20 Classic Heavy Metal And Hard Rock Albums That Are Turning 40 This Year

  • Zeppelin75

  • Kiss_alive_75

  • aerosmith75

  • rainbow75

  • Sabbath75

  • BadCompany75

  • Blue_Oyster_Cult75

  • queen75

  • AliceCooper75

  • LynyrdSkynyrd75

  • Rush_75

  • scorps75

  • ZZTOP_1975

  • ted_nugent75

  • UFO75

  • thinlizzy75

  • purple75

  • ACDC75

  • KISSDressed75

  • Foghat75

Another year is upon us which means a whole new slew of classic albums will be marking important anniversaries and making us all feel old. For hard rock and heavy metal, some of the genre’s most important records are turning 40 this year, having been released in the year 1975.  It was an important time for the music, halfway between the post-hippie era of the previous decade and the ensuing metal revolution that would gather steam heading into the ’80s.

1975 started with a bang as legendary proto-metal gods Led Zeppelin issued their epic double album Physical Graffiti and shock rocker Alice Cooper went solo and issued his hit record Welcome To My Nightmare. But while the year also saw releases from hard rock elders Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the real story was the breakout success of two young American bands that would reshape the genre for the rest of the decade, Kiss and Aerosmith. And laying in wait were bands like Scorpions, Thin Lizzy and Rainbow, whose influence wouldn’t be fully felt for another few years. Check out 20 classic hard rock and heavy metal albums that are celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year and see why 1975 was such a crucial year in the genre’s history.

See former Kiss drummer Peter Criss discuss the importance of the band’s 1975 breakout live album Alive!