Top Ten Classic Rock Albums of All Time

These are simply the albums that have defined rock and roll. No frills. Here we go: Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
This album defines rock and roll in its entirety. Saying this deserves number three is like saying Kanye West doesn't have an ego. This is THE album, this is THE best compilation of songs and themes all woven into one record. It speaks life, and all the things that can drive you insane. The songs below.

Speak to Me - Communication
Breathe - Work
On the Run - Anxiety/Travel
Time - Time
The Great Gig in the Sky - Death
Money - Greed
Us and Them - War
Any Colour you Like - Drugs/Choice
Brain Damage - Insanity
Eclipse - The whole album summarized into this final tune
I would say that almost everyone knows this album even if their not pink floyd fans. The album cover is recognized by everyone and songs like money, us and them, brain damage/ eclipse are still played on classic rock stations. If you have not listened to this great album I suggest you do. I promise you you won't regret it.


Incredible composition, mind blowing music which sets a tone the second you hear the first audible sound from that long fade in. They took Rock-n-Roll borders and totally annihilated them! What the great Beatles started with Sgt. Peppers This album takes ten levels higher. Pure Rock-n-Roll it isn't... Amazing instrumentation and superb crafting it is!
[Newest]This is perfection in a music sense.

2Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
Should be at number 1! Definitely the best, with Black Dog, Stairway to Heaven, plus other epic songs like Rock and Roll, as well as innovative drum recordings heard in When The Levee Breaks, and Bonzo's technique in Four Sticks --Don't think I can give any more praise!
Awesome album!... Should be above Dark Side of the Moon simply because it's pure Rock! Not a mellow song to be heard. And really isn't that what made Rock-n-Roll stand out and be so feared way back in the beginning?... The Beat! The Beat!... This album set the standard then. Influenced countless others and is still looked upon as something to aspire to
Sitting in the parking lot before school started of high school listening to this band brings me back to 87 and till this day can still listen to them they will always be a classic


3Back in Black - AC/DC
Rock at its purest and most rauccous, Back in Black is AC/DC's most cohesive album, as well as maybe its most important, as it showed the world that the band has a future despite the tragic death of its legendary original lead singer, Bon Scott. Brian Johnson's pipes filled the part nicely, doing Scott plenty of justice and serving as the voice of the band's most famous song, this album's title track.
This one of AC/DC's best albums. Some of the best songs are on this one. If you dislike this, you suck. This album made over $22,000,000 in sales and it reached #1 on the top charts. And whoever said AC/DC is least skilled and least creative, well, AC/DC has more talent than you have in one fingernail.
Back in black is my third favorite acdc song but my first acdc album. It has all of the good acdc songs hells bells, shoot to thrill, have a drink on me, rock and roll ain't noise pollution, you shook me all night long, back in black, shake a leg and I forget the ether one. Acdc for ever!
[Newest]A huge effort to make such a brilliant album when your lead singer has died. Brian Johnson was probably the only guy who could fill Bon's shoes.

4Machine Head - Deep Purple
Easily Deep Purple's best album, Machine Head features a wide variety of sounds, from the explosive Highway Star, to the surprisingly groovy Lazy, to the classic riff to rule all other riffs, Smoke on the Water.
Machine head is a milestone in the history and development of rock music & an album which has influenced countless groups and musicians for 42 years. There is no competitive album.
All the albums that are better for a position is just below the machine head
The best album in hard rock, with the perfect songs ever
[Newest]Just Listen to it; Enough said

5Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin
This was a very tough choice, but overall I think this the best Led Zep album, just barely beating Led Zeppelin IV. This album contains some of the best writing the band ever put forth, including maybe the best all around guitar work in rock history.
Songs and riffs on this album are known by almost everyone, even if they don't know who wrote it!

6The Wall - Pink Floyd
What the hell! How can this be so low. It at least deserves to be in the top 5 if not the first position. Come one guys, this is a classic.
The random genius of four people reaching it's peak and culminating to what what is the most monumental work in modern western music. Magnum Opus of Rock Music.
This is like their Greatest Hits album. It has their best songs. This deserves to be Number #1!

7Abbey Road - The Beatles
The Beatles are the band that every other band looks to as the archetype. They were the original classic rock band that all the other classic rock bands bow to. Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, the Eagles, the Rolling Stones, etc, etc - they all looked to the Beatles as their idols.

To address a topic addressed by another comment - yes, back in the day they called them "pop" - but they also referred to the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Led Zeppelin as pop as well. Back then the word "pop" literally meant "popular" - and literally everybody from Frank Sinatra to Janis Joplin to James Brown were all considered "pop. " To say that the Beatles sounded more "pop" than Led Zeppelin makes no sense in the context of the time period...

The Beatles don't need to sound like Zeppelin because the Beatles pioneered the musical sounds that Led Zeppelin employed. The definition of "Classic Rock" is album oriented rock & roll music... Previously all rock & roll centered on singles - then in the mid 1960's the emphasis started to change to albums.

Which album was the first to pioneer this shift? Most would probably focus on the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds - but some might put it a little before that with the Beatles' album Rubber Soul. But it was the Beatles' album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band that really completed the shift from single to album emphasis - because it was an artistic statement in a music that was never regarded as "art" before.

By the way - I really suggest to any and all classic rock fans to really take the time to study the history of rock & roll in general. Remember that music never happens in a vacuum - it is shaped by the context of its time and the music that came before it.
The absolute pinnacle of musical production and composition. Seriously, this was The Beatles at their absolute finest. Nothing else comes close. Every song is a classic from the insanely cool Come Together to the symbolic The End, and then everything in between as well like the George Harrison masterpiece, Something.
Side 2 is the greatest example of rock and roll ever. They have it all here: superb tunes, fabulous harmony, impeccable instruments. They seem to be saying here that this is our last work together so let's show what we can do.
[Newest]The End... Simply one of the best Bands and Albums of all time!

8Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
If not for this album, the others would not be. Sgt. Pepper broke the mold and became the model for others to follow. This should definitely be number one. It has it all - hard rocking songs, as well as great ballads.
I agree Sgt. Peppers is the best of all time. Followed closely by Beach Boys Pet Sounds. Third Love Forever Changes is right up there. So is Velvet Underground Loaded. The Beatles Rubber Soul is also up there. That is my top 5. I have more but not now.
There's Sgt. Peppers and the greatest 10... Above everything else!
[Newest]Yes! This Album Should Be Number One As The Beatles Are Also The Number One Group!

9In Rock - Deep Purple
This is a far better album than Machine Head. It's more intense and the songs are more daring. Not surprising considering in the line-up's first album together and they were still unknown so were more free to stamp the songs with whatever direction they wanted. Child In Time on its own would be worth the album price, but the whole thing is full to bursting with loud, intense raw power. By the time Purple came to do Machine Head, they were more cautious and had more pressure on them after the lackluster Fireball. Deep Purple In Rock showed what a band could do without any shackles.
I had been playing drums as a young guy (started pre-teens, about 10 years old)... I would turn 13 May of the year this came out - 1970, joined my first really good local Rock Band that winter as well... No other album (and all the above are amazing, and greatly influenced me as well), but, no other album, music, drummer, influenced my Hard Rock playing ability more than Deep Purple, Ian Paice, and this album... I had Heard "Hush" years earlier, great, great stuff, but this album and line-up just blew me away for years to come!... Long Live "DP"
The greatest heavy rock album of all time by in my opinion, the most underrated band in the last forty years. This album set the bar, never surpassed, rarely equalled.

10Made In Japan - Deep Purple
Best live album ever
Listen to this and you won't bother with the studio versions any more
Best live album ever! Enough said!
[Newest]"The Mule"... Now tell me Ian Paice only has one Bass Drum here?!? Yup, that's right!

The Contenders

11Perfect Strangers - Deep Purple
My introduction to Deep Purple. Still my favourite album.
Menacing, heavy, melodic, brooding, intelligent... Etc...
Great Later stuff by an ICONIC Band!

12Hotel California - The Eagles
While the whole album is great, it must be said that the title track is one of the most incredible chapters in the history of rock, lyrically and instrumentally.
A great album and the title track is nothing less than a classic.

13Moving Pictures - Rush
Rush simply redefines epic with just one album. çThe one reason this album is classic is because it's all killer, no filler. From Tom Sawyer to YYZ to Red Barchetta to CAMERA EYE, this is darn amazing. Must own.
This album define's the meaning of ROCK!

14A Night at the Opera - Queen
Freddie and gang unique.

15Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses
Best rock album ever made
This album should be in the top ten!

16Burn - Deep Purple

17Innuendo - Queen

18Who's Next - The Who
Roger Daltrey's scream at the end of the instrumental section in won't get fooled again is the moment rock music came of age (said someone). Everything since has been anticlimax.
One of the greatest albums of the 70's which makes it one of the greatest albums of all time and the album is just so cool which rock n roll is all about

19Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones
The original bad boys at their songwriting best, with a few of the best rock songs of all time on the track list. Gimme Shelter and You Can't Always Get What You Want generally come to mind first, but the entire album is great.
One of the all time greatest. The songs on here have some of the best songwriting the Stones have ever done, as well as some of their most iconic songs. The key tracks on here include "Gimme Shelter", "Monkey Man" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
Best album of all time

20Live at Filmore East - The Allman Brothers
The very best live recording ever. most influential slide guitar work!
Best live album ever!

21Highway To Hell - AC/DC
This is AC/DC at their finest. BIB is a close second however, HTH just rocks more

22Boston - Boston
This album should have been at #1. Great songwiting, great sound, great mix and very melodic with great musicianship. Sounds as new and fresh as the day I bought it.
When it came out it was totally different. Almost hit me as hard as Led Zep II, and that's big praise.

23Aqualung - Jethro Tull
Amazing mix of diffrent types of music and a awesome flute

24Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow - Rainbow
My first experiance for rock! Best sounds like man of siver mountain, temple of the king and catch the rainbow etc...

25Are You Experienced - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
One of the most influential albums ever recorded. The best debut album as well.

26Paranoid - Black Sabbath
It's heavy blues rock and not classic rock.


One of the best voices in rock and roll coming into his own
It should be in top ten

27Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

28Stormbringer - Deep Purple

29Infinity - Journey

30Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen and the Street Band

31Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
A MASTERPIECE! The most brilliant album ever recorded, in the entire history of music. Wish you were here, where every song is one of the greatest songs ever... Simply mind-blowing
Best album of all time! 2112 is a distant second. Operation Mincrime a close third.

32Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs - Derek & the Dominos

332112 - Rush
Rush at their best.
Played so often on my turntable that is sounds like it has no highs left. Still amazing to listen to.

34Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti

35Destroyer - KISS
Iconic. After "Alive! " catapulted KISS to the top, "Destroyer" proved the accession wasn't a fluke. Bob Ezrin (the same producer for Pink Floyd's "The Wall," stretched KISS' song-writing and musicianship to new levels. The songs have stood the test of time, E.G. , "Detroit Rock City," "Beth," "Shout it Out Loud," "Do You Love Me," etc. An amazing musical experience!

36Fireball - Deep Purple

37Animals - Pink Floyd
The most mind blowing, slit your wrists album off all time, mellow to mental institute.
Crap, should've voted for this! This is my all time favorite album!
Great album. Floyd at it's finest.

38Nevermind - Nirvana
They are an amazing bad and, in my opinion, this is their best album.

39Van Halen - Van Halen
Who ever voted this is awesome

40Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC

41Who Do We Think We Are - Deep Purple

42Alive - Kiss

43Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
Way too low! Should be in the top twenty for sure.

44Demons & Wizards - Uriah Heep

451984 - Van Halen

46Beggars Banquet - The Rolling Stones

47House of Blue Light - Deep Purple

48Close to the Edge - Yes

49Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

50The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars - David Bowie

51Moonflower - Santana

524 - Foreigner

53Pronounced Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd - Lynyrd Skynyrd

54Toys In the Attic - Aerosmith

55Tommy - The Who

56Electric Ladyland - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

57War - U2

58Thick As a Brick - Jethro Tull

59Powerslave - Iron Maiden

60Pyromania - Def Leppard

61Dressed to Kill - Kiss

62Whitesnake - Whitesnake

63Exile On Main Street - The Rolling Stones

64The Monkees - The Monkees
Great rock on the songs Last Train To Clarksville and Theme
Great piece of work. Good band

65Operation Mindcrime - Queensryche
Should be much higher than this!

66Powerage - AC/DC

67The Joshua Tree - U2

68Leftoverture - Kansas
Every song on this album is a masterpiece. Lyrically sublime, and masterfully written; instrumentally intricate and honestly perfect. I love this album.

69Rock and Roll Over - Kiss

70Run With the Pack - Bad Company

71Fragile - Yes

72Fear of the Dark - Iron Maiden

73Signals - Rush

74Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
You Gotta Be Nuts! This Is One Of The Top 10 Albums Of All Time! Every Rock Group Praises This Album.

75Selling England by the Pound - Genesis
Best Progressive album ever, and generally a great album, the music is just orgasmic.

Peter Gabriel in his best.

76Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf
Perfect album. Best vocalist in all of rock.

77Blackout - Scorpions

78Let It Be - The Beatles
Love this album. Great songs

79Let There Be Rock - AC/DC

80Reckless - Bryan Adams

81KISS - Kiss

82Bad Company - Bad Company

83Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth

84Strange Days - The Doors
When the Music is Over is amazing. Great album.

85Get Your Wings - Aerosmith

86Bridge of Sighs - Robin Trower
Often forgotten or simply seen as a Hendrix clone Robin Trower is oh so much more than that.
Bridge of Sighs is one of my favourite rock albums and the synergy between the guitar, bass and drums are perfectly complimented by the husky yet powerful voice of the late James Dewar.
If played on vinyl this recording by one of the Great Power Trios works almost perfectly; grab a copy, give it a listen and enjoy this underrated album.
Killer record. I think I'LL play it right now.

87Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent

88Rocks - Aerosmith

89High Voltage - AC/DC

90Straight Shooter - Bad Company

91Live at Leeds - The Who

92Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles

93Hotter Than Hell - Kiss

94Waiting for the Sun - The Doors

95Hysteria - Def Leppard
7 hit singles on one album... This is definitely Leppard's equivalent to Michael Jacksons Thriller

96Aja by Steely Dan
Deacon Blues and Aja alone would put this in the top ten

97Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Black Sabbath
This album is amazing and should be on this list. I think #2o position would a good spot. This has a otherworldly sound that stands alone and I'm glad that it does and always will.

98Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton - John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers
Simply put, the best pure blues-rock album ever created. This album features perhaps the best guitar work Clapton ever did. THAT is saying something.

99Disraeli Gears - Cream
The first notable power trio and likely the best one as well, Cream was never better than they were when they produced Disraeli Gears, an amazing acid rock album featuring one of the greatest rock songs of all time, Sunshine of Your Love. Then again, its hard to expect less from from a trio like Jack Bruce on bass, Ginger Baker on drums, and the might Eric "Slowhand" Clapton on guitar.
Easily the best and also the first big power trio, Cream was never better than when they produced Disraeli Gears, the perfect acid rock album, and also an album worthy distinction for featuring one of the best rock songs of all time, Sunshine of Your Love.

100Clockwork Angels - Rush

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This list was created 4 years, 23 days ago and has been voted on over 800 times. This top ten list contains 103 items, has been remixed 21 times.

Updated Saturday, April 25, 2015

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