Before I get started I should really point out that music is very, VERY subjective. One man's favourite cd is another man's drink coaster. Given the fact that I have very eccentric tastes in music (or sucky taste, whichever) this list really reflects an era past types like: Stones, Beatles, basically past the sixties. I didn't involve them because 1) I'm not a big fan of the Stones or Beatles and 2) I'm sick of seeing Stones and the Beatles on every fucking list. Besides, this is my list. These are the albums which I have worn out due to listening way too much.
10) Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV (1971) - Thundering drums, cymbals that ring for a week, a song about a lady buying a stairway to heaven, guitars, another song inspired by Lord of the Rings. All in all Led Zeppelin's best output. When the Levee Breaks was an eerie precursor to the recent Red Sox swoon. What did you think I was going to reference? Katrina?
9) Living Colour - Vivid (1988) - When I finally got cable at the tender age of fourteen I turned to MTV and found four black gentlemen not rapping, but cranking out a great rock tune. Cult of Personality is still one of my favourite songs of all time and Living Colour (even though 2004's Callidiscope sucked balls) never made a bad album in their short tenure. They were (are) extremely talented, and even though Vernon Reid has turned psycho liberal, he's still one of the best guitarists out there.
8) The Cars - The Cars (1978) - First album of The Cars which had a shitload of hits: Good Times Roll, Bye Bye Love, Moving in Stereo, Just What I Needed. They had great albums after but this one stood out.
7) Dream Theatre - Awake (1994) - One album reviewer of Modern Drummer wrote of this album "a record Rush wished they recorded." Not only did he receive roughly 20 million hate letters he was also promptly fired, at least he should have been anyways. But it does not dimish the fact that this is a great album. Basically a band for nerds the fivesome of Dream Theatre are extrodinarily talented, so much so that most musicians in rock pretend they don't exist. Even though the drummer is the showman of the group (which is why he basically drums standing up) and the rest of the crew are as excitable on stage as Ben Stein, they are still unbelievable.
6) Genesis - Abacab (1981) - Before Phil Collins became bald, untalented and started writing shitacular crap rock he did have a hand in this one. This album basically is the album before Genesis started cashing in, so to speak.
5) Hum - You'd Prefer An Astronaut (1995) - Stars is a great rock song. The album is heavy and deep, and the band look like a bunch of physic majors.
4) The Police - Regatta De Blanc (1979) - Before Sting became, well, Sting, he did have an great band whos members wanted to pound him in the head with a tire iron when he was asleep. Prententious, a-hole, sell-out, but he did write some great songs.
3) VanHalen - 1984 (1984) - I know that the preceding albums were a little better but this was the album that introduced me to Van Halen. Hot For Teacher is a song I could never even think about playing on drums and Jump is a great rock song.
2) Yes - 90125 (1983) - I can hear the groans already. This is an album which I have worn the treads off 10 times over. Nearly all of the songs, except the last one, are great.
1) Rush - Moving Pictures (1981) - Don't have to explain this one.