Greatest Artists and Bands of the 90s

Alexandr

The Top Ten

1 Nirvana Nirvana Nirvana 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. ...read more.

How could one honestly hear "greatest bands of the 90s" without just automatically think "nirvana"?

No way in hell any artist from the nineties is anywhere near Nirvana. They inspired a revolution among teenagers. Had it not been for Kurt Cobain's tragic death in '94 Nirvana would've been one of the best if the 2000's too! Nirvana isn't just the best artist of the nineties. They're one of the best artists of all time. - chriscg

One of greatests of all time... Gods of GRUNGE... I was very confused between them and radiohead( most innovative in 90's). But I think in terms of influence nirvana have slight edge... In my opinion...

People who hated Nirvana liked aha

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2 Soundgarden Soundgarden Soundgarden 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.

Soundgarden didn't get the same attention that AIC, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana did because their songs tended to be more complex and often didn't have a "catch" that the mainstream desires. However Soundgarden musically is hands down the best band of the nineties and their music speaks on a whole different level. I don't understand why Nirvana was so popular,

Impossible to see this top 90s band trailing so many unfit to be among the best decade in music history. - cws480

Listen to their songs. Listen to the lyrics. Honestly my favorite band of all time.

3 Alice In Chains Alice In Chains Alice 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.

Alice in Chains is one of the most underrated bands period. And that's talking about a band that sold millions of records. Layne Staley was one of the most amazing poets in music. His material was dark, and that does not appeal to everyone and perhaps that contributes to them not receiving the recognition they deserve, but I challenge anyone to read up a bit on Staley, his life and his struggles, and then read his lyrics. They are incredible.

Jerry Cantrell is a musical genius. He is an amazing songwriter and guitar player and the combination of he and Staley was like lightning in a bottle. Its unfortunate the way things went with the band, but I suppose that's rock and roll for you.

PS - If you are an Alice in Chains fans - specifically Layne Staley era - check out Mad Season's 'Above' album. You won't be disappointed.

Not only the greatest band of the 90s but of all time. All their songs are amazing. Everything they wrote was with such quality and diversity.

This band had two musical geniuses. Layne Staley had the most amazing and unique voice you'll ever hear and Jerry Cantrell was one of the greatest guitar players in rock history. Together they wrote history.

I can't believe it. Why does it never occur to people that Alice In Chains is one of the greatest bands ever in metal? I know they dealt with darker and more mysterious things that people were not familiar with. But still, it was a very good try and this contributed to the music history greatly. They are still amazing and one of the few bands that I love wholeheartedly.

This is easily one of the best bands of all time. Layne Staley's voice and lyrics are tremendous. Jerry Cantrell's riffs are dark and hard hitting. They only had 3 albums but each one was amazing. Dirt is their best album and probably the best album of the 90s.

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4 Red Hot Chili Peppers Red Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American funk-rock and alternative rock band, that was founded in 1983. ...read more.

I think nirvana and red hot chilli peppers are both awesome but where is smashing pumpkins? or pearl jam? or tool? and why is backstreet boys on here they suck bad! - a7xfan93

Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the best album of all time, what the hell are the backstreet boys doing at number 1?!?! - Chickenlegs

With songs like Californication, Otherside, and Can't Stop, these guys deserve to be #2, with exactly 5 votes less then Pearl Jam.

Woo

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5 A-ha A-ha A-ha is a Norwegian band formed in Oslo in 1982. The band was founded by Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy.

Ok, so you only know "take on me".
What a shame! The real a-ha are so much more than catchy eighties synth-pop-tunes - deeper - darker - better - 90s! Go and get their extraordinary 1993 album "memorial beach" and be surprised! a-ha rock!

A-ha is the best band on earth. Real musicians.

A-ha the best band of all time. Best Lyrics, best compositions, best songwriters, best sound, best male vocalist... And the most beautiful frontman of all time

The best.

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6 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam Pearl 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. ...read more.

Seeing a-ha at number two would have to be the EXACT moment I lost faith in humanity. Seeing Radiohead and the Chili Peppers outside the top ten was the nail in the coffin.

A-ha? At two. Pearl Jam throws a-ha on a grill, overcooks it, then hands it out to people who don't listen to good music

I don't know what all those pop artists are doing so high up considering they were more predominant in either the 80s or 2000s. I love MJ, but his 90s work should not earn him the number one spot. - Justintime221

Should be number 1

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7 Green Day Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk and alternative 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 ...read more.

Green Day is an amazing band to listen to at any time, no matter the emotion because their songs range from depressed, enraged and bursting with glee. No one can experience the band the same way as their musical style, both now and then, was and still is highly unique. I love Green Day

When I come around

My favorite band of all time is The Clash. Green Day is probably the closest thing we have ever gotten to a second coming of The Clash (well at least early Clash). Also, I don't get all of the hate for this band, sure they sold out but they made some of the best punk albums since the early days of punk; Dookie, American Idiot, Insomniac, Warning, Nimrod, all great albums. Honerable Mentions: Weezer, Nirvana, Pearl Jam

This list should really be peppers, nirvana, pearl jam then green day

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8 Michael Jackson Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, dancer, and songwriter born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana and passed away on June 25, 2009. He donated (at least) a remarkable 300,000,000 dollars to charity. Michael is also known as The King of Pop (a title given to him by Elizabeth Taylor) or under ...read more.

Michael Jackson's music and influence encompasses the whole Earth. In Every square mile of Earth, you would find a man who knows Michael Jackson. His Legacy and Transcendence is eternal and immortal. I hope no one has forgotten his fabulous and larger than life DANGEROUS WORLD TOUR, AND THE HISTORY WORLD TOUR. At a time when artists wrote about girls, money and sex, he came up with essestial contributions to music with songs like " Heal The World", " Earth Song", "They don't care about us ". He not only entertained us, He Sustained us. They is no one like him, there will be no one like him.

He's my idol. Everything he ever did he gave it 100%. He didn't just film a bunch of half naked women on a yacht dancing to his music and call it a video! He employed some of the most talented people in the WORLD to help create something larger than life! He didn't just find any woman with a sexy voice to talk/sing on his track. He hired the Princess of Monaco to record the voice overs for "In The Closet." EVERYTHING he did - it was larger than life and I love and respect and admire and thank him for every bit of it. Ever since I was a little kid, I've been captivated by his moves and his music. He is and will forever be my IDOL.

MJ is what a entertainer is, he sings, he dances, he greets his fans with love and thoughtfulness, some singers now you have to dam near grab them to get autograph, Michael just gave it to U. Some say Michael was weird and crazy, but if you sang in front of people for all your childhood, you would be weird to. I miss him and loved him.

The greatest ever all round performer. Michael bridgend uk

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9 Metallica Metallica Metallica 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". ...read more.

Love Metallica, but by the 90's they were getting more mainstream and boring. Gotta go back to Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and And Justice For All if you want real good Metallica.

Great in the 80s and not that great in the 90s but still a top 10 band of the 90s - Metal_Treasure

HAHAH! Can't stop laughing! 9th?! This must be a joke! They sold most albums 1991 with Metallica or "Black Album" and you don't see that great? God this world is getting more weird by the days! - theswedishn00b

Number one on 80s but not 90s

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10 Radiohead 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).

I would say Nirvana but I'm not having Britney Spears over Radiohead. Thom Yorke's singing is angelic and the raw emotion in songs such as 'Fake Plastic Trees' and 'How to disappear Completely' is just so connecting to the listener. Fantastic band.

These voters clearly haven't heard Creep, Paranoid Android, and Idioteque. Radiohead is a top 10 band without a doubt. Their influence is incredible and their musical style is honestly one of a kind. Similar can be said of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Creep isn't the best example but the other two are good. Idioteque isn't either because it wasn't around in the 90s - Jiorl

Seriously? Westlife above Radiohed? Wow. Which band is manufactured so 12 year old girls like them and which band made Paranoid Android, one of the best songs of all time? Radiohead changed music and the emotion they give off is just amazing. Listen to No Surprises, Let Down or Fake Plastic Trees to see what I mean. Awesome band!

How is radiohead not at least in the top 5!

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The Contenders

11 Backstreet Boys Backstreet Boys

I have never liked boy bands or pop bands that seem like the only reason they're popular are how they look. For example, One Direction never did it for me... they were cute but too soulless. Most of my music preferences are in beautiful movie soundtracks and intensely heartbreaking musical theatre songs like I Dreamed A Dream, I'd Give My Life For You, and Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer from Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, and The Phantom of the Opera. I also never thought I would ever like any popular band, in whatever popular genre, since it all felt so cheap.

Now I've never listened to Nirvana or any of those grunge bands or genres surrounding that one, since it just isn't my or most of the people my ages style. And no, I am not, at the very oldest, in my forties or fifties; I am a later millennial. I'm sure that they were amazing and original and unique, but it doesn't appeal to my interests. Neither do common pop or hip hop or rap or popular music usually, as a ...more

What?! I can't believe these guys are 4th, they should definitely be second (as no one defeats the king), backstreet boys are legends in music history, and they're as good as Michael jackson, they play a very unique kind of music different from today's music, they created a new kind of rare pop which ruled music history, I bet if you can find someone who could create something like "incomplete", I will be a fan of this guys forever, because I like good music

One of the best pop vocal groups of all time. Their harmonies are fantastic. Dominated the late 90's era.

If you want fantastic harmonies listen to the beatles, the beach boys, and the zombies (who all play actual instruments) - TheThomasThomas

Backstreet boys were the beginning of the end for the music industry. - rynovz

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12 Oasis Oasis Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll.

Oasis should be number 1! They're one of the greatest bands to come out of Britain! The fact that their not even in the top 10 is unbelievable!

Seriously Oasis is the 40? I don't think so... Just look for some records they made and listen the fisrt and second album (Definitely Maybe & Morning glory). This two albums are in the top 20 of the bests albums in history, so oasis CAN'T be the 40. They are in the top 5 for sure.

How is Oasis not in the top 10? They have one of the greatest debut and second album of all time. Even their b-sides are better than most bands a-sides.

Even if it's number 13 on this list, this band is the REAL number one for the 90's

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13 Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots was formed in San Diego, CA in 1989. ...read more.

I was surprised to find them so low! They should be in the top 5!

Way better than Pearl Jam and Nirvana, should be top ten at least.

One of the bests

Top ten at least.

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14 Smashing Pumpkins 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.

Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness are masterpieces! These albums alone should make the Smashing Pumpkins above Backstreet Boys (who, while having catchy songs, haven't really brought influence to music) and A-Ha (weren't A-Ha an 80s band? Plus I never heard of a well known 90s song from them)

Wow. The Smashing Pumpkins, aside from Nirvana, is the best band to come out of the 90s. Why? Just listen to 1979. Or Soma. Or Today. The Smashing Pumpkins are incredible at their high points.

Easily one of the best bands of the 90s the smashing pumpkins are in a category of its own

15 Our Lady Peace

Underrated, most likely due to lack of recognition as a Canadian band in the United States. "Somewhere Out There" had some popularity, but the entire Gravity album just sounded like a marketing ploy. The true gems came from Clumsy/Happiness/Spiritual Machines. Naveed was amazing, but still sounded like a garage band trying to find their niche. Gravity wasn't a horrible album, but really didn't flow with the progression that OLP had developed. Still, one of the most amazing bands and one I'll never forget.

16 2pac 2pac Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was an American rapper and actor born on June 16, 1971 in East Harlem, New York. Tupac sold over 75 million records worldwide and has been referred to in multiple major publications such as Rolling Stone as one of the greatest music artists of all time. 2Pac was ...read more.

The best artist of the90's

Definitely the best rapper of the 90's.

He's underrated

Greatest rapper of all time

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17 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a Funk 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.

Fathers of the whole nu-metal genre. Without them there will be no System of A Down and Muse. Also note strong political (leftist) message!

One of the most transcendent bands in history.

One of the best bands of all time in my opinion

#1 all the way

18 Mariah Carey Mariah Carey Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She won 5 Grammys, got her documentary movie "Glitter" and also one of the biggest best-selling women in the music industry. ...read more.

Come On Mimi dominated the 90's from 1990-1999 with number one hits and albums. She also won grammy's, American music awards, and billboard music awards including artist of the DECADE!

She won an award for most successful female artist of the mellinium by only singing in the 1990s. The most commercially successful and has the most #1s. Her song One Sweet Day still holds the record for the song with most weeks at number 1 which is also the most played song of the decade. Hero is an inspiration for people, Vision of Love influenced a whole generation, and All I Want for Christmas is You still is the best selling holiday song.

She has a 5 octave range is the most successful artists of the 90s

Mariah has a number one song every single year of the 90s and she wrote all of the songs herself. She won artist of the decade and song of the decade. Come on, She has to be number one

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19 Guns N Roses Guns N Roses Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Apart from hard rock they are also ...read more.

Still awesome in the 90s, better than Michael Jackson for sure, get back together.

Guns N Roses and Michael Jackson are tied for first. - Alpha101

Impressions like this band cannot be replaced

20 Pantera Pantera Pantera 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". As the pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, They ...read more.

One of the most heavy and influential metal bands ever!

They deserve to be at top 10, rip dimebag Darrell

Pantera was metal in the 90's. CFH, VDOP and FBD were all classics. And southern trend kill was dope. They were amazing and did all of their amazing stuff in the 90's. Nobody else did quite what Pantera did in the 90's

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List StatsUpdated 25 Sep 2017

4,000 votes
223 listings
8 years, 184 days old

Top Remixes (23)

1. Soundgarden
2. Our Lady Peace
3. Stone Temple Pilots
cws480
1. Nirvana
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers
3. 2pac
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1. Red Hot Chili Peppers
2. Alice In Chains
3. System of a Down
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