The Best 50 Albums of 2023: as voted by the readers of Classic Rock

A montage of bands responsible for some of 2023's best albums
(Image credit: Press materials)

A few weeks ago we asked you to vote for your favourite albums of 2023, and we're now delighted to reveal the results. And we're even more delighted to reveal that it's a list full of surprises. 

We probably shouldn't be surprised. After all, when you run polls like this, it's frequently the bands who work hardest at mobilising their fanbases who triumph, rather than the big names who don't bother – which is exactly how it should be. 

And so it proved this time round, with New York City's very own Des Rocs doing plenty of mobilising, and, ultimately, plenty of triumphing, with his album Dream Machine. So congratulations to Des Rocs mastermind Danny Rocco – and we advise you to check him out when he tours next year in Europe and North America.

The rest of the top five was filled out by Greta Van Fleet's Starcatcher, and three albums by three UK acts: the widely-praised IV: Sacrament by Lancastrian hard rockers Wytch Hazel, the excellent News From The Invisible World by instrumentalists-turned-non-instrumentalists The Fierce And The Dead, and Kings Of The Asylum, the latest by Wales' finest Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons.  

Below, you can watch Des Rocs's video for Dream Machine, followed by the whole Top 50. Thanks for voting!



Classic Rock's Readers: Top 50 Albums Of 2023

  1. Des Rocs - Dream Machine (Sumerian)
  2. Greta Van Fleet - Starcatcher (Lava/Republic )
  3. Wytch Hazel - IV: Sacrament (Bad Omen)
  4. The Fierce & The Dead - News From The Invisible World (Spencer Park Music)
  5. Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons - Kings Of The Asylum (Nuclear Blast)
  6. The Dirty Strangers - Hunter’s Moon (DS Records)
  7. Those Damn Crows - Inhale/Exhale (Earache)
  8. The Cold Stares - Voices (Mascot Records)
  9. Jim Jones All-Stars - Ain't No Peril (Ako-lite)
  10. The Struts - Pretty Vicious (Big Machine)
  11. Metallica - 72 Seasons (Vertigo)
  12. Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds (Polydor)
  13. Rival Sons - Darkfighter (Atlantic)
  14. Tygers Of Pan Tang - Bloodlines (Target Group)
  15. Extreme - Six (EarMUSIC)
  16. Ian Hunter - Defiance Pt 1 (Sun Records)
  17. Uriah Heep - Chaos & Colour (Silver Lining Music)
  18. Black Stone Cherry - Screamin' At The Sky (Mascot Records)
  19. Foo Fighters - But Here We Are (Roswell)
  20. Rival Sons - Lightbringer (Atlantic)
  21. Luke Morley - Songs From The Blue Room (Conquest)
  22. Alice Cooper - Road (EarMusic)
  23. Neverland Ranch Davidians - Neverland Branch Davidians (Heavy Medication)
  24. Mammoth WVH - Mammoth II (BMG)
  25. The Hives - The Death of Randy Fitzsimmons
  26. Bernie Marsden - Working Man (Conquest Music)
  27. Måneskin - Rush! (Epic)
  28. Peter Gabriel - i/o (Peter Gabriel Ltd)
  29. Dirty Honey - Can't Find The Brakes (Dirt Records)
  30. Angel - Once Upon A Time (Cleopatra)
  31. Crown Lands - Fearless (Spinefarm)
  32. Steven Wilson - The Harmony Codex (Virgin/SW Records)
  33. QOTSA - In Times New Roman (Matador)
  34. Sleep Token - Take Me Back To Eden (Spinefarm)
  35. Electric Boys - Grand Explosivos (Mighty Music)
  36. Green Lung - This Heathen Land (Nuclear Blast)
  37. Black Star Riders - Wrong Side Of Paradise (Nuclear Blast)
  38. Def Leppard - Drastic Symphonies (Bludgeon Riffola)
  39. Winger - Seven (Frontiers)
  40. The Dust Coda - Loco Paradies (Earache)
  41. Joe Bonamassa - Blues Deluxe Vol 2 (Mascot)
  42. KK's Priest - The Sinner Rides Again (Napalm)
  43. Eclipse - Megalomanium (Frontiers Music)
  44. King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard - PetroDragonic Apocalypse (KGLW)
  45. Depeche Mode - Memento Mori (Mute)
  46. Avenged Sevenfold - Life Is But A Dream… (Warner Bros)
  47. Jethro Tull - Rockflote (InsideOut Music)
  48. Skindred - Smile (Earache)
  49. Overkill - Scorched (Nuclear Blast)
  50. Pretenders - Relentless (Parlophone)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.