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The Best British Rock Bands/Artists

Updated July 10, 2020 314.8k votes 23.4k voters 460.6k views222 items

List RulesOnly 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.

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  • 1
    The Beatles is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 3
    Queen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    The Rolling Stones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    The Who is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    The Kinks is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 10
    The Clash is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 11
    Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Elton John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Electric Light Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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  • 17
    Pretenders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Dire Straits is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Cream is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    The Cure is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Radiohead is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    The Zombies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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    Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best British Rock Bands/Artists
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