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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.

379

TLC, ‘CrazySexyCool’

Things were not well with TLC during the making of CrazySexyCool: Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was lighting literal fires, and the trio would soon be filing for bankruptcy. But they emerged with the most effervescent and soulful girl-group R&B anyone had seen since the Supremes.

378

Oasis, ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’

Epic, 1995

With their second album, the fighting Gallagher brothers embraced the Stones and Beatles comparisons and established themselves as a force in their own right, especially on the majestic "Wonderwall."

377

John Lee Hooker, ‘The Ultimate Collection 1948-1990’

Rhino, 1991

"Boogie Chillen" was Hooker's first hit and one of the last songs he ever played. In between that was a lifetime of pure mojo. Collection houses that historic song, plus "Boom Boom" and a voice Bonnie Raitt said could "tap into all the pain he'd ever felt."

376

Björk, ‘Post’

Elektra, 1995

"I have to recreate the universe every morning when I wake up," Björk said, explaining her second solo album's utter lack of musical inhibition. Post bounces from big-band jazz ("It's Oh So Quiet") to trip-hop. Fun fact: For her vocals, Björk extended her mic cord to a beach so she could sing to the sea.

375

Jackson Browne, ‘Late for the Sky’

Asylum, 1974

On his dark third album, Browne explored, in the words of one Rolling Stone reviewer, the "romantic possibility in the shadow of an apocalypse." There's an undercurrent of dread on Late for the Sky, from "Before the Deluge" to "For a Dancer" – not to mention a lot of obvious songwriting genius.

374

Roxy Music, ‘Siren’

ATCO, 1975

"New customers are always welcome!" Bryan Ferry joked as "Love Is the Drug" became his band's first U.S. hit. This delicious LP of lounge-lizard ennui, inspired in part by Ferry's girlfriend Jerry Hall, draws upon Roxy's arty roots even as it anticipates the more rarefied atmospheres of Avalon.

373

Jefferson Airplane, ‘Volunteers’

RCA Victor, 1969

Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen called Paul Kantner's revolutionary cheerleading "naive," but that didn't prevent the band from delivering this album with sweeping fervor. Also here: the gorgeous "Wooden Ships" and "Eskimo Blue Day," where Grace Slick sings, "The human name doesn't mean shit to a tree."

372

The Police, ‘Reggatta de Blanc’

A&M, 1979

The Police may have been lumped in with U.K. punk, but Sting said the mission was always to "sell great music to masses of people." They did that with Reggatta, an album best known for "Message in a Bottle" but distinguished by the mutant reggae of "The Bed's Too Big Without You" and "Walking on the Moon."

371

Arctic Monkeys, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’

Domino USA, 2006

Scrappy, lager-fueled tunes about being young and bored in a bleak Northern England steel town. Even Yanks couldn't resist these raging Brit-pop-punk gems.