100 Greatest Hard Rock Artists

  1. Led Zeppelin
  2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  3. The Who (1969-1978)
  4. AC/DC
  5. Deep Purple
  6. Aerosmith
  7. Van Halen
  8. Cream
  9. Guns N' Roses
10. Alice Cooper
11. Queen
12. KISS
13. Def Leppard
14. Rush (1974-1982, 1989-)
15. Mötley Crüe
16. ZZ Top
17. Bon Jovi
18. Heart
19. Thin Lizzy
20. Scorpions
21. Boston
22. Cheap Trick
23. The Jeff Beck Group
24. Blue Öyster Cult
25. Steppenwolf
26. Grand Funk Railroad
27. Rainbow
28. Bad Company
29. Foreigner
30. Free
31. Ted Nugent
32. Lynyrd Skynyrd
33. The Black Crowes
34. Neil Young & Crazy Horse
35. Journey
36. Kansas
37. Slade
38. UFO
39. Jethro Tull
40. Iron Butterfly
41. Uriah Heep
42. Vanilla Fudge
43. Pat Benatar (1979-1983)
44. Faces
45. Meat Loaf
46. Hawkwind
47. Bachman-Turner Overdrive
48. Blue Cheer
49. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
50. Whitesnake
51. Styx (1972-1981; 1990; 1999-)
52. Foghat
53. Wishbone Ash
54. The Cult (1987-1991)
55. Quiet Riot
56. Humble Pie
57. Poison
58. Sweet (1973-1977)
59. Nazareth
60. The Runaways
61. Mountain
62. REO Speedwagon (1971-1974, 1977-1980, 1990-)
63. Billy Idol (1983-1986, 2005-)
64. Status Quo
65. Cinderella
66. Golden Earring
67. Hanoi Rocks
68. James Gang
69. Dokken
70. The Darkness
71. David Lee Roth
72. Ratt
73. Kid Rock (1998-2007)
74. Loverboy
75. Gary Moore
76. W.A.S.P. (1984-1986)
77. Great White
78. .38 Special (1979-)
79. The Guess Who (1970)
80. Skid Row
81. Suzi Quatro (1973-1974)
82. Tesla
83. Joe Satriani
84. Europe
85. Ten Years After (1969-1971, 1973-)
86. Triumph
87. Atomic Rooster
88. Night Ranger
89. Twisted Sister
90. King's X
91. Robin Trower (1973-1980)
92. Montrose
93. Extreme
94. Sammy Hagar
95. Survivor
96. Rose Tattoo
97. April Wine
98. Robert Plant (1982-1983, 1988-1993)
99. Billy Squier
100. Firehouse

101. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
102. Magnum
103. The Michael Schenker Group
104. Warrant
105. Brownsville Station
106. High Tide
107. The Edgar Winter Group (1972-1974)
108. Stryper
109. Groundhogs
110. Molly Hatchet
111. Wolfmother
112. David Johansen (1978)
113. Bad English
114. Bloodrock
115. White Lion
116. The Angels
117. Joe Walsh (1972-1976)
118. Damn Yankees
119. Gillan
120. Jet
121. Steve Vai
122. Rick Derringer
123. Mr. Big
124. Blackfoot
125. L.A. Guns
126. Slaughter
127. Aldo Nova
128. Argent (1972-1974)
129. Saigon Kick
130. Thunder
131. The Wildhearts
132. Frijid Pink
133. Winger
134. David Coverdale
135. Tenacious D
136. Ace Frehley
137. Kingdom Come
138. Lita Ford
139. Flower Travellin' Band
140. Quireboys
141. Gun
142. Badlands
143. The Firm
144. The Bob Seger System
145. Gov't Mule
146. Jimmy Page
147. Nelson
148. Lucifer's Friend
149. Kix
150. Ram Jam
151. Baker Gurvitz Army
152. Faster Pussycat
153. Captain Beyond
154. Brian May
155. Trapeze
156. Greta Van Fleet
157. Jackyl
158. Zebra
159. Edgar Broughton Band
160. Vixen
161. Steelheart
162. Airbourne
163. Autograph
164. Jo Jo Gunne
165. Chickenfoot
166. Dangerous Toys
167. Vince Neil
168. The Donnas (2001-)
169. Page & Plant
170. Trixter
171. BulletBoys
172. Pat Travers Band
173. Andrew W.K.
174. Angel
175. Giant
176. Honeymoon Suite
177. Britny Fox
178. Max Webster
179. Cactus
180. Sheriff
181. Gotthard
182. TNT
183. Y&T
184. Streetwalkers
185. Kim Mitchell
186. Roxus
187. Hot Tuna (1975-1976)
188. Skin
189. Steel Panther
190. The Answer
191. Fastway
192. Birth Control
193. John Waite (1982-1987)
194. Lynch Mob
195. Enuff Z'Nuff
196. Jimmy Barnes (1984-1990)
197. Chicken Shack (1970-1972)
198. Lee Aaron
199. Warhorse
200. Black Veil Brides
Led Zeppelin
Jimi Hendrix
The Who
AC/DC
Deep Purple
Aerosmith
Van Halen
Cream

Honorable Mentions
Arcade
Axe
Babylon A.D.
Bang Tango
Baton Rouge
Beautiful Creatures
Black 'n Blue
Blue Murder
Detective
FM
A Foot in Coldwater
Gamma
The Georgia Satellites
The Godz
Gorky Park
HSAS
Hurricane
Keel
Lillian Axe
Love/Hate
Mahogany Rush
Mott the Hoople
Moxy
The Joe Perry Project
Phenomena
Point Blank
Saraya
Shotgun Messiah
Silvertide
Andy Taylor
Tempest
Tigertailz
Waysted
White Witch
XYZ
Mott the Hoople


Edited By:
List Begun: 2019-07-11

Criteria: These Hard Rock artists were ranked according to their influence on hard rock and other styles, their initial and lasting acclaim as well as their initial and lasting popularity. If artists also recorded outside of hard rock, only their hard rock material was considered.

Definition 1 (what is hard rock):

Hard rock is a genre of rock music with special emphasis on distorted electric guitars. It is often described as "aggressive", "heavy" and "anthemic". Its harmonic structure is usually based on power chords played over a blues scale. Hard rock originated in late 1966 with the first recordings by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream. Its stylistic origins lie primarily in the garage rock of the first half of the 1960s.

Definition 2 (what isn't hard rock):

For the purposes of the list, artists from the following genres were not considered for this list, even though they may suit the definition given above: garage rock (e.g. The Sonics, The Kinks, Monks), heavy metal/proto-metal (e.g. Black Sabbath, Budgie, Sir Lord Baltimore), punk/proto-punk (e.g. The Stooges, MC5, New York Dolls), alternative rock/grunge (e.g. Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Living Colour) and stoner rock (e.g. Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Monster Magnet). The reason for this is that punk, metal and alt-rock already have their own lists, and thus it would be redundant to list them again. Also, they represent different branches of the rock tree with different stylistic features (for example, they're often not as clearly rooted in blues). Garage rock on the other hand is a sort of proto-'hard rock' with a more amateurish approach. Stoner rock is an almagam of influences from different styles (mainly hard rock, metal and alt-rock) that has really developed into something singular.

Definition 3 (what is hard rock anyway):

Even though metal artists were not considered for this list, glam metal was treated as a subgenre of hard rock as it's not really metal anyway. Other than that, artists from the following genres were often allowed if they rocked hard enough: blues rock, AOR, arena rock, southern rock, boogie rock, progressive rock, glam rock, psychedelic rock. As a rule of thumb, artists should have rocked harder than The Rolling Stones but not as hard as, say, Metallica. If an artist only played hard rock for a certain period of their career or only included some hard rock songs on their albums, sandwiched between softer material, they were allowed if they recorded at least an album's worth of hard rock material.