Hard Rock Anthology

An anthology of my favorite hard rock albums. Traditional hard rock developed in the late 60s thanks to the works of pioneers such as Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Who, and Yardbirds. In the States, bands such as Blue Cheer, Amboy Dukes, MC5, and Stooges, combined garage rock, psychedelia, in a violent form of early hard rock. Steppenwolf, Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly were some of the key hard rock bands of the late '60s. The golden age of hard rock was in the 70's thanks to legends such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Mountain, and Grand Funk Railroad. The '70s dominant trends were Heavy Blues (Ten Years After, Spooky Tooth, Taste), Southern Hard rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers Band, ZZTOP), Pomp (Kansas, Styx), Hard Prog &Folk (Jethro Tull, Horslips), FM rock (Boston, Foreigner, Journey), and Glam rock (Queen, Slade, Sweet, Kiss). Many prog rock groups are included in this list (ELP, King Crimson, Yes, Genesis and many more) as many of these groups included in their sound hard rock tracks as for example the Knife from Genesis, 21st Century Schizoid Man from King Crimson and Knife/Edge and Barbarian from ELP). The second wave of hard rock bands came in the mid-late '70s (Thin Lizzy, UFO, Scorpions in Europe, Van Halen, Legs Diamond, Angel in the USA). During the 80's Heavy Metal replaced Hard rock as the growing trend in heavy rock and many artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Motorhead, Dio, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister combined hard rock and heavy metal as a genre called Hard'n'Heavy. Early Iron Maiden and Manowar had plenty of hard rock influence in their heavy metal sound. Many groups part of the New Wave of Heavy Metal could be considered both hard rock and heavy metal (Demon, Samson, Diamond Head, White Spirit). Traditional hard rock returned to glory in the 80's thanks to the success of bands such as Cult, Guns & Roses, Europe, and Bon Jovi. Also, southern hard rock had a revival with the rise of bands Black Crowes, Gov't Mule, and Screaming Cheetah Wheelies. Many of the 80's new prog bands movement included hard and pomp in their sound (Marillion, Magnum and Pallas), In the 90s modern hard rock arose thanks to the success of the Black Album by Metallica. Modern hard rock combines traditional hard rock, heavy metal, and alternative sounds. New genres closely linked to hard rock developed in the 90's such as Grunge (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains), Stoner (Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Sleep), Crossover (Living Colour, Faith No More), and Doom Metal (Candlemass, Trouble, Cathedral, Electric Wizard). Post-grunge combined Modern Hard rock with grunge and dominated the late 90's/early 00s with big players such as Creed, Nickleback, Staind, and Shinedown. In the 00s traditional hard rock lived a renaissance thanks to new masterpieces from groups such as Spiritual Beggars, Witchcraft, Airbourne, Wolfmother, The Answer, Big Elf, and many others. A new form of hard rock can be identified in the sound of Muse, and Tool. In the 10s occult rock was the dominant trend and new masterpieces from groups such as Blood Ceremony, Ghost, and Jex Toth, were added to the milestones of hard rock. Heavy psych champions of the 00s are groups such as The Sword, Blood of the Sun, The Ancestors, and Black Mountain. Traditional hard rock continued to be in good health in the 10' s thanks to the works of groups such as Blues Pills, Avatarium, Rival Sons as also southern rockers Whiskey Myers and Blackberry Smoke. Modern hard rock champions of the '00s are Blackstone Cherry and Alter Bridge. Also in the 20s new blood is added to the genre thanks to the talent of groups such as Greta Van Fleet, Dirty Honey, Inglorious, Dead Daisies, and Naked Gypsy Queens.
  1. 1
    Fresh Cream
    Cream (2)
    1966
    The first-ever hard rock LP, heavy blues played by a trio of virtuosos.
  2. 2
    Are You Experienced
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    1967
    The ground zero of hard rock. This album has the same historical importance for hard rock as In the Court of Crimson King for progressive rock.
  3. 3
    Disraeli Gears
    Cream (2)
    1967
    Beautiful psychedelic rock, includes two of the best hard rock songs ever, Sunshine of Your Love and Tales of Brave Ulysses.
  4. 4
    Vanilla Fudge
    Vanilla Fudge
    1967
    Vanilla Fudge was one of the most influential groups of the '60s for the rise of hard rock. Their psychedelic rock was much heavier than contemporaries and surely influenced groups such as Deep Purple.
  5. 5
    Axis: Bold As Love
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    1967
    Without Hendrix, hard rock and metal would not exist.
  6. 6
    Heavy
    Iron Butterfly
    1968
    Iron Butterfly is the pioneer of hard rock together with Vanilla Fudge. This album includes Iron Butterfly theme, a heavy organ-based instrumental track.
  7. 7
    In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
    Iron Butterfly
    1968
    The success of this album, thanks to the incredible title track, paves the way for the boom of hard rock the following year. But the album is not only the title track, My Mirage is a 60's psych gem.
  8. 8
    Steppenwolf
  9. 9
    Electric Ladyland
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    1968
    A psychedelic hard masterpiece.
  10. 10
    Wheels Of Fire
    Cream (2)
    1968
    A true rock masterpiece. The studio tracks are Cream at their best and the live side is really powerful with extended versions of blues songs.
  11. 11
    Truth
    Jeff Beck
    1968
    This supergroup had in the line up, among others, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, and Ron Wood, and the album rivals with Led Zeppelin I
  12. 12
    Shades Of Deep Purple
    Deep Purple
    1968
    The debut album of Deep purple Mark is really good. Rod Evans was an "Elvis style" vocalist and Mandrake Root is one of the first hard rock prototype songs.
  13. 13
    The Book Of Taliesyn
    Deep Purple
    1968
    I prefer the UK version vinyl that includes Wring that Neck.
  14. 14
    Vincebus Eruptum
    Blue Cheer
    1968
    Hard rock pioneers. This album is the heaviest of the late '60s. The sound of this album is the essence of what hard rock should be: raw and primitive.
  15. 15
    It's All About
  16. 16
    The Second
  17. 17
    Gun
  18. 18
    Renaissance
    Vanilla Fudge
    1968
    Exceptional Heavy psych album.
  19. 19
    Outsideinside
  20. 20
    Journey To The Center Of The Mind
    The Amboy Dukes
    1968
    Hard psychedelia from Amboy Dukes, with Ted Nugent on guitar.
  21. 21
    Smash Hits
  22. 22
    This Was
  23. 23
    Led Zeppelin
    Led Zeppelin
    1969
    After more than 50 years still sounds fresh and relevant. All-time masterpiece.
  24. 24
    Led Zeppelin II
    Led Zeppelin
    1969
    If you are a hard rock fan you must have this album.
  25. 25
    Goodbye
    Cream (2)
    1969
    If you are a Cream fan this album is essential as it includes Badge and some great live performances.
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