10 Best Rock Albums of All Time

For those about to rock, we salute you! This list of the best rock albums of all time is the perfect intro. Maybe you’re a long-time rocker and you just want to revisit some classics or fill out your collection of vinyl.

No matter where you’re coming from, these legendary albums offer a full-spectrum view of the rock and roll world from the 1960s to the 90s. This music has stood the test of time thus far, so let’s keep the spirit of rock alive.

Abbey Road

The Beatles had been jamming together since 1957, and were at the top of the pop music world less than five years later. The band went through several transformations in their short career, creating legendary records every year.

While their early albums reflect more of a traditional rock and roll sound, Abbey Road is a rock album in its truest sense. Each track fits together in a perfect sequence, with plenty of variety and surprises along the way.

Velvet Underground & Nico

When Andy Warhol commissioned the Velvet Underground to play at his exclusive New York “Factory” club in the 60s, nobody expected a historical moment in rock.

Led by Lou Reed, the Velvets were the first quintessentially New York rock band and went on to influence millions of listeners. They were weird, edgy, and undeniably cool.

Sales of their debut album were paltry upon release, but this record with Nico is regarded now as one of the all-time greats.

Led Zeppelin II

The mystery surrounding the formation of Led Zeppelin is part of the great rock and roll mythology.

While their first record showcased more blues and R&B influences, the British rockers went all out on their follow-up with heavy, fast, and innovative sounds. Back in 1969, nobody had heard anything like Led Zeppelin II before - not even close.

Leather pants, loud guitars, and virtuoso skills, Zeppelin had it all, and it’s on full display on this album.

Who’s Next

You’ve heard tracks from Who’s Next at sports stadiums, in car commercials, and on classic rock radio stations around the world.

Songs like “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” showed the world how triumphant and transformative the rock genre can be.

We now see how bands like Pearl Jam, U2, and other arena rockers got their influence! This album is a must-listen to this day.

Dark Side of the Moon

What “best of” list would be complete without a mention of Dark Side? Pink Floyd’s masterpiece was out-of-this-world upon release, and still brings spacey, ethereal vibes to listeners today.

This album isn’t about the individual tracks - it’s about playing the record from front to back and going on a journey.

If you want to sit back, relax, and just ponder the mysteries of life, this is the rock record for you.


Black Sabbath was darker and heavier than anything that came before, but still managed to make fun and groovy records for mass appeal. Paranoid features legendary jams like “War Pigs” and “Iron Man”, in addition to the high-octane title track.

We can thank this album for influencing everything from punk rock to psych and metal, so give it a spin and enjoy the Sabbath experience for yourself. 

The Queen is Dead

Ever wondered how indie rock got its start? Look no further than the Smiths, a dreamy, jangly pop-rock band that successfully made its way to the top through independent labels in the 80s.

The Queen is Dead has everything you want from the ultimate indie rock album: evocative vocals, biting wit, and self-aware indulgence. The songs still sound fresh and deserve to be celebrated for years to come.

Appetite for Destruction

There’s no doubt that some rock snobs will say Appetite doesn’t deserve a place on the list, but hear us out. Guns and Roses was the biggest band on the planet in the 80s, and this record captures all the enthusiasm and excess of “hard rock” at its peak.

You know the hits, you know the drama, and you know that GnR was never quite the same after the release of this record in 1987. Most importantly, this album still sounds fantastic, and it was the last time rock was “fun” before grunge hit the scene. 


The 90s began with a bang when Nirvana released Nevermind and set the stage for a whole new rock movement. Grunge was far more melancholic and disheveled than the sparkling glam rock of the 80s, but somehow heavier than ever.

Nevermind is complete with masterful production, expert songwriting, and the voice of a generation.

OK Computer

Radiohead finally turned rock into a true art form with OK Computer, confronting themes like technology and isolation in creative, layered soundscapes. To this day, nothing sounds quite like this album, which gives the listener something new with every listen.

Rock continues to evolve and play a key role in our culture. Celebrate the genre with this list and never stop rocking!

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