Rock albums that are actually good

repeating integers

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We all know that rock is the worst genre of music ever, that's understood. It's juvenile, farcical, inane and has been stagnating steadily for a good forty years. It's starting to smell up the landscape of pop music. That they continue to peddle it is fascinating, but not quite as fascinating as the fact that people keep buying it. They keep buying the biggest scam perpetrated on the American people since Crystal Pepsi or "the slanket".


Don't be the next victim of this snake oil salesman​

But, just as Crystal Pepsi has a charming tang, and the slanket makes it easier to write forum topics while staying warm, the rock cloud has a silver lining. It's not all bad, is it? Just mostly bad. So how about instead of letting these con artists get the better of us and wallow in bitterness, we salute the works that rise above the mire. Take your hats off, ladies and gents. For those who are tired of rocking, we salute you!

Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan (1966)
Surely a 70 minute long album of ponderous folk rock by someone, observed by science, as being the worst singer in the world would be terrible, wouldn't it? Apparently not! For all of the metaphors that hit the canvas with the grace of a CBS comedy pilot Mr. Zimmerman really pulls it off, here. The production is smooth, silky and compliments the narratives quite well. It's easy to get lost in the alleys and contours of the elaborate melancholy, but Zimmerman grounds it with a more refined sense of melody than he's ever had.

Tago Mago by CAN (1972)
I'm just kidding. No one actually likes CAN. It's all an elaborate prank to trick college students. This is "the Emperor's new clothes" for the Pitchfork generation. Who cares about genuinely hypnotic grooves, recontextualized in abstraction, or CAN's gorgeous psychedelic jazz textures. Clearly this is all some pretentious farce. Pay it, and its 100 Metacritic score, no mind. Bloody krauts.

Metal Box by Public Image Ltd. (1979)
Unlike rock, however, disco is an actually good genre. It's clever, engaging, colourful and diverse. Something which the punk rockers, aware of the sinking ship they had boarded, cleverly noticed. Nowhere is this embrace of pop's superiority more apparent than with The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-Rotten's magnum opus. A swirling vortex of disco grooves (courtesy of Jah Wobble) propping up some of the snarkiest, angriest and most embittered punk rock this side of failed simile.

Pretenders by Pretenders (1980)
Part II of punk rock's absorption into the pop family was "new wave"; the glossy, punchy and hip cousin to that square establishment. It was mostly a flop, actually, but for one bright moment its saviour materialised in the form of a female fronted band that didn't suck. Pretenders soap-opera inclinations are made legitimate by some genuinely compelling hooks and elaborate melodies, as well as Chrissie Hynde's nostalgic self-satire. It's a scream, it's basically perfect.

Hex Enduction Hour by The Fall (1982)
Imagine you and your high school band jamming out in the middle of prison riot. Now imagine something much better. Or just listen to this. The power of imagination is overrated.

Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth (1988)
Thurston Moore controls guitar distortion like Karajan conducts the Berlin Philharmonic. He is in such command of his realm that all subsequent attempts to authenticate indie rock with a lo-fi drone has come off as amateurish. If that doesn't sell it, how about that the riffs are really really really good? Still not buying it? It's Pitchfork approved! Act cool to your friends and buy this on vinyl. Don't drop those ray bans.

Loveless by My Bloody Valentine (1991)
I can't do it, guys. I can't make fun of this one. It's so beautiful. It's like looking into the centre of the universe and the rapturous bliss of feeling your atoms being converted into pure energy. Either that or it's like really good weed. Sometimes it's difficult to distinguish. I'm crying and smiling at once, here, guys.

Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol (2002)
That awkward moment when your whole world comes apart at the seems and you continue on in a waking death, your only companions being a sense of betrayal, and the entire world warps into a perverse farce while you can do nothing about it but sneer pityingly at the mess other people have made. That pleasant moment when the vocals are nice, too.

The Greatest Generation by The Wonder Years (2013)
Your beard must be this thick and lustrous to ride the inadequacy train. The Greatest Generation deals with the war at home... no... not even that. The potential for the war at home. Soul sucking suburbia seems like a nice prospect when you're a complete and utter failure and you can count your funeral attendees on one hand. Need a shoulder to cry on when your life just falls apart? Try something else, these guys are probably more fragile than you.

So those are my picks. I avoided deep cuts because I don't have quite the obnoxious indie cred to pull it off. But maybe you guys can pick up the slack? Come on, don't be shy. It's only rock, I won't tell your family you listen to it.
 

TheRightToArmBears

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Ehhh... I really hope that you're being sarcastic and I'm just too tired to be sure. There's so much good rock (although most of what I like is very metal and hardcore tinged rock) out there if you know where to look.

Black Spiders are a great laugh. Lots of big riffs, silly lyrics and nothing that takes itself too seriously. There needs to be this kind of music that you can get wrecked and jump around like a twat with a big grin on your face to (which is why I've seen them eight times and counting).

Lionize kinda sound like Clutch (who are totally fucking awesome) but with a lot more reggae influence. Don't really know how else to to sell them, but they're pretty fantastic.

Radkey are just a pretty damned cool punky rock band and the singer sounds a hell of a lot like Glen Danzig, which can only be a good thing.

And all of those bands are active and have released/are releasing music this year- rock is still pretty awesome if you ask me.
 

Total LOLige

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I approve of this hilarious thread.

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland(1968) - You've maybe heard of him.
Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps(1979) - Yeah, you probably haven't heard of him.
Screaming Trees - Clairvoyance(1986) - You definitely haven't heard of them.
Sonic Youth - Murray Street(2002) - I haven't even heard of them.
 

MrBaskerville

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I know a lot of good rock albums, but you probably haven't heard of them...
I won't ruin all of them by giving them unneccecary spotlight but Royal Thunders debut is pretty damn cool, same goes for The Devil's Blood (May the founder and guitarist rest in peace :/).
 

lacktheknack

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I can't even tell if these are lifted straight from Pitchfork.

Tragically, I don't listen to enough older rock to make a judgement call. :/
 

V4Viewtiful

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My Era of rock is the 90s, so here we go

Anything by Alice in Chains before the lead singers death.

Stone Temple Pilots - core.

Oasis - what's the story morning glory

I suppose everything by Rage against the machine (yes, I count them) and Soundgarden.

Blind Mellon's first album

Wolfmother

Silverchair - frogstomp

Queens of The stonage, not too picky on albums


And you assessment of Rock music is misguided, you can just stmplify it by saying it's white blues ;)
 

AnarchistFish

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whenever people say there isn't any good music anymore:


the only rock album I really need anymore. if you're a fan of the wonder years you should like it
 

necromanzer52

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Everything by the who of course. It's not their best album, but tommy tends to be the one that gets stuck in my head the most often. Just listen to this legendary song.

 

elvor0

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necromanzer52 said:
Everything by the who of course. It's not their best album, but tommy tends to be the one that gets stuck in my head the most often. Just listen to this legendary song.

Tommy does have some corkers, sure it'll always lose out to Quadrophenia, (Out of my brain on the train, on the train!) but I'm Free, Pinball Wizard, We're not gonna take it, Go to the Mirror, Tommy can you hear me? and The Acid Queen are all pretty cool tracks. It's certainly one of those albums I love to listen to in one sittings, which is also when the album becomes far greater than the sum of it's parts. Not that the songs have anything wrong with them, just they're obviously designed to be listened to in album format, rather than single.
 

Hiramas

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OK, Sir, as a metalhead i draw my head for one of the most elaborately written troll-text i have seen lately.
I definitely will take my ear to the recommended albums.
But since I myself am more a song than an album guy, i will just recommend some very good songs that deserve do be heard in my humbelest of opinions.

Let me begin with an example that had it hard the last few years, gotten into the bad company of serialized cop dramas. Ladies and Gentlemen, i give you The Who - Baba O'RIley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY5rztWa1TM

After this awesome introduction into classic rock, lets get to the possibly most awesome song ever made in the history of humanity. A genius piece of Rock: Guns n Roses - Sweet Child o mine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzAGZT_XTAk

Now, what could top this? Not much, I have to admit, so lets pump up the Fenders and get a little harder. Lets listen to Judas Priest - Breaking the Law
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyxLGSMtqtM

For those of you that still feel like they are at their parents boring garden party for a 50th or so birthday, lets take an artist who most people even today think of as bat-shit crazy: Ozzy Osborne, here with Black Sabbath and Paranoid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StOWOSZD9w8

Now for one last classic: Motörhead - Ace of Spades
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iwC2QljLn4

Now that we have covered the basis and introduced even the infidels to the awesomeness that is rock, lets get a more modern. Papa Roach - Getting away with murder
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rdmG0k8S8k

It is time for some truly genuine artistry of Rock: System of a Down - Chop Suey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAbI7nds1qo
Further recommendations: Aerials, Violent Pornography

A different take on Punk, here with Hardcore-Punks Raised Fist - Friends & Traitors:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hez7bGbutBs

Let's get some diversity into this: Symphonic Metal with their maybe strongest representative: Nightwish - Dark Chest of Wonders
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4--Qko6yPo

To satisfy even the strangest tastes that might stumble on this thread and want to hear something truly unfamiliar. But be careful, it is full of colour and more things that might be unfamiliar to most metalheads: Eskimo Callboy - Is anyone up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJX0o0Z5T0s

To bring this very incomplete and very subjective list to a close for now, one of my personal favourites, a swiss pagan-metal band called Eluveitie with their song Inis Mona
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb8WGig0MLU

Thank you for your attention and have fun listening.
 

Jazoni89

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I'm liking your nod to Loveless, I think everyone should at least listen to that album just to form an opinion on it.

Everything MBV inspired, or bands that inspired MBV, are incredible too. In fact I can go far as to say, that I have never heard a terrible band that spawned from them (closes is Silversun Pickups, but they are not...too bad). The Shoegazing genre, has so many underrated classic albums, that really should be listened to. From the early original British Scene, all the way up to the modern day British/American Nu-Gaze revival.

If you haven't listened to them, you should really give them a look, and join my group (shameless plug), if you need recs.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/groups/view/The-Group-That-Celebrates-Itself
 

Kenbo Slice

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AnarchistFish said:
the only rock album I really need anymore. if you're a fan of the wonder years you should like it
The only Brand New album that sounds remotely like The Wonder Years was their first album.

Anyways, OT: Would metalcore count as rock? Because my personal favorite album ever is Define the Great Line by UnderOath.


So fucking good.
 

Toejam

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Steel Panther - Death to all but Metal

It'd be a bit harsh to just think of them as a joke band, they have some cracking songs and the lyrics are hilarious. Saw them about a month ago and they're 1 of the best live acts i've seen too. To give an idea of what they sound like think Motley Crue/ 80's hair metal rock cheese. 1 of the songs on the album "Party all night" is an ode to Bon Jovi's Livin on a Prayer.
 

Ubiquitous Duck

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To the latter stages of last year, the Arctic Monkeys released the album 'AM'.

Here is my favourite from said album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOSxM0rNPM

In the words of Alex Turner, Arctic Monkeys front man, "That rock 'n' roll, it just won't go away. It might hibernate from time to time, sink back into the swamp. But it's always waiting there, just around the corner. Ready to make its way back through the sludge and smash through the glass ceiling, looking better than ever."
 

Jazoni89

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Ubiquitous Duck said:
To the latter stages of last year, the Arctic Monkeys released the album 'AM'.

Here is my favourite from said album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOSxM0rNPM

In the words of Alex Turner, Arctic Monkeys front man, "That rock 'n' roll, it just won't go away. It might hibernate from time to time, sink back into the swamp. But it's always waiting there, just around the corner. Ready to make its way back through the sludge and smash through the glass ceiling, looking better than ever."
But one could argue, pass the early 90's Grunge/Shoegaze era, everything was done to death, and there was nowhere else for Rock to actually go. Rock has pretty much hit it's creative celling already, thus since the late 90's, it's been on life support, with a few hard jumps in the monitor when something decent comes along, and little else.

Too much boring indie rubbish that sounds the same now (Arctic Monkeys included in my opinion), so it's hard to even listen to good stuff, even when it does come around like that new Savages album that came out last year.

I may be sounding like a total elitists, but I know what I like, and boring topman, indie, hipster garbage isn't it. Vampire Weekend, Tame Impala, Bastille, Imagine Dragons, Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Arctic Monkeys, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Rock would be better without them honestly, and all the new-age screamo rubbish too like Black Veil Brides, All Time Low, Blood on the Dance Floor, and Asking Alexander, that stuff is even worse, and people can't get enough of that shit.

I'm holding out that the Post-Punk Revival, and the Shoegaze/Noise Rock Revival, get's much bigger, than it is right now, and it overshines the indie stuff that's bogging down the rock scene at the mo. There's been a lot of decent bands out of those scenes (many of them with a very old-skool, yet a new modern feel and take to them), and it still gives me that small glimmer of hope for the future of Rock music.
 

necromanzer52

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elvor0 said:
necromanzer52 said:
Everything by the who of course. It's not their best album, but tommy tends to be the one that gets stuck in my head the most often. Just listen to this legendary song.

Tommy does have some corkers, sure it'll always lose out to Quadrophenia, (Out of my brain on the train, on the train!) but I'm Free, Pinball Wizard, We're not gonna take it, Go to the Mirror, Tommy can you hear me? and The Acid Queen are all pretty cool tracks. It's certainly one of those albums I love to listen to in one sittings, which is also when the album becomes far greater than the sum of it's parts. Not that the songs have anything wrong with them, just they're obviously designed to be listened to in album format, rather than single.
Oh that's for damn sure. Have you seen the version they did in the 80s where they got a load of guest singers to come on and play the different parts? Easily one of my favourite live shows of all time.

Quadrophenia's the same way, but most of those hold up as brilliant songs in their own right (I must have listened to bellboy a few hundred times at this point).
 

elvor0

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necromanzer52 said:
elvor0 said:
necromanzer52 said:
Oh that's for damn sure. Have you seen the version they did in the 80s where they got a load of guest singers to come on and play the different parts? Easily one of my favourite live shows of all time.

Quadrophenia's the same way, but most of those hold up as brilliant songs in their own right (I must have listened to bellboy a few hundred times at this point).
I have not, but I will certainly rememdy that, because that sounds pretty damn spectacular. I'm so sad I missed out on all those over dramatic stage shows of the 70s and 80s; Hawkwinds Live Chronicles, Pink Floyds The Wall, The Who. Not that todays stage shows aren't cool, but the theatrics are something I feel needs a bit of a come back.

And yeah, Bell Boys gotta be one my favourites on Quad too :p
 

necromanzer52

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elvor0 said:
necromanzer52 said:
elvor0 said:
necromanzer52 said:
Oh that's for damn sure. Have you seen the version they did in the 80s where they got a load of guest singers to come on and play the different parts? Easily one of my favourite live shows of all time.

Quadrophenia's the same way, but most of those hold up as brilliant songs in their own right (I must have listened to bellboy a few hundred times at this point).
I have not, but I will certainly rememdy that, because that sounds pretty damn spectacular. I'm so sad I missed out on all those over dramatic stage shows of the 70s and 80s; Hawkwinds Live Chronicles, Pink Floyds The Wall, The Who. Not that todays stage shows aren't cool, but the theatrics are something I feel needs a bit of a come back.

And yeah, Bell Boys gotta be one my favourites on Quad too :p
Well here you go. Enjoy yourself.


I know exactly what you mean. It's quite irritating to know that most of the bands I listen to either are no longer in their prime, or only have a couple of surviving members. I saw their quadrophenia tour last year, and it was fantastic, but without Keith & John it's just not the same.
 

Scars Unseen

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Rock, huh? Okay. I've got a few. Here recently, a few bands I like took a dip into nostalgia and put out some albums reminiscent of old 60's/70's era rock and prog.

Pain of Salvation's Road Salt One


and Road Salt Two


Opeth's Heritage


Steven Wilson's Grace For Drowning