For all of its woolly, trapped-in-the-'70s imagery, Southern rock has proven surprisingly resilient. Motorcycle and plane crashes certainly threatened its very existence in that genre-defining decade, but next-gen bands have picked up the mantle in every era that's followed.

So our list of Top 25 Southern Rock Albums includes expected – really, required – albums from godfather groups like the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. But also '80s revivalists Georgia Satellites, who left the door open for the Black Crowes and Gov't Mule in the '90s, then the Drive-By Truckers in the '00s.

Any collection like this also underscores this music's often-overlooked diversity. In many ways, the Allmans' eruptive jazz-rock and Skynyrd's hard-eyed storytelling couldn't be more different. The only thing that really connected them was where they were from. The same went for the Marshall Tucker Band, who brought in Southern folkways like bluegrass and country; Black Oak Arkansas, who dabbled in funk; and ZZ Top, who were always the bluesiest of the bunch – and the hairiest, which was no small feat.

They left a towering and complicated legacy for figures like Jason Isbell to wrestle with, one bound up in magic and loss. When you consider the ancestral roots of this collection of bands, that's entirely fitting. Keep scrolling for our list of Top 25 Southern Rock Albums, which surveys the full range of those voices while touching on a few more along the way.

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