Rock The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

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208.3k votes 13.9k voters 329.6k views 411 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
3,459 1,706
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
2,554 1,934
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

3
2,035 1,645
The Who is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

4
2,404 1,379
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

5
2,407 1,637
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

6
3,187 1,738
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
2,308 1,109
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

8
1,274 1,133
Cream is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

9
1,732 1,152
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

10
1,087 1,354
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

11
1,293 1,432
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

12
865 803
Eric Burdon & the Animals is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

13
871 814
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

14
1,128 1,477
The Police is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

15
1,536 1,036
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

16
1,003 1,167
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

17
1,417 1,064
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
1,016 300
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

19
855 772
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

20
1,203 803
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

21
977 1,172
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

22
1,570 1,497
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
882 1,215
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

24
1,177 904
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

25
824 926
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

26
434 428
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

27
1,011 519
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

28
475 440
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

29
566 366
Wings is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

30
871 1,109
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

31
934 1,156
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

32
282 789
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

33
575 319
Ranker Video
bren911 added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

34
360 799
New Order is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

35
805 577
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

36
629 583
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

37
1,157 1,222
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

38
934 723
Blur is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

39
322 753
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

40
876 1,214
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

41
462 930
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

42
613 845
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
muzziac added Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

43
598 812
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

44
601 868
Yes is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

45
511 287
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

46
491 268
Madness is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

47
814 941
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

48
711 474
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

49
614 595
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Blues-rock, Hard rock

50
595 441
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock