Best Grunge Bands

Grunge was one of the most controversial types of music back in the day so let's see which band made it a legend!

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. ...read more.

No band of this genre can compare to Nirvana. Not many bands in history can compare to Nirvana! Kurt Cobain invented Grunge with his distorted guitar and his angst-full lyrics.

The top six bands on this list are absolutely the best grunge bands ever! But nirvana does deserve the number one song because kurt invented grunge rock! They will always be one of the best bands in history
R.I.P. Kurt Cobain33

Very very very epic band and just everything about it was amazing and I don't know how anybody can not like this band because it's just impossible not to be in love with this band no matter what.

No other band can compare to Nirvana. The best band of all time

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2Alice In ChainsAlice 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.

Layne's voice was unique and like no other grunge singer. It sends a chill down your spine. Layne will never be forgotten. Jerry's riffs and songwriting add it up. I didn't know what kind of rock music I liked until I heard of Alice in Chains. They influenced me into the grunge era, and got me to like other grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Plots and more.

AIC had the best talent of all the bands that came out at this time. They have been overshadowed by the media darlings that Nirvana became. But obviously their talent was a given. Between Layne's beautiful voice and Jerry's great guitar riffs, backed back Mike and Sean's talent, these guys were always ahead of the game whether the media saw it or not.

Nirvana will always be voted number one by this generation and it's not like that's bad nirvana kicked ass. However, alice in chains was insane I mean come on. Have you heard the song man in the box alice in chains is so beautifully dark they just embody grunge. Layne Staley's voice was perfect for what you would want in grunge but also so beautiful not to mention his harmonies with guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The power of Layne's voice just blows your mind and his sincerity and ability to turn his feeling's into sick imagery is unmatched.

The only reason I voted for Nirvana is because they sounded more raw and unpolished. Alice In Chains would sound better if their sound aren't too polished.

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3Pearl 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. ...read more.

Pearl Jam is music I like to call Eargasm, or ear orgasm. They are amazing, and the best thing is, they're the only Grunge band to have never broken up or faded into obscurity. Instead, they have evolved, whether new direction is good or bad, and they have stuck with it. And although their early Grunge records, like Ten and Vs. Are still their best, I also appreciate how they tried new things instead of sticking with their Grunge sound because it's more comfortable. Forget best Grunge band; Pearl Jam is perhaps the greatest band in the history of music. - LoganRuckman

Nirvana is the poster band of the Movement, and was the first successful grunge band, and no doubt with "Nevermind" had the best Grunge album, but Pearl Jam has more soul, and they are still around. Like all great bands their legend will only grow over time. They may seem second fiddle now to Nirvana (Grunge's Beatle's), but they will be at least a Grunge Rolling Stones, and their best album may yet lie ahead?.

Only band to make it out of the 90's with a fully cohesive band. What does that tell you?

Far better than Nirvana, Nirvana is terribly overrated PEARL JAM FOR #1

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4SoundgardenSoundgarden 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.

By comparing what grunge really is, I think it's arguable to put Soundgarden at the top of the list. Pearl Jam makes a compelling argument to be at the top and Ten is, without doubt, one of the best albums of all time. However, when you consider what Soundgarden produced from album to album, and how they evolved and still presented their very own sound while Pearl Jam evolved away from Ten, they deserve the top spot. As a collective, they have the chemistry that every band from the time coveted and has rarely been duplicated.

When you really stop and define Grunge and work from that definition, it's a no-brainer to place Soundgarden at the top of the list.

Matt Cameron is the best grunge drummer out there, he does odd signatures as it is nothing, thayil is the God of drop D, his riffs and solos are unique, Ben is a great bassist, and Cornell has the best vocals. Nirvana is well known, but not even that good. And to all the people who claim that Cobain 'invented' grunge, that's bull. You've probably never heard of the deep six.

Soundgarden was the best band of the "grunge era". They were the first "big" band there influencing other bands that later became popular. Also the most skilled, versatile, and unique band. Some so amazing sounding songs! by the way, Nirvana is overrated in this "genre".

The most interesting of the main 4 - yamuthe

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5Stone Temple PilotsStone Temple Pilots was formed in San Diego, CA in 1989. ...read more.

This band had amazing versatility, mixing grunge with multiple genres. I consider their grunge tone to soften on the third album but they still made great music afterwards. Scott's voice wasn't as unique as Cobains but he used many different styles throughout out STP's discography.

Amazing band with or without Scott Weiland.

To all you idiots voting nirvana, Kurt didn't invent grunge. It's from before any of these bands time.

Not the best, but still amazing.

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6MudhoneyMudhoney 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 guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison and drummer Dan Peters.

I kinda feel like sonic youth, melvins, and mudhoney should be on the top ten instead of bush

I've always found bush and stone temple pilots to be post grunge bands. And Foo fighters, while they are a great band, are not grunge

This is the very definition of grunge its noisy and the instrumentals don't sound clean but it's great and if you don't believe me just listen to touch me I'm sick

Go listen to "Touch Me I'm Sick" and them come back and vote.

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7Smashing 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.

It's so hard to choose... So many fantastic grunge bands... Smashing Pumpkins has to be my favorite for one reason: they evolved over time. Now maybe that's blasphemous since they ventured into techno-ish music and lighter music and kind of left grunge behind after Mellon Collie but they stayed relevant (for the most part) and continued to put out fantastic music regardless of musical genre. The only album I would say was "bad" was Zeitgeist. Even that one deserves a listen from time to time. - evoxpisces

I would like to put these joint first. But I'm going with the majority. Try out songs like today, Mayonnaise and bullet with butterfly wings.

The smashing pumpkins are one of my favourite bands (considering I'm into meatal) now nirvana are probably the best grunge band on this list but I think the Smashing Pumpkins deserve more credit for songs like:
Bullet with butterfly wings
Today
1979
Perfect
Zero
Jusr a great band, just underrated.

Though Nirvana 1 Pearl Jam 2 Smashing Pumpkins 3

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8The MelvinsThe 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.

Bush and should not be in the top ten, they are a cheap post grunge band. Foo fighters are a good band but shouldn't be there either

The Melvins are great, the guitar-drum synergy is really cool and the lyrics make no sense but are cool also

Bush is a cheep post grunge band with no originality or personality

9Sonic YouthSonic Youth was an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo remained together for the entire history of the band, while Steve Shelley followed a series of short-term drummers in 1985, and rounded out the core line-up.

So many unique songs and albums. I definitely think more people should give them a listen. If you like Nirvana, I'm almost certain you'd like them. I'd recommend their albums Dirty, Daydream Nation, and the Eternal.

The most musically interesting band around. Thurston Moore is a Noise Rock legend, not many can compare.

Quite a different band but they make some decent tunes.

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10Temple Of The DogTemple of the Dog is 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 Wood, lead singer of the bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. The line-up included Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, ...read more.

This is amazing simply because it combines three great bands--Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and even Mother Love Bone to an extent.

You might as well just say Pearl Jam with Chris Cornell. - Songsta41

How come there is no comments here? Chris Cornell's collaboration with Eddie Vedder is more than great!

Cornell and Vedder! Orgasm!

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The Contenders

11Mother Love Bone

Mother Love Bone was a great band and they were around when Grunge was first getting started. They greatly influenced the sound of grunge even though they never really sounded like other grunge bands. Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog would never have existed without Mother Love Bone. Tragically Mother Love Bone never got to be a part of the golden age of the music they helped to create. Their lead singer, Andrew Wood died in 1990. Wood was the David Lee Roth of Grunge, he was a great front-man and he had tremendous talent and charisma. His voice suited Mother Love Bone's funky sound perfectly. If he had not died MLB would probably have gone on to be as great and famous as Nirvana or Pearl Jam. According to Alice in Chains's lead singer the song "Would" is about Andrew Wood. "so I made a big mistake, try to see it once my way" is a reference to Wood's death by overdose. If anyone is interested in getting into Mother Love Bone, I recommend "This is Shrangila"and "Thru Fade Away" those ...more

Grunge never would have gotten out of seattle if it weren't for mother love bone and their frontman andrew wood. They were the bridge between hair metal and grunge, and when andrew wood died, the grunge scene reeled and came back with a vengence. The only famous grunge band that would have continued afterwards would have been nirvana, and they would never have gotten famous.

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12Foo 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 ...read more.

heard pretender, everlong? classic, divine... just plain brilliant

I love foo but I don't think they are grunge!

Amazing band but it have a lot of nirvana in it because their drummer is Foo Fighters vocalist, David Grohl.

I love Dave Grohl, and I loved this bands earlier stuff, but I just find this band too commercial.

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13Screaming TreesScreaming 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.

Screaming Trees is a very good band. Very succesful. Mark s voice is very good.
Compatible to grunge music. Witness, Traveler, Black Sun Morning, Who Lies in Darkness... The songs are very good. If you like Grunge style you should listen to this band. If you like Mark too much you can listen Mark Lanegan s musics. These musics are alternative.

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14BushBush are a British rock band formed in London, England in 1992. The band found their immediate success with the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, which is certified 6× multi-platinum by the RIAA.

Come on people we're only talking about the sixth best grunge band ever - ianchambers

Come on guys, they are the creators of "glycerine"

Band higher in this list are undeniable great bands, but they're no grunge bands per se. Therefore, and because Bush is awesome, Bush should be higher on this list.

15Green River

Since Nirvana is already number one I'll help out another great unknown band. Green river created the heavy sound that would inspire the rest of the other Seattle bands to start going down that road and when they broke up there members would go on to found Mudhoney, mother love bone, and Pearl Jam.

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16Three 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.

Should have been Top 5 at least. This band is fantastic, and even though Adam left, their music will always be better than half the bands on here

This band isn't Grunge, though? Just because you're a 90's band doesn't mean you're Grunge, people.

This is nowhere near grunge I have no idea why it's on this list but I have to admit they're an amazing band

They are a good grunge band. They deserve a higher position into the first 10 bands. Very good lyrics and their singer is good enough. I believe that, they are better than others.

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17PixiesThe 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.

They don't sound like grunge that much, but they're very influential to many grunge bands!

My Favorite Band. Influential to grudge, but not grudge. I hate when people call them indie.

Alternative/Indie, not a Grunge band.

I love the pixies

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18Jane's Addiction

Great band. But not the greatest.

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19Candlebox

Candlebox was by Far my Favorite of the grunge Era. Kevin's voice is Amazing & their lyrics so empathized the struggles of that generation.

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20RadioheadRadiohead 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).

One of my favourite bands ever. But doesn't get my vote, because although they are dark, murky and depressing, that doesn't make them a grunge band.

Radiohead is more alternative I think. And no, not everybody who listens to this band are pretentious

One of the best alt bands ever, but not grunge

Radiohead is not a grunge band. They are lame - Sabbath

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List StatsUpdated 7 Dec 2016

2,000 votes
68 listings
8 years, 241 days old

Top Remixes (43)

1. Nirvana
2. Pearl Jam
3. Alice In Chains
nirvanafan98
1. Soundgarden
2. Pearl Jam
3. Nirvana
kyleboyd
1. Nirvana
2. Sonic Youth
3. Mudhoney
BeatlesFan1964

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