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List: Top 50 British Bands (30-21)

Shining On…

This week has been dedicated to ranking the best British bands of all-time.

While art is subjective, our panel pressed on with the thought process that certain factors such as sales and stamina do count a great deal.

Influence was also a big factor in determining who made this list.

And while personal favorites such as modsters The Jam and Mansun did not crawl onto our chart, that doesn’t mean that their work is any less viable.

Let’s take a look at 30-21.

#30 Genesis

Genesis is well known for the solo careers of their impact members.

Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford have all enjoyed massive commercial success with trademark anthems that have proven to be timeless.

Formed in the late 60’s as a prog-rock juggernaut, Genesis spent their formative pre-Collins years dabbling in everything from folk to the trippy rock stylings of the day.

Oddball costumes and over-the-top audio were early trademarks as were lineup shifts which at times hurt and helped the band

Known primarily for their late 70’s and 80’s pop output, Genesis has often suffered from a lack of a consistent identity.

By the time they peeled off five hit singles on Invisible Touch, Genesis had transformed from challenging art rock to adult contemporary favorites.

Always a high risk, high reward type of affair, Genesis’ hits and misses were always massive.

-Adrian Gregory Glover

#29 Florence +the Machine

Florence Welch created a blend of pop, rock, and soul that is so poignant, so powerful Florence + The Machine came in on our list at number 29.

The bohemian woman who sings with an emotion that is as fiery and palpable as her red hair hails from South London.

Her 2009 debut Album Lungs was a force to be reckoned with charting 4 top 40 singles in less than a year gaining popularity for the band throughout Europe.

In 2011 their second full length album Ceremonials was even bigger than their first.   Songs like “Seven Devils”,” Only If For A Night”, and “Shake It Out “reached commercial success being used in television and movies.

Florence’s ability to capture a feeling and convey it into a sound that can cause crowds of thousands at Glastonbury congregate and sing on key in unison makes her place on our list deserved.

In 2015 Florence released their third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful their third consecutive number 1 album in the U.K.

Again, Ms. Welch broke herself down emotionally and conveyed it through music in a way that only she can.

They say experience creates the best art; well it seems Florence has been through some deep waters, we thank her for taking us to that deep ocean with her.

-Money Jensen

#28 Oasis

Number 28 on our list is the band Oasis. The band known for one of the most strained and brilliant sibling rivalries in music history, Oasis burst on the scene in 1994 and changed the scope of rock in the 90’s when it came to British bands.

The brothers from Manchester, Noel and Liam Gallagher broke the barrier between pop and rock for the grunge eccentric 90’s crowd, and almost broke each other in the process.

Their first single “Supersonic” from their debut album Definitely Maybe shot them into the airwaves across Britain.

Each single they released from the album gained momentum creating the perfect catapult for them to hop the pond and make a name for themselves in America.

From the beginning, Noel ran the show writing all of the music and playing guitar as his brother was the front man singing all of the melodic hits. Liam was always the more reckless of the two, spitting cursing and excessively drinking, Liam personified the reckless, moody, and sometimes violent reputation of rock and roll.

Quitting the group, walking out, and even starting brawls with one another, Liam and Noel were known for not holding back their feelings for one another.

Although the brothers get on like a house on fire, they have brought us hits like “Wonderwall”, “Champagne Supernova”, “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, “Acquiesce”, and “Stop Crying Your Heart Out”.

In 2009, Noel Gallagher finally called it quits after the brothers reportedly had a heated altercation backstage. Liam went on with the other members and changed the name of the band to Beady Eye.

-Money Jensen

#27 Alan Parsons Project

Influential progressive rock group, The Alan Parsons Project, was created in 1975 by audio engineer/producer Alan Parsons and Scottish singer-songwriter Eric Woolfson, who died of kidney cancer in 2009 at the age of 64.

The “core” duo were often accompanied by a varying number of session musicians and some relatively consistent band members such as Ian Bairnson (guitar), Andrew Powell (arranger), David Paton (bassist/vocals), Stuart Elliott (drummer), and Lenny Zakatek (vocals).

Most of the Project’s titles, especially the early work, were concept albums with common traits that were most likely influenced by Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), on which Parsons was the audio engineer.

The Alan Parsons Project is best known for their psychedelic samples, several of which have been reused to make instrumental beats for more modern hip-hop and electronic songs, including the Chicago Bulls theme song, which was played as the team’s intro music, during their NBA dynasty in the 1990’s.

Their music has also been sampled by 2Pac, Killah Priest, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Daft Punk, Au Revoir Simone, DJ Shadow, Camron, Black Milk, Danny Brown, Cashmere Cat, Freddie Gibbs, Blockhead, The Flying Dutchmen, and The Wiseguys.

-Daniel Offner

#26 Duran Duran

Duran Duran first formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, during a period that has since been labeled “the second British Invasion.”

The ‘80s new wave group, initially consisted of Nick Rhodes (keys) and John Taylor (bass), with the later addition of Roger Taylor (drums), and after numerous personnel changes, Andy Taylor (guitarist) and Simon LeBon (lead singer).

The group achieved the height of their mainstream success from 1982 to 1984. Membership and style changes continued to challenge the band before their resurgence in the early 1990’s.

Over the course of their career, which spans more than four decades, they released 14 singles in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100.

They have also sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

-Daniel Offner

#25 Culture Club

Before attitudes were healthier regarding acceptance and diversity, Culture Club’s imagery smacked MTV’s first generation users in the face with its stark contrast.

Yes their spot is an influence pick as without them a lot of bands, artists and DJs don’t step out of themselves and into the light.

Don’t get it twisted, Culture Club was not trash.  Hits such as the reggae-tinged “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” and the island-influenced “Karma Chameleon” are just two of their highlights.

And these highlights were massive as Culture Club drug in over 100 million sold globally.

Formed in 1981, Culture Club consisted of Boy George (vocals), Roy Hay (guitar/ keys), Mikey Craig (bass) and Jon Moss (drums).

Via several reunions, comebacks and one-off gigs, CC has always led by George who also won in the electronic community as a DJ.

George who has battled with his sobriety once told Vice that his best material was written when he was sober.

“In my experience, my best songs have been written when I was sober,” George said. Of the best songs I’ve ever written that I was most proud of, [they] were written in moments of great clarity. When I’m outside in nature walking around, that’s when I really write.”

That clarity not only aided himself it certainly provided relief for some and a willingness to embrace acceptance for others.

-Adrian Gregory Glover

#24 The Stone Roses

As word runs rampant through their fan base that they may be on the outs again, the impact that the Stone Rose made on British music can’t be measured.

As their touring company is apparently set to dissolve, followers point to a statement that vocalist Ian Brown made at a gig this summer when he stated ‘don’t be sad it’s over, be happy that it happened.’

So if it is indeed a wrap, who can deny that the Manchester unit that formed in 1983 created the mold for modern British rock?

Their debut and its follow-up Second Coming are pivotal LPs that fueled by the writing and playing of guitarist John Squire, are required listening.

In 2017, the single “Fools Gold” still resonates with a majestic quality that most bands will never capture.

Sometimes it’s just about the music.

-Adrian Gregory Glover

#23 The Sisters of Mercy

The post-punk, Goth-rock band from Leeds named after a Leonard Cohen song, and powered by a drum machine named “Doktor Avalanche” comes in on our list at number 23 because of their unique sound and rocky, and short-lived record career.

Born in 1990 to singer/songwriter Andrew Eldritch, The Sisters Of Mercy released their debut album First And Last and Always in 1985, their second album Floodland in 1987 and their final studio album Vision in 1990.

Hits like “Alice,” “Black Planet,” “Marian” and “Nine While Nine” were part of the birth of what we know as Goth music.

A  sound that mimics a mix of Siouxsie and the Banshee’s, Echo and The Bunnymen, and  The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy only took one thing seriously; the music.

In 1990, they went on strike against their record label Time Warner accusing them of withholding their royalties and mismanagement.

Disbanding after going on strike in 1993, the lead singer and founder of the band Andrew Eldritch has continued to tour although the official lineup has changed over a dozen times.

A sound all their own that transports listeners back to the grimy streets of England in the 1980’s where leather jackets, kohl eyeliner, spiked collars, and neon lights ruled the world; Eldritch and The Sisters of Mercy lived up to their punk roots.

-Money Jensen

#22 Iron Maiden

Created by bassist / songwriter Steve Harris in 1975, Iron Maiden were one of the few metal bands to survive the rise and fall of the “hair metal” craze in the late ‘70s – early ‘80s.

After undergoing some line-up changes, the band went on to release several platinum and gold records. In 1989 the band took some time off.

In 1999, they reunited with guitarist/keyboard player Adrian Smith, and lead vocalist, Bruce Dickenson, who returned for their album Brave New World (2000).

In total, Iron Maiden has a catalog of 38 albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations, and are best known for their metal mascot, Eddie.

-Daniel Offner

#21 Portishead

Few bands can say that they damn near pioneered an entire sub-genre of music. But in 1991 Portishead did exactly that when they got together to embrace both the electronica and hip-hop scenes.

Their debut Dummy lit the world on fire as Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, Adrian Utley and engineer Dave McDonald unleashed a noir-like sound that was dramatic and soulful.

Their short film To Kill A Dead Man brought added depth to their debut while subsequent records Portishead and Third contributed their own innovations.

-Adrian Gregory Glover

Read Top 50 British Bands 50-41

Read Top 50 British Bands 40-31

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