The Pixies – Doolittle (1989)
At the tail end of the ’80s, an album came out that would continue to influence rock for a couple more decades and counting. The Pixies followed Surfer Rosa with the band’s magnum opus that—although it only reached #98 on the Billboard chart—would eventually get certified Gold in 1995. Doolittle turns on a dime from quiet beautiful melodies to balls-to-the-wall rock with Black Francis screaming his heart out, often within the same song. Gigantic pop hooks delivered with muscular rock chops set the template for the grunge movement that would follow and ensured that Doolittle would sound every bit as good in 2012 as it did in 1989.