Eight epochal and enticing English rock albums from 1969

1969 was an incredible year for music, and particularly for the album format.
Led Zeppelin Performing in Concert
Led Zeppelin Performing in Concert / Jay Dickman/GettyImages
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The end of the 1960s was a tumultuous period around the world, and in terms of music, big changes were also on the horizon. The Beatles were ending their culture-defining run as a group and striking out on solo careers, and heavier rock was on the rise.

By 1969, rock and roll was big business, and after The British Invasion led to UK acts dominating the airwaves in the early-to-mid 1960s on both sides of the Atlantic, rock music across the pond was of huge cultural importance, and the leading rock acts of the day - The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and others all hailed from the United Kingdom (specifically England).

The final year of the 1960s was home to a huge amount of all-time classic albums, but these English rock albums from 1969 have surely stood the test of time, and despite being 55 years old in 2024, they still sound as fresh and inventive as they did a generation ago.

These eight rock albums from English musical artists are among the greatest albums of all time in any genre

8. An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down – Rod Stewart

A fun, rootsy album that indicates the heights Stewart would reach on later classic solo releases, Stewart’s solo debut still delivers an all-time classic in the singer's canon. "Handbags & Gladrags" is an incredibly wistful track with road-weary vocals from Stewart delivering ruminative lyrics as well as a thoughtful arrangement that foregrounds flutes and a soft piano part alongside light brass elements that are all held together by a powerful chorus.

Stewart even dabbles in prog with the side two track "I Wouldn't Ever Change a Thing," which features the inimitable talents of Keith Emerson (of The Nice and Emerson, Lake and Palmer in the future) on organ. The song also, surprisingly, features Stewart's producer Lou Reizman on guest vocals. An underrated and top-tier UK rock album from 1969.