Ranking Aerosmith's discography is more than just a matter of preference. It's a full-scale ideological debate.

Any worst-to-best ranking of the Boston rockers' catalog must deal with two distinct eras: their sleazy '70s work and their slicker, more successful '80s and '90s comeback. But which one was better?

For a certain faction of hardcore fans, the monolithic, drug-fueled riffing of mid-'70s classics like "Toys in the Attic" and "Back in the Saddle" are quintessential Aerosmith — and poppy, song-doctored smashes like "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" and "Angel" are anathema to them.

READ MORE: The Top 20 Aerosmith Songs

Still, there's no denying the magnitude of the band's miraculous late-'80s comeback, buoyed by a remake of "Walk This Way" featuring Run-D.M.C. A slew of multiplatinum albums and hit singles followed, transforming Aerosmith from strung-out dinosaur rockers into lean, mean MTV darlings. Sobriety looked good on them, and if their cleaner, slightly more mature new image turned off some old-school fans, it was a small price to pay for regaining their place atop the hard rock throne.

That doesn't even begin to cover Aerosmith's wilderness period — roughly 1979-84 — when their classic lineup temporarily shifted and their album sales plummeted, but they still managed to crank out a few classic songs as they scraped rock bottom. Nor does it include their bluesy covers album or the stylistic grab bag of original material they released in the 21st century. See where it all lands on our list of Aerosmith Albums Ranked Worst to Best.

Aerosmith Albums Ranked

Any worst-to-best ranking of Aerosmith must deal with two distinct eras: their sleazy '70s work and the slicker, more successful '80s comeback. But which one was better?

Was Aerosmith’s ‘Night in the Ruts’ Doomed to Fail?

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