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Top Albums of All Time lists - Discussion

Old 11-17-03, 09:45 AM
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Top Albums of All Time lists - Discussion

It's certainly a thrill: 'Sgt. Pepper' is best album Beatles get high marks in rock poll
By Edna Gundersen
USA TODAY

To everyone's complete lack of surprise, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has been anointed the best album ever in a new Rolling Stone poll.

The Beatles' consecrated 1967 classic tops ''The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,'' a collector's issue on stands Friday. Though typically the odds-on favorite for such rankings, Sgt. Pepper wasn't a slam-dunk.

''There was a horse race,'' says Rolling Stone music editor Joe Levy. ''Early on, any number of albums in the top 10 were in the lead. The final result is no shock, but there's a reason for that. The Beatles, after all, were the most important and innovative rock group in the world. And Sgt. Pepper arguably set the tone for what an album could be.''

The Beatles have four albums in the top 10. Predictably, the list is weighted toward testosterone-fueled vintage rock. The top solo female is Joni Mitchell, whose 1971 Blue is No. 30.

The newest entry is this year's Elephant by the White Stripes, landing at No. 390. The most current disc in the top 20 is Nirvana's 1991 breakthrough, Nevermind. Recent albums by Coldplay and The Strokes also made the cut, as did all three Eminem releases and a wide range of hip-hop.

''A classic record proves itself over time,'' Levy says, ''so it's gratifying and surprising to see so many newer records on the list, considering they're competing against such beloved and titanic records as Rubber Soul and Dusty in Memphis.''

Rolling Stone asked musicians, critics, historians and key industry figures to rank their 50 favorites. The 273 participants included Beck, U2's The Edge, Jackson Browne, Art Garfunkel, Missy Elliott and members of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Linkin Park and The Doors. The Ernst & Young accounting firm devised a point system to weight votes for 1,600 submitted titles.

Voters were invited to identify favorites from any period or genre, allowing a smattering of country (Johnny Cash), jazz (Miles Davis) and seminal blues (Howlin' Wolf). The list also accommodates greatest hits collections and live recordings; four James Brown picks include two sets of hits and Live at the Apollo (1963). Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, The Drifters and Loretta Lynn, who flourished during the era of 45s, are represented only by hits compilations.

''Artists whose best works were singles are not going to be well represented,'' Levy notes. For example, he adds, ''Disco is under-represented because it's a singles-driven genre.''

And here is the top 20
It's Beatlemania on all-time-best rock album list
By Edna Gundersen


Here are the top 20 in Rolling Stone's new ''500 Greatest Albums of All Time'' poll, as selected by musicians, critics and executives.


1. Beatles/Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

2. Beach Boys/Pet Sounds

3. Beatles/Revolver

4. Bob Dylan/Highway 61 Revisited

5. Beatles/Rubber Soul

6. Marvin Gaye/What's Going On

7. Rolling Stones/Exile on Main Street

8. Clash/London Calling

9. Bob Dylan/Blonde on Blonde

10. Beatles/''White Album''

11. Elvis Presley/The Sun Sessions

12. Miles Davis/Kind of Blue

13. The Velvet Underground & Nico

14. Beatles/Abbey Road

15. Jimi Hendrix Experience/ Are You Experienced?

16. Bob Dylan/Blood on the Tracks

17. Nirvana/Nevermind

18. Bruce Springsteen/Born to Run

19. Van Morrison/Astral Weeks

20. Michael Jackson/Thriller


With 11 albums on the top 500, The Beatles just topped Dylan and the Stones. The '70s were the leading decade, and albums by women numbered around 10%.

Last edited by Dubya; 11-17-03 at 09:49 AM.
Old 11-17-03, 10:19 AM
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So, you're telling me Nirvana has a top 20 album, but Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, the Who and U2 have none?
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Old 11-17-03, 10:25 AM
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Yup.
Old 11-17-03, 10:28 AM
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Rolling Stone is irrelevant, and has been for years.

Looks like they're trying to regain their credibility from last year when Nirvana was somewhere around #3 in the "top albums of all time" list. There was such a huge shit-storm when they did that issue.
Old 11-17-03, 10:42 AM
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Wow, based on this list I should assume there's hardly been any pop music of artistic merit created in the last 30 years. What an incredibly sad mindset, although it's one that so many people have.
Old 11-17-03, 11:03 AM
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every single one of those 20 albums is amazing, i don't know how you cold possible order them, except for the fact that rubber soul would be my #1. after that, I wouldn't argue with those 20, and i could totally understand probably 40 other titles being up there.

i don't love rolling stone, but they are all great rock albums.
Old 11-17-03, 11:53 AM
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Interesting that 3 Dylan albums made the top 20.

I love the fact that Miles Davis: Kind of Blue cracked the top 20. Probably my favorite album.
Old 11-17-03, 12:18 PM
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I'm honestly surprised that Eminem is nowhere to be found...

But JestersTear is right. These "lists" they do prove it.
Old 11-17-03, 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by Rogue588
I'm honestly surprised that Eminem is nowhere to be found...

But JestersTear is right. These "lists" they do prove it.
Well, not in the top 20, but it says all three of his LPs are in the list of 500.
Old 11-17-03, 01:20 PM
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Where in the Top 500 is Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, and Boards of Canada?
Old 11-17-03, 01:38 PM
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Y'all, I agree that Rolling Stone doesn't speak to me at all anymore -- it's irrelevant to me. But the article says that RS asked "musicians, critics, historians and key industry figures to rank their 50 favorites." In other words, blame RS for who they asked (it would not surprise me if white males aged 40 and older made up a disproportionate share of the respondents, and that these top 20 albums were, for the most part, albums they heard when first released and they were between 10 and 25 years old).

There are tons of threads in here about "best of" lists and how they're all wrong.
Old 11-17-03, 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by Aphex Twin
Where in the Top 500 is Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, and Boards of Canada?
Probably right next to dada, dramarama and all the bands I really like that didn't make the cut.

that's just how things go.
Old 11-17-03, 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by JestersTear
Rolling Stone is irrelevant, and has been for years.

Looks like they're trying to regain their credibility from last year when Nirvana was somewhere around #3 in the "top albums of all time" list. There was such a huge shit-storm when they did that issue.
I'd be interested to read more about this "shitstorm." I don't see what's wrong with ranking Nevermind so highly. In fact, we happen to have it playing in here right now and it's damn brilliant. It's not like they put Hillary Duff at #3.
Old 11-17-03, 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by Aphex Twin
Where in the Top 500 is Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, and Boards of Canada?
... as far away from the top 500 as possible, I should hope.
Old 11-17-03, 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by wendersfan
Wow, based on this list I should assume there's hardly been any pop music of artistic merit created in the last 30 years. What an incredibly sad mindset, although it's one that so many people have.
That's what I was thinking, too.
Old 11-17-03, 03:07 PM
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thats hilarious Nevermind isn't even the best Nirvana album.
Old 11-17-03, 03:18 PM
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Blah....same ol Beatles ass kissing crap again.
Old 11-17-03, 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by Tommy_Harn
So, you're telling me Nirvana has a top 20 album, but Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, the Who and U2 have none?
Rolling Stone magazine has, over the years, been notoriously anti-Led Zeppelin. They've also, and quite obviously, snubbed bands like Pink Floyd and Rush. (Though in Rush's case, it was probably due to their Ayn Rand obsession in the 70s.)
Old 11-17-03, 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by Coral
I love the fact that Miles Davis: Kind of Blue cracked the top 20. Probably my favorite album.
I personally think that's the best piece of recorded music ever made. Considering this is a rock mag, it's pretty impressive that Kind of Blue made the top 20...

As for those that criticize the list, of course it's ridiculous. But it's also ridiculous to say "I love [insert band name here], how can they not be in the top twenty? Stupid list!". You have to try to separate out your personal feelings for a band and recognize what they have done to/for popular music. Thus, recent albums will be slighted (because they haven't proven any long-term effect), and some things you may not like but are influential (but perhaps provided an influence you don't like) are going to make the list. Hence, the Beatles get lots of space, and Nevermind gets a top spot (as for it not being the best Nirvana album, demonio, musically you may be right, but influentially you are definitely wrong).

And MJKTool, you may not like the Beatles, but it is utterly indisputable that they have had a greater influence on popular music than any band ever. Like them or not, get used to it. It isn't ass-kissing, it's reality.

I am excited to see a Velvet Underground album in the top 20; a hugely influential band that often doesn't get its due.
Old 11-17-03, 04:33 PM
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Great post, LurkerDan. May I contribute...

Originally posted by LurkerDan

I am excited to see a Velvet Underground album in the top 20; a hugely influential band that often doesn't get its due.
Absolutely. The VU may not have sold many records, and they may not have been very good (from a raw talent/ability standpoint) -- but it's cool to think of it as "Everyone who bought a VU album listened to it, said 'I can do that,' went out and started a band."

And THAT is influence. The same sort of influence Nirvana brought with Nevermind. I know I thought, "I can do that," and bought a guitar.

I've got to say it's the same sort of influence the White Stripes are going to have on the current generation that is coming-to-age musically. They'll say "I can do that," and then they'll go out and do it.
Old 11-17-03, 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by LurkerDan
And MJKTool, you may not like the Beatles, but it is utterly indisputable that they have had a greater influence on popular music than any band ever. Like them or not, get used to it. It isn't ass-kissing, it's reality.
I dont have anything against the Beatles. In fact I have a couple of their albums. The thing I do have a problem with is them always being #1 on every single damn list.

Coming first does not equate to the best in my book.
Old 11-17-03, 04:49 PM
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well at least, rolling stone didn't put nevermind at no. 1 or no. 2 like so many other magazines and countdowns have been in the past. and in a recent rolling stone, they took a look at their best albums which were 1, 2, 4, and houses of the holy. all of which will prob. be on the countdown somehow.
Old 11-17-03, 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
I dont have anything against the Beatles. In fact I have a couple of their albums. The thing I do have a problem with is them always being #1 on every single damn list.

Coming first does not equate to the best in my book.
Agreed. I always thought Sgt. Pepper was a hideously overrated album. Abbey Road is much better.
Old 11-17-03, 06:42 PM
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Another "Top X Albums Of All Time" poll - how original!
Old 11-18-03, 12:14 PM
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I've seen the whole list and it's as predictable as you might expect. They should've just let Rob Sheffield or Christian Hoard name their favorite 500 albums. That would be much more interesting.

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