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Added by The Flagship

on 4 Jan 2009 09:01

3845 Views 18 Comments

The Best of Britain

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Sort by: Showing 17 items
Average listal rating (1320 ratings) 8.5  IMDB Rating
1. The Beatles
Formed: Liverpool
Active: 1960-1970
Output: 12 studio albums

One of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful bands of all time. Frequently top '[x] bands of all time' lists and helped define a decade with their music, clothing and all pervading influence on popular culture. To date, have sold over a billion albums world wide. Not too bad.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (555 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
2. The Rolling Stones
Formed: London
Active: 1962-Present Day
Output: 22 studio albums

Beginning life as a cover-band, the Stones soon hit the big time in the UK and were part of the British Invasion to hit America during the 60s. Rolling Stone magazine regard the band as the 4th greatest of all time, and 10 of their 22 albums feature in the 'Top 500 albums' list published by the same magazine. To date, the Stones have sold over 200 million albums.

Average listal rating (434 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
3. The Who
Formed: London
Active: 1964-1982, 1996-Present Day
Output: 11 studio albums

The Who are regarded as a pioneering band, and may have invented another rock cliché by becoming the first notable band to destroy their instruments on stage. The Who are about to embark on another world tour, are alleged to be working on new material and are credited with over 100 million album sales worldwide.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (949 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating
4. David Bowie
Formed: London
Active: 1964-Present Day
Output: 24 studio albums

The Thin White Duke nearly has as many nicknames as album sales (136 million globally, by the way). Bowie was a fashion chameleon, ever adapting to the changing styles and trends of the passing decades. The British Public voted Bowie as the 29th Greatest Briton in 2002.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (848 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating
5. Pink Floyd
Formed: Cambridge
Active: 1965-1994
Output: 14 studio albums

Pink Floyd's psychadelic and progressive music is some of the best selling of all time. The band came to international prominence after the release of heavyweight albums: The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979), which were all pretty damn awesome. They have sold 210 million albums worldwide.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (769 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating
6. Led Zeppelin
Formed: London
Active: 1968-1980
Output: 9 studio albums

Regarded as one of the first great heavy metal bands, Led Zep were awarded the title of 'The biggest band of the 70s' by Rolling Stone magazine. Allegedly responsible for the greatest rock star cliché of throwing TVs out of hotel windows and trashing every room they stayed in. Since then, they've sold over 300 million albums worldwide.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (446 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating
7. Black Sabbath
Formed: Birmingham
Active: 1968-Present Day
Output: 18 studio albums

Sabbath have had so many line-up changes over the years that a total of 25 musicians can claim to have been members at one point or another. The band that made household names out of Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi. Sabbath have sold over 100 million heavy metal albums worldwide. Nothing from Birmingham should be that famous.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (484 ratings) 7.1  IMDB Rating
8. Iron Maiden
Formed: London
Active: 1975-present
Output: 14 studio albums

Pioneers of the hair-metal style so commonly associated with bands from the time, Iron Maiden are landmarks of the heavy metal genre. They are also one of the most commercially successful heavy metal bands of all time and have shifted over 70 million records globally.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (161 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating
9. The Sex Pistols
Formed: London
Active: 1975-1978
Output: 1 studio album

A band accredited with initiating the punk music movement in Britain, their off-stage exploits often overshadow their musical achievements that include hitting the top of the charts with their anti-establishment début album. Allegedly, the Sex Pistols dispelled the myth that punk rockers 'couldn't play their instruments properly' and lead singer Johnny Rotten inspired Chris Nolan's portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (364 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating
10. The Clash
Formed: London
Active: 1976-1986
Output: 6 studio albums

With their politicised lyrics and experimental music, The Clash became known as 'The only band that matters' during the 1980s, which saw them see success on both sides of the Atlantic with their third studio album 'London's Calling'.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (452 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating
11. The Cure
Formed: Crawley
Active: 1976-Present
Output: 13 studio albums

Goth weirdo Robert Smith is The Cure's only consistent member throughout their numerous line-up changes over the past thirty years. He's done well out of it though, helping to found the dark and tormented goth genre, before going on to sell about 30 million records.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (180 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating
12. The Police
Formed: London
Active: 1977-1984, 2007-2008
Output: 5 studio albums

The Police were formed by Stuart Copeland in 1977 in an attempt to cash in on the burgeoning punk scene in London at the time. They experimented with reggae and ska styles in the same vein as The Clash, before Sting proved himself a competent songwriter. The Police have just finished a massive reunion world tour and have sold over 50 million records.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (44 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating
13. The Jam
Formed: Woking
Active: 1977-1982
Output: 6 studio albums

The Jam carved out a neat image against the popular punk influenced style of the late 1970s, with their sharp tailor-made suits. They are famed for their involvement with the 'mod revival' movement and for their despair at the decline of 'Great' Britain.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (394 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
14. The Smiths
Formed: Manchester
Active: 1982-1987
Output: 4 studio albums

The combination of Morrissey's saturnine lyrics and Johnny Marr's guitar rhythms helped The Smiths become a commercial success. The Smiths still enjoy cult following despite their break up in 1987 over a disagreement between the two aforementioned band members. Both have gone on to enjoy successful music careers after the band.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (825 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating
15. Radiohead
Formed: Oxford
Active: 1985-Present day
Output: 7 studio albums

Ever controversial but unquestionably successful. Radiohead are one of the most popular, influential and experimental popular music acts of modern times. Radiohead have sold over 30 million albums worldwide since the release of Pablo Honey in 1993.
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (592 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating
16. Oasis
Formed: Manchester
Active: 1991-Present day
Output: 8 studio albums

Hit single merchants, Oasis, are another multi-award winning, middle of the road, rock band. Famed not only for their addictive and catchy tunes, but also their tired old off-stage 'controversial' rants. It all amounts to publicity though, and as a result they've sold over 50 million records (by the way, they claimed they were bigger than The Beatles... no).
The Flagship's rating:

Average listal rating (881 ratings) 6.9  IMDB Rating
17. Coldplay
Formed: London
Active: 1998-Present day
Output: 4 studio albums

Whilst their early material was compared to the music of Radiohead, Coldplay have evolved into a one-hundred percent user-friendly factory of hits. Their brand of inoffensive pop-music has given the band a platform to broadcast humanitarian charities such as Amnesty International and the Fair Trade campaign. To date, Coldplay have sold over 40 million albums, as well as winning a shed load of music awards.
The Flagship's rating:


Always a country to rest on our laurels and ultra-successful past, I thought I'd celebrate the most popular musical acts that good ol' Blighty has produced and dispersed throughout the rest of the world.

Each of these artists are influential in some way or another and most I've had some pleasure listening to over the years. These are, by and large, my favourite 'big' British bands and when I look over the list (and some of the acts I excluded), I can't help but think we've over achieved somehow on the world music stage!

Honourable mentions:
Deep Purple
Judas Priest
Dire Straits

Dishonourable mentions:
The Spice Girls
Charlotte Church

We can't get it right all of the time.

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Posted: 5 years, 8 months ago at Jan 6 7:52
A great list, as i am big fan of british music. Nonetheless i miss some greats like Deep Purple, Judas Priest, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Muse, The Who, Witchfinder General, The Cemical Brothers, David Bowie, The Prodigy and many more ;).
Posted: 5 years, 8 months ago at Jan 6 9:37
Some of those are well worthy of a place on the list. I will strive to add them later today.
Posted: 5 years, 8 months ago at Jan 6 9:53
I wonder if you consider yourself some of them worthy because you rated them - rightly - quite low (Oasis, Cure, Coldplay, Sex Pistols) or if you just tried to put the most sucessful (thus "best") british bands on this list.
Posted: 5 years, 7 months ago at Jan 6 15:31
I tried to go with bands that are in some way influential or 'universally' popular. I guess album sales are one way of meeting that criteria, but there is some personal bias in there too. Bands like Oasis and The Sex Pistols I've rated lowly because I think they're overachievers!
Posted: 5 years, 7 months ago at Jan 6 16:32
I see. Well, i consider many british bands, who are unknown to the general public, as influential in almost all music genres. Maybe at some later time i can post some of them here. Of course you don't have to put them in this list, but maybe you are interested in some of them.

I can only second that: the British were and are giants in the music business and brought us many of it's greatest moments.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Nov 22 21:30
Excellent set of bands
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at Feb 18 18:01
There are so many great British bands that it's very tough to come up with a list that includes all of them. This is a good list, Beatles have to be #1 (and probably the Stones at 2, even though I'm not a huge fan of them) though I'd have liked to have seen some of the 80's bands rank higher, but that's just me. :-)
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at Feb 18 18:16
Fear not, they are listed roughly based on their date of creation!
Posted: 4 years, 6 months ago at Feb 21 16:22
I'm afraid I've never heard of Venom, maybe they are a more specialist taste. We still had heavy hitting metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Motorhead and Judas Priest before Venom emerged, maybe they would've inspired metal just as much?
Posted: 3 years, 11 months ago at Sep 17 12:44
great bands!!!
Posted: 3 years, 11 months ago at Sep 17 15:26
Fantastic list. I suggest The Stranglers, one of the most under rated yet revolutionary of all of the 70's and 80's bands. When most bands were producing raw sounds, the Stranglers focused on Keyboard (in a non-80's sort of way) and none of the band members take centre stage, with each instrument providing an equal amount of input in a song.
Posted: 3 years, 10 months ago at Nov 2 6:19
Venom is quite popular. hahah Coldplay oh boy
Posted: 3 years, 8 months ago at Jan 4 17:55
There is The Cure and The Smiths but... where is Joy Division? :/
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jun 2 22:04
You know U2 are not British, right?
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jun 2 22:37
I suppose you are correct. I had them included because half of the band was born in England. Still, any reason to remove them from the list I am grateful for!
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jun 2 23:00
I can understand that. However, I feel that they do not belong on this list because they are internationally recognised as an Irish band (formed in Dublin, by Larry). I don't mean this snidely, but it's a fact.

And I'm impressed that you replied in such a respectful manner, because the last time I pointed this out to a British person he responded with a barrage of disingenuous anti-Irish statements. You have my admiration, friend.
Edit: 3 years, 3 months ago
Posted: 1 year, 7 months ago at Jan 20 4:47
Good but Oasis and Coldplay suck.
Posted: 1 year, 7 months ago at Jan 20 10:43
Queen?! Dishonourable mentions? Queen was the first reason I even liked England!

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