Rock The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

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215.9k votes 14.7k voters 344.6k views 412 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
3,657 1,783
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
2,725 1,998
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

3
2,571 1,704
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
2,552 1,430
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

5
2,141 1,721
The Who is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

6
3,481 1,780
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
2,428 1,152
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

8
1,333 1,191
Cream is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

9
1,161 1,406
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

10
1,802 1,194
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

11
1,374 1,478
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

12
1,203 1,518
The Police is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

13
899 846
Eric Burdon & the Animals is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

14
907 850
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

15
1,611 1,064
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

16
1,047 1,211
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

17
1,490 1,100
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
895 811
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

19
1,043 1,201
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

20
1,086 335
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

21
1,278 829
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
1,698 1,533
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
950 1,244
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

24
893 953
Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music

25
1,229 933
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

26
464 465
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

27
938 1,143
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

28
497 474
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

29
1,063 535
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
1,003 1,175
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

31
299 819
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

32
596 396
Wings is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

33
388 825
New Order is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

34
1,235 1,252
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

35
958 1,255
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

36
347 775
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

37
498 954
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

38
662 864
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
muzziac added Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

39
642 832
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

40
640 882
Yes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

41
866 950
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

42
599 336
Ranker Video
bren911 added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

43
655 601
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

44
830 594
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

45
968 744
Blur is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

46
643 608
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Blues-rock, Hard rock

47
530 678
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

48
835 898
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

49
756 489
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

50
528 306
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music