The year 2000 marked a year of seismic change, and not just because the calendar was flipping on a new millennium.
As this list of 2000’s Best Classic Rock Albums shows, there were comebacks, reunions and creative rebirths from the likes of U2, Iron Maiden and Steely Dan. Iron Maiden was suddenly a six-piece group, since Janick Gers remained even after Adrian Smith returned along with frontman Bruce Dickinson. Steely Dan hadn’t put out a studio album in 20 years, going back to 1980’s Gaucho. U2 decided to start sounding like U2 again.
There was also an unlikely collaboration that somehow worked brilliantly between Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes. And there was the best Judas Priest album ever put out by an act not named Judas Priest. That would be Halford – which was fronted, of course, by then-former Priest frontman Rob Halford. Then there was a highly anticipated album from Neil Young, who’d seemed to come alive at the end of every previous decade.
Of course, like the Y2K bug – an over-sensationalized potential computer flaw that largely came to nothing – there was no need to worry about other acts. AC/DC and Sammy Hagar remained sturdy presences. Paul Simon put out one of the most Paul Simon-y records ever. Warren Zevon was still telling prickly truths.
Which project rose to No. 1 on our list of the 2000’s Best Classic Rock Albums? Keep scrolling for the countdown, and our thoughts on the year’s top records.