British rock bands are by some of the greatest bands in the world, they are in a league all of their own.

American pop culture may dominate the worldwide media, only when it adds up to truly universal rock music, British bands are still in a league of their own, superior to their American opposite numbers in nearly every regard. Michael Jackson, The Beatles and Elvis Presley, these three artists are the best-selling acts of all time: two American solo singers from humble beginnings, and a group of blue-collar boys from the north of England. That fact conforms a rule that becomes more and more noticeable the further down you look on the list of the greatest-selling artist of all time: It seems that some of the greatest bands in the world have come from Britain.

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. By far the undisputed champions of British music, The Beatles remain legends even three decades after the band broke up. The Beatles remain the best-selling band in both the UK and the USA. During the course of their relatively short career they achieved an incredible 17 Number One Hits in the UK charts. They have received ten Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have been recording music for over 50 years and that makes them one of the longest standing bands. The band was originally made up of Brian Jones who played guitar, Mick Jagger on vocals, Keith Richards on guitar and vocals and Ian Stewart on piano as well as Bill Wyman on bass and Charlie Watts on drums.  The Rolling Stones were at the head of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the US in 1964, and identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s. Considered by almost all reviewers as the second most significant band in the history of British music, the Rolling Stones have come to stand for the persistence and longevity of truly original and grass-roots inspired songs. Over the course of their career the band has had eight Number One Hits in the UK Charts.


Queen are another amazing English rock band that was formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury with lead vocals, Brian May on lead guitar, Roger Taylor on drums, and John Deacon on bass. One of the top three greatest bands to ever come out of London, Queen has had a phenomenal impact on the worldwide music scene. Their album “A Night at the Opera” released in 1975 brought them onto the international scene. They entered the mainstream with the album’s track “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and popularized the music video. They released more than 16 number one hits and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

The account of rock can be seen as a form of cultural interplay between the US and the UK, with fantastic bands from both sides of the pond influencing and interacting with one another, oftentimes with an impact far outreaching their sales.