The entire concept of the realms of rock and pop feel more like oil and water nowadays. Since the dawn of the more authentic rock star in the ‘90s, the more glammified sounds of the biggest names on the charts is enough to send a chill down any hard rocker’s back. There used to be a time when both of these genres were one in the same though.
Before the bubblegum style of rock and roll started to take over, some of the biggest names on the pop charts always came from rock artists, from the early days of Chuck Berry to the sounds of Buddy Holly. That kind of radio friendly sound never really went away either, as some of the biggest rockstars in the world took a few pages out of the pop playbook to become the people they are today.
Outside of the more metallic side of the spectrum, every album on this list looks at their craft much like a pop star would, going for singles that can really hit home and never letting the heaviness get in the way of nailing the hook at just the right time. Rock and roll definitely isn’t a genre for necessarily everybody, but for anyone who’s a fan of a catchy melody, these are the kind of records that can turn you into a convert.
10. The Blue Album - Weezer
As the '90s rock scene unfolded, not a lot of the stuff that managed to chart was exactly the most lighthearted thing in the world. In the wake of the alternative scene bubbling up from the Seattle underground, much of the songs that charted were a bit on the darker side of life, which reached its morbid conclusion when Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home in 1994. The grunge wave may have been starting its downward trend, but a couple of nerds from California helped point the direction forward.
Then again, it's not like Weezer's colorful debut was meant to be one of the greatest records of all time or anything. Going through each of these songs, part of the appeal is just how dorky some of these tracks come off, playing up the whole nerdy aesthetic to a tee on songs like In the Garage or Buddy Holly. Beyond just the aesthetic though, this was the alt rock answer to something like the Beach Boys, with every song having a knockout chorus, even if not every track had the best ending like Undone (The Sweater Song).
Even though there were definitely some tropes that were left over from the Seattle-ification of the rock scene, Weezer weren't looking to become one of the biggest rock bands that the world had ever seen. They were just a bunch of dorks looking to write some kickass tunes, and when you have the hooks to back it up, sometimes that's all you really need.