Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Lists: An Analysis

Over the past 20 years, Rolling Stone magazine has published three different versions of a list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The first list came out in 2003, followed by a revised list in 2012, and then a complete overhaul that was just published in September 2020. (You can find the 2020 version HERE.) I looked in vain for an analysis of the three lists online, so I decided to do it myself. The results are below. I have organized all the album lists in chronological order and the artist lists in alphabetical order. If you notice any mistakes, please let me know.

Some initial observations of the changes in the 2020 list:

(1) It looks like the 2020 listers were trying to avoid compilation albums whenever possible, which seems like a good policy, at least for artists who recorded after the mid-1950s. I do think it was a mistake to remove Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, however, which is a foundational document for so many folk, blues and rock styles.

(2) I welcome the inclusion of some prog rock (which Rolling Stone has generally eschewed), particularly Close to the Edge (1972) by Yes. I was also glad to see two new African artists on the list (King Sunny Adé and Fela Kuti) and five new jazz additions (Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Nina Simone, Herbie Hancock, and Alice Coltrane). After mostly ignoring Spanish-language or Latinx music in its previous two lists (with Santana as – I think – the only exception), the 2020 list makes amends by adding Selena, Shakira, Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, and Rosalia. Although the majority of the new additions were recent releases, there were some surprising blasts from the past, including Laura Nyro’s Eli and the 13th Confession (1968) and Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson (1972). For those of us veterans of the rock vs. disco battles of the 1970s, it is nice to see Rolling Stone finally acknowledging the importance of artists like Chic, Rufus, and Donna Summer. And on the other side of that coin, the 2020 list includes several lesser-known punk bands of the late 70s, including The Raincoats, The Slits and X-Ray Spex. Fellow alternative and indie rock/pop fans will appreciate the addition of artists like Arcade Fire, Belle and Sebastian, Neutral Milk Hotel, Bon Iver, Fiona Apple, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Yo La Tengo.

(3) On the omission side, we’ve lost all the Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention albums, which feels like a significant loss. And we lost several important blues artists: Albert King, John Lee Hooker, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Little Walter, Professor Longhair, John Mayall, and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Also dropped were several classic 60’s rock mainstays, including The Mamas and the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Neil Diamond. I miss alternative country guys Gram Parsons and Steve Earle, as well as some R&B stalwarts (Jackie Wilson, Labelle, The O’Jays) and the inimitable War, but it’s difficult to feel bad about the loss of Don Henley or Moby. Although the 2020 list still includes four albums by the Who, I do take personally the omission of my favorite, 1973’s Quadrophenia.

(4) Not This One but That One. In a number of cases, an artist with a single album on the 2012 list is represented by a different single album on the 2020 list:
— Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006) replaced by AM (2013)
— Leonard Cohen: Songs of Love And Hate (1971) replaced by Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
— Manu Chao: Proxima Estacion Esperanza (2001) replaced by Clandestino (1998)
— M.I.A.: Kala (2007) replaced by Arular (2005)
— Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend (2008) replaced by Modern Vampires of the City (2013)

THE NUMBERS

Albums
Albums on all three lists:                                    318
Albums on 2003 and 2012, but not 2020:     145
Albums on 2003 only:                                           29
Albums on 2012 only:                                           17
Albums on 2012 and 2020, but not 2003:        19
Albums on 2003 and 2020, but not 2012:          7
Albums on 2020 only:                                        156

Artists
Artists on all three lists:                                       207
Artists on 2003 and 2012, but not 2020:            41
Artists on 2003 only:                                                2
Artists on 2012 only:                                                3
Artists on 2012 and 2020, but not 2003:              7
Artists on 2003 and 2020, but not 2012:              2
Artists on 2020 only:                                           105

ALBUMS ON 2003, 2012 & 2020 LISTS

  1. Hank Williams – 40 Greatest Hits (rec. 1947-1952, rel. 1978)
  2. Muddy Waters – The Anthology (rec. 1947-1972, rel. 2001)
  3. Sam Cooke – Portrait of a Legend (rec. 1951-1964, rel. 2003)
  4. Ray Charles – The Birth of Soul: The Complete Atlantic Rhythm and Blues Recordings (rec. 1952-1959, rel. 1991)
  5. Elvis Presley – The Sun Sessions (rec. 1954-1955, rel. 1976)
  6. Frank Sinatra – In the Wee Small Hours (1955)
  7. Patsy Cline – The Ultimate Collection (rec. 1955-1961, rel. 2000)
  8. Chuck Berry – The Great Twenty-Eight (rec. 1955-1965, rel. 1982)
  9. Jerry Lee Lewis – All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology (rec. 1955-1985, rel. 1993)
  10. Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley (1956)
  11. Buddy Holly & the Crickets – 20 Golden Greats (rec. 1956-1958, rel. 1978)
  12. James Brown – Star Time (rec. 1956-1984, rel. 1991)
  13. Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard (1957)
  14. Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley (1958)
  15. Various Artists – Phil Spector: Back to Mono (rec. 1958-1969, rel. 1991)
  16. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (1959)
  17. Howlin’ Wolf – Moanin’ in the Moonlight (1959)
  18. Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
  19. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (1960)
  20. Ike and Tina Turner – Proud Mary: The Best of Ike and Tina Turner (rec. 1960-1975, rel. 1991)
  21. Etta James – At Last! (1961)
  22. Ray Charles – Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)
  23. Merle Haggard – Down Every Road (rec. 1962-1994, rel. 1996)
  24. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
  25. James Brown – Live at the Apollo (1963)
  26. Sam Cooke – Live at the Harlem Square Club (rec. 1963, rel. 1985)
  27. Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era (rec. 1963-1968, rel. 1972, 1998)
  28. The Ronettes – Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes (1964)
  29. The Beatles – Meet the Beatles! (1964)
  30. The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
  31. The Temptations – Anthology (rec. 1964-1972, rel. 1973)
  32. Diana Ross and the Supremes – Anthology (rec. 1964-1971, rel. 1974)
  33. Bob Dylan- Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
  34. Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
  35. The Beatles – Help! (1965)
  36. The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)
  37. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (1965)
  38. Otis Redding – Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965)
  39. B.B. King – Live at the Regal (1965)
  40. The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)
  41. The Beach Boys – Today! (1965)
  42. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Going to a Go Go (1965)
  43. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)
  44. The Beatles – Revolver (1966)
  45. Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde (1966)
  46. Otis Redding – Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul (1966)
  47. The Rolling Stones – Aftermath (1966)
  48. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  49. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
  50. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? (1967)
  51. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold as Love (1967)
  52. Love – Forever Changes (1967)
  53. The Doors – The Doors (1967)
  54. Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)
  55. Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding (1967)
  56. Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
  57. Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967)
  58. Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967)
  59. The Who – Sell Out (1967)
  60. Bob Dylan and the Band – The Basement Tapes (rec. 1967-1968, 1975, rel. 1975)
  61. Sly and the Family Stone – Greatest Hits (rec. 1967-1969, rel. 1970)
  62. The Beatles – The Beatles [White Album] (1968)
  63. Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)
  64. The Band – Music From Big Pink (1968)
  65. Big Brother and the Holding Company – Cheap Thrills (1968)
  66. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland (1968)
  67. The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet (1968)
  68. The Zombies – Odessy and Oracle (1968)
  69. Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul (1968)
  70. Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison (1968)
  71. The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)
  72. Dr. John – Gris-Gris (1968)
  73. The Kinks – Something Else by the Kinks (1968)
  74. The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat (1968)
  75. The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)
  76. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin (1969)
  77. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II (1969)
  78. Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed (1969)
  79. The Band – The Band (1969)
  80. The Stooges – The Stooges (1969)
  81. Sly & the Family Stone – Stand! (1969)
  82. Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis (1969)
  83. The Who – Tommy (1969)
  84. The Flying Burrito Bros – The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969)
  85. Elvis Presley – From Elvis in Memphis (1969)
  86. The Meters – Look-Ka Py Py (1969)
  87. Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
  88. The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1969)
  89. Crosby, Stills & Nash – Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
  90. MC5 – Kick Out the Jams (1969)
  91. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)
  92. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground (1969)
  93. John Lennon – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
  94. George Harrison – All Things Must Pass (1970)
  95. Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
  96. Van Morrison – Moondance (1970)
  97. Neil Young – After the Gold Rush (1970)
  98. The Beatles – Let It Be (1970)
  99. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew (1970)
  100. James Taylor – Sweet Baby James (1970)
  101. The Velvet Underground – Loaded (1970)
  102. Derek and the Dominos – Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
  103. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)
  104. Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)
  105. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Déjà Vu (1970)
  106. The Who – Live at Leeds (1970)
  107. The Stooges – Fun House (1970)
  108. Santana – Abraxas (1970)
  109. Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman (1970)
  110. Grateful Dead – American Beauty (1970)
  111. Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead (1970)
  112. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (1971)
  113. Carole King – Tapestry (1971)
  114. Joni Mitchell – Blue (1971)
  115. The Who – Who’s Next (1971)
  116. Allman Brothers Band – At Fillmore East (1971)
  117. Black Sabbath – Master of Reality (1971)
  118. Dolly Parton – Coat of Many Colors (1971)
  119. Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (1971)
  120. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
  121. John Lennon – Imagine (1971)
  122. David Bowie – Hunky Dory (1971)
  123. Sly and the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
  124. Janis Joplin – Pearl (1971)
  125. Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
  126. T. Rex – Electric Warrior (1971)
  127. Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (1971)
  128. John Prine – John Prine (1971)
  129. Al Green – Greatest Hits (rec. 1971-1975, rel. 1975)
  130. Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street (1972)
  131. David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars (1972)
  132. Curtis Mayfield – Superfly (1972)
  133. Neil Young – Harvest (1972)
  134. Lou Reed – Transformer (1972)
  135. Steely Dan – Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)
  136. Todd Rundgren – Something/Anything? (1972)
  137. Stevie Wonder – Talking Book (1972)
  138. Various Artists (incl. Jimmy Cliff) – The Harder They Come: Original Soundtrack (1972)
  139. Stevie Wonder – Music of My Mind (1972)
  140. Al Green – I’m Still in Love with You (1972)
  141. Nick Drake – Pink Moon (1972)
  142. Randy Newman – Sail Away (1972)
  143. Eagles – Eagles (1972)
  144. Elton John – Honky Chateau (1972)
  145. Big Star – #1 Record (1972)
  146. The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers (rec. 1972-1973, rel. 1976)
  147. ABBA – The Definitive Collection (rec. 1972-1982, rel. 2001)
  148. Bob Marley – Legend (rec. 1972-1983, rel. 1984)
  149. Stevie Wonder – Innervisions (1973)
  150. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
  151. Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
  152. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Catch a Fire (1973)
  153. Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent, and the E. Street Shuffle (1973)
  154. Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy (1973)
  155. Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On (1973)
  156. New York Dolls – New York Dolls (1973)
  157. Al Green – Call Me (1973)
  158. Toots and the Maytals – Funky Kingston (1973)
  159. Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure (1973)
  160. Lynyrd Skynyrd – (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘Nérd ‘Skin-‘Nérd) (1973)
  161. Joni Mitchell – Court and Spark (1974)
  162. Big Star – Radio City (1974)
  163. Brian Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets (1974)
  164. Richard and Linda Thompson – I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974)
  165. Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (1975)
  166. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)
  167. Patti Smith – Horses (1975)
  168. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975)
  169. Kiss – Alive! (1975)
  170. Queen – A Night at the Opera (1975)
  171. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
  172. Parliament – The Mothership Connection (1975)
  173. Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night (1975)
  174. Brian Eno – Another Green World (1975)
  175. Earth, Wind & Fire – That’s the Way of the World (1975)
  176. Ramones – Ramones (1976)
  177. The Eagles – Hotel California (1976)
  178. Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
  179. David Bowie – Station to Station (1976)
  180. Aerosmith – Rocks (1976)
  181. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)
  182. Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
  183. Billy Joel – The Stranger (1977)
  184. The Clash – The Clash (1977)
  185. Ramones – Rocket to Russia (1977)
  186. Television – Marquee Moon (1977)
  187. Steely Dan – Aja (1977)
  188. Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True (1977)
  189. Bob Marley & Wailers – Exodus (1977)
  190. Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger (1977)
  191. Various Artists (incl. Bee Gees) – Saturday Night Fever (Original Soundtrack) (1977)
  192. David Bowie – Low (1977)
  193. Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express (1977)
  194. Wire – Pink Flag (1977)
  195. Suicide – Suicide (1977)
  196. Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model (1978)
  197. Blondie – Parallel Lines (1978)
  198. Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
  199. Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove (1978)
  200. The Rolling Stones – Some Girls (1978)
  201. The Cars – The Cars (1978)
  202. Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)
  203. Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)
  204. Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978)
  205. Big Star – Third/Sister Lovers (1978)
  206. Marvin Gaye – Here, My Dear (1978)
  207. Michael Jackson – Off the Wall (1979)
  208. The Clash – London Calling (1979)
  209. Pink Floyd – The Wall (1979)
  210. The B52’s – The B-52’s (1979)
  211. Gang of Four – Entertainment! (1979)
  212. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes (1979)
  213. Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps (1979)
  214. Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady (1979)
  215. AC/DC – Back in Black (1980)
  216. Talking Heads – Remain in Light (1980)
  217. The Pretenders – Pretenders (1980)
  218. Joy Division – Closer (1980)
  219. Prince – Dirty Mind (1980)
  220. X – Los Angeles (1980)
  221. The Clash – Sandanista! (1980)
  222. The Go-Gos – Beauty and the Beat (1981)
  223. Black Flag – Damaged (1981)
  224. Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)
  225. Prince – 1999 (1982)
  226. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska (1982)
  227. R.E.M. – Murmur (1983)
  228. Run-DMC – Run D.M.C. (1983)
  229. The Police- Synchronicity (1983)
  230. Cyndi Lauper – She’s So Unusual (1983)
  231. Madonna – The Immaculate Collection (rec. 1983-1990, rel. 1990)
  232. Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
  233. The Replacements – Let It Be (1984)
  234. Los Lobos – How Will the Wolf Survive? (1984)
  235. Prince – Purple Rain (1984)
  236. Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
  237. Hüsker Dü – New Day Rising (1985)
  238. Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston (1985)
  239. Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms (1985)
  240. Tom Waits – Rain Dogs (1985)
  241. Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
  242. Run DMC – Raising Hell (1986)
  243. Metallica – Master of Puppets (1986)
  244. Peter Gabriel – So (1986)
  245. The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead (1986)
  246. Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill (1986)
  247. U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)
  248. Guns ‘N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (1987)
  249. Prince – Sign o’ the Times (1987)
  250. Michael Jackson – Bad (1987)
  251. Eric B. and Rakim – Paid in Full (1987)
  252. George Michael – Faith (1987)
  253. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
  254. N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton (1988)
  255. Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman (1988)
  256. Pixies – Surfer Rosa (1988)
  257. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation (1988)
  258. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
  259. Pixies – Doolittle (1989)
  260. Bonnie Raitt – Nick of Time (1989)
  261. Madonna – Like a Prayer (1989)
  262. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)
  263. The Cure – Disintegration (1989)
  264. De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)
  265. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
  266. Depeche Mode – Violator (1990)
  267. Sinéad O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)
  268. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
  269. U2 – Achtung Baby (1991)
  270. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory (1991)
  271. Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)
  272. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (1991)
  273. Metallica – Metallica (The Black Album) (1991)
  274. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
  275. Massive Attack – Blue Lines (1991)
  276. R.E.M. – Automatic for the People (1992)
  277. Dr. Dre – The Chronic (1992)
  278. Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine (1992)
  279. Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted (1993)
  280. Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
  281. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
  282. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me (1993)
  283. Nirvana – In Utero (1993)
  284. Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville (1993)
  285. Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die (1994)
  286. Green Day – Dookie (1994)
  287. Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)
  288. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994)
  289. Mary J. Blige – My Life (1994)
  290. Weezer – Weezer (The Blue Album) (1994)
  291. Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)
  292. Nirvana – Unplugged in New York (1994)
  293. TLC – CrazySexyCool (1994)
  294. Nas – Illmatic (1994)
  295. Portishead – Dummy (1994)
  296. Hole – Live Through This (1994)
  297. Björk – Post (1995)
  298. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
  299. Beck – Odelay (1996)
  300. Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt (1996)
  301. Fugees – The Score (1996)
  302. The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death (1997)
  303. Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
  304. Janet Jackson – The Velvet Rope (1997)
  305. Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
  306. Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998)
  307. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
  308. Madonna – Ray of Light (1998)
  309. Eminem – The Slim Shady LP (1999)
  310. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication (1999)
  311. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
  312. D’Angelo- Voodoo (2000)
  313. Outkast – Stankonia (2000)
  314. The Strokes – Is This It? (2001)
  315. Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001)
  316. Bob Dylan – Love and Theft (2001)
  317. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
  318. The White Stripes – Elephant (2003)

ALBUMS ON 2003 and 2012 LISTS, BUT NOT 2020 LIST

  1. Various Artists – Anthology of American Folk Music (rec. 1926-1933, rel. 1952)
  2. John Lee Hooker – The Ultimate Collection (rec. 1948-1990, rel. 1991)
  3. Professor Longhair – New Orleans Piano (rec. 1949, 1953, rel. 1972)
  4. Various Artists – The Sun Records Collection (rec. 1950-1958, rel. 1994)
  5. Little Walter – The Best of Little Walter (rec. 1952-1955, rel. 1958)
  6. The Drifters – Golden Hits (rec. 1954-1964, rel. 1968)
  7. Frank Sinatra – Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956)
  8. Bobby Bland – Two Steps From the Blues (rec. 1956-1960, rel. 1961)
  9. Jackie Wilson – Mr. Excitement! (rec. 1956-1975, rel. 1992)
  10. The Crickets (feat. Buddy Holly) – The “Chirping” Crickets (1957)
  11. Ray Charles – The Genius of Ray Charles (1959)
  12. Muddy Waters – At Newport 1960 (1960)
  13. Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain (1960)
  14. Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf (rec. 1959-1962, rel. 1962)
  15.  Various Artists – The Best of the Girl Groups, Vols. 1 and 2 (rec. 1960-1965, rel. 1990)
  16. Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions – The Anthology (rec. 1961-1977, rel. 1992)
  17. Various Artists – A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (1963)
  18.  The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963)
  19. Stan Getz and João Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto (1964)
  20. Muddy Waters – Folk Singer (1964)
  21. Loretta Lynn – All Time Greatest Hits (rec. 1964-1978, rel. 2002)
  22. The Rolling Stones- Out of Our Heads (1965)
  23. The Who – The Who Sings My Generation (1965)
  24. The Yardbirds – Having a Rave Up With the Yardbirds (1965)
  25. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – The Paul Butterfield Blues Band (1965)
  26. The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones, Now! (1965)
  27. The Mamas and the Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966)
  28. Cream – Fresh Cream (1966)
  29. John Mayall – Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (1966)
  30.  The Mothers of Invention – Freak Out! (1966)
  31. The Yardbirds – Roger the Engineer (1966)
  32. The Who – A Quick One (Happy Jack) (1966)
  33. Simon and Garfunkel – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966)
  34. Albert King – Born Under a Bad Sign (rec. 1966-1967, rel. 1967)
  35. Moby Grape – Moby Grape (1967)
  36. Buffalo Springfield – Buffalo Springfield Again (1967)
  37. The Rolling Stones – Between the Buttons (1967)
  38. The Doors – Strange Days (1967)
  39. The Byrds – Younger Than Yesterday (1967)
  40. Linda Ronstadt – The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt (rec. 1967-1995, rel. 2002)
  41. Otis Redding – The Dock of the Bay (1968)
  42. Cream – Wheels of Fire (1968)
  43. The Byrds – The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968)
  44. Blood, Sweat and Tears – Child Is Father to the Man (1968)
  45. Mothers of Invention – We’re Only in It for the Money (1968)
  46. Simon and Garfunkel – Bookends (1968)
  47. Grateful Dead – Anthem of the Sun (1968)
  48. Neil Diamond – The Neil Diamond Collection (rec. 1968-1972, rel. 1999)
  49. Santana – Santana (1969)
  50. Captain Beefheart – Trout Mask Replica (1969)
  51. Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails (1969)
  52. Grateful Dead – Live/Dead (1969)
  53. Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers (1969)
  54. James Brown – In the Jungle Groove (rec. 1969-1971, rel. 1986)
  55. The Carpenters – Close to You (1970)
  56. MC5 – Back in the USA (1970)
  57. Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection (1970)
  58. Randy Newman – 12 Songs (1970)
  59. Elton John – Greatest Hits (rec. 1970-1974, rel. 1974)
  60. The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)
  61. Alice Cooper – Love It to Death (1971)
  62.  Jethro Tull – Aqualung (1971)
  63. The Kinks – The Kink Kronikles (1972)
  64. The O’Jays – Back Stabbers (1972)
  65. Dr. John – Dr. John’s Gumbo (1972)
  66. Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes (1972)
  67. War- The World Is a Ghetto (1972)
  68. The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You (rec. 1972-1981, rel. 1981)
  69. Sly and the Family Stone – Fresh (1973)
  70. The Wailers – Burnin’ (1973)
  71. Jackson Browne – For Everyman (1973)
  72.  The Stooges – Raw Power (1973)
  73. ZZ Top – Tres Hombres (1973)
  74.  Paul McCartney and Wings – Band on the Run (1973)
  75. Mott the Hoople – Mott (1973)
  76. Lou Reed – Berlin (1973)
  77. The Who – Quadrophenia (1973)
  78. David Bowie – Aladdin Sane (1973)
  79. Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night (1974)
  80. Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel (1974)
  81. Jackson Browne – Late for the Sky (1974)
  82. Barry White – Can’t Get Enough (1974)
  83. Labelle – Nightbirds (1974)
  84. The Meters – Rejuvenation (1974)
  85. Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic (1974)
  86. Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974)
  87. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Natty Dread (1974)
  88. Randy Newman – Good Old Boys (1974)
  89. Elton John- Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)
  90. Roxy Music – Siren (1975)
  91. Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic (1975)
  92. Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac (1975)
  93. Bob Dylan – Desire (1976)
  94. Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle (1976)
  95. Jackson Browne – The Pretender (1976)
  96.  Kiss – Destroyer (1976)
  97. Cheap Trick – In Color (1977)
  98. Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
  99. Eric Clapton – Slowhand (1977)
  100. Talking Heads – Talking Heads: 77 (1977)
  101. Cheap Trick – At Budokan (1978)
  102. Billy Joel – 52nd Street (1978)
  103. The Police – Outlandos D’Amour (1978)
  104. Willie Nelson – Stardust (1978)
  105. The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry (rec. 1978-1979, rel. 1980)
  106. The Police – Regatta de Blanc (1979)
  107. Graham Parker – Squeezing Out Sparks (1979)
  108. AC/DC – Highway to Hell (1979)
  109. Public Image, Ltd. – Metal Box (1979)
  110. Elvis Costello and the Attractions – Armed Forces (1979)
  111. Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980)
  112. U2 – Boy (1980)
  113. Echo and the Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here (1981)
  114. X – Wild Gift (1981)
  115. The Police – Ghost in the Machine (1981)
  116. New Order – Substance (rec. 1981-1987, rel. 1987)
  117. Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Imperial Bedroom (1982)
  118. Richard and Linda Thompson – Shoot Out the Lights (1982)
  119. Eurythmics – Touch (1983)
  120. ZZ Top – Eliminator (1983)
  121. U2 – War (1983)
  122. The Smiths – Louder Than Bombs (rec. 1983-1987, rel. 1987)
  123. The Smiths – The Smiths (1984)
  124. Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense (1984)
  125. The Replacements – Tim (1985)
  126. The Pogues – Rum Sodomy & the Lash (1985)
  127. LL Cool J – Radio (1985)
  128. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy (1985)
  129. The Smiths – Meat Is Murder (1985)
  130. Steve Earle – Guitar Town (1986)
  131. R.E.M. – Document (1987)
  132. Def Leppard – Hysteria (1987)
  133. Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love (1987)
  134. Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking (1988)
  135. EPMD – Strictly Business (1988)
  136. Don Henley – The End of the Innocence (1989)
  137. Pearl Jam – Vitalogy (1994)
  138. Johnny Cash – American Recordings (1994)
  139. Soundgarden – Superunknown (1994)
  140. Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind (1997)
  141. Tom Waits – Mule Variations (1999)
  142. Moby – Play (1999)
  143. U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
  144. Peter Wolf – Sleepless (2002)
  145. Beck – Sea Change (2002)

ALBUMS ON 2003 LIST ONLY

  1. Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 2 (rec. 1936-1937, rel. 1970)
  2. Hank Williams- The Complete Hank Williams (rec. 1946-1952, rel. 1998)
  3. James Brown – 20 All-Time Greatest Hits (rec. 1956-1976, rel. 1991)
  4. Otis Redding – Dreams to Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology (rec. 1960-1967, rel. 1998)
  5. The Beatles – With the Beatles (1963)
  6. Simon and Garfunkel – Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits (rec. 1964-1969, rel. 1972)
  7. The Byrds – The Byrds’ Greatest Hits (rec. 1965-1966, rel. 1967)
  8. The Mamas & the Papas – Greatest Hits (rec. 1966-1968)
  9. Otis Redding – Live in Europe (1967)
  10. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River (1969)
  11. Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left (1969)
  12. David Bowie – ChangesOneBowie (rec. 1969-1976, rel. 1976)
  13. The Beach Boys – Sunflower (1970)
  14. Elton John – Elton John (1970)
  15. Nick Drake – Bryter Layter (1971)
  16. Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)
  17. Bruce Springsteen – Greetings From Asbury Park N.J. (1973)
  18. Roxy Music – Country Life (1974)
  19. Def Leppard – Pyromania (1983)
  20. Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Stage (1987)
  21. Jane’s Addiction – Ritual De Lo Habitual (1990)
  22. No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom (1995)
  23. PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love (1995)
  24. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
  25. Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club (1997)
  26. Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)
  27. Madonna – Music (2000)
  28. No Doubt – Rock Steady (2001)
  29. Eminem – The Eminem Show (2002)

ALBUMS ON 2012 LIST ONLY

1. The Complete Recordings – Robert Johnson (rec. 1936-37, rel. 1990)
2. The Beach Boys – The Smile Sessions (rec. 1965-1971, rel. 2011)
3. Boz Scaggs – Boz Scaggs (1969)
4. B.B. King – Live in Cook County Jail (1971)
5. Leonard Cohen – Songs of Love And Hate (1971)
6. Bonnie Raitt – Give It Up (1972)
7. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle, Vol. 1 (1976)
8. Manu Chao – Proxima Estacion Esperanza (2001)
9. The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001)
10. Radiohead – Amnesiac (2001)
11. Bruce Springsteen – The Rising (2002)
12. My Morning Jacket – Z (2005)
13. Bob Dylan – Modern Times (2006)
14. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)
15. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (2007)
16. M.I.A. – Kala (2007)
17. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008)

ALBUMS ON 2003 AND 2020 LISTS BUT NOT 2012 LIST

  1. Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues Singers (rec. 1936-1937; rel. 1961)
  2. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
  3. Linda Ronstadt – Heart Like a Wheel (1974)
  4. Roxy Music – Avalon (1982)
  5. Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill (1995)
  6. Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded (1987)
  7. Massive Attack – Mezzanine (1998)

ALBUMS ON 2012 AND 2020 LISTS BUT NOT 2003 LIST

  1. Paul Simon – Paul Simon (1972)
  2. Various Artists – The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (1985)
  3. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989)
  4. Radiohead – The Bends (1995)
  5. Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995)
  6. Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out (1997)
  7. Outkast – Aquemini (1998)
  8. The Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs (1999)
  9. PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea (2000)
  10. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001)
  11. Jay-Z – The Black Album (2003)
  12. Green Day – American Idiot (2004)
  13. Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)
  14. Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)
  15. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2006)
  16. Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007)
  17. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (2007)
  18. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (2008)
  19. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

ALBUMS ON 2020 LIST BUT NOT ON 2003 OR 2012 LISTS

  1. Billie Holiday – Lady in Satin (1958)
  2. Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um (1959)
  3. Nina Simone – Wild Is the Wind (1966)
  4. Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
  5. The Beach Boys – Wild Honey (1967)
  6. The Four Tops – Reach Out (1967)
  7. Laura Nyro – Eli & the 13th Confession (1968)
  8. Roberta Flack – First Take (1969)
  9. Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul (1969)
  10. King Sunny Adé – The Best of the Classic Years (rec. 1969-1974, rel. 2003)
  11. Curtis Mayfield – Curtis (1970)
  12. James Brown – Sex Machine (1970)
  13. Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Schmilsson (1971)
  14. Bill Withers – Just As I Am (1971)
  15. Loretta Lynn – Coal Miner’s Daughter (1971)
  16. Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidanada (1971)
  17. Paul and Linda McCartney – Ram (1971)
  18. Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace (1972)
  19. Bill Withers – Still Bill (1972)
  20. Aretha Franklin – Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
  21. Can – Ege Bamyasi (1972)
  22. Yes – Close to the Edge (1972)
  23. Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters (1973)
  24. The Isley Brothers – 3 + 3 (1973)
  25. Sparks – Kimono My House (1974)
  26. Neil Young – On the Beach (1974)
  27. Joni Mitchell – The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)
  28. Fela Kuti and Africa 70 – Expensive Shit (1975)
  29. Donna Summer – Bad Girls (1975)
  30. Joni Mitchell – Hejira (1976)
  31. Blondie – Blondie (1977)
  32. Rufus (ft. Chaka Khan) – Ask Rufus (1977)
  33. X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents (1978)
  34. The Raincoats – The Raincoats (1979)
  35. The Slits – Cut (1979)
  36. Chic – Risqué (1979)
  37. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1980)
  38. Motörhead – Ace of Spades (1980)
  39. Diana Ross – Diana (1980)
  40. David Bowie – Scary Monsters (1980)
  41. Rush – Moving Pictures (1981)
  42. Luther Vandross – Never Too Much (1981)
  43. New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)
  44. Sade – Diamond Life (1984)
  45. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love (1985)
  46. Janet Jackson – Control (1986)
  47. Anita Baker – Rapture (1986)
  48. Pet Shop Boys – Actually (1987)
  49. Lucinda Williams – Lucinda Williams (1988)
  50. Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine (1989)
  51. Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever (1989)
  52. Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (1990)
  53. Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas (1990)
  54. Sonic Youth – Goo (1990)
  55. Boyz II Men – II (1991)
  56. Primal Scream – Screamadelica (1991)
  57. LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out (1991)
  58. De La Soul – De La Soul Is Dead (1991)
  59. Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes (1992)
  60. Sade – Love Deluxe (1992)
  61. Beastie Boys – Check Your Head (1992)
  62. Mary J. Blige – What’s the 411? (1992)
  63. The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde (1992)
  64. The Breeders – Last Splash (1993)
  65. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle (1993)
  66. A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders (1993)
  67. Tom Petty – Wildflowers (1994)
  68. Oasis – Definitely Maybe (1994)
  69. Selena – Amor Prohibido (1994)
  70. Blur – Parklife (1994)
  71. Pavement – Wowee Zowee (1995)
  72. GZA – Liquid Swords (1995)
  73. Mobb Depp – The Infamous (1995)
  74. Pulp – Different Class (1995)
  75. D’Angelo – Brown Sugar (1995)
  76. Aaliyah – One in a Million (1996)
  77. 2Pac – All Eyez on Me (1996)
  78. Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister (1996)
  79. Sheryl Crow – Sheryl Crow (1996)
  80. DJ Shadow – Endtroducing (1996)
  81. Shania Twain – Come on Over (1997)
  82. Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (1997)
  83. Erykah Badu – Baduizm (1997)
  84. Björk – Homogenic (1997)
  85. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly (1997)
  86. Elliott Smith – Either/Or (1997)
  87. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)
  88. Manu Chao – Clandestino (1998)
  89. Juvenile – 400 Degreez (1998)
  90. Shakira – Dónde Están los Ladrones (1998)
  91. Kelis – Kaleidoscope (1999)
  92. The Roots – Things Fall Apart (1999)
  93. Destiny’s Child – The Writing’s on the Wall (1999)
  94. Fiona Apple – When the Pawn… (1999)
  95. Dixie Chicks – Fly (1999)
  96. Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun (2000)
  97. Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele (2000)
  98. Daft Punk – Discovery (2001)
  99. Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator) (2001)
  100. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2002)
  101. OutKast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
  102. Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003)
  103. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell (2003)
  104. Daddy Yankee – Barrio Fino (2004)
  105. Madvillain – Madvillainy (2004)
  106. Brian Wilson – Smile (2004)
  107. Usher – Confessions (2004)
  108. Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)
  109. Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine (2005)
  110. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter II (2005)
  111. Mariah Carey – The Emancipation of Mimi (2005)
  112. M.I.A. – Arular (2005)
  113. John Mayer – Continuum (2006)
  114. My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade (2006)
  115. J Dilla – Donuts (2006)
  116. Kanye West – Graduation (2007)
  117. Britney Spears – Blackout (2007)
  118. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak (2008)
  119. Bon Iver – For Emma Forever Ago (2008)
  120. Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon: The End of the Day (2009)
  121. Maxwell – BLACKsummers’night (2009)
  122. Robyn – Body Talk (2010)
  123. Drake – Take Care (2011)
  124. Adele – 21 (2011)
  125. Lady Gaga – Born This Way (2011)
  126. Eric Church – Chief (2011)
  127. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange (2012)
  128. Kendrick Lamar, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ (2012)
  129. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel… (2012)
  130. Taylor Swift – Red (2012)
  131. Beyoncé – Beyoncé (2013)
  132. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (2013)
  133. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City (2013)
  134. Arctic Monkeys – AM (2013)
  135. Kanye West – Yeezus (2013)
  136. Jason Isbell – Southeastern (2013)
  137. Taylor Swift – 1989 (2014)
  138. D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)
  139. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (2015)
  140. The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness (2015)
  141. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015)
  142. Tame Impala – Currents (2015)
  143. Beyoncé – Lemonade (2016)
  144. Frank Ocean – Blond (2016)
  145. Rihanna – Anti (2016)
  146. Miranda Lambert – The Weight of These Wings (2016)
  147. Solange – A Seat at the Table (2016)
  148. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN (2017)
  149. Lorde – Melodrama (2017)
  150. SZA – Ctrl (2017)
  151. Bad Bunny – X 100pre (2018)
  152. Rosalía – El Mal Querer (2018)
  153. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour (2018)
  154. Harry Styles – Fine Line (2019)
  155. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell (2019)
  156. Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019)

ARTISTS

Artists on 2003 list only

  1. Buena Vista Social Club
  2. No Doubt

Artists on 2012 List only

  1. MGMT
  2. My Morning Jacket
  3. Boz Scaggs

Artists on 2012 and 2020 Lists but not 2003 List

  1. LCD Soundsystem
  2. Lil Wayne
  3. The Magnetic Fields
  4. Raekwon
  5. The Stone Roses
  6. Wilco
  7. Amy Winehouse

Artists on 2003 and 2020 Lists but not 2012 List

1. Boogie Down Productions
2. Alanis Morissette

Artists on 2003 and 2012 Lists but not 2020 List

  1. Alice Cooper
  2. Blood, Sweat and Tears
  3. Bobby Bland
  4. Jackson Browne
  5. Buffalo Springfield
  6. The Carpenters
  7. Def Leppard
  8. Neil Diamond
  9. The Drifters
  10. Steve Earle
  11. Echo and the Bunnymen
  12. EPMD
  13. Eurythmics
  14. Stan Getz and João Gilberto
  15. Don Henley
  16. John Lee Hooker
  17. The Jesus and Mary Chain
  18. Jethro Tull
  19. Albert King
  20. Labelle
  21. Little Walter
  22. The Mamas and the Papas
  23. John Mayall
  24. Paul McCartney and Wings
  25. Moby
  26. Moby Grape
  27. The Mothers of Invention
  28. Mott the Hoople
  29. The O’Jays
  30. Graham Parker
  31. Gram Parsons
  32. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  33. The Pogues
  34. Professor Longhair
  35. Public Image, Ltd.
  36. Soundgarden
  37. War
  38. Barry White
  39. Jackie Wilson
  40. Peter Wolf
  41. The Yardbirds

Artists on 2020 List but not on 2003 or 2013 Lists

  1. 2Pac
  2. 50 Cent
  3. Aaliyah
  4. Adele
  5. Tori Amos
  6. Fiona Apple
  7. Arcade Fire
  8. Erykah Badu
  9. Bad Bunny
  10. Anita Baker
  11. Belle and Sebastian
  12. Beyoncé
  13. Blur
  14. Bon Iver
  15. Boyz II Men
  16. The Breeders
  17. Kate Bush
  18. Can
  19. Mariah Carey
  20. Chic
  21. Eric Church
  22. Cocteau Twins
  23. Alice Coltrane
  24. Sheryl Crow
  25. Kid Cudi
  26. Daddy Yankee
  27. Daft Punk
  28. Lana Del Rey
  29. Destiny’s Child
  30. Dixie Chicks
  31. DJ Shadow
  32. Drake
  33. Billie Eilish
  34. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott
  35. Roberta Flack
  36. The Four Tops
  37. Ghostface Killah
  38. GZA
  39. Jason Isbell
  40. Lady Gaga
  41. Herbie Hancock
  42. Isaac Hayes
  43. Billie Holiday
  44. Ice Cube
  45. The Isley Brothers
  46. J Dilla
  47. Juvenile
  48. Kelis
  49. Alicia Keys
  50. King Sunny Adé
  51. Fela Kuti and Africa 70
  52. Kendrick Lamar
  53. Miranda Lambert
  54. LL Cool J
  55. Lorde
  56. Madvillain
  57. Maxwell
  58. John Mayer
  59. Charles Mingus
  60. Mobb Depp
  61. Motörhead
  62. My Chemical Romance
  63. Kacey Musgraves
  64. Neutral Milk Hotel
  65. Harry Nilsson
  66. Laura Nyro
  67. Frank Ocean
  68. Pet Shop Boys
  69. The Pharcyde
  70. Primal Scream
  71. Pulp
  72. The Raincoats
  73. Rihanna
  74. Robyn
  75. Rosalía
  76. Diana Ross
  77. The Roots
  78. Rufus (ft. Chaka Khan)
  79. Rush
  80. Sade
  81. Selena
  82. Shakira
  83. Nina Simone
  84. The Slits
  85. Elliott Smith
  86. Snoop Doggy Dogg
  87. Solange
  88. Sparks
  89. Britney Spears
  90. Harry Styles
  91. Donna Summer
  92. Taylor Swift
  93. SZA
  94. Tame Impala
  95. Shania Twain
  96. Usher
  97. Luther Vandross
  98. The Weeknd
  99. Gillian Welch
  100. Brian Wilson
  101. Bill Withers
  102. X-Ray Spex
  103. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  104. Yes
  105. Yo La Tengo

 

7 thoughts on “Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Lists: An Analysis

  1. jameswharris

    Thanks a million for all this work. It’s the kind of info I would want to know but never would have done the hard work to figure it out.

    Reply
  2. DTL

    Thanks for your work here. I wanted to point out that there was actually a fourth version of this list (second chronologically), published in book form in 2005. It was essentially the same as the first, except that a few compilation titles were removed, and their votes assigned to other titles by the same artist, which then moved up in the ranking. This allowed eight more titles to sneak in at the bottom. The 2012 list was then basically a revision of what was in the book.
    A single album only appears in this particular version of the list:

    495. New Boots and Panties!! by Ian Dury and the Blockheads

    Here’s a list of what titles were eliminated from the 2003 list, and where the votes were assigned for the book. Otis Redding, The Byrds and Simon and Garfunkel had multiple albums on the list that may have benefitted:

    11. The Sun Sessions, Elvis Presley >> Sunrise
    27. King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 1, Robert Johnson >> The Complete Recordings
    147. Dreams to Remember: The Otis Redding Anthology, Otis Redding >> ??
    178. Greatest Hits, The Byrds >> ??
    225. The Complete Hank Williams, Hank Williams >> 40 Greatest Hits
    293. Greatest Hits, Simon and Garfunkel >> ??
    414. Greatest Hits, James Brown >> Star Time
    420. With the Beatles, The Beatles >> Meet the Beatles
    423. Greatest Hits, The Mamas and the Papas >> If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
    424. King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 2, Robert Johnson >> The Complete Recordings

    Reply

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