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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.

173

Todd Rundgren, ‘Something/Anything?’

Bearsville, 1972

On this tour-de-force double album, Rundgren demonstrates his command of the studio, unfurling his falsetto over a kaleidoscope of rock genres – including the white pop-soul of "Hello It's Me."

172

Rod Stewart, ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’

Mercury, 1971

Stewart's best disc is loose and warm, rocking hard with mostly acoustic instruments. "Mandolin Wind" is the moving ballad; the title tune is a boozy romp; "Maggie May" went Number One.

171

The Byrds, ‘The Notorious Byrd Brothers’

Columbia, 1968

The horse on the cover (reportedly) replaced David Crosby, who'd just been fired. But despite the internal drama, the Byrds made a warm, gentle comedown album for Sixties children waking up to the morning after the Summer of Love.

170

The Who, ‘Live at Leeds’

Decca, 1970

Faced with the task of following up Tommy [see No. 96], the Who just cranked up their amps and blasted. There's no finesse, just the pure power of a band able to play as loud as it wants. When the Who blew up Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" to Godzilla-like proportions, they invented Seventies arena rock.