Hidden Gems in Classic Rock Albums

Please share songs you love that get overlooked on classic albums that most consider among the best ever--for example, those that regularly appear on the Rolling Stone top 100 list. Last weekend I played "Hotel California" all the way through and was really digging "Try and Love Again". Can't get it out of my head. Oddly, a Randy Meisner tune with great bass guitar and unique bass drum work by Don Henley--pumping it twice rather than once not sure why. There is some really great stabbing guitar lines, awesome rhythm guitar licks and a nice lead guitar. As always, great harmony vocals to boot. A really great song that seems to fly under the radar because it is on an LP that has so many "hits" and really great songs. 

Share yours!


Almost everything by the Kinks is under the radar. Try This Time Tomorrow or Get Back In Line. 

Because Randy Meisner was the unsung hero of the band. His voice and bass were essential to their success. A beautiful song. 

Rolling Stones, "Sister Morphine" and  "Moonlight Mile" from Sticky Fingers.

Catch a good buzz,turn off the lights and enjoy. Hell,the entire album is a trip.

I have three:

The Shape I'm In - The Band

Industrial Disease - Dire Straits

Hotel California - Eagles - Hell Freezes Over


"You Won’t Have to Cry" The Byrds

"I Wanted Everything" The Ramones

"Panic In Detroit" and "Cracked Actor" David Bowie

Cream -- the short, six minute studio version of "Spoonful" What a guitar solo!


Andrew Gold did an album under the name "The Fraternal Order of the All". The name of the album is "Greeting from the Planet Love."  Each song is done in the style of a different band - including The Beatles, Beach Boys, The Byrds. Gold overdubbed all of the vocals and all of the instruments.  Fantastic album (and hard to find).

Ten Years After: A Space in Time has several great tracks and the SQ is surprisingly good for 1971.  Lots of great guitar courtesy of Alvin Lee.


Beach Boys: Holland.   I have no use for side A (except "Sail-on" is good), but Side B...starting with "The Trader" is outstanding. The songs are a departure from the usual Beach Boys sound.



I am partial to Sunflower and Holland, myself.


Happy Listening!

Bad Company - Silver, Blue and Gold (Run  With The Pack)


Happy Listening!

Any of Jethro Tull's first sixteen studio albums that are not Aqualung or Locomotive Breath.

Any of ZZ Top's first six studio albums that are not Tush.


@au_lait +1! 

Joni Mitchell - Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire

Warren Zevon - Accidentally Like a Martyr

Pink Floyd - Fat Old Sun

Rush - Vital Signs

Zappa - the entire catalog

Neil Young Live at Massey Hall 1971. Awesome talent. Maybe the best recorded live album of all time. 

Joe Jackson Look Sharp from 1979. Very tight band' well produced  with tons of bass slam.

Fleetwood Mac’s Kiln House is a gem.  The guitar playing is fantastic throughout.  The song writing is very good and ranges from snarling, epic rock jams, slide guitar blues, to the lovely Like Crying.  The classic song ‘Oh Well” in on the album.  Early Fleetwood Mac was a great band.

Can -- Chain Reaction and the rest of their discography

Led Zeppelin -- Kashmir and pretty much an entire Physical Graffiti album

I think songs like Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California are not hidden gems. They're mainstream exposed gems or maybe just stones:)



Not sure if you'd consider some of this "classic rock" but it's all old:

  • REM - Begin the Begin from Lifes Rich Pageant (actually that entire album is great)
  • 10,000 Maniacs - Verdi Cries from In My Tribe (another great record and what a voice)
  • Blue Oyster Cult - Black Blade from Cultisaurus Erectus
  • Bob Segar - You'll Accomp'ny Me or We've Got Tonight (Bob Segar had so many hits but you really don't hear much about him now)
  • Chickenfoot - not classic rock but if you like classic rock, both records are really good
  • Cream - Swlabr from Disraeli Gears
  • Iron Maiden - Murders in the Rue Morgue from Killers (both Killers and Number of the Beast are great back to back albums with different singers)
  • Jeff Beck - Thelonious from Blow by Blow (another great album back to back)
  • Jeff Beck - Star Cycle from There and Back
  • Ozzy Osbourne - S.A.T.O. from Diary of a Madman (that album and Blizzard of Ozz are both great records)
  • Porcupine Tree - Blackest Eyes from In Absentia
  • Queen - Long Away from A Day at the Races
  • The Police - So Lonely from Outlandos d"Amour
  • Thin Lizzy - Cowboy Song (but the best version is when they combine it with The Boys are Back in Town from Live and Dangerous.  Boys are Back in Town is not really a "hidden" gem.  Just a gem.)
  • Van Halen - Ice Cream Man from Van Halen 
  • Anderson, Bruford, Wakemen, and Howe - Brother of Mine



Rickie Lee Jones - Night Train from self-titled album, more of a slow jazz feeling unexpected
Led Zeppelin - Ten Years Gone from Physical Graffiti, such great 12 string work here 
John Mellecamp - Last Chance from Whenever We Wanted, moody with good guitar licks

and shout out for Cowboy Song

Van Halen: Little Guitars, Cathedral, Secrets, Big Bad Bill (all from Diver Down!)

AC/DC - Shake a Leg (Back in Black)

Rush - Lessons (2112); Beneath, Between & Behind (Fly By Night)

Steely Dan - I Got the News (Aja)



I’m totally with you on Holland. Sail On Sailor and California on side one. Side two is a classic. The Trader, Funky Pretty, Leaving This Town, all fantastic. The vinyl version I have is poorly recorded. 

Storyville-A Piece of Your Soul is really good to my ears, Don't Make Me Cry, Cynical, Share That Smile are standouts even thought the entire album is great.

@charliech You got a couple of my favorites...

Everything from Life's Rich Pageant. Truly majestic Rock and Roll.

Cream's Swlabr. Clapton comes up with an A+ level lead guitar hook.

+1 @hifiguy42 Absolutely love "Accidently Like a Martyr". 

​​​@milo0812 "Night Train" is a great song and an equally great demonstration cut for percussion and high frequency response. 

Some really good tracks mentioned here--keep them coming. How about "Easy Wind" off Workingman's Dead or "You Tell Me" off Damn the Torpedos. Both classic albums and both excellent cuts that fly under the radar.

"Overlooked" songs?  Three of my favs --


All of You by Don Felder from the Heavy Metal soundtrack



Go Back Home by Stephen Stills from the Stephen Stills album



Star of the Story by George Benson from the Give Me the Night album


Doobie Brothers - Takin' It To The Streets album:  "For Someone Special"  Great bass lines and sung by the bass player, Tiran Porter, who supposedly never formally learned the bass, just picked it up along the way and played mostly by ear.  Good stuff!

Tommy Bolin - Private Eyes 

the whole album is very solid, but if you are looking for a single track, it has to be Post Toastee. 9 minutes of bliss, we’ll recorded and sounds great on vinyl. 

Elton John- "Tumbleweed Connection"

Ten great classic songs. No throwaways. My favorites are "Where to now St. Peter?" and "Burn Down the Mission". I liked this album so much I sprang for the MFSL Ultradisc, many years ago.

Jethro Tull- "Thick as a Brick"

Just one long song, but definitely worth a listen if you aren't familiar with it.

Rolling stones "Fingerprint File" from the album " It's only Rock'n Roll"

Not a huge Stones fan, but WOW. This song knocked my socks off.

David Bowie: Station to Station.

Phil Manzanera: Diamond Head.  Eno on a rock album 1975

Zappa: numerous

Camel: Moonmadness and Mirage

"Runnin w the Pack" and "Rock Steady" and "Seagull" by Bad Company

"Not Fragile" and "Second Hand" and "Blue Collar" by Bachman Turner Overdrive

I was listening to some Great White yesterday and "Rock ME" and "House of Broken Love" were very well recorded.

I guess with any Zeppelin song you could argue how "hidden" it is, but I think Fool In the Rain from In Through the Out Door is one of their best songs, especially for system demo. I can't vouch for the digital release, but on vinyl, it's a great, lively presentation.

One for The Road   

...played the album until the cart started curling vinyl....

Got the MFL release and treated it better. ;)

@jwei. You nailed it...

A lot of the comments here sort of miss the mark though... naming things that were huge

Whoever mentioned The Kinks gets it but Eagles, Santana...  IDK, maybe it's just the differences in people's ages being revealed...

Free, "Mr Big" off Fire And Water & Aerosmith, "Lord of the Thighs" off Get Your Wings - two great old slinky jams.

If it's SQ in rock you're after I was suppressed by "Melody" by the Stones on Black and Blue. 

I also find Richey Balckmore's guitar work well recorded. He leaves lots of space between his notes which gives you a chance to peek behind the lead.

+1 for the Kinks, 1966-70

+1 for the Band, The Shape I’m In, add Daniel and the Magic Harp

Nilsson, Pandemonium Shadow Show (She Sang Hymns Out of Tune, 1941). Aerial Ballet (Good Old Desk, The Wailing of the Willow). Nilsson Schmilsson (everything, though Jump into the Fire may not be hidden)

Yoko Ono, Run, Run, Run from Feeling the Space, which along with Approximately Infinite Universe and Fly include several hidden gems.

Faces, Debris, Fly in the Ointment, Glad and Sorry

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, some disturbing themes and lyrics, but all three lps include genuine gems



@thecarpathian - totally agree about 'Roland' - brilliant song!! I dunno about 'overlooked' though; seems like it's a lot of folks' favorite on there.. Of course, one could say that whole album was overlooked by too many people... 

Pink Floyd - Terminal Frost (Momentary Lapse of Reason)

Weezer - Island in the Sun

Buffalo Springfield - On My Way Home 

@larsman ,

Very true! I suppose you can't really consider his 'Excitable Boy' album to be a rock classic either. Nonetheless, I'm with you- great song, great album.

I came across a song recently by Electric Light Orchestra. It was in the movie American hustle. The song is called Long Black Road and allegedly it’s from a 2001 album called Zoom but it doesn’t show up on the track listings.  I don’t know whether 2001 qualifies as “classic rock“, but the song definitely has a 1970s feel. On Apple Music it does show up on the Japan release version of this album, but I can’t find it anywhere else. It’s an awesome song. I was shocked that I had never heard it before.