Many albums that turn 20 in 2024 still sound as fresh today as when they were first released two decades ago.

In 2004, rock fans saw some of their favorite bands take significant risks. Frankly, you can’t talk about this year without talking about Green Day. Their seventh studio album, American Idiot, was an absolute triumph, and it helped solidify the band as one of the best bands of their generation. American Idiot was a critical and commercial success. Not only has it sold over 16 million copies worldwide. On top of that, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, with “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” also winning the Grammy for Record of the Year.

The early aughts saw a new resurgence of the “supergroup.” One of the best to emerge during that time was Velvet Revolver. The band was fronted by Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland. Completing the lineup was rhythm guitarist Dave Kushner and notable Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. Their debut album, Contraband, would go double platinum in the United States.

The alt. rock world saw three notable debuts in 2004. Arcade Fire released Funeral, while Franz Ferdinand dropped their self-titled LP. The biggest release, however, came from The Killers. Their debut album, Hot Fuss, was released in June, and it features “Somebody Told Me,” “Smile Like You Mean It,” “All These Things That I’ve Done” and “Mr. Brightside.”

The latter track is so ubiquitous that a Dec. 2023 piece published by The New York Times stated, “If boomers gave the masses ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ millennials can claim ‘Mr. Brightside’ as the generation’s official entry into that canon: a song that gets everybody at the bar shout-singing along.

Keep scrolling to see other albums that turn 20 in 2024!

  • Green Day - ‘American Idiot’

    Green Day’s American Idiot was released on September 21, 2004. The rock opera won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album and Record of the Year for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The album also features “Holiday,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and the title track.

  • U2 - ‘How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb’

    U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb was released on November 22, 2004. The album features “Vertigo,” “City of Blinding Lights,” “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” and “All Because of You.”

  • Arcade Fire - ‘Funeral’

    Arcade Fire’s debut album Funeral was released on September 14, 2004. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2005. It features “Rebellion (Lies)” and “Wake Up.”

  • The Killers - ‘Hot Fuss’

    Hot Fuss, The Killers’ debut album, was released on June 7, 2004. The album featured notable tracks “Somebody Told Me,” “Mr. Brightside,” “Smile Like You Mean It” and “All These Things That I’ve Done.”

  • My Chemical Romance - ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’

    My Chemical Romance’s second studio album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, was released on June 8, 2004. The album features “Helena,” “I’m Not Okay (I Promise),” “Thank You for the Venom” and “The Ghost of You.”

  • Slipknot - ‘Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)’

    Slipknot’s third studio album, Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses), was released on May 25, 2004. The album features “Duality,” “Vermillion,” “The Nameless” and “Before I Forget.”

  • Franz Ferdinand - ‘Franz Ferdinand’

    Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut was released on February 9, 2004. The album features “Darts of Pleasure,” The Dark of the Matinee,” “This Fire” and “Take Me Out.”

  • Brian Wilson - ‘Smile’

    Brian Wilson’s fifth studio album, Brian Wilson Presents Smile, was released on September 28, 2004. The album found Wilson resisting the abandoned 1967 Beach Boys album Smile.

  • Aerosmith - ‘Honkin’ on Bobo’

    Aerosmith’s Honkin’ on Bobo was released on March 30, 2004. The album is mostly blues covers and one original song, “The Grind.”

  • Velvet Revolver - ‘Contraband’

    Contraband was the debut album of supergroup Velvet Revolver. Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland fronted the group. It also featured Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, along with rhythm guitarist Dave Kushner.

  • Flogging Molly - ‘Within a Mile of Home’

    Within a Mile of Home is Flogging Molly’s third studio album. Released on September 14, 2004, the album features “Screaming at the Wailing Wall,” “Tobacco Island,” “Whistles the Wind” and “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

  • Linkin Park and Jay-Z - ‘Collision Course’

    Collision Course is an EP by Linkin Park and Jay-Z. The album features various mashups of Linkin Park and Jay-Z songs, notably “Numb/Encore.”

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