9. Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
For as much as they are celebrated nowadays, it's almost unthinkable to consider Led Zeppelin as not being critical darlings in their day. Despite raking in some of the biggest numbers any rock act had ever seen, the music press were lining up to bash them as either too derivative for their own good or having no commercial potential whatsoever. In what has to be the biggest retort in history, Zeppelin lobbed the ball back with what might be their greatest collection of songs ever.
Unlike the typical album experiences, the songs on Led Zeppelin's fourth outing don't really connect in the traditional sense, with each of them having their own agenda. However, this is every member of Zeppelin at the absolute peak of their powers, whether it was the menacing hard rock of Black Dog or the Middle Earth dance song that happens on The Battle of Evermore. Although most people just pick up something like Stairway to Heaven from this record, deep cuts like Misty Mountain Hop show Zeppelin taking their bluesy foundation and rebuilding it in their own twisted image.
Even when delving into the blues again for When the Levee Breaks, Jimmy Page's guitar paired with John Bonham's drums makes the entire record feel like it's looking in on the end of the world. While this is not the most linear album in the rock canon, there's probably no other album in history with tracks as bulletproof as this.