It was a pretty good year for classic rock, at least as far as music goes. (Don't even get us started on what an awful year it's been for music-legend deaths.) In fact, 2016 was a better year for albums than the past few combined, as you'll see in the following list of Top 20 Classic Rock Albums of 2016.

David Bowie's death at the start of 2016 was a tough one to get over. But at least he left us with one last classic record, Blackstar, released just a few days before his death in January. Other legends – like the Rolling StonesMetallica, Bob Dylan and Elton John – revisited the past (mostly their own, but in Dylan's case, American music's) with records that sound closer to celebrations than to the mournful tones of their most recent works.

And the Monkees and Green Day returned with records inspired by their best years, tipping to the past with at least one eye on the future. Likewise, Tom Petty's other band, Mudcrutch, released their second album, sounding rootsier and looser than they did on their somewhat stifled debut.

And then there's Paul Simon, who recently put out one of the best albums of his post-Graceland career, a record that sweeps in world music, electronic beats and old-school folk and somehow still sounds totally visionary. It gives us much hope for classic rock's old guard, as well as a jolt of anticipation for what these artists will do next.

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