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100 Greatest Indie Rock Artists

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Criteria: - Artists are ranked by their influence, musical and cultural impact, popularity, and innovation. This list considers "indie rock" to be a genre with a discernible sound rather than a designation of label status. Although the genre originated and was cultivated on independent labels, it is no longer exclusive to them.

Definition & List Parameters: - (see below the list)

Edited By: Ryan
Last Updated: 09-12-2012

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Greatest Indie Rock Artists
  1. The Smiths
  2. Pixies
  3. Pavement
  4. Dinosaur Jr.
  5. Belle & Sebastian
  6. Yo La Tengo
  7. Modest Mouse
  8. Guided By Voices
  9. Elliott Smith
10. Arcade Fire
11. Neutral Milk Hotel
12. Built to Spill
13. The Strokes
14. Spoon
15. Beat Happening
16. Wilco
17. The Go-Betweens
18. Death Cab for Cutie
19. Sleater-Kinney
20. Sebadoh
21. Broken Social Scene
22. LCD Soundsystem
23. Morrissey
24. Low
25. Bright Eyes
26. The Shins
27. The Dismemberment Plan
28. Interpol
29. Galaxie 500
30. Animal Collective
31. The Wedding Present
32. The Libertines
33. Liz Phair
34. Franz Ferdinand
35. Slint
36. Arctic Monkeys
37. Red House Painters
38. The Decemberists
39. The Hold Steady
40. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
41. Sufjan Stevens
42. The National
43. TV on the Radio
44. Royal Trux
45. Superchunk
46. The Magnetic Fields
47. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
48. Will Oldham (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy/Palace)
49. The Housemartins
50. Mercury Rev
51. Olivia Tremor Control
52. The New Pornographers
53. Orange Juice
54. Don Caballero
55. Metric
56. Wolf Parade
57. The Vaselines
58. Bloc Party
59. The Rapture
60. The Walkmen
61. The Apples in Stereo
62. The Mountain Goats
63. Cat Power
64. Codeine
65. Television Personalities
66. The Microphones/Mount Eerie
67. Heavenly
68. Phoenix
69. Band of Horses
70. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
71. Kaiser Chiefs
72. Vampire Weekend
73. Smog
74. Half Man Half Biscuit
75. Unrest
76. Clinic
77. Rilo Kiley
78. Camera Obscura
79. American Music Club
80. Iron & Wine
81. The Cardigans
82. The Thermals
83. mclusky
84. The Folk Implosion
85. Feist
86. Xiu Xiu
87. Stars
88. Deerhunter
89. Okkervil River
90. Peter Bjorn & John
91. The Pastels
92. The Postal Service
93. Grizzly Bear
94. Grandaddy
95. The Field Mice
96. Fleet Foxes
97. The Wrens
98. The Silver Jews
99. Talulah Gosh
100. Archers of Loaf

The Smiths
The Smiths


Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo

Belle & Sebastian
Belle & Sebastian

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101. Eric's Trip
102. Tegan and Sara
103. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
104. MGMT
105. Death from Above 1979
106. Pretty Girls Make Graves
107. Deerhoof
108. Minus the Bear
109. Les Savy Fav
110. Bettie Serveert
111. Chavez
112. Joanna Newsom
113. Liars
114. Beirut
115. Polvo
116. Silversun Pickups
117. Quasi
118. Jay Reatard
119. Jens Lekman
120. Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
121. Blonde Redhead
122. Dirty Projectors
123. The Futureheads
124. Art Brut
125. The Ladybug Transistor
126. The Shop Assistants
127. Architecture in Helsinki
128. Andrew Bird
129. Kenickie
130. Frightened Rabbit
131. M. Ward
132. The Long Blondes
133. Badly Drawn Boy
134. The Faint
135. The Notwist
136. Beach House
137. Cansei de Ser Sexxy (CSS)
138. The Sea and Cake
139. The Twilight Sad
140. Ida
141. Eleventh Dream Day
142. Menomena
143. The Essex Green
144. No Age
145. Los Campesinos!
146. Patrick Wolf
147. Lifter Puller
148. Acid House Kings
149. Foster the People
150. The Yummy Fur
151. Hot Hot Heat
152. Helium
153. The Go! Team
154. The Trash Can Sinatras
155. Tilly And The Wall
156. June of 44
157. The Stills
158. The Submarines
159. Elf Power
160. The Boy Least Likely To
161. Ra Ra Riot
162. Beulah
163. Shout Out Louds
164. Klaxons
165. The xx
166. Pinback
167. Rosebuds
168. Son, Ambulance
169. The Airborne Toxic Event
170. We Are Scientists
171. The Horrors
172. Felt
173. Oxford Collapse
174. Foals
175. Rouge Wave
176. VHS or Beta
177. Why?
178. Japandroids
179. Tokyo Police Club
180. Gotye
181. Mystery Jets
182. Mates of State
183. The Rural Alberta Advantage
184. The Helio Sequence
185. Guillemots
186. Maximo Park
187. The Antlers
188. The Kooks
189. Tiger Trap
190. You Say Party! We Say Die!
191. The Dears
192. Bombay Bicycle Club
193. Ariel Pink
194. Tapes N' Tapes
195. Blitzen Trapper
196. St. Vincent
197. Another Sunny Day
198. Editors
199. Portugal. The Man
200. Sunset Rubdown
  • what the general public often considers "indie rock" to be, those artists in the indie rock genre who have remained on indie rock labels their entire career.
  • key indie rock bands (like Modest Mouse and TV on the Radio) which have been signed away from their indie labels and are now on major labels.
  • Dance-punk, twee pop and various genres often considered to be offshoots of indie rock

  • bands that are on indie labels in one country, but a major in another (such as Phoenix).
  • British indie bands. In Britain, the genres that America calls "indie rock" and "alternative" are one genre, called simply "indie". This makes it difficult to those unfamiliar to the genre to deduce which bands are actually "indie rock" and which are merely alternative bands signed to an indie label.
  • select post-punk and college rock bands that also happen to be apart of the indie rock genre (The Smiths, Pixies)
  • Non-"rock" artists that are considered to be apart of the "indie rock" genre (Animal Collective)

  • artists (such as Creed and The Offspring) who were or are signed to indie label, but were never considered "indie rock" in the first place.
  • Most 1980's "college rock" and "post-punk" bands (REM, Husker Du)
  • most, if not all, Britpop artists.
  • Certain artists that have never been considered to be "indie rock" which used to be on a major label but have left to become an independent-label or unsigned artist (Nine Inch Nails, XTC)

Disclaimer: There is nothing 'Official' about these lists. They are compiled by the 'editor' using the
stated criteria, and revised considering the competent suggestions of visitors to this website only.

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