There are good albums. Then there are really good albums. But the really special albums rewrite the rules, spawn countless imitators, and no matter how much you play them, they grow better with each passing year. Each one of these albums fits these criteria. But they have something else in common: Each was crafted using a Gibson guitar or two (or three or four) in the studio.

1. The Beatles, Revolver [Capitol, 1966]
J-160E acoustic, Epiphone Casino (John Lennon), SG Standard, ES-345 (George Harrison)
Even though they ditched the schoolboy suits and stiff ties a few years earlier, this was the album that saw the Beatles finally cut loose, breathlessly covering a vast psychedelic terrain that stretched from "Yellow Submarine" to "Eleanor Rigby." The group spiked its pristine melodies with mind-melting surrealism and ended up with the backwards-guitar classic, "Tomorrow Never Knows."

2. Led Zeppelin, IV [Atlantic, 1971]
Les Paul Standard, Hummingbird (J i m m y  P a g e)
Having mastered the blues-or rather a distinct reinterpretation of the blues-Led Zeppelin came into their own with their untitled fourth album. The tracklist reads like just about every classic rock station's dream playlist: "Stairway To Heaven," "Going to California," "Rock and Roll," etc. Even better, on songs like "When The Levee Breaks" and "Battle of Evermore" Page shredded like a proper Viking. The lesson wasn’t lost on the next
generation of longhairs.

3. The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St. [Virgin, 1972]
Les Paul Standard, ES-335 (Keith Richards) Les Paul Standard, SG (Mick Taylor)
Living as tax exiles in the French Rivera and facing middle age (they were in their late twenties, practical senior citizens at the time) the Stones knocked out this epic double-album that would define the second phase of their career as the greatest, most debauched rock and roll band of our time. With bluesy, stomping jukebox classics like "Rocks Off" and "Tumbling Dice," they left a blueprint for everyone from Aerosmith to Ryan Adams.

4. David Bowie, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars [RCA, 1972]
Les Paul Custom (Mick Ronson)
The album that kicked into orbit glam rock and all its mutations. The concept may have been a bit kooky-Martian rock star comes to our planet, looking for sex and salvation-but Bowie's undeniable choruses paired beautifully with Mick Ronson's balls-out riffs on tracks like "Rock & Roll Suicide," "Starman," and "Moonage Daydream." Duran Duran, Marilyn Manson, Billy Corgan-they were all taking notes.

5. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Exodus [Island, 1977]
Les Paul Special (Bob Marley)
Bob Marley was famously buried with his guitar. Driven out of Jamaica by armed gunmen and fighting the cancer that would eventually do him in, the reggae icon was able to transcend his personal misfortune with the free-floating melodies of his defining work, including "Jamming" and "Natural Mystic."

6. Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols [Virgin, 1977]
Firebird, Les Paul Custom (Steve Jones)

Without Steve Jones' incendiary riffs, this album could have just been written off as a tuneless relic from another era. Yet, his limited musical chops mixed with Johnny Rotten's defiant sneer and the band's snot-nosed humor had a powder-keg effect: "God Save The Queen," "Holidays In The Sun”-people still try, and uniformly fail, to recreate this album's unmitigated energy.

7. The Clash, London Calling [Sony, 1979]
Les Paul, Les Paul Junior (Mick Jones)
Ripping the rules of punk rock to shreds, the Clash let their spirits run free over this incredible opus that touched on ska ("Wrong 'Em Boyo"), stomping rock ("London Calling"), and even a bit of disco ("Lost in the Supermarket"). The unlisted "Train in Vain" proved you could storm the charts without losing your ideals.

8. U2, The Joshua Tree [Island, 1987]
Explorer, Les Paul Standard (The Edge)
By adding lovely digital delay to just about every note, The Edge not only defined his sound on U2's fifth album but made the ultimate roadtrip soundtrack. "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "With or Without You" perfectly capture the sound of the American landscape unraveling in your mind.

9. Guns N' Roses, Appetite For Destruction [Geffen, 1987]
Les Paul Standard, Les Paul Custom (Slash) ES-175 (Izzy Stradlin)
When this album arrived, the Sunset Strip was a cesspool of poodle- haired rockers hoping to go mainstream on Bon Jovi's synth-heavy coattails. Thanks to Axl Rose's feral howls and Slash's breathless dexterity (as exhibited on "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Paradise City"), that all changed real fast. People often mistakenly credit Nirvana for making rock matter again. The Guns had them beat by years.

10. Radiohead, OK Computer [Capitol, 1997]
ES-125, ES-125T (Thom Yorke), Les Paul (Jonny Greenwood), ES-330TD, ES-335, Les Paul (Ed O'Brien)
Thirty years after the Beatles brought the power of production into the light, Radiohead took the same idea and ran with it, producing a towering, intense, and rhapsodic masterpiece. With tunes like “Karma Police” and “Airbag,” this disc captured the growing paranoia of the approaching millennium while simultaneously charging at it all guns blazing. All hail the band that brought experimentation back to the table.