Top 10 Best Alternative Bands of All Time

When it comes to alternative music, there are countless bands that have made a significant impact on the genre over the years. From the punk rock pioneers of the '70s to the grunge bands of the '90s, alternative music has been home to some of the most innovative and influential musicians of our time. But who are the best of the best? That's where this list comes in.

Compiled based on the votes of thousands of music fans from all over the world, this list features the top alternative bands of all time. These are the bands that have inspired generations of musicians and fans alike with their unique sound, raw energy, and powerful lyrics. They've taken risks, broken boundaries, and carved out their own place in the world of music.
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.

The band was comprised of Kurt Cobain (Vocals, Guitar), Dave Grohl (Drums) and Krist Novoselic (Bass). more.

It annoys me when people say that Nirvana, and Nevermind, are both overrated, because when they finally offer an explanation, they only have their own opinion of the music to share. That's not what "overrated" means. Calling something "overrated" is to deny the importance of the subject. Liking the music is more of a subjective take, whilst how under or overrated a band is takes facts into account. Nirvana, whether you like them or not, were, and still are, important in popular rock music. The ripples of what albums like Nevermind did, can still be felt today in a lot of popular music. They weren't necessarily doing anything that the Pixies weren't already doing, musically speaking, but they certainly popularized it and popularized a subculture of people. To call a band like that overrated is a bit like denying the fact that the sky is blue, or that the grass is green. People just enjoying making their arguments stick out as more than just pure opinion by using words like "overrated", ...more

Why is Nirvana even in this when they are a grunge rock band. Their only 2-3 songs are alternative rock. It's the Most overrated band of all time. Most of the dumb people haven't even listened to them still they say that they are good because they have become like a cult. Their only good songs are - smells like teen spirit, Lithium and heart shaped box. Their all other songs are pretty crap which sound same. There's no variation. Just listen to their all songs then vote. They are pretty crap. Coldplay should be at 1.They are real alternative band. And Linkin Park at 2 as they have only 50% of songs which are truly alternative rock. Rest are fusion of many rock genres. They are the only band which keep on experimenting with new music. Rock is incomplete without Linkin Park.

Hail to the king of Alternative Rock, Kurt Cobain. This band through the album Nevermind, particularly the song Smells Like Teen Spirit, introduced the world to Alternative Rock and defined a culture and generation of which I belong, Generation X.

The lyrics of their songs are unparalleled, especially those in their last album, In Utero. All Apologies is one of my most, if not my most, favorite songs of all time. Its words are full of meaning and emotion that it can be classified as poetry. In fact, my professor in English II in college even made us read and interpret the song along with Elenor Rigby and Puff, the Magic Dragon as part of our discussion of contemporary literature.

Hands down, Nirvana should be the number one Alternative Rock Band of all time.

If you think Nirvana is overrated, you should really go on a wider variety than songs like "Lithium" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Nirvana deserves this position, more than anyone on this list. For those of you who can't be convinced, I'll point out some ridiculously overrated bands myself: Fallout Boy, My Chemical Romance, Coldplay, and Panic! At the Disco. Nirvana was a very good band, especially for a three-person group. And the fact that they only had a few albums makes their overall impact even more impressive. Nirvana isn't my favorite alternative band, but I can't deny that they are the best.

2 Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The members currently include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ) and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park are associated with a mixture of Alternative Rock, Hip Hop and Techno. Some of their influences include Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, The Roots and Aphex Twin. more.

They are the only band which keep on experimenting with new music. Rock is incomplete without them. You can't name a single rock genre that they haven't included in their songs. They are far better than any other band here. Nirvana is the most overrated band. Dumb people haven't listened to them, they just cote because Nirvana has become a cult. I bet none of their songs will be liked except - smells like teen spirit, Lithium, and heart shaped box. Listen to their all songs then you'll come to know how crap they are. Plus they are grunge rock band and Green Day are Punk rock band. None of these two craps should be on this list. Coldplay should be at 1 and Linkin Park at 2 because there are few songs of Linkin Park which are alternative rock and all these are best. Coldplay is pure alternative rock.

Linkin Park is...honestly just an "okay" band. Don't get me wrong, I loved Hybrid Theory when it came out, and listened to them for awhile. Hell, I even listened to Mike Shinoda when he broke off from Linkin Park for awhile to make Fort Minor, and loved their album "Rising Tied". But as I got older, I kind of grew out of them. Their songs began to sound annoyingly similar, and Numb quite literally became a joke for me. And I wouldn't really even classify them as alt-rock, either. They're more Nu-metal, to me at least. A good comparison to another music group to them would be Maroon 5. They make good music, and have many, many hits that's for sure. However, their songs seem to blend together, or have the same subject it seems like - Linkin Park having a rebellious or betrayal feel to it, and Maroon 5 pretty much only being about a woman (which by the way gets incredibly repetitive). Nirvana has number one because they pushed the envelope. They developed their own style, resulting it ...more

Linkin Park & Radiohead should be top 2. Some people don't know what alternative is. Alternative means combining many elements & geners & creating alternative sounds. For example Alternative Rock means incorporating hip-hop elements in rock like Linkin Park or incorporating Jazz / Opera elements like Radiohead. Or incorporating electronic elements like both Linkin Park & Radiohead. Using lots of instruments rather that just guitars & bass. Using pianos, flutes, turntables etc - Linkin Park, Muse are few bands which do this. Nirvana is a grunge band NOT at all alternative. Green Day is a punk rock band, NOT alternative.

Most people think: Linkin Park is second? That's nuts!
Well, I admit that their latest songs are too much pop, and are not the best if you exclude One More Light. But, if you read the lyrics of every song you will understand what Linkin Park is about. Linkin Park's lyrics talk about life, some are uprising, some depressing. And about their latest songs, this is the reason they are not pop, even if they sound like pop:
There have actual lyrics.
I mean, hating Linkin Park is completely fine, but no one should only judge by the sound.

3 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).

This should be higher. I mean let's be honest:
1. Linkin Park is overrated
2. Okay, Nirvana HAS earned this spot, I'll admit.
3. Green Day is a commercial pop-punk band.
4. Coldplay is a knock-off of Radiohead.
Radiohead is personally my favorite band of all time. I'm not upset that they're no. 5. I'm upset because of who's ahead of them on the list. Aside from Nirvana, none of these bands have been as unique, powerful, or creative as Radiohead. They have created eight masterpieces, all of them great in their own way. This band is NOT restricted by any genre. Thom Yorke does what just feels right. THAT'S true artistic freedom!

This is absurd! How is even Coldplay higher than Radiohead in this list. Most Coldplay songs are just The Bends rip off. Radiohead are what you can call real artists. No albums sounds the same with the same formula unlike Coldplay. Each of their album has its own mood and feel. They are innovative and never try to do the same over and over again. OK Computer are considered one of the greatest album of all time by a lot of publications. And they try to follow that up with an album so different and experimental that it challenged critics and alienated a lot of their fans. That's Kid A. And who wouldn't like that logo.

What makes Radiohead stand out from other bands who are considered 'alternative' for simplicity's sake, is Radiohead's direction with their music. Radiohead have never been satisfied with their direction, from the lyrical appeal of 'The Bends", to 'Kid A's fearless production, and the other-wordliness of 'The King of Limbs". Radiohead has never been afraid of change, which is a flaw that many bands with great potential commit. When Radiohead become unhappy with their direction, they change it, despite angering fans, receiving criticism and risking loss of sales. Every one of Radiohead's albums is an innovation, dangerous new territory for a band of their size, yet Radiohead manage to excel, despite their direction. Radiohead is one of a kind, a huge band that doesn't like to play it safe, truly one of the greats,

I can't believe Linkin Park and Green Day are ahead of these kings of alternative music. Can you think back to a bad Radiohead album. Before you haters shout, "PABLO HONEY," if that album didn't exist, WE WOULDN'T HAVE CREEP! Anyway, no, you can't think of a bad Radiohead album. Does Green Day have a bad album. *cough* "Warning" *cough* "Tre" *cough* Radiohead are still making some of the best and thought-provoking songs to this day. So take this into account as you go through the top ten.
Radiohead FOREVER!

4 Coldplay Coldplay are a British pop rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed themselves "Coldplay" in 1998. Before making their debut album, they recorded and released three EPs: Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999, and The Blue Room in the same year. The Blue Room was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone. more.

Stupid people, know nothing about music. Nirvana is a grunge rock band and Green Day is a punk rock band. None of these should be on this list. And Nirvana is also the most overrated band. Their music is pretty crap. I bet none will like their any songs except - smells like teen spirit, Lithium and Heart shaped box. They have become a cult. Even though dumb people haven't listened to their many songs still they say that they are good. They are pretty crap of you listen to their many songs. Coldplay is the real alternative rock band. They are so good. And Linkin Park is not just an alternative rock band. They are the only band which keep on experimenting with new music. They have so many genres. Rock is incomplete with Linkin Park. You can't tell a single rock genre which they haven't mixed in their songs. Coldplay should be at 1 and Linkin Park at 2.

This is literally the greatest band of all time. Sure, they get a lot of hate for their boring, overrated music, but the only boring and overrated songs are their most popular. The only Coldplay songs most people have heard are "the Scientist" and "Fix You". These are okay songs but they are far from their best. This band is only good if you dive deeper into their discography. "X&Y" is one of the best and most underrated albums ever. "Clocks" is one of the greatest songs ever written. Not to mention plenty of other great songs such as Low, Yellow, A Whisper, God Put a Smile On Your Face, Politik, Trouble, Viva La Vida, Life in Technicolor ii... The list goes on and on and they should be number one.

The standard they put in all their albums are gold and amazing, even though their genre changes a bit to pop rock nowadays (still, their new songs are great for 'pop-ier' genre). They really put themselves apart with unique factors like Chris's songwriting ability, Jonny's catchy guitar riff, etc. Their songs suit the taste of huge audiences all across the globe, with a very wide range of musical style in their songs, and LOTS of them are masterpieces. What I like about them most is they never sound the same and continously evolve, experiment whilst still sounding great, now that's not boring. Violet hill, clocks, paradise, everglow, ghost story, the scientist, and the list never seems to end..

I love Coldplay, no denying that. Although, they have other good songs. Everyone is just naming their singles. What about Swallowed in the Sea? Death Will Never Conquer? Glass of Water? There are so many songs that are pure masterpieces, songs that you can't change without ruining everything. They have a song for everything, so you never have to listen to another artist. Songs that make you cry, songs that make you relax, songs that make you dance. If I had to name my biggest fear, it would be Coldplay splitting up. If only they played on the radio...

5 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 most well-known funk bands in music history with albums like "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" and "Californification" being some of their best known works. Throughout their career, the band has won numerous different awards and established an immense fanbase.

Number six for the chili peppers is a joke, they're easily the greatest alternative bands of all time. They have smooth transitions, unbelievable lyrics and vocals, amazing rhythm, and soothing beats. Anthony has poetic and deep lyrics along with the vocal ability to give them justice. Flea is easily one of the best if the the absolute best bassist in the world. Chad smith keeps an amazing beat while managing not to overpower a song with drums. Josh killinghoffer's abilities on guitar speaks for itself through both difficulty and melody. One thing that sets the chili peppers aside from other bands is their ability to equally tell the story of their song through each instrument weather it be vocals, drums, bass, or guitar.

Number 1 period, pioneers of creating music of there own style.
First album till there last 'I'm with U.Spectacular.

Never sold out, changed as they matured, always hearing truth, and honesty in their songs.
You can always tell if a band is releasing an album or songs, that's not from the heart, for the sake of another record, (Money), not this absolutely talented band.

With Flea moving the beat, you know it we be great with the poetry.

Seven's not a bad spot. But seriously, these guys deserve a lot better than this. Linkin Park aren't even alternative rock for the most part, they are nu metal or rap rock. The Red Hot Chili Peppers should be at least 4 on this list. Just listen to Dani California, Wet Sand, Under the Bridge, Californication, Can't Stop, Soul to Squeeze etc. They're so wonderfully varied that every song sounds different. Viva RHCP.

This is the greatest band of all time. Check out By The Way, don't Forget Me, Purple Stain, Universally Speaking, Californication, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Under the Bridge, Annie Wants a Baby, Even You Brutus, Snow (hey oh), wet sand, Soul To Squeeze, and I guess another good one is Fortune Faded. Greatest band of all time. And they are still making music.

6 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 influences include The Ramones, Sex Pistols, NOFX, and Bad Religion. They are best known for their songs like ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, ‘Basket Case’ and their ‘American Idiot’ & ‘Dookie’ albums. American Idiot sold 6 million copies in the U.S. and won a Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album". Green Day have sold over 75 million records worldwide and have won 5 Grammy Awards. They more.

Seriously?!?! Oh come ON! Green Day absolutely rocks the alt & punk genres. Starting out as a punk rock band, then album by album expanding into various kinds of rock, & their works just gets better! Longview, basket case, when I come around, boulevard of broken dreams, jesus of suburbia, holiday, 21 guns, viva la gloria, oh love, nuclear family, stray heart, x kid... No one can have a better track record than this, not even Linkin Park, whose tracks get worse with every album. Heck, Linkin Park sounds even worse live, whereas Green Day sound even better!

Green Day. Green Day. Green Day... How can I possibly describe how much this band means to me? I simply can't! They are my life; everything about them is just phenomenal. I hate that people only judge them on their newer stuff. Yeah, it's good and I love it all, but Green Day were definitely their best in the 90's: I'm talking Dookie, Insomniac and Nimrod here. It's just awesome stuff... Long Live Green Day!

I agree that the bands that appearing here are very good. I like their music very much. I don't get stuck on one band, I listen to all of them. However, Green Day are my favorite. I don't even know why, it's just that it is my most favorite band. I guess that's because they're the first who actually introduced me to this type of music. And since then, They will always be with me no matter what.

Green Day are the best band ever! I could listen to all their songs a million times and never get tired of them. Their music is better than just good and they are more than just ordinary Each song has a story behind it, whether it'd be something about love or just about being bored. Green Day has been a big part of my life ever since I was little. I have never loved any other band as much as I love Green Day.

7 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. Pearl Jam are most famous for their hit singles "Even Flow", "Black", and "Jeremy" which all appear on their debut album, "Ten", named after the basketball player Mookie Blaylock's jersey number, #10.

How is it possible that the likes of Evanescence, and Breaking Benjamin can be even thought of in the same sentence as Pearl Jam. Let alone rated higher, and I'm not even a big fan of Pearl Jam, but come on people. Pearl Jam is in the top 15 bands of all time. So they for sure deserve a rating higher then 16 for a genre they helped pioneer.

I love Pearl Jam - Eddie Vedder uses his voice so well to convey the wonderful meaning in their songs, and they are good-hearted people and rock live! I vote them equal first with Linkin Park - they are my equal favourite bands in the world!

What monkey buggering mouth breather thinks Foo Fighters, Green Day, or Lincoln Park are better than Pearl Jam? And Coldplay? They shouldn't even be in this category. Wow! The only band on this list that can compare is Nirvana.

From angry defiant, Not for You to the ballads. Pearl Jam was there and survives. They have a large following, have fought the establishment and put out bootlegs of live shows. They don't put out many albums now but try and match their catalogue

8 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.

How. HOW. How can anyone put REM low on any list? First of all, they, quite literally, invented alt rock. If for some reason that's not good enough for number 1, then I don't know what is. Even if taste is subjective, doesn't change the fact that nearly every single album from then is not good, but amazing. They are probably one of the most underrated bands I know of. But then, isn't that the defintion of alternative?

Linkin Park and Coldplay are great bands, but they can't be in top 10 on this kind of list. Top 50, maybe, but not top 10.
As many people here said before me, R.E.M. invented alternative rock. Of course, there were some post-punk bands before them that set the base for it (Joy Division, The Cure, Talking Heads), but R.E.M. made alternative rock the way we know it today. That's enough reason to get them on #1.

REM is the reason alternative rock got it's name. It was the first band to completely conquer college radio and is the epitome of what "alternative" was in the early 80's. I'm old enough to remember frequenting Alternative music stores. This was band the Alt kids loved. Murmur is the ultimate college album. The fact that Linkin Park is #1 make this poll a joke.

This was a really hard vote, but R.E. M made alternative rock what is today. So while Evanescence, Linkin Park, Paramore, Coldplay, Muse, Green Day, Three Days Grace, The Script, Boys like Girls, All-American Rejects and The Killers all rule, R.E. M supasses them all in greatness. I can't believe what a low position its gotten. I would at least have expected it to be in the top 10.

9 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 guitar), Nate Mendel (bass), Taylor Hawkins (drums, backing vocals), Chris Shiflett (lead guitar, backing vocals) and the most recent addition, Rami Jaffee (keyboards). Former members include William Goldsmith (drummer) and Franz Stahl (guitarist). more.

17 are you kidding me? They won Grammy's and they are keep winning them.
First of all they are already a legend and they will left a legacy just like Guns and Roses or Led Zeppelin. My opinion could sound couragous, but they already won 11 grammy's I think that's a huge number and they are continuing to perform unbelievable live performances... I even think they are better than Nirvana because they are all about their sound. And ı have to add something, its embarrassing to see tokio hotel beneathe the Foo Fighters. I mean come on guys, some respect

Well, to start with... You have to admit that the Foo Fighters are all about power and energy. I really like their guitar work. The drummer is just awesome. True that they have a certain pattern but often they bring some variations and do daunting experiments in which mostly they are successful! One last thing I must mention is their performance in the concerts! Simply amazing!

In this day and age where music has to be "PRODUCED" into somewhat crappy air-able songs, this band stands head and shoulders above the rest. Every song on every CD sounds exactly the same at the live show. They are a group of musicians who have become masters of their craft. I went to see Skin and Bones in Seattle WA at the Key Arena and it was the BEST live show I have ever seen in my life to this day.

Foo Fighters are a band that decide to not use stupid pro tools or fake instruments. They don't play for money of fame, they play for their fans and for the sake of music. And also, Dave Grohl is pretty much the nicest guy on earth which is why he earned the nickname "The nicest guy in rock". Seriously if you haven't heard the story about him and the miners then go search it up.

10 U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical pursuits, they have more.

No band has done more to bridge genres than U2. Post punk, check, atmospheric, check, American Roots, Check, industrial and dance, check. Electronic. Check. rock, check. The thing that is so special and untouchable about U2 is that they have transformed several times over 40 years and still sound like… U2. And yet No one, NO ONE, has ever sounded like them. Though their influence has birthed hundreds of bands. They never fit in. That is what alternative is right? the biggest band in the world for three decades, but never dir in any box. Greatest of all time.

I think they deserve to be number 1...

Most influential band in the world, unique sound...

When I hear: muse,30 seconds to mars, linkin park, cold play, etc just one name in my head, it's 'U2', Look how they give so many influence to many modern band. 'THEY ARE LEGEND'

2. is All of Seattle band like nirvana, PJ, soundgarden, alice in chains, STP, mudhoney, fastback, etc, I love grunge, one of music revolution in the world... who create modern rock I think

3. Oasis: one word for Noel: awesome

4. Blink 182, I was a big fan of Tom Delonge, first time I played guitar, just Blink 182's songs

This is one Rock Band that I really worship. Go ahead! Hate them. But that won't change their popularity and how they have influenced (positively) upcoming bands let alone modern music in general. These gentlemen released their first album (Boy) back in 1980 and their lineup is still the same. They are still Bono, Adam, Larry and The Edge. How about that? I really admire them. They deserve a higher position than this. Really great albums - except Zooropa.

Why the hell U2 is in the 11th spot? They are one of the pioneers of piano based pock bands and an inspiration of a lot of modern rock bands.
The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

The Contenders
11 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 Brit Awards, and 2 Grammy Awards.

They're synthed up bass driven energy is just so electrifying. It's like someone put U2 on steroids and made them make more metal-sequence music.

Muse has got to be one of the greatest and most talented bands on the planet. In a world where auto tune and lip sync is as common as people wearing shoes we live in today, this band as well as others have been rising up against the mainstream media and into the hearts and souls of their many loyal fans. What makes Muse the most stand out (to me) is that they pour every inch of magic into their songs that gets me to stop whatever I am doing and listen word from word and note to note. Muse brings us combination after combination of different musical styles that no one had ever thought of and they deserve more than just a grammy. Truly, they have every right to be honored the greatest alternative rock band of all time.

Muse is my favourite band. They should be above Linkin Park because they're better than Linkin Park. Matt Bellamy has better voice than Chester Bennington and he is a better guitarist than Brad Delson. Chris Wolstenholme is a better bassist than Dave Farel. Dom Howard is better drummer than Rob Bourdon. Muse only have 3 members but their live performances are amazing. Linkin Park have 6 members but their live performances are not so good. Okay, for album selling and fans Linkin Park wins, but maybe it's just because they're closer to their fans than Muse, that's why they have more fans than Muse and they sell more albums than Muse and finally people think they're a great band. Don't get me wrong, they're a good band and they do have good songs, but in my opinion Muse is better than Linkin Park if you see musical talent of both bands.

Muse don't just write regular three-minute songs that you hear on the radio. They have written everything from a three-part 12-minute symphony, to seven-minute epic space rock tracks to upbeat tracks full of synthesizers and keyboards. They don't just write songs about sex and drugs. They actually put thought into their lyrics; they have songs about fighting for your rights, love songs, songs about space, songs about government, songs about the end of the world, even songs based on 1984 by George Orwell. They are by far the best alternative band out there.

12 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.

In my opinion, many of today's "Alternative" bands wouldn't have the success that they now enjoy without the work of Alice In Chains. This band was one of the best if not the best pioneer's of alternative music. It's to bad that the media didn't and still doesn't give these guys the credit that they so deserve. Even without Layne they are still a really good band, even though it is different than what their fans are used to... They still kick butt. RIP Layne Staley you are missed.

Why doesn't the younger generation appreciate the ground-breaking "classic" alternative bands of 80s and 90s. When I was in my twenties, we always paid tribute to those musicians had laid the foundations for the bands of our generation. Kids today need to start respecting.

This band always seems to be severely underrated while they are not really alternative rock as much as they are alternative metal, they still sound great (I don't like metal) and they are one of the most resilient bands around they kept going even after Layne died and their comeback happened to be successful.

Creed at 17 and AIC at 26, is this list based on talent? Because if this is the case, I question everyone's sanity. Obviously AIC is one of the trail blazing bands that paved the way for many of the list above, seriously give credit and respect where it is due.

13 My Chemical Romance My Chemical Romance is an American rock band from Jersey City, New Jersey, active from 2001 to 2013, and again from 2019 to present day. For much of their career, the band consisted of lead vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way, and drummer Bob Bryar.

They pioneered a sub genre of alternative and did one hell of a job. I think songs like "the sharpest lives" and "ghost of you" really capture the soul of the emo sub genre.

My Chemical Romance is so many things. Every band member devoted their life to this band. As Gerard Way (the lead singer) said, 'This band saved my life and it's there to save other people's lives.' It is supposed to be inspirational, relevant and symbolic. I could go on talking about My Chemical Romance for hours, there is so much to it. You see these modern bands like 5sos that right songs about how hot their girlfriend is, there's no DEPTH! You want depth? You want to feel like there's someone else in this world that understands you and your struggles? Listen to My Chemical Romance. They might not be making music now but they are a shot to remember and each of them are heroes.

These guys have always stayed true to themselves and they've never allowed anyone to dictate how they should act or what kind of image they should create. Their music is harsh and meaningful, something different from what most bands have to offer. They put their heart and soul into their career, and have shown the world that having feelings is okay, everybody gets hurt, life isn't fair or easy, and difficult times find the best of us. They showed us that it's possible to rise above it all and do something good with it, harness the pain, the anger, the frustration and create a better world. Their stories are touching and eye-opening, and offer the world hope for the future. I'm very surprised they're not number one, because in all honesty, they are as good and as real as they come, and the MCRmy will never allow their memory to fade.

This is gonna be a long comment. I think people throw around "greatest band of all time" too much. If every single band on earth is the greatest then who are the bad bands? Anyways during the 2000s this band caught a lot of heat. Emo had become a sensation and was categorized by suicidal and depressed. So no matter if bands had emo lyrics or not, as long as emo fans liked it, it was automatically emo. And bands such as Panic! At The Disco and most importantly My Chemical Romance suffered backlash and scrutiny in our culture and the media.

So many people are probably scratching their heads thinking: "Why is My Chemical Romance on this list? Some stupid crybaby emo band?".

Well they're not some crybaby emo band. Maybe the fans, but not the band. I can proudly say this this band is one of the most important and greatest bands of our generation. And it's sad because most people refuse to see it or they listen to I'm Not Okay and Helena and jump to ...more

14 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.

Dear haters,
Um first of all, My Chemical Romance (My Chemical Romance, since you obviously aren't a fan) is absolutely an alt rock band and if you don't like it, or any of the top 10, which you clearly don't, then why don't you express your obvious disdain for anyone with a good taste in music/real talent, instead of taking it out on people who genuinely don't care. If you think that people are going to care or have opinions at all about you or your ridiculous music choices because you choose to take it out on people online, then you have something else coming. Please stop being immature and admit that you don't know what you are talking about. Thanks.
Sincerely, everyone.

Oh and also, not only is their music at best mediocre (by the way for you ludicrous SP fans out there that means of moderate quality/not very good) and their name, frankly, sucks. My Chemical Romance and nirvana, and Panic! At the Disco are superior in every way, which is why they were ranked above this wannabe alt rock band who only 2 people like. This "band" does not add anything useful to society, but only spawns insane, angry "fans" like yourselves and literally just makes everyone with the common sense to hate it want to die. Please don't make us laugh when you say it should be above real bands like My Chemical Romance, nirvana, and Panic! At the disco.

There are fewer bands with discographies as diverse and high quality as the Smashing Pumpkins. What sets them apart from many other bands on this list is their flexibility. From the classic fuzzy dream of Cherub Rock to the sweeping orchestral arrangement of Tonight, Tonight, brooding Cure-esque There it Goes, the saccharine wonderland of Cupid de Locke, the tender beauty of For Martha, the jangly psychedelia of I Am One, and the addictive poppiness of 1979 and Perfect, the Pumpkins have not lost an ounce of their artistic integrity and skill. Regardless of how much they diverged from their most easily associated Siamese Dream sound, they continue to remain distinctly unique in their artistry. Billy Corgan (perfectionist, prolific songwriting genius, and underrated guitar virtuoso) spearheaded one of the most fluid and honest bands in Alternative Rock. Many bands on this list wouldn't be here if it weren't for the tremendous (and often overlooked) influence the Smashing Pumpkins ...more

The Smashing Pumpkins where here before almost all the other bands on this list and will be here after many are dead and gone. Their sound diversifies and changes with time, exploring alternative, metal, grunge, rock, hard rock, and rock opera. They have soul sinking ballads of depression, drug use and loss (Try Try Try, Tonight Tonight) and rage inducing rock numbers that make you want to scream and shout (Bullet With Butterfly Wings). The Smashing Pumpkins have never gotten the recognition that they should and it hurst to see them so low on this list.

15 Imagine Dragons Imagine Dragons is an American pop rock band from Provo, Utah, and are now based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Imagine Dragons' lineup consists of lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. The band first gained exposure with the release of their single "It's Time", followed by their award-winning debut studio album Night Visions (2012), which resulted in the chart-topping singles "Radioactive" and "Demons". Rolling Stone named "Radioactive", which holds the record for most weeks charted on the Billboard Hot 100, the "biggest rock hit of the year".

This band to me can easily match up with Nirvana, and people in general just have a hard time of crowning a new number one because they are stuck in the past. Welcome to the twenty first century, this band will blow you away. "It's time" and "Demons" are two of three of their hottest songs from their first album "Night Visions", and then "Shots", "I Bet My Life", and "Smoke and Mirrors" from their newest album "Smoke and Mirrors." They also have great singles like "Roots" and "Monster," and finally let's not forget that their most well known song from "Night Visions," "Radioactive" has been in the Billboards top 100 for 87 consecutive weeks, longer than any artists in 55 years, and on top of that this band hit stardom only three years ago.

Yes, Imagine Dragons is a good band. But I'm really surprised that people are commenting stuff like "Oh they should be top 5! " Remember these guys are still very young onto the scene for the most part. They are also much more pop-oriented than most bands here. Consider how many classic bands you would have to put them ahead of to make top 5 happen. Right now the top 5 is Nirvana, Linkin Park, Green Day, Radiohead, and Coldplay. Who are you going to displace from that group? Foo Fighters, and Red Hot Chili Peppers would also have something to say about it (among like 10-15 other bands). They definitely have done a lot of good things for music in a short period of time and I enjoy their music. But just because they are currently dominating the alternative scene in terms of mainstream popularity doesn't make them an all time contender (It doesn't necessarily make them the best alternative band active either). I think #22 is a perfectly generous spot considering how long they have been ...more

I'm actually surprised they're so low in the list. They're truly amazing and VERY powerful as a band, with a "no specific genre" style that makes them unique. From songs like I'm so sorry or Radioactive to songs like Dream or Polaroid. They just have no limits and no shame in creating whatever they thinks sounds right despite of the genre. Smoke + Mirrors is one of the best albums I've ever heard, whit its contrast between light and darkness, Love, Forgiveness, Regret.. There's so many emotions and meanings behind the lyrics, which you can easily relate to. Plus the members are so kind and humble.. They're just great, and I think they deserve to be a little bit higher on the list.

I know Imagine Dragons is one of the youngest, if not the most young of all the bands on this list, but seriously they deserve to be WAY higher than this considering what they've achieved in the span of 7-8 years in which they've been active. Radioactive is well on top with the most number of weeks(87) on the Hot 100, and just 7 years into the Alt. Rock scene and they've already become the artist with the most number 1 hits(5) on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs list as well as the artist with the most weeks at number 1(104) on the same chart. If that's not enough to convince you that they are one of the best Alternative Rock bands of all time, then I don't know what is. I will admit it's a little too early to put them as high as top 5, but if they keep going at this pace, it's already within reach.

16 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.

Best live act ever. Is it complex? No. Is it fancy? No. Are there all kinds of gimmicks and pyrotechnics? No. Just music that utterly blows you away even though it in itself is not overly complex. Then at the end of the show their big encore show ender was to flash the lights on the Weezer logo. Yeah, flashing a few lights. You could hear the crowd in space. They went to wild over only this... You know why? Because Weezer is legendary and deserves way more admiration than they get, especially critically. Factor into the equation that they get taken for granted and that 70% of people are operating at a below average intelligence, which makes no sense... but is actually true. Sadly. You can't get blood from a a stone and you can't get a philistine to appreciate something so nuanced, lovely and significant.

Weezer is, without most people knowing, one of the top five most important alternative rock acts ever. Their self-titled debut was ahead of its time by about five years, and the same could be said for their once-reviled, now-exalted Pinkerton. When their debut first came out, they were seen as one of the only positive alternatives to the dark, angsty grunge bands of the 90s. The sound on that album, as well as Pinkerton, was unlike anything that would be seen for about six or seven years, when power pop really started to kick off. They work well on the other side of the spectrum too: Pinkerton has influenced almost every emo and post-grunge band to ever exist, whether those bands know it or not. While they have had a couple disappointing moments, they will always be the heroes of the downtrodden, nerdy, unpopular crowd. This is especially true for us high school students; Weezer are my heroes.

A band that released 2 completely different but also very much influential albums right out of the grunge movement that would shape alternative rock for years to come. Creating emo itself. No Weezer, no chemical romance. So why are they so far down? I don't know.

Weezer is the shiznit! Linkin Park number 2? Really! 30 seconds to mars, three days grace, my chemical romance are all junk. What the hell is wrong with kids today? A real all time alt list:
1) Nirvana
2) R.E.M.
3) White Stripes
4) Pixies
5) Pearl Jam
6) Weezer (maybe a little high but a personal pick)
7) Smashing Pumpkins
8) Stoned Temple Pilots
9) Red Hot Chili Peppers (not my favorite but respect)
10) Incubus

17 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.

If you think 21st century bands are the best in alternative, then you need to listen to the old school alternative, like the Pixies and Jane's Addition! They are classic alt. bands. All the newer bands should be beneath the ultimate greats... The bands who defined the alternative genre. Educate, yourselves Generation Y. Gen. X had it going on! We will always be the epitome of coolness.

Without Pixies, alt rock would suck. They influenced, nay CREATED Nirvana and a bunch of others not to mention the killer soft to loud formula that made grunge so popular. They worked behind the scenes. There's no reason they shouldn't be worshipped and revered. The (few) good bands in the top 10 owe their musical careers to these guys.

The Pixies are pure song writing geniuses. Every song conveys a certain feeling through its lyrics, but if the lyrics were removed you would still feel the same thing the lyrics conveyed. Nirvana should be number two. How Coldplay even made the list is beyond me. 99% of this list wouldn't even be on here without the Pixies.

Black Francis one of the greatest American songwriters (Bowie called him THE greatest). Joey Santiago the most underrated guitarist ever. Fresh edgy weird funny bad ass music that still holds up long after the overplayed and now boring catalogs of most of the current top ten alt bands listed.

18 The White Stripes The White Stripes were an American rock duo, formed in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan. The duo consists of only a couple married at the time, Jack White, whose real name was Jack Gillis (songwriter, lead vocalist, guitarist, bassist and keyboardist) and Meg White (drummer and backing vocalist). After they got married, Jack Gillis borrowed his wife's surname and became Jack White. more.

The White Stripes hold that sense of rock and blues foundation that everyone should at least try out. Distinctive unadorned musical attack with Jack on guitar and vocals and Meg's drumming creating that perfect sense of straightforward, raw alternative rock. The duo is genuine, they stick to their roots and do their thing like no one else can.

The White Stripes most definitely need to be higher. They have an interesting, and unique, simplistic approach to rock music which few have been able to replicate. Most of all, they manage to make incredibly heavy and large scale music, while only having two members. That in and of itself is a great reason for them to be higher on the list.

The White Stripes were the band that explored all the gaps in between where all these mainstream alternative bands do-si-doed in, and with unparalleled creativity and inventiveness were the most alternative alternative band of the era!

This actually makes me angry this duo are by far and a way the best alt rock group ever. Its called alternative rock and there's nothing like the white stripes out there not even the raconteurs with the same person from the white stripes are in the white stripes league

19 Incubus Incubus is an American alternative rock band from Calabasas, California. The band was formed in 1991 by vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas while enrolled in Calabasas High School and later expanded to include bassist Alex "Dirk Lance" Katunich, and Gavin "DJ Lyfe" Koppell; both of whom were eventually replaced by bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Kilmore respectively.

Incubus are Genius

Their is no band in the world that could produce the same music as incubus.

Incubus never get old and although their last album isn't as good as the rest they still are a band you could listen to over and over again,

They saved my life. I love you Brandon Boyd. They aren't the best but should easily be top 10 of all time. They are p there with Radiohead, and Red Hot chilli peppers and Coldplay.

Originality like no other. They are way overlooked and under rated in my opinion. Guess Justin Beaver lovers outweigh the folks who actually like... Well... Real music.

You have be kidding me with this ranking. Incubus is at number 41? They are no doubt a top 10 spot. Who is voting? They might put Miley Cyrus up there next... Let's hope not.

20 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.

Excuse me, how is Soundgarden not in the top ten, if not in front of the smashing pumpkins, of all bands? Ridiculous. I understand about the Food Fighters, and, of course, Nirvana, but please! Make way for the real god of Grunge, Chris Cornell! He has an awesome voice, he can go high, low, scream, he's the whole package. He's obviously better than the whole lot of Linkin Park and Smashing pumpkins put together!
Let me remind you of one of their hits-
Black Hole Sun- the words in it dampen your soul with the depression that was felt writing the song. Either that, or Chris Cornell was stringing random words together in a new song. Even if he did, it sounded perfect

Nirvana, Linkin Park, Green Day, Coldplay, Foo fighters, My chemical romance, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, The White Stripes, 3 days Grace and Incubus are all above Soundgarden. None even come even close. If you honestly think any of these millennial pop bands is better than Soundgarden, go see a psychiatrist.
-Chris Cornell is the best vocalist on this list.
-Matt Cameron is the best drummer on this list.
-No bands on this list can make riffs like them.
-No bands on this list "songwrites" like them.
-Superunknown is the best album on this list.
Gosh, people. This list is depressing.

This list is making my head hurt. Soundgarden is the best alt band ever! Nirvana and Linkin Park are only popular because of one song they released. If they didn't do that they'd be dead. And don't get me started with Pearl Jam. Their guitar riffs and vocals blow everyone else out of the water. So if you think these bands are 'good' go see someone because your messed up in the head.

The best rock band in history, let alone the best alternative rock band. No contest here. But there's a mix of tasteless record label trash for kid's (Imagine Dragons, Three Days Grace, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, Nickelback) and real, good, complex and honest music rock'n'roll (Pixies, Nirvana, White Stripes, Alice in Chains, Radiohead, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth...). These bands don't go in the same category.

21 Joy Division Joy Division were an English post-punk band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band consisted of singer Ian Curtis, guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris.

Too depressing, especially,if you know the backstory about this bunch. Sad that some have to go before their time, but it isn't always possible to know when or where someone will do something. Also, you have to let people take their own chances in life. They have to figure it out for themselves, not everyone else. And, you can't prevent everything,or predict it either.

It is obvious that a best "alternative" list is flawed when Joy Division is not in the top ten. They we're one of the founding fathers of alt rock.

Are you kidding me. This list is wac if this iconic post uk-punk group is not in the top 20. Most of these groups borrowed from this amazing group.

Joy division has to be the best new wave band ever. It is sad how Ian Curtis died. But they deserve to be in the hall of fame

22 The Cure The Cure are an English post-punk/gothic rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1978. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member.

They lasted four decades, fronted by a true artist, a great live band that made numerous hits that never goes out of date, ever experimenting and renewing themselves, and kicking the butt of the mainstream machine... Its one of the few alternative bands that defined the alternative scene, and so deserve to be on top ten, alongside with Velvet Underground and R.E.M.

The cure were one of the founding fatbers of alt rock. Everyone knows at least 4-5 cure songs, even if you don't know you would of due to their songs being played in any media. They are basically the band that everyone knows plenty of songs without knowing the bands name. Close to me, just like heaven, a forest, lovesong, lullaby, friday I'm in love, why can't I be you? , pictures of you, lovecats and inbetween days are all classics

This page clearly has no credibility - problem is that too much commercial BS has influenced people! Can't believe how shallow people are! The Cure influenced so many explicitly and implicitly - The order of popularity on this list epitomises life's monotiny so eloquently captured in one hundred years. Need I say more.

The Cure was started in 1976 so they're one of the first alternative rock bands and definitely kick started modern gothic rock. Also, Robert Smith is one of the most talented iconic singers behind Morissey. Plus, Disintegration is the best album ever!

23 Arctic Monkeys The Arctic Monkeys, otherwise known as the Death Ramps, are a British indie rock band formed in 2002 in Sheffield, England. The band consists of Alex Turner (lead vocalist, songwriter, electric and rhythm guitarist), Jamie Cook (electric and rhythm guitarist, songwriter), Matt Helders (percussionist, backing vocalist) and Nick O'Malley (bassist, backing vocalist). A former member, Andy Nicholson (also a bassist and backing vocalist) left the band shortly after the release of the band's debut album and before Nick took his position to patch the line-up. more.

If you think the Arctic Monkeys don't deserve the number 1 spot, That's Where You're Wrong. You may ask 'Who are Arctic Monkeys? '. Well, Only Ones Who Know their music will really appreciate their greatness.

In 2004 they released their demo album 'Beneath The Boardwalk', and ever since, they have been building their style Brick By Brick, releasing five studio albums, all containing Mad Sounds. I've done some Brainstorming, and I can think of 505 reasons why they are the best band in the world. I won't write them all, otherwise I'd still be here When the Sun Goes Down. But I will tell you that I have A Certain Romance with their music.

The Bad Thing about this site is that nobody appreciates good music. Seriously, it's berserk. So Snap Out of It, and vote for the Arctic Monkeys! And if not, Do Me a Favour and Leave Before the Lights Come On.

Linkin Park at number 1? Bah! Humbug

Their debut, 'Whatever People Say I Am...,' reinvigorated the British indie rock scene in the mid 2000s and their most recent album, AM, may very well be the best alternative album since the Strokes' debut. There isn't anything else out there that sounds like what AM has achieved in melding post-punk, r'n'b, hip-hop, hard rock, and psychedelia into an organic sound. They are truly an original band and are keeping guitar-based rock alive with their willingness to experiment and push boundaries. Not to mention that Alex Turner is one of the best lyricists of this generation.

Maroon 5 is amazing, the only band better than the Arctic Monkeys in all of reality, but they're Pop-Rock. The Arctic Monkeys are an amazing group. Listen to Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secured, Fluorescent Adolescent, and Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But... To see what I'm talking about. The Arctic Monkeys crush all the other bands, including the Beatles.

This is the kind of music that drives you mad with it's greatness.

There's good music and great music. And then there's the music that somehow changes you, for better or worse.

Arctic Monkeys came to me at the beginning of my teenage years, and I'm irrevocably in love with their music. Top 5 material, at the very least.

24 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.

About 60% of bands above them in this list admit to being directly influenced by the Smiths.
Considering NME, probably the most significant alt rock publication, sees the Smiths as the single band which has had the most influence on them, you can surely appreciate these guys must be top 3 on influence and stature, even if you don't like all their music.

They definitely deserve the number 1 spot. Morrissey is a lyrical genius and Johnny Marr's guitar work is absolutely incredible. The music and the lyrics compliment each other perfectly. They essentially created alternative rock. The Smiths are incredible, definitely worth the less!

Lyrical poetry for the masses, kitchen sink songs for the everyman - the Smiths may have revelled in their underdog status in this list, but they deserve to be #1. Few of the bands featured would probably disagree.

Oh my god seriously. This band is a band that deserves to be in top 5. This list is the worst. I was just checking the list and Linkin Park was in no.2, Green Day was in no.3 and I can forgive that. But how can Coldplay be at no.4.

25 Stone Temple Pilots Stone Temple Pilots is an alternative rock band formed in San Diego, CA in 1989. more.

The DeLeo brothers and Eric Kretz will rock together with a new singer (a new name close to STP too), I'm sure they WILL SUCCEED. Maybe their friend Richard Patrick (from Filter). But if they're as good as musicians as they are on good STP taste on music they will have something better of a singer/frontman than Bennington or other borrowed singer. Maybe they'll make the ACDC trick too (BACK IN STONE). We'll miss Weiland a LOT!...the king is dead...long live the king!

How are both Pierce the Veil and Black Veil Brides both above Stone Temple Pilots on an ALTERNATIVE ROCK ranking (not to say either of those bands are bad)? Stone Temple Pilots is a absolutely top ten worthy.

Seriously they are at #44? Papa roach, offspring, and good charlotte? SERIOUSLY?! Oh holy hell we are screwed!

I was born in 95 I love stp it rivals nirvana pj and aic. Should at least be in top 20 for cryin out loud linkin parks number one and stps all the way in the back?!?!?!

8Load More
PSearch List