George’s Top 100

George Ghindia’s Top 100 Rock Albums

The three lists below, featuring over 250 albums, were put together over the past year as an enjoyable, personal exercise. In sharing my favorite rock albums, my aim is to create a fun diversion for those of you who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. I was very curious what years and musicians / rock groups would dominate my top albums list. Keep reading to find out.

My “Top 100” list is comprised of pure Rock N Roll performers. Not included are pop, country, reggae and R & B. I was born and raised in Detroit, and love Motown, but none of the top groups (Temptations, Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops, et al) appear on my list. Motown is a unique blend of R & B and pop – not pure Rock N Roll. Moreover, I am quite fond of Reggae. Bob Marley’s “Legend” is a personal favorite, but it’s not, “pure Rock N Roll”, and therefore not featured on my list.

By the way, next time you’re in the Detroit area, check out “Hitsville”, the Motown Museum. It’s an amazing presentation of musical history, and does so within the context of the 60’s Civil Rights Movement.

The “Top 100” albums consists of my personal favorites, recordings I’ve listened to with great pleasure over the years. Recordings are listed in chronological order. There are, I’m sure, a number of albums on my list that were not critically acclaimed…but so what, these are my favorites! My question to each of you is, “What album(s) did I leave off my list that absolutely should have made it?” Please give me your take on the list by leaving your name and message in the Guestbook to the right.

Why the period 1964-1994?
Well, 1964 was truly the beginning of Rock N Roll’s golden era. My Mary Beth and I started listening to the Beatles and Stones in 1965 (age 6) . Review the playlist on “Meet the Beatles” and “Hard Day’s Night,” there are many songs that were wildly popular during the 60s, 70s and even now. Some of the biggest TV audiences in history watched the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in February of 1964, officially launching the “British invasion” of America.

I fondly remember watching The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, Sunday, September 12, 1965. I was at my grandparent’s home in Ecorse, Michigan, my folks were out of town. I recall my grandmother, a great woman who was from Romania and very “old country,” could not understand all the excitement over “The Beagles!” The Beatles were not only the original Rock N Roll super-group, they were the one and only mega-super group!

In my opinion, the 30-year golden era of Rock N Roll ended in 1994. Kurt Cobain, lead singer for Nirvana, committed suicide in April of that year. “Grunge rock”, based in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Portland) fueled much of the Rock buzz in the late 80s and early 90s. Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden all put out their best recordings prior to 1995.

In my Rock N Roll experience, the best years revealed by my Top 100 were: 1976 (9 albums), 1975 (8 albums), 1971 (8 albums) and 1969 (7 albums). For example, Led Zeppelin launched “Physical Graffiti” in early ’75. I happened to attend my first concert, January 31, 1975 at Detroit’s legendary Olympia Stadium, and thoroughly enjoyed Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and company! Bruce Springsteen’s classic, “Born to Run” capped off a stellar year. In ’69, The Rolling Stones released, “Let it Bleed”, and Zeppelin released their debut album, “Led Zeppelin” and also, “Led Zeppelin II”. The Doors put out their best work in ’71’s, “LA Woman”. In ’76, the year I graduated from Trenton High School, two of the top albums were live recordings: “Live Bullet” by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, and “Blow Your Face Out” by the J. Geils Band (made loud to play loud!).

My favorite groups in the Top 100 Albums list are: The Beatles (9), The Rolling Stones (7), Led Zeppelin (5), Aerosmith (4), U2 (4) and Bruce Springsteen (4). The passage of time makes it convenient to forget how dominant The Beatles were, and for a relatively very short period of time. 1964-1970! While The Beatles dominate my list, and were my favorite group for probably 6-7 years growing up, nowadays, I’m much more inclined to cue The Stones, Aerosmith or U2. For my tastes, their music has held exceptionally well.

Over the past 16 years, one of the few albums albums that have really impressed me was All That You Can’t Leave Behind, U2’s studio recording in 2000. This is a stellar album, with a number of excellent tunes such as “Beautiful Day”, “Elevation”, and “Walk On”. I can still hear Bono’s riveting version of “Walk On” during one of the 9/11 memorial performances.

Bonus Tracks and Noteworthy Compilations
The other two lists are fairly self-explanatory. I really enjoy(ed) the “Bonus Tracks” albums, just not enough to place them in my Top 100. In particular, some of the productions that received a lot of my attention: BloodSugarSexMagic – Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991), Making Moves – Dire Straits (1980), We’re an American Band – Grand Funk Railroad (1973), Rare Earth in Concert – Rare Earth (1971), Use Your Illusion I and II – Guns N Roses (1991), I can’t leave out “Killer” – Alice Cooper (1971), “the first album I purchased”. Up to that point we only bought “45s”, you know, the “A” and “B” sides. Of note, The Police, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones each have 4 albums on the Bonus Tracks list.

The “Noteworthy Compilations” are not original studio recordings or live recording but rather “greatest hits” albums. There were a few that were really outstanding: Changesone – David Bowie (1976), Gold & Platinum – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1979), The Best of ZZ Top – ZZ Top (1977), and A Decade of Hits 1969-1979 – The Allman Brothers Band (1991).

Thanks for checking out my favorite albums! Do you have a personal favorite that should have made my list? What albums were some of your favorites? “ Please respond in the Guestbook.

George Ghindia’s Top 100 Rock Albums 1964–1994 chronological order

  1. Meet the Beatles – The Beatles (1964)
  2. Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles (1964)
  3. Out of Our Heads – The Rolling Stones (1965)
  4. Rubber Soul – The Beatles (1965)
  5. Help! – The Beatles (1965)
  6. Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys (1966)
  7. Revolver – The Beatles (1966)
  8. Are You Experienced? – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
  9. The Doors – The Doors (1967)
  10. Surrealistic Pillow – Jefferson Airplane (1967)
  11. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles (1967)
  12. Disraeli Gears – Cream (1967)
  13. Electric Ladyland – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)
  14. The White Album – The Beatles (1968)
  15. Stand! – Sly and the Family Stone (1969)
  16. Abby Road – The Beatles (1969)
  17. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin (1969)
  18. Led Zeppelin II – Led Zeppelin (1969)
  19. Santana – Santana ( 1969)
  20. Tommy – The Who (1969)
  21. Let It Bleed – The Rolling Stones (1969)
  22. Hey Jude – The Beatles (1970)
  23. Live at Leeds – The Who (1970)
  24. Cosmos Factory – Credence Clearwater Revival (1970)
  25. Paranoid – Black Sabbath (1970)
  26. Every Picture Tells a Story – Rod Stewart (1971)
  27. Who’s Next – The Who (1971)
  28. Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin (1971)
  29. 4-Way Street – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1971)
  30. Aqualung – Jethro Tull (1971)
  31. L. A. Woman – The Doors (1971)
  32. At Fillmore East – The Allman Brothers Band (1971)
  33. Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones (1972)
  34. “Live” Full House – J. Geils Band (1972)
  35. Machine Head – Deep Purple (1972)
  36. Montrose – Montrose (1973)
  37. Houses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin (1973)
  38. (Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd) – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)
  39. Aerosmith – Aerosmith (1973
  40. Quadophenia – The Who (1973)
  41. The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd (1973)
  42. Crime of the Century – Supertramp (1974)
  43. Bridge of Sighs – Robin Trower (1974)
  44. Bad Company – Bad Company (1974)
  45. Get Your Wings – Aerosmith (1974)
  46. Endless Summer – The Beach Boys (1974)
  47. It’s Only Rock N Roll – The Rolling Stones (1974)
  48. Physical Graffiti – Led Zeppelin (1975)
  49. Toys in the Attic – Aerosmith (1975)
  50. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (1975)
  51. Ted Nugent – Ted Nugent (1975)
  52. Alive – Kiss (1975)
  53. Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan (1975)
  54. A Night at the Opera – Queen (1975)
  55. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd (1975)
  56. Hotel California – The Eagles (1976)
  57. Leftoverture – Kansas (1976)
  58. 2112 – Rush (1976)
  59. Blow Your Face Out – The J. Geils Band (1976)
  60. Live Bullet – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (1976)
  61. Rocks – Aerosmith (1976)
  62. Fly Like An Eagle – Steve Miller Band (1976)
  63. Boston – Boston (1976)
  64. Frampton Comes Alive – Peter Frampton (1976)
  65. The Grand Illusion – Styx (1977)
  66. Love You Live – The Rolling Stones (1977)
  67. Slowhand – Eric Clapton (1977)
  68. You Get What You Play For – REO Speedwagon (1977)
  69. Some Girls – The Rolling Stones (1978)
  70. Darkness on the Edge of Town – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (1978)
  71. Infinity – Journey (1978)
  72. Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)
  73. Double Live Gonzo – Ted Nugent (1978)
  74. The Cars – The Cars (1978)
  75. Highway to Hell – ACDC (1979)
  76. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek and the Dominos (1979)
  77. Damn the Torpedoes – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1979)
  78. Rust Never Sleeps – Neil Young and Crazy Horse (1979)
  79. At Budokan – Cheap Trick (1979)
  80. The River – Bruce Springsteen (1980)
  81. Back in Black – ACDC (1980)
  82. Pretenders – The Pretenders (1980)
  83. Tattoo You – The Rolling Stones (1981)
  84. 1999 – Prince (1982)
  85. War – U2 (1983)
  86. Pyromania – Def Leppard (1983)
  87. Born in the U.S.A. – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (1984)
  88. Brothers in Arms – Dire Straits (1985)
  89. Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi (1986)
  90. Who Made Who – ACDC (1986)
  91. The Joshua Tree – U2 (1987)
  92. Appetite for Destruction – Guns N Roses (1987)
  93. Rattle and Hum – U2 (1988)
  94. Sonic Temple – The Cult (1989)
  95. Ten – Pearl Jam (1991)
  96. Nevermind – Nirvana (1991)
  97. Metallica – Metallica (1991)
  98. Achtung Baby – U2 (1992)
  99. The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion – Black Crowes (1992)
  100. Unplugged in New York – Nirvana (1994)

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Bonus Tracks / Honorable Mention (130)

  1. Having a Rave Up – The Yardbirds (1965)
  2. The Young Rascals – The Rascals (1966)
  3. Aftermath – The Rolling Stones (1966)
  4. Beggars Banquet – The Rolling Stones (1968)
  5. Axis: Bold as Love -The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)
  6. Dance to the Music – Sly and the Family Stone (1968)
  7. Steppenwolf – Steppenwolf (1968)
  8. Wheels of Fire – Cream (1968)
  9. Kick Out the Jams – MC5 (1969)
  10. Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago (1969)
  11. Bayou Country – Credence Clearwater Revival (1969)
  12. Willy and the Poor Boys – Credence Clearwater Revival (1969)
  13. Green River – Credence Clearwater Revival (1969)
  14. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere – Neil Young and Crazy Horse (1969)
  15. Chicago II – Chicago (1970)
  16. Loaded – The Velvet Underground (1970)
  17. Led Zeppelin III – Led Zeppelin (1970)
  18. The House of the Rising Sun – The Animals (1970)
  19. Let It Be – The Beatles (1970)
  20. Abraxas – Santana (1970)
  21. Love it to Death – Alice Cooper (1970)
  22. Rockin the Fillmore – Humble Pie (1971)
  23. Golden Biscuits – Three Dog Night (1971)
  24. Pearl – Janis Joplin (1971)
  25. A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse – Faces (1971)
  26. Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones (1971)
  27. Killer – Alice Cooper (1971)
  28. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys – Traffic (1971)
  29. A Space in Time – Ten Years After (1971)
  30. Rare Earth in Concert – Rare Earth (1971)
  31. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars – David Bowie (1972)
  32. Smokin’ – Humble Pie (1972)
  33. Eat a Peach – The Allman Brothers Band (1972)
  34. Never a Dull Moment – Rod Stewart (1972)
  35. Europe ’72 – Grateful Dead (1972)
  36. They Only Come Out at Night – The Edgar Winter Group (1972)
  37. Can’t Buy a Thrill – Steely Dan (1972)
  38. Seventh Sojourn – Moody Blues (1972)
  39. The Eagles – The Eagles (1972)
  40. Band on the Run – Wings (1972)
  41. Toulouse Street – The Doobie Brothers (1972)
  42. We’re an American Band – Grand Funk Railroad (1973)
  43. Billion Dollar Babies – Alice Cooper (1973)
  44. Tres Hombres – ZZ Top (1973)
  45. Brothers and Sisters – The Allman Brothers Band (1973)
  46. The Captain and Me – The Doobie Brothers (1973)
  47. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John (1973)
  48. Aladdin Sane – David Bowie (1974)
  49. Brain Salad Surgery – Emerson Lake and Palmer (1973)
  50. 461 Ocean Boulevard – Eric Clapton (1974)
  51. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie (1974)
  52. The Hoople – Mott the Hoople (1974)
  53. Second Helping – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
  54. Country Life – Roxy Music (1974)
  55. On The Border – The Eagles (1974)
  56. Hair of the Dog – Nazareth (1975)
  57. Face the Music – Electric Light Orchestra (1975)
  58. Beautiful Loser – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (1975)
  59. Silk Degrees – Boz Scaggs (1976)
  60. Agents of Fortune – Blue Oyster Cult (1976)
  61. Jailbreak – Thin Lizzy (1976)
  62. Black and Blue – The Rolling Stones (1976)
  63. Presence – Led Zeppelin (1976)
  64. A New World Record – Electric Light Orchestra (1976)
  65. Destroyer – Kiss (1976)
  66. Night Moves – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (1976)
  67. Monkey Island – Geils (1977)
  68. Point of Know Return – Kansas (1977)
  69. I Robot – The Alan Parson’s Project (1977)
  70. Street Survivors – Lynryd Skynyrd (1977)
  71. Little Queen – Heart (1977)
  72. Even in the Quietest Moments – Supertramp (1977)
  73. News of the World – Queen (1977)
  74. Carolina Dreams – The Marshall Tucker Band (1978)
  75. Stranger in Town – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (1978)
  76. You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish – REO Speedwagon (1978)
  77. This Year’s Model – Elvis Costello (1978)
  78. Live – Foghat (1978)
  79. Outlandos d’Amour– The Police (1978)
  80. Strangers in the Night – UFO (1979)
  81. Reggatta de Blanc – The Police (1979)
  82. Breakfast in America – Supertramp (1979)
  83. In Through the Outdoors – Led Zeppelin (1979)
  84. The Wall – Pink Floyd (1979)
  85. The Song Remains the Same – Led Zeppelin (1979)
  86. John Cougar – John Mellencamp (1979)
  87. Making Movies – Dire Straits (1980)
  88. Women and Children First – Van Halen (1980)
  89. Against the Wind – Bob Seger and the Silve Bullet Band (1980)
  90. Escape – Journey (1981)
  91. Boy – U2 (1980)
  92. Ghost in the Machine – The Police (1981)
  93. Abacab – Genesis (1981)
  94. Records – Foreigner (1982)
  95. Signals – Rush (1982)
  96. Eliminator – ZZ Top (1983)
  97. Synchronicity – The Police (1983)
  98. Building the Perfect Beast – Don Henley (1984)
  99. The Unforgettable Fire – U2 (1984)
  100. 1984 – Van Halen (1984)
  101. No Jacket Required – Phil Collins (1985)
  102. Scarecrow – John Mellencamp (1985)
  103. Love – The Cult (1985)
  104. So – Peter Gabriel (1986)
  105. 5150 – Van Halen (1986)
  106. Hysteria – Def Leppard (1987)
  107. New Jersey – Bon Jovi (1988)
  108. Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 – The Traveling Wilburys (1988)
  109. Cosmic Thing – B-52’s (1989)
  110. Pump – Aerosmith (1989)
  111. End of the Innocence – Don Henley (1989)
  112. Shake Your Money Maker – The Black Crowes (1990)
  113. Chronicles – Rush (1990)
  114. Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog (1990)
  115. The Sky is Crying – Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble (1991)
  116. Out of Time – R.E.M. (1991)
  117. BloodSugarSexMagik – Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991)
  118. X – INXS (1990)
  119. Use Your Illusion I – Guns N Roses (1991)
  120. Use Your Illusion II – Guns N Roses (1991)
  121. ACDC Live – ACDC (1992)
  122. Automatic for the People – R. E. M. (1992)
  123. Core – Stone Temple Pilots (1992)
  124. Welcome to Wherever You Are – INXS (1992)
  125. Siamese Dream – Smashing Pumpkins (1993)
  126. Vs. – Pearl Jam (1993)
  127. In Utero – Nirvana (1993)
  128. Get a Grip – Aerosmith (1993)
  129. Vitalogy – Pearl Jam (1994)
  130. Superunknown – Soundgarden (1994)

Noteworthy Compilations (25)

  1. Flowers – The Rolling Stones (1967)
  2. The Byrd’s Greatest Hits – The Byrds (1967)
  3. The Best of Tommy James – Tommy James & the Shondells (1969)
  4. Greatest Hits – Sly and the Family Stone (1970)
  5. Hot Rocks, 1964 – 1971 – The Rolling Stones (1971)
  6. More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies) – The Rolling Stones (1972)
  7. Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits – Alice Cooper (1974)
  8. Made in the Shade – The Rolling Stones (1975)
  9. Chicago IX: Greatest Hits – Chicago (1975)
  10. Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) – The Eagles (1976)
  11. Changesone – David Bowie (1976)
  12. Classic Performances of Ten Years After – Ten Years After (1977)
  13. The Best of ZZ Top – ZZ Top (1977)
  14. When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll – Deep Purple (1978)
  15. Greatest Hits – Rod Stewart (1979)
  16. Gold & Platinum – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1979)
  17. Classic Yes – Yes (1981)
  18. The Best of the Doors – The Doors (1985)
  19. Every Breath You Take: The Singles – The Police (1986)
  20. Classics – Triumph (1989)
  21. Best Shots – Pat Benatar (1989)
  22. Rev-Up: The Best of Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels – Mitch Ryder (1990)
  23. A Decade of Hits 1969-1979 – The Allman Brothers (1991)
  24. The Baddest of George Thorogood & the Destroyers – George Thorogood & the Destroyers (1992)
  25. Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo: The Best of Rick Derringer (1996)

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