The Five Greatest UK Bands of All Time

The Five Greatest UK Bands of All Time

The UK has a great musical tradition. Since rock and roll music initially hit the mainstream in the 1950s, countless world-class acts have been born and raised on these shores. But just who are the top five greatest UK bands of all time? We’ll run through our favourites.

5. The Clash

Known for their punk rock guitar riffs and their political lyrics, the Clash were arguably the world’s biggest band for a couple of years, at the end of the 1970s. Led by legendary frontman Joe Strummer, the London band came up with classics such as Rock the Casbah and London Calling, and in 2004 were ranked by magazine Rolling Stone as 28th in the list of the greatest artists of all time.

4. Joy Division

Formed in Salford in 1976, Joy Division only recorded two albums before lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide. Despite that, they are regarded as one of the finest bands ever to hail from the UK, and their remaining members would go on to form New Order.

3. The Smiths

Hailing from Manchester, the Smiths were only together for five short years in the mid-1980s, but during that time the Morrissey-Marr songwriting partnership undoubtedly became one of the most prolific in musical history. The band released four albums, including the Queen is Dead, which rose to the top of the UK album charts in 1985. They boasted a cult following both at home and abroad, and fans have been longing for Morrissey and Marr to put their creative differences to one side and reform since the band split in 1987.

2. Oasis

Spearheaded by Manchester brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, Oasis took over the music world in the mid-90s with the consecutive smash hit albums Definitely Maybe and What’s The Story, Morning Glory? Songs such as Wonderwall, She’s Electric and Don’t Look Back in Anger are fondly remembered 25 years on, and, although the band split due to an argument between the brothers in 2009, fans still yearn for a comeback.

1. The Beatles

There can undoubtedly only be one winner in this list. Widely recognised as the most popular band of all time, ‘The Fab Four’ kickstarted the Swinging Sixties with their definitive musical style, which, like seeing a GP on your phone with, was revolutionary at the time. The Liverpool group, composed of vocalists and songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney, guitarist George Harrison and drummer Ringo Starr, formed in 1960 and were soon taking the world by storm. By the time they’d split up in 1970, they had become the world’s biggest band and are credited with inspiring many other groups.


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