rock The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

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186k votes 12.1k voters 280.8k views 385 items

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 English rock 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
2,966 1,522
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Beatles Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
2,163 1,776
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

3
1,764 1,460
The Who is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

4
2,022 1,263
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

5
2,013 1,478
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

6
2,631 1,636
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
1,110 975
Cream is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Cream Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

8
1,995 1,013
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
David Bowie Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

9
919 1,202
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

10
1,540 1,063
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Kinks Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

11
1,075 1,315
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
776 700
Eric Burdon & the Animals is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Burdon & the Animals Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

13
770 726
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Yardbirds British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

14
963 1,351
The Police is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

The Best Rock Vocalists

15
1,350 966
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

16
859 1,077
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

17
754 660
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jethro Tull Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

18
1,236 993
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

19
832 250
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

20
831 1,094
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

21
712 1,137
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

The Best Catholic Authors

22
1,365 1,367
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
696 843
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

24
371 342
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

25
1,025 745
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

26
1,061 830
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Sex Pistols Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

27
427 361
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blind Faith Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

28
755 1,014
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Smiths Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

The Worst Rock Bands of All Time

29
243 700
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

30
792 1,075
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

31
311 707
New Order is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

32
869 485
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

33
477 305
Wings is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Wings Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

34
260 668
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

35
970 1,133
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

Catchiest Viral Internet Songs of All Time

36
378 854
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

37
506 741
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

38
499 278
Ranker Video
bren911 added The Hollies Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

39
496 773
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
muzziac added Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

40
502 812
Yes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Yes Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

41
745 525
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Jam Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

42
559 539
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

43
846 654
Blur is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blur Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

44
675 893
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Electric Light Orchestra Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

45
543 530
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Bad Company Blues-rock, Hard rock

46
742 1,094
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

47
456 242
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Small Faces British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

48
412 619
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Moody Blues Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

49
680 826
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

50
628 429
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music