1. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
Released in 1975, Springsteen’s third album was his first stab at mainstream success. The record, which also enjoyed critical praise, hit number three on the Billboard charts and has to date sold more than 6 million copies in the United States. This is the record that gave us not only the title track, but also enduring classics “Tenth-Avenue Freeze Out” and “Thunder Road.”
2. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Released in 1973, Pink Floyd’s eighth studio recording was an experimentation in sound, with each album side representing one continuous piece of music. Though “Brain Damage” remains a radio hit, Dark Side is best experienced as the band originally intended. It spent an unprecedented 714 weeks on the Billboard charts.
3. Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
Another 1973 release, Houses of the Holy was Led Zeppelin’s fifth studio album as well as the first that included only original, brand new material. The record not only went platinum 11 times over, but also spawned some of the group’s most classic songs, including “The Song Remains the Same”, “The Rain Song” and “No Quarter.”
4. Combat Rock – The Clash
In 1982, The Clash’s third album was released to great critical and commercial success both here and abroad, reaching #3 on the Billboard charts. The punk band’s most enduring release includes songs that still get heavy airplay today, including “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah.”
5. The Beatles – Abbey Road
While Abbey Road is today considered one of the best records of all time, it received mixed reviews upon its release due to the band’s use of progressive and electronic effects and its departure from the sound of the group’s other 10 albums. Still, it sold four million copies in its first two months of release alone and has been certified 12 times platinum.
6. Pearl Jam – Ten
One of the classics of the grunge era, Pearl Jam’s debut was released in 1991 to minimal fanfare. But by the time the genre exploded, the album hit #2 on the charts by the end of 1992 and is now 13 times platinum. Enduring classics from the record include “Alive,” “Jeremy,” and “Evenflow,” among other smash hits.
7. Grateful Dead – Working Mans Dead
The fifth album by the legendary jam band was released in 1970 and is perhaps best known for the success of Casey Jones. Among all the other amazing albums that came out that year, Rolling Stone readers voted Workingman’s Dead as their favorite in a magazine poll.
8. Deep Purple – Machine Head
British band Deep Purple released their sixth studio album in 1972. Not only did it reach #7 on the charts in the United States, it is largely considered to be one of the foundational records that lead to the advent of heavy metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s.