Best Hard Rock Bands of the 90s

The greatest hard rock bands of the 90s 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

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!
[Newest]Favourite band to ever live is nirvana and blink 182

2Red Hot Chili Peppers
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!
The Chili Peppers are rock legends in my books. Flea, John, Chad and Anthony are incredible musicians and when you put them together they make the most funky rock music ever. Frusicante has also inspired my guitar playing and I know all the songs from the chili peppers on guitar! They should be #1 on this list
Fantastic band, grown up listening and still do today. Music that doesn't age and tells a story every time!
[Newest]Yes I do agree great music!

Hands down, started my love affair with metal. My friends and I could sit for hours in the car and rock out.
"Oooh, my favorite band is the best! " Let's not be too subjective people. I don't care if you like Metallica or not. They rock. They sold a LOT of albums. They earn a top spot.
Metallica is one of the greatest rock bands that even experts say helped pave the way and helped mold hard rock.
[Newest]Yeah good thing they sucked after 1991

4Pearl Jam
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.
Aside from Nirvana, Pearl Jam was the most influential band of the Grunge movement. They have many more hits than Nirvana and their popularity has not faltered over the years.


[Newest]Great Band. 10 was a great album

5Guns 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.
Welcome to the Jungle rulez!


Guns N' Roses is the best. Axle Rose perfect singer in the world.
[Newest]Just remember the first time you heard welcome to the jungle, enough said

6Alice In Chains
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.
AIC should be much higher than #8, definitely more influential and talented than some bands higher up on the list. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden should be higher as well - these three were definitely better than others.
[Newest]My best friend loves them the best... I decided to listen to the entire unplugged album and in my opinion Layne is the best rock and roll singer since Jim Morrison.

7The Smashing Pumpkins
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!
Pumpkins were GIANTS of the 90's rock scene. They belong in the top ten! There first three albums... Gish, Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie are all alt rock classics!
Not just limited to hard rock, but their heavier songs certainly rock out with the very best. An Ode to No One rocks hardest for me. The Pumpkins are an essential listen for any fans of rock.
[Newest]Had two of the greatest albums of the 90's. Tonight, Tonight and 1979 were the biggest songs of the 90s

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.
Soundgarden, best band of the 90s with out a doubt, but where is Faith No More they deserve to be in the top 5 at least. Badmotorfinger and Superunknown two of the most defining albums of the 90s. Chris Cornell has the greatest vocal chords in all of Rock. Chris Cornell is without a doubt the king of alternative rock.
[Newest]Rusty cage... Like Suicide... Outshined.. Need we say anymore!

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.
[Newest]The most recently relevant Prog band. A title that Mastodon is quickly taking. Just remember, when they say they only have one song left, they aren't Green Day.

10Green Day
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!
Come on guys, Green Day should be in the top two! Please vote!


Kerplunk, Dookie, Insomniac, Nimrod! I'm surprised they arent No.1!
[Newest]Green Day number 2

The Contenders

11Stone Temple Pilots
You picture or hear 90s rock, you see STONE TEMPLE PILOTS.
More songs of STP are played on today's radio stations than any other band from the 90's.
Number 1 followed by soundgarden, Pearl Jam and nirvana. Weiland has the most versatile vocals after chris cornell, and they have evolved there sound with each album apart from high rise. at least there's still the wildabouts
[Newest]Best voice in Alt Rock

12Nine Inch Nails
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.

13Foo Fighters
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.


They were the best in the 90s. Everlong is the greatest radio song of all time. Monkey wrench, everlong, my hero, all unforgettable songs

14Rage Against the Machine
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.
Tom Morello... Enough said.
Unique sound, very identified so different and always modern
[Newest]Hands down the Greatest band of the 90s..

15Bon Jovi
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!
Metallica is METAL band, Nirvana is dead, Guns n' Roses are not bad, but <<<BoN|JoVi>>> is the best RocK BaNd of AlL TiMe!


[Newest]Sorry, Bon Jovi doesn't belong this high on the list

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
[Newest]You people don't know music if Korn is rated this low!

Dimebag, Vinnie Paul, Rex and Phil. Best band to ever live, definitely most talented metal act to walk the earth. RIP DIME.
Pantera without shadow of doubt the best damn metal band ever. I drove 200 miles to Nashaveille Tennessee to buy great southern trendkill when it was released, as all the music shops near me wouldn't have it for another week. Mind you gas was only 80¢ a gallon back then, well worth it!
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!
[Newest]Two decades of unrepeated display of power, time shows the real value of this band. Pantera rules, walk!

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
I am less than 15 years old and even I think AC/DC should be higher up!

19White Zombie
They changed the sound of Metal forever... So many bands today owe White Zombie for paving the way with their innovative sound and style

20System of a Down
More on the metal side, but you can classify them as hard rock. Beautifully poetic, deep lyrics combined with heavy, energetic instrumentals is just what's needed for a great band.
One of a kind sound that is still classic, but all of the top 25 bands are legit
They're not even a 90's band!

21The Offspring
They have very many hits and deserve number 1
One good album and trash all the rest... Sorry for them, I bought the best one.

Perfect blend of quiet and meaningful lyrics to relax to and hardcore scream an heavy riffs to get you pumped up for a big game or a workout set.
The deftones r a really hard band but there also very melodic I love them they deserve a ranking
The best then failing now

23Def Leppard
Definitely leopard has to be one of the best bands of all time!
One of my all time favorite. bands. These guys rocked rocked till you dropped
Dec leopard is and wI'll ALWAYS be my number ONE! Not only are they gorgeous they are very talented.

24Dream Theater
I haven't been listening to these guys for very long, but like everyone says the more you listen the better they get. I agree.
Just listen to them. You will know why
It's about rich music.

Amazing guitarist & singer x'D the girls are just fantastic, rocking out & they r very known from their popular song 'barracuda' wats better is that they r talented sister c: I deserve to be higher


How in the world is Silverchair not on this list. Amazing Aussie band!

It's because they're not a 90's band. They were around since 1970 really. And they only had a couple of hits in the 90's. They're luck to even be on this list. But as for best rock bands of all time, they'd be higher (probably).
Most Of These Bands Are Grunge Not Hard Rock

Even Heavy Metal Is on this list

I thought this is meant to be Hard Rock not Grunge/Metal/Punk or Alternative

29Iron Maiden
Bloody hell, how can one of the greatest "hard rock" bands be this low on the list... Behind many bands that are not regarded as hard rock at all?
I mention Nirvana, Green day, Red hot chilli peppers and Pearl Jam just to mention a few! This bands aren't even hardrock, what are they doing on this list?
Woah why is it on 49? With hallowed be thy name, fear of the dark it should be on top three at least!
Fear of the dark changes all the list


31Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson should definitely be at least in the top 10. HE DOMINATED THE 2ND HALF OF THE 90'S DAMN IT!


He is my favorite singer and I'm only 12
Deserves #1, hello, have taste.

Him is pest band!
Never lost Their style

Just the best band ever.

Most influential band in my life. The charisma depth and rawness of Ed especially back in the throwing copper days to me has never been surpassed
Great band, I don't know why Green Day and korn has a better position, I think that it�'s for popularity and marketing, instead the sound quality.
Throwing copper changed the direction of the entire industry. Remember it was that or hootie and the blowfish at the time

35Faith No More
They have definitely get to be high up. They had so many iconic songs and a wide range of styles. At the point of the album Angel Dust they were one of the most listened to bands at that time. They were huge. Internal disputes eventually ruptured the band and ended an immense set of albums. Mike Patton is a genius though!
They should belong to top 10, very unique band... Don't know how to describe them.. But they rock hard with their unique style... You should listen to them if you are a band member
The albums The Real Thing and Angel Dust are definitely 90's classics! Very talented yet obscure band.
[Newest]As far as singers go, Mike Patton is definitely one of the greatest and most underrated out there!

Maybe you do not know this, but this is truly a great band.
God, I hope you are kidding me. This is a terrible band... At best.

Are you kidding me they owned the 70's they ruled the 80's the rock the 90's so how the hell can they be so far down

38Lynyrd Skynyrd


WHY THE HELL IS CREED NOT UP THERE?!?!? They should AT LEAST be in the top 10! Dark lyrics, and the perfect mix of grunge and metal! Love, love, love Creed!
I agree this chart is messed up


Come on, its Dio people

43Bullet for My Valentine

Did I seriously have to add this on the list? Why don't more people like radiohead?

Nothing like German hard rock/metal

Anthrax was a much better band than anyone else on this list. I mean, Tool? Seriously? Anthrax had great metal music that was good without being pretentious.

47Breaking Benjamin
Breaking Benjamin is the BEST! Enough said!

48Jane's Addiction

49Andra and the BackBone

50Mr. Big
Mr. Big had a very good song and a great musician like we now Erick Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, Pat Torpey, and Richie kotzen who replaced Paul in 1997

51Limp Bizkit

Just an incredible band that makes metal sound fresh!

Consistent and heavy, never changed their sound for the populat vote. Slayer is Slayer and always will be.

54Luna Sea

55Dir en grey

56Sacred Reich

57Stormtroopers of Death
Come on... They were awesome and maybe you remember they were the intro song for MTV'S head bangers ball... They were heavy, fun and crunchy


59The Black Crowes
Honest and real music. Great live act!
Great rock n roll band

Primus is just epic. les claypool is a GENIUS! This should be much higher on the list
One of the most underrated band in the world
Lovely band, lovely music

61Malice Mizer

62Laaz Rockit

It's the best band that is out there. There is no band like them. You really have to listen to them. They brought out the song which is the best that I have heard which is "It's the end of the world" it's the best!

64The Ramones

65Collective Soul

Only 67 really they should be a lot higher then that on this list
Seriously where is Evanescence?

I've never loved a band as much as I do blink 182
Best rock band of all time
Love them so much


69Neurotic Outsiders

Courtney Love will rock the hell out of you!
They deserve a way higher rank
Except she can't sing!
[Newest]Best punk band ever

71Big Head Todd and the Monsters
If you don't know "Sister Sweetly", you need to give these guys a listen!

Legendary rock band...everybody know SLANK is the best rock band in Indonesia even in south east asia and japan

Oasis should top this list. Noel and liam Gallagher, their lyrics, their vocals, the instruments. They make amazing music. They're the best band of the 90s!


75Gamma Ray

76Psychotic Waltz

Sweat and blood has been put into their songs. Incredibly melodic, loud and heavy. What they can produce is absolutely beautiful. Everyone needs to take a listen at least once. #1 for me.

Worth a listening to

Listen to When we pretend that we are dead

I'm surprised blur is this far down. goes to show how underrated they are!

81The Tea Party

82Papa Roach
I'm close to the band papa roach and jacoby (the lead singer) would not be happy being #73 on this list
Papa Roach should be much higher on this list. One of my favorite bands.



85Butthole Surfers

86Black Sabbath
It's a golden oldie band, I mean Iron man and paranoid are so awesome
I love all there songs

One of the most underrated bands ever. Listen to "Suicide Machine" off You'd Prefer an Astronaut. Best song of the 90s.

88Die In Cries

89Nuclear Assault


91The Obsessed

92Dewa 19

93Black Label Society
Black label society is the best hands down. I don't care your argument is invalid



96Three Days Grace


98Seven Mary Three
Rivers edge, My my!


A great band with lots of different music styles throughout their whole discography; started with rock and now they are both rock and electronic music, since they started to change their music since the album Black Holes and Revolutions. They are still active today, with their latest album being The 2nd Law. They are one of the few bands that started good and gone to the better, lasting throughout time. Their debut album, Showbiz, has a great rock song called "Sunburn". Have a look for their music!
Amazing use of everything.

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This list was created 7 years, 237 days ago and has been voted on over 3,000 times. This top ten list contains 104 items, has been remixed 10 times.

Updated Monday, April 27, 2015

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