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Top 500 Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone (2012)  

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Rolling Stone is an American magazine devoted to music and popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco in 1967. In 2003, Rolling Stone published an article describing what it considered to be the top 500 music albums of all time. In 2012, this list was updated and released in book form.
(Official website: www.rollingstone.com)

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Collector's summaryLog in or register to discover the great albums that are missing from your music collection!
Sort byOverall Rank | Number of Charts | Average Rating | Number of Ratings | Release Date | Title | Artist
RankAlbumArtist
1. New entry

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandUnited Kingdom The Beatles
Year of Release:1967Appears in:2,350 charts
Rank in 1967:1Rank Score:118,872
Rank in 1960s3Overall Rank:5
Average Rating: Top rated 90/100 (2,894 votes)
Comments: 328 comments
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2. New entry

Pet SoundsUnited States The Beach Boys
Year of Release:1966Appears in:1,845 charts
Rank in 1966:2Rank Score:85,387
Rank in 1960s6Overall Rank:13
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,036 votes)
Comments: 228 comments
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3. New entry

RevolverUnited Kingdom The Beatles
Year of Release:1966Appears in:2,431 charts
Rank in 1966:1Rank Score:128,538
Rank in 1960s2Overall Rank:4
Average Rating: Top rated 91/100 (2,877 votes)
Comments: 325 comments
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4. New entry

Highway 61 RevisitedUnited States Bob Dylan
Year of Release:1965Appears in:1,589 charts
Rank in 1965:1Rank Score:67,815
Rank in 1960s7Overall Rank:20
Average Rating: Top rated 89/100 (1,817 votes)
Comments: 149 comments
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5. New entry

Rubber SoulUnited Kingdom The Beatles
Year of Release:1965Appears in:1,556 charts
Rank in 1965:2Rank Score:63,671
Rank in 1960s8Overall Rank:22
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,084 votes)
Comments: 161 comments
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6. New entry

What's Going OnUnited States Marvin Gaye
Year of Release:1971Appears in:961 charts
Rank in 1971:4Rank Score:31,850
Rank in 1970s16Overall Rank:57
Average Rating: Top rated 85/100 (1,166 votes)
Comments: 92 comments
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7. New entry

Exile On Main St.United Kingdom The Rolling Stones
Year of Release:1972Appears in:1,239 charts
Rank in 1972:2Rank Score:48,399
Rank in 1970s8Overall Rank:31
Average Rating: Top rated 86/100 (1,540 votes)
Comments: 136 comments
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8. New entry

London CallingUnited Kingdom The Clash
Year of Release:1979Appears in:1,910 charts
Rank in 1979:1Rank Score:84,293
Rank in 1970s4Overall Rank:14
Average Rating: Top rated 87/100 (2,066 votes)
Comments: 182 comments
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9. New entry

Blonde On BlondeUnited States Bob Dylan
Year of Release:1966Appears in:1,281 charts
Rank in 1966:3Rank Score:50,849
Rank in 1960s10Overall Rank:28
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (1,547 votes)
Comments: 113 comments
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10. New entry

The Beatles (The White Album)United Kingdom The Beatles
Year of Release:1968Appears in:1,937 charts
Rank in 1968:1Rank Score:89,952
Rank in 1960s5Overall Rank:11
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,448 votes)
Comments: 221 comments
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Top 500 Albums of All Time composition

Decade Albums %


1930s 0 0%
1940s 0 0%
1950s 3 3%
1960s 35 35%
1970s 43 43%
1980s 11 11%
1990s 6 6%
2000s 2 2%
2010s 0 0%
Artist Albums %


The Beatles 7 7%
Bob Dylan 5 5%
Led Zeppelin 4 4%
The Rolling Stones 4 4%
Stevie Wonder 3 3%
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 3 3%
U2 2 2%
Show all
Country Albums %


United States 56 56%
United Kingdom 33 33%
Canada 5 5%
Ireland 2 2%
Mixed Nationality 2 2%
Australia 1 1%
Jamaica 1 1%

Top 500 Albums of All Time similar charts

Top 500 Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone (2005)
Top 500 Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone (2003)
Top 100 Greatest Music Albums by P H Dias (2012)
Top 100 Greatest Music Albums by album guru joe (2013)
The Top 100 Albums by VH1 (2001)

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Top 500 Albums of All Time ratings

Average Rating: 
69/100 (from 231 votes)
  Ratings distribution  Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

Showing latest 5 ratings for this chart. | Show all 231 ratings for this chart.

Rating
Date logged
Member
No. chart ratings
Avg. chart rating
 
100/100
5 hours ago
  Ratings distribution 5 ratings
84/100
 
70/100
14 hours ago
  Ratings distribution 2 ratings
58/100
 
95/100
02/22/2017 20:24
  Ratings distribution 3 ratings
95/100
 
90/100
02/22/2017 00:21
  Ratings distribution 2 ratings
95/100
 
85/100
02/19/2017 22:43
  Ratings distribution 1 rating
85/100

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Top 500 Albums of All Time comments

Showing latest 10 comments | Show all 100 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
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Rating:  
70/100
From Dakalicious 13 hours ago
It's not a bad lists, but I feel like their shouldn't be so many compilation albums as they aren't actual albums; they're just a collection of songs taken from the artist's previous albums. There's also a few weird choices when it comes to the placement of these albums, like putting Led Zeppelin's debut album before Led Zeppelin 2 & 4. There's also a surprising lack of albums by David Bowie & there's very little diversity in terms of genre. Something else I've noticed is that there's very few albums on this list that weren't released in the years between the 60's and 70's. While that's understandable as the 60's & 70's were easily the best years for music, there's only about 15 albums from the 80's, 90's, & 2000's, and a lot of those are compilation albums.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From jhuik 02/17/2017 10:56
Too much sentiment and not enough sense. The Marvin Gaye album is there because he's black and from the 60's. It's a wildly inconsistent album, too repetitive and thin to be so highly vaunted. Exile on Main Street is also far too inconsistent, but it's by the Stones, and they feel they have to have something by the Stones in the top ten. (Don't get me wrong, I have a soft spot for both those albums and Exile is still high on my personal list). But criticisms aside, Rolling Stone (and this list) still deserves respect for its leadership -- and perhaps, for recognizing better than many other sources, those who have gone before and paved the way. But yes, paved the way for newer music that does indeed stand on the shoulders of these giants.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
85/100
From borninhockeytown 02/04/2017 16:12
Very disappointed that Rolling Stone would consider compilation albums in the list of great albums.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
70/100
From Cardboardfolder 01/21/2017 18:39
It's a geat reference to start up a music collection but it's also a list you will enventually outgrow and find lacking in substance.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From Tartifless 11/19/2016 09:45
There is a mistake : # 11 should be the Sun Sessions, not Sunshine by Elvis Presley
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
From Matt-R 11/02/2016 02:01
I've been using it for a while as a guide to what music to look into next. I feel like it is missing some great prog like King Crimson and Genesis and I don't like that they used compilation albums. Creating a list that will make everyone happy is nearly impossible, but this is good as a reference.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +6 votes (6 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
65/100
From rliberty 11/01/2016 19:54
They seem to define greatness in terms of influence. While that's one way to look at it, it leaves out a lot of great lesser known or newer albums, and makes it look as if music died in 1979.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +5 votes (5 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From Fischman 10/28/2016 13:59
Rolling Stone has always severely overrated a number of artists, especially from the classic rock period. I see their list as rather myopic and I agree with very little on on it.

That said, I don't have a problem with the heavy weighting on the classic rock time period as that was truly the high water mark for popular music. '67 - '75 may never be equaled.

Where they fall down the worst is in their slighting of progressive rock. They are grossly deficient in their lack of appreciation for the likes of Yes, ELP, King Crimson, Rush, Kansas, early Genesis, etc. It seems the only prog they see fit to praise is Floyd.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
From garycottier 08/13/2016 19:00
Compilation albums shouldn't be allowed, and considering a fair few of these albums are U.S. only releases it makes it almost obsolete in my opinion. Some great albums though, but come on, sly and the family stone's greatest hits is not better than stand!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (2 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
35/100
From Thad 08/08/2016 05:38
May as well just call it "Greatest Albums 1960-1979." There really is no point in calling this an all-time list.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (4 helpful | 2 unhelpful)

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