100 Greatest Alternative Music Artists
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100 Greatest Alternative Music Artists

Criteria: Alternative Music Artists are ranked by their influence, impact, and popularity. List includes alternative rock, post-punk and new wave artists, as well as artists in the various alternative rock subgenres (including - but not limited to - indie rock, Britpop, grunge, shoegazing, post rock, emo, alternative dance, goth rock, dream pop, alternative country, alternative metal, alternative hip-hop and trip-hop).

Newly added names are in Red
Last Updated: 2021-05-11
Greatest Alternative Music Artists
  1. R.E.M.
  2. Nirvana
  3. Radiohead
  4. Talking Heads
  5. The Cure
  6. Sonic Youth
  7. Pearl Jam
  8. U2
  9. The Smiths
10. Pixies
11. Red Hot Chili Peppers
12. The Replacements
13. Elvis Costello & The Attractions
14. Joy Division
15. Nine Inch Nails
16. Green Day
17. Depeche Mode
18. Soundgarden
19. Hüsker Dü
20. Kate Bush
21. Beastie Boys
22. The Smashing Pumpkins
23. Beck
24. New Order
25. Dinosaur Jr.
26. Television
27. Jane's Addiction
28. Echo and the Bunnymen
29. Siouxsie and the Banshees
30. Foo Fighters
31. Pavement
32. Oasis
33. Fugazi
34. XTC
35. Alice in Chains
36. Weezer
37. Minutemen
38. The Jesus and Mary Chain
39. The White Stripes
40. Blondie
41. Tori Amos
42. Blur
43. Wire
44. My Bloody Valentine
45. Bjork
46. Morrissey
47. Bauhaus
48. A Tribe Called Quest
49. The Pretenders
50. The Jam
51. The Flaming Lips
52. No Doubt
53. Stone Temple Pilots
54. Liz Phair
55. Public Image Ltd.
56. Violent Femmes
57. Mudhoney
58. Cocteau Twins
59. Faith No More
60. Pulp
61. Hole
62. PJ Harvey
63. 10,000 Maniacs
64. De La Soul
65. Jeff Buckley
66. Rage Against the Machine
67. Coldplay
68. Portishead
69. The B-52's
70. Meat Puppets
71. Primal Scream
72. Linkin Park
73. Incubus
74. They Might Be Giants
75. The Stone Roses
76. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
77. Gang of Four
78. The Psychedelic Furs
79. The Tragically Hip
80. Wilco
81. Sleater-Kinney
82. The Offspring
83. Arcade Fire
84. The Fall
85. Suede
86. Belle and Sebastian
87. Midnight Oil
88. Sublime
89. Superchunk
90. Yo La Tengo
91. INXS
92. Muse
93. Fiona Apple
94. Squeeze
95. Devo
96. The Killers
97. Blink-182
98. The Strokes
99. Garbage
100. Modest Mouse


Spotify Alternative Songs playlist link image






Nevermind - Nirvana album cover

Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth album cover

The Queen is Dead - The Smiths album cover

Murmur album album cover

Doolittle - Pixies album cover

OK Computer - Radiohead album cover

101. Queens of the Stone Age
102. Soul Asylum
103. Guided by Voices
104. My Chemical Romance
105. The Roots
106. Alanis Morissette
107. Deftones
108. Massive Attack
109. Elliott Smith
110. Manic Street Preachers
111. The Go-Betweens
112. The Cranberries
113. The Sisters of Mercy
114. Primus
115. Bad Religion
116. Fall Out Boy
117. The Specials
118. Mission of Burma
119. Spoon
120. The Pharcyde
121. Teenage Fanclub
122. Sinéad O'Connor
123. The Fugees
124. Sunny Day Real Estate
125. The Church
126. The Breeders
127. The Alarm
128. The Happy Mondays
129. Bush
130. Mother Love Bones
131. Killing Joke
132. Aimee Mann
133. Florence + The Machine
134. Vampire Weekend
135. Gin Blossoms
136. Camper Van Beethoven
137. The Black Keys
138. Billy Bragg
139. The Pogues
140. Juliana Hatfield
141. Ministry
142. Arctic Monkeys
143. Paramore
144. Gorillaz
145. Afghan Whigs
146. Lush
147. Love and Rockets
148. Silverchair
149. Jimmy Eat World
150. Throwing Muses
151. Talk Talk
152. This Mortal Coil
153. The Lemonheads
154. The Verve
155. Pere Ubu
156. Slowdive
157. Panic! at the Disco
158. Ride
159. Sebadoh
160. Social Distortion
161. Built to Spill
162. Uncle Tupelo
163. The Slits
164. The Chameleons
165. The The
166. The Sugarcubes
167. Twenty One Pilots
168. Silversun Pickups
169. Madness
170. Kings of Leon
171. Death Cab for Cutie
172. Robyn Hitchcock
173. The Smithereens
174. James
175. This Heat
176. Stereolab
177. Galaxie 500
178. The Charlatans
179. Matthew Sweet
180. Placebo
181. Screaming Trees
182. LCD Soundsystem
183. The Feelies
184. The dB's
185. Tears for Fears
186. Neutral Milk Hotel
187. The Wedding Present
188. Soda Stereo
189. Sloan
190. Belly
191. Butthole Surfers
192. Rancid
193. Cage the Elephant
194. Catherine Wheel
195. Game Theory
196. Magazine
197. The Birthday Party
198. Franz Ferdinand
199. Taking Back Sunday
200. The Beautiful South
201. fIREHOSE
202. The Sundays
203. Lorde
204. The Chills
205. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
206. The National
207. Lucinda Williams
208. Spiritualized
209. Super Furry Animals
210. Big Black
211. Beat Happening
212. The Jesus Lizard
213. Fountains of Wayne
214. At The Drive-In
215. The Mountain Goats
216. Let's Active
217. The Dismemberment Plan
218. Pylon
219. Bright Eyes
220. American Football
221. TV on the Radio
222. Steve Earle
223. Orange Juice
224. The Soft Boys
225. Ween
226. M.I.A.
227. The Call
228. The Magnetic Fields
229. Broken Social Scene
230. Foals
231. Tame Impala
232. The 1975
233. Snow Patrol
234. Morphine
235. Slint
236. The Jayhawks
237. Thirty Seconds to Mars
238. The Mekons
239. Low
240. Swans
241. AFI
242. Mumford & Sons
243. CHVRCHES
244. The xx
245. Imagine Dragons
246. Beach House
247. Urge Overkill
248. Barenaked Ladies
249. Redd Kross
250. Bastille

100 Greatest Influences on Alternative Music

Criteria: Includes which perform non-alternative genres (including some artists which pre-date the genre, or are contemporaneous with it) which have had a noticeable and long-lasting influence on alternative rock music. Includes pre-alternative, 1970's punk, 1960's garage rock, protopunk, psychedelic rock, experimental music and electronica artists. Artists are ranked by influence on alternative music, critical acclaim from alternative music publications and popularity within the alternative music culture and community.
  1. David Bowie
  2. Velvet Underground
  3. The Beatles
  4. Neil Young
  5. The Stooges
  6. MC5
  7. Patti Smith
  8. Frank Zappa
  9. Brian Eno
10. Scott Walker
11. Tom Waits
12. Ramones
13. Sex Pistols
14. The Clash
15. Lou Reed
16. Iggy Pop
17. Roxy Music
18. Kraftwerk
19. The Sonics
20. Big Star
21. The Byrds
22. Can
23. Buzzcocks
24. Black Flag
25. Throbbing Gristle
26. Suicide
27. Bad Brains
28. Leonard Cohen
29. Peter Gabriel
30. New York Dolls
31. Todd Rundgren
32. The Residents
33. Joni Mitchell
34. X
35. Captain Beefheart
36. Dead Kennedys
37. Public Enemy
38. Warren Zevon
39. Prince
40. Syd Barrett
41. The Stranglers
42. T. Rex
43. Cheap Trick
44. Love
45. The 13th Floor Elevators
46. The Kinks
47. Sparks
48. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
49. Nick Lowe
50. Jefferson Airplane
51. The Seeds
52. The Damned
53. John Cale
54. Richard Hell and the Voidoids
55. Grace Jones
56. Yellow Magic Orchestra
57. The Cars
58. Laurie Anderson
59. Nico
60. Stiff Little Fingers
61. Moby Grape
62. Cypress Hill
63. Los Lobos
64. Richard Thompson
65. Glenn Branca
66. Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
67. The Undertones
68. The Cramps
69. Nick Drake
70. ESG
71. Cabaret Voltaire
72. The Gun Club
73. Suzanne Vega
74. King Crimson
75. Living Colour
76. Pink Floyd
77. Miles Davis
78. Gil-Scott Heron
79. The Soft Machine
80. Metallica
81. Grateful Dead
82. Herbie Hancock
83. Motörhead
84. The Monks
85. Dr. Feelgood
86. The Chemical Brothers
87. The Prodigy
88. Robert Wyatt
89. The Adverts
90. John Cage
91. The KLF
92. Graham Parker
93. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
94. Daft Punk
95. James Chance and the Contortions
96. Liquid Liquid
97. Ian Dury
98. Phish
99. Aphex Twin
100. Bob Marley & The Wailers
David Bowie









Velvet Underground









Tom Waits


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First published:
2004-04-04

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