Top 10 Alternative Rock Bands of the 1980s

The Top Ten Alternative Rock Bands of the 1980s

1 R.E.M. R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by lead singer Michael Stipe, lead guitarist Peter Buck, bassist/backing vocalist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry.

Best alternative band of all time. Great fusion of rock, folk and pop (and murmur, of course ;-)

2 The Cure The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member.

Should be Number One. Had way more hits in the 80's than R.E.M. did. One of the greatest alternative rock bands to ever exist hands down. - Floxoll

One of the best 80’s band. - Userguy44

3 Pixies The 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.
4 Tears For Fears Tears for Fears are an English pop/rock band formed in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the mod-influenced Graduate, they were initially associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early 1980s but later branched out into mainstream rock ...read more.
5 The Stones Roses
6 Sonic Youth Sonic 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.
7 Depeche Mode Depeche Mode are an English electronic and synth-pop band formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex. The group's original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, and Vince Clarke.
8 The Smiths The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce.

They belong in the Top Four, fighting against R.E.M., The Pixies, and The Cure. - Gg2000

9 Violent Femmes
10 Oingo Boingo

The Contenders

11 Siouxsie & The Banshees Siouxsie and the Banshees were an English rock band, formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their contemporaries and with later acts.
12 New Order New Order are an English rock band formed in 1980, currently comprising Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman.
13 The Cult The Cult are a British rock band formed in 1983. Before settling on their current moniker in January 1984, the band performed under the names Southern Death Cult and Death Cult.
14 The B-52's The B-52s are an American new wave band, formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson, and Keith Strickland.
15 Radiohead Radiohead 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).

Radiohead did nothing worthy of note in the 1980s. They didn't even change their name from On a Friday or get a record deal.

Deserves a top 10 spot. They’re alternative legends!

16 The Smashing Pumpkins The 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. They are also considered to be one of the most influential alternative ...read more.

I love them but they weren't really an 80s band. - Soulstealer

17 The Replacements The Replacements were an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1979. Initially a punk rock band, they are considered one of the pioneers of alternative rock.
18 Hüsker Dü Hüsker Dü was an American rock band formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1979. The band's continual members were guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer/vocalist Grant Hart.
19 Dramarama
20 The Cars The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer ...read more.
21 Dinosaur Jr. Dinosaur Jr. is an American rock band formed in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1984, originally simply called Dinosaur until legal issues forced a change in name.
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