Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time - 40-31
Last year, I released a list of my top 40 favorite rock bands/artists before I turned 40 (which happened in November), but NOW I took on an even tougher challenge of putting together my favorite 100 Rock Albums of All Time.
These are not inspired by other people’s lists or what people consider “great or influential music” - though a lot of it absolutely will be. These are just flat out my favorite 100 albums of all-time.
You are SURELY not going to agree with most of this list, and that’s okay.
Let's continue on with the next 10 in the list and discover what's my 40-31 favorite albums of all time!
40 - Big Choice - Face to Face put out one of the best punk albums of all time with this one. They went from local Southern California punk rock legends to an internationally famous punk rock band after this album came out and rightly so. The song “It’s Not Over” is one of the most iconic opening lines of a song in punk rock history. If you shout out, “You think you’re over with it. Don’t wanna talk about it…” at any punk fan, you should hear this back, “I’ll tell you something you don’t wanna know!” Every song on this album is great though. My personal favorite song on here is probably “A-Ok”...or maybe “Struggle”...or “Promises”??? Jesus. That’s a difficult decision. Or should I say a “big choice?”
39 - When All Else Fails - This album is widely considered one of the best Bracket albums even though lead singer Marty Gregori was unhappy with the final product. I will go on record and say that no other Bracket album came close to hitting on all the levels that this one did. It is a pop-punk bastion that outlasted almost every single one of its counterparts by other bands. Most bands in this genre tried to get poppier at the turn of the century (2000), but Bracket not only stayed true to their form, with weird chord progressions and vocal harmonies that blatantly key shift to sound odd, they PERFECTED this type of sound. Decent Criminal is what they are because Bracket made this sound popular. As I told Angelo Celli, the band’s guitarist, every other band experiments with off key stuff, but Bracket LIVES in that zone. A brilliant sound from an under-rated band.
38 - The Satanic Satanist - Portugal. The Man really started to take off on this album. This isn’t even my favorite album by these guys, because they are that good. “The Sun” is an all-time great song. I also really enjoy “Lovers in Love”, “People Say” and “Everyone is Golden,” but I will say that this album is a perfect example of the psychedelic rock genre being expertly crafted by a new type of band. It’s got the “hippy” vibes, but it rocks all the way through. I never cared for the moniker “psychedelic rock” but it is apt for some bands. I just don’t know how to describe PTM as anything other than a VERY versatile rock band who puts out great music on several occasions.
37 - Hungry Ghosts - This is probably OK Go’s least known album as it was their last album which came out in 2014. On a side note, can you believe they only have 4 albums so far? This album was another awesome release from an excellent damn band. The way these guys make pop rock songs is unmatched in the last 20 years, in my opinion. They aren’t overly poppy, but you can’t listen to their music without wanting to sing along right from the start of every song. This particular album starts out with the incredible “Upside Down & Inside Out” which is another example of a loud ass rock song with anthemic hooks. The songs “The Writing’s On The Wall”, “I Won’t Let You Down” and “Turn Up The Radio” are some of the best work by OK Go as well. I really, really enjoyed this album and got to see them on tour in support of it which is STILL the best live concert I have ever seen.
36 - Heavy Male Insecurity - Death By Unga Bunga put out an absolutely stellar rock album in 2021 that I could not get enough of. I probably listened to this album 100 times in 5 months. That may not seem like a lot, but just remember there are only about 150 days in 5 months…so, yeah, it got heavy rotation. One of the best rock songs of all time is on this album as well in “Not Like The Others.” It’s just a great rock song that has a build up effect to make it even more rocking. The whole album is good, and I will say that my life is much better for having come across this album by just searching for new releases. After about 50 bad albums, I came across this one and was blown away by it. “Modern Man” and “Egocentric” are two great songs that start the album off. I also get a crack out of “All Pain No Gain” as it is about going to the gym and just being sore but not getting any bigger. Sort of the opposite of Mark Wahlberg and The Rock’s movie Pain & Gain.
35 - Fashion Nugget - Cake everybody. A band that should need no introduction as they have made great music for 3 decades now, and they never let down. Their style is a mix of folk and pop rock that combines a cool hep-type of vocalist in John McCrea. He is known more for sort of “talk-singing” but his vocals make the band what it is. It feels like every song has a double meaning or a deeper meaning or points to some very specific event as a great story. Everyone knows the song “The Distance” as it made heavy rotation on the radio in the 90’s and beyond. But songs like “Italian Leather Sofa”, “Frank Sinatra” and “Friend Is a Four-Letter Word” are some of the backbone songs on this album. The Gloria Gaynor cover of “I Will Survive” is also one of my favorite cover songs of all time, and I prefer the Cake version to the original. Blasphemy, I know.
34 - Turn the Radio Off - Reel Big Fish went all in on this record, and they became MTV music video stars with their song “Sellout” which coincidentally is what everyone accused them of doing. The song actually is ironically saying that they are selling out to become famous. A lot of people didn’t get that joke though. Not that they had to either. The song and video were humorous and this whole album is like a time machine of when ska music was so prevalent that the genre could be tossed onto the radio in any city without anyone batting an eye. Reel Big Fish did it the best, in my opinion, and they STILL make good music. Songs like “She Has a Girlfriend Now”, “Everything Sucks” and “Beer” are some of the best songs RBF ever created. This album is THE ska record for me though. If you could only ever have one ska record…it is Turn the Radio Off.
33 - Omni - While most Minus The Bear fans are going to hate me for putting this over Highly Refined Pirates, I don’t care. This album took MTB to the next level, for me. I loved all of their music to this point, but Omni was like watching the band realize their full potential. Every song was just so smoothly put together, and the whole album flowed so seamlessly that it felt like one really good song over 10 parts in a lot of ways. “My Time” is a great starting song, and “Into The Mirror” is one of my favorite songs by Minus The Bear. “Dayglow Vista Rd.” is a song that I sing at random times because it is so catchy and so good it is ingrained into my DNA now. For anyone who says this isn’t the best album by Minus The Bear, I say, go listen to it about 10 to 20 more times and see if anything changes, because a certain mood or a certain day or just a certain place can make this album even more important in your life than you even know.
32 - Only By The Night - Kings of Leon put out one of the best rock albums of all time with this gigantic album. This made Kings of Leon household names. “Sex On Fire” and “Use Somebody” become international hit singles. My favorites songs on the album are “Closer” and “Crawl” though which are the first two songs on the album. “Be Somebody” is another great song. This is one of those albums that I listened to during every drinking session with friends, and I probably know 90% of the words even though I haven’t heard it in 5 years or more. This album really doesn’t need me to explain how good it is, but if you have your doubts, just go listen to it. From start to finish, it is a literal rock masterpiece.
31 - Hello Rockview - Less Than Jake had been a band that I liked in high school, and a lot of my friends did too, but when Hello Rockview came out, Less Than Jake was one of the best and most liked bands at that time. Their blend of punk and ska (if you can call it that on this record) is so ubiquitous to how LTJ makes music that it is hard to find another band that does it as well as this album does it. Songs like “Nervous In The Alley” and “History of a Boring Town” are songs that LTJ fans will know every word to. The opening song on this album, “Last One Out of Liberty City,” is a ripper as well. I would put this album up against punk or ska releases of the time, and it would be in the top 2 or 3 for pretty much any reason anyone could argue against it. It’s really a flashpoint when Less Than Jake went from the fringe band to the “main guys” in terms of influence and fandom during the late 90’s.
If you haven't checked out the rest of the list to this point, go to these links: