For fans of rock albums, the music is all about the guitars, so it's no wonder that many of the rock world's most iconic figures are guitarists. When it comes to some of the greatest rock albums in history, one thing that sets them apart from the crowd is the speed, musicality and dexterity of their guitar lines. Here, we run a countdown of ten of the best guitar rock albums of all time.
10 – The Beatles – Revolver (1966)
By the time they recorded Revolver, The Beatles had already changed the music world forever. However, this 1966 album reflected the way that the band had grown and matured as both composers and performers, holding up a mirror to the changing cultural environment of the 1960s with its free love, drugs and pop art, all of which were major influences on the band's music.
9 – Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975)
Possibly the most popular of all of the band's albums, Physical Graffiti fuses Eastern music and funk into a dense and eccentric work. While it may be considered to be an artistic gamble, this musical triumph perfectly captures each band member's unique personality and reflects the true essence of Led Zeppelin.
8 – Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
Nirvana's 1991 album Nevermind arguably began the grunge revolution, uniting a punk rock attitude with metal to create an album that summed up the era's youth. The tracks swung wildly from clean guitar tones to screaming choruses and anguished vocals. When Cobain committed suicide a few years after this album's release, Nirvana's place in history was assured.
7 - Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)
Van Halen's debut album broke the mould in 1978 and persuaded boys up and down the land to take up the electric guitar. Metal really became fun when this band erupted onto the scene, with some of the best known tracks being “Eruption”, “Jamie's Crying” and “Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love”.
6 – Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)
At a time when sweet acoustic songs were popular, this second album from Black Sabbath sounded like a primal howl, capturing the rage of 1970s youth. The wild songs about nuclear fallout and war presaged the advent of the punk rock generation.
5 – Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)
This album is widely believed to be a masterpiece, reflecting the blossoming of guitarist David Gilmour's soaring style. Featuring classic tracks like “Breathe” and “Us and Them”, Dark Side Of The Moon has earned an iconic place in rock history.
4 – Metallica – Master Of Puppets (1986)
An album that really put thrash metal on the music scene, Master Of Puppets' title track serves up metal as a modern-day classic with its complex musical arrangements and beautifully executed harmonies. It remains one of the finest moments in thrash metal history.
3 – Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced (1967)
Flamboyant guitarist Hendrix astounded his listeners with his amazing technique in his first album, released in 1967. With his bold and unique style, Hendrix was known for playing his Stratocaster upside down as he was left-handed, and producing iconic tunes such as Purple Haze and Hey Joe.
2 – Guns N' Roses – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
One of the most famous guitarists of all time, Slash, brought true grit and amazing riffs to the 1980s limp rock scene in this raw and tough album. Featuring long-lasting and iconic tracks like Sweet Child O' Mine and Paradise City, this is the album that catapulted Axl Rose to fame.
1 – Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
This fourth album from Led Zeppelin may be known by many names but is widely believed to be the Holy Grail of rock thanks to its fusion of blues, rock and roll, Celtic folk and hard rock into one stunning masterpiece. Of course, the best known track on this outstanding album is “Stairway To