The 50 Greatest Rock Albums

Here are the rules: No greatest hits, no compilations, no live records, no various artists, 50% of the songs have to be originals, and no artist can be in the list twice in the same band. A lot of no-brainers here. Hopefully you’ll find a few gems too.

Pet Sounds – Beach Boys – 1966

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Beatles – 1967

Velvet Underground and Nico – Velvet Underground – 1967

Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix Experience – 1967

Astral Weeks – Van Morrison – 1968

Willy and the Poor Boys – Credence Clearwater Revival – 1969

Arthur – Kinks – 1969

The Gilded Palace of Sin – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1969

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel – 1970

Fun House – Stooges – 1970

There’s A Riot Goin’ On – Sly and the Family Stone – 1971

Who’s Next – Who – 1971

Exile on Main Street – Rolling Stones – 1972

Modern Lovers – Modern Lovers – 1972

New York Dolls – New York Dolls – 1973

Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan – 1974

Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen – 1975

Never Mind the Bullocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols – Sex Pistols – 1977

Rocket to Russia – Ramones – 1977

Let There Be Rock – AC/DC – 1977

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac – 1977

I’m Stranded – Saints – 1977

Street Hassle – Lou Reed – 1978

52nd Street – Billy Joel – 1978

Rust Never Sleeps – Neil Young – 1979

Squeezing Out Sparks – Graham Parker – 1979

Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones – 1979

Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex – 1979

London Calling – Clash – 1980

Get Happy! – Elvis Costello – 1980

Swordfishtrombones – Tom Waits – 1983

Pleased to Meet Me – Replacements – 1987

Cuba – Silos – 1987

Sign o’ the Times – Prince – 1987

He’s Drunk + Plus, Also, Too – Scrawl – 1988

Hell’s Ditch – Pogues – 1990

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got – Sinead O’Connor – 1990

Achtung Baby – U2- 1991

Love is Murder – Michael Hall – 1992

Gentlemen – Afghan Whigs – 1993

Exile in Guyville – Liz Phair – 1993

There is No-One What Will Take Care of You – Palace Brothers – 1993

Foolish – Superchunk – 1994

The Bends – Radiohead – 1995

Dirty Three – Dirty Three – 1995

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel – 1998

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams – 1988

White Blood Cells – White Stripes – 2001

Funeral – Arcade Fire – 2004

Separation Sunday – Hold Steady – 2005

Heretic Pride – Mountain Goats – 2007

Cage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant – 2008

Aim and Ignite – Fun – 2009

21 – Adele – 2011

Strange Desire – Bleachers – 2014

Title – Meghan Trainor – 2015

Here are the rules: No greatest hits, no compilations, no live records, no various artists, at least 50% of the songs have to be originals, and no artist can be in the list twice in the same band. A lot of no-brainers here. Hopefully you’ll find a few gems too. My 2000’s suck. I know. Sue me. I’m working on it. Put in the comments any you think I missed or where I’m full of it. So here it is in chronological order. Enjoy.

Pet Sounds – Beach Boys – 1966

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Beatles – 1967

Velvet Underground and Nico – Velvet Underground – 1967

Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix Experience – 1967

Astral Weeks – Van Morrison – 1968

Willy and the Poor Boys – Credence Clearwater Revival – 1969

Arthur – Kinks – 1969

The Gilded Palace of Sin – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1969

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel – 1970

Fun House – Stooges – 1970

There’s A Riot Goin’ On – Sly and the Family Stone – 1971

Who’s Next – Who – 1971

Exile on Main Street – Rolling Stones – 1972

Modern Lovers – Modern Lovers – 1972

New York Dolls – New York Dolls – 1973

Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan – 1974

Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen – 1975

Never Mind the Bullocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols – Sex Pistols – 1977

Rocket to Russia – Ramones – 1977

Let There Be Rock – AC/DC – 1977

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac – 1977

I’m Stranded – Saints – 1977

Street Hassle – Lou Reed – 1978

52nd Street – Billy Joel – 1978

Rust Never Sleeps – Neil Young – 1979

Squeezing Out Sparks – Graham Parker – 1979

Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones – 1979

Germ Free Adolescents – X-Ray Spex – 1979

London Calling – Clash – 1980

Get Happy! – Elvis Costello – 1980

Swordfishtrombones – Tom Waits – 1983

Pleased to Meet Me – Replacements – 1987

Cuba – Silos – 1987

Sign o’ the Times – Prince – 1987

He’s Drunk + Plus, Also, Too – Scrawl – 1988

Hell’s Ditch – Pogues – 1990

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got – Sinead O’Connor – 1990

Achtung Baby – U2- 1991

Love is Murder – Michael Hall – 1992

Gentlemen – Afghan Whigs – 1993

Exile in Guyville – Liz Phair – 1993

There is No-One What Will Take Care of You – Palace Brothers – 1993

Foolish – Superchunk – 1994

The Bends – Radiohead – 1995

Dirty Three – Dirty Three – 1995

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel – 1998

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams – 1988

White Blood Cells – White Stripes – 2001

Funeral – Arcade Fire – 2004

Separation Sunday – Hold Steady – 2005

Heretic Pride – Mountain Goats – 2007

Cage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant – 2008

Aim and Ignite – Fun – 2009

21 – Adele – 2011

Strange Desire – Bleachers – 2014

Title – Meghan Trainor – 2015
 

Author: rcspeck

Hello! My name is RC Speck, and I’m a writer and computer programmer living in Durham, North Carolina, USA. After some experience writing for WCPE the Classical Station and posting on the WCPE blog, I’m finally starting my own blog. The topics will be many, but mostly I will focus on novels, short stories, music, films, and comix. I may occasionally dabble in art, TV, history, or poetry. Also, don’t be too surprised if I hit you with the occasional post on boxing or MMA.

2 thoughts on “The 50 Greatest Rock Albums”

  1. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to many of these albums. I respectfully submit Dark Side of the Moon for your consideration. But I really wanted to talk about three of your picks that I’m very fond of, all female vocalists.

    I’m a latecomer to Adele. When she was first wildly popular I was totally unaware of her. Only about a year ago did I ‘discover’ and appreciate her, and I love that 21 album. Lucinda Williams has shaped a lot of my music listening, great to see that on here.

    I think many might find Rickie Lee Jones an unusual selection, but I absolutely loved this album and the next few from her. I think her music might have been, Chuck E.’s in Love notwithstanding, my first branching off into listening to music that wasn’t popular with people I hung around with or even in general. I bought it, played it, bonded with it because it resonated with ME, not because it was popular on the radio. I’m rambling, but it was a very important album in my music listening life.

    I saw her live at a place in DC called the Wax Museum, which had formerly been a wax museum and has subsequently become a parking garage. Wonderful show, she sang and talked and played for a very long time, and drank Jack Daniels from a bottle at her feet. For an encore she did an entire additional set. Fantastic show. Thanks for including this record on your list, I enjoyed recalling what it meant to me. Sorry for the long comment.

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