Best Hard Rock Bands of the 90s

The Top Ten

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.

One of the most influential and gifted frontman of all time. Kurt Cobain one of the greatest. Spawning another great band, Foo Fighters. Nirvana will be remembered generations upon gernerations.

Best band I love it! A legend. A magnificent band. The band that changed rock and kurt cobain was a legend too bad he killed himself. Long live Nirvana! Nirvana will be remembered generations upon generations!

Nirvana was truly an idol in the world of rock for a lot of reasons. There songs had meaning. They experimented with what you could do with music period. Kurt was a legend and will be remember for years to come. His music was truly inspirational to many people and bands

While Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam, as much as I respect them, spawned dozens of imitators, nobody could replicate Nirvana, mostly because of the unique talents of Cobain. This is truly the sign of an all-time great rock band. While Kurt obviously melded influences of The Pixies, The Melvins and others, no subsequent band sounds quite like Nirvana.

Look at every great band that ever existed and you will find an imitator, a follower, a clone, a worshiper, a band that molded itself after another band, that's what people do. It isn't that you couldn't replicate Nirvana but what is the point. It would just be dozens of sound alike Nevermind albums. Musicians just honored the memory of the band and left it alone. Even Dave Grohl could have taken the Nirvana sound and carried on with it but he knew better and he has left his own legacy of great tunes without having a Cobain or Nirvana comparison. - frankmartin

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.

The only huge rock band to retain its popularity all decade, the Chili Peppers sold about 7 million copies of 1991's Blood Sugar Sex Magik in the U.S. and about 5.5 million copies of 1999's Californication. This is amazing when contrasted with all their multi-platinum peers. Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day... all those bands' record sales leveled off severely by the end of the decade, to the point where they sold a tiny fraction of their biggest albums. We'll never know how Nirvana would have fared, unfortunately.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are a band that evolved beautifully throughout the 1990's. They had two gigantic hits in the decade with Blood Sugar Sex Majick and Californication. Even the "dud" album One Hot Minute contains 4 or 5 alt rock classics. It's no mistake they were just inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame... They are legends and their music will continue to be popular for a long long time!

By far the best MUSICAL ACT of the 90s, and one of the most talented bands ever (behind Led Zeppelin, Rush, the Beatles, and Van Halen). Nirvana only lasted 3 years, while the Peppers have been MAGICK for about 26.

By far one of the greatest bands of all time, let alone the 90's. They're one of the few bands that kept its popularity through the entirety of the 90's and are still going well now.

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.

Metallica is one of the greatest rock bands that even experts say helped pave the way and helped mold hard rock.

Hands down, started my love affair with metal. My friends and I could sit for hours in the car and rock out.

The band that started my torrid love affair with metal

Metallica are the true gods of metal! These guys defined and perfected what metal is. They are true inspiration to all things rock and are the best that ever was. m/ They are not only the best metal band of the 90's, but the 80's, 2000's, and now! The best album ever, the "Black Album" is the #1 album ever sold in the rock industry. My personal favorite is "Re-Load"!

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.

Best Rock Band of the 90s? Alice in Chains #8, stunning. The music this band put out was great, and withstands the test of time. I still listen to these CD's a lot. There are a lot of good bands on this list. Nirvana at #1 for "hard rock" is questionable. Alice was definitely harder, darker and amazingly talented. It goes without saying that this band had the most powerful, soulful, incredible singer on this planet. RIP Layne Staley

AIC should be ranked higher! I don't even consider RHCP hard rock. I'd also wipe my ass with a Bon Jovi ticket just for the chance to hear AIC! With Layne of course.

Absolutely most influential band of the grunge era. Jerry Cantrell had hard hitting riffs and more technical guitar playing than anything Nirvana ever thought of. His tone was legendary on the Facelift album and the band really hit song writing heights with Dirt. I always see Nirvana above these guys, but it's false. Alice was a rock band that had a sound of their own. Something metal heads could take in as their own yet still keeping the sludge factory of grunge going. Not getting into the rock hall of fame would be an absolute mistake for the ages.

AIC should be much higher than #8, definitely more influential and talented than some bands higher up on the list. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden should be higher as well - these three were definitely better than others.

Pearl Jam Pearl Jam is a Alternative/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.

Pearl Jam is the 2nd most influential hard rock band of the 1990s right behind Nirvana. (3rd if you want to make an argument for Alice in Chains. They were the biggest band in the world for at least half of the decade, (The first three albums were mega-huge, selling in the range of 25 million copies). Pearl Jam's last album released in 2009 went to #1 on the charts. They are excellent live and still continue to sell out arenas world wide.

P.S. this is supposed to be a list of the top hard rock bands of the 1990s?!? Get Bon Jovi the hell off of here! They are an 80s band all the way! I would rather see Seven Mary Three make the list because at least they were a 90's band!

Starting with the grunge archetype, they blossomed into so much more. Pearl Jam as broken many boundaries of modern rock to remain relevant and sounding great 20 years later. They're live shows only amplify this as they can draw more emotion from a crowd than any band I've ever seen live.

My personal favorite from the 1990s, Pearl Jam sound like The Who or Led Zeppelin might if they grew up listening to The Ramones, as Vedder and Co. did. This is a band with classicist roots and terrific stage presence that sounds equally good cranked to 11 or performing a ballad. Their range sets them apart from their 1990s peers. Bonus points for very few "baby, baby" songs, at least until later in their career.

They held one end of the Banner for the Grunge movement with Nirvana on the other side, then became the Ambassadors for authentic Rock and Roll.

As an institution, they exist as one of the greatest bands of all time.

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.

I knew the storm was getting closer and all my friends said I was high

Welcome to the jungle remix- " Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games! The bands above suck and honey we don't know their names! " these bands above are no names. Guns and roses weren't in their prime in the 90 s and ac dc were and amazingly not on the list but for the top ten this band wins.

Guns N' Roses is a God hard rock band, why people don't just deep listen to Slash guitar and the pain, the love and the sweet words through Axl voice

Welcome to the Jungle rulez!

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 CANNOT believe SP are this low. understanding that there music can be a bit dark and I generally like music that isn't coming from depression this band is absolutely the best band since the 70s (except possible Guns N Roses although I personally prefer the pumpkins but I can see how that argument could be made). Understanding that I am comparing them to a time when bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Aerosmith were what you got when you turned on your radio (today we get some ass taking garbage into a microphone while a machine plays a beat in the background... because that's music). Nothing against Pearl Jam, Mettallica, Nirvana or even the Chili Peppers (love John Frusciante) but Billy Corgan is truly amazing and everything just worked. Whether it was Billy's creepy voice and complete talent on guitar (my favorite guitar player who's band started in my lifetime with Frusciante a close second), the strangeness of a female bassist in what could easily be considered a male rock band ...more

One of the most innovative bands of the 90's. Billy Corgan is a lyrical poet in every sense of the word! I love how the Smashing Pumpkins took a risk on each album they released and each has a different sound. Not to mention is there a better thematic concept album than melon collie and the infinite sadness? I think not!

I have so much love for this band. There is no other band that can even come close to have a sound like The Smashing Pumpkins. When I think back to the 90's I think about bands like this one and songs like "Today", "1979", "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", "Tonight, Tonight", "Landslide", "Cherub Rock", and on and on. I could talk about this band all day. But those of use that know and love this band, know that this band should be at least in the top 5!

Maybe a few spots too high. Smashing pumpkins had some great tunes, but as unique as they were they were always just behind in about every aspect of a band. Vocals? Staley, Cobain, and Cornell were all better. Guitar? Cantrell, Morello, and Slash were more talented and their tones shine through. The songwriting is just a touch behind the likes of other bands. But take nothing away. Smashing Pumpkins is a part of American rock history and rightfully so.. they were a very good band.

Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk, punk rock, and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1986. 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 ...read more.

Green had a lot of great songs in the 90s: Basket Case, When I Come Around, Brain Stew, Geek Stink Breath, Hitchin a Ride, Scattered, Redundant not to mention songs from 1039 and Kerplunk. They revitalized punk and brought it back to the world. Number 15 is way too low!

Green day was at its best in the 90's. Dookie their best album brought them into the mainstream and brought us classics like basket case and longview. Insomniac had an angrier punk sound but still continued to have mainstream success with classics like walking contradiction and armatage shanks. Finnally Nimrod evolved green days sound by incorporating acoustic guitars, trumpets and other odd instruments but still retaining a punk sound. Nimrod had classics like hitchin a ride and prosthetic head

Dude... All I have to say is Dookie. Basket Case, When I Come Around, Longview, She, Welcome to Paradise. And not to mention all the stuff after that. Time of Your Life... Hello... More hits than *cough* Nirvana.

Why is Green Day not in the top 10? They should be up in the top 10 somewhere. They revolutionized music in the 90s. This is my favorite band from the 90s. Truly great band.

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

STP is #1 in my heart because they had diversity in their musical styles throughout each album. You never knew exactly what you were going to get from a new STP album -- all you knew was that it was going to sound amazing. Most of these other bands can be boiled down to three or four general sounds that repeat through their entire discographies (if you're lucky). That is not the case with STP -- they were so talented that they could allow themselves to explore a wide range of styles and sound damn good doing it.

You picture or hear 90s rock, you see STONE TEMPLE PILOTS.

Among so-called alt-rock bands, only Pearl Jam and Nirvana sold more albums in the 1990s than Stone Temple Pilots, but STP was the dominant singles band of the era. Plush, Vasoline, Interstate Love Song, Big Bang Baby, Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart, Lady Picture Show... all those songs reached No. 1. Creep, Big Empty and Sour Girl all made the top four, and the indelible quality of those songs make this band an easy top 10 for the 1990s.

STP were outstanding. They fit near perfectly into an era dominated by Seattle's grunge movement. But did so in their own way. Great vocals and songwriting. Plush and Creep are still waved all over this country.

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. Chris Cornell died on May 17th, 2017.

WAY underrated! When I think of my childhood and reflect on the 90's, I think of Soundgarden. What a band. In my opinion the most diversity of any band of the 90's, from the more mellow "Blow up the Outside World" or "The Day I Tried to Live" to the harder "Fell on Black Days" or "Pretty Noose", this band did it all. Greatest band ever...

With Chris Cornell's vocals and Kim Thayil's guitar riffs. Soundgarden is with out a doubt the greatest rock band of the the 90s. "Superunknown" alone secures the title.I don't need to say much more.

The 90's produced some of the most original new sounds that forever changed the Rock and Metal scene. Among the most original is Soundgarden. There is no mistaking Chris Cornell's vocals. Vocalists alone, he is the best with no comparison. Anyone that has an ear for music would have to agree. Added to the rough and raw sound of the band, Chris' vocals are a perfect match. Soundgarden really should be the #1 rock band of the 90's. The world of music truly would not be the same without Soundgarden, and without Chris Cornell. Oh... And lets not forget Temple of the Dog and "Hunger Strike". Thank God for Soundgarden and Chris Cornell! m/m/

Everyone credits nirvana for the grunge movement, but these guys were the godfathers. Blind melon didn't have the sound garden effect. Hell, cornell has arguably a better voice than Cobain and the song writing is out of this world. Spoon man is one of the first riffs that comes to mind when talking grunge.

The Contenders

Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band and, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.

One of the most innovative and underrated mainstream acts of the 90s. "The Downward Spiral" and "The Fragile" are way ahead of their time. I would argue that Trent Reznor's contributions to music are as important as Nirvana's. Plus, he's the reason anyone gives a damn about Marilyn Manson, which is a huge contribution in-and-of itself.

The most creative hard rock band of the 90s... Hands down

And still making great music. Spin magazine labeled Trent Reznor the most vital artist in music.

Downward Spiral is one of the top albums of all time!

Tool Tool is an American progressive/alternative/post-metal band, that was formed in 1990. ...read more.

Helped keep Metal on the surface without out selling out, the sheer genius of Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan, Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor ( Paul D'Amour) is collectively explosive. Best band alive.

Creativity has never been so delicately assembled in a band like this one before. Adam Jones and his hard, haunting, and unique riffs complement Maynard's voice and vocal delivery in a way no other band has achieved. The bass line can hardly be called "rhythm" or "backround" because Danny Carey's ingenius syncopated and dissonant drum lines with bass lines that lead as much as guitar, this band can easily be named one of the greatest masterpieces of music and art on the planet.

I am glad to see Tool so high up on this list. So underrated and so talented. Danny is an awesome drummer and Maynard is brilliant always. My favourite band ever.

Literally the most technically and lyrically advanced band. Danny Carey is legendary on drums and considered by many to be up there with Neil Peart, Justin Chancellor redefined how to play bass, Adam Jones's creativity on guitar is incomparable to any other guitarist, and Maynard's very complex lyrics, pure emotion, soul, and energy on stage makes listening to Tool's music a very intense experience.

Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rock 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.

The hard rock sound of Morello and Commerford along with great rapping skills of De La Rocha complete with the simple yet awesome drumming makes Rage the best 90s band ever and, in my opinion, one of the best ever.

Tom Morello... Enough said.

Unique sound, very identified so different and always modern

Zack de la rocha n tom morello

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 ...read more.

The colour and the shape was their best album ever (other than maybe wasting light). The first album was not great but Dave was the only one doing anything, so that's 1/4 of the creativity. There is nothing left to lease had great songs too (learn to fly, stacked actors, breakout).

But they were definitely better in the 2000's. Aurora, Generator, Breakout, For all the cows: all quality songs from the 90's!

All I can say is "facepalm". Monkey Wrench, Everlong, My Hero etc.

They were the best in the 90s. Everlong is the greatest radio song of all time. Monkey wrench, everlong, my hero, all unforgettable songs

Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band's ...read more.

They just released 3 albums in the 90's - Keep the Faith, Cross Road and These Days and all were absolutely amazing! Songs like Keep the faith, dry county, always, In these arms, This ain't a love song etc were all superhits! The Best Band ever!

MOST POPULAR IN THE WORLD, NUMBER 1 HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES BACK IN THE 90'S

bon jovi is simply the best... listen 2 living on a prayer and you give love a bad name, it's my life, have a nice day, wanted dead or alive..1 word : classic

Sorry, Bon Jovi doesn't belong this high on the list

Pantera Pantera was an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. The band started out as a Glam Metal act in the 1980s with little success. After discarding their original lead vocalist and enlisting Phil Anselmo, the band signed a major record deal with ...read more.

Best by far.

When u sell millions of albums without radio or MTV you are a musical Phenomenon.

LITERALLY every album is GOLD. All but one Platinum. Some of the most consistent album sales in music history shows have impressive they were LIVE as that was their only REAL promotion

Dimebag, Vinnie Paul, Rex and Phil. Best band to ever live, definitely most talented metal act to walk the earth. RIP DIME.

Two decades of unrepeated display of power, time shows the real value of this band. Pantera rules, walk!

The best guitarist, best drumer, add in a great singer and a good bassist. You get the best band of all time. The band got me through so many times in my life from anger to having my children. Number 1 for me all the way!

Aerosmith Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band".

It's because they're not a 90's band. They were around since 1970 really. And they only had a couple of hits in the 90's. They're luck to even be on this list. But as for best rock bands of all time, they'd be higher (probably).

HOW COULD YOU PLACE AEROSMITH AT 28 IT SHOULD BE AT TOP 5 THEY DESERVE BEING THAT HIGH AND WHAT CRAP IS THIS NIRVANA BEING PLACED number 1? He's NOT A HARD ROCK HEAVY METAL ARTIST!

Most Of These Bands Are Grunge Not Hard Rock

Even Heavy Metal Is on this list

I thought this is meant to be Hard Rock not Grunge/Metal/Punk or Alternative

Aerosmith.
One hit every year since 1973.
Biggest band ever.

Korn Korn is an American Nu-Metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band's current lineup includes founding members Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Brian "Head" Welch, and Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, with the addition of Ray Luzier, who replaced the band's original member, David ...read more.

Yea, this is WAY too low for KoRn! Are you kidding me? When MTV played music KoRn beat out the ridiculous Backstreet Boys, NSync, and Britney Spears for #1 song/video, and the Got the Life video had to be retired because it was on top for so long! KoRn put hard music on the mainstream map and kicked Pop in the face! They are easily top ten if not higher.

Freak on a Leash and Blind defined the 1990's! Way underrated band. Should be much higher than this!

Revolutionized... A new genre... Grunge metal... Never been done till KoRn came around

Huge in the 90's. Like the biggest band by the end of the 90's. They released very good music right up to the end of the 90's.

AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014 . They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson ...read more.

For me acdc is a top 5 band in the 70s and 80s. The tone of Malcolm and Angus are downright scary good. They have stood the test of time and there isn't a band in the world who's riffs are being played more in commercials, ads, movies, super bowls, etc than acdc. They didn't call it quits after losing a singer or after a few good albums. They produced massively inspiring albums like High Voltage and Highway to Hell with the great Bon Scott and developed themselves even further with the great Byron. Absolutely legends. And they may even be a top 10 in the 90s.. but definitely top 5 in the 70s and 80s.

How can they not be the greatest of all time.. So many great songs - and still playing for us! It's gotta count for something that they are still touring and releasing new stuff 20 PLUS years later...

AC/DC deserves to be #3 or #4! They're at least better than The Red Hot Chilli Peppers... Some of the bands on the Top 17 are just there because they're more famous.. But that doesn't mean that their music/songs are better

This IS hard rock. great songs, excellent guitar rif by Angus, outstanding performance and unique vocalist..

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. ...read more.

They actually formed in 1992. They changed the band name in 1997, but they started in 1992 as Groundswell.

Easily a really hard, emo band

They should be number 1

Come on damn it go highr

Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson is an American rock band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Formed in 1989 by frontman Marilyn Manson and Daisy Berkowitz, the group was originally named Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids with their theatrical performances gathering a local cult following in the early 1990s. ...read more.

Honestly, I was surprised how low Manson was. He was such a controversial figure for 90s Rock. Even to this day I love his stuff from the 90s, and find it almost a perfect way to describe 90s Rock and metal. Manson was the perfect 90s rock star, he should be higher up on the list easily.

Marilyn Manson should definitely be at least in the top 10. HE DOMINATED THE 2ND HALF OF THE 90'S DAMN IT!

Should definitely be number 1 best band ever for sure more famous than most bands on this list

He is my favorite singer and I'm only 12

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 top this list. Noel and liam Gallagher, their lyrics, their vocals, the instruments. They make amazing music. They're the best band of the 90s!

Although they may not be hard rock, you can say that about many other bands that made this list. Oasis is lyrically, vocally, and just flat out musically brilliant.

Noel continued to pump out great music all throughout oasis' career, and still writes music today.

They're impact on the world is top-10 material at least.

Slipknot Slipknot is an American Alternative/ Nu Metal band formed in 1995 from Iowa. The band is best known as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Alternative Metal during the late 1990s - 2000s and are distinguishable by the band's clothing choices, consisting of black/red jumpsuits and horror ...read more.

Great band when you see them live

Only released one 90s album.

Best metal band ever, that I've heard.

good band

Def Leppard Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.

Definitely leopard has to be one of the best bands of all time!

One of my all time favorite. bands. These guys rocked rocked till you dropped

Greatest rock band ever!

Dec leopard is and wI'll ALWAYS be my number ONE! Not only are they gorgeous they are very talented.

Dream Theater Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band from Boston, Massachusetts. The band was formed in 1985 under the name of "Majesty", only to change its name to Dream Theater later. ...read more.

I haven't been listening to these guys for very long, but like everyone says the more you listen the better they get. I agree.

One of favorite bands of all time, they are better than everybody on this list and should be number 1.

Just listen to them. You will know why

It's about rich music.

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