Joey’s Top 10s: Top 10 Albums of All Time

Classic rock fanatic Joey Franklin takes us back in time, counts down top 10 albums of all time



Rock is the genre of the summer in this first edition of Joey’s Top 10s.


Classic rock never went out of style, at least in my mind. Sure, these are not on the radio much these days, but I guarantee you will recognize at least one song, album or band on this list as you read, proving that rock music truly transcends time and generations.

That being said, let us count down my top ten albums of all time.

10. Couldn’t Stand the Weather by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Vaughan is regarded as one of the best guitar players ever, among the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. His style of cranking up the blues to make fast-paced songs, along with his blistering solos, make this album a must-listen for guitar fans.

Couldn't Stand The Weather by Stevie Ray Vaughan

9. Love Gun by KISS

Coming in at only 32 minutes of runtime, Love Gun includes some of KISS’ best works as a band. “Shock Me” is my personal favorite song of theirs, and the title track “Love Gun” is all you can ask for in a rock song.

Love Gun by KISS, Spotify

8. Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

This is a brilliantly written, introspective album about growing up and finding love.

Lyrics such as, “Now promise baby you won’t let them find us, hold me in your arms, let’s let our love blind us,” from “Cover Me” and “We bursted out of class, had to get away from those fools. We learnt more from a three-minute record baby than we ever learnt in school,” from “No Surrender” are really symbolic of the album as a whole.

Throughout the album, Springsteen reflects on days that once were and the joy and struggles of growing up.

Born In The U.S.A. Bruce Springsteen, Spotify

7. Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy

This album holds one of the most iconic songs of all time, “The Boys Are Back In Town,” and is overall a great piece of storytelling.

Songwriter and bass player Phil Lynott is a master of creating a narrative through song. “Angel From The Coast,” “Running Back” and “Emerald” tell vivid stories while maintaining a driven, hard rock feel.

Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy, Spotify

6. Full Moon Fever by Tom Petty

Another classic example of storytelling in music, Petty  is probably the single best American songwriter of all time.

The album opens up with “Free Fallin’,” followed by “I Won’t Back Down,” some of the most well-known and renowned songs ever. The fifth track, “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” is another famous song.

The final piece of the song has a unique ending:

“Hello CD listeners, we’ve come to the point in this album where those listening on cassette or records will have to stand up or sit down to turn over the record or tape. In fairness to those listeners, we’ll now take a few seconds before we begin side two. Thank you, here’s side two.”

I do not know of any other album that does that sort of thing. While it does not seem necessary or needed, I think that it is a very fun touch to add.

Full Moon Fever Tom Petty, Spotify

5. Introducing The Hardline According to Terence Trent D’arby By Sananda Maitreya

Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’arby has two of the grooviest songs that I know, tracks two and three: “If You Let Me Stay” and “Wishing Well.”

“If You Let Me Stay” is probably the most upbeat breakup song ever. The singer is begging his significant other to stay and not break up with them and promising to be better.

I perceive “Wishing Well” to be about the opposite, about somebody falling in love and wasting the day away together. This whole album is a lot of fun, and definitely easy listening.

Introducing The Hardline According to Terence Trent D’arby By Sananda Maitreya, Spotify

4. The Cars by The Cars

The Cars could have retired after their self-titled debut album and still be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that is how good this album is.

“Bye Bye Love” is my favorite track but, the album opens up with three all-time great songs: “Good Times Roll,” “My Best Friend’s Girl” and “Just What I Needed.” Their guitar and synth-driven New Wave sound and vague but deep lyrics such as, “You think you’re so illustrious you call yourself intense” make this album an interesting and enjoyable listen.

The Cars by The Cars, Spotify

3. Can’t Buy a Thrill by Steely Dan

Probably the most technically perfect band ever, Steely Dan’s debut album is full of heavy hitters. “Do It Again” and “Reelin’ In The Years” are two of the most recognizable classic rock songs.

The album has a very cohesive sound and theme, making the transition from one song to the next very seamless. It is a fun listen overall, though admittedly the songs are not broadly relatable.

Can't Buy A Thrill by Steely Dan, Spotify

2. Sob Rock by John Mayer

The only album on this list to come out during my lifetime, Sob Rock dominated my top 100 songs of 2021 playlist on Amazon Music.

“Shot In The Dark” is one of my favorite songs ever; the song, as well as the album as a whole, feels like it is straight out of the Yacht Rock era of the 70s and 80s.

The percussionist from Toto plays on “Last Train Home,” the guitar solo in “Wild Blue” feels like it is straight out of the Dire Straits playbook, and the chord progression in “Til The Right One Comes” is nearly identical to “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty.

Sob Rock by John Mayer, Spotify

1. Hotel California by Eagles

The album begins with the title track, “Hotel California,” which has arguably the most iconic intro and outro solos of all time.

The song itself is about a man seemingly going insane in a hotel in the middle of the desert. It has very eerie themes, with lyrics like, “There were voices down the corridor” and “we are all just prisoners of our own device.”

The album continues to feature more of top-tier guitar playing on songs such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Victim of Love.” This album was the soundtrack to my freshman year of high school, and will always be special to me.

Hotel California (2013 Remastered) by The Eagles, Spotify