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]Just breathtaking, gilmour is a god.

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


[Newest]Much better than Dark side of the moon. Dark side of the moon is mediocre at best.

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.

4Who's Next - The Who
Roger Daltrey's scream marks the pinnacle of classic rock. Nothing before that moment had so well captured the essence of rock and roll, and nothing after it matched the primal nuance of rock's earlier days. Surrounding this singular moment is rock and roll at its very finest.
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

5Machine 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

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!
[Newest]The life changing Lyrics.. I wish this to be #1

7Led 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!
Best Led Zeppelin Album Ever.


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!

9Abbey 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 best album in the world by the best band in the world. Enough said!

10Hotel 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.

The Contenders

11Are You Experienced - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
One of the most influential albums ever recorded. The best debut album as well.
Very Unique For It's Time(1967).


12Moving Pictures - Rush
Rush simply redefines epic with just one album. çThe one reason this album is classic is because itÂ'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!
I kike this album. It's bester album of all time.

13A Night at the Opera - Queen
Who would think that Rock and Opera would be the perfect combination?

Queen did, and the result is unique.

Each song perfectly matches the next one, and ends with the best song ever, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Freddie and gang unique.

14Paranoid - 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

15Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

16In 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.

17Made 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!

18Boston - Boston
By far greatest band ever put together
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.

19Perfect 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!

20Wish 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
Shine on You Crazy Diamond Part I,II - Wish You Were Here - Welcome To Machine, When You Have These Songs Inside This Album So Wish you Were Here is Masterpiece.
Best album of all time! 2112 is a distant second. Operation Mincrime a close third.

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This list was created 4 years, 147 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list contains 114 items, has been remixed 25 times.

Updated Thursday, August 27, 2015

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