Week in Review: Best Albums of 2011

Plus: Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys and More

December 9, 2011 6:05 PM ET
adele mtv vma
Adele performs at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Albums by Radiohead, Lady Gaga and Wild Flag were among those near the top of Rolling Stone's year-end list of the 50 Best Albums of 2011. Which records beat them out? Find out by reading our complete list.

Photos: The World Remembers John Lennon

Also this week, Rolling Stone offered full coverage of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction announcement, including interviews with Rod Stewart (who will be inducted with the Faces), former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. We covered Metallica's star-studded hometown residency at the Fillmore in San Francisco to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary, reported on the progress of a new Bruce Springsteen album and talked to Tito and Jackie Jackson about Cirque du Soleil's tribute to their brother Michael. We also analyzed this week's pop charts, looked back on this week in rock history and, as always, reviewed all the week's biggest releases.    

In pop culture, Peter Travers dumped on the "shamelessly bad" film New Year's Eve, which wastes such stars as Robert De Niro and Halle Berry, and Rolling Stone recapped the latest episodes of X Factor and Glee.

Photos: Random Notes

We also posted the results of our last Weekend Rock Question: In honor of the singer's 30th birthday, what is the best Britney Spears song? Our question for you this week is: What is your choice for best album the year? You can answer on our website, at facebook.com/rollingstone or on Twitter using the #weekendrock hashtag. 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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