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Top 5 Classic Rock Albums We’re Thankful for in 2013

We saw a good crop of new Classic Rock albums released in 2013 and with the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, we’ve gone back and picked out the Top Five Albums We’re Thankful for this Year.

1. Black Sabbath: 13

The pioneers of heavy metal released their 19th studio album, 13, on June 11.  The album debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, their first ever album to do so.

The Rick Rubin-produced album includes three of the original members of the band, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne, marking the band's first album with Ozzy at the help since 1978. Long time drummer, Bill Ward, sat this one out over a contract dispute and Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk filled in.

13 includes eight tracks and was critically acclaimed, receiving favorable reviews across the board. 

Shortly after the album’s release, Black Sabbath embarked on their first North American tour in eight years and are currently gearing up for a European tour that begins later this month.

2. Paul McCartney: New

Rock and Roll icon, Sir Paul McCartney released his 16th studio album, New, on October 14.  New debuted at No. 3 on The Billboard 200, selling 67,000 copies in the United States during its first week.

The 71-year-old rocker hasn’t released a solo record of all new material since 2007's Memory Almost Full, and we sure are glad he’s back, as he continues to make chart-topping music. 

McCartney promoted his newest album in interesting ways leading up to its release.  In the weeks before it hit the shelves, he put on a surprise concert in Times Square where he performed four songs from New. Just a day later, he played another surprise show for 400 students at the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts.

3. Elton John: The Diving Board

Remarkably, on September 24, Elton John released his 31st studio album!  The Diving Board displayed John’s tenacity for making music by peaking at No. 4 on The Billboard 200.  It also became the highest charting solo album by John in the U.S. since Blue Moves in 1976.

Elton John begins his supporting world tour on November 14 that will take him across North America, Europe and Russia.  

4. Bon Jovi: What About Now

Bon Jovi topped the charts for the fifth time in their career with What About Now?  Bon Jovi’s most recent album hit the shelves on March 25 and wound up shooting to No. 1 on The Billboard 200, as did their previous two albums.

What About Now? sold well despite mixed reviews.  More importantly, the record accompanied a worldwide tour by Bon Jovi, named after the hit single, “Because We Can.”  The band is currently on the tail end of an unbelievable 102-show tour and are about to wrap things up in Australia in December.

Unfortunately, guitarist Richie Sambora dropped out of the tour back in the spring, citing "personal" issues as the reason behind his departure.

5. David Bowie: The Next Day

British rocker, David Bowie, came out of what seemed to be a retirement when he released his first studio album in ten years. Bowie issued The Next Day on March 8 and it was well received by fans and critics alike. The LP wound up peaking at No. 2 on The Billboard 200.

The album release was an under-the-radar operation; he announced it on his 66th birthday, just two months prior to its release.  Bowie made the first single, “Where Are We Now?” available on iTunes the same day.

The lengths Bowie went to keep its recording a secret adds an aura of mystery to the album.  He made everyone involved sign a non-disclosure agreement, and when someone eventually leaked the location of the recording studio, Bowie packed up and switched venues.

Additionally, a deluxe edition of the LP entitled The Next Day Extra was released earlier this month, featuring even more new music from Bowie.