Best British Rock Bands

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The Top Ten

1 The Beatles The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented ...read more.

I was fortunate to grow up in the 60's and 70's and love approximately 80% of bands on this list. Our bands pushed boundaries in creativity, entertained big time, and penned thought provoking songs, giving us a huge legacy of avenues to follow. Should The Beatles be number 1 on this? Yes (in my personal opinion), but who cares! A massive thanks to all of our bands for your brilliant gift!

Because obviously

The Beatles were a POP BAND, not a rock band. I Want To Hold Your Hand, Love Me Do, Please Please Me & many others are POP songs! It ain't rocket science!

How old are the people voting here? The Beatles were NEVER A ROCK BAND! That's an INSULT to rock 'n' roll. Perhaps Beatle fans don't know what rock 'n' roll is. They played PURE POP - THAT'S what they were good at.

14 Comments
2 Queen Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury ...read more.

BEST British ROCK band of all time. The Beatles were a POP band, NOT a ROCK band. It's not rockit (sic) science!

Queen were always different, no question about that. The fact that they produced songs from so many different genres just shows that these guys were geniuses, both musically and in other aspects.

Also, most of their best songs have stood the test of time (and I don't just mean Bohemian Rhapsody), more than can be said for many other bands.

I do think that The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd deserve their fame; I love all these bands and their music (though in my humble opinion, I prefer Queen over Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd).

P.S. Freddie was probably (actually, most likely) the most impressive rock vocalist of all time. This is justified by other lists, other websites, and all viewpoints of people I know (and myself, of course). - Rickygforce

Best rock band hands down. - XxembermasterxX

U telling me that a stupid ass Beatles band is more iconic than queen. Piss off!

19 Comments
3 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition ...read more.

They were so good at their craft, that honestly I just have to listen to all the subtleties, in almost every song, they've ever put out to consider them the best rock n' roll/blues-rock/hard-rock band ever.

100x better than queen I guess the movie’s bandwagons found this list and voted them to #2

Hard Rock > Pop Rock
therefore
Led Zeppelin > The Beatles

My brother hates led zeppelin, but I love Them! I'm a big led zeppelin fan, and wish my brother would be as well!

6 Comments
4 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters ...read more.

By far the best in my opinion. Great Songs, great story tellers.

This band always made people ask questions. I think that's what is really important.

Dark side of the moon and wish you were here and animals and the wall are the best

Should be number 1 or 2 after the Beatles. Totally original, one of a kind, & avant garde. They paved the way for everything that's followed without ever blatantly stealing from others like Zeppelin, who in my opinion shouldn't even be in the top 10!

9 Comments
5 The Rolling Stones

The only rock n roll band with the most inspiring music of all time.. they have over 20 songs that I can say all of them are simply PERFECT than whole Beatles and the rest bands ever

PLEASE! All you Stones haters who say they're old and dried up, Please for your fathers' sake, read early Stephen King and listen to young Stones. Master King will teach you what it means to be a Stones fan.

I'm not a massive fan, but they are still great!

The greatest rock n roll band of all time should be higher than sixth. I would rate above the who to be honest.

6 The Who The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964. The most recognizable lineup was Roger Daltrey (lead vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass guitar), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and ...read more.

The Who are way underrated and deserve much more respect. Anyone who hasn't listened to Quadrophenia cannot call themselves a music fan.

Best with led zeppelin and rolling stones and iron maiden - shatti

Home to some of the greatest guitar riffs!

Great! Best live band ever in my opinion

7 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. ...read more.

Supremely Instrumental, masters of their art

The best heavy metal band ever

8 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm guitarist Adrian ...read more.

They are my favorite band, but they are metal not rock. - XxembermasterxX

I overrated the beatles and stones because I knew there would be a riot in England if I didn't have them in the top 5. I came later so in my opinion Motorhead, Judas Priest, Saxon, and especially Iron Maiden are all way better than the Beatles, Stones, Led Zep, and Queen. I couldn't cheat Iron Maiden outta the number one spot, they've earned it. - roflcash4

Really good

Nah not maiden at 5

2 Comments
9 Radiohead Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).

Masters who continue to pioneer and top their past work to this day, Radiohead are unbeatable and the definitive alternative rock legends.

Radiohead puts me in another world - tatef87

Musical geniuses

The Greatest Ever!
It's that simple.

10 Comments
10 Oasis Oasis Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll.

They went for there debut album in 94 to playing 2 nights to 150,000 people at Knebworth 2 years later, where about 2.6 million people applied for tickets. In terms of which british band is actually the best, it's obviously The Beatles. But Oasis are my favourite band

How on earth are Iron Maiden ahead of Oasis? Makes no sense to me. In my opinion Oasis are greatest band of all time. - Aman2201

One of the most underrated bands in history, all their songs are meaningful for all kind of people

My personal favorite of all time

5 Comments

The Contenders

11 Def Leppard Def Leppard Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.

Longevity, live capability, working class roots, triumph over adversity. The band that has it all - the British Rock Gods.

How can Def Leppard be 13? Hysteria sold over 25 million copies world wide and still continues to sell on a daily basis.

They should be 9th, behind the elite 8. In their time, they were way better than Oasis, Radiohead and Muse. Those bands have a dull style of rock.

#5 all day

12 Muse Muse Muse are an English alternative rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The members are Matt Bellamy (lead vocal, lead guitar, piano, keyboard), Dom Howard (drums, percussion) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals). They've won several awards including 5 MTV Awards, 8 NME Awards, 2 ...read more.

They are similar and they are different at the same time. Great combination of classic music and hard rock in together with Matt's voice will leave no one indifferent.

I think that Muse is the best band in the 21st Century. Matt is one of the best guitarists and especially one of the best singers in rock history, no doubt. Chris is one of the best bassists and what can I say about Dom, along with John Bonham they dominate the world of music... They are the Best!

Queen is my favorite band and Muse is the modern version of them that's why they are my second favourite band ❤️

I love Muse, but I do like a lot of the other bands on this list. Muse are my number 1 band - HollyRolo

7 Comments
13 Deep Purple Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, ...read more.

The best ever I LOVE IT

14 The Kinks The Kinks The Kinks are an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most important and influential rock bands of the 1960s.

Ray Davies is among the best of the best in songwriting

The Kinks influenced more bands and their music will be listened to and studied for generations,!...No one could pen lyrics like Ray Davies.

Such a great band!

So underrated!

15 Judas Priest Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band that formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. They are often referred to as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and are even commonly called “The Metal Gods”, after one of the songs on their 1980 album “British Steel”. ...read more.

Innovation between each records, good double guitar, excellent vocalist, big influence other for metal bands.

16 Cream Cream Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton.

best ever

Cream were innovators of hard rock. The greatest blues rock band ever.should be top 5.

17 Whitesnake Whitesnake Whitesnake are a rock band formed in England in 1978 by singer David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple.
18 The Moody Blues The Moody Blues The Moody Blues are an English rock band. They first came to prominence playing rhythm and blues music, but their second album, Days of Future Passed, which was released in 1967, was a fusion of rock with classical music and established them as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive ...read more.

Come people get with it!

19 Dire Straits Dire Straits Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler, his younger brother David Knopfler, John Illsley, and Pick Withers.

How is muse, coldplay and Radiohead above them!?!

20 Yes Yes Yes is an English progressive rock band formed in 1968 by bassist Chris Squire and singer Jon Anderson. They first achieved success in the 1970s with a progressive, art and symphonic style of rock music. Their best known song is their 1971 hit "Roundabout" off of their album Fragile.

Todays people don't know what real music is.

Arctic Monkeys, The Cure, and Young Guns are higher than Yes. Welp, I've seen everything. - Brobusky

55? Seriously? - BrideiMacBella

21 Genesis Genesis Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey in 1967. The most commercially successful and long-lasting line-up includes keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins.
22 Coldplay Coldplay Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed ...read more.

As a newer band, I really think they have proved themselves to be one of the best British Rock groups just like the old rocks groups I grew up listening too. I know there are different types of rock music. But if you keep rocking, we will keep listening.

They are truly amazing.They are so creative with Jonny's guitar solos, Chris plays piano so well, Guy is amazingly awesome at bass, and I like how Will sings a lot. Their album Mylo Xyloto is just WAY OVER THE TOP AWESOME!

They are very creative artists. They put a nice touch towards their songs. Both Clocks and Speed of Sound are one of my many favorite singles.

After Oasis, they are probably the best band of the last 15 years

3 Comments
23 The Clash The Clash The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk.

The Clash is an amazing band and their music has held up very well today!

Best british band ever

Is there any thing more complimentary than stummer's vocals and jones's riffs? They are more than just a punk band and tried things that no other band had ever done before. I grew up with this band and I they wont get old

With The Clash at 17 I'm not sure whether I should stay or should I go

1 Comment
24 The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an English-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Composed of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the band was active until June 1969. During this time ...read more.

Dude psychedelic is all I should have to say to get this band about Coldplay. Way better.

They're only partially British.

25 Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band formed in July 1967, in London. The band have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.

COME ON PEOPLE - tatef87

Rumors, what an album that was!

26 Rainbow Rainbow Rainbow are a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio as the lead singer and lyricist. Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band has sold over 28 million albums ...read more.
27 Bush Bush Bush are a British rock band formed in London, England in 1992. The band found their immediate success with the release of their debut album Sixteen Stone in 1994, which is certified 6× multi-platinum by the RIAA.
28 King Crimson King Crimson King Crimson is a British progressive rock band that was formed in 1969. While the band has had numerous lineup changes, the head of the band has always been Robert Fripp (guitar). However, the most notable lineup is between 1972-75, consisting of Fripp, John Wetton (bass/vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), ...read more.
29 Emerson, Lake & Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer Emerson, Lake & Palmer were an English progressive rock supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of keyboardist Keith Emerson, singer, bassist, and producer Greg Lake, and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer.
30 Sex Pistols Sex Pistols The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although they initially lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are considered one of the most influential acts in the history ...read more.

I just think it has to be higher on the list

Has to be higher - t-man

They had 1 album in their 3 years of existance. They got banned in the UK, had a bestselling album, shaped hardcore punk to what it is, and had such a raw sound. Should definitely be higher

31 Joy Division Joy Division Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band consisted of singer Ian Curtis, guitarist and keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris.

Probably the best...

32 T. Rex T. Rex T. Rex were an English glam rock band, formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, released four folk albums under this banner.

Iconic rock band, simply one of the best

Simply one of the best

Marc Bolan and T.REX should be in the top 20 British bands, without question.

33 The Smiths The Smiths The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce.

They were the greatest band of the 80s. - BruceStark

Smiths surely should be in the TOP 10

34 The Cure The Cure The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member.

The clash, dire straits, Rolling Stones and many more bands should definitely be high on the list but this is my all time favourite band and it should definitely be at least in top 15.

Should be higher.

I like other bands in here like The Beatles, Queen and The Kink more, but I feel like these guys are just too low on this list.

35 Blur Blur Blur are an English rock band, formed in London in 1988. The group consists of singer/keyboardist/guitarist Damon Albarn, guitarist/singer Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree.
36 Electric Light Orchestra Electric Light Orchestra The Electric Light Orchestra are an English rock band from Birmingham. They were formed in 1970 by songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne with drummer Bev Bevan.
37 Stereophonics Stereophonics Stereophonics are a Welsh rock band that formed in 1992 in the village of Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley.
38 Supertramp Supertramp Supertramp are an English rock band formed in London in 1969. Though their music was initially categorised as progressive rock, they later incorporated a combination of traditional rock, pop and art rock into their music.

Great group- jammin' music.

Oh yes! Breakfast in America, Goodbye Stranger, School, Another mans woman -- Just trust me. Supertramp is damn good.🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

39 The Stone Roses The Stone Roses are an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1983. One of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band's lineup consists of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni.

The Stone Roses are one of the most underrated bands of all time. Every single member of this band was amazing, and their music introduced an entirely different way of making music in the UK. Bands like Oasis and the Verve would not be around without them.

It takes a bit of time to like this band, but once you get there... Its in your top 5

40 Skunk Anansie

Brilliant band

I discovered these guys recently, and I am amazed. Very underrated too. - N4XUS

41 Manic Street Preachers

There great love em music is exactly wow amazing

Top 20 at least.

Should be much higher...

42 The Animals The Animals The Animals were an English band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the early part of the decade.

WHY IS ANIMALS TOO LOW

43 Jethro Tull Jethro Tull Jethro Tull were a British rock group, formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, in December 1967. Initially playing blues rock, the band soon developed its sound to incorporate elements of British folk music and hard rock to forge a progressive rock signature.
44 Young Guns
45 Uriah Heep Uriah Heep Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969 that was one of the top rock bands in the early 1970s. Twelve of the band's albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975). Uriah Heep's distinctive features include a massive keyboard sound, strong vocal ...read more.
46 Saxon Saxon Saxon are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976, in South Yorkshire. As one of the leaders of the new wave of British heavy metal, they had eight UK Top 40 albums in the 1980s including four UK Top 10 albums and two Top 5 albums.
47 Traffic Traffic Traffic were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham, in April 1967 by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason.
48 Wishbone Ash

Seriously underrated. All their albums are worth listening too.

49 Slade Slade Slade are an English rock band from Wolverhampton. They rose to prominence during the glam rock era in the early 1970s, achieving 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones on the UK Singles Chart.
50 Keane Keane Keane are an English rock band from Battle, East Sussex, formed in 1995. The group currently comprises Tim Rice-Oxley, Richard Hughes, Jesse Quin and Tom Chaplin.

One of the best British band

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Related Lists

Best British Classic Rock Bands Best British Rock Bands of 70s Best British Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands Top Ten Best European Rock Bands Which Aren't British Top Ten Best Modern British Rock Bands

List Stats

1,000 votes
86 listings
6 years, 178 days old

Top Remixes (27)

1. The Beatles
2. Led Zeppelin
3. The Rolling Stones
Tuckster79
1. The Beatles
2. Led Zeppelin
3. Oasis
Joeljohns249
1. Muse
2. Coldplay
3. The Beatles
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