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The 100 Greatest Classic Rock Albums of All Time: #1. Sticky Fingers (5 Viewers)

At a girls high school basketball game. Started off with Ozzy for warm ups and then went to AC/DC. All classic rock, zero Taylor Swift.

Not hearing any Beatles either.
 
I have received four lists and none of them are identical.

5 votes - 6 albums (32)
4 votes - 3 album (3)
3 votes - 1 albums (4)
2 votes - 1 albums (1)


I think @Ghost Rider nails it saying one "will be deemed to old" which brings another album into play.
5 votes - 6 albums (30)
4 votes - 3 album (12)
3 votes - 1 albums (3)
2 votes - 1 albums (2)
1 vote - 3 albums (3)

Revised for @AAABatteries entry.

I’m not sure I understand how to read this. Can you explain for a middle aged dummy like myself?
3 albums only received one vote
 
This one, I don't get. I mean, I know it is widely popular, but I have given it numerous listens over the years, and it always strikes me as pretty inconsistent. Tumbling Dice, the only song I've ever heard from it on the radio, is great, and I really like Loving Cup and Shine a Light, but you can have the rest.

Let It Loose is a masterpiece. I'm sure you've heard "Happy" on the radio before. A few others too. "Torn and Frayed" and "All Down the Line" have had some air time too.

And if you're not convinced, try and find Phish's rendition of this live. They played the entire thing start to finish and it's glorious.
Not to be too much of a wise guy ;), but I did say in the post you quoted that I have given this album numerous listens over the years, so I don't really need "check out this song" recommendations. It got more than enough tries in my CD player.
 
Count me in the camp that never understood the pedestal this album has been bestowed. It's a really good album, don't get me wrong, but I find that it's one of those critical darlings that has probably permeated the popularity landscape.
 
9. The Rolling Stones- Exile on Main Street (1972)

Classic rock radio hits: Tumbling Dice, Happy, Rocks Off


Almost all of the albums that appear in the top 20 of this list are close to greatest hits collections in terms of how many songs get played regularly on classic rock radio; but Exile is the exception to the rule. Not only has radio pretty much always limited this double album to playing these 2 or 3 songs, it has always been at a lesser frequency compared to other Stones records. Mick Jagger believes that this is because the album was recorded with the guitars turned up too loud with the vocals sounding muffled and hard to understand. Keith Richards is proud of this fact.

I’m with Keith. I think the sound is great, and I don’t really care that I can’t understand Mick’s lyrics part of the time. It’s all booze and heroin induced rambling anyhow. The key here is the music which is blues rock to the nth degree. If you love loud messy blues (I do) this is a flawless collection of tunes.

Rocks Off
That opening guitar is so distinctive and infectious. Top notch rock.

Rip This Joint
This song and a few others on this album fairly predicted the advent of punk rock later in the decade.

Shake Your Hips
I think Billy Gibbons must have listened carefully to this song. Of course the Stones didn’t originate that great guitar lead; old black dudes from the Delta had been using it for decades.

Casino Boogie
More blues on a record filled with it. Something about a judge and jury mumble mumble not important.

Tumbling Dice
Really the only tune that most people who have never listened to this album (shame on you) are most familiar with. Again don’t worry about the lyrics; not that important. Exquisite rock and roll.

Sweet Virginia
Country blues lullaby. Sweet as the title.

Torn and Frayed
Such a great rock song. Love everything about this. Great country rock guitar by Mick Taylor

Sweet Black Angel
A politically incorrect acoustic tribute to Angela Davis. Nonetheless one of my personal favorites.

Loving Cup
Best song on the album and in my top 5 best Stones tunes ever. I especially love Nicky Hopkins’ keyboards here.

Happy
Keith provides the vocals for his signature song. Guitar is splendid. Delightful tune.

Turd on the Run
More punk rock beginnings here. Explosive guitars.

Ventilator Blues
Booze, drugs, blues and probably some loose women around. What’s not to love?

I Just Want to See His Face
The most muffled of several muffled tunes on the record. Sounds great to me!

Let It Loose
Another of this album’s great masterpieces, almost at a level with “Loving Cup”. These songs represent, for me, the absolute best music that The Rolling Stones ever achieved.

All Down the Line
A bit of a throwback to the earlier Stones of Between the Buttons era. Which means it’s great.

Stop Breaking Down
More great loud blues. Rinse and repeat.

Shine a Light
Slow and anthemic. Or it would be if you could make it out. But who cares?

Soul Survivor
The record closes with another of the great rock classics. Sublime and superb.
I heard Linda Ronstadt's version of Tumbling Dice on the radio before I ever heard the Stones' original.
 
Listened to exile on Spotify last night. Never heard a single song. It’s not classic rock. Not at all. It’s blues. And decent blues at that. but it’s why it doesn’t belong.
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.
 
8. Pink Floyd- The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Classic rock radio hits: Money, Brain Damage/Eclipse, Us and Them, Time, Breath (In the Air)


This record is about as far removed from Exile On Main Street as possible and still be considered classic rock. The former album, as I wrote, is messy blues; this album is anything but messy and the blues elements are few and far between (though they do make somewhat of an appearance on Money and Brain Damage.)

It took me a long time, decades really, to appreciate this record. The same impulses that make me such a huge fan of the Stones also made me feel this music is too polished and perfected; I felt the same way about Rush and other prog rock bands and it’s probably the same reason that the biggest fans of this genre of rock are likely to be the biggest critics of bands like the Stones. But in the end, hopefully with a little wisdom, I’ve come to realize that both elements have contributed greatly to the music I’ve most enjoyed listening to. And as for DSOTM the music has really grown on me to the point where I now quite enjoy it. Perhaps I’ve grown mellow with old age.

Speak to Me
Just a short intro with voice recordings,

Breath (In the Air)
the first of the 5 great melodies on this record. Slow and seductive (Rick Wright is terrific here) but ends rather abruptly.

On The Run
Reminds me a little of Revolution #9 though not quite as annoying or unlistenable. But this avant-garde stuff has never really attracted me.

Time
One of Pink Floyd’s greatest songs, even if it takes some time (no pun intended) to actually get there. Once we do the payoff is enormous.

The Great Gig In the Sky
Certainly a dynamic instrumental with some great piano and guitar. But I’ll take Moby ****.

Money
Another tune that’s grown on me- as a teenager and young man I hated it. Even now I find the cash registers at the beginning tremendously annoying and a reason to turn it off. But I do love the actual song- it’s great rock and roll. Gilmour with one of his best solos.

Us and Them
Another classic with a gorgeous melody. Even in the days when I didn’t like this album, I always approved of this ballad.

Any Colour You Like
Another instrumental, this one even more jazzy. I can appreciate how the intros and instrumentals on this album contribute to the overall concept and mood of the record. Even so they’re not why I’m here. When these are being played I’m anxiously waiting to get to the good stuff.

Brain Damage/Eclipse
IMO rivals Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here as the band’s greatest song. Completely brilliant in concept and execution. Exclipse is more of a segment of a tune and is forever linked to Brain Damage so I combined them here.
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.

My take it if an album fits a genre that existed before rock, then it's not rock. Pre-rock includes blues, jazz and swing, classical, country, gospel, and others. Rock morphed into various forms ... classic, prog, pop, hard rock (including older metal), etc. Exile is 100% blues. If Tim was picking the 100 best blues albums, Exile would be in it. And since blues is pre-rock, it's disqualified from this list and why most of us have never heard a single song from the album played on our local classic rock stations. Doesn't means its not good. Just out of place here.
 
8. Pink Floyd- The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Classic rock radio hits: Money, Brain Damage/Eclipse, Us and Them, Time, Breath (In the Air)


This record is about as far removed from Exile On Main Street as possible and still be considered classic rock. The former album, as I wrote, is messy blues; this album is anything but messy and the blues elements are few and far between (though they do make somewhat of an appearance on Money and Brain Damage.)

It took me a long time, decades really, to appreciate this record. The same impulses that make me such a huge fan of the Stones also made me feel this music is too polished and perfected; I felt the same way about Rush and other prog rock bands and it’s probably the same reason that the biggest fans of this genre of rock are likely to be the biggest critics of bands like the Stones. But in the end, hopefully with a little wisdom, I’ve come to realize that both elements have contributed greatly to the music I’ve most enjoyed listening to. And as for DSOTM the music has really grown on me to the point where I now quite enjoy it. Perhaps I’ve grown mellow with old age.

Speak to Me
Just a short intro with voice recordings,

Breath (In the Air)
the first of the 5 great melodies on this record. Slow and seductive (Rick Wright is terrific here) but ends rather abruptly.

On The Run
Reminds me a little of Revolution #9 though not quite as annoying or unlistenable. But this avant-garde stuff has never really attracted me.

Time
One of Pink Floyd’s greatest songs, even if it takes some time (no pun intended) to actually get there. Once we do the payoff is enormous.

The Great Gig In the Sky
Certainly a dynamic instrumental with some great piano and guitar. But I’ll take Moby ****.

Money
Another tune that’s grown on me- as a teenager and young man I hated it. Even now I find the cash registers at the beginning tremendously annoying and a reason to turn it off. But I do love the actual song- it’s great rock and roll. Gilmour with one of his best solos.

Us and Them
Another classic with a gorgeous melody. Even in the days when I didn’t like this album, I always approved of this ballad.

Any Colour You Like
Another instrumental, this one even more jazzy. I can appreciate how the intros and instrumentals on this album contribute to the overall concept and mood of the record. Even so they’re not why I’m here. When these are being played I’m anxiously waiting to get to the good stuff.

Brain Damage/Eclipse
IMO rivals Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here as the band’s greatest song. Completely brilliant in concept and execution. Exclipse is more of a segment of a tune and is forever linked to Brain Damage so I combined them here.
No argument here (obviously).
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.

My take it if an album fits a genre that existed before rock, then it's not rock. Pre-rock includes blues, jazz and swing, classical, country, gospel, and others. Rock morphed into various forms ... classic, prog, pop, hard rock (including older metal), etc. Exile is 100% blues. If Tim was picking the 100 best blues albums, Exile would be in it. And since blues is pre-rock, it's disqualified from this list and why most of us have never heard a single song from the album played on our local classic rock stations. Doesn't means its not good. Just out of place here.
In your opinion, when did rock start? And, how?
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.

My take it if an album fits a genre that existed before rock, then it's not rock. Pre-rock includes blues, jazz and swing, classical, country, gospel, and others. Rock morphed into various forms ... classic, prog, pop, hard rock (including older metal), etc. Exile is 100% blues. If Tim was picking the 100 best blues albums, Exile would be in it. And since blues is pre-rock, it's disqualified from this list and why most of us have never heard a single song from the album played on our local classic rock stations. Doesn't means its not good. Just out of place here.
I called Exile a messy blues album for shorthand reason but it’s hardly all blues. There are actually only about 3-4 songs that are straight blues; the rest is hard rock, folk rock, country rock, blues influenced rock, etc.
 
This one, I don't get. I mean, I know it is widely popular, but I have given it numerous listens over the years, and it always strikes me as pretty inconsistent. Tumbling Dice, the only song I've ever heard from it on the radio, is great, and I really like Loving Cup and Shine a Light, but you can have the rest.

Let It Loose is a masterpiece. I'm sure you've heard "Happy" on the radio before. A few others too. "Torn and Frayed" and "All Down the Line" have had some air time too.

And if you're not convinced, try and find Phish's rendition of this live. They played the entire thing start to finish and it's glorious.
Not to be too much of a wise guy ;), but I did say in the post you quoted that I have given this album numerous listens over the years, so I don't really need "check out this song" recommendations. It got more than enough tries in my CD player.

Well, part of my reply was to refute your limitations on radio play. But regardless, it's not your cup of tea, no matter how wrong you are. ;)
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.

My take it if an album fits a genre that existed before rock, then it's not rock. Pre-rock includes blues, jazz and swing, classical, country, gospel, and others. Rock morphed into various forms ... classic, prog, pop, hard rock (including older metal), etc. Exile is 100% blues. If Tim was picking the 100 best blues albums, Exile would be in it. And since blues is pre-rock, it's disqualified from this list and why most of us have never heard a single song from the album played on our local classic rock stations. Doesn't means its not good. Just out of place here.
In your opinion, when did rock start? And, how?
Good question based on his stance.
 
It could be a bit low, but an 8 ranking is nothing to sneeze at, and a well-deserved callout for Dark Side of the Moon, one of the greatest albums of all time.
 
8. Pink Floyd- The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Classic rock radio hits: Money, Brain Damage/Eclipse, Us and Them, Time, Breath (In the Air)
Consistent with my listening experience.
On The Run
Reminds me a little of Revolution #9

No.

The Great Gig In the Sky
Certainly a dynamic instrumental with some great piano and guitar. But I’ll take Moby ****.

No mention of the VOCAL by Clare Torrey?

Any Colour You Like
Another instrumental, this one even more jazzy. I can appreciate how the intros and instrumentals on this album contribute to the overall concept and mood of the record. Even so they’re not why I’m here. When these are being played I’m anxiously waiting to get to the good stuff.

This IS (also) the good stuff!

In Anarchy's Floyd countdown I ranked Us and Them #4, Money #10, Any Colour You Like #15 and Time #21.

This is another of the nine obvious albums I predicted would be on your list, in no particular order.
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.

My take it if an album fits a genre that existed before rock, then it's not rock. Pre-rock includes blues, jazz and swing, classical, country, gospel, and others. Rock morphed into various forms ... classic, prog, pop, hard rock (including older metal), etc. Exile is 100% blues. If Tim was picking the 100 best blues albums, Exile would be in it. And since blues is pre-rock, it's disqualified from this list and why most of us have never heard a single song from the album played on our local classic rock stations. Doesn't means its not good. Just out of place here.
This seems like a weird take. Rock was initially the fusion of a bunch of genres that came before it. And Exile is more diverse than just a blues record.

Tumbling Dice was a major hit and any "classic rock" station that doesn't play it is doing it wrong.
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.

My take it if an album fits a genre that existed before rock, then it's not rock. Pre-rock includes blues, jazz and swing, classical, country, gospel, and others. Rock morphed into various forms ... classic, prog, pop, hard rock (including older metal), etc. Exile is 100% blues. If Tim was picking the 100 best blues albums, Exile would be in it. And since blues is pre-rock, it's disqualified from this list and why most of us have never heard a single song from the album played on our local classic rock stations. Doesn't means its not good. Just out of place here.
This seems like a weird take. Rock was initially the fusion of a bunch of genres that came before it. And Exile is more diverse than just a blues record.

Tumbling Dice was a major hit and any "classic rock" station that doesn't play it is doing it wrong.

Yeah, hard to see how someone would characterize "Torn and Frayed" as blues. Or "Shine a Light" for that matter.
 
8. Pink Floyd- The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Classic rock radio hits: Money, Brain Damage/Eclipse, Us and Them, Time, Breath (In the Air)


This record is about as far removed from Exile On Main Street as possible and still be considered classic rock. The former album, as I wrote, is messy blues; this album is anything but messy and the blues elements are few and far between (though they do make somewhat of an appearance on Money and Brain Damage.)

It took me a long time, decades really, to appreciate this record. The same impulses that make me such a huge fan of the Stones also made me feel this music is too polished and perfected; I felt the same way about Rush and other prog rock bands and it’s probably the same reason that the biggest fans of this genre of rock are likely to be the biggest critics of bands like the Stones. But in the end, hopefully with a little wisdom, I’ve come to realize that both elements have contributed greatly to the music I’ve most enjoyed listening to. And as for DSOTM the music has really grown on me to the point where I now quite enjoy it. Perhaps I’ve grown mellow with old age.

Speak to Me
Just a short intro with voice recordings,

Breath (In the Air)
the first of the 5 great melodies on this record. Slow and seductive (Rick Wright is terrific here) but ends rather abruptly.

On The Run
Reminds me a little of Revolution #9 though not quite as annoying or unlistenable. But this avant-garde stuff has never really attracted me.

Time
One of Pink Floyd’s greatest songs, even if it takes some time (no pun intended) to actually get there. Once we do the payoff is enormous.

The Great Gig In the Sky
Certainly a dynamic instrumental with some great piano and guitar. But I’ll take Moby ****.

Money
Another tune that’s grown on me- as a teenager and young man I hated it. Even now I find the cash registers at the beginning tremendously annoying and a reason to turn it off. But I do love the actual song- it’s great rock and roll. Gilmour with one of his best solos.

Us and Them
Another classic with a gorgeous melody. Even in the days when I didn’t like this album, I always approved of this ballad.

Any Colour You Like
Another instrumental, this one even more jazzy. I can appreciate how the intros and instrumentals on this album contribute to the overall concept and mood of the record. Even so they’re not why I’m here. When these are being played I’m anxiously waiting to get to the good stuff.

Brain Damage/Eclipse
IMO rivals Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here as the band’s greatest song. Completely brilliant in concept and execution. Exclipse is more of a segment of a tune and is forever linked to Brain Damage so I combined them here.
No argument here (obviously).
The obvious argument would be that there are not seven better rock albums than Dark Side.
 
8. Pink Floyd- The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Classic rock radio hits: Money, Brain Damage/Eclipse, Us and Them, Time, Breath (In the Air)


This record is about as far removed from Exile On Main Street as possible and still be considered classic rock. The former album, as I wrote, is messy blues; this album is anything but messy and the blues elements are few and far between (though they do make somewhat of an appearance on Money and Brain Damage.)

It took me a long time, decades really, to appreciate this record. The same impulses that make me such a huge fan of the Stones also made me feel this music is too polished and perfected; I felt the same way about Rush and other prog rock bands and it’s probably the same reason that the biggest fans of this genre of rock are likely to be the biggest critics of bands like the Stones. But in the end, hopefully with a little wisdom, I’ve come to realize that both elements have contributed greatly to the music I’ve most enjoyed listening to. And as for DSOTM the music has really grown on me to the point where I now quite enjoy it. Perhaps I’ve grown mellow with old age.

Speak to Me
Just a short intro with voice recordings,

Breath (In the Air)
the first of the 5 great melodies on this record. Slow and seductive (Rick Wright is terrific here) but ends rather abruptly.

On The Run
Reminds me a little of Revolution #9 though not quite as annoying or unlistenable. But this avant-garde stuff has never really attracted me.

Time
One of Pink Floyd’s greatest songs, even if it takes some time (no pun intended) to actually get there. Once we do the payoff is enormous.

The Great Gig In the Sky
Certainly a dynamic instrumental with some great piano and guitar. But I’ll take Moby ****.

Money
Another tune that’s grown on me- as a teenager and young man I hated it. Even now I find the cash registers at the beginning tremendously annoying and a reason to turn it off. But I do love the actual song- it’s great rock and roll. Gilmour with one of his best solos.

Us and Them
Another classic with a gorgeous melody. Even in the days when I didn’t like this album, I always approved of this ballad.

Any Colour You Like
Another instrumental, this one even more jazzy. I can appreciate how the intros and instrumentals on this album contribute to the overall concept and mood of the record. Even so they’re not why I’m here. When these are being played I’m anxiously waiting to get to the good stuff.

Brain Damage/Eclipse
IMO rivals Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here as the band’s greatest song. Completely brilliant in concept and execution. Exclipse is more of a segment of a tune and is forever linked to Brain Damage so I combined them here.
No argument here (obviously).
The obvious argument would be that there are not seven better rock albums than Dark Side.

I think there are. I wouldn't choose Tim's 7 exactly, though there would be overlap.
 
Funny Dark Side of the Moon / Phish story. In the 1990's, Phish was known to play Halloween shows in which they took on the 'musical costume' of being another band for one set. This led to epic 10/31 performances of the White Album, Quadrophenia, and Remain in Light, to name just three. Well, in 1998, fans were clamoring for them to do Dark Side of the Moon on 10/31/98. Instead, the band made their own decision to cover Velvet Underground's Loaded at that Vegas gig. Some disgruntlement among fans ensued and not many folks made the trek to Utah for the next show on 11/2/98. At that undersold show, Phish treated the true die-hards to their rendition of the full DSOTM album in the midst of their usual two sets of their own music. Not many were in attendance but at least one fine fan recorded the gig and it can be heard on Youtube. Just search for 11/2/98 Phish. I'll be the first to admit that the band was not tight. It's not easy to "throw together" Dark Side of the Moon on ones' day off in between gigs. But what it lacked in precision, that show more than made up for it with unbridled fun and giddiness.
 
I was expecting Tim to get piled on for some stuff in his list, but I was not expecting it to be for putting Exile in the Top 10.

My take it if an album fits a genre that existed before rock, then it's not rock. Pre-rock includes blues, jazz and swing, classical, country, gospel, and others. Rock morphed into various forms ... classic, prog, pop, hard rock (including older metal), etc. Exile is 100% blues. If Tim was picking the 100 best blues albums, Exile would be in it. And since blues is pre-rock, it's disqualified from this list and why most of us have never heard a single song from the album played on our local classic rock stations. Doesn't means its not good. Just out of place here.
In your opinion, when did rock start? And, how?
Good question based on his stance.
There are better people to describe the history than me. Heck wikipedia probably does it. And I like me some old brother blues. And rock is essentially faster, harder blues. To me Exile never kicks into rock like say an Allman Brothers, Elvis Pressley, or ZZ top album often might. Or even how a Stones album like Sticky FIngers does. Rolling Stone mag probably disagrees because they have a hard-on for the Stones and I imagine Exile is highly rated.

But I compare Exile's lyrics more to say Michael Coleman (RIP) or John Lee Hooker (RIP). Though those are true, true blue guitarists. Chicago folks will know the former who I was a huge fan of. They all kind of lack the upbeat needed.

Tim obviously doesn't agree w me. And others won't I'll stick by my opinion.
 
The closest genre to rock n' roll in time, musicality, and influence has been widely acknowledged as the jump blues. Blues play an integral part of rock n' roll, for sure, but they're incorporated into something different than just traditional blues. One can look it up quite quickly to see the musical differences from blues (it's a derivative of big band jazz set-ups and playing) and how it is the precursor to rock n' roll, namely because of shuffle drums, boogie-woogie rhythms, and repetition.

One theory I heard recently on a message board was that Chuck Berry is the start of modern rock n' roll because he's the first to really feature the guitar rather than a saxophone. That sounded like such stupid criteria for a minute, but the more people talked about it . . . well, the more they disagreed. "Rocket 88" by Ike Turner became the consensus of the thread discussing the beginning of rock n' roll and the first "rock n' roll" song (not a jump blues derivative). Right around here you can hear rock beginning if you can forget Ike Turner's legacy for a moment. At the link . . .

 
On The Run
Reminds me a little of Revolution #9 though not quite as annoying or unlistenable. But this avant-garde stuff has never really attracted me.

That's because you're a Fakers Fan. If you were a fan of the best team in history you'd like this tune and probably have DSOTM in he top 5.

 
7. David Bowie- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

Classic rock radio hits: Suffragette City, Starman, Ziggy Stardust, Moonage Daydream


All of the commentaries I have read about this album begin with the presentation: Bowie’s weird concept of the alien who comes to a dying Earth, becomes a rock star and is murdered by his fans. With this character, David Bowie changed music and may have even influenced western society with his exploration of gender definitions and human sexuality.

But I don’t really care much about any of that. For me it’s a lot more simple: David Bowie wrote the best collection of songs of his career, gathered together a tremendous band, and played superlative rock and roll. And that’s why I love this album and rank it so high. The other stuff is interesting but secondary. If you like glam rock from the early 70s, this record is the best of it.

Five Years
Only Bowie could write a song about a doomed planet Earth and infuse it with cynical humor (best line: “Don’t think you knew you were in this song.”) Tremendous melody and terrific performance.

Soul Love
A really catchy love song. Infectious and hard to avoid singing along.

Moonage Daydream
After two relatively “soft” tunes, the rock kicks into gear with this strange but marvelous space classic.

Starman
in the running, IMO, for Bowie’s greatest song ever. Timeless and awesome.

It Ain’t Easy
The only cover on the record. This is fine rock and roll.

Lady Stardust
This ballad is my personal favorite. I had a makeshift band in my 20s and we tried to cover it. But we were crap and it sounded terrible. Ah well.

Star
This song about rock stardom has little to do with the theme of the rest of the album but it’s really well written and rocks so well. Bowie made the transformation.

Hang on to Yourself
A little weaker material IMO than the rest of the record but still a catchy rock song.

Ziggy Stardust
One of the greatest and most distinctive guitar riffs in rock history. This is the definitive glam rock song. The Bauhaus cover a few years later, in which they add a goth tinge, is also great.

Suffragette City
Hardest Bowie has ever rocked. Play it loud, wham bam thank you mam.

Rock ‘n Roll Suicide
A cabaret song, somewhat like much of the tunes on Hunky Dory. Starts off softly and then explodes with emotion.
 
7. David Bowie- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

Classic rock radio hits: Suffragette City, Starman, Ziggy Stardust, Moonage Daydream
My stations played these four plus FIve Years and Hang on to Yourself. Definitely Bowie's best album.

This is the one I missed. I must have thought we'd already seen it. I'm confident I got your top 6.
 
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On top of the songs on the Ziggy album, Bowie recorded other tracks that didn't make it that were just as good. They ended up getting released as B sides or part of box sets.

All The Young Dudes
John, I'm Only Dancing
Round And Round
Sweet Head
Velvet Goldmine
Holy Holy
White Light / White Heat
My Death
Amsterdam

A lot of the Aladdin Sane album was written (and several songs were recorded) in that same timeframe as well. The Ziggy era was the best. But any Bowie is an acquired taste.
I love Velvet Goldmine and John I’m Only Dancing. Great great songs.
 
7. David Bowie- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

Classic rock radio hits: Suffragette City, Starman, Ziggy Stardust, Moonage Daydream


All of the commentaries I have read about this album begin with the presentation: Bowie’s weird concept of the alien who comes to a dying Earth, becomes a rock star and is murdered by his fans. With this character, David Bowie changed music and may have even influenced western society with his exploration of gender definitions and human sexuality.

But I don’t really care much about any of that. For me it’s a lot more simple: David Bowie wrote the best collection of songs of his career, gathered together a tremendous band, and played superlative rock and roll. And that’s why I love this album and rank it so high. The other stuff is interesting but secondary. If you like glam rock from the early 70s, this record is the best of it.

Five Years
Only Bowie could write a song about a doomed planet Earth and infuse it with cynical humor (best line: “Don’t think you knew you were in this song.”) Tremendous melody and terrific performance.

Soul Love
A really catchy love song. Infectious and hard to avoid singing along.

Moonage Daydream
After two relatively “soft” tunes, the rock kicks into gear with this strange but marvelous space classic.

Starman
in the running, IMO, for Bowie’s greatest song ever. Timeless and awesome.

It Ain’t Easy
The only cover on the record. This is fine rock and roll.

Lady Stardust
This ballad is my personal favorite. I had a makeshift band in my 20s and we tried to cover it. But we were crap and it sounded terrible. Ah well.

Star
This song about rock stardom has little to do with the theme of the rest of the album but it’s really well written and rocks so well. Bowie made the transformation.

Hang on to Yourself
A little weaker material IMO than the rest of the record but still a catchy rock song.

Ziggy Stardust
One of the greatest and most distinctive guitar riffs in rock history. This is the definitive glam rock song. The Bauhaus cover a few years later, in which they add a goth tinge, is also great.

Suffragette City
Hardest Bowie has ever rocked. Play it loud, wham bam thank you mam.

Rock ‘n Roll Suicide
A cabaret song, somewhat like much of the tunes on Hunky Dory. Starts off softly and then explodes with emotion.
Love Bowie and although not my favorite by him I never get tired of this. Mick Ronson’s fingerprints are all over this classic. Great stuff
 
But any Bowie is an acquired taste.

This is very true. I appreciate Bowie, but never really like him much. Just doesn't hit me like some others do, and I can't explain why.
I think part of this has to do with Bowie being a different kind of cat. He was just plain weird. Musically, he bounced around all over the place . . . folk, rock, glam, soul, ambient, pop, dance, synth, electronica, instrumental, goth, hard rock, disco, adult contemporary, and others I am sure I left off the list. That made him inaccessible to most people, and he didn't really care. Most people are not going to gravitate to his instrumental / mostly electronic albums of the late 70's, his loud and obnoxious sound of Tin Machine, and his bubble gum pop songs like Never Let Me Down . . . and none of those were all that popular anyway. He was an innovator that wanted to do whatever he wanted to do. He claimed he didn't ever do anything to sell records and make money (until he tried to leverage his name and his brand to make money). For the mainstream music fan, too much of his catalog would fall in the "don't care for it much" category.
 

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