10 Perfect Albums That Started Rock Genres

Breaking New Ground.

Van Halen Van Halen
Warner Bros.

No genre exists in a vacuum. Everybody has to get their inspiration from somewhere, and for as long as rock and roll has existed, there have been more people willing to play the kind of music that they’ve listened to out of their record collection. Sometimes you want to branch out from the same old stuff though, and these experiments have changed the way that rock and roll is perceived.

While not all of these records may have been looked at as game changers at the time, they sparked a new idea for what rock and roll could become, taking the common themes that they had loved as kids and taking them that much further. Although some of them may have been called derivative or even unlistenable in their time, their shelf life has led to a whole host of bands coming up in their wake, creating entire genres out of the kind of music from where these records left off.

Then again, not all of these records were looked at as trash either. When combing through your average day on the album charts, these are the records that left people stunned the first time they heard them, wanting to rewind the song just to take in all of the new sounds they were hearing. While most people saw this as the beginning of the end, there was a lot more to it than just a bunch of musicians just goofing around in a studio. This was the start of something completely different, and the test of time has turned these records into an entire movement.

10. The La's - The La's

The rock world was in dire need of a shakeup coming out of the late '80s. Though the hair metal scene may have still been thriving, bands like Guns N Roses seemed like the only group left with actual substance, with the rest of the Sunset Strip being populated by bands more concerned with their hair color than the songs they were singing. The States may have gotten their wake up call through Nirvana, but the indie scene in Britain had something brewing that was a lot closer to pop music.

On The La's sole studio record, you can hear Lee Mavers taking his cues from the golden age of rock and roll, being equal parts the Smiths, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones across the record. Aside from the typical silly love songs on here like There She Goes, there's also a sense of getting away from your little town like Way Out and Doledrum, making sure that there's something a lot better coming on the horizon. This may have been put out in the '80s, but the rest of the British rock scene wouldn't see the results of this record until after grunge faded.

Coming a little before the Stone Roses started to break onto the scene, Lee Mavers' songwriting became the blueprint for what the Britpop sound would turn into, with Noel Gallagher citing this as one of his favorite albums and even ex-La's guitarist John Power eventually becoming a veteran of the Brit-rock scene with Cast once his old band broke up. The La's could have been the kings of the indie rock movement alongside bands like Pulp and Oasis...they just happened to come out a few years too early.

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