Greatest Metal Albums of the 1970s

The Top Ten
1 Rising - Rainbow

Two epic metal classics: Stargazer and A Light in the Black (the most developed metal song of the '70s and one of the fastest).

2 Stained Class - Judas Priest

Piercing solos, dynamic vocals, creative riffs, and even an epic ballad. Stained Class has all of these. This is one of my favorite albums of all time. It's so well-rounded.

3 Master of Reality - Black Sabbath
4 Paranoid - Black Sabbath

After releasing their self-titled debut, they returned to the studio. The result? A masterpiece. With classics like War Pigs, Paranoid, and Iron Man, this is guaranteed to blow your mind.

I find it hard to believe that it was recorded in a short period of time.

5 Machine Head - Deep Purple

Machine Head is Deep Purple's best album. The album starts with Highway Star, a faster song that is influential to speed metal bands and one of the best. Smoke on the Water is one of the greatest songs of all time. It is a masterpiece to the world.

Other great tracks are Lazy, which has wonderful keyboards by Jon Lord (R.I.P.), and Space Truckin', which showcases Ian Paice. This album is such a classic that even Ozzy Osbourne has it in his top ten.

I'm partial to Tommy Bolin, so Come Taste the Band is in fact my favorite Deep Purple album. I could understand, though, how many folks would pick this one, and they are not wrong in doing so.

6 Hell Bent for Leather - Judas Priest

This album is what heavy metal is supposed to sound like. With tracks like Hell Bent for Leather, Burnin' Up, and Delivering the Goods, you can't possibly go wrong with this album. Now for number one...

7 Sad Wings of Destiny - Judas Priest

This album from 1976 is legendary, their second greatest of the '70s. The opening track Victim of Changes is among the greatest metal songs of all time. Tyrant is known as one of the first speed metal songs.

One of the greatest albums of all time, along with Painkiller and Cynic's Focus.

8 Long Live Rock 'n' Roll - Rainbow

Kill the King from this album is probably the fastest and most aggressive metal song of the '70s. Also, this song was covered by over ten metal bands - I don't know any other metal song with over ten cover versions. I made a list: Top 10 Cover Versions of Rainbow's Kill the King.

Gates of Babylon is a masterpiece. Rainbow Eyes is a magical ballad with some of the greatest vocals by Dio.

Ronnie James Dio's last album before moving on to metal legends Black Sabbath and eventually his own band, this album is a classic. The title track is a masterpiece, and Kill the King is definitely one of Dio's best vocal performances.

9 In Rock - Deep Purple

Way better and more metal than Machine Head!

10 Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

This is really good for a debut album. The greatest metal album of the 1970s features some of the greatest metal songs ever, like the scary Black Sabbath and the great bass song N.I.B. There is also Warning, a cover with an extra long jam written by the band.

Personally, I think it is the best metal album of the '70s.

The Contenders
11 Vol. 4 - Black Sabbath
12 Overkill - Motorhead

Motorhead is a main influence on a lot of popular thrash metal bands like Metallica. There are no filler tracks on here. From the double bass drum attack on Overkill to the awesomeness of just about any song, this is a must-have for metalheads.

13 Sin After Sin - Judas Priest

Great proto-metal album. Priest's sound on this album predated what heavy metal would sound like in the future.

14 Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Black Sabbath
15 Highway to Hell - AC/DC

Bon Scott's last album with AC/DC before dying of alcohol poisoning, this is obviously the best AC/DC album of the 1970s. With tracks like Highway to Hell and Touch Too Much, this is one of my favorite AC/DC albums ever.

R.I.P. Bon Scott.

16 Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow - Rainbow
17 Taken by Force - Scorpions

This was the moment when metal broke its stoner roots and became its own genre.

18 School's Out - Alice Cooper

A classic album by shock rock artist Alice Cooper. Tracks include School's Out, the famous song everyone probably knows and loves.

19 Virgin Killer - Scorpions
20 2112 - Rush
21 Lonesome Crow - Scorpions
22 Kiss - Kiss

Destroyer is one of KISS's greatest albums and has more popular tracks, but who can forget their self-titled debut classic? Their debut features classic songs like Black Diamond, Deuce, and Strutter. They remain some of KISS's greatest songs, and it is one of the best KISS albums.

23 Sabotage - Black Sabbath
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