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500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Rolling Stone’s definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The RS 500 was assembled by the editors of Rolling Stone, based on the results of two extensive polls. In 2003, Rolling Stone asked a panel of 271 artists, producers, industry executives and journalists to pick the greatest albums of all time. In 2009, we asked a similar group of 100 experts to pick the best albums of the 2000s. From those results, Rolling Stone created this new list of the greatest albums of all time.

181

Bob Marley and the Wailers, ‘Natty Dread’

Island, 1974

The first Wailers album to give Marley top billing was multifaceted rebel music – from the call-to-arms opening, "Lively Up Yourself" (about dancing or revolution or both), to the gospel-flavored "No Woman, No Cry," an anthem of struggle and hope. 

180

The Rolling Stones, ‘The Rolling Stones, Now!’

London, 1965

A charming exuberance pervades the Stones' third U.S. release, with its hot-rod takes on Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters. And their "Heart of Stone" introduces a crucial Stones element into the mix: menace.

179

Abba, ‘The Definitive Collection’

Universal, 2001

These Swedish pop stars became the world's biggest group in the Seventies. Global hits like the double-divorce drama "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and the war-torn "Fernando" undercut sparkly melodies with Nordic despair.

178

Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, ‘The Anthology 1961-1977’

MCA, 1992

Mayfield taught sociocultural awareness while dispensing fine ballads ("Gypsy Woman"), inspirational anthems ("People Get Ready," "Move On Up") and edgy street narratives ("Superfly"). 

177

Funkadelic, ‘One Nation Under a Groove’

Warner Bros., 1978

Funkadelic's first million-seller perfectly distills George Clinton's gospel of mind-altering groove music – from the monster title track to the cosmic make-out soul of "Into You" and the scatological philosophizing of "The Doo Doo Chasers." 

176

Aerosmith, ‘Rocks’

Columbia, 1976

After Toys in the Attic proved that Aerosmith were more than a Stones caricature, the band flexed its muscles on the boastfully (and aptly) named Rocks, a buffalo stampede of rave-ups and boogies. In an era of arena bombast, songs like "Back in the Saddle" and "Last Child" kept it low to the ground and swinging.