Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols — An LP that blew away all charges of hype. In a year when almost nothing happened, the Sex Pistols were action incarnate.
Hotel California, The Eagles — Rock's L.A. cowboys, coming of age, cut through the smog to take their toughest and most incisive look at California.
Rumours, Fleetwood Mac — From the diversity of the writing and singing to the punch of the rhythm section it's impossible not to think of the Beatles.
JT, James Taylor — Recoupled with producer Peter Asher, Taylor turned in his bluesiest, most openly emotional album.
My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello — A former computer programmer, who left the synthesizer at the office. Dangerous music for our time.
Hard Again, Muddy Waters — Rebirth of the blues. The last of the Chicago masters returns to the gimmick-free sound that made him great.