Best Grunge Bands

Grunge was one of the most controversial types of music back in the day so let's see which band made it a legend!

The Top Ten

1 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.

Layne's voice was unique and like no other grunge singer. It sends a chill down your spine. Layne will never be forgotten. Jerry's riffs and songwriting add it up. I didn't know what kind of rock music I liked until I heard of Alice in Chains. They influenced me into the grunge era, and got me to like other grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Plots and more.

Thank GOD these guys top this list! They deserve every accolade that comes their way. (RIP Layne & Mike) - Relixx599

no doubt

Number 1 in my opinion...The true "creator" of grunge! That is according to the best artist at that point in time..#Seattlerockers

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2 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. more.

No band of this genre can compare to Nirvana. Not many bands in history can compare to Nirvana! Kurt Cobain invented Grunge with his distorted guitar and his angst-full lyrics.

Nirvana did not invent grunge, nobody really truly invented it. Have you even listened to other grunge bands? - NewAgeAnarchist

The top six bands on this list are absolutely the best grunge bands ever! But nirvana does deserve the number one song because kurt invented grunge rock! They will always be one of the best bands in history
R.I.P. Kurt Cobain33

Very very very epic band and just everything about it was amazing and I don't know how anybody can not like this band because it's just impossible not to be in love with this band no matter what.

Love all the bands listed, but Nirvana began the wave, and sure Pearl Jam's Ten came out a month before Nevermind, but "Smells Like Teen Spirit made grunge mainstream. Not to mention their other songs like Lithium, Come as You Are, Polly, In Bloom, Heart Shaped Box, and Serve the Servants.

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3 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. more.

Pearl Jam is music I like to call Eargasm, or ear orgasm. They are amazing, and the best thing is, they're the only Grunge band to have never broken up or faded into obscurity. Instead, they have evolved, whether new direction is good or bad, and they have stuck with it. And although their early Grunge records, like Ten and Vs. Are still their best, I also appreciate how they tried new things instead of sticking with their Grunge sound because it's more comfortable. Forget best Grunge band; Pearl Jam is perhaps the greatest band in the history of music. - LoganRuckman


Nirvana is the poster band of the Movement, and was the first successful grunge band, and no doubt with "Nevermind" had the best Grunge album, but Pearl Jam has more soul, and they are still around. Like all great bands their legend will only grow over time. They may seem second fiddle now to Nirvana (Grunge's Beatle's), but they will be at least a Grunge Rolling Stones, and their best album may yet lie ahead?.

They still release albums, and they're the only grunge band that's still alive and kicking. Eddie Vedder has one of the best voices in the music industry, and they seem to be the only grunge band that never lost a member(s) to heroin addiction. People credit Nirvana as the best grunge band ever, and they are good, but Pearl Jam is way better. Their music is great, and Vedder's voice is simply better than Cobain's.

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4 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.

No one sings like you anymore Chris Cornell

By comparing what grunge really is, I think it's arguable to put Soundgarden at the top of the list. Pearl Jam makes a compelling argument to be at the top and Ten is, without doubt, one of the best albums of all time. However, when you consider what Soundgarden produced from album to album, and how they evolved and still presented their very own sound while Pearl Jam evolved away from Ten, they deserve the top spot. As a collective, they have the chemistry that every band from the time coveted and has rarely been duplicated.

When you really stop and define Grunge and work from that definition, it's a no-brainer to place Soundgarden at the top of the list.

Haven't heard any bad songs of them. Overall an amazing band. - Userguy44

Matt Cameron is the best grunge drummer out there, he does odd signatures as it is nothing, thayil is the God of drop D, his riffs and solos are unique, Ben is a great bassist, and Cornell has the best vocals. Nirvana is well known, but not even that good. And to all the people who claim that Cobain 'invented' grunge, that's bull. You've probably never heard of the deep six.

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

Simply. The. Best. Seen live 2x w/ Scott and 1x w/ Jeff. Song after song after song is pure genius.

Most versatile of all of these bands. More Alt sound than grunge. Core, Purple, and Tiny are masterpieces

This band had amazing versatility, mixing grunge with multiple genres. I consider their grunge tone to soften on the third album but they still made great music afterwards. Scott's voice wasn't as unique as Cobains but he used many different styles throughout out STP's discography.

Amazing band with or without Scott Weiland.

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6 Mudhoney Mudhoney Mudhoney is an American alternative rock band. Formed in Seattle, Washington in 1988 following the demise of Green River, Mudhoney's members are singer and rhythm guitarist Mark Arm, lead guitarist Steve Turner, bassist Guy Maddison and drummer Dan Peters.

I kinda feel like sonic youth, melvins, and mudhoney should be on the top ten instead of bush

I've always found bush and stone temple pilots to be post grunge bands. And Foo fighters, while they are a great band, are not grunge

This is the very definition of grunge its noisy and the instrumentals don't sound clean but it's great and if you don't believe me just listen to touch me I'm sick

Mudhoney should be 2 or 3. How could you even put Bush or Foo Fighters on this list?

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7 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.

One of my favorite bands. But it's hard to choose!

It's so hard to choose... So many fantastic grunge bands... Smashing Pumpkins has to be my favorite for one reason: they evolved over time. Now maybe that's blasphemous since they ventured into techno-ish music and lighter music and kind of left grunge behind after Mellon Collie but they stayed relevant (for the most part) and continued to put out fantastic music regardless of musical genre. The only album I would say was "bad" was Zeitgeist. Even that one deserves a listen from time to time. - evoxpisces

So many great songs with true meaning behind them such as Disarm, Thirty, Three, 1979, and many more. The sound is sad but hopeful really striking the true feeling that grunge strives for.

The smashing pumpkins are one of my favourite bands (considering I'm into meatal) now nirvana are probably the best grunge band on this list but I think the Smashing Pumpkins deserve more credit for songs like:
Bullet with butterfly wings
Jusr a great band, just underrated.

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8 Temple Of The Dog Temple Of The Dog Temple of the Dog is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. It was conceived by vocalist Chris Cornell of Soundgarden as a tribute to his friend, the late Andrew Wood, lead singer of the bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. The line-up included Stone Gossard on rhythm guitar, more.

Temple Of The Dog consists of two of the best Grunge bands of all time, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Absolutely ever song on their self-entitled album and their only album at that are works of art! In my opinion, Temple Of The Dog is the best grunge band of all time.

This is amazing simply because it combines three great bands--Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and even Mother Love Bone to an extent.

You might as well just say Pearl Jam with Chris Cornell. - Songsta41

How come there is no comments here? Chris Cornell's collaboration with Eddie Vedder is more than great!

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9 The Melvins The Melvins The Melvins are an American band that formed in 1983. They usually perform as a trio, but in recent years have performed as a four piece with two drummers.

Bush and should not be in the top ten, they are a cheap post grunge band. Foo fighters are a good band but shouldn't be there either

Grunge probably wouldn't exist without them, plus they invented Sludge Metal which is a awesome genre too

Melvins not only were influential in grunge, but they LITERALLY CREATED SLUDGE METAL!

The Melvins are great, the guitar-drum synergy is really cool and the lyrics make no sense but are cool also

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10 Sonic Youth 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.

So many unique songs and albums. I definitely think more people should give them a listen. If you like Nirvana, I'm almost certain you'd like them. I'd recommend their albums Dirty, Daydream Nation, and the Eternal.

The most musically interesting band around. Thurston Moore is a Noise Rock legend, not many can compare.

I Love Goo And Daydream Nation

Daydream Nation. The end!

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The Contenders

11 Mother Love Bone Mother Love Bone Mother Love Bone was an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987. The band was active from 1987 to 1990. Frontman Andrew Wood's personality and lyrics helped to catapult the group to the top of the burgeoning late 1980s/early 1990s Seattle music scene.

Damn this band would have been awesome if it still existed and Andrew Wood didn't die. - Soulstealer

Mother Love Bone was a great band and they were around when Grunge was first getting started. They greatly influenced the sound of grunge even though they never really sounded like other grunge bands. Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog would never have existed without Mother Love Bone. Tragically Mother Love Bone never got to be a part of the golden age of the music they helped to create. Their lead singer, Andrew Wood died in 1990. Wood was the David Lee Roth of Grunge, he was a great front-man and he had tremendous talent and charisma. His voice suited Mother Love Bone's funky sound perfectly. If he had not died MLB would probably have gone on to be as great and famous as Nirvana or Pearl Jam. According to Alice in Chains's lead singer the song "Would" is about Andrew Wood. "so I made a big mistake, try to see it once my way" is a reference to Wood's death by overdose. If anyone is interested in getting into Mother Love Bone, I recommend "This is Shrangila"and "Thru Fade Away" those ...more

Grunge never would have gotten out of seattle if it weren't for mother love bone and their frontman andrew wood. They were the bridge between hair metal and grunge, and when andrew wood died, the grunge scene reeled and came back with a vengence. The only famous grunge band that would have continued afterwards would have been nirvana, and they would never have gotten famous.


12 Bush Bush Bush are a British rock band formed in London, England in 1992. The band found their immediate success with the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, which is certified 6× multi-platinum by the RIAA.

Melvins? No talent? What? Bush should be lower.

Everyone says they're post grunge, but I disagree.

Come on people we're only talking about the sixth best grunge band ever - ianchambers

Come on guys, they are the creators of "glycerine"

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13 Screaming Trees Screaming Trees Screaming Trees was an American rock band formed in Ellensburg, Washington in 1985 by vocalist Mark Lanegan, guitarist Gary Lee Conner, bass player Van Conner and drummer Mark Pickerel.

Did you ever had the chance to listen to their album Sweet Oblivion? A masterpiece on the same page as Dirt, Ten, Vs, Superunknown or Nevermind.
They were not sexy: quite a stupid band name, the Conner brothers were fatties for rock-stars, and Mark Lannegan was a hard to handle type even compared to the other singers. So the media didn't liked them, but forget everything and just listen. Lannegans voice is recognizable right from the bat. The songs are well written, with a bluesy under-note.

They're what got me into grunge - Solariser

One Word : Underrated

Very underrated band

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14 Foo Fighters Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. The band was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl after the death of Kurt Cobain and the dissolution of his previous band. The band consists of Dave Grohl (lead vocalist, rhythm guitar, main songwriter), Pat Smear (rhythm guitar), Nate more.

I love foo but I don't think they are grunge!

They are the kings of grunge

heard pretender, everlong? classic, divine... just plain brilliant

Amazing band but it have a lot of nirvana in it because their drummer is Foo Fighters vocalist, David Grohl.

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15 Pixies 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.

Never listened to anything better than their song "Where is my mind". Every single time I get goosebumps! Love them

They don't sound like grunge that much, but they're very influential to many grunge bands!

Listen to smashing pumpkins "tonight" and any of Nirvana MTV unplugged. Ok, now listen to gouge away, gigantic, or monkeys gone to heaven by the pixies. Grunge, despite being a grunge genre, is still relatively broad genre to describe music and the pixies are apart of it. - PewPewAssassin

My Favorite Band. Influential to grudge, but not grudge. I hate when people call them indie.

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16 Candlebox

Candlebox was by Far my Favorite of the grunge Era. Kevin's voice is Amazing & their lyrics so empathized the struggles of that generation.

By far my favorite!


17 Green River

Since Nirvana is already number one I'll help out another great unknown band. Green river created the heavy sound that would inspire the rest of the other Seattle bands to start going down that road and when they broke up there members would go on to found Mudhoney, mother love bone, and Pearl Jam.

They created the genre for God's sake!

I think they deserve to be on top. Nirvana is an amazing band, but Green River pioneered the genre and gave it a great meaning. - nickolie

18 Breaking Benjamin Breaking Benjamin Breaking Benjamin is a American post-grunge/alternative metal band formed in 1998. The bands members all changed in the time between 2010 to 2014, with the exception of Ben Burnley (Vocals). The Ex-Members included Chad Szeliga (Drums), Aaron Fink (Guitar) and Mark Klepaspi (Bass). more.

Great talented musicians who had a passion for music and were super talented and soulful and great songs that you can identify with

Breaking Benjamin is a band from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Best song list :
- The Diary of Jane
- Breath
- Give Me A Sign
- Crawl
And many more.

Amazing but not grunge or even gungecore breaking Benjamin (named after lead singer Benjamin Burnley) is heavy metal much like three days grace.

19 Jane's Addiction Jane's Addiction Jane's Addiction is an American rock band from Los Angeles, formed in 1985. The band consists of Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Chris Chaney.

Not a grunge band.

Great band. But not the greatest.


Sweet Staley, Jane's Addiction aren't they list but Three Days Grace and Nickelback are? ' peasants, man.

20 Faith No More Faith No More Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on their current moniker in 1983, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man.


Why are they on here? Barely even Alternative

21 Three Days Grace Three Days Grace Three Days Grace is a Canadian rock band formed in Norwood, Ontario in 1992 with a line-up consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, and bassist Brad Walst. Their original name was Groundswell until they changed it to their current name in 1997. more.

They used to be a band named Groundswell. They were borderline grunge.

Great band forgot to include their badass lead guitarist

This band isn't Grunge, though? Just because you're a 90's band doesn't mean you're Grunge, people.

This is nowhere near grunge I have no idea why it's on this list but I have to admit they're an amazing band

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22 The Screaming Trees

You know this list was quickly done. They put this band on the list twice.

I'm not into them all that much, but Nearly lost you. What a great song.

23 L7 L7 is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, first active from 1985 to 2001 and reformed since 2014. Due to their sound and image, they are often associated with the grunge movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s,.

Soundgarden are my fave but L7 are an amazing band who should be higher. While there roots are rock (pun)hard in my personal fave genre, punk rock(riot grrrl if we gonna go specifcs, I prefer ska punk but all punk is sick), there grunge stuff is some of the best grunge music out there.

L7 was all about real grunge! This isn't a real list if they're not on top 10... Come on people

They are grunge at its finest


24 Mad Season

You can't go wrong with layne staley

You have to be kidding maybe I'd roll in on his grave.

Christ seeing this so far down is like a sharp knife cutting in to my heart. It's Layne Staley people! This deserves so much more...

Fantastic and innovative band for it's time. Definitely should be top 10 material

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25 Audioslave Audioslave Audioslave was an American rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2001 and disbanded in 2007. The four-piece band consisted of then-former Soundgarden lead singer/rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, and then-former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, and Brad Wilk. more.

Frekin amazing, his songs inpsire so much tension.

26 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).

One of my favourite bands ever. But doesn't get my vote, because although they are dark, murky and depressing, that doesn't make them a grunge band.

One of the best alt bands ever, but not grunge

Radiohead is more alternative I think. And no, not everybody who listens to this band are pretentious

Radiohead is definitely not grunge. - HardRockSam

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27 Seven Mary Three

Post-Grunge isn't REAL GRUNGE, PEOPLE.

Rockcrown best album ever

28 Paw

It’s cold outside!

Very underrated band! Thank goodness for Road Rash lest I might have missed them completely! - Xean45

When grunge meets southern rock. Check out their cover of Simple Man. It made me cry the first time! ^u^

29 Alter Bridge Alter Bridge Alter Bridge is an American rock band from Orlando, Florida, formed in 2004. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Myles Kennedy, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall, and drummer Scott Phillips.

This Band is formed with ex members of Creed but now the singer is Myles Kennedy andfor me is a good singer.My favorite song is Ties That Bind

30 Live Live Live is an American rock band from York, Pennsylvania, composed of Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey, and Chris Shinn. Live's original lead singer Ed Kowalczyk left the band in November 2009.
31 Hole Hole Hole was an American alternative rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1989 by singer and guitarist Courtney Love and lead guitarist Eric Erlandson.

I hate Courtney Love she doesn't deserve to be on this list

Nirvana is the obvious pick for this list and for good reason but, we have to mention Kurt's wife's band. Hole is one of the most underrated bands I have ever seen! Courtney Love is an amazing singer as well! - micdanchris

I do like Hole and Courtney Love is a great songwriter I never found her to be a great singer but that is just my opinion. - PewPewAssassin

Never in a million years should this band have been added to this list! I'm so disappointed that it is here!

The definition of grunge along side nirvana

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32 Garbage Garbage Garbage is an American-Scottish alternative rock band formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1993. The group consists of Scottish musician Shirley Manson and American musicians Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig.

One of the most underrated bands of all time.

33 Puddle of Mudd Puddle of Mudd Puddle of Mudd is an American rock band formed in 1991. To date, the band has sold over seven million albums and has had a string of No. 1 hits with their most famous hit being "Blurry".

Come on this deserves a better place! Ever heard blurry? Control? Psycho?

This is not Grunge by any means.

34 Collective Soul Collective Soul Collective Soul is an American rock band originally from Stockbridge, Georgia. Now based in Atlanta, the group consists of lead vocalist Ed Roland, rhythm guitarist Dean Roland, bassist Will Turpin, drummer Johnny Rabb and lead guitarist Jesse Triplett.
35 Malfunkshun
36 Tad Tad Tad (often styled as TAD) was an American grunge band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 1988 by Tad Doyle. Among the first of the many bands which came out of Seattle in the grunge era, Tad was notable for the fact that its music was inspired far more by 1970s metal (much like Alice in Chains and more.

Underrated. I'd vote for them if I hadn't voted for Green River. - Solariser

Tad was such an underrated grunge band

37 Love Battery

Insanely underrated, their 1992 album Dayglo is one of the standouts of the genre, and it's really sad to see the band behind many that aren't even remotely related to grunge. Definitely check them out if you haven't already.

38 Veruca Salt

67? Should have been in top 20, easy.

Highly underrated

39 Saint Asonia Saint Asonia Saint Asonia is a Canadian rock band consisting of former Three Days Grace frontman Adam Gontier, Mike Mushok, Corey Lowery, and Rich Beddoe.
40 Sponge

'Wax Ecstatic' is so good!

41 Gruntruck

Layne Staley said it himself, it was his favorite band out of Seattle. - Gruunge

My personal favorite. Too bad there wasn't more than 2 albums

42 Local H

This is a far better contender than most of the bands above it. Smart writing, great riffs, and a better live show these days then any of the other bands still operating on this list.

Much overlooked, deserves to be up there amongst the better known.

Some of the best live music I've ever experienced. - Air4

43 Skin Yard

Very very underrated group. Lyrically they were ahead of their time if you listen to the song "Skins In My Closet" he talks about skins in his closet in which he's referring to the different clothes he has in his closet and comparing to his different personalities or moods depending on what he wears for that particular day.. You have to be a musical genius to orchestrate this into a song... Just look up the lyrics for this song on Google and you will see this genius poetry word for word..

44 The Afghan Whigs
45 Life of Agony
46 Shinedown Shinedown Shinedown is an American hard rock band from Jacksonville, Florida, formed in 2001 and founded by members Brent Smith, Brad Stewart, Jasin Todd, and Barry Kerch.
47 Maximum the Hormone
48 Babes in Toyland Babes in Toyland Babes in Toyland is an American punk rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1987. The band was formed by Oregon native Kat Bjelland, with Lori Barbero and Michelle Leon, who was later replaced by Maureen Herman in 1992.
49 7 Year Bitch

I don't know if they'll get on the list due to their name, but they are a great all female Grunge band that you should really listen to. - LoganRuckman

50 Muse Muse Muse are an English alternative rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The members are Matt Bellamy (lead vocal, lead guitar, piano, keyboard), Dom Howard (drums, percussion) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals). They've won several awards including 5 MTV Awards, 8 NME Awards, 2 more.

Muse is the polar opposite of grunge

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