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100 Greatest Alternative Music Artists

Greatest Alternative Artists
Criteria: 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 and dream pop).

Newly added names are in Red

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

150 More Worth Mentioning

101. The Wedding Present
102. Muse
103. The Cranberries
104. Stereolab
105. Beat Happening
106. Throwing Muses
107. Galaxie 500
108. Uncle Tupelo
109. Let's Active
110. Sebadoh
111. Common
112. Built to Spill
113. Madness
114. Morphine
115. Redd Kross
116. The Specials
117. Camper Van Beethoven
118. This Mortal Coil
119. The Feelies
120. The dB's
121. Love and Rockets
122. Talk Talk
123. Ride
124. The Sisters of Mercy
125. Deftones
126. The Pogues
127. Soda Stereo
128. The Lemonheads
129. The Church
130. Afghan Whigs
131. The Jesus Lizard
132. The Sugarcubes
133. The Chameleons
134. Neutral Milk Hotel
135. Killing Joke
136. Sinéad O'Connor
137. Lush
138. Mother Love Bone
139. Sunny Day Real Estate
140. Soul Asylum
141. The Birthday Party
142. The Happy Mondays
143. Green River
144. Garbage
145. The Alarm
146. The Strokes
147. Alanis Morissette
148. The Verve
149. Butthole Surfers
150. Spoon
151. The Breeders
152. Blink-182
153. Slowdive
154. Death Cab for Cutie
155. Super Furry Animals
156. Silverchair
157. Jimmy Eat World
158. Arctic Monkeys
159. Mos Def
160. Screaming Trees
161. The Sundays
162. The House of Love
163. Gorillaz
164. James
165. Kings of Leon
166. The Killers
167. Juliana Hatfield
168. Young Marble Giants
169. The Soft Boys
170. The Dismemberment Plan
171. Fall Out Boy
172. Franz Ferdinand
173. The Housemartins
174. Spiritualized
175. Blind Melon
176. The Black Keys
177. The Mountain Goats
178. Gene Loves Jezebel
179. Talib Kweli
180. The The
181. My Chemical Romance
182. fIREHOSE
183. Broken Social Scene
184. TV on the Radio
185. Slint
186. LCD Soundsystem
187. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
188. Gin Blossoms
189. Social Distortion
190. The Tragically Hip
191. Swans
192. Spacemen 3
193. Mogwai
194. Eels
195. Pylon
196. At the Drive-In
197. The Charlatans
198. Placebo
199. Red House Painters
200. The Magnetic Fields
201. Urge Overkill
202. Sublime
203. Magazine
204. Jawbox
205. The Smithereens
206. The Call
207. Big Black
208. Robyn Hitchcock
209. Paramore
210. Godspeed You! Black Emperor
211. Bush
212. Daniel Amos
213. Aimee Mann
214. Game Theory
215. M.I.A.
216. Steve Earle
217. AFI
218. Tricky
219. Low
220. Orange Juice
221. Catherine Wheel
222. Broadcast
223. Matthew Sweet
224. Snow Patrol
225. Ween
226. Television Personalities
227. Buffalo Tom
228. The Mekons
229. Lucinda Williams
230. Digable Planets
231. Tears for Fears
232. Refused
233. Cap'n Jazz
234. Royal Trux
235. Primus
236. Ash
237. Bad Religion
238. Miracle Legion
239. Bright Eyes
240. Del the Funkee Homosapien
241. Tegan and Sara
242. The New Pornographers
243. The Chills
244. The Beautiful South
245. Saint Etienne
246. Silversun Pickups
247. The Offspring
248. Felt
249. Thirty Seconds to Mars
250. Jungle Brothers

100 Greatest Influences on Alternative Music
Criteria: Includes which perform non-alternative genres (including some artists which pre-date the genre) 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. The list includes artists that predate the alternative music, as well as artists that are contemporaneous with the genre.

  1. David Bowie
  2. Velvet Underground
  3. Neil Young
  4. The Stooges
  5. MC5
  6. Patti Smith
  7. Frank Zappa
  8. Brian Eno
  9. Scott Walker
10. Tom Waits
11. Ramones
12. The Sex Pistols
13. The Clash
14. Lou Reed
15. Iggy Pop
16. Television
17. Roxy Music
18. Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
19. Pere Ubu
20. Blondie
21. The Sonics
22. New York Dolls
23. Big Star
24. Suicide
25. Can
26. Leonard Cohen
27. Kraftwerk
28. Captain Beefheart
29. Sparks
30. Love
31. Warren Zevon
32. Richard & Linda Thompson/Richard Thompson
33. Nick Drake
34. Glenn Branca
35. The Stranglers
36. Syd Barrett
37. Throbbing Gristle
38. Cheap Trick
39. Devo
40. Silver Apples
41. Black Flag
42. Buzzcocks
43. Dead Kennedys
44. The 13th Floor Elevators
45. Robert Wyatt
46. Peter Gabriel
47. Nick Lowe
48. This Heat
49. T. Rex
50. Richard Hell and the Voidoids
51. The Residents
52. The Seeds
53. Swell Maps
54. Cabaret Voltaire
55. The Damned
56. Todd Rundgren
57. John Cale
58. The Red Crayola/Red Krayola
59. X
60. NRBQ
61. Stiff Little Fingers
62. The Undertones
63. Dr. Feelgood
64. Radio Birdman
65. The Slits
66. Hawkwind
67. The Cramps
68. Bad Brains
69. INXS
70. John Cooper Clarke
71. Graham Parker
72. Henry Cow
73. The Adverts
74. Brinsley Schwarz
75. John Cage
76. Herbie Hancock
77. The Prodigy
78. Laurie Anderson
79. Moby Grape
80. Squarepusher
81. Public Enemy
82. The Selecter
83. Negativland
84. Fatboy Slim
85. Billy Bragg
86. Kirsty MacColl
87. DJ Shadow
88. The KLF
89. Faithless
90. Vic Chesnutt
91. The Art of Noise
92. Boards of Canada
93. Gil-Scott Heron
94. Grace Jones
95. Psychic TV
96. Victoria Williams
97. Amy Winehouse
98. The Chemical Brothers
99. The Avalanches
100. R. Stevie Moore


Edited By:
Last Updated: 2016-01-17

Spotify link
Greatest Alternative Songs Playlist