2. Rush - '2112'
It may not seem like it now, but Rush's 1976 LP 2112 was an extremely brave move for the band. Two years earlier the group got the attention of Mercury Records with their Led Zeppelin-esque song "Working Man," but once they got signed they shifted gears with new drummer Neil Peart into proggier territory. The resulting albums, Fly By Night and Caress of Steel, didn't exactly set the world on fire, and the label wanted more commercial material for their next disc. The band took things in a different direction, risking it all on a grandiose concept record about a dystopian future in the year 2112. Radio didn't touch it, but the album found a rabid fan base that's never let go of the music. Some of the big rock groups of the day now play county fairs, while Rush are still packing arenas worldwide.