The 50 Best British Artists of All Time

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20. Oasis
Why: Sure, Dig Out Your Soul was a disaster. That doesn’t change the fact that the Gallagher brothers managed to craft two of the most important albums of the ‘90s.
Essential track: “Wonderwall”

19. Elton John
Why: Sometimes all you need for magic to happen is a man and a piano. Oh, and the world’s greatest collection of sunglasses.
Essential track: “Your Song”

18. The Cure
Why: Robert Smith and company are goth greats who made sitting in your room pining over that certain someone who doesn’t know you exist sound like the coolest thing in the world.
Essential track: “Just Like Heaven”

17. Joy Division
Why: A group that manages to sound both industrial and pastoral. It’s one of pop culture’s greatest tragedies that Ian Curtis never made it to the States.
Essential track: “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

16. T-Rex
Why: Marc Bolan’s fuzzy guitars and all-around glittery goodness are unparalleled. Next time you find yourself enjoying the latest Smith Westerns album, say a little thank you to the man who started it all.
Essential track: “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”

15. Pink Floyd
Why: Psychedlia wouldn’t be the same without seminal works like Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall.
Essential track: “Time”

14. Van Morrison
Why: This Northern Irish soul man can do it all, whether it’s belting out big numbers like “Gloria” or “Brown Eyed Girl,” or serenading us with understated beauty on Astral Weeks.
Essential track: “Sweet Thing”

13. Eric Clapton
Why: A guitar god if ever there was one, Clapton’s lent his talents to more legendary bands than we can rattle off in this space.
Essential track: “Tears in Heaven”

12. Queen
Why: Brian May’s soaring guitar and Freddie Mercury’s undeniable voice combined for the greatest glam rock the world has ever heard.
Essential track: “Bohemian Rhapsody”

11. The Smiths
Why: We’ll give you 10 reasons. The DJ may say nothing to you about your life, Morrissey, but you’re sure talking to us about ours.
Essential track: “Panic”

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