Rock The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

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203.8k votes 13.5k voters 319.3k views 409 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
3,346 1,658
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
2,463 1,894
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

3
2,309 1,597
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
1,977 1,588
The Who is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

5
2,321 1,341
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

6
3,019 1,719
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
2,245 1,089
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

8
1,242 1,106
Cream is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

9
1,044 1,327
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

10
1,689 1,133
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

11
1,242 1,410
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

12
1,090 1,450
The Police is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

13
846 778
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
850 800
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

15
1,495 1,021
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

16
974 1,149
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

17
1,381 1,046
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
834 749
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

19
978 288
The Jimi Hendrix Experience is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Psychedelic soul, Rock music

20
940 1,160
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

21
1,167 791
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
1,527 1,470
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
846 1,198
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

24
799 909
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
422 411
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

26
1,150 890
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

27
469 422
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

28
843 1,092
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

29
986 513
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
273 775
Simple Minds is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added New Wave, Rock music, Pop rock

31
903 1,145
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
548 356
Wings is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

33
349 783
New Order is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

34
1,125 1,202
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

35
306 740
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

36
847 1,191
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

37
441 920
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
587 836
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
574 804
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

40
561 311
Ranker Video
bren911 added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

41
578 859
Yes is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

42
778 934
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

43
791 568
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

44
617 574
Elvis Costello is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Coolza added New Wave, Rock music, Pub rock

45
913 708
Blur is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

46
599 583
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Blues-rock, Hard rock

47
471 659
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

48
481 257
Madness is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music

49
758 874
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

50
499 279
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music