Best British Rock Bands

The Top Ten
1 The Beatles The Beatles were an English pop 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... read more

I was fortunate to grow up in the '60s and '70s and love approximately 80% of the 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!

Listen. I don't understand how anyone can listen to Eleanor Rigby, Paint It Black, or Black Dog and not completely understand why the Beatles, Stones, and Zeppelin are now and always will be the top three greatest British bands ever. Period. End of topic.

That said, four through ten are seriously up for debate, but number 4 is Queen. 'Enough said. The rest of you can fight over 5...

2 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in London in 1970. The original lineup was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, 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... read more

Queen was always different, no question about that. The fact that they produced songs from so many different genres 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).

3 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English hard rock band formed in London in 1968 as the New Yardbirds. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums) and was very much the child of Jimmy Page who even financed their first tour. He had tasted... read more

One of my three favorite '70s bands, absolute legends! Jimmy Page is my favorite guitarist and Robert Plant is one of my favorite frontmen to ever grace rock. Great lineup (personal favorite album: Physical Graffiti) and nearly unmatched legacy. Salute to Zeppelin!

Best drummer. Page was a mind-blowing master on the guitar, blending blues, classical, bluegrass, and heavy metal. Jones played bass and organ, adding hypnotic psychedelic vibes. And Plant would bring you back to life with his unique and amazingly loud bellows!

The most versatile band besides the Beatles, of which I'm also a huge fan. Stones, Zep, or latter Beatles - you can't go wrong. But Zep was my personal favorite. Listening to them at night on a dark country road with Page's guitar echoing was a major trip.

4 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd are 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

Should be number 1 or 2 after The Beatles. Totally original, one of a kind, and 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!

Not my favorite but still amazing! They are unique, and their guitar solos are amazing!

The absolute best. Better than The Beatles, no matter what any Beatles fan or Beatle says. They are unbeatable.

5 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums)... read more

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.

Once The Beatles disbanded, they really came into their own. Just great rock'n'roll.

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

6 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

Incredible range and pioneers in every sense of the word. Smashing guitars, the craziest drummer ever, and the best bassist of all time. Pete Townshend is an incredible lyricist and composer, producing killer riffs while leading innovation all around.

Oh, and the most iconic scream of rock by one of the most powerful voices ever heard from a band frontman. Between 1969 and 1973, they were the biggest rock band in the world and remained top-notch till '78. After that, they still produced some gems worth listening to, but it was never the real deal again.

7 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

Yet another one of my all-time favorite '70s bands, as well as one of (if not my) favorite heavy metal bands of all time. Ozzy's extreme antics and Iommi's amazing guitar playing make for an amazing band.

Paranoid might just be the best heavy metal album ever. At the time of writing this comment, it's just a day until Halloween, and Sabbath has one of the best Halloween line-ups of any band, no matter the genre.

8 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).

A band consecrated with everlasting "critical acclaim." Nine albums, each different from the last one, yet with outstanding songs and portraying different and versatile landscapes and moods that simply blow your brains off if you let them.

For the respect of music itself, put them at least in the top ten. They're better than Muse and Oasis for starters.

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

Radiohead's probably the only perfect band in existence. They make phenomenal music that is timeless.

9 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

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, Motörhead, 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 out of the number one spot. They've earned it.

Best band ever, not even joking. Still brilliant even today. Senjutsu is so surprisingly good. Just great. Please vote.

The bridge between heavy metal and prog metal. Passing the torch to Dream Theater.

10 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

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!

I couldn't believe that. Muse is one of the best bands. Their style is amazing and spectacular. They have very good songs: Time is Running Out, Starlight, Hysteria, Black Star, United States of Eurasia, etc.

They are similar and different at the same time. The great combination of classical music and hard rock, together with Matt's voice, will leave no one indifferent.

The Contenders
11 The Kinks The Kinks were 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.

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

One of my favorites. Was "You Really Got Me" one of the first heavy metal sounds? Maybe. Yet, they could be funny as well.

12 Oasis Oasis were an English britpop 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. Noel Gallagher (Liam's Brother) served as the primary... read more

They went from their debut album in '94 to playing two nights to 150,000 people at Knebworth two 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 is my favorite band.

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

My all-time favorite band. People forget how big they were. All 7 of their albums went to #1 in the UK!

13 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

Sure, there may be better bands out there, but hey, if you have Machine Head and In Rock as two of your albums, who really cares? Although I think he's better suited in Whitesnake, Coverdale is still an amazing frontman, even if Ian is easily the best Deep Purple frontman.

Blackmore's guitar playing is iconic and impressive. Sure, you've heard the Smoke on the Water riff a thousand times, but it's timeless. Sure, there are better bands that do the same genre, but in my opinion, Deep Purple is overlooked. Not the best hard rock act to grace the Earth, but it's up there, much higher than most people think.

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

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.

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 worldwide and still continues to sell on a daily basis.

15 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.
16 Coldplay Coldplay are a British pop 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 rock groups I grew up listening to. I know there are different types of rock music, but if you keep rocking, we will keep listening.

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

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

Is there anything more complementary than Strummer'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 they won't get old.

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

Best punk band ever, and where are the Pistols?

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

First of the acid rock bands, then they were gone. Well, not Clapton - he is still rocking. Maybe I just like almost everything Clapton ever did. Cream was really special for the time and a great start for what followed.

Here at 16 is OK, I guess, because most of what followed with Clapton was done in the US with American artists or groups considered American.

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

Best musician on each instrument at the time, and then some.

19 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.

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

Today's people don't know what real music is.

20 The Moody Blues The Moody Blues were 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

They took you into another world.

21 King Crimson King Crimson were 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
22 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 record, good double guitar, excellent vocalist, big influence on other metal bands.

23 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.
24 The Arcana The Arcana are a British rock band formed in 2016 in London, England. The band consists of Peter Lennodo (vocals, guitars and keyboards), Jack Aquiziac (vocals, bass guitar and keyboards) and Joey Silverheel (drums and percussion)... read more

The Arcana are not only the best British rock band. They are the best rock band, period.

I don't actually think any other British band combines the sheer artistry of The Arcana.

25 The Cure The Cure are an English post-punk/gothic rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1978. 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 favorite band, and it should definitely be at least in the top 15.

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

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