Best British Punk Rock Bands From the '70s and '80s

Here is a list of some of the best Punk Rock to come out of Britain. If you have any more bands to add to this list, feel free to.

The Top TenXW

1Sex Pistols

The inspiration for almost every British punk band (including The Clash). They did what punk bands are meant to do - burn up after their first album.

the sex pistols were the real definition of punk rock... everyone else on this list is great, but the sex pistols just took it to a whole other level.

What the hell would we be listening nowadays if the sex pistols never happened, I still listen to never mind the bollocks weekly,
And the live album from their 1996 Finsbury park filthy lucre tour,
If you ain't heard it get yourself a copy quick

They literally created punk rock

V12 Comments
2The Clash

These bands are all great but you just can't beat the clash

The clash was revolutionary for punk. They took punk to new places. The clash are the gods of punk. Go the clash you deserve number one!

The Clash are well deserving of this spot, just listen to London Calling album and their debut album. America has Ramones and England has Clash!

Simply the best

V11 Comments
3Joy Division

The music is a not anger and energy but mood and expression.

Hands down, best punk rock band ever! - ParasN2000

4Siouxsie & The Banshees

Spellbound is a masterpiece and whenever I'm born way after the 80's I'm in love with this band. I sometimes wish I was born in the 80's to see them live and hear them on radio.

After a less than promising start -notably the dismal and amateurish 'Join Hands', from 1980's Kaleidoscope onwards they couldn't put a foot wrong and ended up both punk's longest (original) survivors and one of the most creative outfits the UK has ever produced.

Out off this world thanks to the kings the pistols

'The Scream' remains one of the best debut-albums of all time.

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5Stiff Little Fingers

I'm pretty sure they are Northern Irish. Yeah they started in Belfast.

Inflammable Material still blows me away

Working class people taking control

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They stuck to their punk rocky values!

The clash, the adicts, the damned and crass

Excuse me but you obviously haven't heard Sham 69!

The best bar none

7Public Image Ltd.

John lydon is the king of punk.

There not really punk there new wave - Darby_Crash

V1 Comment
8The Damned

The Damned brought out the first TRUE punk record, New Rose. Full of energy, full of bite and great beat to pogo to. What more do you want?

Classic versatile group that have proven to inspire many modern groups with there lyrics and still popular today on the goth punk scene.
To top it all the unique voice of Dave Vanian!

Crap songs, crap musicians and crap lyrics...all in all utter crap!

So emotional powerful and melodic at the same time. The best!

V1 Comment
9Sham 69

No question...the best punk band and still doing it in 2015. From the heart and no bull, no other band ever told it from the heart like Sham 69. Always and Forever.

Sham 69 told it as it really was. Still doing it nearly 40 years on! Pursey and Parsons legends. We come from places you don't wanna go! No other band comes close. The greatest band that ever lived!

V2 Comments
10Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedy's aren't British, they're American

They are so great, they would top this list anyways.

The Contenders


Unique lyrics, catchy beat and just enough anger to quench your rage.

Their combined singles (Singles Going Steady) show their real strength


Excellent energy and mood they sounded unique

Great band. Great sound brilliant


Glad to see them in the top 20, as they're often terribly overlooked.

14The Stranglers

Put their later material to one side for a moment... Anyone who saw The Stranglers in their early years would've witnessed 'punk' at it's very finest.

They were too old to be punks, too outrageous not to be. Brilliant band.

My first punkconcert was The Stranglers at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. It changed my life.

Big girl in a red dress!

V2 Comments
15The Fall
16Abrasive Wheels

Total class band.not enough respect given to this band by the punk scene.

17Peter and the Test Tube Babies

They play hard and hateful.


The best hardcore punk group bar none - spawned thrash metal


#1. Still together today. Way more integrity than short lived junkies.

20The Ruts

Babylon's Burning - On of the best ever Punk songs!

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List StatsUpdated 7 Feb 2016

700 votes
70 listings
5 years, 334 days old

Top Remixes

1. The Clash
2. Sex Pistols
3. Stiff Little Fingers
1. Joy Division
2. Siouxsie & The Banshees
3. Sex Pistols



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