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What are the top 5 (Rock) albums of all time?


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135 replies to this topic

#1 Sam

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:50 AM

Ok. Me and my friends have been discussing this for about a week now and I'm looking to get some outside input.
My top 5 are:

1. Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon
2. The Beatles- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. Grateful Dead- American Beauty
4. Led Zeppelin- Houses of the Holy
5. The Allman Brothers Band- Eat a Peach

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"Some may never live, but the crazy never die."- Hunter S. Thompson

#2 Brett

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:03 AM

Great choices. I'll skew more recent/more alt just to give a different look:

(1) Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

(2) Radiohead, The Bends

(3) Jets to Brazil, Four Cornered Night

(4) Pearl Jam, Vitalogy

(5) Smashing Pumpkins, Adore (what can I say, I love the Pumpkins)

#3 Sam

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:36 AM

Great choices. I'll skew more recent/more alt just to give a different look:

(1) Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

(2) Radiohead, The Bends

(3) Jets to Brazil, Four Cornered Night

(4) Pearl Jam, Vitalogy

(5) Smashing Pumpkins, Adore (what can I say, I love the Pumpkins)


Good choices, the Smashing Pumpkins are always great. But I would add Black Keys- Brothers, Flogging Molly- Drunken Lullabies, and Foo Fighters- The Color and the Shape
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#4 Oswego Chris

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 02:09 PM

Man...you guys must be young....

I would have to say there would be three Beatle albums in mine....Abbey Road, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper.....

My Led Zepplin album would be Physical Graffiti

Let it Bleed...Stones


With Sympathy for the Devil being the greatest Rock song

I am old...

#5 MichiganGoat

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 02:40 PM

Ah to be young and have discussions like this , but i will add my thoughts:

Radiohead's Kid A is a flawless albumutopiaut headphones on and fall asleep to it

Ween's Chocolate & Cheese is the most accessible album but the Mullosk is the best. I've said it before but you haven't given Ween a serious listen you missing out and you must see them live

Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited is a masterpiece (actually anything by Dylan is a masterpiece the man will never be matched)

Tom Petty 's Wildflowers is a amazing, not a single poor song on that album.

One of the biggest issues about talking about great albums is that today's music is all about the playlist and a single song rather than an album that is a complete collection all by its self. I always refuse to say an album is great if there is a song it that I want to skip. A great album should be enjoyable from beginning to end.

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#6 Brett

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 03:06 PM

Ah to be young and have discussions like this , but i will add my thought:

Radiohead's Kid A is a flawless album, but headphones on and fall asleep to it

Ween's Chocolate & Cheese is the most accessible album but the Mullosk is the best. I've said it before but you have given Ween a serious listen you missing out and you must see them live

Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited is a masterpiece (actually anything by Dylan is a masterpiece the man will never be matched)

Tom Petty 's Wildflowers is a amazing, not a single poor song on that album.

One of the biggest issues about talking about great albums is that today's music is all about the playlist and a single song rather than an album that is a complete collection all by its self. I always refuse to say an album is great if there is a song it that I want to skip. A great album should be enjoyable from beginning to end.


I have the same belief, MG. For example, the highs of 'OK Computer' may be higher than (most) of the highs of 'The Bends,' but I don't consider the latter a flawless album, so I couldn't list it.

#7 MichiganGoat

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 03:11 PM


Ah to be young and have discussions like this , but i will add my thought:

Radiohead's Kid A is a flawless album, but headphones on and fall asleep to it

Ween's Chocolate & Cheese is the most accessible album but the Mullosk is the best. I've said it before but you have given Ween a serious listen you missing out and you must see them live

Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited is a masterpiece (actually anything by Dylan is a masterpiece the man will never be matched)

Tom Petty 's Wildflowers is a amazing, not a single poor song on that album.

One of the biggest issues about talking about great albums is that today's music is all about the playlist and a single song rather than an album that is a complete collection all by its self. I always refuse to say an album is great if there is a song it that I want to skip. A great album should be enjoyable from beginning to end.


I have the same belief, MG. For example, the highs of 'OK Computer' may be higher than (most) of the highs of 'The Bends,' but I don't consider the latter a flawless album, so I couldn't list it.


It is for that reasons the Pumpkins and Pearl Jam are never on my list poor songs on each album

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#8 TWC

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 04:09 PM

So I guess I gots ta represent. In no order:

Allman Brothers - Live at Fillmore East. I mean, seriously every note, man, every note is unmatched.

The Who - Who's Next. Balls out rock & roll. Even the ballads drip with sweat and testosterone.

Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead. While there are songs on American Beauty that I like more than on Workingman's, this is just absolutely perfect all the way through with no hiccups ("Operator" and "Till The Morning Comes" detract from AB's majesty). Pigpen shines on Easy Wind, and "Black Peter" might be the saddest song the Dead ever recorded.

Led Zeppelin - Houses Of The Holy. A close battle between this and their debut. A bit of a tossup, but I've been listening to this more frequently of late.

Pearl Jam - Ten. I bought this as a freshman in high school before I had ever heard a note, before I had ever heard of the band. For about a week, it was completely unknown to anyone else, it was my private album. And when it exploded, it didn't diminish one bit. That's saying something.

Bob Dylan - Time Out Of Mind. Perhaps a surprise, as it comes 30+ years after his most groundbreaking work. I think it shows a mature songwriter, with even more bite on his tongue. Lanois' production takes this from a great bunch of songs to a perfect album.

U2 - Achtung Baby. I love this album, and it shares the same coming of age emotional resonance with me that Ten does. The lyrics to "Acrobat" speak to me just as strongly as a 34-year-old as they did to me as a 13-year-old.

Beatles - Rubber Soul. This could very easily be Revolver. The Beatles were never better than they were during these two albums.

The Band - Music From Big Pink. Like Workingman's Dead, this is American music. Not bad for a group of (mostly) Canadians.

David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust. A loose concept based around a group of remarkably tight songs.

So, yeah, that's my top ten, not the top five. If I had to go with the top five, I'd go with The Allmans, the Dead, Zep, Pearl Jam, and the Beatles. That would probably change tomorrow.

#9 TWC

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 04:09 PM

Tom Petty 's Wildflowers is a amazing, not a single poor song on that album.

It is also one of the best recorded albums ever made. The sound quality is simply stunning.

#10 MichiganGoat

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 05:56 PM


Tom Petty 's Wildflowers is a amazing, not a single poor song on that album.

It is also one of the best recorded albums ever made. The sound quality is simply stunning.

Exactly, whenever this discussion comes up I always cite Wildflowers as one of the best, most complete ALBULMS of the last 50 years.

As for your other mentions:

I had the same experience with Pearl Jam's Ten. I got it as one of those buy it/try it deals that were popular at record store (remember those kids?). But I can't put it as a complete album since a few of the songs on there were ones I'd regularly skip (Jeremy being the biggest) but it is full of amazingly flawless songs- Black being the best of the album.

Yes to Time Out of Mind, it never gets enough recognition

As for the Grateful Dead, Workingmans is the best album from a band that is at its best live.

Who's Next is exactly as you call it- balls out rock and Townsend at his best

But I can't agree to U2, but I've also never liked that band.

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#11 Oswego Chris

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:02 PM

I will have to give Wildflowers another spin....dead on about the sound quality...that I do remember..

I was just lamenting the other day the lost concept of the complete album...unlike most of you guys I actually bought many of these on vinyl....

a solid rarity for you

The Boomtown Rats-The Fine Art of Surfacing

I reallty quit paying attention to new music when I started having kids, so I gotta admit I haven't heard many of your guys selections....

but it does sound like you know what you are talking about...

#12 Coach Harris

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:18 PM

Boy you guys are way off...

1. Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks 1964-1971
2. Beatles - 1
3. Aerosmith - Greatest Hits
4. Cat Sevens - Greatest Hits
5. Tom Petty and Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits

I will put these five against any of the albums listed above. There is not one "skip" in the bunch.

#13 MichiganGoat

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:26 PM

Boy you guys are way off...

1. Rolling Stones - Hot Rocks 1964-1971
2. Beatles - 1
3. Aerosmith - Greatest Hits
4. Cat Sevens - Greatest Hits
5. Tom Petty and Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits

I will put these five against any of the albums listed above. There is not one "skip" in the bunch.

I don't consider greatest hits albums as albums in they way we are discussing them here.

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#14 Coach Harris

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 09:11 PM

I'm joking Michigan Goat.

By the way, I agree that todays music is all about the single song. I imagine that some kids don't even know what an album is anymore.

#15 FratRat

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:24 AM

Talk about a post that's a server space killer, lol. You could ask this question of a 1,000 people and not get the same 5 albums repeated. Brett, you better buy some more space..........




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