Top 10 Best Bands of the 1990s

The Top Ten
1 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

These three individuals absolutely deserve the number one spot. Dave Grohl's drumming is immensely tight, with some very creative drumming from him (e.g., Scentless Apprentice). Krist's basslines, while overlooked, are incredibly groovy and work great with the songs (e.g., Lounge Act).

And, of course, Kurt Cobain. He wrote amazingly haunting, beautiful melodies and riffs. He truly knew how to convey emotion through song and is one of the greatest songwriters to ever live.

Undeniably the best! Nirvana is an extremely innovative band that uses elaborate elements and great writing to achieve amazing success!

2 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).

They created such a unique soundscape, incorporating elements from other genres such as classical and jazz in their melodic harmonies. They definitely came more into their prime during the 2000s but were great in the 90s too.

I can't think of any Radiohead song that I don't like. Talented Thom Yorke, nerdy musical genius Jonny Greenwood, Ed's ambient sounds - everything about this band is funk'n great.

I can't think of a Radiohead song I hate. Can't say the same for Nirvana, what with some choice lyrics and whatnot.

3 Alice in Chains Alice in Chains is an American grunge/alternative metal band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

Different, unique, and special. This band was ahead of its time. Amazing melancholic tunes. I love Nirvana, but AIC wins every single time in my book. Just my opinion.

Facelift, SAP, Dirt, Jar of Flies, Unplugged - all came out in the 90s. Best music around.

Without a doubt the best band of the 90s. Every song they did in the 90s is amazing.

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

The band's members are Anthony Kiedis (Vocals), Michael "Flea" Balzary (Bass), Chad Smith (Drums) and numerous guitarists, most well-known being John Frusciante.

The band is among the... read more

When you take into consideration the three albums they put out in the decade, no one else measures up.

Amazing band live, so much energy. I encourage you to see this band if you have the chance!

Better than all the bands listed above them. Nirvana is good but overrated.

5 Pearl Jam Pearl Jam is a grunge/alternative rock Band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. The band had comprised of Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament... read more

The band as a whole is amazing. Pearl Jam has managed to remain relevant to this day (almost three decades), which is a big deal considering that grunge and rock, in general, are not nearly as acclaimed as they once were.

On top of that, we have Eddie Vedder, a musical genius whose voice is probably the best in grunge history, or at least among the best. His legacy is purely musical, with no scandals to pump up his status.

The only reason Nirvana is usually given the edge in their dispute is because of the romantic, pop cult figure Cobain has become. Who knows what would have happened if that tragedy never occurred.

6 Oasis Oasis were an English britpop 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. Noel Gallagher (Liam's Brother) served as the primary... read more

What's the Story, Morning Glory? Best album of the 90s!

I almost voted for Radiohead, but they released half of their best material in the 2000s. Same with Tool, Weezer (arguably. The Blue album was pretty darn great), and Green Day.

I love their work from 1994-2000. They got really bad in 2002, though, and then they sucked for the rest of their career. They were extremely good in the 90s, though. Definitely Maybe is my favorite album ever.

They boosted Britpop to the top of the world. That's all!

7 Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk/punk 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 of their... read more

Green Day is my favorite band ever! They have multiple amazing sounds and awesome lyrics that kids, young adults, and adults can all connect to. They have many hits, from Longview, a song about boredom, to Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), which basically says FU. You can find multiple meanings in many of their songs too.

In the 90s, they quickly became popular with their third studio album, Dookie. They are still making awesome albums like American Idiot, with many smash hits like Boulevard of Broken Dreams and 21 Guns. Still making music and going on tours to entertain their fans for all these years is very impressive.

Adding the fact that they have had the same members for basically their whole music career - Tre Cool, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Mike Dirnt - is remarkable. Billie Joe's unique voice, Tre's impressive drumming, and Mike's mesmerizing use of the bass have the crowd dancing along to their music.

8 Soundgarden Soundgarden was an American grunge/alternative metal 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.

The Led Zeppelin of the 90s. Can't take away how great the other bands on this list are, but Soundgarden is a third-place finisher, behind only AIC and Nirvana.

Soundgarden and Alice in Chains deserve the top two spots.

Best hard rock and superb high voice of Chris Cornell.

9 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
10 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.

No band is as creative and diverse as The Smashing Pumpkins. Their music is the perfect combination of alternative rock, psychedelic dream pop/shoegazing, gothic rock, and heavy metal. Their sound is just amazing.

Say what you will about overproduction and Corgan's personality. At the end of the day, good music is good music.

The Smashing Pumpkins are an amazing band! Billy Corgan is one of the best songwriters of all time. Jimmy Chamberlin is such a great drummer!

The amount of emotion in each song is insane! In my opinion, they are the #1 band of all time!

The Contenders
11 Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American alternative 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... read more

Can anyone imagine a world where the Foo Fighters did not fight the Foos? NO.

12 Blur Blur are an English rock band, formed in London in 1988. The group consists of singer/keyboardist/guitarist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree.

A band that inspired a generation, truly summing up life in their lyrics. A clever, quirky group of talented chaps with personalities to match. Blur needs to be in the top ten. The Britpop movement was the nineties, and it was Albarn who set it all in motion.

Definitely the most creative band of the 90s. They practically started the Britpop and Cool Britannia movement with their album Modern Life is Rubbish. When they became bored of Britpop, they got experimental, and in 1997, they released their self-titled album, which is one of my all-time favorites.

13 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rap 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.

Come on, number 15? They shut down Wall Street! They have the most unique sound of the 90s and a perfect fusion of rap and metal.

Politically inspiring masters of rap metal.

Huge fan of this group. They rule.

14 R.E.M. R.E.M. was an American alternative 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.

R.E.M. has some of the best songs from the late 80s to the 90s. They seriously deserve more respect and graduate degrees than Nirvana, which rose to fame due to a death.

If you needed a break from grunge and wanted more thoughtful lyrics and elite musicianship, you turned to R.E.M.

15 Tool Tool is an American alternative metal/progressive metal band, that was formed in 1990.

The band is set together between Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), Danny Carey (Drums), Adam Jones (Guitar) and since 1995 Justin Chancellor (Bass).

The band is known for their influences from electronic... read more
16 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.
17 Pulp Pulp were an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 1978. Their best-known line-up from their heyday consisted of Jarvis Cocker, Candida Doyle, Russell Senior, Mark Webber, Steve Mackey and Nick Banks.
18 Deftones Deftones are an American alternative metal band from Sacramento, California. The band, which was founded in 1988, consists of Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Frank Delgado, Abe Cunningham and Sergio Vega. They have released a total of 9 studio albums. Some of their most popular songs are Change (in... read more
19 Weezer Weezer is an American alternative rock/power pop band formed in Los Angeles in 1992, currently consisting of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar), Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner.

There is no one else like Weezer! They manage to mix heavy guitar with catchy pop melodies, creating such a unique sound. Almost every one of their songs is a classic: Buddy Holly, Say It Ain't So, The Good Life, Across the Sea, El Scorcho, the list goes on and on!

Great band. They've definitely had their share of questionable songs in the 2000s onwards, but you can't deny that every song from their 90s output is just fantastic.

Both of their 90s albums are classics, making them tied with Nirvana for the number of good albums in that decade. And I'd argue Weezer's are even better.

20 The Verve The Verve were an English rock band formed in Wigan in 1990 by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. Guitarist and keyboard player Simon Tong became a member at a later date.
21 The Offspring The Offspring is an American punk rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1984. Formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dexter Holland, bassist Greg K., lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and drummer Pete Parada.
22 Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy/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
23 Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots is an alternative rock band formed in San Diego, CA in 1989.

The band currently consists of brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo (guitarist and bassist, respectively), and Eric Kretz (drummer). Their main vocalist from their formation up to 2013 was Scott Weiland. He was fired in... read more

Amazing band! Anyone who says otherwise hasn't taken the time to listen to their catalog.

Go listen to Core and Purple all the way through. You're welcome.

This poll is whack. STP is top 10 easily.

24 Melvins The Melvins are an American sludge metal band that formed in 1983 in Montesano, Washington. They usually perform as a trio, but in recent years have performed as a four piece with two drummers.
25 Sublime Sublime was an American ska punk band from Long Beach, California, formed in 1988. The band's line-up, unchanged until their breakup, consisted of Bradley Nowell, Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh.

I wasn't born until 1999, but sublime fully captures southern California in the '90s

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