It's difficult to really pinpoint the moment when rock and roll started to really take a toll on its listeners. Across every generation, new music fans will always have their foundational acts who are able to steer rock into the future, whether for better or for worse. Though anyone can get famous in the moment, these records left much more of a statement on the rock community at large.
Rather than just throw together a bunch of songs, these records are the epitome of what the rock album could do at the height of its powers. Some times you were taken on a journey through the music, and other times you were having your mind blown by the sheer musicianship on display. Even if they took some time to grow on their respective audiences, these records have held up as great bookmarks in the age-old story of rock and roll.
These records aren't one-note either, with one vocal line jumping out at you one day and a stray guitar solo becoming the highlight the next day. Above all else, these records showed that rock was about something much more than just catchy tunes that you could throw on at parties. This was music that could inspire, astonish, and usher in the new guard for what music could be.
10. Is This It - The Strokes
At the start of the '00s, it seemed that most of the rock scene had started to lose its way. With most of the rockstars being either manufactured pop punk acts on TRL or sad nu metal kids...also on TRL...there was no real place for the down and dirty sounds of rock and roll anymore. That is, until we got ahold of Is This It.
It almost stands as an anomaly that the Strokes even saw the light of day at all, given their worship of more retro acts like the Velvet Underground and the Stooges. However, that same retro energy was just what we needed at the turn of the century, with their brand of garage rock making rock sound just the slightest bit dangerous again. Across the more pop friendly tracks like Last Nite and Someday, you feel like things could go off the rails at any moment, only to find that everything is right where it's supposed to be.
This was also refreshing to hear some of the smarter guitar hooks of the day, with Albert Hammond Jr. being one of the few able to meld the punk rock energy into his playing without sounding forced. No matter how hard the nu metal kids screamed to proclaim their toughness, this really has all of the badass energy you need in one package.