The Best Rock Albums of 2011 List

The Best Rock Albums of 2011 List, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Melodic Rock, AOR, Melodic Hard Rock...

Since the inception of our magazine we have not had a chance to release yearly best of list of albums that left a mark in the genres that we cover, Metal and Hard Rock. This is the best of list of 2011 both both categories of Metal and Rock. Enjoy and if 2012 is as good or better then last year then we are in for a real treat!!!.

Best Rock Albums 2011 List

By: Zeezee Dawson




Forevermore (2011)

WOW!!! Coverdale and co took everything that made their 2008 comeback album GOOD TO BE BAD so good and tweaked it to perfection. One of the best rock albums to be released in a decade and something to treasure for WHITESNAKE FANS for sure.  Putting this at number one spot in March but I’ve got a feeling it will probably stay there all year!!

What If...

Mr. Big

What If… (2011)

This album was going so well and held the top spot on this list for just over two months. But March brought us the amazing FOREVERMORE from one of my all-time favorite acts WHITESNAKE and it’s just so good that even the greatness of WHAT IF… couldn’t stop it. This is still a fantastic album though and a clear second for sure.



Eclipse (2011)

For any of you JOURNEY fans that have been begging for the band to let guitar genius Neal Schon have more time to do his thing ECLIPSE is the album you have been waiting for. Still plenty of trademark JOURNEY moments here but also a shout-out to guitar based progressive rock too. Two albums in and new vocalist Arnel Pineda is really starting to sound like a dead-set part of this mighty group.

I'm With You

Red Hot Chili Peppers

I’m With You (2011)

I think I’ve given this album a little bit more grace than a lot of people in the music landscape, but I’ve waited since BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGIK for another brilliant Chili’s album and while they’ve come relatively close a couple of times, it’s taken another split with troubled John Frusciante for the band to really get their shit together again…… Brilliant album and worthy of a top three finish!

To Hide Her


To Hide Her (2011)

I cannot properly describe just what it is about TO HIDE HER that grabbed me so much, but this album is by far one of the most enjoyable things I’ve heard in a long, long time. Heaps of different styles and influences here, but everything just gels together perfectly. TOEHIDER are one of my new favorite bands and I will be one of the first in line for whatever they might do next….Brilliant!!!

The Stranger Within

Demon’s Eye

The Stranger Within (2011)

The combination of one my favorite rock vocalists Doogie White with what was once a German DEEP PURPLE tribute band has amalgamated into a very special album that is one of the true highlight releases of 2011. If you like DEEP PURPLE or RAINBOW and wish either camp would release some new material akin to their classic stuff look no firther than THE STRANGER WITHIN.

Here Comes the Night


Here Comes the Night (2011)

Regardless of the awful photoshop style cover art, HERE COMES THE NIGHT is easily one of the best AOR/Melodic Rock releases of 2011. Matti’s voice sounds better than ever here and he really gives Eric Martin a run for his money in tracks like I’LL WAIT FOR YOU and I WILL NEVER LET YOU FALL, both tracks could easily be MR. BIG songs.

Mercury's Down

Toby Hitchcock

Mercury’s Down (2011)

What an amazing effort from Toby Hitchcock!!!  His flawless AOR vocal style soars upon some of the best songs the genre has seen in a fair while. Yes, there’s been some truly amazing releases this year, but as far as pure AOR goes, MERCURY DOWN is the undisputed king of 2011.


Black Country Communion

2 (2011)

This follow-up. coming in less than a year after the band’s debut is so close to matching it in quality and style that the two together could have easily been released as a double album. But still, on it’s own “2” is truly fantastic hard classic rock album with just enough progressive leanings to keep it interesting without being to far out of the ordinary.

Changing Times

Jon Stevens

Changing Times (2011)

Welcome back to the rock world of might Jon Stevens. After a decade or so doing the acoustic thing, Jon Stevens, one of Australia’s most loved and respected singers has brought back the full backing band and release an album that is a perfect blend of his classic NOISEWORKS sound and a more modern radio rock formula. Check it out!!!

Big Money

House of Lords

Big Money (2011)

James Christian’s HOUSE OF LORDS have proven to be a pretty bloody consistent band since coming back on the scene in a strong way around a decade or so ago, and BIG MONEY is their best latter day album yet. Some really A-grade tracks to be found within and some of Christian’s strongest vocals in a long time.

Chickenfoot III


Chickenfoot III (2011)

III is a great second effort from the Red rocker and his bunch of merry legends. It’s a different beast from the last album and the experimentation has seemingly paid off. Take a listen to COME CLOSER which is a bit of a modern soul track, very different for CHICKENFOOT but an absolute success for sure.

Hell in a Handbasket

Meat Loaf

Hell in a Handbasket (2011)

The fact that I had such low expectations of the latest MEAT LOAF album hay well be directly accredited to how highly I have been willing to rate it, but really, HELL IN A HANDBASKET is an awesome album. The big fellas voice is basically shot now, but he’s supported well enough here that he doesn’t need to be in your face all of the time to make an impact.

24 Hours

Richie Kotzen

24 Hours (2011)

If you are a Richie Kotzen fan I obviously don’t need to waste a second telling you how good this album is, but for the more casual listener, let me just say that 24 HOURS is one of Kotzen’s best albums in at least a decade and fully deserves to be checked out by all….

Ghosts of the Past

Eskimo Joe

Ghosts of the Past (2011)

What a fantastic effort from Aussie rockers ESKIMO JOE. The perfect combination of alternative indie rock and commercial radio-friendlyness all mixed in with some truly fantastic songwriting and absolutely awesome vocals. ESKIMO JOE sound like nothing else out there whil still feeling familiar and welcoming……give this one a shot today!!!!

Happiness Is the Road

Fergie Frederiksen

Happiness Is the Road (2011)

Truly fantastic pure AOR album from former TOTO frontman. If you are at all into AOR or Melodic Rock music then HAPPINESS IS THE ROAD should simply be on your shopping list! JOURNEY, SURVIVOR, TOTO, TED POLEY, MECCA, UNRULY CHILD…..All names that I was reminded of during my time with this gem.



Lionville (2011)

Yup…. Surprise, surprise. Anybody here that follows multiple best-of lists is sure to come across this album a lot. A s far as pure eighties inspired AOR goes, this debut offering from Italian super-group LIONVILLE is about as complete and concise as any fan of the era could ever wish for. The songwriting is great, the vocals are superb and the production is absolutely massive…Win, Win, Win!!!

Charm School


Charm School (2011)

Welcome back Roxette!!! Yes i know the are closer to pop music than rock music, but hell man, this is some catchy stuff. The rockier tracks should definitely appeal to AOR fans, and the ballads are just stunning. I see that this album has a very low average rating here in RYM and i just can’t understand why. It’s the perfect combination of rock & pop and should be embraced by fans on either side of the coin.

The Seventh Degree of Separation


The Seventh Degree of Separation (2011)

Easily one of this years best neo-prog releases and one of the better overall efforts from ARENA. I’m glad this one is good because I had my doubts about the longevity of the band after their last effort which was rather poor. Fans of MARILLION and PENDRAGON will lap this up like it’s mother’s milk.

Diamonds and Dirt

Brian Robertson

Diamonds and Dirt (2011)

A brilliant album really that shows just how good of a guitarist ex THIN LIZZY/MOTORHEAD man Brian “Robbo” Robertson is, and shows us that he’s got a pretty bloody good blues rock voice to boot. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a resurgence because this is pure classic rock/blues rock unlike most of the stuff we get these days.

Big Dogz


Big Dogz (2011)

How can an album that is just so purely kick-ass classic ROCK be any lower on this list!! NAZARETH have always been a great band, but BIG DOGZ is their best album in well over a decade and deserves to be heard by all! Especially when you consider that vocalist Dan McCafferty is now 65 years old and is still screaming his way around the place, good work you crazy old geezer 😉


The Poodles

Performocracy (2011)

Since their formation THE POODLES have come a long way. From their start as a semi-serious glam party rock band they have gradually transformed themselves to become one of the best melodic hard rock bands on the market this generation. I realize they have an absolutely rubbish band name, but if you are into groups like TREAT, PRETTY MAIDS, T.N.T, H.E.A.T and JORN then you owe it to yourself to check PERFORMOCRACY out right now.

Rock'n'Roll Circus

Rob Mancini

Rock’n’Roll Circus (2011)

Man this album took me by surprise!! What a fantastic debut effort from Rob Mancini, especially considering he did all of the music, vocals and the production too. EDGE OF A BROKEN HEART is one of THE best AOR tunes of 2001, and the cover of Kate Bush track RUNNING UP THAT HILL is simply awesome!

Back to the Start


Back to the Start (2011)

A very good return from a band that has been inactive since 1984 and one of the better AOR/melodic rock releases of 2011. There’s a couple of songs that sound like FOREIGNER, a couple that sound like JOURNEY one that sounds like SURVIVOR and one of two that would have fit perfectly on the band’s 1984 debut SHAFT OF LIGHT.

Rhyme and Reason

Chris Ousey

Rhyme and Reason (2011)

Coming closer to the end of the year, it would be fair enough to assume that the big releases are just about over until 2012. Putting a spanner in those theories however is the first solo album from VIRGINA WOLF/HEARTLAND frontman Chris Ousey, and truth be told it’s actually one the best pure melodic rock albums of the year!

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