1. Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters
This self-titled album was a glorious introduction to a name that would become household for lovers of rock. Former Nirvana member Dave Grohl had written these songs and kept them from Kurt Kobain. When Kurt died, Grohl recorded every instrument and the vocals himself over the course of about a week, as a way of coping. He didn’t disappoint.
2. Hunky Dory – David Bowie
It’s a pretty good indication that you’ve created a masterpiece if your song is still around in media decades after its release, and that’s exactly true with this 1971 album from the late great David Bowie. Brilliant storytelling, solid vocals and musical performance with upbeat tempo just makes for good driving music.
3. Abbey Road – The Beatles
A list of good music isn’t complete without The Beatles. The tone is upbeat and hopeful and the lyrics come together to form a defined story. Overall, it’s a good one to keep you alert, and singing along, behind the wheel.
4. Master of Puppets – Metallica
The tone of metal isn’t for everyone, but I had to include Metallica’s best work here. Seeing as the theme is tempos that keep the brain moving, this is no exception. Though very fast paced, Metallica’s musical talent shines here.
5. Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash
No one told a story like Johnny Cash. The man’s voice carries like a father at a campfire, and they are certainly stories worth listening to. The only drawback is the lack of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.
6. A Night At The Opera – Queen
There’s gold here aside from just Bohemian Rhapsody, though for many of us I bet having that song alone makes the album a must, this is a true rock classic from one of the biggest influences of the time.
7. Appetite For Destruction – Guns N Roses
Say what you will about Axel Rose, the guy could sing. Alongside guitar legend Slash, people who don’t even like rock may find that Guns N Roses has a lot to offer, and this album has some of their most popular songs.
8. Thriller – Michael Jackson
The best-selling album of all time, which should come as no surprise: Thriller and Beat It are some of the best songs the pop genre has ever released.
9. The Wall – Pink Floyd
This soundtrack has a lot of variety to offer, and often plays out in a soft tone that is pleasant to just about any ear. Part two of “Another Brick in The Wall” became an instant classic, and for good reason.
10. Glass Houses – Billy Joel
An album created with the intent to show that Billy could rock harder than critics credited him for, which seems a little silly with Metallica further up the list. While it may be soft rock, it’s catchy and lighter than Metallica for those of us who don’t like the shredding.
11. Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player – Elton John
While the title just feels too long, this album redeems itself with the content. John’s lyrical talent is rooted by haunting piano melodies. John’s is a unique take on the pop genre, and one that cannot be missed.
12. The Best of a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong was a pioneer, an unrivaled trumpet player, and surely one of the best examples of jazz music. Jazz tends to be love it or hate it, but if you love it, there’s no one better than Louis himself, and this album collects some of his finest works.