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10.2k voters

The Greatest Guitar Rock Albums of All Time

Updated August 15, 2021 233.2k votes 10.2k voters 128.5k views564 items

List RulesOnly bands who are considered guitar rock bands. Synths can be present, but they can't be the main focus of a band's sound.

Update: Follow Ranker's official New Rock 2020 playlist on Spotify!

Remember when sex was safe and motorcycles were dangerous, and every rock song had at least a half assed decent guitar solo, and people were doing real drugs and not bath salts? Well, this is a tribute to the music in a time when America was simply about life, liberty, and the pursuit of SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK-N-ROLL! That said, guitar rock may not be as popular as it was in the past, but that doesn't mean that in the genre's heyday, there weren't albums that transcended genres, music types and connected with fans from all over the globe. For starters, who can forget the entire Led Zeppelin catalog? Jimmy Page's bonecrunching riffs and Robert Plant's howls brought heavy blues chords to the mainstream while establishing the band as one of guitar rock's greatest bands.

There are so many influential albums and top guitar albums here that it's impossible to list them all right here. But so many of the biggest bands in the world populate this list and all of the biggest guitar players in the world are rightfully present on here. Their mere presence alone means that their particular album is going to rock. You have dudes like Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young, Tony Iommi and Stevie Ray Vaughn amongst others whose guitar prowess is showcased on so many of these albums. 

So what are the best guitar rock albums of all time? You'll notice Led Zeppelin II, Are You Experienced and Couldn't Stand the Weather, but there are so many more. If you think something including amazing guitars is missing, feel free add that album to this list. Vote and re-rank to how you deem it to be fit.

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  • 1
    2,740
    1,153

    Led Zeppelin IV

    Led Zeppelin
  • 2
    2,338
    1,008

    Led Zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin
  • 3
    2,371
    1,087
  • 4
    2,505
    1,114

    Led Zeppelin II

    Led Zeppelin
  • 5
    1,504
    675

    The Wall

    Pink Floyd
  • 6
    1,920
    1,007
  • 7
    1,468
    744

    Houses of the Holy

    Led Zeppelin
  • 8
    2,084
    1,184
  • 9
    1,821
    979

    Who's Next

    The Who
  • 10
    1,411
    801

    Electric Ladyland

    The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • 11
    1,671
    935

    Led Zeppelin III

    Led Zeppelin
  • 12
    1,772
    887

    Physical Graffiti

    Led Zeppelin
  • 13
    1,839
    1,118

    Paranoid

    Black Sabbath
  • 14
    1,625
    973

    Abbey Road

    The Beatles
  • 15
    1,609
    977
  • 16
    927
    545
  • 17
    2,001
    1,205

    Are You Experienced

    The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • 18
    1,110
    686

    Rumours

    Fleetwood Mac
  • 19
    1,891
    1,205

    Van Halen

    Van Halen
  • 20
    722
    352

    The live album was originally intended as a single LP disc, but at the suggestion of A&M Records additional shows were recorded and the album expanded to two LPs for release.  During the concerts, Frampton principally used a distinctive black custom Gibson Les Paul electric guitar (with three humbucking pick-ups as opposed to the usual two).[3]

    The double album was released in the US with a special reduced list price of $7.98, only $1.00 more than the standard $6.98 of most single-disc albums in 1976. The album was pressed in "automatic sequence", with sides one and four on one record, followed by sides two and three on the other. This arrangement was intended to make it easier to listen through the whole album in sequence on automatic record changers.

    Three hit singles were released from the album: "Baby, I Love Your Way", "Do You Feel Like We Do" and "Show Me the Way". The talk box guitar effect became strongly associated with Frampton when it was heard on the latter two singles. The "Do You Feel Like We Do" single version was edited to 7:19 from the 14:15 album version. But even at just over 7 minutes, it is about twice the length of the average hit single and one of the longest ever to make the top 40 (even The Beatles' "Hey Jude" ran 7:11). 

  • 21
    910
    543

    Animals

    Pink Floyd
    pink floyd
  • 22
    1,362
    808

    Boston

    Boston
  • 23
    711
    404

    Bad Company

    Bad Company
  • 24
    1,160
    702

    Sticky Fingers

    The Rolling Stones
  • 25
    1,498
    1,015

    Machine Head

    Deep Purple
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List Rules: Only bands who are considered guitar rock bands. Synths can be present, but they can't be the main focus of a band's sound.