Top 40 Before 40 Rock Artists - Full List

Wow, so, after about 9 months of grueling blogging, I have finally finished the release of our Top 40 Best Rock Artists Before I Turn 40, and I gotta say, this list will probably change a bit the next time I do it as I have heard some absolutely stellar bands over the course of making this list that I only discovered after having already compiled my list. A couple of notables would be Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and Death By Unga Bunga. I would rate both of those bands rather highly here, I think.

I hope you enjoyed running through this list with me, and just to recap for those of you who have no idea how this list was compiled, here’s a brief explanation...

In my almost 40 years on this planet, I have had the great pleasure of listening to a lot of music that doesn't make it to the airwaves, and a lot of these bands are some of my absolute favorites.

You WILL see some Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame bands on the list too, but for the most part, you are likely going to disagree with this list almost entirely.

I am sharing this ranking so that you get some insight into some great bands you may have never heard before AND for a little bit of a personal challenge to myself to rank these bands.

40 The Dear Hunter

39 Face to Face

38 MxPx

37 Taking Back Sunday

36 Bloodhound Gang

35 Michael Kiwanuka

34 Eels

33 Arctic Monkeys

32 Kings of Leon

31 Mighty Mighty Bosstones

30 Rush

29 Fenix TX

28 Minus the Bear

27 Mumford & Sons

26 Primus

25 Screeching Weasel

24 The Rentals

23 Less Than Jake


21 Jack Johnson

20 Weezer

19 Bad Astronaut

18 Reel Big Fish

17 Cake

16 Nirvana

15 Andrew W.K.

14 Rage Against the Machine

13 Blink-182

12 Coheed & Cambria

11 The Strokes

10 Lagwagon

9 Jimmy Eat World

8 The Black Keys

7 OK Go

6 Toadies

5 Cursive

4 Foo Fighters

3 Portugal. The Man

2 Silversun Pickups

1 Pink Floyd

It is almost certain that no one on planet Earth will have the same top 40 list, and that’s why I made my own. It shows the uniqueness of the musical experience that I have had in my lifetime.

Also, having just had my first child (a son), I am betting that he will look back upon this list someday and grin after having grown up listening to several of these bands and more new bands to come over the years.

If you have any complaints about the list (as I am sure everyone would), I would ask that you spend time to sit down and list your 40 favorite rock artists, and then send the list to

We will highly consider putting together an aggregated list of fan selections based on a cumulative point system.

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