As the years go by, the allure of classic rock continues to captivate music enthusiasts across generations. The new year is a perfect time to rediscover some of rock music’s most iconic records.
To get you started on your journey of rediscovery, we’ve come up with a list of 12 legendary albums you should listen to, one for each month of the new year.
Dust off your records, or cue up the digital playlist, and celebrate the enduring brilliance of these classic rock masterpieces.
January: The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd (1973)
Start the year with one of Pink Floyd’s a mind-bending rock records by immersing yourself in The Dark Side of the Moon. This groundbreaking album seamlessly blends progressive rock, psychedelia, and conceptual storytelling.
From the iconic heartbeat in “Speak to Me” to the cosmic journey of “Us and Them,” each track is a sonic masterpiece. The album’s exploration of themes like mental illness, mortality, and the human experience makes it as relevant today as it was in the ’70s.
February: Rumours by Fleetwood Mac (1977)
In the month of love, explore the intricate dynamics of relationships with Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.
The album’s emotional depth, catchy melodies, and exceptional harmonies propelled it to legendary status. Songs like “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” and “The Chain” showcase the band’s prowess in crafting timeless hits. Each one makes Rumours an essential listen for any rock enthusiast.
March: Led Zeppelin IV by Led Zeppelin (1971)
March into the rock pantheon with Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth studio album, commonly called Led Zeppelin IV.
From the iconic opening of “Black Dog” to the epic fantasy of “Stairway to Heaven,” this album is a tour de force of hard rock and blues. Each track showcases the band’s instrumental virtuosity and Robert Plant’s mesmerizing vocals, cementing its status as a classic rock essential.
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April: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (1975)
As spring blooms, feel the energy and passion of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run.
The album captures the spirit of American rock and roll with anthems like the title track and “Thunder Road.” Springsteen’s storytelling prowess and the E Street Band’s dynamic instrumentation make Born to Run a timeless gem.
May: A Night at the Opera by Queen (1975)
Celebrate the eclectic genius of Queen in May with A Night at the Opera.
This album, featuring the epic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” showcases the band’s versatility and innovative approach to rock. From the operatic grandeur of the title track to the rocking “I’m in Love with My Car,” Queen’s magnum opus remains a testament to their musical prowess.
June: Hotel California by Eagles (1976)
Welcome the summer with the laid-back Californian vibes of the Eagles’ Hotel California.
The album’s title track is a rock classic. Songs like “New Kid in Town” and “Life in the Fast Lane” further solidifying its place in rock history. Hotel California epitomizes the ’70s rock sound, making it a perfect soundtrack for long summer nights.
July: Back in Black by AC/DC (1980)
As the summer heat intensifies, crank up the volume with the thunderous riffs of AC/DC’s Back in Black.
Released in the aftermath of Bon Scott’s untimely death, this album marked the triumphant return of the band with Brian Johnson as the lead vocalist. Anthems like the title track and “You Shook Me All Night Long” showcase AC/DC’s signature sound and unrelenting energy, making “Back in Black” a staple in the hard rock canon.
August: The Doors by The Doors (1967)
As summer gives way to the cool breeze of autumn, explore the self-titled debut album of The Doors.
Released in 1967, The Doors features the unmistakable vocals of Jim Morrison, accompanied by a psychedelic and blues-infused sound. With iconic tracks like “Light My Fire” and “Break On Through (To the Other Side),” this album encapsulates the rebellious spirit of the ’60s and the emerging counterculture.
September: Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones (1971)
As autumn approaches, revel in the raw and gritty rock sound of The Rolling Stones with Sticky Fingers.
This album is a blues-infused journey with iconic tracks like “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses.” The album’s cover art, featuring a working zipper, adds a tactile element to the experience, making Sticky Fingers a true classic that encapsulates the rebellious spirit of rock and roll.
October: Abbey Road by The Beatles (1969)
October brings a touch of nostalgia with The Beatles’ Abbey Road.
This final studio album by the Fab Four is a masterclass in songwriting, arrangement, and production. From the medley of interconnected tracks on Side B to the iconic crossing of Abbey Road on the cover, this album is a fitting tribute to the end of an era and a testament to The Beatles’ enduring legacy.
November: Machine Head by Deep Purple (1972)
As autumn leaves fall, experience the powerful hard rock of Deep Purple’s Machine Head.
This album, released in 1972, is a cornerstone of the rock genre. It features timeless tracks like “Smoke on the Water” and “Highway Star.” The album’s fusion of blues, hard rock, and progressive elements showcases Deep Purple’s instrumentation and innovative approach. Celebrated for its iconic riffs and dynamic compositions that continue to resonate with rock enthusiasts around the world, Machine Head remains a classic in the rock canon.
December: Who’s Next by The Who (1971)
Wrap up the year with the explosive energy of The Who’s Who’s Next.
This album, born from the aborted Lifehouse project, features timeless tracks like “Baba O’Riley” and “Behind Blue Eyes.” The raw power of Pete Townshend’s guitar, Roger Daltrey’s vocals, and Keith Moon’s thunderous drumming make “Who’s Next” a fitting conclusion to a year of rediscovering classic rock.
A Record A Month In 2024
In 2024, take a trip down the hallowed halls of rock history by immersing yourself in these iconic records each month.
From the cosmic musings of Pink Floyd to the energy of Bruce Springsteen, these records stand the test of time. And, with every listen, they continue to inspire new generations of music lovers. Let the classics guide you through a year of musical rediscovery, reminding us of the enduring power of rock and its ability to transcend time.