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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.

204

Bob Dylan, ‘Modern Times’

Columbia, 2006

This is history repeating itself – in Dylan's specific echoes of Slim Harpo and Memphis Minnie, and in his refusal to bend even in the harshest winds. "Heart burnin', still yearnin'," he sings in "Ain't Talkin'," the album's last song, a proud walk through a scorched Earth that Woody Guthrie would have recognized in an instant.

203

Michael Jackson, ‘Bad’

Epic, 1987

The feverishly anticipated follow-up to Thriller added more hits to Jackson's collection: "Bad," "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Man in the Mirror." He also began venting some of his darker emotions in the violent fantasies of "Smooth Criminal" and the paranoia of "Dirty Diana."

202

Simon and Garfunkel, ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’

Columbia, 1966

The duo's third album yielded uptempo hits like "The 59th Street Bridge Song" and the fine English-major folk of "For Emily" and "The Dangling Conversation."

201

Nine Inch Nails, ‘The Downward Spiral’

Nothing/Interscope, 1994

Holing up in the one-time home of Manson-family victim Sharon Tate, Trent Reznor made an overpowering meditation on NIN's central theme: control. 

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