10 Best Female Rock Bands

The 10 best female rock bands are a perfect list for when you want your music loud, angry and hot.  Be careful, though—these aren't delicate flowers we're talking about here.  These are tough, hardcore, guitar wielding, drumstick slamming, microphone abusing chicks. These are the ultimate legends of female rock.  Courtney Love, Joan Jett, Lita Ford—all of them started here, in one of these bands.

  1. Antigone Rising – Influenced by classic rock bands with a little country and pop mixed in for good measure, Antigone Rising is known mostly as a touring band. They were the first band to be promoted on Starbucks' Hear Music series. They also had some success as a country cross-over band with "Don't Look Back" which was popular with country fans.
  2. The Bangles – One of the few girl bands to gain widespread popularity and garner its fair share of airtime on radio, The Bangles are best remembered for songs "Walk Like an Egyptian" and "Manic Monday". The band reunited in 1999 to record a song for "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame the following year.
  3. Vixen – Best known for their song "Edge of a Broken Heart", disagreements caused Vixen to break up in 1991. They reunited briefly in 1997, but were forced apart again by pending legal action. The band reunited again for a VH1 special after having toured as part of the Voices of Metal tour in 2001.
  4. Bikini Kill – The subject of a documentary after their tour of the UK, it's hard to know for sure if Bikini Kill has a bigger fan base or a bigger pool of enemies. Either way, Blender has their song "Rebel Girl" listed as number 445 on their "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" list.
  5. ElasticaElastica's first album entered the UK charts at number one, making it the fastest-selling debut album of all time. A tumultuous history led them to break up in 2001 after a successful stint in the Lollapalooza tour and the release of their farewell single "The Bitch Don't Work".
  6. The Runaways – It's impossible to have a list of best female rock bands and not include The Runaways-the band only contains two of the hottest female rockers ever–Joan Jett and Lita Ford. The Runaways got their start in the late 70s, billed as an all-girl, teenage rock band and were best known for their two hit songs, "Cherry Bomb" and "Queens of Noise".  The band that launched legends played their last gig together on New Year's Eve, 1978.
  7. The Go-Gos – Originally formed as a punk-rock band, turmoil in the group ensued when the group took a turn away from its punk roots toward pop. If you've ever heard the song "We've Got The Beat", you'll know why. Front woman Belinda Carslisle eventually pursued a pop career of her own in the 80s, and the band reunited and has toured periodically since with mediocre success.  Their 2010 tour was billed as their "Farewell" tour.
  8. The Donnas – Also playing to some degree of notoriety as The Electrocutes, The Donnas have gained widespread popularity on radio and have been marketed extensively through movie and video game soundtracks—their song "I Don't Want to Know" is in the "Gran Turismo 4" soundtrack. In 2003, The Donnas played the main stage at Lollapalooza. At the time of this article, the band is still going strong.
  9. L7 – Most widely known for creating the group "Rock for Choice", a women's rights group, L7 hit the height of their fame in 1994 when they toured with Lollapalooza. As of 2001, the band has declared themselves on an indefinite hiatus, and no new music has been produced. Their album "Bricks Are Heavy" is considered their best work.
  10. Babes in Toyland – Courtney Love briefly played for Babes in Toyland before leaving to start Hole.  Regardless whether she's a member or not, this band rocks.  They played Lollapalooza in 1993 with bands such as Primus, Alice in Chains and Rage Against the Machine and in 1994 played the benefit show "Rock Against Domestic Violence". Their best known album was 1992's "Fontanelle". The band broke up in 2001.
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