There are a lot of albums that are considered to be among the greatest ever, but that list can end up getting pretty long when you start to think of your personal favorites. While your own tastes are certainly good, there are some albums that hit the general public with such an overwhelmingly positive response from fans and critics alike that it’s hard to not consider them to be among the greatest ever.
If you haven’t listened to too much music from the 1990s and earlier, there are some albums that you absolutely must listen to. These albums have memorable tracks from beginning to end, with the singles that were released from each album making their way up the charts. Here are the five classic albums that span generations and genres that everyone should own.
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac is a band with an incredible amount of notoriety, in part due to the lasting success of their eleventh studio album Rumours. It’s a classic soft rock album, released in February of 1977. The album features hit songs like “Dreams”, “Go Your Own Way”, and “The Chain”, songs that were written with influence from the bandmates’ lifestyles and relationships. Rolling Stones ranked Rumours at #25 of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Thriller by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s Thriller album is the highest-selling album of all time, globally. Indefinitely a classic album everyone should have as a part of their collection. Michael Jackson had a legendary career that has and will continue to leave a lasting impression on the world of pop. Thriller is the sixth studio album the King of Pop released in November of 1982, featuring sensational songs like “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, “Billie Jean”, “P.Y.T.”, “Beat It”, and of course “Thriller”. Critics gave the album incredible praise, claiming it changed the music industry for the better and was ahead of its time.
Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette
Alanis Morrissette is a force to be reckoned with, even to this day. Her third studio album Jagged Little Pill was released in June of 1995 and features hit songs like “Hand in my Pocket”, “See Right Through You”, “You Learn”, “Ironic”, “Head Over Feet”, and the infamous “You Oughta Know”. She won two Grammys, and five Juno awards, and placed #69 in the 2020 edition of The Rolling Stone’s list of Greatest Albums of All Tim. It’s a classic 90s alternative rock album that is full of angst and deep emotion.
Purple Rain by Prince
Prince was and still is a legend among the world of musicians. Purple Rain was Prince’s sixth studio album, released in June of 1984. It featured hit songs like “When Doves Cry”, “Darling Nikki”, “Baby I’m a Star”, and “Purple Rain”, all of which, and more, served as the soundtrack for the movie “Purple Rain”. The song Darling Nikki and the music video for When Doves Cry were both surrounded by a certain degree of controversy due to the sexual subject matter. Purple Rain still remains a classic that stood the test of time.
Back in Black by AC/DC
AC/DC’s seventh studio album Back in Black is one of the best-selling metal albums of all time as well as the fourth best-selling album of all time in the US. It was released in July of 1980, with powerful songs like “Hells Bells”, “Back in Black”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”. It’s the first album released by the band with new singer Brian Johnson, following the death of their previous lead singer Bon Scott. Back in Black is a classic hard rock and the heavy metal masterpiece that revived and molded the world of metal music, making way for the metal bands of today.