Classic Rock's 50 best rock albums of 2022

Albums Of The Year cover photos
(Image credit: Various record labels)

Classic Rock 307 - front cover

(Image credit: Future)

Another Christmas is almost upon us, and the usual end-of-year shenanigans are underway: office parties, inappropriate behaviour, and magazines and websites proclaiming their end-of-year lists to be definitively better than anyone else's.

We're no different, of course, and this year we pooled our writers to build an Albums Of The Year list that's an accumulation of dozens of submissions. And we're delighted to announce that Def Leppard's Diamond Star Halos album topped the list, a rare example of an album heralded as a 'return to form' that actually lived up to the billing. 

Ghost came in second with the widely-praised Impera (it was also Metal Hammer's album of the year), and the returning Porcupine Tree completed the podium with the excellent Closure/Continuation

The full list of Classic Rock’s 50 Best Albums Of 2022 is below. You can read more about all of them in the bumper brand new issue of Classic Rock, alongside new interviews with many of the musicians who made the albums.

The 50 Best Rock Albums Of 2022

50. Cats In Space - Kickstart The Sun
49. Buzzcocks - Sonics In The Soul
48. Bonnie Raitt - Just Like That
47. The Black Keys - Dropdout Boogie
46. Cardinal Black - January Came Close
45. FM - Thirteen
44. Whiskey Myers - Tornillo
43. Nickelback - Get Rollin'
42. Fantastic Negrito - White Jesus Black Problems
41. Dan Reed Network - Let's Hear It For The King
40. The Hellacopters - Eyes Of Oblivion
39. Magnum - The Monster Roars
38. Joe Lynn Turner - The Belly Of The Beast
37. Monster Truck - Warriors
36. Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying... And The Dead!
35. Jethro Tull - The Zealot Dream
34. Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners - Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners
33. The Hu - Rumble Of Thunder
32. Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts - Ballad Of A Misspent Youth
31. Muse - Will Of The People
30. Rosalie Cunningham - Two Piece Puzzle
29. Eric Gales - Crown
28. Rammstein - Zeit
27. The Sheepdogs - Outta Sight
26. Halestorm - Back From The Dead
25. Journey - Freedom
24. Eddie Vedder - Earthling
23. Reef - Shoot Me Your Ace
22. Saxon - Carpe Diem
21. H.E.A.T.: Force Majeure
20. Big Big Train - Welcome To The Planet
19. Michael Monroe - I Live Too Fast To Die Young
18. Thunder - Dopamine
17. The Cult - Under The Midnight Sun
16. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unlimited Love
15. Von Hertzen Brothers – Red Alert In The Blue Forest
14. Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators - 4
13. Massive Wagons - Triggered!
12. Ann Wilson - Fierce Bliss
11. Tedeschi Trucks Band - I Am The Moon
10. ZZ Top - Raw: That Little Ol’ Band From Texas Original Soundtrack
9. Skid Row - The Gang's All Here
8. Alter Bridge - Pawns & Kings
7. Ozzy Osbourne - Patient Number 9
6. Marillion - An Hour Before It's Dark
5. Scorpions - Rock Believer
4. Clutch - Sunrise On Slaughter Beach
3. Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation
2. Ghost - Impera
1. Def Leppard - Diamond Star Halos

Classic Rock’s spectacular end-of-year issue is out now and it comes with three gifts, including a 2023 calendar, some rockin' wrappin' paper, and a classic rock activity book. Order it online and get it delivered straight to your door (opens in new tab), shipping worldwide. 

Classic Rock 309 packshot

(Image credit: Future)
Classic Rock Magazine

Classic Rock is the online home of the world's best rock'n'roll magazine. We bring you breaking news, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes features, as well as unrivalled access to the biggest names in rock music; from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses to the Rolling Stones, AC/DC to the Sex Pistols, and everything in between. Our expert writers bring you the very best on established and emerging bands plus everything you need to know about the mightiest new music releases.