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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.

421

Various Artists, ‘The Best of Girl Groups Volumes 1 and 2’

Rhino, 1990

In the lean years between Elvis and the Beatles, girl groups like the Shirelles and the Shangri-Las kept the spirit of rock & roll alive. This series has the classics.

420

Buddy Holly and the Crickets, ‘The “Chirping” Crickets’

Brunswick, 1957

Holly was only 21 when he cut these tracks, some on an Oklahoma Air Force base. "That'll Be the Day," "Oh Boy!" and "Not Fade Away" fused country, rockabilly and R&B into epochal rock & roll.

419

Portishead, ‘Dummy’

Go! Discs, 1994

Portishead uses some of the same building blocks as fellow Bristol, England trip-hoppers Massive Attack – woozy break beats, jazzy samples, live guitar, girl-singer/guy-programmer dynamic – but Beth Gibbons' brooding, pop-cabaret vocals showed to the world that you could feel real pain over a trip-hop groove.