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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums by louisjwyatt (2017)  

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This is in no way my attempt at representing the "100 Greatest Albums of All Time." If that were my goal (which would be a relatively absurd exercise) this chart would be full of Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Pink Floyd and Doors records, and what's the fun in that? Obviously I have a profound respect for the great music icons of history, but I always enjoy seeking out exceptional melody makers, lyricists, experimentalists, and of course, overlooked pioneers. Though the order of this chart changes daily and a simple change in mood can affect the way I hear a piece of music, these 100 albums are those which I hold dearest to me. Some of it you may deem unlistenable, offensive, boring or just not your style, but that's the beauty of artistic taste. If you don't like something at first, give it a second chance. I find the albums I initially hate end up being my all time favorites.

And of course, I don't expect my opinion to be of interest to anyone; Matters of taste are completely arbitrary and hardly deserve merit. My hope is people will simply find something new and give it a listen, even if it's only one album or one song. There's lots of great music out there waiting to be discovered, most of which we'll never encounter, and I'll be the first to admit I will never have a complete list of "The Greatest of All Time."

This chart follows the one album per artist rule.

Chart updated: 09/13/2017 20:15 (Created: 12/05/2013 19:11). Chart size: 100 albums.

There are 39 comments for this chart from BestEverAlbums.com members and Top 100 Greatest Music Albums has an average rating of 89 out of 100 (from 67 votes). Please log in or register to leave a comment or assign a rating.

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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 | Date Added
RankAlbumArtist
1. (=)

SpiderlandUnited States Slint
There's not much I can say about Slint's enigmatic masterpiece that hasn't been put into words before. Everything about it, from the music to the cover art and the story behind its recording, has this chilling attraction to it. After asking myself for years now what my favorite record would be, if I absolutely had to choose, Spiderland has always been the first to come to mind. I simply never tire of it. It's like an urban legend set to music or an artifact you might find in the basement of an old antique store. It's creepy, kitschy, and novel - and somehow no one could've made it work better than a group of weird punk rock fans barely out of high school. Maybe it's just the fact that Spiderland sounds like the lovechild it really is that makes me enjoy it so much. From the repetitive guitar riffs and spoken-word lyrics, no matter how simplistic they come across, it all sounds as if the band spent hours perfecting every beat and measure.

I could go on about fun facts for hours - like how Will Oldham a.k.a. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy took the now-iconic picture of the band wading in the Utica Quarry, or that Britt Walford was the inspiration for the Jesus Lizard's "Mouth Breather" - but I think what draws me to this album the most is how authentic it sounds. Listening to it is like hanging out with the band in Britt's basement drinking a tallboy and watching the guys jam - just like any other day. It feels personal and small, like the shitty local bar down the street, and yet its impact on the music world was immense. After hearing Spiderland for the first time, I started hearing Slint in other people's music. What started as a few guys having fun in their friend's basement ended up producing what would inform generations of rock bands to come.

Spiderland will always be special to me, and there's not really one reason for it. I'm utterly blown away every time I hear it, and decades after its release, I've simply never heard anything like it.
(First added to chart: 10/23/2014)
Year of Release:1991Appears in:644 charts
Rank in 1991:6Rank Score:19,028
Rank in 1990s25Overall Rank:119
Average Rating:  84/100 (753 votes)
Comments: 82 comments
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2. (=)

Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityUnited States Kendrick Lamar
Before Kendrick Lamar hit the scene, there never was a greater storyteller in hip hop. And yet, it took me years to understand his genius. Labeled a "Short Film by Kendrick Lamar," Good Kid, MAAD City tells the story of a young black man growing up on the streets of Compton. Although he has pride in his city, Kendrick is equally as condemning of what the hood put him through, being an avenue to gang violence, PCP-laced weed and the art of peer pressure. There is no glorification of gang behavior here, but a plea for the American people to recognize just what black youth on the west coast are exposed to on a daily basis. Kendrick digs even deeper than NWA to bring us the real Compton without preaching or pointing fingers at the white race. He's simply an observant rapper who knows how to tell it how it is.
(First added to chart: 11/24/2015)
Year of Release:2012Appears in:857 charts
Rank in 2012:1Rank Score:27,092
Rank in 2010s4Overall Rank:77
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (1,162 votes)
Comments: 147 comments
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3. (=)

Rain DogsUnited States Tom Waits
What can I say about Rain Dogs that hasn't already been said before? It's chock-full of imagery, mysterious, rough around the edges and somehow in an untouchable level of class. Tom Waits is, undoubtedly, the coolest guy on earth. He is as much a character as he is a man, which is evident through his humor, demeanor, and clever little tales about life. He may have been completely sober recording Rain Dogs, but the instruments were at the Ballmer's peak of drunkenness. This is one of only a few albums that I could listen to every day and never get tired of. Waits is quite possibly one of the greatest American poets of all time. I would almost argue that his lyrics are better than Dylan's - yes I said it.

Favorite track: Tango Till They're Sore
(First added to chart: 12/05/2013)
Year of Release:1985Appears in:783 charts
Rank in 1985:1Rank Score:21,767
Rank in 1980s15Overall Rank:105
Average Rating: Top rated 85/100 (913 votes)
Comments: 55 comments
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4. (=)

Red House Painters (Rollercoaster)United States Red House Painters
God, this band is so dreary. It's interesting how I can put this album on and picture myself riding the roller coaster on the cover all alone, just feeling sorry for myself. And yet, Red House Painters actually offer me some comfort in knowing that I will never be quite as miserable as Mark Kozelek. Rollercoaster transcends pain and suffering by just throwing it right out in the open, and somehow it doesn't make me feel self-important like you'd expect it to. I don't think "Man, I need to wallow in sadness because my issues really matter in the grand scheme of things." I just think "I am human and I should pity everyone as much as I do myself." Sometimes I catch myself in a vicious loop of replays, just letting it all wash over me time and time again. This is absolutely one of the best albums of all time, and yet it's dangerous. Don't let its vicious sentimentality castrate you; you might never escape.

Favorite Track: Katy Song
(First added to chart: 06/15/2015)
Year of Release:1993Appears in:227 charts
Rank in 1993:11Rank Score:3,767
Rank in 1990s123Overall Rank:597
Average Rating:  82/100 (258 votes)
Comments: 25 comments
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5. (=)

Kid AUnited Kingdom Radiohead
Enough with the jokes, let's get serious for a second. Listening to Radiohead has always been a rewarding experience for me, and their "guitar music" is, of course, fantastic. But Kid A almost gave me faith in the electronic age. I don't think Thom Yorke put nearly as much of himself into any other album as he did on this one. The social commentary here is daunting and, at times, makes me fear for the future of the human race. I didn't get around to listening to Kid A until I was already in my 20s, and it didn't seem like a big deal on the first listen. But it was interesting enough to make me want to come back to it and invest some of my time. You have no idea how grateful I am that I did. Kid A grows on you and becomes one of the greatest experiences you can have with music. Every song is perfect, but the whole is certainly better than the sum of its parts. All cliches aside, Kid A brought a level of synergy that made it a Darkside of the Moon for Generation Y. Let's take a moment to thank Thom and Johnny and the boys for giving us real feelings again.

Favorite Track: Idioteque
(First added to chart: 06/29/2014)
Year of Release:2000Appears in:2,338 charts
Rank in 2000:1Rank Score:108,002
Rank in 2000s1Overall Rank:6
Average Rating: Top rated 89/100 (3,017 votes)
Comments: 435 comments
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6. (=)

DoolittleUnited States Pixies
What can I even say? It's the Pixies. They're awesome. Frank Black is a fucking maniac, Joey Santiago writes some of the catchiest guitar riffs ever, and Kim Deal knows how to hang with the boys. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was basically Kurt Cobain trying to imitate the Pixies, and it's really quite evident. No other band before the Pixies could do so much with just two notes. I find Doolittle more consistent than Surfer Rosa. While their debut has some of their best songs, the few low points on the album make it my second choice. Doolittle is pure gold from beginning to end, not a single dull moment.

Favorite Track: Debaser
(First added to chart: 04/29/2014)
Year of Release:1989Appears in:1,806 charts
Rank in 1989:1Rank Score:74,626
Rank in 1980s1Overall Rank:19
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (1,998 votes)
Comments: 211 comments
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7. (=)

In The Aeroplane Over The SeaUnited States Neutral Milk Hotel

(First added to chart: 11/18/2015)
Year of Release:1998Appears in:1,756 charts
Rank in 1998:1Rank Score:79,819
Rank in 1990s4Overall Rank:18
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (1,971 votes)
Comments: 336 comments
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8. (=)

Commit This To MemoryUnited States Motion City Soundtrack
A criminally underrated band in the "pop punk" scene. Motion City combines angst, wit and general awkwardness with fast-paced punk and catchy-as-hell hooks. Not to mention, that Moog synthesizer just has a way of putting a smile on your face. Justin Pierre, the band's vocalist, is strange, quirky, emotional, endearing, obsessive compulsive and downright hilarious. Not to mention, he's one of modern music's greatest lyricists. These guys got me through high school and I still frequently throw each and every one of their albums into my listening rotation. Commit This To Memory is possibly the only album that I know every single word to, and that's something that I'm not going to be afraid to admit even when my kids are pushing me around in a wheelchair. Few albums have this much personality, and Commit This To Memory owes that to Justin Pierre. The guy is a fantastic writer with experiences, both good and bad, that can be shared with everyone, and unlike most people these days, he's just brutally honest.

Favorite Track: Time Turned Fragile
(First added to chart: 04/09/2014)
Year of Release:2005Appears in:12 charts
Rank in 2005:140Rank Score:264
Rank in 2000s1,303Overall Rank:5,391
Average Rating:  77/100 (21 votes)
Comments: 1 comment
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9. (=)

Slanted & EnchantedUnited States Pavement
"People don't fall in love with Pavement ... they put on Smashing Pumpkins or Hole or Nirvana, because these bands actually mean something to them." -Billy Corgan

Give me a second here to pry Mr. Corgan's lips from his own ass. (Yikes, two Billy slams in three paragraphs. Sorry all you Pumpkins fans out there, he pretty much does it for me). But seriously, Pavement means A LOT to me.

Pavement, Pavement, Pavement, the world's best, worst band. If Stephen Malkmus had bothered to tune his guitar for Slanted & Enchanted, I probably wouldn't have liked it nearly as much (probably why I'm not as keen on Crooked Rain). This album is dirty, dysfunctional, hell it's a fucking mess, and that's why I love it so much. The slackers did their thing and the result is the world's greatest joke. Most bands have a formula, here's Pavement's: make bold philosophical statement, add "or whatever" to the end of it. Write that down, it might just make you an indie god some day.

Favorite Track: In The Mouth A Desert
(First added to chart: 07/19/2014)
Year of Release:1992Appears in:623 charts
Rank in 1992:3Rank Score:16,132
Rank in 1990s31Overall Rank:143
Average Rating:  83/100 (826 votes)
Comments: 58 comments
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10. (=)


Safe Mode: On
My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyUnited States Kanye West

(First added to chart: 11/14/2016)
Year of Release:2010Appears in:1,072 charts
Rank in 2010:2Rank Score:35,996
Rank in 2010s2Overall Rank:52
Average Rating:  84/100 (1,422 votes)
Comments: 197 comments
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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums composition

Decade Albums %


1930s 0 0%
1940s 0 0%
1950s 0 0%
1960s 4 4%
1970s 15 15%
1980s 23 23%
1990s 37 37%
2000s 10 10%
2010s 11 11%
Artist Albums %


The Rolling Stones 1 1%
Talking Heads 1 1%
Kraftwerk 1 1%
Motion City Soundtrack 1 1%
Sun Kil Moon 1 1%
The The 1 1%
Mercury Rev 1 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United States 69 69%
United Kingdom 20 20%
Australia 3 3%
Germany 2 2%
Iceland 2 2%
Canada 2 2%
Ireland 1 1%
Show all

Top 100 Greatest Music Albums chart changes

Biggest climbers
climbers Up 62 from 92nd to 30th
Flood
by They Might Be Giants
climbers Up 28 from 99th to 71st
Automatic For The People
by R.E.M.
Biggest fallers
fallers Down 2 from 70th to 72nd
Soul Mining
by The The
fallers Down 2 from 71st to 73rd
10,000 Days
by Tool
fallers Down 2 from 72nd to 74th
Bottomless Pit
by Death Grips
New entries
newentries Spirit Of Eden
by Talk Talk

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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums ratings

Average Rating: 
89/100 (from 67 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 67 ratings for this chart.

Rating
Date logged
Member
No. chart ratings
Avg. chart rating
 
95/100
09/14/2017 05:44
91/100
 
100/100
09/14/2017 03:20
94/100
 
95/100
09/14/2017 01:39
76/100
  
95/100
09/13/2017 17:10
95/100
  
80/100
09/13/2017 14:31
81/100

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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums comments

Showing latest 10 comments | Show all 39 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
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Rating:  
80/100
From platus 09/14/2017 06:59
Nice chart
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From IveGotToast 09/14/2017 03:52
Good taste my dude. Especially Slint and Jesus Lizard
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From Lgk21 09/14/2017 03:21
Really interesting choices and I enjoyed your comments. I feel the love you have for these records through your words.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From platus 09/13/2017 14:31
Nice chart
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From PatrickD 09/06/2017 09:40
Clearly you've thrown out any conditions of cool and caution and went unrestrained in your approach to the album's you've chosen on this list. What Misfits fan would include Blink-182 on their top 100 as well? Either a cultural nincompoop or an enlightened soul. A list as such should challenge culture and its boxes and leave the music to vibrate through the air where we can hear it as it truly is.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
90/100
From arthurbittencourt 08/03/2017 21:10
Don't let its vicious sentimentality castrate you; you might never escape.

This is so true. Sex never been the same again after my heart understood this record. My soul drained my libido.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From lostcontinent 07/28/2017 12:59
Great to see so many choices by less obvious artists, some I know and love like The The, New Order and Mercury Rev and others that are less familiar that I look forward to exploring. Don't 'agree' with all the list and I think I was as surprised by your Genesis pick as you were by my one by the Chili Peppers! But that's not the point as your spot-on introduction covers so well. What I love about the list is the variety and certainly I've 'found something new that I will give a listen to' - thanks!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From msududek1 07/21/2017 03:51
I read your comments at the beginning and was looking forward to going through your top 100. At first your top 10 had some top albums that a lot of people have rated extremely high and several albums I am not a fan of

However, at #31 this chart took off for me... as your top 100 started to contain pleasant surprises and stellar picks. In the end, I have rated 30 of your albums 4 star or more and only 6 1 star or less

My favorite picks
#31 - Smashing Pumpkins
#33 - Alice in Chains
#34 - Doors (see your chart was killing at #31 :-)
#49 - Carly - love this pick
#59 - Kraftwerk!!!
#61 - Unicorns
#69 - The The
#75 - New Order
#99 - Slayer... are you kidding me Carly and Slayer on the same top 100... same here on my top 100

Great Job and don't let Slayer drop, too cool to see some of the album choices you have
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From bobbyb5 03/02/2017 20:01
That Jim Croce is a good album. Operator and You Don't Mess Around must have been the two greatest singles of that year. They're fantastic.
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Rating:  
100/100
From Mechalodon 01/22/2017 19:40
Awesome list! I checked out a lot of bands on here I haven't heard before, and really enjoyed them!
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