Category Archives: Lists

The Best of 2020: Films, TV, Music & Books

I’ve published the year-end meta lists for movies, TV, books and music. Here are the links:

Best Films of 2020
Best TV Shows of 2020
Best Music of 2020
Best Books of 2020

If you’re interested in my personal favorites from the year, I’ve set them out below. As you can see, I don’t normally focus on the most recent releases, but tend to watch, read, and listen to items from various time periods.

Favorite films watched in 2020:

Rated 10/10
The Life of Oharu (Japan, 1954) Dir: Kenji Mizoguchi
Cleo from 5 to 7 (France, 1962) Dir: Agnes Varda
Night of the Living Dead (US, 1968) Dir: George Romero
Songs from the Second Floor (Sweden, 2000) Dir: Roy Andersson
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (US, 2020) Dir: Charlie Kaufman

Rated 9/10
Au hasard Balthazar (France, 1966) Dir: Robert Bresson
Z (France, 1969) Dir: Costa-Gavras
W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (Yugoslavia, 1971) Dir: Dusan Makavejev
The Passenger (Italy/France, 1975) Dir: Michelangelo Antonioni
Stalker (USSR, 1979) Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky
Paris, Texas (Germany/US, 1984) Dir: Wim Wenders
Come and See (USSR, 1985) Dir: Elem Klimov
Uncut Gems (US, 2019) Dir: Joshua & Ben Safdie
American Factory (US, 2019) Dir: Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar

Favorite books read in 2020:

The Faerie Queen (UK, 1590, 1596). By Edmund Spenser
King Lear (UK, 1605). By William Shakespeare
Tartuffe (France, 1664). By Moliere
Paradise Lost (UK, 1667). By John Milton
Two Treatises of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration (UK, 1669). By John Locke
The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Japan, 1702). By Matsuo Basho
The Genius of the Later English Theater (UK, 1962). Edited by Sylvan Barnet
A Thousand Acres (US, 1991). By Jane Smiley.
Time’s Arrow (UK, 1991). By Martin Amis
Jazz (US, 1992). By Toni Morrison
Operation Shylock (US, 1993). By Philip Roth

Favorite TV shows watched in 2020:

The Queen’s Gambit
Unorthodox
Shtisel
Atypical
Call My Agent
Lovesick


Albums listened to most frequently in 2020

Father John Misty Pure Comedy (2017)
Bob DylanNo Direction Home: Bootleg Series Vol. 7
WaxahatcheeOut in the Storm (2017)
Charlie Musselwhite Sanctuary (2004)
Blind Lemon Jefferson Blind Lemon Jefferson (1925-1929)
David Bowie The Singles 1969-1993
PJ HarveyLet England Shake (2011)
St. Vincent Masseduction (2017)
Big Thief U.F.O.F. (2019)
KhruangbinCon Todo El Mundo (2018)
Steely DanCan’t Buy A Thrill (1972)
T-Bone WalkerThe Complete Imperial Recordings (1950-1954)
The New PornographersTwin Cinema (2005)
Brittany Howard Jaime (2019)
John Dowland Farewell, Unkind – Songs and Dances (2007) (Joel Cohen & Boston Camerata)
Count BasieComplete Decca Recordings (1937-1939)

Dear Rolling Stone: Some Suggestions for Your Next List

Rolling Stone magazine has published three different versions of its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list: in 2003, 2012, and 2020. There are a total of 691 albums on the combined lists and quite a few of them are on my personal list of favorite albums. But I found 126 albums on my list that were not on any of the Rolling Stone lists – many of them from artists who are not on any of the lists – that I think merit consideration for the next list. (If you want to see the full list of my five-star albums (including classical music), go HERE.)

NOTE 1: This is not a meta-list: these albums don’t represent anything but my personal opinions.

NOTE 2: If the artists on my list is on one or more of the Rolling Stone lists, but with a different album (or albums), I have placed an asterisk next to the selection. This means that if there is no asterisk, none of the three Rolling Stone lists has any albums by the artist.

  1. Various Artists – Ken Burns Jazz (rec. 1917-1995)
  2. Bessie Smith – The Collection (rec. 1923-1933)
  3. Louis Armstrong – The Complete Hot Fives and Hot Sevens (rec. 1924-1929)
  4. Lonnie Johnson – Steppin’ on the Blues (rec. 1925-1932)
  5. Jelly Roll Morton – Birth of the Hot (rec. 1926-1927)
  6. Blind Blake – Ragtime Guitar’s Foremost Fingerpicker (rec. 1926-1930)
  7. Fats Waller – Piano Solos: Turn on the Heat (rec. 1927-1941)
  8. Various Artists – An Anthology of Big Band Swing (rec. 1930-1955)
  9. Art Tatum – Piano Starts Here (rec. 1933, 1949)
  10. Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli – The Quintessential Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli: Le Quintette du Hot Club de France (rec. 1934-1940)
  11. Duke Ellington – Never No Lament: The Blanton-Webster Band (rec. 1940-1942)
  12. Charlie Parker – The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes (rec. 1944-1948)
  13. Charlie Parker – Yardbird Suite: The Ultimate Collection (rec. 1944-1953)
  14. Miles Davis – Birth of the Cool (rec. 1949-1950)*
  15. Bud Powell – The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 1 (rec. 1949-1951)
  16. T-Bone Walker – The Complete Imperial Recordings (rec. 1950-1954)
  17. Elmore James – The Sky Is Crying: The History of Elmore James (rec. 1951-1961)
  18. Art Tatum – The Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces (rec. 1953-1956)
  19. Jimmy Reed – Big Boss Blues (rec. 1953-1961)
  20. Sarah Vaughan – Sarah Vaughan (with Clifford Brown) (1954)
  21. Various Artists – Atlantic & Atco Remasters Series: Sampler One (rec. 1954-1958)
  22. Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus (1956)
  23. Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners (1956)
  24. Nat “King” Cole – After Midnight: The Complete Session (1956)
  25. Otis Rush – The Essential Otis Rush: The Classic Cobra Recordings (rec. 1956-1958)
  26. Original Broadway Cast – West Side Story (1957)
  27. Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (rec. 1957, rel. 2005)
  28. The Everly Brothers – Cadence Classics: Their 20 Greatest Hits (rec. 1957-1960)
  29. Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else (1958)
  30. Champion Jack Dupree – Blues From the Gutter (1958)
  31. Stan Getz & J.J. Johnson – Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson at The Opera House (1958)
  32. The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out (1959)
  33. Miles Davis – Porgy and Bess (1959)*
  34. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – The Ultimate Collection (rec. 1959-1972)*
  35. Art Farmer & Benny Golson – Meet the Jazztet (1960)
  36. Wes Montgomery – The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery (1960)
  37. Hank Mobley – Soul Station (1960)
  38. Freddie King – Hide Away: The Best of Freddy King (rec. 1960-1966)
  39. Etta James – The Sweetest Peaches: The Chess Years, Part 1 (rec. 1960-1966)*
  40. Bill Evans – Sunday at the Village Vanguard (1961)
  41. Bill Evans – Waltz for Debby (1961)
  42. John Coltrane – My Favorite Things (1961)*
  43. Dexter Gordon – Go (1962)
  44. Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder (1964)
  45. Joe Henderson – Inner Urge (1965)
  46. Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil (1965)
  47. Sun Ra – The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra (1965)
  48. The Beatles – Past Masters: Vol. 2 (rec. 1965-1970)*
  49. Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Live 1966 – The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert (rec. 1966, rel. 1998)*
  50. Larry Young – Unity (1966)
  51. Various Artists – Chicago/The Blues/Today! (1966)
  52. Albert King – King of the Blues Guitar (rec. 1966-1968)*
  53. Jefferson Airplane – The Worst of Jefferson Airplane (rec. 1966-1970)*
  54. Janis Joplin – Greatest Hits (rec. 1966-1970)*
  55. The Velvet Underground – Peel Slowly and See (rec. 1966-1970)*
  56. Aretha Franklin – The Very Best of Aretha Franklin: The ’60s (rec. 1967-1970)*
  57. Various Artists – Tropicália: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound (rec. 1968-1970)
  58. Hound Dog Taylor – Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers (1971)
  59. Dave Holland – Conference of the Birds (1973)
  60. Yes – Yessongs (1973)*
  61. Yes – Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973)*
  62. Joe Pass – Virtuoso (1974)
  63. Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir – Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares (1975)
  64. Renaissance – Live at Carnegie Hall (1976)
  65. Albert Collins – Ice Pickin’ (1978)
  66. The Roches – The Roches (1979)
  67. Talking Heads – Fear of Music (1979)*
  68. Dire Straits – Making Movies (1980)*
  69. The Roches – Keep On Doing (1982)
  70. Paul Simon – Hearts and Bones (1982)*
  71. Orchestra Baobab – Pirates Choice (1982)
  72. Elvis Costello – King of America (1986)*
  73. Alison Krauss – Now That I’ve Found You (rec. 1987-1994)
  74. k.d. lang – Shadowland (1988)
  75. The Sundays – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (1990)
  76. They Might Be Giants – Flood (1990)
  77. World Party – Goodbye Jumbo (1990)
  78. Rosanne Cash – Interiors (1990)
  79. Van Morrison – Enlightenment (1990)*
  80. Throwing Muses – The Real Ramona (1991)
  81. R.E.M. – Out of Time (1991)*
  82. Master Musicians of Jajouka – Apocalypse Across the Sky (1992)
  83. Aimee Mann – Whatever (1993)
  84. Letters to Cleo – Aurora Gory Alice (1994)
  85. Various Artists – Party Girl Soundtrack (1995)
  86. Garbage – Garbage (1995)
  87. Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball (1995)
  88. Aimee Mann – I’m With Stupid (1995)
  89. Sarah McLachlan – Surfacing (1997)
  90. The Sundays – Static & Silence (1997)
  91. John Scofield – A Go Go (1998)
  92. Garbage – Version 2.0 (1998)
  93. Jim Hall & Pat Metheny – Jim Hall & Pat Metheny (1999)
  94. Wilco – Summerteeth (1999)*
  95. Greg Osby – Invisible Hand (2000)
  96. Shelby Lynne – I Am Shelby Lynne (2000)
  97. Mariza – Fado em Mim (2000)
  98. Buddy Guy – Sweet Tea (2001)
  99. Macy Gray – The Id (2001)
  100. Jason Moran – Black Stars (2001)
  101. Sleater-Kinney – One Beat (2002)*
  102. The New Pornographers – Electric Version (2003)
  103. Petra Haden – Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (2005)
  104. Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (2005)
  105. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America (2006)
  106. Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country (2006)
  107. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (2007)*
  108. The New Pornographers – Challengers (2007)
  109. Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová – Once: Music From the Motion Picture (2007)
  110. PJ Harvey – White Chalk (2007)*
  111. Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster… (2008)
  112. Tune-Yards – Bird-Brains (2009)
  113. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (2010)*
  114. Superchunk – Majesty Shredding (2010)
  115. Dengue Fever – Cannibal Courtship (2011)
  116. Tom Waits – Bad As Me (2011)*
  117. Yuck – Yuck (2011)
  118. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead (2011)
  119. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (2011)*
  120. Grimes – Visions (2012)
  121. The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers (2012)
  122. Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse (2013)
  123. Alvvays – Alvvays (2014)
  124. Angel Olsen – My Woman (2016)
  125. Alvvays – Antisocialites (2017)
  126. Angélique Kidjo – Remain in Light (2018)

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

 

Listening to Black Voices: The African-American Artists List

One of the downsides of meta-lists is that they tend to be conservative. To a certain extent, they confirm the conventional wisdom and perpetuate the status quo. “Best of” meta-lists, which combine the results of multiple lists from different sources, focus on the consensus: what most people can agree on, not the controversial, the outliers, those that push the envelope.  In the case of the lists of best artists and best artworks, the meta-lists tend to confirm the stereotype that nearly all the great artists were male and white.

But these lists don’t tell the whole story.  Great artists come from all backgrounds, ethnicities and genders.  And every artist tells a different story, presents an individual viewpoint, even as they (as all artists) absorb or react to their culture, environment and historical context.  By ignoring these voices, the standard “best of” lists tend to marginalize the marginalized, and oppress the oppressed.

I recently created a new meta-list of the best African-American artists: Best African-American Artists of All Time.  The 23 artists on at least three of the original source lists are featured, along with images of their work.  These men and women range throughout the entire history of the United States – the earliest was born in the 1760s and the youngest was born in 1977. They provide an important counterbalance to the narratives and visual styles of white artists.  You may recognize some of the names on the list, but some of them may be new to you.  Most of them were new to me.  In order to make a better world, we need to listen to each other’s voices, as expressed in words, music, and, here, in the visual arts.

If you want to go even deeper into the story of African-American art, check out these other names of artists who were listed on two of the original source lists:
– Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968)
– Sargent Claude Johnson (1888-1967)
– Beauford Delaney (1901- 1979)
– Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998)
– Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)
– Roy DeCarava (1919-2009)
– Betye Saar (1926- )
– Bob Thompson (1937-1966)
– Martin Puryear (1941- )
– Howardena Pindell (1943- )
– Barkley Hendricks (1945-2017)
– Glenn Ligon (1960- )

More Music of the Decade: Jazz, World & Classical

I’ve gone through the “Best Music – Year by Year” meta-lists from 2010-2019 and separated out the best in jazz, world music, and classical.  You can add these to the meta-lists of the best music (albums), best songs, best books, and best films of the 2010s decade.

Here are the links:

Best Jazz Albums of the 2010s
Best World Music of the 2010s
Best Classical Music of the 2010s

 

 

The Best of 2019: Books, Music, Movies & TV

Every year in December, various publications and websites announce their best of the year lists in various categories, and every December I collect those lists and combine them into meta-lists.  Usually I make lists of best books, movies and music (albums), but this year I added TV shows, in acknowledgement that we are in a period of unprecedented quality in television.  Here are the meta-lists for 2019:

Best Films of 2019
Best Books of 2019
Best Music of 2019
Best TV Shows of 2019

The Art of the Now: A Contemporary Art Meta-List


All Art Has Been Contemporary, Maurizio Nannucci (1999).

As the above work of contemporary art makes clear, the term “contemporary art” is problematic.  “Contemporary” doesn’t refer to a specific method, technique, movement, style or even sensibility. It’s about time – and nothing else. Despite the term’s limitations, when I looked for lists of the best contemporary art, I found a general consensus that the term applied to a period of time beginning in the 1960s or 1970s and continuing to the present day.  Many art historians, critics and others agree that Contemporary Art is what followed Modern Art. While there is  significant disagreement about when the Modern Art period ended, just about everyone agrees that it did end some time ago.

Here’s the new meta-list:
Best Contemporary Art – A Chronological List

In looking at the works on the meta-list (and those that didn’t make the cut), I can make several general observations about contemporary art. Here are 10 takeaways:

(1) Many contemporary artists are interested in the process of making, displaying and acquiring works of art as a subject in itself.  For example, when Damien Hirst priced For the Love of God – a diamond-encrusted skull – at 50 million British pounds in 2007, his marketing strategy was part of the conceptual piece.  Other artists have eschewed or mocked the traditional notion of art museums.
(2) While some contemporary artists continue to create art in traditional forms such as painting (Gerhard Richter, Cy Twombly, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Alice Neel, Ellsworth Kelly) and sculpture (Richard Serra, Duane Hanson, Anish Kapoor), many are drawn to other means of expression. One path leads to technology: films and videos (Francis Alÿs, William Kentridge, Matthew Barney), electronics (Jenny Holzer), multimedia. Another path leads to ephemeral or temporary art: installations (Olafur Eliasson, Yayoi Kusama, Christo), performances (Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramović, Pussy Riot), and street art (Keith Haring, Banksy).
(3) Commodification of art is a concern for many artists. Many artists produce replicas, duplicates or variations of earlier work.  (This artistic practice has a long history, of course.)  The artists may produce multiple copies of identical or similar works (see Andy Warhol’s Mao or Shepard Fairey’s HOPE poster), or they may take a theme and produce variations on it (see Donald Judd’s Stacks, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Rooms, Sigmar Polke’s Watchtower paintings, Louise Bourgeois’ Cells).  This is particularly common with photography; many photographers go from series to series during their careers (see Sally Mann’s Immediate Family; Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Lightning Fields; Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills).
(4) As with the modernists who preceded them, many contemporary artists love to play with the notion of “what is art?” and enjoy provoking the question, “Is this art?” from the viewer (see Damien Hirst’s Natural History series, or Jenny Holzer’s Truisms).  Others appear to be interested in the shock value of their art.
(5) Many contemporary artists encourage viewers to take part in, become part of or otherwise actively interact with the artwork (see Yayoi Kusama’s Obliteration Room, Chen Zhen’s 50 Strokes to Each or Marina Abramović’s The Artist Is Present).
(6) There seems to be a dichotomy between artists who love to explain the meanings of their works – who use texts, interviews and other means to discuss the works – and artists who refuse to attribute any deeper meanings to the works they create.  In a few cases (Jeff Koons comes to mind), some critics feel that the artwork does not live up to the deep meanings ascribed to it by the artist.
(7) Bigger is better.  Many contemporary artists create works that are very large in size or scope (Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty; Jeff Koons’ Puppy, James Turrell’s Roden Crater; Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field), or that include many hundreds or thousands of elements (see Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds; Marta Minujín’s Parthenon of Books; Joseph Beuys’ 7,000 Oaks; Antony Gormley’s Field series).
(8) Art as a forum for personal expression – particularly personal autobiography – is a theme of much contemporary art (see Edward Kienholz’s The Birthday, Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead and the work of Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin).
(9) As more women and people of color have been able to overcome barriers to have their artistic voices heard, they raise difficult issues of race and gender in their work (see Judy Chicago, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kehinde Wiley).
(10) Postmodernism is a theoretical underpinning to much contemporary art, leading many artists to engage in a dialogue with (or repudiation of) the art of the past (see Kehinde Wiley’s Napoleon Leading His Troops Across the Alps, Yasumasa Morimura’s Portrait (Fugato), Vik Muniz’s Pictures of Garbage). Postmodern ideas also underlie the practice of appropriation art, in which artists incorporate or repurpose objects or images produced by others in their work – either untouched or manipulated in some way (see Andy Warhol’s Mao silkscreens, Thomas Ruff’s jpeg series, Shepard Fairey’s HOPE poster, Joseph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs).

For more on contemporary art, check out this list:
Best Contemporary Artists and their Work 

 

See It To Believe It: The Updated Art Lists

I found a bunch of new lists of best works of visual art and decided to add them to the meta-list.  Now I have over 30 source lists gathered from books and various websites. This particular meta-list is in two versions – one version (in two parts) is organized by rank and contains every work of art on four or more of the original source lists.  To look at this list, click on the links below:
Best Works of Art of All Time – Ranked, Part 1 (works of art on 6 or more lists)
Best Works of Art of All Time – Ranked, Part 2 (works on 4 or 5 lists)

The second (and much larger) version of the meta-list is organized chronologically and includes every work of art on at least two of the original 30+ source lists.  This meta-list (which I call Art History 101) is in seven parts:
Part IA (Prehistoric Era – 399 CE)
Part IB (400-1399 CE)
Part IIA (1400-1499)
Part IIB (1500-1599)
Part III (1600-1799)
Part IV (1800-1899)
Part V (1900-Present)

Please note that the artworks on this particular meta-list are primarily paintings and sculptures, with a few pieces of decorative art.  For other forms of visual art – including architecture, photography, film, and television – I have compiled separate meta-lists.

To keep with the list theme, I’ve made some lists about the updated visual arts lists, which follow below. First, the updated meta-list has led to changes in the rankings throughout the list and the top 10 has been rearranged considerably:

The New Top 10: Artworks on the Most Lists
1. Leonardo da Vinci: Mona Lisa (1503-1505)
2. Michelangelo: Frescoes, Sistine Chapel Ceiling (1508-1512)
3. Diego VelázquezLas Meninas (1656)
4. Pablo Picasso: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907)
5. Pablo Picasso: Guernica (1937)
6. Michelangelo: David (1501-1504)
7. Vincent Van Gogh: The Starry Night (1889)
8. Sandro Botticelli: The Birth of Venus (1486)
9. Francisco Goya: The Third of May, 1808 (1814)
10. Edward Munch: The Scream (1893)

There are 25 new works of art on the meta-list as the result of this latest update, and six new artists:

The New Kids on the Block, Part 1: The Artworks

  1. Unknown Artists: Great Sphinx of Giza (Egypt, c. 2530 BCE)
  2. Unknown Artist: Lyre with Bull’s Head (Mesopotamia/Iraq, c. 2550-2450)
  3. Gislebertus: Relief Sculptures, Saint-Lazare Cathedral (France, 10th-11th Century)
  4. Lorenzo Ghiberti: The Baptism of Christ (Italy, c. 1423-1427)
  5. Albrecht Altdorfer: George and the Dragon (Germany, 1510)
  6. Giorgione and Titian: Sleeping Venus (Italy, 1510) 
  7. Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Harvesters (The Netherlands, 1565)
  8. Nicolas Poussin: Et in Arcadia ego (France, c. 1638-1640)
  9. Ogata Korin: Flowering Irises (Japan, c. 1710)
  10. Joshua Reynolds: Self-Portrait (Great Britain, c. 1748)
  11. Jacques-Louis DavidThe Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons (France, 1789)
  12. Antonio Canova: Perseus Triumphant (Italy, 1804-1806)
  13. John Constable: Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows (UK, 1831)
  14. Édouard ManetThe Execution of Emperor Maximilian (France, 1867)
  15. Vincent van Gogh: Vincent’s Chair (The Netherlands/France, 1888)
  16. Vincent Van Gogh: Starry Night over the Rhône (The Netherlands/France, 1888) 
  17. Paul Gauguin: Te Arii Vahine (The King’s Wife) (France/French Polynesia, 1896)
  18. Paul Cézanne: Still Life with Apples and Oranges (France, c. 1895-1900)
  19. Henri Matisse: The Conversation (France, 1909)
  20. Umberto Boccioni: The City Rises (Italy, 1910)
  21. Rene Magritte: Le Faux Joan Miróir (The False Mirror) (Belgium, 1928)
  22. Diego Rivera: Man, Controller of the Universe (Mexico, 1934)
  23. Jackson Pollock: Number 5, 1948 (US, 1948)
  24. Damien HirstThe Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (UK, 1991)
  25. Louise Bourgeois: Maman (France/US, 1999)

New Kids on the Block, Part 2: New Artists
1. Gislebertus (France, 12th Century)
2. Ogata Korin (Japan, 1658-1716)
3. Joshua Reynolds (Great Britain, 1723-1792)
4. Diego Rivera (Mexico, 1886-1957)
5. Louise Bourgeois (France, 1911-2010)
6. Damien Hirst (UK: England, 1965- )

And, finally, here is a list of the artists with the largest number of artworks on the entire meta-list:

12 Works of Art on the Meta-List
Pieter Bruegel the Elder (The Netherlands, c. 1525/1530-1569)
Rembrandt (The Netherlands, 1606-1669)

11 Works
Titian (Italy, 1488-1576)

10 Works 
Francisco Goya (Spain, 1746-1828)

9 Works      
Vincent Van Gogh (The Netherlands, 1853-1890)

8 Works
Leonardo da Vinci (Italy, 1452-1519)
Michelangelo (Italy, 1475-1564)

7 Works
Piero della Francesca (Italy, 1416-1492)
Albrecht Dürer (Germany, 1471-1528)
Raphael (Italy, 1483-1520)
El Greco (Greece, 1541-1614)
Caravaggio (Italy, 1571-1610)
Peter Paul Rubens (Flanders/Belgium, 1577-1640)
Claude Monet (France, 1840-1926)

6 Works 
Andrea Mantegna (Italy, 1431-1506)
Diego Velázquez (Spain, 1599-1660)
J.M.W. Turner (UK, 1775-1851)
Édouard Manet (France, 1832-1883)
Pablo Picasso (Spain, 1881-1973)
Henri Matisse (France, 1869-1954)
Jackson Pollock (US, 1912-1956)

Story of My Life: Introducing the Best Memoirs Lists

The New York Times has just published a list of the best 50 memoirs of the past 50 years, and this inspired me to make a meta-list of the best memoirs and autobiographies of all time.  I started with the Times list, then I found about a dozen additional lists of best memoirs/autobiographies on the Internet.  I combined all the lists into a single meta-list.  You can look at the list in rank order (that is, with the books on the most lists at the top) or chronological order.

Here are the lists:
Best Memoirs and Autobiographies of All Time – Ranked
Best Memoirs and Autobiographies of All Time – Chronological

What’s the difference between an autobiography and a memoir?  Here’s how I understand it: an autobiography usually tells the story of a significant portion of the author’s life.  A memoir can tell the story of one incident, a series of events, or a period in a person’s life.  These categories overlap quite a bit.  I think every autobiography is a memoir, but not every memoir is an autobiography.

As you can see from the meta-list, many of the memoirs are quite recent and there are very few from before the 20th Century.  I was particularly disappointed to see that Augustine’s Confessions (c. 400 CE) and Rousseau’s Confessions (1782, 1789) didn’t make the list.  I would also have loved to have seen more books from non-English speaking countries.  (There are a few, but they are mostly older: Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa, and Elie Weisel’s Night, for example.)

Cheer Up – The Blues Lists Are Here!

I’ve updated my lists of best blues albums – adding a number of new lists, revising the formatting and creating two separate lists: one organized by rank (that is, with the albums on the most lists at the top) and one in chronological order.

Here are the updated lists:
Best Blues Albums of All Time – Ranked
Best Blues Albums of All Time – Chronological

The challenge of making a list of best blues albums is that so many of the albums are compilations and so many of the compilations have duplicate material.  As an example, take Sonny Boy Williamson (II), who has five albums on the list:
1. King Biscuit Time (rec. 1951-1965) (on 3 lists)
2. Down and Out Blues (rec. 1955-1958) (on 3 lists)
3. His Best (Chess, rec. 1955-1964) (on 3 lists)
4. The Essential Sonny Boy Williamson (rec. 1955-1963) (on 2 lists)
5. The Real Folk Blues/More Real Folk Blues (rec. 1957, 1960-1964) (on 3 lists)
I don’t know exactly, but my guess is that there are at least some of his tracks that are on all five albums, and probably a lot more that are on three or four.  The same problem is true for so many other blues artists.  To complicate matters, not all these compilations are of the same quality.  This creates a problem for the lister, and for the person trying to use the list to make choices about what .  My recommendation is that if you are looking for a first album to buy from a blue artist, start with my list, but in trying to decide among the compilations here take the next step of googling “what is the best compilation for [Artist’s Name]” and see what advice you get.