1976’s Best Classic Rock Albums

1976's Best Classic Rock AlbumsOh for the love of your rock and roll shoes, these 1970’s albums list are getting so hard to do. Our 1976’s Best Classic Albums list defines another outstanding year in classic rock history. As in 1975, the playing field has evened out as so many artists released great rock and roll records. A good majority of our favorite albums and the most commercially successful records of 1976 were debut albums. Groups like Boston, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,The Ramones, The Runaways and Heart all released their debut records.1976 was also a great year for legendary live albums which we have included on this list from groups such as Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Rush We hope you enjoy this ride back into the 1970s as this one focuses on the great year of 1976. Just another great list to knock you out.

# 50 –Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die!Jethro Tull

# 49 – Wings Over America – Wings

# 48 – Chicago X – Chicago

# 47 – No Heavy PettingUFO

# 46 – All the World’s a Stage – Rush

# 45 – Turnstiles – Billy Joel

# 44 – A Night on the TownRod Stewart

# 43 – Rising – Rainbow

# 42 – Gimme Back My BulletsLynyrd Skynyrd

# 41 – Silk DegreesBoz Scaggs

# 40 – Run with the PackBad Company

# 39 – Agents of Fortune – Blue Oyster Cult

# 38 – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

# 37 – The Runaways – The Runaways

# 36 – Bigger Than Both of Us – Hall & Oates

# 35 – Hasten Down the Wind – Linda Ronstadt

# 34 – Wheels Of Fortune – The Doobie Brothers

 # 33 – Night Shift – Foghat

# 32 – Tejas – ZZ Top

# 31 – Jeff Beck – Wired

# 30 – Thirty Three & 1/3 – George Harrison

# 29 – Wings at the Speed of Sound  – Wings

# 28 – Long Misty Days – Robin Trower

# 27 – Free For All – Ted Nugent

# 26 – Hejira – Joni Mitchell

# 25 – Night Moves – Bob Seger

# 24 – Jailbreak – Thin Lizzy

# 23 – Zoot Allures –  Frank Zappa

# 22 – One More from the RoadLynyrd Skynyrd

# 21 – Fly Like and Eagle – Steve Miller Band

# 20 – A New World Record – Electric Light Orchestra

# 19 – The Pretender – Jackson Browne

# 18 – Dreamboat Annie – Heart (U.S. debut) 

Heart’s debut album had been released in 1975 in Canada so we have included it on both the 1975 and 1976 lists.

# 17 – A Day At The Races – Queen

# 16 – The Royal Scam – Steely Dan

# 15 – Station To Station – David Bowie

# 14 – Ramones – The Ramones

# 13 – Blue  Moves – Elton John

# 12 – Rocks – Aerosmith

# 11 – Destroyer  – Kiss

# 10 – The Song Remains the Same – Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin opens up top 10 section of our 1976’s best classic rock albums list. Who’s the first live Led Zeppelin album ever released. However they claimed it wasn’t a live album but rather a movie soundtrack. It didn’t matter what they called it. Led Zeppelin was the greatest rock and roll band I’ve ever seen on the concert stage. It was great to finally have a live album by the band.

#  9 – Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder won just about every music award of the year in 1976 with the album Songs in the Key of Life.  He deserved every one of them. A once in a lifetime album by a once in a lifetime artist.

#  8 – Black and Blue – The Rolling Stones

A new era of Rolling Stones music began with the addition of Ron Wood to the band on the fantastic Black and Blue album. Probably one of the Rolling Stones most underrated albums.

#  7 – A Trick of the TailGenesis

Easily the best Genesis album in the post Peter Gabriel ear. A true progressive rock classic.

#  6 – Hotel California – The Eagles

The Eagles Hotel California came out very late in the year in December of 1976. It turned out to be one of the biggest albums of 1977. However since it was released in 1976 we included it on this list instead.

#  5 – Frampton Comes Alive – Peter Frampton

The album that broke all record sales and turned Peter Frampton into one of the biggest rock stars  of the decade. Such and incredible live album that defined Frampton’s talents. The songs on the live album blew away his studio versions

#  4 – 2112 – Rush

This was the Rush album that turned the band into a household name. I will never forget the day I walked into a record store in 1976 and brought this album just because I thought it had a cool cover without having never heard the band before. Best decision ever!

#  3 – Leftoverture – Kansas

An amazing record by the progressive rock band Kansas featuring one of the most famous classic rock songs of all time entitled “Carry On My Wayward Son.” Every song on the album was a masterpiece.

#  2 – Presence – Led Zeppelin

Presence was the last great studio Led Zeppelin album. In Through The Out Door was still a great record, but most Zep fans would agree that Presence was the last legendary one.

#  1 – Boston – Boston

Boston’s debut album is often hailed as one of the greatest debut albums of all time. We were all blown away by the sound and all the great songs on the record, especially the albums incredible A Side. Tom Scholz never came close to releasing another Boston album like this one. Unless you have released an album called Dark Side Of The Moon, its tough to top a Led Zeppelin album on this website; Boston did it.

More Fantastic Classic Rock Albums Released in 1976

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

Best Rock Albums – January 1976

Look into the FutureJourney

Coney Island BabyLou Reed

Born to DieGrand Funk Railroad

DesireBob Dylan

How Dare You!10cc

Sandman – Harry Nilsson

Release – Henry Gross

Native Sons – Loggins and Messina

Best Rock Albums – February 1976

SmileLaura Nyro


Beautiful Noise – Neil Diamond

Sunburst Finish – Be-Bop Deluxe

Best Rock Albums – March 1976

Nobody’s FoolsSlade

Sad Wings of DestinyJudas Priest


Captured Live!Johnny Winter

Close Enough for Rock ‘n’ RollNazareth

Give Us a WinkSweet

Best Rock Albums – April 1976


Welcome Back John Sebastian

Here and ThereElton John

FaithfulTodd Rundgren

Pat TraversPat Travers

Wedding AlbumLeon and Mary Russell

Young and RichThe Tubes

Best Rock Albums – May 1976

Nine on a Ten ScaleSammy Hagar

No Earthly ConnectionRick Wakeman

Tales of Mystery and ImaginationThe Alan Parsons Project

Year of the Cat – Al Stewart

Best Rock Albums – June 1976

Unorthodox Behaviour – Brand X

Alice Cooper Goes to HellAlice Cooper

Whistling Down the WireCrosby & Nash

Steal Your FaceGrateful Dead

Another PassengerCarly Simon

High and MightyUriah Heep

In the PocketJames Taylor

Long Hard RideThe Marshall Tucker Band

R.E.O. REO Speedwagon

SpitfireJefferson Starship

Summertime DreamGordon Lightfoot

Best Rock Albums – July 1976

Olias of Sunhillow – Jon Anderson

Child in Time – Ian Gillan Band

Diamond in the Rough – Jessi Colter

Howlin’ Wind – Graham Parker and the Rumour

More Than EverBlood, Sweat & Tears

Sincerely – Dwight Twilley Band

Best Rock Albums – August 1976

Good Singin’, Good Playin’Grand Funk Railroad

Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band Bootsy’s Rubber Band

No Reason to CryEric Clapton

The Roaring SilenceManfred Mann’s Earth Band

Viva!Roxy Music

Best Rock Albums – September 1976

Hard RainBob Dylan

Ringo’s RotogravureRingo Starr

Long May You Run – The Stills-Young Band

Technical EcstasyBlack Sabbath

Jump on It Montrose

Private Eyes – Tommy Bolin

Best Rock Albums – October 1976

Crystal Ball Styx

HoppkorvHot Tuna

Johnny the FoxThin Lizzy

Heat Treatment – Graham Parker

Made in EuropeDeep Purple

Radio EthiopiaPatti Smith Group

Rock and Roll Heart Lou Reed

Some People Can Do What They Like – Robert Palmer

Best Rock Albums – November 1976

Rock and Roll OverKiss

A Street Called Straight – Roy Buchanan

TejasZZ Top

Play ‘n’ the Game Nazareth

Mahogany Rush IV – Mahogany Rush

Best Rock Albums – December 1976

Ratcity in Blue – Good Rats

RebelJohn Miles

L – Steve Hillage

Blondie –  Blondie


Jackson Browne – Helge Øverås [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

The Ramones – 75pickup at English Wikipedia(Original text: en:User:Mrhyak) [Public domain]

Mick Jagger – Bert Verhoeff / Anefo [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Geddy Lee – Enrico Frangi [Public domain]

Jimmy Page – Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com/ [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Robert Plant – Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com/ [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

David Bowie – Kymi [CC BY-SA (https://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)]

One Response

  1. Laurin Willis February 2, 2020

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Todd Rundgren produced songs
Top 10 Todd Rundgren Produced Songs
Eurythmics songs
Top 10 Eurythmics Songs
Twisted Sister Songs
Top 10 Twisted Sister Songs
Starcastle Songs
Top 10 Starcastle Songs
9 Artists Whose Third Album Broke Them Big Time To A Mass Audience
9 Artists Whose Third Album Broke Them Big Time To A Mass Audience
Artist's Best Second Albums
A List Of Artist’s Second Albums That Were Better Than Their Debuts
Rock Supergroups that released only one studio album
15 Rock Supergroups That Released Only One Studio Album
Best Rock Artist's Original Greatest Hits Vinyl Albums
Best Rock Artist’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Albums
Artists Whose Follow-Up To Their Biggest Album Was A Bust
10 Artists Whose Follow-Up To Their Biggest Album Was A Bust
Great Rock Groups And Artists That Released Only Two Albums
25 Great Rock Groups & Artists That Released Only Two Studio Albums
Artists Whose Debut Album Wasn't Their Debut Album
9 Artists Whose Debut Album Wasn’t Their Debut Album
Classic Rock Spin Off Bands
10 Classic Rock Spin Off Bands You May Have Missed
%d bloggers like this: