There are plenty of great classic rock albums that you deserve to check out. These aren’t as popular as some others and many of the bands listed here have released much bigger albums but they are still great diamonds worth hearing.
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On the Edge of Town
The follow-up to Born to Run, the Boss wrote this album about people who are on various sides of their towns. The album is heavily inspired by his home state of New Jersey and has a raw sound, vibrantly alight with an almost-solar energy, that is still unmatched.
Songs to hear: Adam Raised a Cain, Candy’s Room, the Promised Land
Fleetwood Mac – Tusk
This album was the follow-up to Rumours and was notorious for costing an extremely high amount of money to record. It was also notorious for how it was recorded while various members of the band were engaged in some complicated romantic relationships. Still, Lindsey Buckingham’s use of strong new wave influences and the atmospheric sounds of Christine McVie’s tracks make it a classic.
Songs to hear: What Makes You Think You’re the One, Sisters of the Moon, I Know I’m Not Wrong, Beautiful Child
Rush – A Farewell To Kings
Released in 1977, this album mixes the atmospheric sounds of the band’s earlier albums while looking towards the band’s future move to a more electronic-inspired sound. The blend of these sounds is impressive while Neil Peart’s lyrics have some significant Coleridge influences to them.
Songs to hear: Xanadu, Closer to the Heart, Cinderella Man
Steely Dan – Aja
This album from the Dan is more jazz-inspired than many other albums from the band. The album itself is heavily orchestrated and yet still has a loose feeling to it. Walter Becker’s guitar solos are especially worth hearing.
Songs to hear: Aja, Deacon Blues, Josie
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
The original bad boy of rock music, this album is heavily inspired by the bratty and tough attitudes of teen life, even including a segment of a song from the musical West Side Story. The album is a classic about coming of age. The original vinyl even plays with the theme as it opens up like a school desk (some copies had a pair of panties in them too).
Songs to hear: School’s Out, My Stars, Alma Mater
Traffic – The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
Steve Winwood and company continued to bring their taste of jazz fusion on this album. The album, which has Jim Capaldi play vocals on a few songs, has a strong jazz influence to it.
Songs to hear: The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys, Many a Mile to Freedom, Rainmaker
Chicago – Chicago II
This second album from the classic band features a series of multi-song medleys although this might have been due to their record label telling them to keep the songs shorter from what they had on their first album. Terry Kath’s guitar is highlighted throughout much of the album while the band’s early political influences can be heard in many of the songs.
Songs to hear: In the Country, Colour My World, 25 or 6 to 4, Where Do We Go From Here
The Moody Blues – To Our Children’s Children’s Children
One of the godfathers of progressive rock, the Moodies’ third album was heavily inspired by the 1969 moon landing and also about how children are often the ones that will carry the torch forward well into the future. The album is highlighted by its atmospheric sound that can be heard all over.
Songs to hear: Higher and Higher, Out and In, Gypsy
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