List of albums considered the best

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For albums that had the highest sales, see List of best-selling albums worldwide.

Many publications and organizations have tried to determine the albums considered the best. Those listed below have all have been frequently cited as among the greatest albums of all time by several publications and notable surveys, be it a popular poll or critics' poll.

None of these citations should be viewed as scientific. Many of these sources focus on American albums or were polls of English-speaking listeners. Most of these implicitly consider only currently popular genres, with classical music, opera, jazz, and other categories given short shrift. In November 2003, USA Today noted that Rolling Stone magazine's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time "is weighted toward testosterone-fueled vintage rock", with only a "smattering of country (Johnny Cash), jazz (Miles Davis) and seminal blues (Howlin' Wolf)."[1] There are often problems with vote stacking or skewed demographics; Internet-based surveys have a self-selecting audience. The methodology of some surveys may be questionable. Sometimes voters were asked to select albums from a limited list of entries.

Summary[edit]

Below is a summary of the rank of 17 albums on 14 published lists of the greatest albums of all time. The albums selected are those with the highest median rank.[2] Albums which were released after a particular list was published are designated by an asterisk.

Rank Album Genre Mo 1995 [3] Grd 1997 [4] Virg 2000 [5] MM 2000 [6] VH1 2001 [7] RS 2005 [8] Ch4 2005 [9] ABC 2006 [10] Gui 2006 [11] Q 2006 [12] HF 2007 [13] SV 2008 [14] CS 2010 [15] NME 2013 [16] Median [17]
1 Revolver, The Beatles (1966) Rock n Roll 3 2 1 6 1 3 10 13 3 4 42 1 40 2 3.0
2 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (1967) Pop rock, psychedelic rock 51 19 3 10 1 7 5 2 19 1 6 8 87 7.5
3 Nevermind, Nirvana (1991) Grunge, alternative rock 33 4 17 3 2 17 3 6 6 3 10 13 32 11 8.0
4 The Beatles ("The White Album") (1968) Pop rock, folk rock 19 9 5 4 11 10 12 12 13 17 39 30 22 9 12.0
5 The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground (1967) Psychedelic rock, art rock 9 8 13 12 19 13 46 100 55 42 10 5 5 13.0
6 The Dark Side of the MoonPink Floyd (1973) Progressive rock, art rock 37 9 51 43 5 1 8 15 2 14 7 132 14.5
7 Pet SoundsThe Beach Boys (1966) Psychedelic rock, art rock 1 6 18 11 3 2 33 22 18 9 23 2 26 14.5
8 OK ComputerRadiohead (1997) Alternative rock * 4 20 94 162 1 3 4 1 111 49 10 20 20.0
9 London CallingThe Clash (1979) Post-punk 23 17 37 28 8 44 26 12 20 96 12 3 39 24.5
10 Exile on Main St.The Rolling Stones (1972) Rock and roll 4 25 35 23 12 7 42 42 34 6 15 46 24 24.5
11 What's Going OnMarvin Gaye (1971) Soul, R&B 6 1 39 24 4 6 78 57 32 38 36 19 25 28.5
12 Led Zeppelin IVLed Zeppelin (1971) Hard rock 99 89 42 69 17 7 17 4 4 9 13 106 29.5
13 The Joshua TreeU2 (1987) Rock 57 25 15 27 2 10 11 5 38 34 424 30.5
14 Born to RunBruce Springsteen (1975) Rock 41 44 20 27 18 37 54 84 15 15 18 6 85 32.0
15 Blonde on BlondeBob Dylan (1966) Folk rock 8 24 33 9 9 52 71 36 2 11 62 34.5
16 Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex PistolsSex Pistols (1977) Punk rock 22 3 29 10 17 41 31 43 16 109 38 34.5
17 RumoursFleetwood Mac (1977) Soft rock 78 31 16 26 62 20 29 25 24 42 58 51 36.5

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Edna Gundersen (November 17, 2003). "It's certainly a thrill: 'Sgt. Pepper' is best album". USA Today. 
  2. ^ Methodology: albums which are not ranked on a particular list are assigned a rank one higher than the highest-ranked album for that list (e.g., albums which are not ranked on a list of 100 albums are assigned a rank of 101). Lists which were published before an album was released are not included in averaging.
  3. ^ Mo = Mojo's 100 Greatest Albums of All Time. Mojo Magazine, 1995.
  4. ^ Grd = The Guardian's 100 Best Albums Ever. The Guardian, 1997.
  5. ^ Virg = Virgin All-Time Top 1000 Albums, 2000
  6. ^ MM = Melody Maker's 100 Greatest Music Albums. Melody Maker, 2000.
  7. ^ VH1 = VH1's 100 Greatest Music Albums, 2001
  8. ^ RS = The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Rolling Stone, 2005.
  9. ^ Ch.4 = Channel 4's 100 Greatest Albums. Channel 4, 2005.
  10. ^ ABC = ABC's Top 100 Albums. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2006.
  11. ^ Gui = Greatest 100 Albums of All Time by The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums with NME, 2006
  12. ^ Q = Q's 100 Greatest Albums Ever. Q, 2006.
  13. ^ HF = The Definitive 200 Albums of All Time. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2007.
  14. ^ SV = The Top 50 Albums of All Time by Sound & Vision Magazine, 2008
  15. ^ CS = Top 100 Albums Ever by Consequence of Sound, 2010
  16. ^ NME = The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. NME, 2013.
  17. ^ Median = Median rank. Albums which are not ranked on a particular list are assigned a rank one higher than the highest-ranked album for that list (e.g., albums which are not ranked on a list of 100 albums are assigned a rank of 101).

External links[edit]