Top 10 Classic Alternative BandsInsertNameHere
The Top Ten
With Morrissey's ability to write songs that would inspire countless other Indie bands through future generations, and Johnny Marr's intricately played, original, hooky guitar riffs, that would inspire the same from guitarists, The Smiths started something in attitude, sound and great live gigs, that few would ever again duplicate. - Bside76
I don't like the music they have done, but they should be there too. No one can argue that they're not one of the most famous British "Classic Alternative Bands" ever. Still, The Smiths are too poppy and I find them and their music too boring. For me it's like watching a Woody Allen movie. Not my taste.
The songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Marr is one of the greatest ever. Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke are possibly the most underrated rhythm section and the inspired so many from Noel Gallagher to Bernard Butler.
The Smiths were an amazing band- they seem to stand out against the crap 80s pop that dominated the British charts during the 1980s. They were real people who wrote songs for real people. Irreplaceable.V 3 Comments
I usually refrain from voting for the winner (i rarely agree, and it is a bit pointless anyway) but the Velvet Underground were so groundbreaking, only rivalled by Captain Beefheart for the most experimental and influential artist of the sixties. "Sister Ray" may be the greatest song of all time.
The ones that started it all. The Velvets mark may not have been left on the charts, but instead left in countless songwriters, bands and artists, music or other, everywhere you look. Every origin in alternative music can be found here. - Bside76
Sorry nirvana I don't even like reed but his band is awesome
Yes! The best to start off the top!V 1 Comment
Although different genre, you should put Joy Division and New order joint first, with Velvet Underground second and a bit of Kraftwerk.
Seriously comparing Nirvana to Joy Division should not be done as not in the same Galaxy let alone same list is absurd. Yes. Velvet Underground were certainly influential but comparing them genius lyricist that underpinned Joy Division, leads to a feeling of relegation in terms of comparison. Also what are the Smiths doing on here above New order?
Originators of the alternative sound we all know today, Joy Division's influence can be heard in every moody, energetic, self reflecting and angst ridden band or song since 1979. Everyone from Bono to Robert Smith owe a great deal to Ian Curtis's stage antics and presence. - Bside76
The Velvet Underground is an excellent choice but Joy Division is even a better one. Others should be there in the list such as Cabaret Voltaire, The Sisters of Mercy, and Einsturzende Neubauten. - n00wV 1 Comment
Alt tunings, alt song structure, and alt use of feedback and noise. These guy practically invented alternative. Much respect to all the bands on this list though. - mikeford
The parents of new wave!
An enormous band in alternative scene!
Once in a lifetime, road to nowhere, burning down the house!
Following the breakup of fellow Manchester band The Smiths, The Stone Roses set out to conquer all. The influence of this band can be heard and seen in any Brit pop and indie band of the 90's that came after their split. They had great songs like "Waterfall", "Fools gold" and "I wanna be adored", that paved a new path for future bands. Oasis might owe the most to this band and they know it. - Bside76
Ian Brown is a god, so good! Their songs are all meaningful and really well distrobuted! Quality! Love from Lebanon
Huh, why are Nirvana at number 8, Joy Division do not appear in top albums of all time, best bands of all time, essential albums you must own, best songs of all time. Nirvana are possible the best band of all time. I like Joy Division but come on!
This should be number 1... Who made this list?
Come on people 9. This is number 1 top rock band of the 90s, best song of the 90s smells like teen spirit. Belive me this best altenative band of all time.V 1 Comment
Starting out as a pop group of the new romantic scene, Depeche mode was considered a light weight act, doomed to have a short career. 30 plus years on, DM's brand of pop has sold over 100 million albums and have influenced countless Techno and alternative bands everywhere. With there now classic lineup of Gahan, Gore, Wilder and Fletcher, they found a darker, more intelligent brand of Techno pop, ready to take on the masses and succeed. - Bside76
Jane's Addiction is the most original, spiritually beautiful and unique rock band of al time. They are also one of the ABSOLUTE best. Even though they got pretty big in the early 90s they should have been MUCH bigger. But most people can't appreciate something this unique and intense.V 1 Comment
Radiohead should be in the top ten at the very least!
It's not enough to have Joy Division on the list. New Order should be there, too. Blue Monday, "best-selling 12-inch single of all time" according to Wikipedia, has also been one of the most remixed songs ever. Thousands of bands and performers wouldn't have been inspired to make music without them. - n00w
There have been many "strong" women in music before, but maybe no one was ever as blatantly, unapologetic and in your face about it as Siouxsie Sioux was and is to this day. Writing the dark tunes that would inspire countless imitators, some good and some not, the banshees not only made their lasting mark, but wrote made great albums like "The Scream", "Through the looking glass", "Juju" and many more, along the way. - Bside76
Classic. Sorry, but the music of one of the most amazing alt. bands will be around much longer than the fad "alt." bands of today.
What idiot put Nirvana on this list. They're grunge, end of story. Anyway REM is awesome, 'enough said.
Related ListsBest Alternative Bands of All Time Greatest Classic Rock Bands Ever Best Grunge / Alternative Rock Bands Best Alternative Metal Bands Best British Classic Rock Bands
List StatsUpdated 18 Jan 2017
5 years, 205 days old
Top Remixes (4)
2. Alice In Chains
3. Stone Temple Pilots
2. Joy Division
3. Sonic Youth
2. Joy Division
3. Siouxsie and the Banshees
View All 4