Rock The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

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212.5k votes 14.3k voters 337.4k 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
3,552 1,743
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
2,639 1,964
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

3
2,494 1,670
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
2,090 1,682
The Who is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

5
2,476 1,404
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

6
3,327 1,757
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
2,367 1,130
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

8
1,304 1,161
Cream is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

9
1,126 1,382
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

10
1,765 1,174
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

11
1,329 1,458
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

12
1,162 1,495
The Police is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

13
883 823
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
893 832
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

15
1,573 1,049
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

16
1,023 1,189
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

17
1,452 1,085
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
874 792
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

19
1,053 316
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
1,011 1,187
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

21
1,238 818
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
1,631 1,517
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
914 1,232
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

24
855 941
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
1,198 920
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

26
448 447
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

27
485 455
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

28
903 1,128
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

29
1,040 527
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
961 1,165
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
289 808
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
578 384
Wings is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

33
376 813
New Order is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

34
1,195 1,238
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

35
913 1,235
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

36
332 766
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

37
480 943
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
642 856
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
619 824
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

40
620 877
Yes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

41
587 329
Ranker Video
bren911 added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

42
838 947
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

43
820 589
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

44
641 596
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
946 736
Blur is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

46
632 601
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Blues-rock, Hard rock

47
513 673
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

48
806 893
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

49
523 298
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

50
502 281
Madness is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music