The 50 Albums That Changed Your Life: FULL LIST

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Thanks to all our listeners who have tuned into the 50 Albums That Changed Your Life here on Nova. The impact of each album is two-fold, it changes the lives of us as music lovers, but they have changed the lives of the artists who made them!

Below is the FULL list of 50 and you can check out the tunes on our special playlist too!

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ELO ‘Discovery’

ELO aka Electirc Light Orchestra who were co-founded by Jeff Lynne via Jet Records, released Discovery, their eight studio album, and it went on to top the charts in the US.

‘Discovery’ was released in 1979, by Electirc Light Orchestra were already a major force in the music world at this stage. The album itself featured tracks such as ‘The Last Train To London’, ”Don’t Bring Me Down’ and ‘Shine A Little Love’.

The band were already renowned for their studio wizardy and syntheseisers to hone their sound.

ZZ Top ‘Eliminator’

ZZ Top were already a major force in the rock music world by the time this album arrived in 1983.

The album reached number 2 in the Candaian and Austrailian charts. It also hit number 3 in the UK charts.

‘Eliminator’ also coincided with the rise of MTV. The album also features several iconic hits associated with the band. Such tracks include ‘Legs’, ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ and ‘Sharp Dressed Man’.  The songs helped to spread ZZ Tops praise of cool cars, glamourous women and big beards. 30 years on, the album is still very much the go to record on Classic Rock Radio, as ZZ Top continue to sell out stadiums and release new material. They are an undeniable legend of the world of rock music.

Earlier this year, they released a live album ‘Raw’. This was their first album since the passing of their bassist Dusty Hill.

Fleetwood Mac Album – ‘Rumours’ 

Fleetwood Mac’s much loved album ‘Rumours’ is to feature as an album that changed your lives.

As an album, it carries through the motif of the difficulty in maintaining a relationship, right through the album.

It would appear to make sense considering the obvious tension that existed between band members. The melancholic sound of strained relationships can be heard all through ‘Rumours’.The album features tracks like ‘Dreams’, ‘Chain’ and ‘Don’t Stop’. Buckingham and Nicks’ introduction to the band brought a country sound to the band, as opposed to their early blues material.

Recording of this record was also delayed on several occasions due to improptu parties in the studio, along with reports of heavy cocaine use within the band. Despite this, ‘Rumours’ reached top spot in the US, and remained top of the Billboard Charts for 31 weeks. It also reached top spot in the UK following its release a year later.

‘Rumours’ sold 40 million copies in the UK, and is the nation’s 11th best selling record.

‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ – Elton John 

Released on 5 October 1973, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, remains Elton John’s biggest selling number one album to date.

The album featured tracks  ‘Bennie & The Jets’, and ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’.

Debuting at number 17 in the US Billboard charts following its release, the track eventually reached top spot in the chart four weeks later. The album was the seventh studio album released by Elton John, whose musical relationship with lyric writer Bernie Taupin was blossoming. The album was recorded by the music legend at Studio d’enregistrement Michel Mange at Chateau d’Herouvre, where the singer had already recorded his two previous records. This happened after original plans to record the album in Jamaica had been scuppered, following political protests and technical issues.

‘Kicks’ – INXS 

Released in October 1987, ‘Kick’ has often been viewed as the album which put INXS firmly on the map. It also became the band’s highest charting album.

It reached number 3 in the Billboard 200 Chart, remaining in the charts for 81 weeks.

One of the tracks ‘Need You Tonight’, was also certified platinum 6 times by the RIAA.

However despite this, not everyone was convinced of this album, with Doug Morris who was president of Atlantic Records at the time, offering the band’s manager Chris Murphy money to erase the tapes and start again.

However, the album has been credited with cementing frontman Michael Hutchence as a rock star with all star charisma, including ‘Need You Tonight’ and ‘Never Tear Us Apart’. The album was neck and neck with Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’. However following its release, ‘Kick’ well and truly kicked MJ’s album off top spot in the Billboard 200. It subsequently sold 6 million copies, and boasts four top 10 singles.

‘L.A Women’ – The Doors  

‘L.A Women’ was released by the Doors in 1971.

Among the tracks to feature in this airplay are ‘LA Women’, ‘Riders’ Of The Storm’, and ‘Love Her Madly’. Released on 19 April 1971, the album was hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as the band’s greatest ever record.

The magazine ranked ‘LA Women’ at number 364 on their list of 500 all time tracks. Like ‘Kick’, the album did not sit well with everybody behind the scenes, with long time producer Paul A Rothchild comparing the track ‘Lover Her Madly’ to “cocktail music”. 

Rothchild eventually quit his role, as he felt that the band were in artistical decline. He was replaced by Bruce Botnick, who played a key role in the creation of ‘LA Women’, which was the band’s last album before the death of their frontman Jim Morrison. The album reached number 9 in the US Billboard chart, and 28 in the UK. While ‘Riders Of The Storm’ and ‘Love Her Madly’ featured as top 20 singles.

‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ – Pink Floyd

Released in 1973, work for this album began in Abbey Studios a year earlier, a studio where the Beatles did a lot of their best work in. The record also saw Pink Floyd work closely with engineer Alan Parsons, who had also previously worked with the Beatles.

The album features an abundance unconventional sounds, from alarm clocks to cash registers. ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ still stands one of the biggest selling albums ever, having spent 736 weeks in the Billboard Charts between March 1973 and July 1988. The album itself arrived on the music shelves of the US on 1 March 1973, and 16 March in the UK. The album is also the 7th biggest selling record in the UK, and the most successful record never to reach top spot in the charts.

‘Synchronicity’ – The Police

‘Synchronicity’ was the Police’s fifth and final studio album, which includes five hit singles.

One such track includes ‘Every Breath You Take’which recently surpassed one billion YouTube views. Other tracks include ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ and ‘King Of Pain’.

In what was a follow up their 1981 album ‘Ghost In The City’, ‘Synchronicity’ turned out to be the Police’s fifth and final studio album, as lead singer Sting left to subsequently pursue a solo career. While Sting reunited with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers for a reunion tour in 2007, he also sold the publishing rights to his entire back catalogue earlier this year.

‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust’– David Bowie

This album features hits such as ‘Starman’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’.

The album was subsequently certified Gold in the US, and Platinum twice in the UK. Celebrating the 50th anniversary, the album received two special vinyl releases last year to mark the occasion.

‘Legend’ – Bob Marley & The Wailers 

Celebrating the legacy of Bob Marley & The Wailers, the album arrived in May 1984, and skyrocketed right to the top of the UK charts within 11 days of its release.

A year later saw the album spend 12 consecutive weeks at the top of the charts, as well as a run of 74 consecutive weeks in the charts in October of that same year. The album was released via Island Records, and is one of the best selling compilation albums of all time by any artist worldwide. Along with several revivals, ‘Legend’ has returned to the charts on several occasions between 1991 and as recent as 2022, with last May seeing this inconic Bob Marley album returning to the UK Top 40.

‘Legend’ was certified Platinum 9 times by 1994, making it one of the most durable compilations of all time, selling 28 million copies overall.

‘Hysteria’ – Def Leppard 

Arriving in August 1987, ‘Hysteria’ failed to make a real splash stateside.

However, it was not long before it reached the top of the Billboard Chart, thanks mainly to the surge in popularity of the track, ‘Pour Some Sugar One Me’.

‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ was one of four Def Leppard tracks which reached the top 10 singles chart, including ‘Love Bites’, which also faired very well in the US, hitting top spot.

Spending 96 weeks in the US Top 40, the album also sold 20 million copies.

‘Out Of Time’ – REM 

‘Out Of Time’ was the album credited with catapulting REM to superstardom in the music business, as they topped the charts in both the US and UK, selling 18 million copies in the process. Arriving in March 1991, the album subsequently earned 3 Grammy Awards a year later, including the accolade for Best Alternative Rock Album.

It was also awarded best album by Q Magazine that same year. ‘Out Of Time’ includes tracks like ‘Losing My Religion’ and ‘Shiny Happy People’, which both hit the top 10 in the singles charts for both the US and UK, with the latter peaking at number 2 in Ireland.

‘Jagged Little Pill’ – Alanis Morrisette

Arriving in 1995, the album was the first released by Morrisette internationally, having released her two previous studio records ‘Alanis’ and ‘Now Is The Time’ in her native Canada.

According to Alanis herself, no record label was interested in this album, until Maverick Labels which was founded by Madonna, arrived to her rescue and signed her up. Madonna and Maverick Labels were reportedly impressed with tracks like ‘Hand In My Pocket’ and ‘You Oughta Know’. It was a roaring success, landing 4 Grammy Awards.

Certified Platinum 10 times in the UK, the album sold 33 million copies, and is one of the best selling records of all time, enabling Alanis Morrisette to become the first Canadian artist to hit double diamond sales.

‘Rattle And Hum’ -U2

Many of these albums may have changed your life, well they have certainly changed the lives of the artists that made them!

Arriving in October 1988, ‘Rattle And Hum’ has often been described in reviews as propelling U2 from obscurity to international stardom. It has also been hailed as “the best rock album ever made” by several outlets. One of the key elements to this album is its star studded collaborations, including names such as Bob Dylan, B.B King, as well as covers including ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.

Directed by Jimmy Lovine, the album includes ‘When Love Came To Town’, which saw U2 and B.B King join forces, a track which explores the theme of the redemptive power of love.

‘Rattle And Hum’ reached 360,000 album sales within its first week of released, as well as being certified Platinum four times. Selling 15 million copies globally, ‘Rattle and Hum’ also topped the US charts in 1988.

‘Abbey Road’ – The Beatles

‘Abbey Road’ turned out to be the 11th and final studio album that the fab four of Paul, Ringo, John and George would work together on.

Tensions soon started to arise, due to the presence of John Lennon’s girlfriend Yoko Ono, who was clashing with the other band members. Arriving in 1969, ‘Abbey Road‘ was released just before the Beatles split up. Selling 4 million copies, the album remained in the UK Charts for 81 weeks in total. It also spent 11 weeks on top of the US Billboard Charts following its release.

It includes tracks ‘Here Comes The Sun’, ‘Come Together’ and ‘Something’.

‘Bat Out Of Hell’ – Meat Loaf 

Released in collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren, ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ arrived in 1977 with a bang, storming it’s way to top spot in the charts, on its journey to becoming one of the best selling albums of all time, selling 43 million copies worldwide.

The album has also spent a monumental 522 weeks in the UK Album charts. It is also estimated that it is selling an impressive 200,000 copies per year.

Following Meatloaf’s death last January, ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ also reached top spot in the Irish album charts.

This is an album which cements Meat Loaf as one of the biggest rock stars of all time.

‘Hotel California’ – The Eagles

Selling 42 million copies, ‘Hotel California’ went on to sell 42 million copies, with the title track hitting top spot in the US, becoming one of the most popular tracks played on rock radio.

Along with ‘Hotel California’, another track from the album ‘New Kid In Town’ also reached number one in the charts.

The album which saw the Eagles line up with Don Felder, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Joe Walsh, is one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

‘Rumours’ – Fleetwood Mac 

Once again, Fleetwood Mac’s album ‘Rumours’ will get airplay from 4pm.

As mentioned, the album explores the theme of a difficulty in maintaining relationships, with obvious tension amongst the band members at the time, from the McVies, to Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks. More on this here.

Tracks which will get airplay include ‘Go Your Own Way’, ‘You Make Loving Fun’ and ‘Second Hand News’.

‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ – Stevie Wonder 

‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ arrived at a time when Stevie Wonder was at the peak of his powers, and it is an album which has been widely regarded as the pinnacle of the singer’s career.

Released in 1976, the album earned Wonder his third Grammy award for Album of the Year. He also won 3 other Grammy Awards and 3 further nominations. ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ covers a wide range of topics, some of which are quite personal, including recollections of the singer’s childhood such as, ‘I Wish’. While ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ is inspired by the birth of his daughter Aisha Morris with his first partner Yolanda Simmons. It is an album which also reached number on in the Billboard Charts at the time.

Featuring 130 collaborators, ‘Songs In The Key of Life’ was also one of the best selling albums of 1977, along with Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ album, which we have mentioned here on Nova this week.

‘Appetite For Destruction’ – Guns N’Roses 

This album certainly does not require an in-depth introduction.

Arriving in 1987, ‘Appetite For Destruction’ has been credited with leading Guns N’Roses to superstardom, particularly thanks to releases of the ilke of ‘Welcome To The Jungle’, and ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’.

Thanks to these tracks and many others, ‘Appetite For Destruction’ became the best selling album in the US in 1988, selling 18 million copies there, and 30 million worldwide.

Becoming a number one hit, ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’ was also written by Guns N’Roses lead singer Axl Rose for his girlfriend at the time Erin Everly. The couple tied the knot in 1990, before divorcing a year later.

‘Hysteria’– Def Leppard

Def Leppard’s album ‘Hysteria’ includes tracks such as ‘Love Bites’, ‘Animal’, and ‘Pour Some Sugar One Me’. 

‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ was a major reason why this album reached the top of the Billboard Chart, while ‘Love Bites’ and ‘Animals’ also featured in the top ten singles charts.

‘What’s The Story Morning Glory?’ – Oasis 

‘What’s The Story Morning Glory?’ is an album which well and truly catapulted Oasis into a worldwide rock phenominon.

Following its release via Creation Records, the album spent 10 week at top spot in the UK Albums Chart, and number 4 in the Billboard 200. The album also produced more hits from the Gallaghers and co, including ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ which reached number 1 in the UK, and ‘Champagne Supernova’ which achieved the same feat in the US Modern Rock chart.

Selling 22 million copies worldwide, the album also saw Oasis embark on an extensive world tour in 1995 and 1996, which included to record breaking shows at Knebworth in August 1996. Selling 22 million copies worldwide, the album also saw Oasis embark on an extensive world tour in 1995 and 1996, which included to record breaking shows at Knebworth in August 1996.

‘Purple Rain’ – Prince

This is the magnum opus that was Prince’s album ‘Purple Rain’, an album whose title track was used for the Academy Award winning film of the same name.

Released in June 1984, ‘Purple Rain’ is an album which saw Prince consolidate his funk and R’n’B roots, with other tracks veering towards pop rock and heavy metal. One of the most exciting records ever recorded, ‘Purple Rain’ includes others hits ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’.

‘The Doors’ 

20 years or so before the likes of Oasis and Prince arrived on the music scene, there were bands like the Doors, famous for releasing millions of copies, with their self-titled debut album being hailed as one of the all time classic rock and roll debut albums.

An album which saw each of the band members’ distinctive backgrounds coming the fore, including  folk, classical, jazz, blues, bossanova and psychedelic rock. Arriving in 1967, ‘The Doors’ sold millions of copies, following its release via Elecktra Records, peaking at number 2 in the US charts. ‘The Doors’ has also been ranked number 86 on the 500 All Time Albums.

Following the release of the Oliver Stone biopic on the band in 1991, the album once again returned to the charts, with ‘Light My Fire’ hitting number 7 in the UK Single chart.

‘Pet Sounds’ – The Beach Boys

‘Pet Sounds’ has been hailed as a record which redefined pop music, and saw the band outgrow their earlier pop tunes, as they began to expand their musical repitoire in the 1960s.

While the rest of the band were touring, frontman Brian Wilson was working on a new direction for the band. Taking a break from touring, Brian Wilson struck up a working relationship with lyricist Tony Asher. Thanks to Asher and taking inspiration from the Beatles manager Phil Spector and their wall of sound technique, Wilson used non tradition instruments on the album, including coke bottles, gockenspiels and bicycle bells.

Hailed by many as “the most progressive album ever”‘Pet Sounds’ spent 6 months in the UK Top 10, ranging across a number of themes including young love andthe transient nature of romance, thanks to tracks such as ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ and ‘God Only Knows’.

‘Stop Making Sense’– Talking Heads 

This album was recorded live back in 1984, as ‘Stop Making Sense’ also paved the way for a concert film of the same name in the US.

Selling two million copies, the album saw lead singer David Byrne deliver an intense cover of ‘Psycho Killer’. ‘Once In A Lifetime’ also saw Byrne produce those iconic choreographed snake like dance moves. This is also a track you can check out here on Nova, along with ‘Burning Down The House’. The album itself spent two years in the US Billboard Charts.

‘Parallel Lines’ – Blondie

An album which certainly fits the bill of changing lives includes Blondie’s 1978 record, ‘Parallel Lines’.  On the album, female protagonists created are rarely victimised. They are in fact depicted with a depth to their character and an extra emotional dimension, which was previously reserved for themes like male lust and heartbreak.

‘Parallel Lines’ has been credited with succeeding where previous Blonde albums failed, in making a splash in the US, having gained a major UK following. Selling 20 million copies, the album also boasted major hits like ‘Heart Of Glass’ and ‘Sunday Girl’. 

‘IV’ – Led Zeppelin 

Following the cycle of the the three previous studio albums, Led Zeppelin’s ‘IV’ had no title printed on the front cover, nor did it feature any lettering on the LP.

This was a deliberate ploy from Led Zeppelin, who were keen to be solely judged on their musical prowess. Released in November 1971, Led Zeppelin had already assured their iconic status as an influential rock group. The album spent 90 weeks in the in the UK Album Chart, peaking at number 1 there, and number 2 in the US. Included in what has turned out to be Led Zeppelin’s biggest seller, are tracks such as ‘Stairway To Heaven’‘Black Dog’ and ‘Rock and Roll’.

‘Reckless’ – Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams’ 1980s album ‘Reckless’ was the first Canadian record to sell over 1 million copies.

Having left the top 10 for a little while following its release, the album suddenly saw a major resurgence the following year, with hits such as ‘Run To You’ topping the US Charts, while ‘Heaven’ and ‘Somebody’ reaching the Bilboard Hot 100 charts.

‘Reckless’ eventually landed the album of the year award for 1985, selling 12 million copies worldwide.

‘Californication’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Arriving in June 1999, the album saw a return to the fold for John Frusciante replacing guitarist Dave Navarro for the second of three stints with the band.

With 16million copies worldwide, ‘Californication’ boasts the title of being Chili Pepper’s most commercially successful album to date, with 5 million copies sold in the US, along with 4 million in Europe. The album also reached top spot in countries like Finland, Sweden, Austria, and New Zeland, as well as being a best seller in Germany. Including hits like its title track, ‘Californication’, ‘Scar Tissue’ and ‘Otherside’, it also peaked at number 3 in the Billboard 200.

‘A Night At The Opera’ – Queen 

‘A Night At The Opera’ was the fourth studio album from Freddie Mercury and co, and it was the fourth of what were four amazing albums, which already included ‘Queen’, ‘Queen II’, and ‘Sheer Heart Attack’.

The album was released via Elecktra Records in the US, becoming Queen’s first Platinum selling record over there. Released via EMI in the UK, ‘A Night At The Opera’ reached number 4 in the Billboard 200. Along with being a classic Queen track, ‘Bohemien Rhapsody’ earned two Grammy Award nominations following its release.

‘Born In The USA’ – Bruce Springsteen

Another album which helped to appeal to a younger generation of music lovers is Bruce Springsteen’s seventh studio album, ‘Born In The USA’.

With seven of the tracks reaching the top 10 in the singles charts, it was the accompanying music videos which helped to introduce Springsteen’s music to a younger generation of music fans. For example, ‘Dancing In The Dark’, featured footage of actress Courtenay Cox dancing on stage with Springsteen. A video which reached further heights as Cox began starring in popular US sitcom, Friends, in subsequent years.

Elsewhere, ‘Born In The USA’, included footage of working class Americans, establishing a connection with its use of oil refineries, Amerasian children, Vietnam veterans, cemeteries, as well as Springsteen posing alongside a USA flag.

‘Outlandos d’Amour’ – The Police 

An album which has been hailed as one of the finest debut records to come out of the 1970s Punk/New Wave Movement, it has also been credited as a breakthrough album for the movement itself.

It is also a record which cemented the ingenius songwriting of frontman, Sting. This is clear with track’s ‘Roxanne’, ‘I Can’t Stand Losing You’ and ‘So Lonely’. Incidentally, ‘Roxanne’ was reportedly inspired by the band’s trip to the Paris Red Light District. A piece of context which led to it being banned from airplay by most BBC Radio stations.

‘Nevermind’ – Nirvana

Another album which played a major part in the a movement within music and made a statement, was Nirvana’s 1992 album ‘Nevermind’.

An album viewed by many to mostly define the era of Grunge music, it has also been hailed as introducing the grunge scene of the band’s native Seattle to the wider world.

However, if we were to examine the music closer, it would appear that the tracks carried a much more personal meaning than that. It seems that many of the songs were inspired by the breaking up of the relationship between Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Bikini Kill’s Tobi Vail. ‘Lithium’ is a classic case in point, with the lyrics reading, ‘I’ll arrest myself, I’ll wear a shield’. This refers to a tattoo Cobain had of K Records on his arm, in order to impress Vail.

‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ played a major part in the album’s success. It also surpassed one billion streams on Spotify last year. The album only peaked at number 7 in the UK, mainly due to its struggles to compete with the dance music of the rave scene.

‘Automatic For The People’ – R.E.M 

As opposed to the upbeat music of the band’s ‘Out Of Time’, ‘Automatic For The People’ offers a somewhat more melancholic tune, including ‘Everybody Hurts’.

The tracks generally look at themes such as aging, death, and haunting melancholy. Despite this more downcast mood created with this album, ‘Automatic For The People’ reached number 2 on the Billboard 200 Chart, as well as being certified Platinum four times and three times in Austrailia. Overall, it sold 3.5 million copies in the US.

The Stranger’ – Billy Joel 

‘The Stranger’ remains the singer’s best selling non-compilation album to date.

It was also ranked at number 70 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  ‘The Stranger’ looks at the ups and downs of relationships and the hassles of every day life.

‘Just The Way You Are’, and ‘Movin Out’ were among four hits that emanated from this album, with the former helping Joel to win Grammy Awards for song of the year, and record of the the year.

‘White Ladder’ – David Gray 

Having enjoyed moderate success with his three previous albums, it looked like David Gray’s fourth release would follow a similar fate when the album arrived in 1998.

However, thanks to the popularity of hits such as ‘Babylon’, ‘Please Forgive Me’, and ‘This Year’s Love’, the album enjoyed huge success, particularly in Ireland, before eventually taking off in the singer’s native UK. Within 3 years, ‘White Ladder’ skyrocketed from a slow burner, to an international smash hit, reaching number 1 in the UK, and going on to sell 3 million copies there. Selling 7 million copies worldwide, David Gray once told reporters that his initial success in Ireland, was a “springboard for the rest of the world”. 

‘X&Y’ – Coldplay 

Arriving in June 2005, ‘X&Y’ saw Chris Martin and co scoop up awards such as Best British Album and Best International Album at the Brit and Juno Awards respectively in 2006.

It also earned several nominations for Grammy Awards that very same year. Selling over 8 million copies in 2006, ‘X&Y’ boasts classic tracks such as ‘Fix You’, a song written by the band’s singer Chris Martin for his then-wife Gwyneth Paltrow following the death of her father Bruce in 2003.

Other tracks from the album include ‘Speed For Sound’, a single which was also reportedly inspired by Kate Bush’s tune ‘Running Up That Hill’, a song which saw a resurgence in the music charts, after featuring in Netflix hit, Stranger Things this year.

‘What’s The Story (Morning Glory)’- Oasis  

As mentioned, this album features classics including ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, ‘Champagne Supernova’ and ‘Morning Glory’.

It helped to launch Oasis to rock superstardom.

‘Jailbreak’ – Thin Lizzy 

Arriving in 1976, Thin Lizzy’s sixth studio album ‘Jailbreak’ played a key role in helping Phil Lynott and co make that commercial breakthrough in the US. With previous albums struggling to crack the Billboard Top 200 charts, ‘Jailbreak’ showed Thin Lizzy as this new and revitalised band, with the track ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ playing a key role in sealing the album’s legacy as the band’s best work.

Along with the title track of the album, ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ continue to be popular in the world of Classic Rock today, with the album itself reaching number 18 in the US Charts, Thin Lizzy’s best performance in the chart.

‘The Joshua Tree’ – U2 

Fast forward 11 years, and another album was released from an inconic rock band to hail from Irish shores, step forward ‘The Joshua Tree’ from U2. An album which remains the fastest selling record in UK history, ‘The Joshua Tree’ is an album which boasts hits like ‘With Or Without You’, a hit which deals with the complex nature of relationships, including the dilemma of reconciling with a loved one, versus that desire to break free.

Many argue that this album launched U2 into the spotlight, with with other tunes like ‘Where The Streets With No Name’ and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ playing a part in U2 earning a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1988.

‘Bat Out Of Hell’ – Meat Loaf 

This was an album that re entered the Irish charts following Meat Loaf’s death earlier this year.

‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club’ – The Beatles 

An album which arrived not too long after the fab four had received death threats over John Lennon’s quotes about them being “bigger than Jesus”, the Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club’ album paid tribute to the Liverpool childhoods of Lennon and Paul McCartney, as well as subtle refrences to drug experimentations.

Arriving in June 1967, the album spent 27 weeks at number 1 in the UK, 15 weeks in the US. Certain tracks including ‘A Day In The Life’ were banned by the BBC due to its reference to taking LSD, while ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ was also banned by the broadcaster, due to the lyric’s ‘I’d Like To Turn You On’. 

‘Graceland’ – Paul Simon

Arriving in 1986, Paul Simon’s seventh studio album heavily features South African music, after the singer became inspired by the country’s culture and music , having been given a cassette of street music from there. The album which also was released at a time when South Africa was still under Apartheid rule, was met with huge approval, selling 6 million copies within the first year of its release.

‘Who’s Next’ – The Who 

Rewinding back to 1971, we will take in an album which has been considered by many as the greatest record ever produced by The Who. The band’s only album to hit number 1 in the UK, it also reached number 4 in the US Billboard Chart following its release.

Epitomising it’s longevity, ‘Who’s Next’ boasts track which have been used in the very popular sci-fi series of ‘CSI Miami’. These tracks include ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’.

‘OK Computer’ – Radiohead

A record which went on to land a Grammy for Best Alternative Album, ‘Ok Computer’ has been largely hailed as a key work for Radiohead too.

‘Let’s Dance’ – David Bowie

For starters, the album’s title track does not require a major introduction. Having reached number 1 in both the US and UK album charts, it is fair to call ‘Let’s Dance’ one of the most successful records released by the music legend.

Further hits also include ‘Modern Live’ which also proved an international success for Bowie.

‘Let It Be’ – The Beatles 

An album which landed an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score, along with Best Original Score Written for A Motion Picture of Television Special, ‘Let It Be’ arrived in May 1970. It is an album which topped the charts in both the UK and US, selling over 4 million copies stateside.

This was thanks in no small part to the tracks, ‘The Long And Winding Road’, ‘Get Back’ and ‘Let It Be’, all hits which also topped the US Charts. ‘The Winding Road’ would turn out to be the last Beatles track to achieve such a feat.

‘American Idiot’ – Green Day

An album which was written around the period of America’s invasion of Iraq during President George Bush’s term in the White House, ‘American Idiot’ deals with issues such as xenophobia and fear, with many of the tracks politically charged and embedded into every important list of protest tracks. The album’s title track is a shining example of one such politically charged tune. Remaining one of Green Days’ most important albums, ‘American Idiot’s’ lyrics allege that the mass media have used propaganda to stir up hysteria and paranoia among its masses.

‘Boulavard of Broken Dreams’ epitomises the effects that these difficult times had on the public at the time, with feelings of disillusionment and insignificance of 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Iraq. The track evokes that feeling of being isolated and alone, despite being surrounded by people.

‘Brothers In Arms’ – Dire Straits 

This record was an album of firsts. The first record to be certified Platinum nine times, and one of the first hits of the CD era.

Selling 30 million copies worldwide, ‘Brothers In Arms’ is eight in the best selling albums in UK history. It is an album which includes ‘Money For Nothing’, which deals with rock stars excess wealth and the easy life it brings. It is also a track which features former Police singer Sting, who played a part in writing this track.

‘One Of These Nights’ – The Eagles 

An album which sold 4 million copies, and nominated for several Grammy Awards, you can check out the three tracks which reached the top 10 right here on Nova, including ‘Take It To The Limit’ ‘Lyin Eyes’ and ‘One Of These Nights’.

‘Only By Night’ – Kings Of Leon 

Voted the 18th best seller of the noughties, ‘Only By Night’ boasts tracks such as ‘Sex On Fire’, and ‘Use Somebody’, albums which reached number one across several countries following their releases.

‘Sex On Fire’ earned two Grammy nominations, while ‘Use Somebody’ earned accolades for Best Rock Song and Performance, along with Record Of The Year.

‘Back In Black’ – AC/DC 

In what was the first album recorded after the tragic death of their frontman Bon Scott, AC/DC eventually settled on Brian Johnson to fill the void.

As to ensure that they did not profit from Scott’s passing on this album, the band did not include any of his written lyrics on ‘Back In Black’. Despite the tragic backstory, this album ultimately turned out to be one of the most upbeat albums written, with ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ remaining a staple party track for many music lovers worldwide.

In what was the first album recorded after the tragic death of their frontman Bon Scott, AC/DC eventually settled on Brian Johnson to fill the void.

‘Let It Bleed’ – Rolling Stones 

Similarly to ‘Back In Black’, this was the last Rolling Stones album to feature founding guitarist Brian Jones, who passed away.

The Rolling Stones turned to former Bluesbreakers star Mick Taylor to record the album, which was a roaring success, thanks to hits including ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Honkey Tonk‘ Woman’, and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’.