"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is the title of a 2003 special issue of American magazine Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...
, and a related book published in 2005.Related news articles:
The lists presented were compiled based on votes from selected rock musicians
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...
, critics, and industry figures, and predominantly feature music from the 1960s and 1970s. From 2007 onwards, the magazine published similarly titled lists in other countries around the world.
The first version of the list, published as a magazine in November 2003, was based on the votes of 273 rock musicians, critics, and industry figures, each of whom submitted a weighted list of 50 albums. The accounting firm Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms, along with Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers ....
devised a point system to weigh votes for 1,600 submitted titles. The list includes a few compilations, and "greatest hits" collections.
An amended list was released in book form in 2005, with an introduction written by Steven Van Zandt
Steven Van Zandt is an Italian-American musician, songwriter, arranger, record producer, actor, and radio disc jockey, who frequently goes by the stage names Little Steven or Miami Steve...
. As the editor's foreword explains, some compilation albums were removed, and Robert Johnson's The Complete Recordings
The Complete Recordings is a compilation album by American blues musician Robert Johnson, released August 28, 1990 on Columbia Records. The album's recordings were recorded in two sessions in Dallas and San Antonio, Texas for the American Record Company during 1936 and 1937. Most of the songs were...
was substituted for both of his King of the Delta Blues Singers volumes, making room for a total of eight new entries on the list.
Artists with the most albums
- 11 The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...
(with 4 in the top 10, including 3 in the top 5) – 10 of their 12 studio albums along with U.S. exclusive Meet The Beatles!
-External links:*Bruce Spizer's *Bruce Spizer's *...
- 10 Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...
(with 2 in the top 10, including 1 in the top 5) – 10 of his 31 studio albums
- 10 The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...
(with 1 in the top 10) – 10 of their 21 studio albums
- 8 Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...
– 8 of his 12 studio albums
- 7 The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...
– 6 of their 10 studio albums (11); 1 live album
- 6 David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...
- 6 Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...
Number of albums from each decade
- 1950s and earlier – 29 albums (5.8%)
- 1960s – 126 (25.2%) (with 7 of the top 10 and all of the top 5)
For music from a year in the 1970s, go to 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79This article includes an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 1970s....
– 183 (36.6%) (with 3 of the top 10)
- 1980s – 88 (17.6%)
For music from a year in the 1990s, go to 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99This article includes trends in popular music in the 1990s....
– 61 (12.2%)
For music from a year in the 2000s, go to 00 | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09This article includes an overview of the major events and trends in popular music in the 2000s....
– 13 (2.6%)
Writing in USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...
newspaper, Edna Gundersen described the list as predictable and "weighted toward testosterone-fueled vintage rock".
Following the publicity surrounding the list, rock critic Jim DeRogatis
James "Jim" DeRogatis is an American music critic and co-host of Sound Opinions. DeRogatis has written articles for magazines such as Spin, Guitar World and Modern Drummer, and for fifteen years was the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.He joined Columbia College Chicago as a full-time...
, a former Rolling Stone editor, published Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics (ISBN 1-56980-276-9) in 2004. This featured a number of generally younger critics arguing against the high evaluation of various "great" albums some of which, of course, had been included in the list including DeRogatis taking on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on 1 June 1967 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin...
, which had been Rolling Stones top choice.
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- All Time Top 1000 Albums
All Time Top 1000 Albums is a book by Colin Larkin, creator and editor of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. The book was originally published by Guinness Publishing in 1994 and is in its 4th Revised Edition....
, a similar list
- Albums considered the greatest ever
Many publications and organizations have tried to determine the album considered the greatest ever. Those listed in this article have all been cited in a notable survey — be it a popular poll or critics' poll....
, a discussion of this and similar lists
- The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
"The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone, issue number 963, published December 9, 2004, a year after the magazine published its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time"....
, also from Rolling Stone magazine