music The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

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104k votes 7.4k voters 181k views 372 items Follow Embed

List Rules Only rock musicians who are originally from/formed their band/started their careers in the UK.

Of all the important rock bands to grace the stage, British bands are considered by many to be the most important and most influential. Though they weren't first, the best British rock bands planted their mark in the 1960s with catchy melodies, delicious hooks and music that influenced multiple generations of bands and music fans. Not to be outdone, every decade thereafter, famous British bands were mostly ahead of their contemporaries across the globe, bringing all variations of rock music to the masses. The most successful English bands remain staples on rock radio, and though some are old and over the hill, they manage to tour to arenas and stadiums all over the world. 

Though it's certainly a difficult question to ask, this list tries to decide who are the best British rock bands. There are plenty of amazing British bands to pick from, with names like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Oasis, Blur, and Queen, just to name some of the most famous ones. The thing that the best British rock bands have in common is that they're known all over the world for widely influencing a musical genre, and in some cases, creating their own musical genre. However, it's up to you to determine which of these top British rock bands is that best.

Ultimately, the choice for best British bands is not an easy one - but you can vote for multiple stars on the list. If for some reason a British band isn't on this list, please add them. Vote or re-rank this list of British bands to how you deem fit. This list answers the questions "who are the best British rock bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest British rock musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular British rock bands that you might've heard of.
list ordered by

1
+ - 1,429 1,115
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

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2
+ - 1,233 866
The Who is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

3
+ - 1,662 1,210
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

4
+ - 1,283 1,027
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

5
+ - 1,622 1,247
Queen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

6
+ - 1,201 1,021
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

7
+ - 1,258 778
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

8
+ - 623 655
Cream is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Cream Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

9
+ - 1,000 871
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Kinks Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

10
+ - 597 786
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

11
+ - 731 914
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

12
+ - 454 400
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jethro Tull Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

13
+ - 298 145
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

14
+ - 461 479
Eric Burdon & the Animals is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Burdon & the Animals Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

15
+ - 791 833
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Clash Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

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16
+ - 791 767
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

17
+ - 569 772
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

18
+ - 671 986
The Police is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

19
+ - 432 508
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Yardbirds British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

20
+ - 593 740
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

21
+ - 132 96
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

22
+ - 451 465
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

23
+ - 798 885
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

24
+ - 606 664
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Sex Pistols Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

25
+ - 494 761
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

26
+ - 482 623
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

27
+ - 160 233
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

28
+ - 611 505
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Arcana Rock music, Pop music, Baroque pop/rock

29
+ - 421 301
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Jam Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

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30
+ - 171 236
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

31
+ - 580 600
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

32
+ - 343 397
Yes is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Yes Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

33
+ - 161 138
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blind Faith Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

34
+ - 513 673
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

35
+ - 620 697
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

36
+ - 190 283
New Order is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

37
+ - 304 305
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

38
+ - 498 550
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

39
+ - 442 359
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

40
+ - 499 554
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Electric Light Orchestra Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

41
+ - 183 87
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Small Faces British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

42
+ - 461 459
Blur is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blur Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

43
+ - 248 433
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

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44
+ - 470 631
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

45
+ - 303 405
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

46
+ - 305 291
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Bad Company Blues-rock, Hard rock

47
+ - 206 245
The Stone Roses is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Stone Roses Jangle pop, Indie pop, Blues-rock

48
+ - 349 313
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

49
+ - 159 77
Madness is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

50
+ - 175 132
Wings is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Wings Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock