Rock’s 40 Best 12th Albums
Not all acts are lucky enough to release a dozen albums, but the ones who have ended up with a considerable amount of experience under their belt.
For some, the 12th album marked an end of some kind. The Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'n Roll was the last LP to feature guitarist Mick Taylor. Pink Floyd's The Final Cut was the last with founding member Roger Waters before his departure. Bassist and vocalist Howie Epstein appeared on one final Tom Petty album, Echo, before he died in 2003. Judas Priest's Painkiller was the first to include drummer Scott Travis, but also the last to feature singer Rob Halford until 2005. Others, like the Beatles and Warren Zevon, ended their careers with a 12th album – Let It Be and The Wind, respectively.
There were also 12th albums that offered an opportunity to do something new. Marvin Gaye recorded his only soundtrack album, Trouble Man. Paul McCartney teamed up with Michael Jackson for a hit track, "Say Say Say," on Pipes of Peace. Aerosmith returned to Columbia Records for Nine Lives after nearly two decades away from their original label.
Some artists experienced significant commercial comebacks with their 12th albums. AC/DC scored a pair of Top 20 rock-chart hits with "Thunderstruck" and "Are You Ready" from The Razors Edge. Bruce Springsteen landed his first No. 1 album in more than a decade with The Rising.
Here's a look back at Rock's 40 Best 12th albums: