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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:2,378 charts
Rank in 1967:1Rank Score:120,228
Rank in 1960s3Overall Rank:5
Average Rating: Top rated 90/100 (2,966 votes)
Comments: 334 comments
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2. New entry

Pet SoundsUnited States The Beach Boys
Year of Release:1966Appears in:1,874 charts
Rank in 1966:2Rank Score:86,622
Rank in 1960s6Overall Rank:13
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,089 votes)
Comments: 234 comments
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3. New entry

RevolverUnited Kingdom The Beatles
Year of Release:1966Appears in:2,483 charts
Rank in 1966:1Rank Score:131,037
Rank in 1960s1Overall Rank:3
Average Rating: Top rated 91/100 (2,951 votes)
Comments: 334 comments
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4. New entry

Highway 61 RevisitedUnited States Bob Dylan
Year of Release:1965Appears in:1,611 charts
Rank in 1965:1Rank Score:68,577
Rank in 1960s7Overall Rank:20
Average Rating: Top rated 89/100 (1,857 votes)
Comments: 153 comments
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5. New entry

Rubber SoulUnited Kingdom The Beatles
Year of Release:1965Appears in:1,571 charts
Rank in 1965:2Rank Score:64,179
Rank in 1960s8Overall Rank:22
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,134 votes)
Comments: 168 comments
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6. New entry

What's Going OnUnited States Marvin Gaye
Year of Release:1971Appears in:967 charts
Rank in 1971:4Rank Score:31,706
Rank in 1970s16Overall Rank:59
Average Rating: Top rated 85/100 (1,195 votes)
Comments: 94 comments
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7. New entry

Exile On Main St.United Kingdom The Rolling Stones
Year of Release:1972Appears in:1,252 charts
Rank in 1972:2Rank Score:48,767
Rank in 1970s8Overall Rank:31
Average Rating: Top rated 86/100 (1,573 votes)
Comments: 139 comments
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8. New entry

London CallingUnited Kingdom The Clash
Year of Release:1979Appears in:1,929 charts
Rank in 1979:1Rank Score:84,530
Rank in 1970s4Overall Rank:14
Average Rating: Top rated 87/100 (2,109 votes)
Comments: 185 comments
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9. New entry

Blonde On BlondeUnited States Bob Dylan
Year of Release:1966Appears in:1,299 charts
Rank in 1966:3Rank Score:51,141
Rank in 1960s10Overall Rank:28
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (1,585 votes)
Comments: 119 comments
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10. New entry

The Beatles (The White Album)United Kingdom The Beatles
Year of Release:1968Appears in:1,978 charts
Rank in 1968:1Rank Score:90,734
Rank in 1960s5Overall Rank:11
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,503 votes)
Comments: 224 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%
The Rolling Stones 4 4%
Led Zeppelin 4 4%
Stevie Wonder 3 3%
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 3 3%
Aretha Franklin 2 2%
Show all
Country Albums %


United States 56 56%
United Kingdom 33 33%
Canada 5 5%
Mixed Nationality 2 2%
Ireland 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 237 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 237 ratings for this chart.

Rating
Date logged
Member
No. chart ratings
Avg. chart rating
 
50/100
19 hours ago
  Ratings distribution 1 rating
50/100
 
50/100
04/11/2017 23:44
  Ratings distribution 4 ratings
68/100
 
85/100
04/11/2017 16:50
  Ratings distribution 4 ratings
83/100
 
75/100
04/08/2017 22:26
86/100
 
50/100
03/28/2017 15:29
  Ratings distribution 3 ratings
37/100

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Top 500 Albums of All Time comments

Showing latest 10 comments | Show all 105 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
(Only showing comments with -2 votes or higher. You can alter this threshold from your profile page. Manage Profile)

Rating:  
50/100
From AtkinL44 19 hours ago
It's one of those "I'm not going to offend anybody" lists marred by traditionalism, pandering, and obsession with anything made before the 80's. The top albums are still good albums, but not "the best" ones.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
50/100
From EcethZig3010 04/11/2017 23:44
Too mainstream,
a lot of overrated bands
But well... what can we expect from RS
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From mido981991 03/31/2017 01:15
thats cool
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From tomsmith79 03/27/2017 20:52
Too old! Too top heavy! And this is coming from someone who loves The Beatles and Dylan.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
70/100
From Dakalicious 02/27/2017 13:40
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) | +1 votes (1 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) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 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) | +1 votes (1 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) | +4 votes (4 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)

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