"All my old friends, they don't know me now"

- Arcade Fire

How it works

What is BestEverAlbums.com?
BestEverAlbums.com is a website that aggregates over 37,000 different greatest album charts to provide an easy way for visitors to look up and find out the greatest albums in history.

How big is this website?
BestEverAlbums.com was founded in 2005, and has over 38,000 members. To date, our members have submitted 37,000 charts, consisting of 140,000 different albums, 1,700,000 tracks, and 60,000 artists. In addition, our members have submitted around 540,000 forum posts, 5,700,000 ratings and 210,000 comments.

I'm thinking about registering. What are the benefits?
You're currently viewing BestEverAlbums as a guest, which gives you limited read-only access. By joining our free community, you'll be able to take advantage of a whole host of member-only features.

Registered members can create their own overall, decade, year or custom charts using the My Charts functionality. They can also participate in the forums, make comments on the various album, band and chart pages; and assign ratings.

The collector's summary functionality allows members to track which albums they have listened to (or that are in their music collection); and if members spot any albums that they'd like to purchase, they can add them to their wish list.

Members can also add albums, artists and charts to their favourites, and contribute edits to the BestEverAlbums database where they can help fill in any gaps, or submit corrections for any of the current items on the site.

In addition to all of the above, you will become part of a passionate community of over 38,000 music fans, where you can join the debate in the forums and meet some new friends.

Registration is fast, simple, and free, so join today (it only takes a moment!)

I'm having problems finding my way around - are there any tools to help me?
We have several tools to help. First, we have a site map which lists our most important pages. Second, we have an A to Z index which lists all of the artists that are on this site. Finally, we have a search page which allows you to locate a particular album, artist or track.

How can I keep up to date with what's happening here?
BestEverAlbums.com publishes a whole host of RSS feeds which enable you to keep abreast of the latest charts, forum posts, and comments. Plus, BestEverAlbums.com publishes a quarterly newsletter which provides exclusive information about the site including forthcoming features, recent developments, and other topics of interest. If you haven't subscribed yet, sign up today to stay informed!

In addition to the above, there are regular updates in the announcements forum where the latest developments are communicated.

How are the albums ranked?
The overall rank of each album is determined by calculating the aggregate position of each album from over 37,000 different charts. In theory, the more charts that a music album has appeared in and the higher it's rank score, the better an album will be.

What is the 'rank score'?
An album or artists's rank score is BestEverAlbums.com's own measure of how important an album or artist is in the all-time rankings. The rank score gives percentile points based on an album's position within a chart, and the points are evenly distributed regardless of chart size. The formula used on this site does not penalise albums on smaller lists, since the top-ranked album will always get the same number of points. The rank score is listed as a reference statistic across the whole site.

Rank score = ((n - (r - 1)) ÷ n) × w

w = Chart weight (Overall charts: 100, Decade charts: 20*, Year charts: 5*, Custom charts: 0).
n = Total number of entries in the chart.
r = Album's rank within the chart.

(* If a year or decade chart was last updated before the relevant time period had completed, the elapsed number of days that had passed when the chart was updated, are taken into consideration when calculating the points. Member overall charts with less than ten entries do not count towards the rankings. If a publication has published more than one chart of a given type, only their latest chart is awarded any points. Any charts that have not been updated in the past ten years are awarded a zero rank score).

Where can I find the overall rankings?
The greatest albums of all time as ranked by BestEverAlbums.com are listed on the Overall Chart page. You can also view the chart as it would have looked on a previous date, and see how the rankings have changed since that time.

Graphs are shown across the site showing each album's movement within the overall chart, and a historical summary of the whole chart is shown on the Overall Chart History page.

I don't like the way the albums are ranked - is there any way to customise this?
You are able to customise the overall chart to your own tastes by using a whole host of user-definable filters including nationality and year of release.

I'm not interested in albums, I'm more interested in songs.
It kind of follows that some of the best music ever written also appears on the best albums. A 'track pick' is a top-rated track appearing on one of the best albums in history as rated by BestEverAlbums.com members. For each album, the top-rated tracks are highlighted and denoted with a 'track pick' Track pick symbol.

The top-rated songs on the best albums in history, as voted by BestEverAlbums.com members, are listed in the statistics section of the site.

Am I able to view any of the 37,000 individual charts which make up the overall rankings?
You can view any of the charts individually from the The Charts page. This section of the site also allows you to view any of the member charts submitted via the My Charts page. You are able to subscribe to any of the charts via RSS feeds, or (for members only) export a chart to a CSV file.

I don't agree with any of the charts, can I submit my own?
Yes, we encourage you to do so! The My Charts functionality allows registered members to create and share their own charts with the community. No more listening to what other people say, this is your chance to have your say! Your chart will appear on the site and form part of the overall aggregate album rankings. Once the chart has been added to the website, it gets automatically cross-referenced with all of the other charts on the site making it easy for you to see who else has chosen the same albums.

I want to monitor or track which albums I own, or have listened to.
For registered members, we display a 'collector's summary' within each chart so that you can track the albums that you have listened to, or that you have in your collection.

I've seen lots of albums that I am interested in, how can I keep track of them all?
If you spot any albums that you are interested in, you can add them to your 'wish list'. You can also add a note or set a priority for any item in your wish list; and the list is saved in-between visits, so you can come back to it at any time.

The most wanted albums page shows the albums appearing most frequently in people's wish lists on BestEverAlbums.com, and allows you to see (at an aggregate level) what everybody else is looking for and to get ideas for your own music collection.

I want to buy the albums (or tracks); can I buy them from you?
Instead of selling music directly, BestEverAlbums.com provides a price comparison service which searches iTunes, eBay and Amazon for music CDs and MP3 downloads and then displays real-time pricing and availability so that you can buy from your favourite store (which can be defined on your profile page).

I want to view content from this website in Excel, or from my favourite newsreader - can I do this?
Registered members are able to download any of the charts on this site into a CSV file (compatible with nearly all spreadsheet programmes). There are also a whole host of RSS feeds, allowing you to keep up to date with this site from your favourite newsreader. If you are feeling creative, you could also use the information on our resources page to embed these RSS feeds into an external web page (providing that there is an acknowledgment, or a link back to BEA).

I'm interested in seeing how my favourite artist is doing in the overall rankings - can I do this?
Try using the Search page, or browse a list of artists on this site using the A to Z index. In addition, the top-ranked artists pages show the artists that feature most frequently in the greatest album charts and it's a great feature for those people that are interested in discovering the greatest music albums in history.

WTF?! My favourite isn't even listed!
If your favourite album or artist isn't on the site yet, it means nobody has included it in a chart. If you think an album or artist should be on this site, you can add it into your own chart using the My Charts page.

Where can I see the greatest albums in a particular year or decade?
You are able to view the rankings for every year or decade since 1910 from the year and decade section of the site. For example, from here you may view the best albums of 2019, or the best albums of the 2010s.

If you'd like to see how the year or decade charts have changed over a certain time period, you can also view them as they would have looked at any date in the past.

Isn't this just a popularity contest? Where can I see the *top-rated* albums?
You can view the top-rated albums as voted for by BestEverAlbums.com members from the top member-rated section of the site. From this section of the site, you are also able to view the top-rated songs, albums, artists and charts filtered for any year or decade, and for any country.

The ratings are displayed throughout the site and are a good indication of whether the greatest music albums in history can still hold their own.

How is the average rating calculated?
The average rating is not a simple arithmetic mean, instead it is calculated using a Bayesian average:
Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV

av = 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.

A Bayesian average helps to stop items with only a few high ratings from being ranked too high in the charts. It also helps to dampen the effects of a few bad ratings on the overall average.

How is the data on this website kept up-to-date?
The admin pages allow members to submit album art, track-listings, year of release, nationality and other details. The admin page for any album or artist can be accessed by clicking on the edit icon which is visible across the site to logged-in members. Any items that are not yet moderated are marked with a cross.

You can also use the admin pages to submit any data corrections. Any successful edits that you submit will be awarded 'mod points'. Mod points contribute to your total member score which is listed on the top members page.

Why are member points important?
The more member points that you gain, the more functionality you will be able to use.

Member points can be gained in all sorts of ways: by assigning ratings, leaving comments, participating on the forums, moderating data, and creating charts:

Each on-topic forum post:  2pts
Each comment:  2pts
Each chart entry:  2pts
Each mod update:  1pt
Each rating:  ½pt

You can find a detailed breakdown of the points total for each member on the user stats page.

I have a suggestion to improve this website.
If you have an idea that could help improve the site, please let us know in the suggestions forum. All suggestions are welcome, no matter how trivial.

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