Howard Stern has likely been the most recognized authority on rock music since he emerged as one of the most recognizable voices on the airwaves in the 1980s. Because of his father’s work as a recording engineer, Stern has always loved music in all genres. Over the years, he has seen many performers come and go, and he has never been reluctant to express his honest opinion on some of the most well-known figures in the business.
It doesn’t matter if Stern waxes poetic about legendary rock bands like Black Sabbath or delivers lines like “f*** Elvis,” his commitment to keeping things simple when it comes to music has helped him build a reputation that has attracted millions of viewers to his program for decades.
One of Stern’s most memorable moments on air occurred in January 2022 when he listed what he considered to be the top three albums of all time. It wasn’t really surprising that they were from the classic rock period given their lineage of three legendary performers. These were Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience from 1967, Led Zeppelin II from 1969, and The Beatles’ 1967 psychedelic masterwork Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
After a caller cited Meat Loaf’s 1977 first album Bat Out of Hell as one of the greatest albums ever, Stern made his discoveries. Stern claimed that he was perplexed by this absurd assertion. He said, “The hits were great—not the entire album, You’re saying, what are the … best albums where every song is f****** killer.”
Then Stern firmly listed his choices for the top three albums of all time. He said, “If you were going to pick number one, it would have to be a Beatles album, I’d probably say it’s ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” He added, “The other album that comes to mind, the second Led Zeppelin album [‘Led Zeppelin II’], you know, with ‘Heartbreaker’ into ‘Living Loving Maid’ … if I put that whole album on it’s mesmerising.”
He also chose Jimi Hendrix’s album. He picked, “If I’ve got to pick a third, I’d have to even consider Jimi Hendrix Experience [‘Are You Experienced’] because every song is mind-blowing. People would put Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds on there, but that’s bullshit.”
Stern’s co-host Robin Quivers said, “There are musicians who vow to the Beach Boys, but that’s like a musician thing, not a people listening thing.”
Howard Stern’s three favorite albums:
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced (1967)
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II (1969)