As much as rock has mellowed out over the years, there's still a lot of red flags that can turn people off to the genre. From the layers of distortion on the guitars to the way it's able to get your heart racing, not every song that comes from the rock category is necessarily going to get onto the top 40 anytime soon. Every so often though, there are those albums that are so killer that they manage to cross into the mainstream anyway.
For anyone who's ever been put off by some of the more intense sides of rock and roll, these are going to be the records that covert you to the genre. While not all of them have the most technically brilliant stuff on them or anything, they do a great job at getting you accustomed to all of the brilliant sounds that rock has to offer, whether that's through the choruses of the songs or just the non stop fun happening from back to front.
Granted, not all of these are built the same, and each of these records manage to grab you in a much different way than anything else can, rock or otherwise. So the next time you think that rock is dead and has no business being on the charts, let these few records be a reminder of just what the genre can do.
10. #1 Record - Big Star
Part of the problem that comes with rock and roll is not having the hookiness that comes with traditional pop music. Since the music that we sing along to every time it comes on the radio has been replaced with distorted guitars and vocals, it's a bit of a hard sell trying to get the mainstream crowd into that overnight. Or you could just make a pop album in rock clothing and slip it under everybody's noses.
Despite the laughably pretentious album and band name, Big Star had a lot of unique quirks going for them in the early days, with a sound that felt like an Southern spin on what bands like the Raspberries were doing around the same time. Unlike Eric Carmen's piano on All By Myself though, the main attraction here is the guitar interplay, with Alex Chilton and Chris Bell bringing a jangly melodicism into the mix that hadn't been heard since the days of folk rock and the Byrds.
You can also really hear their influences from pop music, especially with a knock out chorus like the Ballad of El Goodo. Over the years, Big Star also feels like one of those bands where people know the song but not the group, as evidenced by Cheap Trick remaking their song In the Street and turning it into the theme song for That '70s Show. Outside of a few crunchy guitar songs here and there, this is one of the few rock albums that feels like a distant cousin of pop.