1974’s Best Classic Rock Albums

1974's Best Classic Rock Albums

Photo credits at end of article

Our 1974’s Best Classic Rock albums list takes a look at year that serves as a transitional period in classic rock history. The sounds of the 1960s faded away as the music released took on a more slick polished sound. One can really see a difference between the albums on this 1974 list when compared to the albums released between 1970 and 1973.  In the year 1974, music fans also had to endure an onslaught of novelty songs like Ray Stevens “The Streak,” and Larry Groce’s “Junk Food Junkie,” Disco music loomed on the horizon with songs like the Hues Corporations “Don’t Rock The Boat,” opening the door for its arrival. There were many great rock albums released in 1974 but it did feel like rock and roll took just a tiny step backward when compared to the previous ten years. However, the genre would take a giant leap forward the following year n 1975. Still, all in all, 1974 was a great year in classic rock filled with albums that would soon become legendary.

# 10 – What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits 

           The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits gave the band their first number one single with the classic track “Black Water.” The album would go on to become one of the band’s biggest sellers and a huge favorite among long time Doobie Brothers fans.

#  9 – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – Genesis

Ask any Genesis fan to name their favorite Genesis album and every single one of them will name The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. You can take that to the bank!

#  8 – Queen II

The first three Queen albums stand as complete rock and roll treasures in Classic Rock History. Queen II has some of the bands best work ever with songs like “Ogre Battle,” “The March of the Black Queen,” and  “Seven Seas of Rhye.”

#  7 – Caribou – Elton John

Elton John’s Caribou was another notch in his belt during his incredible run of brilliantly released albums between 1970 and 1976. This was one of those albums in which every single song was a masterpiece. The album yielded two big hits singles with “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” and “The Bitch Is Back.”

#  6 – Court and Spark – Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark was her most successful commercial record. Standout tracks included “Help Me,” and “Free Man In Paris.” Court and Spark was a brilliant album that showcased the talents of so many great jazz musicians like Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, and Tom Scott along with rock legends Robbie Robertson of The Band and David Crosby and Graham Nash.

#  5 – War Child – Jethro Tull

The great War Child album record was Jethro Tull’s seventh album. The album contained some of Jethro Tull’s most popular songs such as “Bungle In The Jungle, War Child,” and “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day.”

#  4 – Apostrophe – Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa was one of the most affluent composers in rock and roll history.  Apostrophe (‘) was Frank Zappa’s eighteenth album.

#  3 – Diamond Dogs – David Bowie

David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album continued to define the growing legacy of David Bowie. It was Bowie’s eighth studio album. It contained the massive hits “Rebel Rebel,” along with “1984,” “Diamond Dogs,” and many other brilliant songs.

#  2 – Sheer Heart Attack – Queen

Sheer Heart Attack was Queen’s third album release. There was a sound on the album that rock fans had never heard before. Songs like “Stone Cold Crazy,” blew people away who were hearing Queen for the first time.

#  1 – Bad Company – Bad Company

Landing in the number spot on our 1974’s Best Classic Rock albums list is the great debut album from Bad Company. Signed to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label Bad Company exploded out of the gate with the hit single “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love.” Led by the golden voice of Paul Rogers, Bad Company found instant success on both commercial radio and FM album oriented rock.

More Fantastic Classic Rock Albums Released in 1974

These are listed in chronological order in which they came out throughout the year

Best Rock Albums – January 1974

Planet WavesBob Dylan

Different DrumLinda Ronstadt


Grievous Angel – Gram Parsons

HotcakesCarly Simon

Here Come the Warm JetsBrian Eno

SundownGordon Lightfoot

Best Rock Albums – February 1974

Burn – Deep Purple

Kiss – Kiss

Pretzel LogicSteely Dan

Badfinger – Badfinger

Call of the WildTed Nugent and The Amboy Dukes

It’s Too Late to Stop NowVan Morrison

A New LifeMarshall Tucker Band

Radio City – Big Star

Rock ‘n’ Roll AnimalLou Reed

Saints & SinnersJohnny Winter

ToddTodd Rundgren

Twin Peaks – Mountain

Best Rock Albums – March 1974

Get Your WingsAerosmith

Rush – Rush


Hard Labor  – Three Dog Night

Queen II – Queen

Buddha and the Chocolate BoxCat Stevens

On the BorderThe Eagles

The HoopleMott the Hoople

Starless and Bible BlackKing Crimson

HolliesThe Hollies


Shinin’ OnGrand Funk Revival

Somethin’s HappeningPeter Frampton

Best Rock Albums – April 1974

Second HelpingLynyrd Skynyrd

Bridge of SighsRobin Trower

Secret TreatiesBlue Oyster Cult

Son of Dracula – Harry Nillson

Best Rock Albums – May 1974

Journey to the Centre of the EarthRick Wakeman


Shock Treatment Edgar Winter

Turn of the CardsRenaissance

Best Rock Albums – June 1974

Axe Victim – Be-Bop Deluxe


Best Rock Albums – July 1974

Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in MemphisElvis Presley

On the BeachNeil Young

Irish Tour ’74Rory Gallagher

461 Ocean Boulevard  – Eric Clapton

Best Rock Albums – August 1974

Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends… Ladies and GentlemenELP

Verities & BalderdashHarry Chapin

AWB – Average White Band

Feats Don’t Fail Me NowLittle Feat

I Can Stand a Little RainJoe Cocker

Not FragileBachman–Turner Overdrive

Paper Lace – Paper Lace

Best Rock Albums – September 1974

Rocka Rolla – Judas Priest

Good Old Boys – Randy Newman

Roxy & Elsewhere – Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention

Heroes Are Hard to Find – Fleetwood Mac

Crime of the Century – Supertramp

Eldorado – Electric Light Orchestra

Late for the Sky – Jackson Browne

Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley – Robert Palmer

Wrap Around Joy – Carole King

Best Rock Albums – October 1974

Walls and Bridges – John Lennon

Red – King Crimson

Streetlife Serenade – Billy Joel

Hotter Than Hell – Kiss

It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll – The Rolling Stones

Rock and Roll Outlaws – Foghat

Silk Torpedo – The Pretty Things

Smiler – Rod Stewart

Souvenirs – Dan Fogelberg

Serenade – Neil Diamond

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia – Todd Rundgren

Best Rock Albums – November 1974

Nightlife – Thin Lizzy

Country Life – Roxy Music

Goodnight Vienna – Ringo Starr

Relayer – Yes

Desolation Boulevard – Sweet

Fire – Ohio Players

Child of the Novelty – Mahogany Rush

Heart Like a Wheel – Linda Ronstadt

Stormbringer – Deep Purple

Where We All Belong – Marshall Tucker Band

Best Rock Albums – December 1974

Dark Horse – George Harrison

All the Girls in the World Beware!!! – Grand Funk Railroad

Tasty – Good Rats

Photo Credits

Freddie Mercury – Carl Lender [CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]

Mick Ralphs of Bad Company – Jim Summaria [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Joni Mitchell – Capannelle [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

David Bowie – Kymi [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

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