Horns Up For The Studio Legends Behind 84 Killer Rock Records

Horns Up For The Studio Legends Behind 84 Killer Rock Records

Rock 'n' roll, the rebellious offspring of blues and country, exploded onto the music scene in the 1950s and has been setting our eardrums on fire ever since. It's a multi-layered genre that's smashed boundaries, defined generations, and given us countless anthems to scream along to at the top of our lungs. 


To celebrate Rocktober, we present killer records in release order, featuring insights from the people behind them.


1/ 'Highway 61 Revisited' by Bob Dylan (1965)

Bob Dylan's 'Highway 61 Revisited' is where folk met rock and had a rebellious love child. With the anthem "Like a Rolling Stone" leading the charge, this record redefined boundaries and showed the world Dylan's electric evolution. It's not just a highway; it's a road map to rock 'n' roll brilliance with Dylan at the wheel and legends like Mike Bloomfield jamming in the backseat.


2/ 'Electric Ladyland' by Jimi Hendrix (1968)

'Electric Ladyland' wasn't just an album; it was Hendrix's technicolor dreamcoat of soundscapes. With iconic jams like "Voodoo Child" and his ethereal cover of "All Along the Watchtower," Jimi solidified his legendary status in the rock pantheon. It's like he grabbed lightning with his guitar and recorded it for all of us to hear – and, man, it's electrifying!


3/ 'Abbey Road' by The Beatles (1969)

'Abbey Road' isn't just a street in London; it's The Beatles' swan song that redefined rock. With iconic tracks like "Come Together" and "Here Comes the Sun", this masterpiece drips with innovation. And that legendary crosswalk cover? Let's just say pedestrians have never looked cooler.


Here, Andrew Farriss (INXS) shares a wholesome moment of meeting the legendary band as a kid:


"So I was five and a bit, and my older brother Tim was seven and a bit, and my younger brother Jon was three and a bit. Anyway we took this ship journey from Perth, which is where we were living as kids, we finally got to London and Dad took us to a variety show and out walked the Beatles and they just started playing. And everyone’s going bananas and crazy in a room. I’m like, ‘What’s this all about?’ And there’s us standing there in our little polished black shoes with long white socks and grey shorts and whatever we had on back then, listening to one of the greatest bands ever, right in front of us. It was surreal. But The Beatles themselves, to me it was all so obscure, cos I’d never seen a proper rock band before. And then afterwards, many years later, Tim and I talked to our father Dennis about it, cos we were like, ‘Dad what was all that about?’ And he goes, ‘Oh yeah, and you went and talked to them too.’ [And you can’t remember it?!] And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?!’ Well not really, no. But apparently we were standing there. Probably because we were little kids they were perfectly happy to talk to us, you see."


4/ 'Paranoid' by Black Sabbath (1970)

When Black Sabbath dropped 'Paranoid' in 1970, the very fabric of rock was forever altered with its ominous riffs and haunting vocals. Classics like "Iron Man" and "War Pigs" cemented the record as an untouchable heavy metal masterpiece, making it mandatory listening for any self-respecting headbanger. It's the vinyl that gave birth to metal, all while donning the darkest shades of cool.


Soundgarden's guitar god Kim Thayil shares a fond memory about listening to that record as a kid:


"I think I was 11 years old and there was a kid who’d been held back a couple of years, who was 13. And on one of those days where kids are allowed to bring in things and share, I probably bring in a record, probably a Ringo Starr single like ‘Back Off Boogaloo’, or maybe Three Dog Night ‘Joy To The World’, and this kid who’s two years older and much taller who’s been held back for two years, brings in ‘Paranoid’ by Black Sabbath. There’s a song on it called ‘Iron Man’. Well, I love comic books, I’ve got a bunch of comic books, I want to hear this song. I love the riff, the riff’s just so cool and heavy, but it was so dark and scary, it’s like, what is this? This doesn’t sound like the pop songs that have keyboards and upbeat guitar things, but I was compelled to listen to that song over and over again while frightened at the same time."




5/ 'Led Zeppelin IV' by Led Zeppelin (1971)

'Led Zeppelin IV', where Led Zep went full legendary, leaving a seismic impact on rock with anthems like "Stairway to Heaven", Black Dog" and "Going to California". This beast of an album needs no title to be recognized, and it's been spinning heads (and turntables) since '71. If rock 'n' roll had a Mount Rushmore, this record would be the mountain.


6/ 'Who's Next' by The Who (1971)

The Who delivered anthems like "Baba O'Riley" and "Behind Blue Eyes" that have left an indelible mark on rock 'n' roll. A magnum opus that's had fans air-guitaring for decades, this record didn't just set the bar, it is the bar.


7/ 'Exile On Main St.' by The Rolling Stones (1972)

'Exile On Main St.' by The Rolling Stones is a debaucherous, bluesy rock 'n' roll safari, with gems like "Tumbling Dice" and "Rocks Off" as your tour guides. Born from chaotic recording sessions in a French villa and often hailed as their magnum opus, this album has "sticky fingers" in multiple best-of lists. As for collabs? Let's just say the Stones rolled with the best, but when you're this iconic, who's counting?


8/ 'The Dark Side Of The Moon' by Pink Floyd (1973)

'The Dark Side Of The Moon' by Pink Floyd? It's not just an album, it's a cosmic journey. Launched in '73, tracks like "Time" and "Money" made cash registers ring worldwide, turning this masterpiece into one of the best-selling records ever. Pop it on, sync it with 'The Wizard of Oz' if you dare, and let Pink Floyd provide the soundtrack to your astral travels.



9/ 'Physical Graffiti' by Led Zeppelin (1975)

'Physical Graffiti' is Led Zeppelin's double-disc magnum opus, sprawling across musical landscapes with hits like "Kashmir" and "Trampled Under Foot". It's the auditory equivalent of a rock 'n' roll cathedral – grand, echoing, and impossible to ignore. This record didn’t just earn its stripes, it went full-on zebra, cementing Zeppelin's legacy with no stairway required.


10/ 'Horses' by Patti Smith (1975)

Patti Smith's 'Horses' galloped onto the 1975 music scene with a poetic ferocity, reshaping punk rock's boundaries with a blend of raw guitar and beatnik soul. Spitting out tracks like "Gloria", Smith crafted anthems for the disenchanted, all while rocking the most iconic white shirt in album cover history. John Cale of The Velvet Underground fame lent his producing prowess, making this record not just a cult classic, but a wild stallion of musical innovation.


11/ 'Hotel California' by Eagles (1976)

Welcome to 'Hotel California' by the Eagles, where the tunes are timeless and you can never really leave. Dropping in '76, this iconic record gifted us haunting anthems like the title track and "New Kid in Town." It’s an album that racked up GRAMMY awards and made sure "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" was echoed in headphones worldwide.


12/ The Runaways' self-titled (1976)

The Runaways' debut self-titled record burst onto the scene in 1976 like a cherry bomb, proving that rock 'n' roll wasn't just a boys' club. With iconic tracks like "Cherry Bomb", these teenage rebels set the stage for future female rockers. No capes, no big hair, just raw talent and a desire to run wild on the Sunset Strip.


13/ 'Rumours' by Fleetwood Mac (1977)

Fleetwood Mac’s 'Rumours' is where relationship drama met rock 'n' roll perfection. This '77 masterpiece, dripping with hits like "Go Your Own Way" and "Dreams," not only bagged a GRAMMY for Album of the Year but soundtracked a generation’s love and heartbreak. 



14/ 'The Wall' by Pink Floyd (1979)

Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' is the kind of auditory trip that makes you question reality and your wallpaper. With mind-benders like "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" and "Comfortably Numb," it's a psychedelic journey through rock opera, garnering heaps of awards and etching its tracks in the annals of rock legend. Dive in, but just remember: the wall's got ears!


15/ 'Back In Black' by AC/DC (1980)

AC/DC's 'Back In Black' hit the scene with the force of a thunderbolt, proving that rock could rise like a phoenix. Dishing out legendary tracks like "You Shook Me All Night Long" and the title track, this monster album sold over 50 million copies globally. A masterclass in rock resurrection, it's where headbanging met heart and soul.


16/ 'Ace of Spades' by Motörhead (1980)

'Ace of Spades' was Motörhead's screaming battle cry, personifying raw, unapologetic rock 'n' roll. The title track became the stuff of legend, basically serving as the universal ringtone for badasses everywhere. Lemmy and the boys cranked the amps up to 11, leaving an indelible mark on the rock landscape, proving once and for all that if you want to win, you've got to play hard and fast.


17/ 'Beauty & the Beat' by The Go-Go's (1981)

The Go-Go's unleashed 'Beauty & the Beat' in 1981, defyin social norms at the time – proving that an all-girl band could not only rock but also dominate the charts. With contagious hits like "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Are Sealed," this album danced its way to a Billboard No.1 spot and went multi-platinum. So, slap on some neon leg warmers, 'cause this record's a roller-skating jam waiting to happen.


Drummer Gina Schock recounts her funfair ride with joining the eclectic band: 


"Meeting a couple of the girls at a party, they were looking for a drummer and I said, ‘Yeah I’m looking to join a band.’ And invited them over, we played a couple of songs and that was it, deal was done. It was a perfect fit. And I knew that I could inject some seriousness into what they were doing and they could inject a playful approach. Cos I was way too serious at that age about music and about everything being perfect, you know? And I needed to lighten up, and I did learn that from them about, ‘Let’s have some fun onstage, stop being so serious.’ I needed that. And they needed to tighten up."



18/ 'The Number Of The Beast' by Iron Maiden (1982)

With 'The Number Of The Beast', Iron Maiden didn't just release an album; they unleashed a metal monster. Tunes like "Run to the Hills" and the title track still send shivers down spines, ensuring headbangers never have a dull day. It's no wonder it's cited as one of the best heavy metal albums ever - Bruce Dickinson and the boys were in devilishly top form.


19/ 'Screaming For Vengeance' by Judas Priest (1982)

Judas Priest's 'Screaming For Vengeance' is an electric bolt of metal mastery that thundered its way into the '80s. Armed with tracks like the iconic "You've Got Another Thing Comin'", this record reaffirmed Priest's iron-clad grip on heavy metal's helm. Put simply: they came, they screamed, and they conquered the metal real


20/ '1984' by Van Halen (1984)

Van Halen's '1984' wasn't just a year; it was an era-defining explosion of synthesizers and guitar solos. Dropping anthems like "Jump" and "I'll Wait", this album had leg-warmer enthusiasts and rock purists alike headbanging in unison. Forget Orwell's predictions; in '84, Eddie's guitar was the real Big Brother.


Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy) reminds us of the humble notion that even big artists are massive fans – just like the rest of us mere mortals:


"When that call came in, to support Van Halen, I turned into that, y’know, that 18 year old kid again, just like, ‘OH MY GOD! YES!’

I just can’t overstate what a beautiful experience that was. Those guys treated us so good, there was no rock star standoffishness ever, everybody in and out of the dressing room, and they would let us hang out on the side of the stage and watch the show."


21/ 'Born In The U.S.A.' by Bruce Springsteen (1984)

Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen brought the fireworks with 'Born in the U.S.A.' in 1984, making jean-clad rear-ends iconic and giving us anthems like the title track and "Dancing in the Dark." Not only did it bag a whopping seven top 10 singles, but it also became a cultural touchstone for the heartland rock genre. With The E Street Band backing him, Bruce made sure everyone's Fourth of July BBQ had a killer soundtrack.


Here, multi-GRAMMY-winning icon Bob Clearmountain shares why this album remains one of his proudest mixing moments:


"Working on the 'Born In the U.S.A.' album, needless to say was a high point of my career. Bruce is such a brilliant songwriter and performer and has become a good friend so it’s always a pleasure to work with him on his music. As the songs were mostly performed live in the studio by Bruce and the E-Street Band, it was a relatively easy album to mix. The tracks tended to almost mix themselves because of the band's natural dynamics."



22/ 'Master Of Puppets' by Metallica (1986)

Metallica's 'Master Of Puppets' didn't just hit the metal scene – it dominated, headbanged, and shred its way into legendary status. From the explosive "Battery" to the eponymous anthem "Master of Puppets," this album became the metal bible for headbangers everywhere. It's not just a record; it's a thrash metal masterclass that taught us all the art of the riff.


A record that was life-changing for Killswitch Engage's Adam Dutkiewicz:


"I’ll tell you, my world changed once I heard Metallica. I was like, oh, that’s exactly what I want to do, right there. I was like that down picking is awesome and I love palm muting and all of a sudden James Hetfield is my hero. It was ‘Puppets’, and ‘Justice’. And ‘Justice’ was the one where I was like, I really want to learn that, because of just the sound of the record, and how tight it was and mechanical surrounding, especially with that clicky kick drum. After that I was just like, I want to learn every Metallica song possible."


23/ 'Reign In Blood' by Slayer (1986)

Slayer's 'Reign In Blood' dropped like a molten metal meteorite, reshaping the landscape of thrash metal. With monstrous hits like "Angel of Death" and "Raining Blood", this masterpiece didn't just break boundaries – it shattered them.


24/ 'Appetite For Destruction' by Guns N' Roses (1987)

Guns N' Roses blasted onto the rock scene with 'Appetite for Destruction', and let's be real: the world's never been the same since. Spawning epic anthems like "Sweet Child o' Mine" and "Welcome to the Jungle," this album redefined rock 'n' roll swagger. And if you weren't wearing torn jeans and bandanas after this, were you even paying attention?



25/ 'The Joshua Tree' by U2 (1987)

U2's 'The Joshua Tree' wasn't just an album; it was a spiritual pilgrimage set to rock 'n' roll. Bagging a GRAMMY for Album of the Year and spawning eternal anthems like "With or Without You" and "Where the Streets Have No Name", it's no stretch to say this record rearranged the stars—or at least made them shine a tad brighter. Hats off to producers Daniel Lanois & Brain Eno for helping the Irish lads craft this timeless desert soundscape.


26/ 'Goo' by Sonic Youth (1990)

Sonic Youth's 'Goo' in '90 was the raw, distorted sound of the underground crashing the mainstream party. With iconic tracks like "Kool Thing" and "Dirty Boots," the band didn't just break boundaries – they shredded 'em with feedback and attitude. Its pervasive influence made dirty guitar tones and artsy dissonance the go-to mood for a generation.


27/ 'Use Your Illusion I' by Guns N' Roses (1991)

Guns N' Roses's 'Use Your Illusion I' swaggered into rock history, dripping with attitude and ambition that was larger than life. With epic tracks like "November Rain" and "Don't Cry," this album became an unmissable chapter in the rock 'n' roll bible. If rock was a religion, then "Use Your Illusion I" was its thunderous sermon, demanding reverence (and a whole lot of headbanging)!

Their former drummer Matt Sorum goes down memory lane of his unforgettable experience being part of the legendary band:


"The Cult was cool, and I was happy to be in that band. But when I got to Guns N’Roses, now we’re the biggest band in the world. We got… You know we got to South America and we were numbers 1 through 6 on the charts, 1 2 3 4 5 6. We were like, two nights sold out at Maracana Stadium. We were headliners, we were the guys, right? And then it got, it got scary. Before the leg of each tour, I would beat myself down. I would almost go on these like, benders. And I look back at it now and I go, you know I was just trying to beat myself down emotionally. To beat the fear out of me. Cos I was going into like… It was like walking into a tornado. I had complete lack of control. There was nothing I could say or do that was going to change the outcome of daily events. And that became my way to numb myself. And even my bandmates were like, 'Dude!'"



28/ 'Nevermind' by Nirvana (1991)

With 'Nevermind', Nirvana didn't just drop an album—they ignited a grunge revolution and made flannel the unofficial uniform of the '90s. Thanks to angsty anthems like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come As You Are", this iconic record turned mainstream rock on its head. Basically, if albums had mic drop moments, this one sent the mic straight through the stage!


29/ 'Ten' by Pearl Jam (1991)

Pearl Jam's 'Ten' is the kind of album that makes you wanna fling your hair and air-guitar in your living room. Dropping seismic waves with hits like "Alive" and "Jeremy", it cemented its place in rock history and became the grunge anthem playlist for an entire generation. It's not just an album; it's a flannel-clad mood, a rain-soaked Seattle day captured in sound.


30/ Rage Against The Machine's self-titled (1992)

Rage Against The Machine's debut self-titled album detonated like a Molotov cocktail in the '90s music scene, fusing rap, rock, and revolutionary zeal into anthems like "Killing in the Name" and "Bullet in the Head." With its explosive blend of biting political commentary and unyielding riffs, it wasn't just an album—it was a sonic uprising.


31/ 'Exile In Guyville' by Liz Phair (1993)

'Exile In Guyville" by Liz Phair is the sassy, unapologetic retort to rock's male-dominated narrative. A lo-fi indie masterpiece, it unpacks love, lust, and life through tracks like "Divorce Song" and "Never Said". Though Phair might've been solo on the marquee, her candid audacity made the entire industry turn its head - and decades later, we're still craning our necks.



32/ 'Dookie' by Green Day (1993)

'Dookie' rocketed Green Day from Bay Area obscurity to punk royalty, giving the '90s its irreverent soundtrack. With anthems like "Basket Case" and "When I Come Around," this record wasn't just a collection of songs, it was a generational battle cry. If punk was dead before 'Dookie', Green Day pumped it full of adrenaline and slapped a mischievous grin on its face.


33/ 'Voodoo Lounge' by The Rolling Stones (1994)

The Rolling Stones' 'Voodoo Lounge' swaggered into the '90s, proving these rock legends could still conjure magic like no other. Scooping up the GRAMMY for Best Rock Album, tracks like "Love Is Strong" and "You Got Me Rocking" showed the Stones still had that iconic bite. Decades in, and they're still the sorcerers of rock, with 'Voodoo Lounge' being another potion in their legendary brew.


Here, multi-GRAMMY-winning producer Don Was details the electric energy in the studio at the time. 


"When we did the overdubs to ‘Voodoo Lounge’ we did them at my house in LA, up on Mulholland. And I had The Rolling Stones over at the house for like, a month and a half or something. And every so often, three or four times a day, my blood pressure would just go way up, and I’d say, ‘Oh my God, look who’s here!’ Just to see those iconic guys together. And also, their energy, man. If you make a living out of playing in stadiums, that means you can project to the back of a stadium. Do you remember before ‘Voodoo Lounge’ tour they did the ‘Steel Wheels’ tour, and had these big blow-up dolls that were like five storeys high? That’s them, man. Their personalities transcend the skin so much that the personalities are five storeys high but contained in these human bodies. So imagine that energy in a room."


34/ 'Superunknown' by Soundgarden (1994)

Soundgarden's 'Superunknown' crashed into the '90s music scene like a meteor, reshaping rock landscapes with legendary tracks like "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman." Loaded with haunting hits like "Black Hole Sun" and "Spoonman", it bagged two GRAMMYs and elevated the band to legendary status. If the '90s had a soundtrack, this record would be its gritty, dark, and utterly mesmerizing anthem.



35/ 'Punk In Drublic' by NOFX (1994)

'Punk In Drublic' by NOFX isn't just a clever play on words; it's a seminal punk record that's left mosh pits sweaty and speakers blown since '94. With iconic tracks like "Linoleum" and "Don't Call Me White," it was the soundtrack to countless skate sessions and teen rebellions. When you've got punk cred dripping from every chord, it's no wonder that this record has influenced bands like blink-182, Sum 41, and more!


Here, bassist and lead vocalist Fat Mike reflects on the massive responsibility he felt especially during the earlier days.


"I was dealing with my band, which since COVID hit, a couple of the guys, they’re not sure what to do. They have a lot of kids and no way to make money. And it kind of falls on me. Being a label president and a band leader, a lot of responsibility fell on my shoulders. Like ‘Mike, what are you gonna to do, how are you going to fix this? You need to figure out how we’re going to make money cos we can’t survive.’ And I’m hearing that from, y’know, 20 people. It’s a lot of pressure I could not deal with. And I try to be a good person, and I try to help everyone, and that’s one of the things they told me in rehab: ‘Mike, you have to stop trying to save everyone. Because it’s killing you. Cos you can’t. And you need to take care of yourself first. And then do what you can.’ That’s not what I was doing. What I was doing is trying to help everyone and doing a bunch of blow and coming up with ideas to make money and it was like, it wasn’t me. I was scrambling to make money to help my band and to help other people, and it didn’t work that way."


36/ 'Slipknot' by Slipknot (1995)

Slipknot's eponymous debut hit the metal scene with the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face, redefining nu-metal's soundscapes. Tracks like "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out" became instant anthems, cementing the masked men from Iowa in rock's hall of infamy. The nine-member maelstrom, with their pulse-pounding percussion and serrated riffs, made sure that once you heard them, you'd never forget.


37/ 'OK Computer' by Radiohead (1997)

In '97, Radiohead dropped 'OK Computer' and, like a rogue AI, it rewired the brains of an entire generation. Packed with sonic innovation, hits like "Paranoid Android" and "Karma Police" made existential dread danceable. With no external collaborators needed, the Oxford lads sculpted a future-facing masterpiece, bagging a GRAMMY and forever altering the alt-rock landscape.



38/ 'The Colour and the Shape' by Foo Fighters (1997)

When Foo Fighters dropped 'The Colour and the Shape' in '97, it was clear Dave Grohl wasn't just a drumming sensation; he was a rock deity in the making. With anthems like "Everlong" and "My Hero" that still set eardrums ablaze, this record wasn't just colorful, it shaped a generation. 


39/ 'Around The Fur' by Deftones (1997)

Deftones' 'Around The Fur' crashed onto the scene like a tidal wave of alt-metal innovation. With hypnotic tracks like "My Summer (Shove It)" and "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)," the record blended aggressive riffs with dreamy atmospherics, defining a generation's angsty soundtrack. Let's just say, it's the furthest thing from background noise.


40/ Third Eye Blind's self-titled (1997)

Third Eye Blind's self-titled debut didn't just drop – it detonated in the '90s alt-rock landscape. With infectious anthems like "Semi-Charmed Life" and "Jumper" becoming the soundtrack of countless teenage rebellions, the album struck platinum status multiple times over. It's not just an album; it's the sonic diary of anyone who's ever yearned, loved, and jumped off life's metaphorical ledge.

The band's legendary frontman Stephan Jenkins unpacks the ups and downs of his journey:


"I had dyslexia, my parents were divorced, getting divorced, and we had rent insecurity, so the bottom fell out, and there was food insecurity. School was a hot, humiliating experience of hot frustration, so drums for me, which were kind of my rebellion… Holding everything into a rhythm with independents… So in drumming, your right foot does something from your left foot, so they’re both doing different things independent of each other, and your right hand and your left hand are doing something independent of each other, and you are bringing them together into a rhythm. So for that time, while you are drumming, no matter what all the other things that are out of sync and out of control in your life, you are in control."




41/ 'Enema Of The State' by blink-182 (1999)

'Enema Of The State' didn't just launch blink-182 into the stratosphere, it gave an entire generation a lesson in pop-punk mischief. With infectious bangers like "All the Small Things" and "What's My Age Again?", this record became a rite of passage for angsty teens. Sporting a memorable album cover and the band's signature blend of juvenile humor and raw emotion, it's no surprise this album's still got everyone's inner rebel singing along.


42/ 'Californication' by Red Hot Chilli Peppers (1999)

Red Hot Chili Peppers painted the town, well, red, with 'Californication' in 1999, bringing hits like the title track, "Scar Tissue" and "Otherside" to the airwaves and earbuds worldwide. The iconic Rick Rubin was the wizard behind the production curtain, and the result? An album so Californian it practically comes with its own surfboard. Dive in and ride the wave!


Here, multi-GRAMMY-winning engineer Dave Schiffman reminisces on what it was like recording the history-making record alongside fellow legends like Jim Scott:


"I think what I'll always remember the most about recording 'Californication' was how powerful the songs felt when it was just the four of them, tracking live in the room. A lot of the record ended up being really that straightforward because the songs were so strong. John built these amazing background vocals that were literally the icing on the cake.  The Chili Peppers are a band who really know how to compliment and play off each other musically.  The energy just exploded out of the speakers. A true honor to have been a part of it."




43/ 'Hybrid Theory' by Linkin Park (2000)

'Hybrid Theory' didn't just drop, it exploded, forever blurring the lines between rock, rap, and electronica. With angsty anthems like "In the End" and "Crawling," Linkin Park became the voice of a generation battling its inner demons. This groundbreaking record became the sound of Y2K rebellion.


44/ 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' by Wilco (2002)

Wilco's 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' is the sonic equivalent of a Picasso masterpiece - abstract, profound, and a touch rebellious. Released in 2002 after label drama, this avant-garde rock spectacle, boasting gems like "Jesus, Etc." and "Heavy Metal Drummer," danced its way into critics' hearts, cementing its place as one of the 21st century's defining records. A tip of the hat to the gents for turning industry turbulence into a magnetic, genre-defying classic.


45/ 'Waking The Fallen' by Avenged Sevenfold (2003)

'Waking The Fallen' saw Avenged Sevenfold effortlessly blend fierce metalcore with melodic prowess, effectively putting them on the rock radar. With tracks like "Unholy Confessions" and "Chapter Four", it's no surprise this album became a genre-defining masterpiece. The band didn't just wake the fallen; they awoke an entire generation to their killer sound.


46/ 'Elephant' by The White Stripes (2003)

'Elephant' by The White Stripes stomped onto the scene with its raw energy, reinvigorating rock in a digital age. Who can forget that irresistible riff of "Seven Nation Army"?! With their minimalist strokes and maximalist impact, Jack and Meg White created a garage-rock Picasso masterpiece designed to be blasted out LOUD in stadiums – something that encouraged fellow rocker Taylor Momsen to start her own journey:


"The first official live show that I saw I was probably, maybe 9, and it was The White Stripes, and it blew my mind. I mean, I already knew that I wanted to play rock’n’roll, I already knew that I wanted to be in a band, I was already playing guitar, I was already writing songs, I was already singing, but I knew I wanted to be a songwriter and I wanted to make records."


47/ 'Meteora' by Linkin Park (2003)

'Meteora' saw Linkin Park double down, delivering a sonic thunderstorm that solidified their reign in the nu-metal kingdom. Dropping bangers like "Numb" and "Somewhere I Belong," this album wasn't just a follow-up—it was a revolution. And let's face it, those alt-rock vibes were the soundtrack to every emo-kid's moody afternoon in the early 2000s.



48/ 'Fallen' by Evanescence (2003)

Evanescence burst onto the scene with 'Fallen,' making goth-rock mainstream and blessing our moody playlists. With haunting tracks like "Bring Me to Life" and "My Immortal", they scooped up multiple GRAMMY Awards, blending rock and classical into a symphony of emotions. It's the album that said, "Yes, you can rock out with a piano and a string section.


49/ 'Say You Will' by Fleetwood Mac (2003)

Fleetwood Mac's 'Say You Will' arrived in 2003 like a fine wine uncorked after a long wait - smooth, rich, with notes of nostalgia. Tracks like "Peacekeeper" and "Silver Girl" shimmered with the whole album being a toast to resilience and reinvention. It showed that rock royalty doesn't rust; it simply evolves.


A magic that was felt by studio legend Mark Needham, who engineered and mixed the album:


"It will always be a really important moment in my life just to work with the band and becomes friends with everybody and then go on to work on a bunch of other projects with them. Everyone in the band's so talented and I was such a fan growing up – I started listening to the original Fleetwood Mac in probably the early '60s. My sister would bring home some of the early Peter Green stuff so I grew up listening to a lot of that. So I had a pretty big history listening to that band. It was so much fun to actually just be a part of the record together with them."



50/ 'Blackout' by Dropkick Murphys (2003)

Dropkick Murphys's 'Blackout' charged onto the scene with all the fury and passion of a Boston pub brawl set to music. With anthems like "Walk Away" and the heart-tugging "Fields of Athenry", the record solidified their spot as punk's Celtic rock champions. It's like if a St. Paddy's Day parade crashed into a punk rock concert. What an absolute blaze of glory.

Here, their bass guitarist and lead singer Ken Casey reminisces those about those good ol' days.


"When we were coming into touring was right when venues were starting to take the cut of merchandise from bands. And we used to sell our T-shirts for five dollars. And Aerosmith opened a venue called Mama Kin and it was under the guise of giving back to local bands. And the first time we played Mama Kin, five dollar shirt, they wanted their buck 25. And we were like, ‘What?!’ So we would always play these venues and try to bolt before we paid the venue cut, and we’d always escape down the street in the van, and inevitably every time someone would go, ‘Ahh, I left my cymbals’ or whatever, and you’d have to sheepishly pull back up and the manager would be waiting on the sidewalk with the cymbals saying, ‘Did you forget something?’"


51/ 'Permission To Land' by The Darkness (2003)

The Darkness' debut album 'Permission To Land' swooped down in 2003 and rocked our socks off. With their iconic falsetto-packed hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" leading the charge, the record snagged three BRIT Awards and went multi-platinum. If you're looking for a dose of glam rock mixed with a sprinkle of early 2000s nostalgia, this record's got your name written all over it, in glittery gold ink, of course.


Lead guitarist Dan Hawkins details the band's wild come-up:


"Just before the album came out we were supporting Def Leppard at Brixton Academy, and I had to get the bus to that gig. I literally didn’t have the money for the tube. And then probably six months later we were on a private jet doing Top of the Pops special in Switzerland. It was a bit of a blur. We were just having a party the whole time, it was a riot. And the thing is everyone around us wanted to party cos they couldn’t actually believe it was happening. It was almost like ’80s rock again, y’know the whole ’80s thing. And a lot of people working in the industry who’d had to go through the lean time of the ’90s where you weren’t allowed to be like that anymore were like, “Right, here we go again!” So we were the guinea pigs for a lot of people’s vices, I think."



52/ 'From Under The Cork Tree' by Fall Out Boy (2005)

'From Under The Cork Tree' is where Fall Out Boy stepped out of the shadows and made emo kids everywhere dance in eyeliner and skinny jeans. Packing a punch with anthems like "Sugar, We're Goin Down" and "Dance, Dance," the record bagged a GRAMMY nom and set the stage for a generation of pop-punk dreamers. 


53/ 'The Black Parade' by My Chemical Romance (2006)

My Chemical Romance's 'The Black Parade' wasn't just an album; it was a sweeping rock opera that had an entire generation donning black eyeliner and shouting anthems of defiance. Timeless tracks like "Welcome to the Black Parade" and "Teenagers" became the battle cries of the misunderstood. When MCR promised a parade, they delivered a revolution – and we were all here for the march.

Something that their legendary guitarist Frank Iero doesn't take for granted: 


"And to be 16, 17, in a van with your friends, no parents around, it’s huge, it changes your worldview. And you start to figure out ways that…survival skills. You start to figure out how to get along with one another or how to push each other’s buttons, y’know? That age old question of do I eat tonight or do I buy cigarettes? These are things that you inevitably, every young man has to figure out, or every young woman has to figure out. That was amazing, man. I remember, those nights just driving along the highways of the US with no responsibilities except for keeping yourself alive. And playing music every night like… Everything was new. You’re just doing it for the love of it. Those experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything."



54/ 'Riot!' by Paramore (2007)

'Riot!' was the spark that ignited Paramore's fiery ascent, becoming the soundtrack of every misfit's summer. With bangers like "Misery Business" and "That's What You Get," it was impossible not to headbang with feeling – leaving everyone's inner rebel screaming for more.


55/ 'Minutes To Midnight' by Linkin Park (2007)

Linkin Park's 'Minutes To Midnight' didn't just drop, it detonated in 2007, shattering expectations with tracks like "Bleed It Out" and "Shadow of the Day." Produced by the legendary Rick Rubin, this album saw the band dabbling in a rawer, more experimental sound, and the world was absolutely here for it. Gold stars, Linkin Park, for once again proving that change is the only constant and making it sound so darn good.


Here, multi-GRAMMY-winning mixer Neal Avron shares what it was like working with the iconic band and spending time at Rick Rubin's Hollywood house!


"I mixed 'Minutes To Midnight' at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. While the album was a departure from their earlier records, the emotion present in the lyrics and Chester’s voice was undeniable. One listen to 'Given Up' or 'Bleed It Out' – and you know exactly what I am talking about! I spent time at Rick Rubin’s Hollywood house going over the mixes while Mike and Brad would come into the studio everyday with me to listen. I also remember Mike adding a last minute synth overdub for 'Shadow Of The Day' on my Juno-106 that I just happened to have at the studio. I guess things worked out as they brought me back a couple years later to mix their next album, 'A Thousand Suns'." 


56/ 'The Sound of '59' by The Gaslight Anthem (2008)

'The '59 Sound' by The Gaslight Anthem isn't just an album; it's a time-travel ticket, transporting you straight to heartland punk-rock nostalgia. With anthems like the title track "The '59 Sound" and "Great Expectations", the record solidified the band's rock 'n' roll cred. It's like Bruce Springsteen took a joyride with punk rock, and this album is the unforgettable soundtrack.


Here, lead singer Brian Fallon chats about the pressure of success:


"Y’know, I feel as though I might as well just tell you the truth of it all is that, when you’re in my position, y’know, I was probably 38 years old, had two solo records, was in a successful band, that had made some successful records, but like, there’s the chance, the probably probable chance would be that I’m not gonna repeat that success in the future. Cos it just doesn’t happen very often. I mean, I don’t mean to sound like people who are older don’t do anything good, they do – and tons of them do – but it’s harder when you’ve already had a big career and then you’re sort of staring down that thing of like, oh now you’re gonna do a solo record? Number three? Okay. That doesn’t sound as… like solo record number one is hard enough to get people to be open to."



57/ 'Stories To Tell' by Richard Marx (2010)

'Stories To Tell' saw Richard Marx strumming more than just heartstrings, blending rock-pop brilliance with his signature romantic touch. While hits like "Hold On To The Nights" made listeners swoon, the record as a whole showcased the genius of a man who knows how to craft timeless tunes. It's Marx at his storytelling best: a bit of nostalgia, a dash of romance, and full-on rock 'n roll charisma.


Richard demonstrates how he's always worn his heart on his sleeve:


"But I remember on the second, on the Repeat Offender tour, somewhere in the world, in a big arena, we had a great show, and there were all these locker rooms where we had our dressing rooms, and I remember leaning up against the wall and sinking down and sitting on the floor and I started crying. And I’m not a cryer really. But I was like, I felt, this is what I’ve been wanting forever and it doesn’t feel like it’s supposed to feel. It was very disillusioning and it really messed me up for a little while. But I just…But… back to being a pro, I remember I just sort of like, wiped my face and was like, okay here we go, next town, let’s go. I can look back on it now and I want to go back and hug me and go, look, take a minute, tell everybody you need a little, you need a little less of this right now. You’re still going to be out here working but, maybe not nine nights in a row."


58/ 'Crazy For You' by Best Coast (2010)

Best Coast's 'Crazy for You' is the sun-soaked, lo-fi indie dream we didn't know we needed in 2010. Charting the melancholic seas of love and longing with hits like "Boyfriend" and "When I'm With You," this indie-rock staple is like riding a vintage surfboard on a wave of fuzzy guitars and relatable feels. If California was an album, this would be it: breezy, bold, and beautifully bittersweet.


Lead singer Bethany Cosentino shares the reason why she loves to sing:


"I don’t feel like, until I was maybe 17 or 18, that I started to feel a bit more, like, comfortable who I was. But I was always really really awkward and, like, kind of a dork and just didn’t really, like… I had friends but I didn’t really ever feel like I connected. And music and singing was the one thing that when I would do it I would just, I felt so strong. And I just felt like I could stand on a stage and sing in front of a bunch of people and I wasn’t nervous and I didn’t feel uncomfortable and I didn’t feel, like… I just knew that that was the thing that I was good at doing. It was the only thing that really made me feel comfortable, was singing."




59/ 'Angles' by The Strokes (2011)

The Strokes fired up the 2010s with 'Angles', reminding everyone that garage rock and skinny jeans will never truly fade. With tracks like "Under Cover of Darkness" giving us that signature razor-sharp guitar sound, it felt like a sonic reunion with old friends.


60/ 'England Keeps My Bones' by Frank Turner (2011)

This is Frank Turner's folk-punk love letter to the homeland. With anthems like "I Still Believe" and "Peggy Sang the Blues", he crafted a soundtrack for the soul-searchers and the dream-chasers. Turner didn't just wear his heart on his sleeve; he turned it into a rollicking, deeply British tour-de-force, and we're all the better for it!


Here, the man himself delves into the importance of proper self-care:


"For a long time I kind of believed I could fix my problems with rock’n’roll or punk rock, and it was just like, everything sucks, I’m going to listen to The Weakerthans, and then it’s going to be okay. Everything really sucks, I’m going to listen to Discharge and then it’ll be fine. D’you know what I mean? And actually, music, other people’s records are not actually medical therapy, d’you know what I mean? And I realised I needed to actually go and get proper, medically thought out help. Which I did! And it’s changed my life, and cognitive behavioural therapy has been a wonderful thing for me, and it certainly got my substance abuse issues under control, which were not under control for a long time."


61/ 'AM' by Arctic Monkeys (2013)

Arctic Monkeys' 'AM' swaggered into 2013 with its sultry rhythms, redefining indie rock with a touch of R&B finesse. Spawning monster hits like "Do I Wanna Know?" and "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?", it's like the Monkeys threw a rock party and the ghost of late-night texts was the guest of honor. 


62/ 'Hesitation Marks' by Nine Inch Nails (2013)

Nine Inch Nails' 'Hesitation Marks' was a phoenix rising, marking Trent Reznor's introspective dive into the darkness and light of his musical psyche. With tracks like "Came Back Haunted" echoing the band's iconic electronic-rock sound, the album snagged a GRAMMY nod for Best Alternative Music Album. Collaborations with the likes of Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Ilan Rubin? Just NIN casually weaving legends into their sonic tapestry.

Here, Ilan reveals what it was like to collaborate with Trent:


"I’ve only known Trent and been involved with the band since 2009. Obviously that’s kind of, almost 20 years into Nine Inch Nails. And you know, it’s no mystery or secret that he had his vices at certain points in time, whether it be that 'Downward Spiral' era or kind of more to 'The Fragile', but I obviously wasn’t there for that. And whether it be stories that he’s told or things that I’ve seen, like that kind of chaos on stage – and chaos stemming from maybe that behaviour or whatever you want to call it – I can’t comprehend it because Trent has been nothing but like… I mean he’s a funny guy, don’t get me wrong, but in terms of just stone cold focus and things need to be precise, I’ve only just seen the intense pursuit of perfection, I haven’t seen the wild guy that you’re talking about."




63/ 'Currents' by Tame Impala (2015)

When Tame Impala drifted ashore with 'Currents' in 2015, they didn't just bring tunes; they brought a tidal wave of rock psychedelia to the mainstream. Tracks like "Let It Happen" and "The Less I Know The Better" became instant anthems for existential dance parties. This was Kevin Parker's brainchild, and let's just say, his brain is a pretty rad place.


64/ 'Please Don't Be Dead' by Fantastic Negrito (2018)

Fantastic Negrito's 'Please Don't Be Dead' isn't just an album title, it's a wake-up call from the rock 'n roll depths. Picking up a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Negrito blended raw lyrics with even rawer guitar licks, making tracks like "Plastic Hamburgers" instant classics. No collaborators needed when you're this fantastically authentic.


Here, the musician details his journey from arriving in LA with only $100 and a keyboard to signing to Prince's management:


"I was a veteran of that, on the streets. You go make things happen. And it took a couple of years but yeah, I went and just made stuff happen. I wasn’t afraid to talk to people, y’know. I talked to people, I saw studios, I knocked on doors. I think people saw stuff in me, and they knew this person, knew that person… There was a kid, a 14-year-old white kid, his name was Robin Thicke. I ended up meeting him and helping him doing his first demos. It was LA. Jamie Foxx, you know he had… nobody knew him, I met him and, Will. I Am and who else… I just got in the mix, I was used to that. I met all these people before they were famous. It was natural to me. I survived as a kid being on the streets, I survived the foster care system. This is easier. These people weren’t trying to rape you or steal your money, y’know?"


65/ Chris Cornell's self-titled (2018)

Chris Cornell's eponymous album isn't just an album, it's a powerful ode from a rock god that sent shivers down spines worldwide. Gathering gems from his epic career, tracks like "When Bad Does Good" showcased his unmatched vocal prowess, earning a posthumous GRAMMY for Best Rock Performance. While the entire record is a masterclass in rock, it's the raw emotion in each track that reminds us why Cornell will forever reign supreme in the pantheon of rock legends.


Here, multi-GRAMMY-winning legend Thom Russo provides a fun anecdote about working with the icon, reminding that even stars like Chris need practice too!


"Chris Cornell! One of the greatest singers in rock 'n' roll, but he never warmed up! He would get so frustrated with himself and then eventually he learnt to warm up and work with a vocal coach. Literally one of the greatest voices in rock, but sometimes the studio would expect him to hit the high C notes straight away and it'd take a while. Funny little anecdote – I'm really grateful to have worked with Chris and everybody [on my resume]. It's been a wild ride and I'm still learning every day."



66/ 'Live Around The World' by Queen & Adam Lambert (2020) 

'Live Around The World' showcased the electrifying fusion of rock royalty Queen with the dynamic vocal prowess of Adam Lambert. The album, a testament to their globe-spanning concerts, reverberated with hit tracks like "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Radio Ga Ga", etching a new chapter in rock history. It wasn't just a concert record, but a sonic monument to how legends adapt, evolve, and keep the stage ablaze.

Adam shares the electrifying experience of working closely with the legendary rock band:


“It has made me a better musician, quite honestly. They’re [Brian May & Roger Taylor] so good and pro at what they do. The Queen catalogue is so musical [thus] it has improved my musicality and confidence big-time. And on a personal level, being with Brian & Roger, they’re really intelligent and have lived really interesting lives. They have stories for days – it’s just nice to be around that!”



67/ 'Velvet' by Adam Lambert (2020)

'Velvet' saw Adam Lambert ooze into a sultry, retro vibe, effortlessly blending classic rock with modern pop. With bangers like "Roses" featuring Nile Rodgers, the album became a kaleidoscopic soundscape redefining the boundaries of genre. It was Lambert's shimmering homage to the past while strutting into the future.

Adam shares a sweet anecdote on why he loves to perform:


"A family tradition that we had every Thanksgiving, which is our big family holiday, my family would put a movie together. We would pick some movie that was well known and we would parody it. And everyone would have a character and we would know the story. None of it was really scripted, it was all sort of improv’d, and pretty horribly done. Like no one was really an actor, but we had so much fun doing it. Y’know the adults were all drinking wine and the kids were like dressing, and we would dress up, it was fun! And it was all make believe and it was all play. And we would film it and then we would all sit down and watch it. And I think that’s where the acting bug hit me, I think that’s where the performing bug first hit me, before anything."


68/ 'Moral Panic' by Nothing But Thieves (2020)

Dropping 'Moral Panic', Nothing But Thieves didn't just release an album, they dropped a statement. With bangers like "Real Love Song" and "Is Everybody Going Crazy?", they tackled today's tumultuous climate head-on, blending their signature alt-rock vibes with a sharp societal critique.


Here, lead vocalist Conor Mason opens up about his mental health – a key theme that is found across NBT's records:


"A producer friend of mine put me onto Eckhardt Toll, and um, spiritualisam ’cause I was always saying about how  I can’t… I can’t put my mind down, I can’t disassociate from it. And people naturally don’t have such a busy mind, I think it’s in my genes. My mum has it, my sisters have it, I don’t know if my dad has it, it’s probably more on my mum’s side. But erm, yeah, and I thought, okay great, I need something to help me. ’Cause it was just pills and medicine for years, and… Oh God, I was sick of it. And I just felt like I was falling apart."



69/ 'American Love Story' by Butch Walker (2020)

Butch Walker's 'American Love Story' isn't just an album – it's a rock opera diving deep into love, prejudice, and the American dream. With catchy hooks on tracks like "Gridlock" and "Flyover State", Walker serves up an audacious mix of commentary and melody. If Americana had a rebellious younger sibling who threw the best house parties, it'd be this record.


Butch shares the see-saw reality of his come-up (a reality that every musician feels deeply!):


"There was lots of night of bad gigs. Y’know you could be playing 200 shows a year, and the best gig is the best thing for your soul in the entire world and you’re like, oh man we’re connecting with people, this is incredible, and then the next night you go play to literally the bartender. And you’d be like, okay, this is… why am I doing this? I’m seeing peers, friends of mine, that are out there having hits and having like, success already and you’re just like, man, I don’t know if this is ever gonna happen for me."


70/ 'Stay Alive' by Laura Jane Grace (2020)

Laura Jane Grace's 'Stay Alive' is an unfiltered dispatch from the punk rock frontlines, where raw emotion meets acoustic clarity. More than just a lockdown diary, this record, with tracks like "The Swimming Pool Song", resonated with the restless spirits of 2020. Crafted without any fancy trappings, it's just Laura, her guitar, and producer Steve Albini ensuring that every chord hits right in the feels.


Here, Laura reflects on her debut solo album and being one of the first highly visible trans musicians in the punk rock scene in the early '10s:


"I don’t feel like I fit in, you know, like I don’t feel welcome in most public spaces, and that’s like… that just speaks to the experience of a transgender person. In general, society isn’t very welcoming to trans people. Most often times I feel like, apart from what’s happening and I feel like I don’t completely identify with whatever’s going on, whether that’s watching a movie or being in a social setting… It’s just like a feeling of otherness and a feeling of detachment from what’s happening around you."




71/ 'Sunlight' by Spacey Jane' (2020)

Spacey Jane's 'Sunlight' beamed onto the indie-rock scene, casting rays of jangly guitars and heartfelt lyrics that made listeners bask in its warmth. Garnering massive attention with standout tracks like "Booster Seat" which took the runner-up spot in triple j's Hottest 100 of 2020, the record became an instant favorite among indie-rock aficionados. It's as if the sun, surf, and soul of Aussie indie-rock converged into one radiant record.

Lead singer Caleb Harper reflects on the band's massive success and the importance of strongly sticking to their principles:


"We had a couple really great mentors who said, ‘Look, these people are only coming to you because they can make money off you, it’s business. So it’s like okay, if they’re gonna take some of your money, then what are they bringing to the band? Do you need that help right now? And do you need someone to own your masters in perpetuity for the next five records, and give you 15% of your money, or do you need someone that’s gonna be like, take 20% and license your record for 10 years and then only do one at a time? What do you actually need right now? And is this manager who’s promising the world really gonna deliver those things or are you guys doing a good enough job right now to keep hold of the reins and keep things going?’ Each time I was like, ‘No I think we can do this.’ And that at some point inadvertently became something we were passionate about, the idea of independence and like, fiercely protective of."


72/ 'Petals For Armor' by Hayley Williams (2020)

Hayley Williams stepped out from the Paramore spotlight in 2020, serving us 'Petals For Armor', a delectable solo dish spiced with raw emotion and vulnerability. With bops like "Simmer" and "Dead Horse," Williams whipped up an alt-pop and post-rock feast, earning rave reviews from both critics and fans. In this introspective journey, she collaborated with the likes of Joey Howard, proving once again that whether it's punk or pop, Williams remains a force of nature.


Here, Aaron Steele talks about the invite to drum on lead single "Simmer":


"They let me go wild with it. On 'Simmer', they were like, "What do you think would be cool on this song? We don't want to show you the demo." And I was like, "Yeah sure!"


And I had a couple of ideas and we chased them to see if they were great! I'm really proud of that record. I'm really glad that they called me for it. It was all out of the blue honestly!"




73/ 'Death by Rock And Roll' by The Pretty Reckless (2021)

'Death By Rock And Roll' by The Pretty Reckless roared into the spotlight, reaffirming the band's indomitable rock spirit from appearing on Loudwire's best rock/metal albums of 2021 list to being their first number one album. When you've got legends like Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden lending their magic, you know you're in for a wickedly wild ride.


It's a ride led by their epic frontwoman Taylor Momsen whose unwavering firework-like performance stems back to seeing legends like The White Stripes live as a kid:


"That energy and that experience is something that I’ll never forget because that was the moment where I looked at a stage for the first time and went, ‘Oh I see the other side of this. Yeah, that’s awesome too. I want to do that too. So, oh, now I see the full picture of playing in a rock’n’roll band."



74/ 'Seventeen Going Under' by Sam Fender (2021)

Sam Fender's 'Seventeen Going Under' exploded as a raw reflection of modern Britain, speaking volumes to youth grappling with societal pressures. The gut-punching title track became an instant classic, winning itself a coveted Ivor Novello award. In this blistering album, Fender didn't just strike chords on his guitar, he struck them deep within the collective soul of a generation.

This album is a nostalgic roadmap wrapped in electric riffs and piercing lyrics – unflinching in its storytelling:


"I fended for myself a lot growing up. ’Cause my mum had a lot… between 17, 18, my mum struggled a lot when I was living with her. We were living alone in a flat and times were tough, we didn’t have much money, and my mum was struggling to pay rent and she was quite mentally ill, and that time gave me… It gave us fire. You become a man in them situations, and that’s what happened to me I think. I think that was when I became a man. I need to take this on. And all of that fire came out in my music."


75/ 'Comfort To Me' by Amyl & The Sniffers (2021)

Amyl & the Sniffers dialed up the punk-rock heat with their multi-ARIA-nominated album 'Comfort To Me' in 2021, serving a fierce dose of snarling attitude and infectious riffs. With banging anthems like "Security" and "Hertz," the album snagged attention, making mosh pits everywhere pulsate a little harder. Forget the comfort zone; this record's all about raw energy and shattering expectations—one power chord at a time!


Lead singer Amy Taylor shares a vivid snippet of her childhood:


"When I was growing up it was like, hippie meets bogan. The town is pretty much just two streets in Mullumbimby, lots of weed smokers, and I grew up just out of town on three acres, and my parents moved there from Western Sydney, and then like built a shed that me, my sister, my mum and my dad all shared until we were 9, while dad was building a bigger house, which he built out of rocks that he stole from around the area."



76/ 'Jubilee' by Japanese Breakfast (2021)

Japanese Breakfast's 'Jubilee' is a symphonic delight that dazzles with its effervescent indie pop-rock soundscapes. From the shimmering beats of "Be Sweet" to the poignant depths of "Posing For Cars", Michelle Zauner crafts a sonic feast that's both soulful and electric. It's not just an album; it's an invitation to revel in the jubilant dance of life, heartaches and all.


77/ 'Churches' by LP (2021)

Crafted with the genius of Mike Del Rio and a constellation of industry stars—from Dan Wilson to Emily Lazar, LP's album 'Churches' isn't just music, it's a friend. In their own words, it's a wild ride of emotions, of falling in and out of love, crafted with best buds and musical soulmates. 

The chart-topping sensation digs deep into standout track "Rainbow":


"The song ‘Rainbow’, I could barely get through it, I don’t even know if I did justice to the original melody of that song. Cos it was really hard to fit this concept in there, because it was multi-layered. It sounds like it’s just about my ex, and it is, but I didn’t realise what a correlation there was between my ex and my father as far as like – y’know, nothing weird sexually – but the anger and the hurt that was unearthed from that was very similar, and freaking me out."



78/ 'For The Sake of Bethel Woods' by Midlake (2022)

Grief meets optimism, solitude dances with togetherness, and life's purpose wanes and waxes. All of this resonates in Midlake's fifth album 'For the Sake of Bethel Woods", a sonic adventure co-produced by John Congleton. Dive into this album, and you'll find a world brimming with warm enigmas, courtesy of these passionate explorers.


Guitarist and lead vocalist Eric Pulido dives into the band's rollercoaster journey:


"When we opened up for The Flaming Lips, Wayne and Steven and all the guys were so kind to us. You know Wayne, he’s kind of got this, Dr Seuss-ical type of like, teacher kind of like, presence where you know, you’ll get nuggets of advice. I remember very vividly him with us backstage and, you know, we were always so inquisitive about things: ‘How do you do that, how do you do this, how do you get there?’ And I remember, I don’t know if it was a question or him just kind of saying, ‘Guys, I’m gonna tell you one thing.’ And we’re just like, sitting there on pins and needles like, okay, what is Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips gonna tell us? He says, ‘Just stay together.’ ‘Okay! Okay!’ And almost like it was just like, just kinda keep doing the thing. You know, we haven’t always done the best job obviously of all keeping it together but we’re still here."


79/ 'Skinty Fia' by Fontaines D.C. (2022)

'Skinty Fia' by Fontaines D.C. roared onto the scene, proving once again that post-punk isn't just alive – it's kicking, screaming, and shaking the rafters. With tracks like "I Love You" and "Jackie Down The Line" that ooze both raw energy and introspective depth, this album's a testament to the Dubliners' knack for turning rebellion into an art form. If there's a soundtrack to tearing up the rulebook and rewriting it with style, it's 'Skinty Fia'.


Here, multi-GRAMMY-nominated producer Dan Carey details the dynamite experience of working on the record with the crew:


"Recording 'Skinty Fia' was a magical experience. It was at the end of a long lockdown during which everybody had been pretty isolated. We all lived together in a residential studio to make the record, so it felt slightly like a crazy family holiday as well as a recording session. It was the third album we had worked on together, so we knew and trusted each other very well. This allowed for a lot of experimentation in the writing and production, which made it extremely enjoyable."


80/ 'SUCKERPUNCH' by Maggie Lindemann (2022)

Maggie Lindemann's 'SUCKERPUNCH' isn't just an album; it's an attitude-laden revelation that landed punches straight to your heart. From "she knows it" to "break me!" featuring Siiickbrain, Lindemann crafted a soundscape that screams empowerment and angst in equal measure. If you're seeking a musical equivalent of sipping cherry cola with a lethal side of sass, Maggie's got your back!


Here, acclaimed mixer Austin Seltzer reflects on why working on Maggie's debut album is a milestone credit of his:


 "Honestly, this record means the world to me – there are so many reasons why. One, just right off the bat, I'd love to say that the people that I got to work with on this album – Cody Tarpley, Josh Murty, Larzz Principato, No Love, Siiickbrain, Maggie, and all of the writers, LØLØ [Lauren Mandel] and Paris Carney. There's a whole bunch of people that I got to work with, who I'm now friends with. And that means the world to me..."



81/ 'Congregation' by Witch Fever (2022)

Witch Fever's 'Congregation' is a heady brew of punk and grunge that makes you want to mosh in the moonlight. This debut album will have you conjuring mosh pits in your living rooms. If there was ever a record to make you swap your broomstick for a bass guitar, this is the wicked one!


Here, MPG award-winning mastering engineer Cicely Balston chats about the killer band:


"As a mastering engineer, it's an honor to be the final pair of ears on a release. For Witch Fever, this was their debut album. I didn't know too much about them before so this was an amazing introduction to a great band. Since the release of the album, they have just been going from strength to strength. They're really great people. If I wrote music, this is the kind of music that I wish I could write!


82/ 'RESIST' by Midnight Oil (2022)

'Resist' marks Midnight Oil's fifteenth studio thunderclap since their fiery emergence from the 1978 post-punk blaze, journeying from Aussie pubs to global stages. Living by the fierce ethos, "better to die on your feet than live on your knees," this album is no exception. With tracks like "Rising Seas" unflinchingly confronting the climate crisis, it stands as a testament to their legacy and features the iconic bass lines of the late Bones Hillman, all under the masterful production helm of Warne Livesey.

Here, the Aussie heavyweights reflect on why their records are always backed by a powerful message:


"We’ve always had that spirit of defiance, we’ve always thought that, y’know we can sort of give our finger to the forces of darkness and get on top of things. Yet, at the same time, on climate in particular, and the climate crisis, we can’t stop the heat that’s already in the system, the best that we can do is to stabilise. And if there is an ice sheet that’s melting it may be used by Volvo in a car ad but the truth of it is that it’s actually going to push people away from where they live and Pacific Islands and in low-lying areas in cities, and that is no small thing. So yeah, there is an element of not so much resignation, but a recognition that we’ve allowed things to go too far, but that still doesn’t mean that we can’t turn it around, and it doesn’t mean that we won’t, and shouldn’t do everything within our power to turn things around. But let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not like we’ve got a lot of time, and if you’re prepared to open your eyes and see what’s actually happening in the world, then maybe when you get out of bed in the morning you’ll do something about it."


83/ 'The Cup Of Pestilence' by Frenzal Rhomb (2023)

Unleashing a sonic whirlwind in 'Cup Of Pestilence', Frenzal Rhomb cemented their place as punk rock royalty down under. With tracks that bristle with raw energy and cheeky lyricism, the album resonated with fans and mosh pits alike. It's the audio equivalent of a raucous party where Frenzal Rhomb are both the hosts and the main event.


Here, co-founder & owner of their label Fat Wreck Chords Erin Kelly-Burkett gives some glaring insight into the realities of running FWC – reminding us that it isn't rock 'n' roll without some rocky starts:


"That was the first time that there was so much piracy going on that there actually became a prevalent attitude of young kids feeling like, they don’t need to pay for it. It was really scary. At that time I thought Fat might actually go under. That was the only time I ever thought maybe this isn’t gonna work. Because no one bought records anymore. We took money out of our personal private accounts and fed money into the business to pay royalties. When it came time that was the first time ever, that when it came time for us to pay royalties, we didn’t have enough money in the bank. And we pay royalties twice a year, so we do them biannually, and I think it was three royalty periods in a row where we had to borrow money from ourselves to put money into the bank, the Fat account, to pay it out. And after the third royalty session I remember saying to Mike, ‘We can’t do this, we’re gonna go broke. This isn’t gonna work.’”



84/ 'the record' by boygenius (2023)

boygenius' debut album crashed into the indie-rock scene like the meteoric convergence of three celestial bodies – Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker. With haunting harmonies on hits like "Cool About It" and cathartic scream-alongs on tracks like "Not Strong Enough," they gave us a sprawling masterclass in vulnerability and artistry.



This is by no means an exhaustive list. It's time to grab your air guitar and crank up the volume – it's feel the spirit of Rocktober with these fiery albums!