Best Alternative Bands of All Time

The Top TenXW

1NirvanaNirvana was an American grunge band that was formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana disbanded after Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. The drummer of the band, David Grohl, went on to start the Foo-Fighters, an alternative rock band. more.

Nirvana is clearly the best band ever!
Kurt Cobain is amazing!
They should be number one!

Nirvana is an overrated band, and they are still popular just because Kurt died very young and this makes him more famous! - somekindofaguy

How the heck is Linkin Park possibly number 1? Nirvana is one of the greatest and more influential bands of all time, rated the 30th greatest musical act of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. Linkin Park, although a good band, is absolutely nothing compared to Nirvana.

Why the hell is this after linkin park? They definitely deserve to be at the top spot.

King of Grunge!

V322 Comments
2Linkin ParkLinkin Park is an American rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The members include Chester Bennington (vocals), Mike Shinoda (rapping vocals, pianist), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ) and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park are associated with a mixture more.

Well linkin park has always been loved by people. All of their songs are great and famous. So they really deserve this spot. We all love you linkin park...

Linkin park, you have that power which I want in a music. I'm truly like all your songs...
I think you are a catalyst to the rock music, without you rock is incomplete.

Amazing band with the rare ability to expand and create genres.
They are not afraid to experiment, and they take pride in every song they write. Their popularity is well-deserved.

Best band ever

V479 Comments
3Green DayGreen Day are an American punk rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1987. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar) . Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative rock . Some of their influences more.

Green Day is my entire life! When Green Day is over so is my life! That is how much I love their music!

Go listen to their song. Then come vote. GREEN DAY rules. If you know vh1, their favorite Band is vh1. Don't care what you think but GD IS AWESOME. Observe the pattern.
GOOD-o=GOD-o=GD. At every stage, it gets better. Their inspired by the ramones. They used to have another drummer for their 1st albums. Together, billie, tre and mike have formed the gods of alt and punk. Rock

Green Day on 4th? Seriously! I mean Linkin Park on 1st? Seriously, something is wrong! Green day should be no. 1!

Green Day should be 1 or 2, not 3.

V169 Comments
4RadioheadRadiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).

Radiohead are one of the best bands I've heard, I love all their music and the uniqueness of what they do. Awesome band

There utilization of sound is unparalleled. They feel a rhythm, set a mood, and construct lyrics accordingly. They are also continually inspired to experiment, leaving them ahead of the curve when compared to other bands in their cumbersome "genre".

RADIOHEAD, the BEST band in the world
HAIL TO RADIOHEAD! - jonnytielman

Radiohead makes music as an art, and this is evident in all of their discography. Each album and song carefully crafted to produce a unique (and varying) rock sound that won't be replicated in a long time. Truly amazing.

V242 Comments
5ColdplayColdplay are a British rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed more.

The best bands of all times are from england. Coldplay is one of them. You know? coldplay music helps you a lot. When you hear it you feel like a God. Songs like Yellow, The Scientist, trouble, Fix you, Viva La Vida, Lovers in Japan, Clocks, In my Place, Gravity, White Shadows, Square One, Sparks, Green Eyes, Violet hill, Shiver, etc.

The Best Song Of Theirs Is Speed Of Sound. Its Is So Much Of A Modern Music. Wish I Could Make Songs Like Those.

This is not a good list... Linkin park sitting there on the top not surely my cup of tea... When you hear to linkin park... You are just thrilled with all the sound and all the synth they produce... I like coldplay a lot... Their best work till date is FIX YOU! The song saddens me a lot at the same time the 2nd part also give strength... Their other good scores are the scientist, clocks, politik, in my place, yellow, lost, viva la vida, paradise from the recent album MYLO XYLOTO!

Great songs, make you feel amazing

V249 Comments
6Red Hot Chili PeppersThe Red Hot Chili Peppers is a Californian funk-rock and alternative rock band, that was founded in 1983. more.

These guys are one of the best bands around if you haven't heard Blood Sugar Sex Magik or Calfornication then you missing out on so much these guys got me into rock!

They're just like the alternative angel sent by the gods of rock..
They wave the sound just like moving the earth..

Not exactly funk not exactly alt rock, but wonderful nonetheless. Highly reccomend Blood Sugar Sex Magik and The Uplift Mof* Party plan. *= o - IknowAlotAboutMusic

I love the red hot chili peppers especially the song rain dance Maggie!

V89 Comments
7MuseMuse are an English alternative rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The members are Matt Bellamy (lead vocal, lead guitar, piano, keyboard), Dom Howard (drums, percussion) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals). They've won several awards including five MTV Awards, 8 NME Awards, more.

Muse is awesome. Nobody can beat them, no matter what anybody else says. In my own world and Muse is at the center of it! Muse deserves to be at the top of every alternative and rock chart out there. Or at least that's my opinion.

11th place?!?!... Silly public voting systems... Let the experts vote muse would be 1st

I first saw them at the grammys 2011 and I've been their biggest fan since. Search 'muse wembley' into YouTube, you will be blown away!

Knights of Cydonia - Jonerman

V264 Comments
8Foo FightersFoo Fighters is an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. It was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl after the death of Kurt Cobain and the dissolution of his previous band. The band consists of obviously Dave Grohl (lead vocalist, songwriter), Pat Smear (lead guitarist, pianist), Nate Mendel more.

In this day and age where music has to be "PRODUCED" into somewhat crappy air-able songs, this band stands head and shoulders above the rest. Every song on every CD sounds exactly the same at the live show. They are a group of musicians who have become masters of their craft. I went to see Skin and Bones in Seattle WA at the Key Arena and it was the BEST live show I have ever seen in my life to this day.

Foo Fighters its a band who has been playing since 1995, and since then they keep innovating, every album they made its absolutely well done, with lots of passion. I do really think that they are one of the best alternative bands ever

Oh my god! Foo Fighters are one of the most important bands ever in my opinion, hence the reason that they headline almost every music festival that they are invited to play at, and sold out Wembley Stadium at a concert! Nirvana were a shadow of a band but somehow got second! :O

The level of substance and depth they display in every song is rarely found in music.

V66 Comments
9Pearl JamPearl Jam is a Grunge Rock Band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. The band had comprised of Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament. more.

20 years relevant... Um, come on ladies and gents. It can't even be argued that they should be out of the top 5. Large range of styles through the years as well. There is a PJ song out there for everyone...

I love Pearl Jam - Eddie Vedder uses his voice so well to convey the wonderful meaning in their songs, and they are good-hearted people and rock live! I vote them equal first with Linkin Park - they are my equal favourite bands in the world!

How is it possible that the likes of Evanescence, and Breaking Benjamin can be even thought of in the same sentence as Pearl Jam. Let alone rated higher, and I'm not even a big fan of Pearl Jam, but come on people. Pearl Jam is in the top 15 bands of all time. So they for sure deserve a rating higher then 16 for a genre they helped pioneer.

Best alternative band ever! Pearl Jam is to alternative rock what Led Zeppelin is to hard rock. Musicality and raw emotion. Alternative doesn't get better than this!

V31 Comments
10R.E.M.R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by lead singer Michael Stipe, lead guitarist Peter Buck, bassist/backing vocalist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry.

R.E.M. should be way higher than it is. I mean they nearly invented alternative rock

Is this a joke or something?! R.E.M. 31. They INVENTED alternative rock. People are just dumb and they don't know good music when they hear it. Honestly, R.E.M. should be number one, no question about it.

Awesome band. I don't know how they do it, but every song is like an ornament, so beautifully crafted and so detailed. Wonderful. - CrowdedChisel

They invented this genre they should be top 3 at least.

V49 Comments

The Contenders

11U2U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have more.

Any of the bands ranked above them in this poll would trade places with them in a second. Their unique sound, incredible music, and undeniable influence over time - musically and culturally - make U2 the giant of giants in this genre.

No one can compare to U2. No one can compare to their influence on rock music, and their epic albums.

Irish melody. Therapy? And Cranberries to follow.

The best band on this list - hyrbid249

V33 Comments
12My Chemical RomanceMy Chemical Romance was an American rock band from Jersey City, New Jersey, active from 2001 to 2013. For much of their career, the band consisted of lead vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way, and drummer Bob Bryar.

FAVORITE BAND EVER! They sing about real problems and feelings, not just getting drunk and partying

My Chemical Romance is amazing! They are my favourite band ever. They always change it up, and their new album did it! It is like an amazing dystopian novel, and this is it in song form. Listen to it, you won't be disappointed.

My chemical romance is amazing. In ways more than a band as well, they save LIVES

I love My Chemical Romance. They expire me in so many ways.

V234 Comments
13Three Days GraceThree Days Grace is a Canadian rock band formed in Norwood, Ontario in 1997 with a line-up consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, and bassist Brad Walst.

Best music I ever heard! love it, and listening it 24/7.
the lyrics that they right are so koewl! I have 4 albums of them and like them all four!

they should be more famous!

Simply Phenomenal, these guys give the listener exactly what he desires to hear, they are one of the rare bands whom are famous for more than one song (Pain, Animal I Have Become, Never Too Late, The Good Life)... Most of the other bands on this list are loved for a certain song only, and this is what makes 3DG distinguished! - DJZeezo

This band inspired me to start my musical career. There songs have so much feeling, Adam's voice is perfect. The rage shown in there songs is so inspiring. They are perfect. Name one song that they have made that's not amazing.

I really like this band so I'm voting

V98 Comments
1430 Seconds To MarsThirty Seconds to Mars (commonly stylized as 30 Seconds to Mars) is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1998. The band consists of Jared Leto, Shannon Leto and Tomo Miličević.

30 Seconds to Mars puts more heart and soul into their music than any band I have ever known. Each song, each lyric, each beat, every video is a carefully thought out process of ideas from the brain of one mr. Jared Leto. He cares what he puts his name on and if it isn't the best you won't see it or hear it. They have the most devout group of fans I have ever known and the band appreciates each and everyone of them. that is why they are the best.

I have many favorite band's. Paramore and Muse and Nirvana and I can list a lot, I'm a terrible music fan, but 30 Seconds to Mars are my favorite band for 4 years. I will always vote for them!

they are the best alternative band of 2011. Come on they should at least be at the top tens, at No. 3 cause they are way way better than radio head. Original is not the best way to describe them, they are angelical

They are the best. - JasonTodd

V68 Comments
15Arctic MonkeysThe Arctic Monkeys, otherwise known as the Death Ramps, are a British indie rock band formed in 2002 in Sheffield, England. The band consists of Alex Turner (lead vocalist, songwriter, electric and rhythm guitarist), Jamie Cook (electric and rhythm guitarist, songwriter), Matt Helders (percussionist, more.

If you think the Arctic Monkeys don't deserve the number 1 spot, That's Where You're Wrong. You may ask 'Who are Arctic Monkeys? '. Well, Only Ones Who Know their music will really appreciate their greatness.

In 2004 they released their demo album 'Beneath The Boardwalk', and ever since, they have been building their style Brick By Brick, releasing five studio albums, all containing Mad Sounds. I've done some Brainstorming, and I can think of 505 reasons why they are the best band in the world. I won't write them all, otherwise I'd still be here When the Sun Goes Down. But I will tell you that I have A Certain Romance with their music.

The Bad Thing about this site is that nobody appreciates good music. Seriously, it's berserk. So Snap Out of It, and vote for the Arctic Monkeys! And if not, Do Me a Favour and Leave Before the Lights Come On.

Linkin Park at number 1? Bah! Humbug

39! ! Best Band Ever! Should be up there in the top 5!
'I bet you look good on the dancefloor' - Best Punk/Indie song ever!
Open your ears people and listen to them, best group of the 21st century!

48? really, when there are bands like Panic! at the disco above? Come on people get your act together and vote! These are the best band around at the min and Alex turner is simple a genius! Vote! vote! and vote again!

Best band on earth.

V59 Comments
16Breaking BenjaminBreaking Benjamin is a American post-grunge/alternative metal band formed in 1998. The bands members all changed in the time between 2010 to 2014, with the exception of Ben Burnley (Vocals). The Ex-Members included Chad Szeliga (Drums), Aaron Fink (Guitar) and Mark Klepaspi (Bass). more.

If I could only listen to one band for the rest of my life, that band would be Breaking Benjamin, hands down, no contest, etc. My favorite songs (no particular order):
Dance with the Devil
Evil Angel
Until the End
I Will Not Bow
Give me a Sign
Blow me Away

what I say can nevr convince you all you can do is listen and be amazed by their music

Unbelievable band, they are amazing man!, all their songs makes me happy- well not all songs from saturate except medicate and wish I may-. but the only bad thing that some times they use bad words, in some songs to all of them.

Jane. She turns me on

V82 Comments
17The KillersThe Killers is an American rock band formed in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2001, by Brandon Flowers and Dave Keuning.

When You Were Young
Mr. Brightside
Sam's Town - toooooooooooooooomuch

How?! How..?! HOW?! Did I mention "How? "? How the HELL are they so low down on the list? How are they only number 30? How did Linkin Park manage to get top spot yet the Killers are HERE? There must be an error, everybody I think you clicked the wrong vote button, just to clear everything- HERE IS THE KILLERS VOTE BUTTON, right there on the right.
There songs are amazing and have morals behind them which really get to your emotions, not forgetting covers such as Romeo ^^ Juliet (Dire Straits), Shadowplay (Joy Division) which they aced per usual. Need I say more? BRING THEM UP!

First off, calm down. You like the band, we got the idea. I really can't judge you since I never heard of them. Others may not have heard of them either. Secondly, don't force your opinion on other users. Just saying. - ladybug375

The definided the glamorous indie rock and roll. Their songs are full of passion, originality and charisma. You care an love all the band mates Brandon Flowers (vocals, keyboard, ) Dave Keuning ( Guitar, backup vocals) Mark Stoermer ( Bass, backup vocals) and Ronnie Vanucci (Drums, persecution) unlike other bands that they care only for the singer. You'll see from Hot Fuss, Sam's Town, Day & Age to recent album Battle Born, how original, masterful, epic and how they band. A true band doesn't make the sound or turns into techno party ego's. A true band experiments different styles and makes songs to inspire generations.

- Ray Sierra, Juncos, Puerto Rico

A Killer Victim!

Until they release their latest album, I can't consider them "legendary" yet, but they're definitely one of the greatest modern and synth alternative rock bands of all time.

V144 Comments
18PixiesThe Pixies are an American alternative rock band formed in 1986 in Boston, Massachusetts. The group disbanded in 1993 in acrimonious circumstances, but reunited in 2004. The group currently consists of founders Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering.

Simply the best. This whole chart is a joke. Has anyone even heard Vamos!? Thought this was alt rock, not pop rock.

The most inffluential alt band ever. Only one bad song per album, greatest band of their generation, no questions asked.

Pixies should be so much higher. They are alternative rock and set it's standards for all time after. If you are the band that inspired Kurt Cobain, you deserve to be a lot higher than 25.

They inventing alternative? Why are they not number one. Please listen to where is my mind, monkey gone to heaven and Here comes your man (my favorites). Their music truly grows on you

V41 Comments
19Smashing PumpkinsThe Smashing Pumpkins is an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan and James Iha, the band included D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin in its original incarnation.

Why are these below my chemical romance? What on earth is wrong with the world and the youth of today. Billy Corgan is a musical genius.

The Smashing Pumpkins where here before almost all the other bands on this list and will be here after many are dead and gone. Their sound diversifies and changes with time, exploring alternative, metal, grunge, rock, hard rock, and rock opera. They have soul sinking ballads of depression, drug use and loss (Try Try Try, Tonight Tonight) and rage inducing rock numbers that make you want to scream and shout (Bullet With Butterfly Wings). The Smashing Pumpkins have never gotten the recognition that they should and it hurst to see them so low on this list.

Lets see hear:
#1 Rap never had anything to do with alternative rock
#2 Grunge not alternative rock
#3 Punk rock not alternative rock
#4 Pop rock
#5 Finally an actual accurate entry
#6 Used to be Indie, now mainstream pop rock
#7 Punk rock
#8 Post Grunge/grunge
#9 Rap

What is wrong with you people. While all 9 of these might be good bands, only one of them is actually alternative rock, and they somehow made it into the top places.

Most of the bands above aren't even alternative. Linkin Park? Green Day? My Chemical Romance? Don't get me wrong; I like early Green Day, but they shouldn't be on this list. The Pumpkins need to be higher.

V38 Comments
20Imagine DragonsImagine Dragons is an American rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Imagine Dragons' lineup consists of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman.

I must say that I'm genuinely surprised that Imagine Dragons are this low on the list. They might not match up to bands like Nirvana, but Linkin Park at number one? Really? I love Linkin Park, but Imagine Dragons or me into alternative, and they are going to keep me in. Songs like "Demons, " "Ready, Aim, Fire, " and "Bleeding Out" are going to make history.

This band to me can easily match up with Nirvana, and people in general just have a hard time of crowning a new number one because they are stuck in the past. Welcome to the twenty first century, this band will blow you away. "It's time" and "Demons" are two of three of their hottest songs from their first album "Night Visions", and then "Shots", "I Bet My Life", and "Smoke and Mirrors" from their newest album "Smoke and Mirrors." They also have great singles like "Roots" and "Monster," and finally let's not forget that their most well known song from "Night Visions," "Radioactive" has been in the Billboards top 100 for 87 consecutive weeks, longer than any artists in 55 years, and on top of that this band hit stardom only three years ago.

OH MY GOSH THIS BAND IS AMAZING! They are seriiously the best thing I have ever heard. They should be number 1 without a doubt listen to radioactive and it's time they are actually the best songs you will ever hear and DEMONS! Love these guys so much, was getting so bored of music and then I heard them!

Should be number 1

V103 Comments
PSearch List

Related Lists

Top 10 Alternative Bands of All Time According to Watchmojo Best Rock Bands of All Time Top 10 Philippine Rock Bands of All Time Most Overrated Bands of All Time Best Grunge / Alternative Rock Bands

List StatsUpdated 27 Oct 2016

30,000 votes
422 listings
8 years, 180 days old

Top Remixes (165)

1. Arctic Monkeys
2. Oasis
3. The White Stripes
1. Nirvana
2. Avenged Sevenfold
3. Disturbed
1. Nirvana
2. Blink 182
3. Green Day

View All 165


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.