Rock The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

Reference
Originally by
195.6k votes 12.9k voters 304.1k views 408 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.

1
3,168 1,589
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
2,314 1,843
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
2,162 1,543
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pink Floyd Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
1,882 1,532
The Who is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Who Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

5
2,196 1,308
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Rolling Stones Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

6
2,823 1,683
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
1,188 1,040
Cream is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Cream Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

8
2,133 1,055
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
987 1,264
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
1,621 1,095
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
1,161 1,363
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
1,032 1,395
The Police is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Police New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

13
812 739
Eric Burdon & the Animals is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Burdon & the Animals Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

14
818 760
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Yardbirds British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

The Best Rock Vocalists

15
1,418 995
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
927 1,106
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Genesis Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

17
1,319 1,014
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
John Lennon Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
801 699
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jethro Tull Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

19
905 266
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
891 1,130
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Eric Clapton Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

21
1,107 763
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Paul McCartney Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

The Top Home Decor and Furniture Websites

22
1,438 1,425
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Oasis Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
785 1,167
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Elton John Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

24
744 880
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Dire Straits Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

25
400 373
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Roxy Music New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

26
1,104 862
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
452 389
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
801 1,057
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
940 499
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
George Harrison Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
253 739
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Simple Minds New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

31
520 327
Wings is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Wings Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

32
845 1,118
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

33
331 748
New Order is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Order Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

34
1,048 1,169
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Radiohead Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

35
289 705
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

36
795 1,144
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coldplay Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

37
411 888
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

38
542 773
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

39
530 296
Ranker Video
bren911 added The Hollies Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

40
543 808
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
muzziac added Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

41
545 839
Yes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Yes Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

42
763 548
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Jam Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

The All-Time Best Rock Bassists

43
731 915
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Electric Light Orchestra Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

44
589 555
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Elvis Costello New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

45
875 680
Blur is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blur Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

46
574 558
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Bad Company Blues-rock, Hard rock

47
463 235
Madness is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Madness New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

48
482 259
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Small Faces British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

49
445 638
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Moody Blues Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

50
721 851
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
The Cure New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music