Best Hard Rock Bands of the 90s

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.

One of the most influential and gifted frontman of all time. Kurt Cobain one of the greatest. Spawning another great band, Foo Fighters. Nirvana will be remembered generations upon gernerations.

Nirvana was truly an idol in the world of rock for a lot of reasons. There songs had meaning. They experimented with what you could do with music period. Kurt was a legend and will be remember for years to come. His music was truly inspirational to many people and bands

Best band I love it! A legend. A magnificent band. The band that changed rock and kurt cobain was a legend too bad he killed himself. Long live Nirvana! Nirvana will be remembered generations upon generations!

Nirvana is not hard rock it s grunge

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2Red Hot Chili PeppersThe Red Hot Chili Peppers is a Californian funk-rock and alternative rock band, that was founded in 1983. more.

The only huge rock band to retain its popularity all decade, the Chili Peppers sold about 7 million copies of 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik in the U.S. and about 5.5 million copies of 1999's Californication. This is amazing when contrasted with all their multi-platinum peers. Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day... all those bands' record sales leveled off severely by the end of the decade, to the point where they sold a tiny fraction of their biggest albums. We'll never know how Nirvana would have fared, unfortunately.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are a band that evolved beautifully throughout the 1990's. They had two gigantic hits in the decade with Blood Sugar Sex Majick and Californication. Even the "dud" album One Hot Minute contains 4 or 5 alt rock classics. It's no mistake they were just inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame... They are legends and their music will continue to be popular for a long long time!

By far one of the greatest bands of all time, let alone the 90's. They're one of the few bands that kept its popularity through the entirety of the 90's and are still going well now.

Very good band

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3MetallicaMetallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". more.

Metallica is one of the greatest rock bands that even experts say helped pave the way and helped mold hard rock.

Hands down, started my love affair with metal. My friends and I could sit for hours in the car and rock out.

Metallica are the true gods of metal! These guys defined and perfected what metal is. They are true inspiration to all things rock and are the best that ever was. m/ They are not only the best metal band of the 90's, but the 80's, 2000's, and now! The best album ever, the "Black Album" is the #1 album ever sold in the rock industry. My personal favorite is "Re-Load"!

Again, not a hard rock band. They are a thrash metal group. - Alpha101

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4Pearl 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.

Pearl Jam is the 2nd most influential hard rock band of the 1990s right behind Nirvana. (3rd if you want to make an argument for Alice in Chains. They were the biggest band in the world for at least half of the decade, (The first three albums were mega-huge, selling in the range of 25 million copies). Pearl Jam's last album released in 2009 went to #1 on the charts. They are excellent live and still continue to sell out arenas world wide.

P.S. this is supposed to be a list of the top hard rock bands of the 1990s?!? Get Bon Jovi the hell off of here! They are an 80s band all the way! I would rather see Seven Mary Three make the list because at least they were a 90's band!

Starting with the grunge archetype, they blossomed into so much more. Pearl Jam as broken many boundaries of modern rock to remain relevant and sounding great 20 years later. They're live shows only amplify this as they can draw more emotion from a crowd than any band I've ever seen live.

Pearl Jam is the best band of the nineties 2000 and right now as we speak Kurt Cobain didn't have his head screwed on right besides the point his music his vocals is not as deep as Pearl Jam hands down Eddie Vedder is a pure entertainer the best frontman in the business besides Mick Jagger nobody is better than them live or if you're just listening to any of their CDs top notch quality rock and roll hard to find nowadays Green Day sucks blink 182 sucked Weezer sucked Red Hot Chili Peppers not all that great not a rock and roll band Pearl Jam is a true blooded American rock and roll band

They held one end of the Banner for the Grunge movement with Nirvana on the other side, then became the Ambassadors for authentic Rock and Roll.

As an institution, they exist as one of the greatest bands of all time.

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5Alice 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.

Best Rock Band of the 90s? Alice in Chains #8, stunning. The music this band put out was great, and withstands the test of time. I still listen to these CD's a lot. There are a lot of good bands on this list. Nirvana at #1 for "hard rock" is questionable. Alice was definitely harder, darker and amazingly talented. It goes without saying that this band had the most powerful, soulful, incredible singer on this planet. RIP Layne Staley

AIC should be ranked higher! I don't even consider RHCP hard rock. I'd also wipe my ass with a Bon Jovi ticket just for the chance to hear AIC! With Layne of course.

Absolutely most influential band of the grunge era. Jerry Cantrell had hard hitting riffs and more technical guitar playing than anything Nirvana ever thought of. His tone was legendary on the Facelift album and the band really hit song writing heights with Dirt. I always see Nirvana above these guys, but it's false. Alice was a rock band that had a sound of their own. Something metal heads could take in as their own yet still keeping the sludge factory of grunge going. Not getting into the rock hall of fame would be an absolute mistake for the ages.

The best hard rock bank of the 90's. Facelift and Dirt are masterpieces. The harmonies of Layne and Jerry combined with Jerry's guitar mastery and Layne's amazing voice gave them the unique sound.

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6Guns N' Roses

Welcome to the jungle remix- " Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games! The bands above suck and honey we don't know their names! " these bands above are no names. Guns and roses weren't in their prime in the 90 s and ac dc were and amazingly not on the list but for the top ten this band wins.

Guns N' Roses is the best. Axle Rose perfect singer in the world.

WHAT! This band SUCKS! I love all things metal and everything that rocks! m/m/ I love the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion too, which is why I'm stating mine. I think that this is one of the only bands from the(80's) "90's" that I can't stand to listen to. Axle Rose is the worst singer I have ever heard in my life. His voice sounds like nails on a chalk board to me, plus the guy is strange(not in a good way either). I hate what Axle did to Metallica too! What an ASS! (Rock on Metallica! ). But I understand that there are people out there that love this band, and that's cool. Whatever floats your boat. But I think these guys shouldn't even be in the top 100, much less the top 10.

I love axl rose even I'm too far from his generation love this band forever

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7Stone Temple PilotsStone Temple Pilots was formed in San Diego, CA in 1989. more.

STP is #1 in my heart because they had diversity in their musical styles throughout each album. You never knew exactly what you were going to get from a new STP album -- all you knew was that it was going to sound amazing. Most of these other bands can be boiled down to three or four general sounds that repeat through their entire discographies (if you're lucky). That is not the case with STP -- they were so talented that they could allow themselves to explore a wide range of styles and sound damn good doing it.

You picture or hear 90s rock, you see STONE TEMPLE PILOTS.

Among so-called alt-rock bands, only Pearl Jam and Nirvana sold more albums in the 1990s than Stone Temple Pilots, but STP was the dominant singles band of the era. Plush, Vasoline, Interstate Love Song, Big Bang Baby, Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart, Lady Picture Show... all those songs reached No. 1. Creep, Big Empty and Sour Girl all made the top four, and the indelible quality of those songs make this band an easy top 10 for the 1990s.

Loved that group

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8SoundgardenSoundgarden 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.

WAY underrated! When I think of my childhood and reflect on the 90's, I think of Soundgarden. What a band. In my opinion the most diversity of any band of the 90's, from the more mellow "Blow up the Outside World" or "The Day I Tried to Live" to the harder "Fell on Black Days" or "Pretty Noose", this band did it all. Greatest band ever...

With Chris Cornell's vocals and Kim Thayil's guitar riffs. Soundgarden is with out a doubt the greatest rock band of the the 90s. "Superunknown" alone secures the title.I don't need to say much more.

The 90's produced some of the most original new sounds that forever changed the Rock and Metal scene. Among the most original is Soundgarden. There is no mistaking Chris Cornell's vocals. Vocalists alone, he is the best with no comparison. Anyone that has an ear for music would have to agree. Added to the rough and raw sound of the band, Chris' vocals are a perfect match. Soundgarden really should be the #1 rock band of the 90's. The world of music truly would not be the same without Soundgarden, and without Chris Cornell. Oh... And lets not forget Temple of the Dog and "Hunger Strike". Thank God for Soundgarden and Chris Cornell! m/m/

Without a doubt in the top 4. Arguably in the top 2. Often imitated - never duplicated.

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9The Smashing 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.

I CANNOT believe SP are this low. understanding that there music can be a bit dark and I generally like music that isn't coming from depression this band is absolutely the best band since the 70s (except possible Guns N Roses although I personally prefer the pumpkins but I can see how that argument could be made). Understanding that I am comparing them to a time when bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Aerosmith were what you got when you turned on your radio (today we get some ass taking garbage into a microphone while a machine plays a beat in the background... because that's music). Nothing against Pearl Jam, Mettallica, Nirvana or even the Chili Peppers (love John Frusciante) but Billy Corgan is truly amazing and everything just worked. Whether it was Billy's creepy voice and complete talent on guitar (my favorite guitar player who's band started in my lifetime with Frusciante a close second), the strangeness of a female bassist in what could easily be considered a male rock band ...more

One of the most innovative bands of the 90's. Billy Corgan is a lyrical poet in every sense of the word! I love how the Smashing Pumpkins took a risk on each album they released and each has a different sound. Not to mention is there a better thematic concept album than melon collie and the infinite sadness? I think not!

Maybe a few spots too high. Smashing pumpkins had some great tunes, but as unique as they were they were always just behind in about every aspect of a band. Vocals? Staley, Cobain, and Cornell were all better. Guitar? Cantrell, Morello, and Slash were more talented and their tones shine through. The songwriting is just a touch behind the likes of other bands. But take nothing away. Smashing Pumpkins is a part of American rock history and rightfully so.. they were a very good band.

The smashing pumpkins was a smashing band

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10Green 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 had a lot of great songs in the 90s: Basket Case, When I Come Around, Brain Stew, Geek Stink Breath, Hitchin a Ride, Scattered, Redundant not to mention songs from 1039 and Kerplunk. They revitalized punk and brought it back to the world. Number 15 is way too low!

Dude... All I have to say is Dookie. Basket Case, When I Come Around, Longview, She, Welcome to Paradise. And not to mention all the stuff after that. Time of Your Life... Hello... More hits than *cough* Nirvana.

Why is Green Day not in the top 10? They should be up in the top 10 somewhere. They revolutionized music in the 90s. This is my favorite band from the 90s. Truly great band.

Just love these guys!

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The Contenders

11Nine Inch NailsNine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock/metal band and, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.

One of the most innovative and underrated mainstream acts of the 90s. "The Downward Spiral" and "The Fragile" are way ahead of their time. I would argue that Trent Reznor's contributions to music are as important as Nirvana's. Plus, he's the reason anyone gives a damn about Marilyn Manson, which is a huge contribution in-and-of itself.

The most creative hard rock band of the 90s... Hands down

And still making great music. Spin magazine labeled Trent Reznor the most vital artist in music.

Downward Spiral is amazing

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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 more.

The colour and the shape was their best album ever (other than maybe wasting light). The first album was not great but Dave was the only one doing anything, so that's 1/4 of the creativity. There is nothing left to lease had great songs too (learn to fly, stacked actors, breakout).

But they were definitely better in the 2000's. Aurora, Generator, Breakout, For all the cows: all quality songs from the 90's!

All I can say is "facepalm". Monkey Wrench, Everlong, My Hero etc. - FROMYESTERDAY

They were honestly a joke in the 90s. Not to even be mentioned with Alice, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. The 00s were much better and if I were a member of the band I wouldn't even want mentioned as a 90s act.

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13ToolTool is an American progressive metal/alternative metal band, that was formed in 1990. more.

Helped keep Metal on the surface without out selling out, the sheer genius of Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan, Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor ( Paul D'Amour) is collectively explosive. Best band alive.

Creativity has never been so delicately assembled in a band like this one before. Adam Jones and his hard, haunting, and unique riffs complement Maynard's voice and vocal delivery in a way no other band has achieved. The bass line can hardly be called "rhythm" or "backround" because Danny Carey's ingenius syncopated and dissonant drum lines with bass lines that lead as much as guitar, this band can easily be named one of the greatest masterpieces of music and art on the planet.

I am glad to see Tool so high up on this list. So underrated and so talented. Danny is an awesome drummer and Maynard is brilliant always. My favourite band ever.

I'd put them in the number 1 spot.

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14Rage Against the MachineRage Against the Machine is a Nu-Metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk.

The hard rock sound of Morello and Commerford along with great rapping skills of De La Rocha complete with the simple yet awesome drumming makes Rage the best 90s band ever and, in my opinion, one of the best ever.

Unique sound, very identified so different and always modern

Hands down the Greatest band of the 90s..

Their songs suck

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15Bon JoviBon Jovi is a hard rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band's more.

They just released 3 albums in the 90's - Keep the Faith, Cross Road and These Days and all were absolutely amazing! Songs like Keep the faith, dry county, always, In these arms, This ain't a love song etc were all superhits! The Best Band ever!


bon jovi is simply the best... listen 2 living on a prayer and you give love a bad name, it's my life, have a nice day, wanted dead or alive..1 word : classic

Bon Jovi became mostly a wuss band in the 90's

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16AC/DCAC/DC are a British hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014. Commonly referred to as a hard rock or blues rock band, they are also considered pioneers of heavy metal.

For me acdc is a top 5 band in the 70s and 80s. The tone of Malcolm and Angus are downright scary good. They have stood the test of time and there isn't a band in the world who's riffs are being played more in commercials, ads, movies, super bowls, etc than acdc. They didn't call it quits after losing a singer or after a few good albums. They produced massively inspiring albums like High Voltage and Highway to Hell with the great Bon Scott and developed themselves even further with the great Byron. Absolutely legends. And they may even be a top 10 in the 90s.. but definitely top 5 in the 70s and 80s.

How can they not be the greatest of all time.. So many great songs - and still playing for us! It's gotta count for something that they are still touring and releasing new stuff 20 PLUS years later...

AC/DC deserves to be #3 or #4! They're at least better than The Red Hot Chilli Peppers... Some of the bands on the Top 17 are just there because they're more famous.. But that doesn't mean that their music/songs are better

Starting the 90's with thunderstruck, oh yea!

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17PanteraPantera was a Heavy Metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. The group got into mainstream after changing from Glam Metal to Groove Metal. The band's most successful album is "Vulgar Display of Power" . more.

Dimebag, Vinnie Paul, Rex and Phil. Best band to ever live, definitely most talented metal act to walk the earth. RIP DIME.

Two decades of unrepeated display of power, time shows the real value of this band. Pantera rules, walk!

The best guitarist, best drumer, add in a great singer and a good bassist. You get the best band of all time. The band got me through so many times in my life from anger to having my children. Number 1 for me all the way!

Winner full stop

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18KornKorn is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band's current lineup includes founding members Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Brian "Head" Welch, and Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, with the addition of Ray Luzier, who replaced the band's original member, David more.

Yea, this is WAY too low for KoRn! Are you kidding me? When MTV played music KoRn beat out the ridiculous Backstreet Boys, NSync, and Britney Spears for #1 song/video, and the Got the Life video had to be retired because it was on top for so long! KoRn put hard music on the mainstream map and kicked Pop in the face! They are easily top ten if not higher.

Freak on a Leash and Blind defined the 1990's! Way underrated band. Should be much higher than this!

Revolutionized... A new genre... Grunge metal... Never been done till KoRn came around

Should be higher

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19Three 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.

They actually formed in 1992. They changed the band name in 1997, but they started in 1992 as Groundswell.

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20White ZombieWhite Zombie was an American heavy metal band that formed in 1985. Based in New York City, White Zombie was originally a noise rock band, and was known for its later heavy metal-oriented sound.

They changed the sound of Metal forever... So many bands today owe White Zombie for paving the way with their innovative sound and style

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List StatsUpdated 24 Oct 2016

4,000 votes
116 listings
9 years, 53 days old

Top Remixes (16)

1. Nirvana
2. Pearl Jam
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
1. Metallica
2. Green Day
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
1. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Soundgarden
3. Stone Temple Pilots

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