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Classic Rock Special Edition: 100 Greatest Rock Albums

Classic Rock Special Edition: 100 Greatest Rock Albums

Classic Rock Special Edition: 100 Greatest Rock Albums
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The 100 Greatest Rock Albums Of All Time is a celebration of some of the finest music ever made, 146 pages dedicated to the albums that changed the world. Voted for by Classic Rock readers, these are the records that have soundtracked the lives of generations, from The Beatles to Guns N' Roses and Metallica, via the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. For beginners, i's the perfect guide to the albums you should own – for everyone else, it's a reminder of why they loved them in the first place.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd

in this issue

3 min.

I’ll say it before you do: there are way more than 100 Great Rock Albums, and placing them in some kind of order is complete nonsense. Music is not a competition and there are no hard and fast criteria by which to judge the greatness of an album. All you can do is measure popularity, the artistic currency a record currently has with critics or the public. So what, then, is the point of this, The 100 Greatest Rock Albums Classic Rock special? Think of it, maybe, as an opinion poll, a beginner’s guide, a celebration of some of the greatest music ever made, and a snapshot of a time. Nothing here is set in stone, and if we do this again the results will almost definitely be different. But right…

9 min.
bubbling under

Unleashed In The East – Judas Priest The Metal Gods, live in Tokyo and hell bent for leather in ‘79. …Like Clockwork – Queens Of The Stone Age Out of the Cellar – Ratt Too Fast For Love – Mötley Crüe Love It To Death – Alice Cooper Script For A Jester’s Tear – Marillion Six – Mansun Trash – Alice Cooper Permission To Land – The Darkness The Man Who Sold The World – David Bowie Surfer Rosa – Pixies Goo – Sonic Youth Freak Out – The Mothers Of Invention Plastic Surgery Disasters – Dead Kennedys Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan Eat ’Em and Smile – Dave Lee Roth Electric – The Cult Blackbird – Alter Bridge Tapestry – Carole King A multi-million-selling songwriting masterclass. To Our Children’s Children’s Children – The Moody Blues Glory Road – Gillan Kill ’Em All – Metallica Songs For The Deaf – QOTSA Woodstock Soundtrack – Various Harvest…

3 min.
100 foreigner 4

YEAR RELEASED 1981 PRODUCER MUTT LANGE AND MICK JONES The statistics for Foreigner’s 4 prove that all the hours, days, weeks and months in the studio, all the deadlines missed, all the budgets broken, were ultimately worth it. The album enjoyed 10 weeks (in three spells) at No.1 in the Billboard charts, starting on August 22, 1981 and ending February 11, 1982. American sales exceeded six million. It remains the band’s best seller in the UK, reaching No.5, and earning a gold disc, while it also made No.4 in Germany. Of the six songs released as singles in the US, only the last – Luanne, in 1982 – failed to go Top 30. Perhaps most importantly of all, 30 years later all 10 of these songs still resonate strongly. 4, Foreigner’s fourth album, is…

3 min.
99 tom petty and the heartbreakers

YEAR RELEASED 1976 PRODUCER DENNY CORDELL Tom Petty has been many things during his 31-year career – but never a sitting target. His gumption rose to the surface defiantly when he withheld his fourth album, Hard Promises, from label MCA, who wanted to put it into the shops at $9.98, a dollar higher than most records retailed for. Petty threatened to rename the record The $8.98 Album, before the men in suits finally relented. That was in 1981. Four years earlier, only great reviews in the UK had convinced the label to persevere with his debut album Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. The record had actually been released 12 months earlier, but the US only caught on to Petty with the re-release of previous flop single Breakdown, which proved to be a slowburner…

3 min.
98 megadeth peace sells...but who’s buying?

YEAR RELEASED 1986 PRODUCER DAVE MUSTAINE AND RANDY BURNS With the mercurial Dave Mustaine steering them, LA’s Megadeth brought an element of explosive volatility to thrash. If Metallica were the scene’s party-loving kingpins, Slayer its cartoon Satanists and Anthrax its court jesters, then Megadeth were its feral delinquents. That they managed to make one of the defining albums of the thrash era in Peace Sells… – and one of its most immortal songs in the classic title track – is some achievement. That they managed to do it without killing each other or themselves is nothing short of miraculous. “Dave and I were in a position where there was no Plan B,” says Dave Ellefson. “There was no escape hatch. There was no: ‘If this doesn’t work we’ll go do that.’ That backs-against-the-wall commitment…

3 min.
97 pink floyd the piper at the gates of dawn

YEAR RELEASED 1967 PRODUCER NORMAN SMITH This was the first full album from Pink Floyd and a sparkling testament to the genius of Syd Barrett who wrote virtually the whole of this psychedelic masterpiece off the top of his head, so to speak. Liberated by LSD, Barrett’s songs take flight on a magic carpet of cosmic philosophy (Astronomy Domine, Chapter 24), surreal whimsy (Matilda Mother, Flaming), and sublime nursery rhyme lyrics (The Gnome, Scarecrow, Bike), bolstered by trippy, technicolour instrumentals (Interstellar Overdrive, Pow R Toc H). The rest of the band are willing and able fellow travellers. The album was immediately pronounced sacred by the small cult of flower children and it remains the musical Mecca for British psychedelia. Sadly for Syd it was a brief flowering followed by a nervous breakdown. But his…