Category Archives: Music

101 Favorite Cover Songs

The list focuses on pop, rock, R&B, country, and folk. I excluded classical, jazz, and blues covers, except in few cases where pop, rock or country artists covered a jazz standard or blues song.  The list is presented in chronological order.

  1.  That’s All Right (1954) – Elvis Presley.
    Original: Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1946).


2. Mystery Train
(1955) – Elvis Presley.
    Original: Junior Parker (1953).

 

3.  Hound Dog (1956) – Elvis Presley.
Original: Big Mama Thornton (1953).


4.  Twist and Shout
(1963) – The Beatles.
Originals: Top Notes (1961); The Isley Brothers (1962).


5.  Long Tall Sally
(1964) – The Beatles.
Original: Little Richard (1956).


6.  Not Fade Away
(1964) – The Rolling Stones.
Original: Buddy Holly (1957).


7.  It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
(1966) – Them.
Original: Bob Dylan (1965).


8.  Try a Little Tenderness
(1966) – Otis Redding
Originals: Ray Noble & His Orchestra (1932); Bing Crosby (1933).


9.  Respect
(1967) – Aretha Franklin.
Original: Otis Redding (1965).


10.  Alabama Song
(1967) – The Doors.
Original: Lotte Lenya (1930).


11.  All Along the Watchtower
(1968) – Jimi Hendrix.
Original: Bob Dylan (1967).


12.  I Put a Spell on You
(1968) – Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Original: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (1956).


13. I Ain’t Superstitious
(1968) – Jeff Beck Group (w/ Rod Stewart).
Original: Howlin’ Wolf (1961).


14. With a Little Help From My Friends
(1969) – Joe Cocker.
Original: The Beatles (1967).


15. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
(1970) – Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Originals: Gladys Knight & the Pips (1967); Marvin Gaye (1968).


16. Proud Mary
(1970) – Ike & Tina Turner.
Original: Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969).


17. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
(1971) – Carole King.
Original: The Shirelles (1960).


18.  (I Know) I’m Losing You
(1971) – Rod Stewart.
Original: The Temptations (1966).


19.  One Way Out
(1972) – The Allman Brothers.
Originals: Elmore James (1960); Sonny Boy Williamson II (1961).


20.  Baby Don’t You Do It
(as Don’t Do It) (1972) – The Band.
Original: Marvin Gaye (1964).


21.  Baby Don’t You Do It
(1972) – The Who.
Original: Marvin Gaye (1964).


22. America
(1972) – Yes.
Original: Simon & Garfunkel (1968).


23. Take Me Home, Country Roads
(1973) – Toots and the Maytals.
Original: John Denver (1971).


24.  Willin’
(1974) – Linda Ronstadt.
Original: Little Feat (1971).


25. Angel from Montgomery
(1974) – Bonnie Raitt.
Original: John Prine (1971).


26.  Love Hurts
(1974) – Gram Parsons (w/ Emmylou Harris).
Original: The Everly Brothers (1960).


27.  I Shot the Sheriff
(1974)– Eric Clapton.
Original: Bob Marley & the Wailers (1973).


28.  When Will I Be Loved
(1975) – Linda Ronstadt.
Original: The Everly Brothers (1960).


29.  Stand by Me
(1975) – John Lennon.
Original: Ben E. King (1961).


30.  The Acid Queen
(1975) – Tina Turner.
Original: The Who (1969).


31.  Gloria
(1975) – Patti Smith.
Original: Them (1964).


32.  Runaway
(1977) – Bonnie Raitt.
Original: Del Shannon (1961).


33.  She’s Not There
(1977) – Santana.
Original: The Zombies (1964).


34.  Cocaine
(1977) – Eric Clapton.
Original: J.J. Cale (1976).


35.  (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
(1978) – Devo.
Original: The Rolling Stones (1965).


36.  Take Me to the River
(1978) – Talking Heads.
Original: Al Green (1974).


37.  I’m Gonna Love You Too
(1978) – Blondie.
Original: Buddy Holly (1957).


38.  Money
(1979) – The Flying Lizards.
Original: Barrett Strong (1959).


39.  I Want You Back
(1979) – Graham Parker.
Original: The Jackson Five (1969).


40.  Downtown
(1979) – The B-52’s.
Original: Petula Clark (1964).


41.  I Fought the Law
(1979) – The Clash
Originals: The Crickets (1960); Bobby Fuller Four (1965).


42.  Stop Your Sobbing
(1979) – Pretenders.
Original: The Kinks (1964).


43.  Tears of a Clown
(1979) – The English Beat.
Original: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (1967).


44.  In the Midnight Hour
(1980) – Roxy Music.
Original: Wilson Pickett (1965).


45.  It’s Bad For Me
(1980) – The Roches.
Original: Ray Noble and His Orchestra (1933).


46.  Jealous Guy
(1981) – Roxy Music.
Original: John Lennon (1971).


47.  Absolutely Sweet Marie
(1983) – Jason and the Scorchers.
Original: Bob Dylan (1966).


48.  Baby It’s You
(1984) – Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe.
Original: The Shirelles (1961).


49.  Jersey Girl
(1984) – Bruce Springsteen
Original: Tom Waits (1980).


50.  I Got You Babe
(1985) – UB40 with Chrissie Hynde.
Original: Sonny & Cher (1965).


51.  Jump
(1985) – Aztec Camera.
Original: Van Halen (1984).


52.  Suspicious Minds
(1986) – Fine Young Cannibals.
Originals: Mark James (1968); Elvis Presley (1969).


53.  Venus
(1986) – Bananarama.
Original: Shocking Blue (1969).


54.  Peace Train
(1987) – 10,000 Maniacs.
Original: Cat Stevens (1971).


55.  Cupid
(1988) – Graham Parker.
Original: Sam Cooke (1961).


56.  Sweet Thing
(1988) – The Waterboys.
Original: Van Morrison (1968).                          


57.  I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
(1988) – Cowboy Junkies.
Original: Hank Williams (1949).

58.  Walking After Midnight (1988) – Cowboy Junkies.
Original: Patsy Cline (1957).

 

59.  Sweet Jane (1988) – Cowboy Junkies.
Original: The Velvet Underground (1970).

 

60.  Lock, Stock & Teardrops (1988) – k.d. lang.
Original: Roger Miller (1963).


61.  Stand By Your Man
(1989) – Lyle Lovett.
Original: Tammy Wynette (1968).


62.  On Broadway
(1989) – Neil Young.
Original: The Drifters (1963).


63.  Just Like Heaven
(1989) – Dinosaur Jr.
Original: The Cure (1987).


64.  I Can See Clearly Now
(1990) Hothouse Flowers.
Original: Johnny Nash (1971).


65.  All Come True
(1990) – Rosanne Cash.   
Original: World Party (1986).


66.  Hey, Good Lookin’
(1990) – Buckwheat Zydeco (w/ Dwight Yoakum)
Original: Hank Williams (1951).


67.  Nothing Compares 2 U
(1990) – Sinead O’Connor
Original: Prince (1985).


68.  Androgynous
(1991) – Crash Test Dummies.
Original: The Replacements (1984).


69.  Mama Told Me Not to Come
(1991) – The Wolfgang Press.
Originals: Eric Burdon (1966); Three Dog Night (1970).


70.  Wild Horses
(1992) – The Sundays.
Original: The Rolling Stones (1971).


71.  Truckin’
(1992) – Dwight Yoakum.
Original: Grateful Dead (1970).


72.  Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon
(1992) – Urge Overkill.
Original: Neil Diamond (1967).


73.  Tenderness on the Block
(1992) – Shawn Colvin.
Original: Warren Zevon (1978).


74.  Something in the Air
(1993) – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Original: Thunderclap Newman (1969).


75.  Hallelujah
(1994) – Jeff Buckley.
Original: Leonard Cohen (1984).


76.  The Man Who Sold the World
(1994) – Nirvana.
Original: David Bowie (1970).


77.  Baby, Now That I’ve Found You
(1995) – Alison Krauss.
Original: The Foundations (1967).


78.  Our Little Angel
(1995) – Rosanne Cash.
Original: Elvis Costello (1986).


79.  Wrecking Ball
(1995) – Emmylou Harris.
Original: Neil Young (1989).


80.  Black Hole Sun
(1997) – Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme.
Original: Soundgarden (1993).


81.  Sleep Walk
(1998) – The Brian Setzer Orchestra.
Original: Santo and Johnny (1959).


82.  One
(1999) – Aimee Mann.
Originals: Harry Nilsson (1968); Three Dog Night (1968).


83.  Burning Down the House
(1999) – Tom Jones and the Cardigans.
Original: Talking Heads (1983).


84.  Travelin’ Prayer
(1999) – Dolly Parton.
Original: Billy Joel (1973).


85.  I Want You to Want Me
(2000) – Dwight Yoakum.
Original: Cheap Trick (1977).


86.  One
(2000) – Johnny Cash.
Original: U2 (1991).


87.  I Won’t Back Down
(2000) – Johnny Cash.
Original: Tom Petty (1989).

88.  Trouble Man (2000) – Rickie Lee Jones.
Original: Marvin Gaye (1972).


89.  Barrytown
(2000) – Ben Folds Five.
Original: Steely Dan (1974).


90.  Wish You Were Here
(2000) – Wyclef Jean.
Original: Pink Floyd (1975).


91.  Take Care
(2003) – Yo La Tengo.
Original: Big Star (1978).


92.  I’m So Excited
(2004) – Le Tigre.
Original: The Pointer Sisters (1982).


93.  Bird on a Wire
(2004) – k.d. lang.
Original: Leonard Cohen (1969).


94.  Sunrise
(2005) – Petra Haden.
Original: The Who (1967).


95.  Handle with Care
(2006) – Jenny Lewis, et al.
Original: The Traveling Wilburys (1987).


96.  Killing the Blues
(2007) – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Original: John Prine (1979).


97.  Come On Up to the House
(2009) – Sarah Jarosz,
Original: Tom Waits (1999).


98.  Ring Them Bells
(2011) – Sarah Jarosz.
Original: Bob Dylan (1989).


99.  Words of Love
(2011) – Patti Smith.
Original: Buddy Holly (1957).


100.  The Great Curve
(2018) – Angelique Kidjo.
Original: Talking Heads (1980).


101.  Go Where You Wanna Go
(2018) – Jakob Dylan and Jade Castrinos
Original: The Mamas and the Papas (1965).

What are your favorite cover songs? Please share in the comments!

Sound Effects: The Updated Album Meta-Lists

I’ve updated the Best Albums meta-lists to include the most recent Rolling Stone list of the 500 best albums. I also added the new albums from the latest edition of 1001 Recordings to Listen to Before You Die. The meta-lists include every album on three or more of the 35+ original source lists. Here are the links:

Best Albums of All Time – Ranked
Best Albums of All Time – Chronological
Best Albums of All Time – By Artist

Please forgive me for failing to update the number of lists the album is on in the Chronological and By Artist lists (provided in parentheticals). I’ll get to this eventually.

There are 27 new artists on the updated meta-lists:

1. Adele
2. Animal Collective
3. Anita Baker
4. Mary J. Blige
5. Boogie Down Productions
6. Cocteau Twins
7. Ornette Coleman
8. Earth, Wind & Fire
9. Elbow
10. Herbie Hancock
11. Howlin’ Wolf
12. Ice Cube
13. Janet Jackson
14. Kendrick Lamar
15. Cyndi Lauper
16. LL Cool J
17. Lynryd Skynyrd
18. George Michael
19. Charles Mingus
20. Motörhead 
21. Neutral Milk Hotel
22. Frank Ocean
23. Raekwon
24. Toots & the Maytals
25. Gillian Welch
26. Hank Williams
27. X-Ray Spex

The artists with the most albums on the meta-list are familiar names:

1. Bob Dylan: 11 albums
2. The Beatles: 10 albums
3. The Rolling Stones: 8 albums
4. Led Zeppelin: 7 albums
5. Bruce Springsteen: 6 albums
6. Neil Young: 6 albums
7. David Bowie: 5 albums
8. Jimi Hendrix: 5 albums
9. R.E.M.: 5 albums
10. U2: 5 albums
11. The Who: 5 albums

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

 

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

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.

Sound Advice: The Updated Albums Lists

I’ve revised and updated my best albums meta-lists.  This is the combined wisdom of over 34 different listers – most of the lists were created by music critics, music magazines, newspapers and radio stations. The meta-lists I’ve created include every album on at least three of the original source lists.  Here they are:

Best Albums of All Time – Ranked
Best Albums of All Time – Chronological
Best Albums of All Time- By Artist

While updating the list, I decided to create some lists about the meta-lists:

Most Prolific: Artists with the Most Albums on the Meta-List
1. Bob Dylan (10 albums)
2. The Beatles (9 albums)
3. The Rolling Stones (8 albums)
4. Led Zeppelin (7 albums)
5. Neil Young (6 albums)
6. David Bowie (6 albums)
7. The Who (5 albums)
8. Jimi Hendrix (5 albums)
9. Bruce Springsteen (5 albums)
10. U2 (5 albums)
11. R.E.M. (5 albums)

 One and Done: Highest Ranked Albums by Artists with Only One Album on the Meta-List
Love – Forever Changes (1967)
Carole King – Tapestry (1971)
Patti Smith – Horses (1975)
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)
Television – Marquee Moon (1977)
Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (1987)
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989)
Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)
Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)

Just didn’t make it: Albums on two lists by artists with no albums on at least three lists
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’ (1959)
Bobby “Blue” Bland – Two Steps from the Blues (rec. 1956-1960, rel. 1961)
Essra Mohawk – Primordial Lovers (1970)
Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes (1972)
Bob Seger – Night Moves (1976)
Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth (1980)
Genesis – Abacab (1981)
Huey Lewis & the News – Sports (1983)
L.L. Cool J – Radio (1985)
Pet Shop Boys – Discography (rec. 1985-1991, rel. 1991)
INXS – Kick (1987)
Don Henley – The End of the Innocence (1989)
Bikini Kill – Revolution Girl Style Now! (1991)
The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion (1992)
Jane Siberry – When I Was a Boy (1993)
Tool – Undertow (1993)
Dave Matthew Band – Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
Mary J. Blige – My Life (1994)
No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom (1995)
Paul Weller – Stanley Road (1995)
Tool – Aenima (1996)
Super Furry Animals – Radiator (1997)
Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea (1998)
Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (2000)
Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet (2001)
Blink-182 – Blink-182 (2003)
Adele – 21 (2011)

Hooked on Classics: The New and Improved Classical Music Lists

I’ve updated my meta-lists of best classical music by adding several more lists to the mix and expanding the main page to include all works on three or more of the original source lists.  I’ve also added a new page with the list organized by the type of composition. Click on the links below to go directly to the classical music meta-lists:

The Best Classical Music of All Time: Ranked
The Best Classical Music of All Time: Chronological
The Best Classical Music of All Time: By Composer
The Best Classical Music of All Time: By Type of Composition

I was originally going to introduce the new and updated lists with a serious post about the definition of classical music, going into how it really should be referred to as Western art music, because “classical” technically only refers to music (much of it in sonata form) produced during the period of 1750-1828 or so (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, et al.).  But I decided against that.  Instead I decided to look at my listening history (which since 2008 or so has been tracked by the Last.fm website – they keep track of every time I listen to a song on the computer, iPod or iPhone) and find the 25 pieces of classical music I have listened to most frequently (either the entire piece or portions of it).  These don’t necessarily represent my preferences (although I like all the music here), since I usually have my playlist on “shuffle” mode, so the selection is somewhat random.  I am intrigued by the number of contemporary composers and the absence of big names like Mozart and Beethoven (even though I’ve got lots of their work in my collection).  Here’s the list of the 25 pieces of classical music I’ve listened to most frequently since 2008, arranged in chronological order by date of composition:

  1. Anonymous: Chevalier, mult estes guariz (12th Century)
  2. Anonymous: La quinte estampie real (13th Century)
  3. Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor (c. 1720)
  4. George Frideric Handel: Concerti Grossi, Op. 3 (1734)
  5. George Frideric Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749)
  6. Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in B minor (1749)
  7. Christoph Willibald Gluck (arr. by Hector Berlioz): Orphée et Eurydice (1762, Berlioz version, 1859)
  8. Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (1859)
  9. Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77 (1878)
  10. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90 (1883)
  11. Claude Debussy: Mazurka (1890)
  12. Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a (1892)
  13. Claude Debussy: Children’s Corner (1908)
  14. Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19 (1917)
  15. Dmitri Shostakovich: Adagio (Elegy) for String Quartet (1931)
  16. Charles Ives: They Are There! (1942)
  17. John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (1948)
  18. Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 4 in D major (1949)
  19. Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story (1957)
  20. Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F# minor, Op. 108 (1960)
  21. Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 15 in Eb major, Op. 144 (1974)
  22. Iannis Xenaxis: Tetras for String Quartet (1983)
  23. Christopher Rouse: Kabir Padavali (1998)
  24. Arvo Pärt: Lamentate (2002)
  25. Hans Abrahamsen: Let me tell you (2013)