All-TIME 100 Albums

TIME magazine’s list of the 100 greatest and most influential albums. At least they have the right attitude in compiling the list:

So here’s how we chose the albums for the All-TIME 100. We researched and listened and agonized until we had a list of the greatest and most influential records ever – and then everyone complained because there was no Pink Floyd on it. And that’s exactly how it should be. We hope you’ll treat the All-TIME 100 as a great musical parlor game. Read and listen to the arguments for the selections, then tell us what we missed or got wrong. Or even possibly what we got right.

One obvious objection is that there are no albums from before the 1950s, which means that the oldest (for instance) jazz album on the list is Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. No Ellington or Armstrong? (It’s not a list from the last 50 years, since there are two Frank Sinatra albums on the list from before 1956.)

Rather than critique the selections, here are the albums on the list that I own:

  • Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (1977)
  • Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
  • Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
  • Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
  • Carole King, Tapestry (1971)
  • The Who, Who’s Next (1971)
  • Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
  • The Beatles, Abbey Road (1969)
  • The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  • The Beatles, Revolver (1966)
  • The Beatles, Rubber Soul (1965)
  • John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (1964)
  • Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (1959)

No, I don’t own a copy of The Beatles (The White Album) – other than “Back in the USSR”, I don’t really like it.

As you might guess the list above is not exactly representative of my musical tastes. You can see that my tastes diverge considerably from the popular and artistic mainstream around the beginning of punk.

For other lists, there’s Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums list, or the 1987 top 100 rock ‘n’ roll albums list (the book of which I own and which turned me on to several good groups, such as Roxy Music).

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