Les Paul - The New Sound (1950)

While electrified blues guitar had been pioneered by Lonnie Johnson, it was California-based Les Paul’s invention of his self-named solid body model that gave rock’n’roll its essential new tool, while his studio experiments brought overdubs, tape delay and other effects. Though built around standards such as Brazil, Caravan, The Man On The Flying Trapeze and By The Light of the Silvery Moon, The New Sound aptly described Paul’s then-startling multi-track pyramids, sneaky electronic tweaks and liquid virtuoso guitar flights. KN

Runners-up: Woody Guthrie Talking Dust Bowl, Charlie Parker Charlie Parker With Strings.