I have been into classic rock since I first started listening to music with Rush’s Fly By Night. I soon entered my heavy metal stage, with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest being some of my favourites. In my late teens I (mostly) gave up on heavy metal but still love classic rock.
Any list of top albums is completely subjective but I’m allowed my opinions as much as anyone else. These are the albums that have stood out to me as being the most enduring.
5. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
The Wall maybe their most famous and Dark Side of the Moon their best selling, but I still like Wish You Were Here the most. The music is amazing and the lyrics thought provoking. I definitely consider it Pink Floyd’s best album.
4. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin
Sometimes called “Led Zeppelin One,” their first album is a different style then the rest of their albums. It borrows much more from the blues and is much less polished. It is actually the roughness that I like about it. If I had to have only one Led Zeppelin album, it would be their first.
3. Quadrophenia by the Who
I went back and forth between Quadrophenia and Who’s Next, as both are amazing albums. Quadrophenia really shows off the musical talent of the band. It is a concept album but you can enjoy each song by itself.
2. The Yes Album by Yes
I consider the best albums by Yes to be Fragile, Close to the Edge and the Yes Album. All deserve to be near the top. I believe when it comes to pure musical ability, Yes may be the most gifted of any classic rock band. I chose the Yes Album because every song hits the target from the complex Starship Trooper to the beautiful guitar sole, the Clap.
1. 2112 by Rush
Rush has been my favourite band from the beginning. I could have chosen many of their albums to be in the top five. I chose 2112 for a couple of reasons. Rush found some success with Fly by Night. They took those aspects deeper with Caress of Steel. That album was less successful than anticipated (although it is one of my favourites) and they were encourages to go for a more popular style. Instead, they doubled down and made 2112. The song 2112, which takes up the first side of the record is one of the most incredible musical masterpieces ever recorded. 2112 is Rush at its best.
Some of the other albums I considered include: