Top Rock Albums of All Time - 80-71
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 90-81 favorite albums of all time!
80 - Hair of the Dog - Nazareth is my dad’s favorite band, and unlike more mainstream rock bands like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, Nazareth had some real edge to their sound, and this album was the best showcase of that. The Scottish rockers hit hard with songs like “Hair of the Dog” (you know the song, “Now you’re messing with a…a son of a bitch!”) and my personal favorite song “Beggar’s Day” which is just such a rad guitar riff. Obviously, their rocking cover of “Love Hurts” (an Everly Brothers song) became an international hit that still ends up on commercials and movies to this day, but that is just a small side of the band. They are incredible talented, and one of the only bands from the golden age of rock and roll that I have on my list…mostly because as much as I love the albums of the 60’s and 70’s, I never got hooked on them like I did with the albums of my era.
79 - An Answer Can Be Found - CKY has always had a place in my rock fandom since probably the first time I heard this album. Every song on this album absolutely rocks, and “Familiar Realm” is one of the most melodic songs I have ever heard in the rock genre. CKY is one of the bands that tip a little more to the hard rock side of things on this list, but it just shows that good music is good music no matter what the label of the style is. These guys can make great songs, and if you ever need to do some moshing, throw on “Triple Manic State” and get to thrashing. The instrumental “Behind The Screams” is a great guitar lullaby before throwing you back into the pit.
78 - Thank You, Happy Birthday - Cage The Elephant in my opinion makes some of the best music for albums. I can’t much stand to watch the live show as it seems to be a bit of a “look at me” contest from lead singer Matt Schultz, but that’s what a lot of people like about the band. So, I can’t judge. It’s just not my thing. However, as mentioned, the albums smack pretty hard with tons of energy. It’s not always easy to capture the energy of live music into an album, but I feel that Cage The Elephant has always done a great job of that. “Shake Me Down” is still my favorite song by the band, and “Aberdeen” was a great one of this album as well.
77 - Green Room - Radkey is pretty new to the world of rock, but these guys can absolutely make incredible rock music that is infused with a bit of punk as well. The three brothers (Isaiah, Solomon and Dee Radke) put out one of the most perfect rock albums of all time with this release, and you can just put it on and absolutely enjoy 30 or so minutes of fantastic rock music. Some of my favorites on this album are “Seize,” “Two Face,” and “Bend” which also happen to be the first 3 songs on the album, but the most catchy song on the album is definitely “Judy.” You will be singing it while the song is playing even if you have never heard it before. Their cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” is pretty cool as well.
76 - Life in General - Look, MxPx is one of my favorite bands of all time, and I probably could have put 5 albums up in the top 100, but when I was looking at all the other great albums that I have listened to and loved over the years, I had to make some hard choices. This album could be in the top 30 if I had other criteria in my head, and Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo wouldn’t be far behind. But because I have so many styles of rock to choose from over so many years, I had to put these in order of what I consider to be timeless for all genres. This album is like the MxPx greatest hits without being a greatest hits album. I could just name every song on this album and any fan would be like, “Yup, great damn song!” Highlighted by the single “Chick Magnet” this album has other MASSIVE fan favorites like “Middlename,” “Move to Bremerton,” and “Cristalena.” But for real, every song is a punk classic on this album.
75 - In Between Dreams - Jack Johnson is still one of my favorite solo artists of all time. I remember seeing him perform on Last Call with Carson Daly in like 2001 and immediately thinking, “This guy can write great songs” Now, this album is actually his third album, and every track on here could have been a radio hit, in my opinion (with the exception of the two short ones probably). “Banana Pancakes,” “Staple It Together,” “Better Together,” and “Do You Remember” are some of my favorite songs, and they are not by any means the only good ones on this album.
74 - Bark Like a Dog - Screeching Weasel was a huge influence on my music when I first started making my own music back in the late 90’s, and I played the hell out of this album (and even covered a song or two). Most of the punk bands I listened to were also fans of Screeching Weasel as well. The band has always had some serious turmoil surrounding it (mostly due to the confrontational and emotional nature of lead singer Ben Foster, a.k.a. Ben Weasel), but the music always stood up on its own as incredible. “Cool Kids” and “Stupid Girl” were always two of my favorite songs by the band, and it ends really well with “Your Name Is Tattooed on My Heart.”
73 - Never Trust a Happy Song - When Grouplove put out their first two albums, I pretty much played them nonstop for about 3 years. This album was their first full length album and still my favorite. “Colours,” “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” and “Tongue Tied” were radio hits and some absolutely great tunes that, even though they got a lot of airplay, I still never got sick of hearing them. “Chloe” and “Spun” which were not sung by either of the two “lead singers” are probably the two best songs as far as composition and lyrical subject matter, in my opinion as well. It’s a great damn album.
72 - Emo - Another entry on the Top 100 from Screeching Weasel, and the only reason I put it a couple spots higher than Bark Like a Dog is simply because this album is a huge stretch in range for the band, and they released songs on this album that didn’t sound like anything they had done before. It was almost like they got serious about making rock songs as opposed to just laying down two and a half minute punk tracks from start to finish. This album actually helped me realize that there are some really cool ways to play a song and still keep your punk sound. It allowed me to venture my musicality as well. “Static” and “Acknowledge” were a couple of my favorite tracks. The best song on the album is by far “Last Night” though. I also really like the cover of “Linger” by The Cranberries. Lead singer Ben Foster may have some incredibly nasally vocals, but I really liked the attempt. In my opinion, this was also the last great Screeching Weasel album, and the band started to really unravel shortly after. Even though they got a new lineup now (which seems insane that Jughead is not in it), the band still can’t capture the lightning in a bottle that they had in the 90’s.
71 - The Color Spectrum - The Dear Hunter is an incredibly talented band, and while I like all their albums, this one really showed that they had some serious chops in ways that I hadn’t even realized before. They created 4 songs for each color (Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet and White) as EP’s that fit into the concept of one larger album. Each color was meant to represent a different feeling, and they were almost all recorded in different studios to be able to capture the essence of those colors. All of this led to what I would say is one of the most incredible albums of the last 20 years, and I felt it should have been nominated for a Grammy. Of course, independent artists or less known artists don’t usually get that kind of recognition, but this album is a masterpiece. Whatever your mood is, find one of the colors and play those four songs.