Rock Bands With the Most Intelligent Lyrics

List of Intelligent rock bands judged by lyrical content.

The Top TenXW

1ToolTool is an American progressive metal/alternative metal band, that was formed in 1990. ...read more.

Tool has incredibly well thought out songs like Lateralus where the syllables of the lyrics work up and down the Fibonacci sequence or The pot where the entire song is supposed to make you think its about weed even in its name, but hidden meanings in the lyrics show it is truly a satirical work to criticize those who look at songs only on surface level. As well as well thought out album structure for example 10,000 days has three songs in it where two are played back to back while the third songs audio is layed over the other two to form a hidden song.

This is what makes tool my favorite band. They're not just a great sounding band. They go beyond to give the people something to think about. I imagine them going through much trouble with there song writing before they feel its ready. This is why it take them so much time in between albums. Thanks TOOL. You've ruined every other band for me.

A lot of people like to say tools lyrics aren't intellectual but those people don't actually think about their lyrics they can defiantly go over some peoples heads. There's people who will explain most of their songs if you look it up.

Progressive metal, one of the very few bands that bring out a certain chill that makes you think. In one word brilliant.

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2Pink FloydPink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitarist), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters (Vocals and Bass), and Richard ...read more.

"Every year is getting shorter,
never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught,
or half a page of scribbled lines."





You cannot say that's not beautiful poetry. - MontyPython

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3RushRush is a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. Even though the only founding member still in the band is Alex Lifeson (Guitar), the band is most well-known for their current members Neil Peart (Drums) and Geddy Lee (Bass, Vocals). ...read more.

The older I become, the more I appreciate Neil's lyrics. Coming back to old favourites and listening to them again after some of life's curves and challenges, makes me realize what genius this band possesses. After some deeply personal losses in my own life, the meaning within Something for Nothing, One Little Victory, Earthshine, Dreamline, Bravado, Secret Touch and Ghost Rider resonated.

Even when they do decide to do a song about some rock staple like a car... they created the gem that is Red Barchetta. If that isn't the perfect car song, I don't know what is!

Add to all that the fact they are all musician's musicians makes Rush the only one I could vote for in this "top ten" list.

Neil does NOT have a degree in English. He is a high-school dropout. Neil is a self-taught, self-made man. He has gotten where he has through hard work & perseverance.

Peart has a degree in English from Harvard. 'enough said.

Rush should be in the top 5

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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).

Their songs are simply magical and they have a lot of meaning

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5System of a DownSystem of a Down formed in 1994 as an Armenian-American rock group from Glendale, California. The band name is sometimes shortened to System or SOAD. ...read more.

A first I thought these guys were just noisy and high on cocaine... But one particular day I took my time to really understand their lyrics, they are very good

Eye opening. They have left nothing untouched with their critical, harmonic verses.

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6Bad ReligionBad Religion is an American punk rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1979. The band makes extensive use of soaring three-part vocal harmonies, guitar solos and lyrics that often contain religious and political commentary.

There's a running joke among punks about the "Bad Religion Dictionary" that is needed when analyzing their lyrics. Graffin is actually a university professor, and his articulate diction definitely shows this.

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7CogCog are an Australian progressive rock band that formed in 1998. Their debut album, The New Normal, was nominated for Triple J's 2005 J Award.

A Progressive rock band! The best of all time! Their lyrics are deeply well thought out! And most. Of all intelligent

8ApocalypticaApocalyptica is a Finnish metal band from Helsinki, Finland formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso and drummer Mikko Sirén.

All I can say is that their music is an "ART" and only intelligent minds can understand the cello metal

9Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition ...read more.

Based heavily in literature, sex, and some current events, led zepplin tells stories in a beautiful way. Not only are the lyrics fantastic but the instrumentals are great too.

10ColdCold is an American rock band, formed in 1996 in Jacksonville, Florida. With two gold-albums, Cold has sold over one million records in the US alone.

One of the best hard rock bands I know, took me a while to like them but it seemed each time I would play a song over and over I understood something new

The Contenders

11Iron MaidenIron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. They were known for some big hits such as The Trooper, and The Number of the Beast, and as of 2015, the band sold over 90 million albums.

Many of their songs provide a stunningly complex view of a historical event. For example, "Paschendale" off of Dance of Death examines its namesake WWI battle, while "The Trooper" examines the Charge of the Light Brigade, an attack in the Crimean War. Another common theme amongst Maiden's music is literature. "To Tame a Land" summarizes Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic, "Dune", while Powerslave's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is capable of passing as a complete thesis on the Coleridge epic. Overall, Iron Maiden puts out consistently fantastic music, paired with some of the most intellectually stimulating lyrics that can be found in rock and metal.

12Rodrigo y Gabriela

This duo is amazing!

13Within TemptationWithin Temptation is a Dutch symphonic metal band founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt.

Generally, I think all goth bands are creative and intelligent, but I personally think there isn't a goth band better that these guys, especially their old stuff like "Enter"

Sharon's lyrics are full of emotion and actually mean something. Even though she sometimes forgets them herself when performing live.

Sharon's Lyrics are meaningful & thought provoking.

Sharon den Adel's lyrics kick ass

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.
15Rage 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.

This band is the ultimate political criticism.

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16King CrimsonKing Crimson is a British progressive rock band that was formed in 1969. While the band had numerous band member changes, the head of the band has always been Robert Fripp (Guitar). ...read more.

Peter Sinfeld wrote some of the most articulate, well thought out lyrics in the early days of King Crimson

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17Isis

Very heavy, very drifting and helps me think clearly

18The Sisters of Mercy
19Manic Street Preachers
20Nine Inch NailsNine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock/metal band and, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.
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