound of the music.
Although Rush is one of my favorites, I had to vote for Cream; they, along with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, helped pioneer psychedelic rock.


They are AMAZING never before have I become so hooked on a particular band or group absolutely love their music wish there were more like them. And their live performances exceed anything I have EVER seen before
... The way they preform and the way their music can be soft and cool they can get very heavy with this good variety of songs they should be at the top
The fact that such a small bad can have such a full and unique sound. amazing vocals, clever lyrics and a true meaning to music. they should have been first in my opinion. they're also considered one of the greatest live performers in the world!
[Newest]Three persons but the music sounds like 5 or 6 man bands

9Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
SRV is a guitarist who helped to revive blues in the 1980's with the Texas Flood album. After a string of solid albums, he died in a plane crash, thus ending the trend that Stevie Ray and Double Trouble helped develop. They have slowly developed a stronger fan following among younger classic rock fans.


It's a shame that not a lot of people know about this band. VERY similar to Rush, except their lead singer is the drummer! Notable songs include Magic Power, Hold On, and Lay It On the Line. Heard of this band from a concert my dad showed me that U2 and Judas Priest played it, I forget what it was called.


Rush= Neil Peart Drummer Geddy Lee Bass lead vocals
Triumph Rick Emmett lead guitarist and lead vocals Gil Moore Drummer
Both are Hard Rock we did not call band in the 80's "Hair Bands" or "Glammer Bands" they were Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal. Rush and Triumph both Canadian Bands and both awesome. I miss the 80's we had real music.
Greatest 3 man band ever and even better than rush. The lead guitarist and drummer took turns doing lead vocals. Either one was genuine singer. Drumming very good and rik Emmett awesome on guitar. Check out riks guitar solo in never surrender. Hard to believe the rock video is 32 years old!
[Newest]Other than Rush I think Triumph had a more "complete" sound than other 3 man bands.

The Contenders

11Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
I put them ahead of Rush for one reason: they set the standard for rock of this type. The orchestral, sweeping melodies, the showmanship and ability to change from rock to classical to jazz and back to rock is unparalleled. This is not to discredit Rush in any way, or the boundaries crossed by the brilliant Police, but this is the pinnacle of trios. If only they were still playing but they're all doing different stuff now.
Prog rock legends Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer became famous due to the song "Lucky Man". However, the album that most people associate them with is "Brain Salad Surgery", which features the almost 30 minute epic "Karn Evil 9".


ELP is second only to Rush for being a musically accomplished band. Musically talented, deep lyrics, classical training. Only youth and ignorance of voters accounts for their poor showing on this poll.

12Crosby, Stills, and Nash
Even though they are sometimes joined by Neil Young, this group's first album was a classic in every meaning of the word. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes may not sound familiar to you at first, but you'll eventually realize it. They were able to get Neil Young to join them and create the well-received Deja Vu album. Plus, all the members were already members of great rock bands (The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Hollies).


I know Genesis originally had 5 members, but when Phil Collins fronted Genesis, he helped make Genesis a household name. While that may be a bad thing in some people's eyes, he still managed to make some great progressive rock style songs with Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks.


14Blink 182
Because they're the greatest band ever? Duh
Blink of couse who else? By the way green day is technically a 4 man band.

15The Beastie Boys


Pete's vocals, melodic riffs and insanely well written lyrics are unmatched by any band out there. It's a shame they're not as popular as sissy bands like nickelback.
Chevelle is just a bad ass three man band, that makes bad ass heavy American music!
They rock our asses off!
[Newest]My favorite band, great lyrics and heavy riffs

Primus is not just a 3 man band. Is a 3 man band whose singer/bassist is the best bassist in the world (or one of those) and can sing while playing pretty difficult lines.

19The Prodigy

20King's X
Great vocals. Live they're incredible.
All time favorite live band
Love king's X, only 2nd to Rush.

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This list was created 3 years, 300 days ago and has been voted on over 600 times. This top ten list has been remixed 8 times and has been blogged about 1 times.

Updated Saturday, August 01, 2015

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