Rock The Best British Rock Bands/Artists  

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211.6k votes 14.3k voters 336.5k 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
3,538 1,739
The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

2
2,628 1,961
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

3
2,482 1,666
Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
2,082 1,677
The Who is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Popular music, Pop music, Rock music

5
2,466 1,402
The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Protopunk

6
3,311 1,753
Queen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

7
2,359 1,127
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Psychedelic pop, Electronic music

8
1,296 1,158
Cream is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

9
1,122 1,375
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

10
1,760 1,169
The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Music hall, Pop music, Rock music

11
1,321 1,455
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

12
1,156 1,494
The Police is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Ska punk

13
881 818
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
891 828
The Yardbirds is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Blues-rock, Rock music

15
1,567 1,047
The Clash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Hip hop music, Pop punk, New Wave

16
1,020 1,185
Genesis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock

17
1,445 1,082
John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

18
872 787
Jethro Tull is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Electronic music

19
1,048 311
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
1,003 1,186
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae

21
1,233 815
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

22
1,624 1,513
Oasis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Britpop, Alternative rock

23
908 1,231
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Piano rock

24
849 938
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
1,193 919
Sex Pistols is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Anarcho-punk, Punk rock

26
446 443
Roxy Music is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Rock music, Protopunk

27
484 452
Blind Faith is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Blues-rock, Rock music, British blues

28
899 1,125
The Smiths is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Jangle pop, Indie pop, Alternative rock

29
1,035 525
George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Experimental rock

30
956 1,163
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
287 806
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
577 381
Wings is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock

33
372 812
New Order is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, New Wave, Electronic music

34
1,188 1,237
Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Electronic music, New Prog

35
911 1,231
Coldplay is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Piano rock, Post-Britpop

36
331 763
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock

37
478 941
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
639 853
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
614 822
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

40
617 876
Yes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Rock music, Experimental rock, Pop rock

41
585 327
Ranker Video
bren911 added Pop music, Rock music, Psychedelic pop

42
835 946
Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Pop music, Rock music

43
819 587
The Jam is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Pop punk, New Wave, Rock music

44
640 594
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
942 735
Blur is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Indie pop, Shoegazing, Pop music

46
630 599
Bad Company is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
mrblond added Blues-rock, Hard rock

47
511 671
The Moody Blues is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
Synthpop, Rock music, Acoustic music

48
804 892
The Cure is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, Gothic rock, Rock music

49
521 296
The Small Faces is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
British Invasion, Classic rock, Pop music

50
500 278
Madness is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
New Wave, 2 Tone, Pop music