Music Listverse

Have you noticed that people love lists? I don’t mean grocery lists or laundry lists. I’m talking about  those ranking lists – “Top Ten”, “Top 20”, “All Time Best/Worst” complied by so-called “experts” on the subject. There’s something about the list format that attracts us, and inevitably sends us into a fit of disagreement. It’s happened to me many times. The movie lists make me especially crazy, as I find myself objecting all over the place! (Am I the only one who thinks Citizen Kane is boring as shit?)

Rolling Stone magazine seems to be the arbiter of music-themed lists, so I thought we’d look a few of their editors’ selections for this week’s “Music Monday”. The November 2003 issue featured the “Greatest Albums of All Time”. Here’s the Top 20:

1- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles, 1967

2- Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys, 1966

3- Revolver, The Beatles, 1966

4- Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan, 1965

5- Rubber Soul, The Beatles, 1965

6- What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye, 1971

7- Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones, 1972

8- London Calling, The Clash, 1979

9- Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan, 1966

10- The White Album, The Beatles, 1968

11- The Sun Sessions, Elvis Presley, 1976

12- Kind of Blue, Miles Davis, 1959

13- The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Velvet Underground, 1967

14- Abbey Road, The Beatles, 1969

15- Are You Experienced?, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967

16- Blood On The Tracks, Bob Dylan, 1975

17- Nevermind, Nirvana, 1991

18- Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen, 1975

19- Astral Weeks, Van Morrison, 1968

20- Thriller, Michael Jackson, 1982

Wow, no Zeppelin in the Top 20? Holy crap. And Thriller ranks lower than London Calling? Whaaat? I have many opinions here, as you can imagine. Most of you may know that I am a huge Beatles fan. HUGE. And their heavy presence on the list is fine with me. Having said that, I really don’t think Rubber Soul belongs at such a high ranking. It’s a good album, but number five?

I’m pleased to see Exile on Main Street on there. The Stones at their best. Love that album! And Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On is stellar. But I would have bumped that stupid, overrated, self-indulgent grunge Nirvana album and replaced it with Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions. And I don’t quite get the Number 2 spot for Pet Sounds. Ah but these lists are all subjective, right?

Agree with list, disagree with the list, it’s all good fun and it makes for terrific discussion. Looking at the album covers is even more fun. Here are a few from “the list”. Some of these are true classics:

From my iTunes, here’s “Tomorrow Never Knows”, a track from the Number 3 album, The Beatles’ brilliant Revolver:

7 thoughts on “Music Listverse

  1. I love Zeppelin too and think there should have been a spot for them on that list. Which record, however, do you put there? I suppose most people will say the 4th album — the one with the symbols on the cover — but my personal favorite is the next album, Houses of the Holy. I think most critics would disagree with me there, preferring the earlier, rawer blues sound. Troube is that’s it’s possible that Zep does not have a masterpiece album — just an incredible string of great songs played by stellar musicians.

    • artmodel says:


      I’ve always been partial to Zeppelin II, but it would have nice to see any Zeppelin album on there. I’m probably one of those people who prefer that “earlier, rawer blues sound” you mentioned. But Houses of the Holy is a great choice too.

      Thanks for your comments!


  2. Fred says:

    That’s a real boomer’s list – only two albums on it are less than 30 years old! And those boomers used to say, back in the day, don’t trust anyone over 30!

  3. Dave Rudin says:

    I think someone should come up with a list of the best album TITLES of all time. My votes for the top two would be “Live Dead” by the Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa’s “The Grand Wazoo.”

    By the way, where was “Who’s Next” or “Quadraphenia” on that other list?

    • artmodel says:


      The album titles idea is great! I would add The Stones “Sticky Fingers” to your choices. It’s just so fabulously dirty 😉

      The Who appears on the list further down. I don’t have the complete list in front of me right now, but I’m pretty sure “Who’s Next” is on there.

      Thanks for your comments!


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