The year 2012 is already shaping up to be a major one as far as new classic rock albums go, with long-in-the-works platters from artists such as Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen lined up for the next 12 months. Throw in several recently-announced discs also garnering their share of hype, and the 10 albums listed below easily add up to one of the strongest beginning-of-the-year album preview lists in recent memory. So, with that in mind, we present to you our list of the best albums expected to drop in 2012:

  • Aerosmith


    It's been a decade since Aerosmith released a proper studio album of original music -- 'Just Push Play' dropped in 2001 -- but fans of the band jonesing for new music don't have much longer to wait. “Next spring, baby. That’s what we want," bassist Tom Hamilton said in a video posted in September. "We’re excited. A lot of people that we know and trust who have come and heard what we’re working on think we’re doing something really cool. So I hope you’ll think the same thing.”

    Christopher Polk, Getty Images
  • Van Halen

    'A Different Kind of Truth,' Feb. 7

    One of the most anticipated albums of 2012 is definitely the new one from Van Halen, which will be the first with singer David Lee Roth since '1984' dropped in, well, 1984. Details on the disc and its accompanying tour are flooding in now - you can check out the new single 'Tattoo,' glance at the album art and full tracklist, get all the tour dates and much more right here.

  • Black Sabbath


    The next 12 months promised to be big ones for Black Sabbath fans, as the British metal legends announced a reunion world tour, which now seems to be in jeopardy due to guitarist Tony Iommi's recently announced cancer battle. The band will join him in England and are apparently still targeting a fall release for the original lineup's first album together in 33 years, with legendary producer Rick Rubin helming the sessions.

    Kevin Winter, Getty Images
  • Kiss

    'Monster,' TBD

    Kiss currently are at a studio called The Nook, in Hollywood, Calif., wrapping up work on their 20th album with producer Greg Collins and are expected to release the disc, 'Monster,' sometime this spring. “It’s awesome," Paul Stanley raves. "By far the best thing we’ve done in I don’t know how long. Have I said that before? Yeah. Was I right? Yeah! I’m right this time again!”

    Kevin Winter, Getty Images
  • Rush

    'Clockwork Angels,' TBD

    Rush recently finished tracking their follow-up to 2007’s ‘Snakes and Arrows' and will return to the studio early this year to mix the album, which is titled 'Clockwork Angels.' The Canadian trio did things a bit backwards for the album -- the disc's first two songs, ‘Caravan’ and ‘BU2B,’ were completed and released well before the rest of the album was even finished. Geddy Lee has said those tracks are a “great indication of where this album’s going."

    Getty Images
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd


    Perhaps Lynyrd Skynyrd have been too busy opening their new Las Vegas restaurant to give an update about the follow-up to their last album, 2009's 'God & Guns.' Skynyrd began recording in November, once again following the band's favorite mantra in the studio: "If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it," explains Johnny Van Zant. Words to live by!

    Geoff Burke, Getty Images
  • Bruce Springsteen


    Not much is known about Bruce Springsteen's next album, except that it's almost done, it's due in 2012 and it will be the first without E Street Band members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Another thing for certain is that it won't be called 'Arcade at Night,' despite a hoax story that did its best to claim otherwise. For the rest of the details, guess we'll just have to wait.

    Vince Bucci, Getty Images
  • Paul McCartney

    'Kisses on the Bottom,' Feb. 7

    Yes, the new Paul McCartney album really will be called 'Kisses on the Bottom.' No, it doesn't mean what you think, either. The disc is due Feb. 7 and will be comprised mostly of standards from Paul’s childhood like ‘It’s Only A Paper Moon ‘ and ‘Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive’, to name a couple. There's also two original McCartney compositions, one of which, ‘My Valentine,’ was falsely rumored to be the disc's title. Yes, we are excited for this album but we do like that name more.

    Hear Music
  • Slash


    Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash released his self-titled first solo album in 2010, and two years later he's at it again. Slash has brought the band that backs him on tour into the studio this time around, and has said that doing so results in “a more unified sound, especially with one vocal(ist) all throughout.” No word yet on when the results could surface.

    Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
  • Ringo Starr

    ‘Ringo 2012,' Jan. 31

    Last but not least, Ringo Starr is set to star as a solo artist once again. A Jan. 31 release date has been set for ‘Ringo 2012′, the 17th solo album by the 71-year-old Beatles legend. The disc will include nine tracks -- seven original Starr compositions, plus a cover of the Buddy Holly classic ‘Think It Over’ and a take on the old standard ‘Rock Island Line.'

    Hip-O Records