"This was definitely a weird year for music."
That's how Guitar World Editor-In-Chief Brad Tolinski started off his best-of list for 2011, and it seems a fitting beginning for this one as well.
It's hard to know how 2011 will be remembered, especially given that we're still more than a week away from the ball dropping in Times Square to usher in 2012.
Maybe it's the prophecies derived from an ancient Mayan calendar or simply a stacked lineup of releases -- Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Lamb of God, Soungarden, ZZ Top and Rush, to name a few -- but it feels like 2012 has been looming over us all year long.
Regardless, this was a good year for music, in spite of what many would have you believe. Before you head into 2012 drooling over one of the most anticipated release years ever, let's look back at the 50 best albums of 2011.