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

Back 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.
AC/DC Back In Black was A Good Album It Sold The Most By any Band so 49,000,000 sells and counting proves a point
AC/DC Is The Best Band In The World So if You Dislike Them You Suck
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2Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
This album should be in the top 10. It contains one of the finest Zeppelin works ever. And really, how can an album which contains Black Dog, Rock N Roll, Battle Of Evermore, When The Levee Breaks and most importantly, STAAIRWAY TO HEAVEN be at 13. It's heartbreaking.
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!
Better than Led Zeppelin II and any other Led Zeppelin album. My favorite album of all time after Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. It features Led Zeppelin at its best.


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3Dark 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.


Since I heard if for the first time (Which was magic) I have never ever said that any album is better than this. This is the PERFECT musical album.
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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.
The mother of rock albums. Skip Smoke on the water and you got only good songs playd by kings.
Highway star, Myabe I'm a Leo, Pictures of Home and Never before is 4 of the best hard songs ever made, and here the are found on one rechord!
The best album in hard rock, with the perfect songs ever
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5Sgt. 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.
There's Sgt. Peppers and the greatest 10... Above everything else!
Sgt Pepper is O.K. but I wouldn't put it in the 5 greatest Beatles' albums! It, for my money, couldn't follow how
Revolutionary ( no pun intended ) Revolver was!


6The Wall - Pink Floyd
Not to brag or anything, but I'm going to see roger waters preform the wall in it's entirety in a few days. You know why? Because it's the greatesd godamn album ever written and preformed.
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.
This is like their Greatest Hits album. It has their best songs. This deserves to be Number #1!
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7In 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.
The best hard rock album

8Made In Japan - Deep Purple
Best live album ever

9Perfect Strangers - Deep Purple

10Led 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.

The Contenders

11Moving 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!

12Who'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.

13Burn - Deep Purple

14Abbey 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 Beatles are the best rock band ever, the comment below mine says they are pop comparing them to Led Zeppelin (ironically he didn't write correctly the band's name). Led Zeppelin is heavier than The Beatles, but than doesn't means that The Beatles aren't classic rock... this guys have many songs that were considered heavy and every song of them is rock!

Many people label them as pop. That's bad because they were the band that made better rock!

btw, this album is perfect because all its songs rock!


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.
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15Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow - Rainbow

16Stormbringer - Deep Purple

17Hotel 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.

18Paranoid - Black Sabbath
One of the best voices in rock and roll coming into his own

19Innuendo - Queen

20Let 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"

21A Night at the Opera - Queen
Freddie and gang unique.

22Fireball - Deep Purple

23House of Blue Light - Deep Purple

242112 - 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.

25Boston - Boston

26Highway To Hell - AC/DC
This is AC/DC at their finest. BIB is a close second however, HTH just rocks more
I LOVE this song!


27Who Do We Think We Are - Deep Purple

28The Doors - The Doors
The Doors contains their best songs including Light my fire, Break on through, the end, and many more!
The best group all times!

29Are You Experienced - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
One of the most influential albums ever recorded. The best debut album as well.

30Destroyer - KISS

31Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

32Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

33Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Best album of all time! 2112 is a distant second. Operation Mincrime a close third.

34Tommy - The Who

35Van Halen - Van Halen
Who ever voted this is awesome

36Toys In the Attic - Aerosmith

37The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars - David Bowie

38Revolver - The Beatles
Revolver is surprisingly underrated, "Taxman", "And Your Bird Can Sing", "Eleanor Rigby", and "Yellow Submarine" all come from this album, and are some of the greatest Beatles songs of all time, if not some of the greatest SONGS of all time.


Best Beatles album, best rock album, best album ever.


39The Monkees - The Monkees
Great rock on the songs Last Train To Clarksville and Theme
Great piece of work. Good band

40Operation Mindcrime - Queensryche

41Bad Company - Bad Company

42Blackout - Scorpions

43Fear of the Dark - Iron Maiden

44Exile On Main Street - The Rolling Stones

45Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen and the Street Band

46Powerslave - Iron Maiden

47Clockwork Angels - Rush

48Live at Filmore East - The Allman Brothers

49Signals - Rush

50Animals - Pink Floyd

51Pyromania - Def Leppard

52Powerage - AC/DC

531984 - Van Halen

54The Joshua Tree - U2

55Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth

56Strange Days - The Doors

57Bridge 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.

58Leftoverture - Kansas
Every song on this album is a masterpiece. Lyrically sublime, and masterfully written; instrumentally intricate and honestly perfect. I love this album.

59Let It Be - The Beatles

Love this album. Great songs

60Rocks - Aerosmith

61Let There Be Rock - AC/DC

62High Voltage - AC/DC

63Permanent Waves - Rush

64Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC

65Electric Ladyland - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

66Straight Shooter - Bad Company

67Reckless - Bryan Adams

68Live at Leeds - The Who

69Beggars Banquet - The Rolling Stones

70Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles

71Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys

72Hotter Than Hell - Kiss

73Dressed to Kill - Kiss

74Rock and Roll Over - Kiss

75Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

76Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti

77Selling England by the Pound - Genesis
Best Progressive album ever, and generally a great album, the music is just orgasmic.

Peter Gabriel in his best.

78Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf

79Hysteria - Def Leppard
7 hit singles on one album... This is definitely Leppard's equivalent to Michael Jacksons Thriller

80Get Your Wings - Aerosmith

81KISS - Kiss

82Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent

83Waiting for the Sun - The Doors

84Blues 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.

85Disraeli 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.

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This list was created 3 years, 16 days ago and has been voted on over 600 times. This top ten list has been remixed 11 times.

Updated Friday, April 18, 2014

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