21. Van Halen - Van Halen
This self-titled debut album in 1978 was what rocketed Van Halen onto the rock and roll scene. While David Lee Roth played his part with his lyrical genius and the sound of his voice, it would have been all for naught if it weren’t for Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing that redefined what it meant to play rock and roll. Of course, the self-titled Van Halen album includes the infamous Eruption - a song that’s all solo, and all Eddie Van Halen.
22. AC/DC - Highway to Hell
Once more, a rock album list couldn’t exist without mentioning AC/DC’s 1979 album Highway to Hell. This album was the final act of former and original AC/DC singer Bon Scott.
It was a phenomenal album that still holds up today, with Highway to Hell being one of the most famous songs to hit rock music to this date. It really became their breakthrough record, with 10 tracks of pure rock and roll.
23. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Rust Never Sleeps
Half electric and half acoustic, Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s 1979 album was recorded mostly live at the San Francisco’s Boarding House, as well a during a tour run.
Perhaps it’s the creation of the album that makes it so unforgettable. All the same, Neil Young hit his magnum opus with Rust Never Sleeps, and all nine songs showcase his lyrical genius, hands down.
24. Journey - Escape
Journey is a band that everyone loves to pretend that they hate, but when Don’t Stop Believin’ comes on from their 1981 album Escape, everyone knows the lyrics and can’t help but sing along.
That’s what makes this album one of the greats. Journey’s style and sound had changed a lot by the time they got to Escape, their eighth album, but it was well worth the wait to get to this type of sound.
25. Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms
Some folks might dismiss Dire Straits as not quite rock and roll enough. However, their 1985 album Brothers in Arms made an entirely new statement for them.
After all, this album sold well over 30 million copies. Brothers in Arms was a mix of rock and roll and pop sound that resonated with audiences everywhere.
26. Heart - Heart
Finally, a feminine touch to the list. Rock and roll has a serious problem with being overpowered by male voice and male sound, but Heart came onto the scene to prove that women were capable of rocking just as hard.
Heart’s 1985 self-titled album was their eighth, and it contained at least five hit singles that make it one of the greatest rock albums, ever.
27. Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
How could we not talk about Bon Jovi and his 1986 album Slippery When Wet? His first two albums really rocked the scene, but with Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi went for an entirely new rock and roll sound that really became an international hit right away.
After all, this album contained some of his most well-known hits, including Livin’ On a Prayer and Dead or Alive.
28. Whitesnake - Whitesnake
The 1980s self-titled album from Whitesnake was a true powerhouse when it came to changing the game for rock and roll. Whitesnake is truly a wild ride from start to finish, including fantastic vocals, unforgettable lyrics, and top-chart hits like Here I Go Again and the unforgettable power ballad, Is This Love.
29. Def Leppard - Hysteria
Def Leppard’s 1987 album Hysteria is a triumph for a number of reasons, one of which being that the drummer, Rick Allen, was in a car accident and lost his arm before recording began - and after he recovered, Def Leppard went on to record, arguably, their biggest and most successful album. Hysteria is filled to the brim with exciting, heart pumping rock anthems that still stand the test of time today.
30. Green Day - American Idiot
Fastforwarding to the early 2000s, Green Day was already had 20 years of success under their belt before the Bush war-era album American Idiot debuted in 2004.
It was what catapulted Green Day into the mainstreet, despite their already successful albums.
American Idiot was a rock opera that spoke to a generation of war-torn young adults in ways that rock music hadn’t quite reached before.