Best Rock Music of 2005

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


It’s time to take a look back at the best rock music of 2005. From classic hits to new favorites, this is a list of the songs that defined the year.

Best Overall Rock Albums of 2005

As the year 2005 came to a close, there were a few clear choices for the best overall rock album released during the year. Critically acclaimed releases by Coldplay, Beck, and Gorillaz helped make 2005 a great year for rock music fans.

Coldplay – X&Y

X&Y was the third studio release for British alt-rock band Coldplay, and it quickly became one of the year’s bestselling albums. The album debuted at #1 on charts in over 20 countries, and has been certified 8x platinum in the United Kingdom. X&Y features the singles “Speed of Sound,” “Talk,” and “Fix You.”

Beck – Guero

After taking a five year break from releasing new solo material, Beck returned in 2005 with his eighth studio album Guero. The album received positive reviews from music critics and was a commercial success, debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart. Guero features guest appearances from Jack White, The Flaming Lips, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O.

Gorillaz – Demon Days

Demon Days is the second studio album from virtual band Gorillaz. The album was released to critical acclaim and was a commercial success, debuting at #1 on charts in over 20 countries. Demon Days features the singles “Feel Good Inc.,” “Dare,” “Kids with Guns,” and “El Mañana.”

Best Hard Rock Albums of 2005

It was a great year for hard rock, with many great albums being released. Here are our picks for the best hard rock albums of 2005:

-System of a Down – Mezmerize
-Korn – See You on the Other Side
-Mudvayne – Lost and Found
-Chevelle – This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)
-Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil
-Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth

Best Alternative Rock Albums of 2005

The best alternative rock albums of 2005 represent a wide range of styles, from the guitar-heavy sound of Queens of the Stone Age to the stripped-down piano rock of Coldplay. These are the 10 best albums of 2005, according to critic ratings.

1. “Meat Is Murder” – The Smiths
2. “Queen Is Dead” – The Smiths
3. “A Night at the Opera” – Queen
4. “In This Light and on This Evening” – Editors
5. “An Endless Summer” – Brian Wilson
6. “The Suburbs” – Arcade Fire
7. “Contra” – Vampire Weekend
8. “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?” – Of Montreal
9. “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” – Panic! at the Disco
10. “X&Y” – Coldplay

Best Pop/Rock Albums of 2005

It was a banner year for pop/rock music in 2005, with a wide variety of excellent albums being released by both established artists and newcomers. Here are some of the best pop/rock albums of 2005, as chosen by the editors of Rolling Stone:

-Coldplay, “X&Y”
-Green Day, “American Idiot”
-Gorillaz, “Demon Days”
-U2, “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”
-Beck, “Guero”
-The White Stripes, “Get Behind Me Satan”
-The Arcade Fire, “Funeral”
-Death Cab for Cutie, “Plans”
– Nine Inch Nails, “With Teeth”

Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of 2005

There were many great singer-songwriter albums released in 2005, but these ten stood out above the rest. If you’re a fan of heartfelt lyrics and intimate performances, then you’ll want to check out these records.

1. Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
2. Jenny Lewis – Rabbit Fur Coat
3. Iron & Wine – woman king
4. LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem
5. Spoon – Gimme Fiction
6. Elliott Smith – From a Basement on the Hill
7. M. Ward – Transistor Radio
8. Conor Oberst – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
9. Bright Eyes – Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
10. Will Oldham – Greatest Palace Music

Best Live Albums of 2005

There were some great live albums released in 2005, and this is a list of the best of the bunch.

– Foo Fighters – Skin and Bones
– Pearl Jam – Live at the Garden
– Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75
– Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Live at the Fillmore East
– Led Zeppelin – How the West Was Won

Best Compilation Albums of 2005

In 2005, a number of great compilation albums were released. Here are some of the best:

-“The Best of the AOL Sessions” by Various Artists

-“The Bootleg Series Vol. 7: No Direction Home: The Soundtrack” by Bob Dylan

-“Concert for tsunami relief” by Various Artists

-“Love, Pain & the whole damn thing” by Lucinda Williams

Best New Artists of 2005

The top new artists of 2005 come from a wide range of musical styles. There are the traditional rock bands, the punk-influenced groups, the indie darlings, and even a rapper or two. But what they all have in common is that they released their debut album in 2005 and made an impact on the music scene. Here are the 10 best new artists of 2005.

1. Coldplay
2. Arcade Fire
3. Gorillaz
4. Franz Ferdinand
5. The White Stripes
6. LCD Soundsystem
7. Keane
8. Thestrokes
9. Missy Elliott
10. Gnarls Barkley

Best Reissues of 2005

As the music industry continues to be in a state of transition, many labels are reissuing classic albums on vinyl in order to appeal to a more niche market. In 2005, we saw some great examples of this trend with high-quality reissues of classic rock albums. Here are some of the best reissues of 2005:

-The Beatles, “Abbey Road”
-The Rolling Stones, “Exile on Main Street”
-Led Zeppelin, “Physical Graffiti”
-David Bowie, “Station to Station”
-Pink Floyd, “Meddle”

Best Box Sets of 2005

As 2005 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the year in rock music. 2005 was a great year for fans of box sets, with classic artists like Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and Led Zeppelin releasing some of the best collections in recent memory. Here are our picks for the best box sets of 2005.

Bob Dylan – No Direction Home
This 10-disc box set chronicles Dylan’s evolution from folk singer to rock icon. Spanning over four hours, the set features previously unreleased recordings, live performances, and interviews with Dylan himself.

The Grateful Dead – The Golden Road (1965-1973)
This 18-disc box set spans the eight-year period when the Grateful Dead were at the height of their powers. Featuring over 200 tracks, The Golden Road is a must-have for any fan of the band.

Led Zeppelin – Mothership
This career-spanning collection features some of Led Zeppelin’s most popular tracks, including “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and “Kashmir.” Mothership is essential listening for any fan of classic rock.

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