1977’s Best Classic Rock Albums

1977's Best Classic Rock Albums

Photographer credits for artists in feature photo are placed at the end of this article.

1977’s Best Classic Rock Albums list takes a look at a year in which sales records were broken by multi million dollar making albums released by Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel and a handful of other artists. Rock and Roll continued its battle against the rise of disco as the punk movement grew stronger on both sides of the Atlantic. All genres of rock and roll continued to explode in 1977 with great albums released by blues based bands like Foghat, Johnny Winter, progressive rock bands like Yes, Genesis, and Emerson Lake & Palmer, punk and new wave groups like The Ramones, Blondie, and Television, singer songwriters like Dan Fogelberg, Carole King and stunning debut albums by The Sex Pistols, Foreigner and Elvis Costello. That’s just a small sampling of another great year in classic rock history. 1977’s best classic rock albums will take you back to a time when a concert ticket still cost under ten dollars and an 8 track player was the most common way of playing albums in your car.

The list of albums from number 50 to number 10 are in pretty much random order. There is just no way to compare or say that any one of these records is better than the next. However we do believe these were fifty of the most popular and respected ones. Our Top 10 is our top 10 favorites based on sales and impact they had on classic rock history. It’s still just our opinion, but its an opinion based on research, sales data, interviews with fans and musicians, comments and most importantly the experience of growing up as teenager during the decade of the 1970s when rock and roll was our lives.

# 50 – The Beatles at the Hollywood BowlThe Beatles

We open up our 1977’s Best Classic Rock albums list with a live album from The Beatles. Seven years after The Beatles broke up, this live album was welcomed by Beatles fans starving for something new from the band. A live album was better than nothing.

# 49 – Bad ReputationThin Lizzy

# 48 – Lace and WhiskeyAlice Cooper

# 47 – SlowhandEric Clapton

# 46 – Foot Loose & Fancy FreeRod Stewart

# 45 – In the CityThe Jam

# 44 – Book of DreamsSteve Miller Band

# 43 – Time Loves a HeroLittle Feat

# 42 – Ghost Writer – Garland Jeffreys

# 41 – Plastic LettersBlondie 

# 40 – The ClashThe Clash

# 39 – Foreign AffairsTom Waits

# 38 – Point of Know ReturnKansas

# 37 – Lights OutUFO

# 36 – Works Volume 1Emerson, Lake & Palmer

# 35 – Rattus NorvegicusThe Stranglers

# 34 – Cheap TrickCheap Trick

# 33 – Let There Be Rock  – AC/DC

# 32 – Hard AgainMuddy Waters

# 31 – Even in the Quietest MomentsSupertramp

# 30 – SleepwalkerThe Kinks

# 29 – Sammy HagarSammy Hagar

# 28 – MotörheadMotörhead

# 27 – I RobotThe Alan Parsons Project

# 26 – Peter GabrielPeter Gabriel

# 25 – LowDavid Bowie

# 24 – Talking Heads: 77Talking Heads

# 23 – Rocket to RussiaThe Ramones

# 22 – Running on EmptyJackson Browne

# 21 – My Aim Is TrueElvis Costello

# 19 – Don Juan’s Reckless DaughterJoni Mitchell

# 18 – Nether LandsDan Fogelberg

# 17 – Songs from the WoodJethro Tull

# 16 – ForeignerForeigner

# 15 – Foghat LiveFoghat

# 14 – A Farewell to KingsRush

# 13 – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols

# 12 – Draw the LineAerosmith

# 11 – The Grand IllusionStyx

# 10 – Out of the BlueElectric Light Orchestra

Electric Light Orchestra seemed to be getting better with each album they released in the 1970s. Out of the Blue was their best album. A fantastic two record set filled with the most irresistible songs any fan of great rock and roll pop music could not resist.

#  9 – Cat Scratch FeverTed Nugent

There is no denying how fantastic this record was from crazy Ted. It’s what we always called him back in the 1970s. Saw him tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd to promote this great record. What a double bill that was.

#  8 – Little QueenHeart

One word, Barracuda!

#  7 – AnimalsPink Floyd

At times, this is our favorite Pink Floyd album. I saw the Animals tour in 1977 at New York’s Madison Square Garden a week after seeing Fleetwood Mac and a month after seeing Led Zeppelin. Those were the days.

#  6 – News of the WorldQueen

With the album’s opening track “We Will Rock You,” and the connected song “We Are The Champions,”  Queen infiltrated mass culture on an entire new level for years to come. This album was huge and the News Of The World Tour was spectacular.

#  5 – Street SurvivorsLynyrd Skynyrd

Our favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd album was released just a few days before the band’s tragic airplane crash. With the addition of Steve Gaines to the band, the record stood as the most mature album the band had ever released. It seemed they were on the verge of even more greatness to come before the crash. So sad! Still, one of the best best rock albums ever released.

#  4 – Bat Out Of Hell – Meat Loaf

This album blew many people away the first time they heard it. Meat Loaf’s phenomenal vocals, Jim Steinman’s brilliant original songwriting all surrounded by a group of stellar musicians from Utopia and The E Street band produced by the genius of Todd Rundgren made for an album for the ages.

#  3 – The StrangerBilly Joel

With each of his first three albums, there was a buzz that Billy Joel would soon become one of the biggest rock stars in the world. The Stranger was the album that got him there. The songs on The Stranger album such as “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” would fill the soundtrack of our lives for the past forty plus years.

#  2  – AjaSteely Dan

If one wanted to find one rock album in classic rock history that was perfect in every conceivable way, it would be Steely Dan’s Aja. And that’s exactly what it seemed Donald Fagan and Walter Becker set out to do.

#  1 – RumoursFleetwood Mac

Not many albums in classic rock history featured three distinctive lead vocalists and songwriters that blended so well together musically. Rumours was a once in a lifetime album that broke all sales records and turned Fleetwood Mac into one of the biggest rock bands of all time.

More Fantastic Classic Rock Albums Released in 1977

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

Best Rock Albums – January 1977

Leave HomeThe Ramones

Ahh… The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!Bootsy’s Rubber Band

Playing the FoolGentle Giant

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes – Jimmy Buffett

FestivalSantana

The Light of Smiles – Gary Wright

Live: You Get What You Play ForREO Speedwagon

Queens of NoiseThe Runaways

NovellaRenaissance

Best Rock Albums – February 1977

In Your MindBryan Ferry

RaUtopia

Going for the OneYes

Marquee Moon – Television

White Snake – David Coverdale

HarborAmerica

Damned Damned DamnedThe Damned

Ultravox – Ultravox

NextJourney

Best Rock Albums – March 1977

Quiet RiotQuiet Riot

IslandsThe Band

The IdiotIggy Pop

Anytime…Anywhere – Rita Coolidge

Every Face Tells a Story  – Cliff Richard

Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group LiveJeff Beck

Trans-Europe ExpressKraftwerk

Best Rock Albums – April 1977

Sin After Sin  – Judas Priest

Love YouThe Beach Boys

Caught Live + 5The Moody Blues

Celebrate Me HomeKenny Loggins

Get It – Dave Edmunds

IzitsoCat Stevens

Let it Flow – Dave Mason

Moroccan Roll – Brand X

This Time It’s for Real – Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes

Off the RecordSweet

A Period of TransitionVan Morrison

Best Rock Albums – May 1977

Holly Days – Denny Laine

One of the Boys – Roger Daltrey

Free FallDixie Dregs

I’m In You – Peter Frampton

38 Special 38 Special

Deceptive Bends 10cc

Now – The Tubes

Playin’ Up a StormThe Gregg Allman Band

Best Rock Albums – June 1977

Exodus – Bob Marley & The Wailers

Monkey IslandThe J. Geils Band

American Stars ‘n BarsNeil Young

CSN – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Love GunKiss

Full House – Frankie Miller

JT – James Taylor

Pure Mania – The Vibrators

Season of LightsLaura Nyro

Steve WinwoodSteve Winwood

Best Rock Albums – July 1977

Just a Story from America – Elliott Murphy

Terrapin StationThe Grateful Dead

Hurry Sundown – Outlaws

Simple ThingsCarole King

Knnillssonn – Harry Nilsson

Best Rock Albums – August 1977

Livin’ on the Fault LineThe Doobie Brothers

DizrythmiaSplit Enz

Lust for LifeIggy Pop

Before We Were So Rudely InterruptedThe Animals

Boats Against the Current – Eric Carmen

DonovanDonovan

Nothin’ but the BluesJohnny Winter

Showtime – Ry Cooder

Best Rock Albums – September 1977

Twilley Don’t Mind – Dwight Tilley

Dance Band on the TitanicHarry Chapin

Playmates – Small Faces

Chicago XIChicago

Rough Mix – Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane

Little CriminalsRandy Newman

Love You LiveThe Rolling Stones

No More HeroesThe Stranglers

Ringo the 4thRingo Starr

Beauty on a Back StreetHall & Oates

The Boomtown RatsThe Boomtown Rats

Broken HeartThe Babys

In ColorCheap Trick

Putting It Straight – Pat Travers

Simple DreamsLinda Ronstadt

Best Rock Albums – October 1977

Waitin’ for the NightThe Runaways

Makin’ Magic – Pat Travers

L.A.M.F. – Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers

Midnight WindThe Charlie Daniels Band

Alive IIKiss

Marin County Line – New Riders of the Purple Sage

Seconds OutGenesis

Gone to Earth – Barclay James Harvest

Introducing SparksSparks

Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars – Levon Helm

MoonflowerSantana

Musical ChairsSammy Hagar

Oops! Wrong Planet – Utopia

Stick to Me – Graham Parker and the Rumour

Young Loud and Snotty – Dead Boys

Best Rock Albums – November 1977

Works Volume 2Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Rock & Roll Machine – Triumph

Death of a Ladies’ Man – Leonard Cohen

This Is the Modern WorldThe Jam

Down Two Then LeftBoz Scaggs

SpectresBlue Öyster Cult

Cabretta – Mink DeVille

Best Rock Albums – December 1977

The Alice Cooper ShowAlice Cooper

Stranger In The City – John Miles

Consequences – Godley & Creme

George Thorogood and the Destroyers – George Thorogood 

Feature Photo Credits

Stevie Nicks : Photo: David Wainwright [Public domain]

Billy Joel – Photo: Deedar70 at the English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)]

Meat Loaf – Photo: Mr.Mushnik at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]

Nancy Wilson – Photo: Sidneyjunior89 [Public domain]

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Photo: MCA Records [Public domain]

Elvis Costello -Photo:  Jean-Luc Ourlin [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Lou Gramm – Photo: Misterweiss [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

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