Wednesday Question: Best Non-Rock Albums?

Are you open-minded enough to recommend records that don't rock 'n' roll? Post a nomination now for our most eclectic top 10 list yet.

Ultimate Guitar

One glance at the top 100 tabs on Ultimate Guitar makes it clear that rock and metal aren't the only genres that our visitors love. But our news features and weekly polls only ever focus on heavy guitar-laden tracks. What's going on?

Don't worry - we're not going to be shuffling our focus on from hard rock and metal in the news section. Nevertheless, it got us thinking: how experienced are our readers in other areas of the music world?

You're a musician, and will have plenty of knowledge about other types of music like pop, hip hop and electronic - and that's just for starters. Readers will often comment on their love for records by folk like Depeche Mode, Florence + the Machine, Haim, Gorillaz and many others - and that's probably the tip of the iceberg.

That's why this week's question is:

What is the best non-rock album ever?

The field is wide open on this one, and anything could happen in the results.

Just post your nomination in the comments below, and up vote others that you agree with. The top 10 nominations for the best albums will appear in a list this Friday.

Remember, by non-rock we mean anything that isn't rock, metal, industrial, or anything else we wouldn't normally cover. You get the drift. Good luck!

526 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue
    Yes, but though "Kind Of Blue" is fantastic too I prefer it - immortal jazz classic: Miles Davis - "Bitches Brew" (1970)
    Both of those albums are fantastic but to me, the best Miles Davis album is "In a Silent Way".
    I'm actually reading Alex Skolnick's memoirs right now and just last night I read that this is one of his very favorite albums. Not that I'm submitting this for a vote, but if you guys haven't listened to the Alex Skolnick Trio, it's great jazz music and it's a metalhead playing it, so it might be a bit more accessible.
    Gorillaz - Gorillaz
    It does have some guitar and rock elements at parts, but not strictly rock. It's just a great mash-up of all kinds of different music.
    I'm just gonna throw down Plastic Beach too cos why not! Amazing albums from an amazing band.
    Mr. Stripe
    What kind of question is this? There's far too much music that isn't rock to just make a top ten.
    Considering this is basically a metal site overall, they probably feel like they can make a top 10 non-rock album list and be content with it haha. I'm with you though
    And apparently "best" = semi-obscure, while "non-rock" = rap, various electronic/alternative forms of rock, a little jazz, and 'world' music.
    I agree. I hope in the future we have polls for best jazz/funk/electro/rap/classical/whatever. This site might have a rock focus, but I know a lot of us have broader tastes.
    Thriller,****ing amazing record.
    SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE - STEVIE WONDER. Every single song is a masterpiece, so beautiful.
    Portishead - Dummy
    Dummy is literally one of the best albums I've ever heard. I hadn't expected anyone else to post it, but I'm glad you beat me to it!
    Another '90s classic album: Moby – "Play" (1999)
    Probably the best album that I've seen on this list so far, really hope it makes the top ten
    I want to suggest a classic album, which isn't a rock album, but with real rock energy: The Prodigy - "The Fat Of The Land" (1997)
    I was more a fan of Invaders must die. Omen and Thunder are such good tracks.
    "Invaders" are great too, but for me living in the '90s and hearing "The Fat Of The Lat" from just every street was just mindblowing
    Man, everytime you post in these Top 10 polls you post the exact same music I had in mind. We should grab a beer some day and have sex.
    Haha, nice, man! I doubt about sex ))) But hanging out and drinking something is a good idea!)
    I'm in love with Elliott Smith and would vote this up to oblivion, but I consider it rock
    Nero Galon
    Elliot was a big rock/metal fan however his music was mainly stripped back of most conventions of those genres. If 'singer/songwritter' was a genre then he'd be it.
    Yeah thats true, although his last two albums definitely had a lot more of a rock sound than usual
    You mean you didn't get the memo? Due to the emergence of heavier types of music, what used to be metal is now hard rock, what used to be hard rock is now just called rock, and what used to be plain old rock music is now called pop, folk, or country.
    Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
    Great album as far as IDM goes I think I prefer Music Has the Right to Children By Boards of Canada
    I don't know if there any love for them, but for me it's a real classic: Massive Attack - "Mezzanine" (1998)
    I remember putting that album bacl on after years of not hearing it and saying something along the lines of "damn I forgot how bloody good this album was"
    Wu-Tang - 36 Chambers
    Daft Punk - Discovery
    Far better than RAM by the way.
    People here mentioning Random Access Memories probably don't even know Daft Punk aside from what they heard on the radio during the last year. Of course Discovery is much better, it isn't even arguable.
    Kraftwerk - The Man-Machine
    sweet, forgot this cover was the one they parody on the big Lebowski, almost looks like Flea on it too.
    Depeche Mode Violator
    I liked Playing the Angel more.
    Well, yeah that was really my first pick but i reckoned less people will know about that one(i know people that thought DM stopped making albums after Alan left)
    You totally stole my idea. It is my all time favorite album. And this is coming from a guy who loves KISS, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Ministry. great great choice.
    And the last one from me. Great work.
    J.S. Bach - Das Wohltemperierte Klavier. Superb classical compilation.