The 25 best Classic Rock albums of 1978

21 June 2024, 18:00 | Updated: 16 July 2024, 18:52

Some of the best albums of 1978 by Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Police and Thin Lizzy.
Some of the best albums of 1978 by Queen, The Rolling Stones, The Police and Thin Lizzy. Picture: Alamy

Let's turn back the clock to the year of War Of The Worlds, Some Girls, Jazz, Outlandos D'Amour and much, much more.

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  1. Gerry Rafferty - City To City: release date 20th January 1978

    The second solo album from the former member of Stealers Wheel included the massive hit Baker Street and Right Down The Line.

    Gerry Rafferty - City To City album artwork
    Gerry Rafferty - City To City album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  2. Van Halen - Van Halen: release date 10th February 1978

    The debut studio album from the Californian rock outfit included Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love, Runnin' With The Devil and a cover of The Kinks' You Really Got Me.

    Van Halen - Van Halen album artwork
    Van Halen - Van Halen album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  3. Judas Priest – Stained Class: release date 10th February 1978

    The fourth studio album from the pioneering British heavy metal band was later at the centre of a "subliminal messaging" court case over their track Better By You, Better Than Me. The case was thankfully dismissed.

    Judas Priest – Stained Class album artwork
    Judas Priest – Stained Class album artwork. Picture: Press
  4. Kate Bush - The Kick Inside: released 17th February 1978

    The debut album from the legendary singer-songwriter included her No 1 Wuthering Heights, The Man With The Child In His Eyes and Them Heavy People.

    Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
    Kate Bush - The Kick Inside. Picture: Press
  5. Patti Smith Group - Easter: release date 3rd March 1978

    Smith's third album included the huge hit Because The Night, co-written with Bruce Springsteen.

    Patti Smith Group - Easter
    Patti Smith Group - Easter. Picture: Press
  6. Wings - London Town: release date 31st March 1978

    Paul McCartney's sixth album with the supergroup that featured wife Linda and former Moody Blues man Denny Laine didn't include the massive-selling Mull Of Kintyre, but did feature the single With A Little Luck.

    Wings - London Town
    Wings - London Town. Picture: Press
  7. The Band - The Last Waltz: release date 7th April 1978

    The soundtrack to the classic Martin Scorcese film of the legendary group's farewell show included The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, I Shall Be Released, Up On Cripple Creek and guest appearances from Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Bob Dylan humself.

    The Band - The Last Waltz album artwork
    The Band - The Last Waltz album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  8. Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll: release date 14th April 1978

    The third studio album from Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio's supergroup included the tracks Long Live Rock 'N' Roll and LA Connection.

    Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll album artwork
    Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  9. AC/DC - Powerage: release date 28th April 1978

    The fifth album from the Aussie hard rockers included the hit Rock 'N' Roll Damnation.

    AC/DC - Powerage album artwork
    AC/DC - Powerage album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  10. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On The Edge Of Town: release date 2nd June 1978

    The Boss's fourth studio album included the singles Badlands, Promised Land and Prove It All Night.

    Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On The Edge Of Town
    Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Picture: Press
  11. Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous: release date 2nd June 1978

    Phil Lynott and co presented one of the greatest live albums of all time, recorded on tour in London, Philadelphia and Toronto over the previous eighteen months. The hits Jailbreak, Don't Believe A Word and The Boys Are Back In Town are all present and correct.

    Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous
    Thin Lizzy - Live And Dangerous. Picture: Press
  12. The Cars - The Cars (released 6th June 1978)

    The Boston new wave band's debut include the classics My Best Friend's Girl and Just What I Needed.

    The Cars - The Cars
    The Cars - The Cars: release date 6th June 1978. Picture: Press
  13. The Rolling Stones - Some Girls: released 9th June 1978

    The Stones' fourteenth album saw them "go disco" with the hit Miss You, but there was still room for a classic ballad in Beast Of Burden.

    The Rolling Stones - Some Girls
    The Rolling Stones - Some Girls. Picture: Press
  14. Boomtown Rats - A Tonic For The Troops: released 9th June 1978

    The second album from Bob Geldof and co included a string of hits: She's So Modern, Like Clockwork and the No 1 Rat Trap.

    Boomtown Rats - A Tonic For The Troops
    Boomtown Rats - A Tonic For The Troops. Picture: Press
  15. Dire Straits - Dire Straits: released 9th June 1978

    The debut album from Mark Knopfler and co included the evergreen hit, Sultans Of Swing.

    Dire Straits - Dire Straits album artwork
    Dire Straits - Dire Straits album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  16. Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of War Of The World: released 9th June 1978

    "No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space... and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us." Ambitious musical retelling of the HG Wells story, featuring David Essex, Phil Lynott and Richard Burton, which sold tons of copies.

    Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of War Of The Worlds
    Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of War Of The Worlds. Picture: Press
  17. Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings And Food: released 14th July 1978

    The NYC art rockers' second album includes the band's cover of Al Green's Take Me To The River.

    Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings And Food
    Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings And Food. Picture: Press
  18. The Who - Who Are You: released 18th August 1978

    The final Who album to feature drummer Keith Moon, who died three weeks after its release. The title track has gone on to be a radio classic.

    The Who - Who Are You
    The Who - Who Are You. Picture: Press
  19. Ramones - Road To Ruin: released 22nd September 1978

    The fourth album from the pioneering punks included I Just Want To Have Something To Do and I Wanna Be Sedated.

    Ramones - Road To Ruin: album artwork
    Ramones - Road To Ruin: album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  20. Blondie - Parallel Lines: released 22nd September 1978

    The all-time classic Blondie album was actually their third outing, but it spawned the hits Heart Of Glass, Hanging On The Telephone, One Way Or Another, Picture This and Sunday Girl.

    Blondie - Parallel Lines
    Blondie - Parallel Lines. Picture: Press
  21. Styx - Pieces Of Eight: released September 1978

    The eighth studio album from the American prog rockers included the singles Renegade, Sing For The Day and Blue Collar Man (Long Nights).

    Styx - Pieces Of Eight album artwork
    Styx - Pieces Of Eight album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  22. Toto - Toto: released October 1978

    The Los Angeles rock band's debut album included their classic hit Hold The Line.

    Toto - Toto album artwork
    Toto - Toto album artwork. Picture: Alamy
  23. The Police - Outlandos D'Amour: released 3rd November 1978

    The debut album from Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland included Roxanne, Can't Stand Losing You and So Lonely.

    The Police - Outlandos D'Amour
    The Police - Outlandos D'Amour. Picture: Press
  24. The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope: released 10th November 1978

    The second album from Joe Strummer's punks included the hit Tommy Gun.

    The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope
    The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope. Picture: Press
  25. Queen - Jazz: released 10th November 1978

    Queen's seventh studio album included the double 'A' side Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race and the evergreen Don't Stop Me Now.

    Queen - Jazz
    Queen - Jazz. Picture: Press