100 best rock albums of all time

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September 11, 2020
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100 best rock albums of all time

Many of rock 'n' roll's most significant moments have come in the form of album releases, the ranking of which has been hotly contested since the album format was first adopted in the music industry. It's virtually impossible to agree on which is best, as each of us forms highly subjective attachments to the music that has served as most influential in our lives. Which is why Stacker compiled a list of the 100 best rock albums with the help of data (as of Aug. 28, 2020) from Best Ever Albums, which ranks albums according to their appearance and performance on 40,000 editorial and data-based charts like Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Billboard.

Several bands appear multiple times on the list—unsurprising for acts that served as the most influential entertainers of their day—while other musicians who were undoubtedly significant didn't make the cut. Some of the winning albums are obscure and beloved by their fans, but little known much further afield. Others are laden with familiar hits.

Trends emerge. Plenty of bands broke up after making their masterpieces, often because the pressure of a decent follow-up album seemed to be too much. Many talented band members died, and a disturbing number of those were people who died by suicide. Nearly all the bands’ members are male, though a handful have women as vocalists. Musicians of color are visibly absent as, well.

Some of the sounds are classic rock ’n’ roll, but more likely, the influential works are creative efforts to transform old sounds into new ones or jump into a fresh genre. Many have singles that are still popular decades after their introduction.

The Best Ever Albums score was derived from a formula that weighs how many charts an album has appeared on and how high it was on each of those charts, and points were awarded accordingly. Learn more via this in-depth methodology. All iterations of rock were considered. Keep reading to see how this list of the best rock albums of all time stacks up to your own.

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#100. 'Rage Against the Machine' by Rage Against the Machine

- Best Ever Albums score: 14,823
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 82
- Rank all-time: #116
- Rank in decade: #23
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1992

The debut album by Rage Against the Machine was considered groundbreaking in its mix of rap with rock. The band blended guitar solos with angry lyrics, and it’s widely considered to be the band’s best work.

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#99. 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols' by Sex Pistols

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,350
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 80
- Rank all-time: #114
- Rank in decade: #28
- Rank in year: #5
- Year: 1977

This album exploded onto the British music scene where the album, with songs like “God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the UK,” became one of the most-influential ever, making an impact not only on music genres from rock to hip hop and country, but fashion and pop culture. Less than 40 minutes long with just a dozen songs, it’s the only studio album the punk band ever made. The title led to charges of indecent advertising against the band, which was banned from performing in much of England.

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#98. 'Definitely Maybe' by Oasis

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,415
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 80
- Rank all-time: #111
- Rank in decade: #21
- Rank in year: #5
- Year: 1994

Definitely Maybe” was the debut album of Britpop’s Oasis, with brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher shaking up a music scene filled with grunge sounds at the time. Not satisfied while they were making it, Oasis remade the entire album twice before its release. It contains singles “Rock ’n’ Roll Star,” “Live Forever,” and “Slide Away.”

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#97. 'Achtung Baby' by U2

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,600
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 80
- Rank all-time: #110
- Rank in decade: #20
- Rank in year: #5
- Year: 1991

U2’s first album after a three-year absence, “Achtung Baby” won two Grammys including best rock album by a duo or group. The first major CD to be sold in environmentally-friendly packaging, “Achtung Baby” features the guitar excellence of The Edge on “Mysterious Ways” and “Until the End of the World.”

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#96. 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,704
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #109
- Rank in decade: #15
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1986

“Master of Puppets” is considered one of metal’s best albums. The band made the album in Denmark, working on it overnight for three months. Not long after its release, Metallica’s bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a tour bus crash.

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#95. 'Amnesiac' by Radiohead

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,720
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #108
- Rank in decade: #17
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 2001

Most of the songs on “Amnesiac” were recorded in the same sessions in Oxford, England; Paris; and Copenhagen, Denmark, as those on “KidA,” an album released eight months earlier. Radiohead said it opted not to release the works as a double album so the songs would not get overlooked. A limited release version of the album was made to evoke a worn library book, winning a Grammy for best recording package.

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#94. 'Bringing It All Back Home' by Bob Dylan

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,735
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #107
- Rank in decade: #23
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1965

Bringing It All Back Home” marked Bob Dylan’s explosive recording move, into electric from acoustic, that would change rock ’n’ roll. He recorded the 11 songs—including “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” and “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”—in three days. It closes with the farewell song “It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

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#93. 'The Soft Bulletin' by The Flaming Lips

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,751
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #106
- Rank in decade: #19
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1999

The orchestral “The Soft Bulletin” by Oklahoma City’s The Flaming Lips was more harmonious and personal than their earlier four-disc album “Zaireeka.” It broadened the psychedelic rock band’s popularity enormously, and they followed with an even more successful “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” in 2002.

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#92. 'Physical Graffiti' by Led Zeppelin

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,834
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #104
- Rank in decade: #27
- Rank in year: #5
- Year: 1975

The sixth album by Led Zeppelin, “Physical Graffiti” was the first the band made on its own record label, Swan Song. Critics said it confirmed the band’s megastatus after all five of its previous albums went platinum. Key to the album’s success was the work by guitarist Jimmy Page.

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#91. 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' by The Flaming Lips

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,866
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #103
- Rank in decade: #15
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 2002

“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” by The Flaming Lips was called “storytelling acid rock” designed to entertain. It followed their earlier popular album “The Soft Bulletin.” The single “Do You Realize??” was named the official state rock song of Oklahoma, where the band originated. Frontman Wayne Coyne adapted the album into a stage musical in 2012.

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#90. 'Appetite for Destruction' by Guns N’ Roses

- Best Ever Albums score: 15,908
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 78
- Rank all-time: #102
- Rank in decade: #14
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1987

“Appetite for Destruction” was the debut album for Guns N’ Roses. Reviewers said it was the perfect mix of blues, swinging rhythm, and the soulful, charismatic lead vocals of Axl Rose. Its popularity grew slowly, taking almost a year to reach the top of the chart at Billboard.

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#89. 'The Velvet Underground' by The Velvet Underground

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,011
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #101
- Rank in decade: #22
- Rank in year: #6
- Year: 1969

“The Velvet Underground” was the self-titled third album by the avant garde Velvet Underground, whose members included the late Lou Reed. The album was made following the departure of band founder and composer John Cale. Reed wrote its haunting love song “Pale Blue Eyes,” which has been widely covered, with well-known versions by such artists as Patti Smith and R.E.M.

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#88. 'Rain Dogs' by Tom Waits

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,048
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #100
- Rank in decade: #13
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1985

Rain Dogs” is one of the best works by the raspy-voiced, growling singer-songwriter Tom Waits. It features improvisation, jazz horns, and distinctive percussion, including the tones of a marimba. Among its 19 songs is the original “Downtown Train,” which would become a major hit when it was later recorded by Rod Stewart.

 

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#87. 'Harvest' by Neil Young

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,242
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #99
- Rank in decade: #26
- Rank in year: #5
- Year: 1972

Harvest” was the first hit album for Canada’s Neil Young, with help from Nashville session musicians, the London Symphony Orchestra, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, and his former bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash. It features the huge hit “Heart of Gold,” along with “Old Man” and “The Needle and the Damage Done.” Young later wrote: “ ‘Heart of Gold’ put me in the middle of the road. Travelling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride, but I saw more interesting people there.”

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#86. 'Close to the Edge' by Yes

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,251
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #98
- Rank in decade: #25
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1972

Close to the Edge,” with just three songs, is considered the masterpiece of progressive rock’s Yes. It’s a sweeping mix of vocal melodies, jazz fusion, spiritual tones, and orchestral instrumentals, courtesy of singer Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, bass player Chris Squire, keyboard player Rick Wakeman, and drummer Bill Bruford.

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#85. 'Odessey and Oracle' by The Zombies

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,457
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #97
- Rank in decade: #21
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1968

The Zombies recorded “Odessey and Oracle” at Abbey Road Studios after the Beatles finished recording “Sgt. Pepper.” Guitarist and vocalist Chris White said the band members only had a thousand pounds among them to make the album. Its single “Time of the Season,” with its recognizable opening bass notes and breathy vocals, remains hugely popular.

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#84. 'Pinkerton' by Weezer

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,474
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #96
- Rank in decade: #18
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1996

Pinkerton” was the follow-up album to Weezer’s popular self-titled debut. It lacked a commercial hit single like the earlier “Buddy Holly,” but critics said it was matured, deeper, and more intricate than the rock band’s bouncier introduction.

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#83. 'Houses of the Holy' by Led Zeppelin

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,570
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #95
- Rank in decade: #24
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1973

After the runaway success of Led Zeppelin IV and a long tour, the band stretched out creatively with “Houses of the Holy.” It features classic piano and a reggae influence. Parts of it were recorded at an English manor house owned by Mick Jagger, where the Rolling Stones recorded songs for “Exile on Main Street” and “Sticky Fingers,” and the Who recorded tracks for “Who’s Next.”

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#82. 'Surfer Rosa' by Pixies

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,667
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #94
- Rank in decade: #12
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1988

Surfer Rosa” was the debut full-length album by the raw and irreverent Massachusetts band the Pixies. Recorded in just two weeks, its songs tackle such topics as pedophile priests. It mixes thundering drums, punk, and flamenco, and “Something Against You” features the distorted voice of front man Black Francis put through a guitar amplifier.

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#81. 'Elephant' by The White Stripes

- Best Ever Albums score: 16,787
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #93
- Rank in decade: #14
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2003

Indie duo The White Stripes made their debut on a major label with “Elephant,” their fourth album. It contains their signature single “Seven Nation Army.” Liner notes for the commercial hit album, made with outdated equipment like an eight-track tape recorder, say: “No computers were used during the writing, recording, mixing, or mastering of this record.” A Rolling Stone review called the album “pulverizing perfection.” It won two Grammys for best alternative music album and best rock song for “Seven Nation Army.”

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#80. 'Sound of Silver' by LCD Soundsystem

- Best Ever Albums score: 17,179
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #91
- Rank in decade: #12
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 2007

Sound of Silver” was the second album for rock’s LCD Soundsystem, led by James Murphy who plays most of the instruments. Murphy was a DJ and producer before the album came together. It was recorded at a Massachusetts farm made into a studio that had been used by such stars as Stevie Wonder and Keith Richards.

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#79. 'A Night at the Opera' by Queen

- Best Ever Albums score: 17,216
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #90
- Rank in decade: #23
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1975

The kitschy operatic “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the megahit on “A Night at the Opera,” Queen’s fourth album and the one that brought it worldwide popularity. The album was reportedly one of the most expensive rock albums ever made. The single “Bohemian Rhapsody” hit the top of the British charts in four days. Credits on the album say: “No Synthesizers!”

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#78. 'Spiderland' by Slint

- Best Ever Albums score: 17,314
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #89
- Rank in decade: #17
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1991

Slint, an indie band from Louisville, Kentucky, broke up before the official release of “Spiderland,” its second album. The songs are simple, spare, and subtle, with the vocals heavily outweighed by its instrumentals. The short-lived band had put a call on the album’s back cover for female vocalists to audition.

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#77. 'A Rush of Blood to the Head' by Coldplay

- Best Ever Albums score: 17,406
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 79
- Rank all-time: #88
- Rank in decade: #11
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 2002

“A Rush of Blood to the Head” was the followup album to Coldplay’s well-received debut album “Parachutes.” It won a Grammy for best alternative music album. Its smash hit “Clocks” with vocals and piano by frontman Chris Martin was a last-minute addition to the collection.

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#76. 'Purple Rain' by Prince and The Revolution

- Best Ever Albums score: 18,087
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #86
- Rank in decade: #11
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1984

Purple Rain” featured five singles that were commercially released, with two of them, “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” hitting the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The “Purple Rain” tour consisted of 100 shows in the United States and Canada. It was the musician’s biggest-selling album. Prince died in 2016.

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#75. 'Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven' by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

- Best Ever Albums score: 18,465
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #85
- Rank in decade: #9
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 2000

“Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven” was an ambitious, intense symphonic rock album by Canada’s Godspeed You Black Emperor, who filled it with the sounds of violins and horns, along with guitar solos and snare drums. It consists of four long pieces—“Storm,” “Static,” “Sleep,” and “Like Antennas to Heaven.”

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#74. 'Turn On the Bright Lights' by Interpol

- Best Ever Albums score: 18,982
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #83
- Rank in decade: #8
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 2002

New York-based Interpol made its debut with “Turn On the Bright Lights,” marked by complex lyrics and textured sounds that are dissonant and mysterious. Its standout single is the driving anthem “PDA,” with its fluid guitar lines.

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#73. 'Magical Mystery Tour' by The Beatles

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,103
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #82
- Rank in decade: #20
- Rank in year: #6
- Year: 1967

“Magical Mystery Tour” was the soundtrack to the Beatles’ unsuccessful concept movie to document a bus trip but gave the world such hits as “The Fool on the Hill,” ‘‘Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” “Baby You’re a Rich Man,” and “All You Need Is Love.”

The album was released the year that Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein died of an accidental drug overdose at 32.

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#72. 'A Moon Shaped Pool' by Radiohead

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,524
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #81
- Rank in decade: #7
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2016

Days before the release of the art rock album “A Moon Shaped Pool,” Radiohead teased fans by erasing all the content from its social media profiles and website. It released the first single, “Burn the Witch,” with an animated video that evoked the style of children’s television programs in England.

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#71. 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,606
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 82
- Rank all-time: #80
- Rank in decade: #10
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1982

Nearly every song on Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" is a standalone hit, including “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin,” and “Human Nature.” The star’s sisters Janet and LaToya Jackson sang backup vocals on “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” The winner of eight Grammys, it was the best-selling album in history for many years. At one point, it was selling 1 million copies worldwide a week. The dance video for “Thriller” was released a year after the album landed.

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#70. 'Hounds of Love' by Kate Bush

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,740
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #78
- Rank in decade: #9
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1985

“Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” on “Hounds of Love” was the first U.S. hit for Britain’s Kate Bush. The album took her two years to write, compose, and create, using piano, synthesizers, and traditional Irish instruments.

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#69. 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' by The Smashing Pumpkins

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,773
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #77
- Rank in decade: #16
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1995

Smashing Pumpkins’ success exploded with the release of “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,” 28 songs that stretched from punk to folk. It produced the hits “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “Tonight, Tonight,” “Thirty-Three,” and “1979,” which would become the band’s biggest U.S. hit.

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#68. 'Dummy' by Portishead

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,946
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #75
- Rank in decade: #15
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1994

Portishead embraced the sound that came to be called trip-hop with its debut album “Dummy.” The influential album won Britain’s prestigious 1995 Mercury Music Prize.

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#67. 'After the Gold Rush' by Neil Young

- Best Ever Albums score: 19,969
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #74
- Rank in decade: #21
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1970

Released as Neil Young’s stint with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young was ending, the raw and mournful “After the Gold Rush” featured a remarkable number of popular songs—“Tell Me Why,” “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Southern Man,” “Till the Morning Comes,” “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” “When You Dance I Can Really Love,” and “Cripple Creek Ferry.” When Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt recorded the title track, often sung as an environmental anthem, they asked Young what it meant. Parton said he replied: “Hell, I don't know. I just wrote it. It just depends on what I was taking at the time.”

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#66. 'Electric Ladyland' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

- Best Ever Albums score: 20,637
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #73
- Rank in decade: #18
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1968

The double album “Electric Ladyland” was the last studio album recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was made in London and New York amid Hendrix’s tours. It had the hit “All Along the Watchtower,” in which Hendrix improvised, using a cigarette lighter as a guitar slide.

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#65. 'Forever Changes' by Love

- Best Ever Albums score: 20,757
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #72
- Rank in decade: #17
- Rank in year: #5
- Year: 1967

The third album by Love, “Forever Changes,” is psychedelic and poetic, with an innovative mix of strings, horns, folk, and rock. It includes “A House Is Not a Motel” and “Old Man.”

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#64. 'Closer' by Joy Division

- Best Ever Albums score: 21,650
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #69
- Rank in decade: #8
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1980

Released not long after the suicide death of singer Ian Curtis, the album “Closer” depicted a tomb on its cover. The album had already been in production, but many fans found the image tasteless and exploitative. Closer was the band’s second, and last, album.

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#63. 'Weezer' (The Blue Album) by Weezer

- Best Ever Albums score: 21,951
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #68
- Rank in decade: #13
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1994

Weezer’s self-titled debut album soared to triple-platinum status. It featured “Say It Ain’t So” and “Undone (The Sweater Song)” as well as the catchy “Buddy Holly” pop tune that hit the radio waves and propelled the rock band into mainstream popularity.

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#62. 'Paranoid' by Black Sabbath

- Best Ever Albums score: 22,312
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #67
- Rank in decade: #19
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1970

“Paranoid” was Black Sabbath’s second album, and it is the heavy metal band’s best-selling work. But it took almost a year to go gold in America and 15 more years to hit platinum status.

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#61. 'Daydream Nation' by Sonic Youth

- Best Ever Albums score: 22,382
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #66
- Rank in decade: #7
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1988

The fifth album by Sonic Youth, “Daydream Nation,” was a boost for so-called noise pop, a style of post-punk, avant-garde, and noise rock combined. The album captured the energy of New York’s music scene at the time.

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#60. 'Ágætis byrjun' by Sigur Rós

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,042
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #65
- Rank in decade: #12
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1999

“Ágætis byrjun” was the second album by Iceland’s post-rock band Sigur Rós. Its unusual sound includes use of a cello bow to play an electric guitar. It brought the band critical success, and it went on to tour with Radiohead.

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#59. 'Sticky Fingers' by The Rolling Stones

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,076
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #64
- Rank in decade: #18
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1971

The Rolling Stones caused an uproar with the original cover of “Sticky Fingers,” which portrayed a close-up image of a man’s crotch in blue jeans. The original version included a zipper that could be unzipped, but that was discontinued. The album had a wealth of hits, including “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” and “Sister Morphine.”

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#58. 'Lonerism' by Tame Impala

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,148
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #63
- Rank in decade: #5
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 2012

Lonerism” rocketed Australian indie band Tame Impala from indie to mainstream. Tracks “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” topped the charts down under.

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#57. 'Born To Run' by Bruce Springsteen

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,169
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #62
- Rank in decade: #17
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1975

“Born to Run” was Bruce Springsteen’s third album and a runaway commercial success. With “Thunder Road,” “Backstreets,” and “Jungleland,” it catapulted the New Jersey rocker to superstardom.

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#56. 'Let It Bleed' by The Rolling Stones

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,213
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #61
- Rank in decade: #16
- Rank in year: #5
- Year: 1969

Let It Bleed” is teeming with the most popular songs the Rolling Stones ever recorded, starting with “Gimme Shelter” and guest vocals by gospel singer Merry Clayton, along with the bluesy epic “Midnight Rambler” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” complemented by the London Bach Choir.

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#55. 'Grace' by Jeff Buckley

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,596
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #60
- Rank in decade: #11
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1994

Grace” is the only album made by singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, who died in 1997. It includes his signature rendition of “Hallelujah,” arguably one of the best versions of Leonard Cohen’s much-covered classic.

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#54. 'Astral Weeks' by Van Morrison

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,742
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #59
- Rank in decade: #15
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1968

Astral Weeks” is only the second studio album by Belfast’s singer-songwriter Van Morrsion, who has made dozens since. Employing flute, harpsichord, vibraphone, and strings, Morrison recorded it in three sessions. Most of the tracks took just one or two takes.

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#53. 'Automatic for the People' by R.E.M.

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,813
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #58
- Rank in decade: #10
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1992

R.E.M.’s “Automatic for the People” contains the unforgettable hits “Nightswimming,” “Man on the Moon,” and “Everybody Hurts.” Lead singer Michael Stipe has said he has heard from untold numbers of fans that “Everybody Hurts” helped save their lives. The album was a darker, sadder sequel to the Athens, Georgia, band’s hugely popular “Out of Time” featuring “Losing My Religion” and “Shiny Happy People.”

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#52. 'In Utero' by Nirvana

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,929
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 84
- Rank all-time: #57
- Rank in decade: #9
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1993

“In Utero” was Nirvana’s third and last studio album. A Rolling Stone reviewer called it “brilliant, corrosive, enraged and thoughtful.” Nirvana’s frontman Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994.

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#51. 'Led Zeppelin I' by Led Zeppelin

- Best Ever Albums score: 23,961
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #56
- Rank in decade: #14
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1969

“Led Zeppelin I” was the band’s debut album, and it took off. Previously, band members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones had worked as talented session musicians. Its songs include “Good Times, Bad Times,” “Dazed and Confused,” and “Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.”

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#50. 'Low' by David Bowie

- Best Ever Albums score: 24,232
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #55
- Rank in decade: #16
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1977

“Low” was an experimental concept album by cutting-edge rock musician David Bowie. It is split between electronic synthesized dissonance and more soothing instrumentals, made with the help of a creative partnership with rocker Brian Eno. It was the first album in Bowie’s Berlin trilogy that also included “Heroes” and “Lodger.”

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#49. 'Siamese Dream' by The Smashing Pumpkins

- Best Ever Albums score: 24,428
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #54
- Rank in decade: #8
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1993

“Siamese Dreams,” the second album by The Smashing Pumpkins, is a treasure trove of electric guitar, powerful drumming, and angst-filled stories. Recorded on analog tape, it took months to complete. One of its most acclaimed tracks is the ballad “Disarm.’”

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#48. '(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?' by Oasis

- Best Ever Albums score: 24,489
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 81
- Rank all-time: #53
- Rank in decade: #7
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1995

“(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" was Oasis’ follow-up album to "Definitely Maybe" and sold more copies than the debut. Unlike the first album, “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” was hugely popular in the United States, confirming the band’s international hit status.

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#47. 'Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not' by Arctic Monkeys

- Best Ever Albums score: 25,450
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #51
- Rank in decade: #7
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2006

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” was the debut album of British punk band Arctic Monkeys. The songs painted a raw picture of the late-night working class club scene in gritty Northern England.

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#46. 'The Joshua Tree' by U2

- Best Ever Albums score: 25,749
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 83
- Rank all-time: #50
- Rank in decade: #6
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1987

The Joshua Tree” was the first of U2’s albums to reach #1 on U.S. charts. It’s teeming with popular songs such as “I Still Haven't Found What I’m Looking For,” “With or Without You,” “Bullet the Blue Sky,” “In God’s Country,” and “Where the Streets Have No Name.” It was ranked #1 in Rolling Stone magazine’s yearly reader-selected Music Awards and won a Grammy for best rock performance by a group or duo. The memorable cover was shot in Death Valley National Park, hundreds of miles away from California’s Joshua Tree National Park.

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#45. 'Ten' by Pearl Jam

- Best Ever Albums score: 25,999
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 82
- Rank all-time: #49
- Rank in decade: #6
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1991

Pearl Jam introduced themselves with “Ten” and its standouts “Jeremy,” “Even Flow,” and “Alive,” featuring a two-minute solo by lead guitarist Mike McCready. McCready said the band recorded “Even Flow” dozens of times to get it right. The album got a boost in popularity with Pearl Jam’s live shows in 1992.

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#44. 'Marquee Moon' by Television

- Best Ever Albums score: 26,932
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #48
- Rank in decade: #14
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1977

Denizens of New York’s punk scene and famed venue CBGB in Manhattan, Television made its album debut with “Marquee Moon.” Frontman Tom Verlaine, at one time coupled with punk goddess Patti Smith, wrote all of the songs and wielded lead guitar.

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#43. 'Hunky Dory' by David Bowie

- Best Ever Albums score: 27,230
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #47
- Rank in decade: #13
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1971

The opening song on “Hunky Dory” is “Changes,” a song that became one of David Bowie’s biggest and most enduring hits. Bowie, who died in 2016, said he was inspired by traveling on a promotional bus tour in America to write several of the songs, such as “Andy Warhol” and “Song for Bob Dylan.”

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#42. 'Come on Feel the Illinoise' by Sufjan Stevens

- Best Ever Albums score: 27,599
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #46
- Rank in decade: #6
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2005

Indie songwriter and artist Sufjan Stevens released “Come on Feel the Illinoise” as a follow-up to his album “Michigan,” in what was planned as his "50 States" project. He plays 25 instruments on the 22-track release.

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#41. 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot' by Wilco

- Best Ever Albums score: 27,917
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #45
- Rank in decade: #5
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2002

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” was Wilco’s best-selling album. It was rejected by the band’s label, Reprise Records, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers Records, but later was picked up by Nonesuch Records, another Warner Brothers subsidiary.

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#40. 'Led Zeppelin II' by Led Zeppelin

- Best Ever Albums score: 28,989
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #44
- Rank in decade: #13
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1969

Led Zeppelin made its second album during a grueling 1969 world tour, recording it in bits and pieces in studios in the United States and Europe. It includes the smash hit “Whole Lotta Love.”

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#39. 'Blood on the Tracks' by Bob Dylan

- Best Ever Albums score: 29,313
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #43
- Rank in decade: #12
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1975

Before “Blood on the Tracks,” Bob Dylan had not had a successful album in nearly a decade. He said the album, with the songs “Simple Twist of Fate” and “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” was not autobiographical, but his son Jakob has been quoted as saying “Blood on the Tracks” was about his parents, who divorced after its release. The late New York writer Pete Hamill wrote the liner notes and won a Grammy. “Dylan’s art feels, and invites us to join him,” Hamill wrote.

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#38. 'Exile on Main Street' by The Rolling Stones

- Best Ever Albums score: 29,784
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #42
- Rank in decade: #11
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1972

Many fans consider the double album “Exile on Main Street” to be the Rolling Stones’ finest, with songs like “Tumbling Dice” and “Sweet Virginia.” The Stones recorded it in a mansion in France, rented by sideman guitarist Keith Richards.

 

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#37. 'Animals' by Pink Floyd

- Best Ever Albums score: 30,865
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #40
- Rank in decade: #10
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1977

Inspired in part by Animal Farm by George Orwell, “Animals” by Pink Floyd takes aim at oppression and injustice. In the songs’ lyrics, the ruling classes are portrayed by pigs, the military are dogs, and the working classes are sheep.

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#36. 'The Suburbs' by Arcade Fire

- Best Ever Albums score: 31,002
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 85
- Rank all-time: #39
- Rank in decade: #3
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 2010

“The Suburbs” firmed up the alt-rock stature of Arcade Fire, a band that hailed from Montreal. It marked a shift for the cult favorites into grander and more complex productions, and it won album of the year at the Grammys.

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#35. 'Are You Experienced' by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

- Best Ever Albums score: 31,120
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #38
- Rank in decade: #12
- Rank in year: #4
- Year: 1967

Are You Experienced” was the dramatic studio debut of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Its tracks included “Foxy Lady,” “Hey Joe,” “Purple Haze,” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” Guitar virtuoso Hendrix died in 1970.

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#34. 'Disintegration' by The Cure

- Best Ever Albums score: 31,151
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #36
- Rank in decade: #5
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1989

With “Disintegration,” The Cure headed back into more bleak and moody sounds. It contains the songs “Lovesong,” “Lullaby,” “Fascination Street,” and “Pictures of You.”

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#33. 'Who’s Next' by The Who

- Best Ever Albums score: 31,419
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #35
- Rank in decade: #9
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1971

Who’s Next” was The Who’s first studio album in the wake of their acclaimed rock opera “Tommy.” On the album are songs “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “The Song Is Over,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” and “Baba O’Riley.”

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#32. 'Unknown Pleasures' by Joy Division

- Best Ever Albums score: 33,560
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #33
- Rank in decade: #8
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1979

Manchester, England’s Joy Division introduced itself with “Unknown Pleasures.” Standouts on the dark punk album are “She Lost Control” and “Interzone.” The band’s singer Ian Curtis died by suicide in the year after the album’s release.

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#31. 'The Stone Roses' by The Stone Roses

- Best Ever Albums score: 33,803
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #32
- Rank in decade: #4
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1989

“The Stone Roses” was the first album by Manchester, England’s alt-rock band of the same name. It spawned the singles “I Want to be Adored,” “She Bangs the Drums,” and “I Am the Resurrection.” After its release, the band headed into years of legal battles and discord.

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#30. 'Blonde on Blonde' by Bob Dylan

- Best Ever Albums score: 34,583
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #31
- Rank in decade: #11
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1966

“Blonde on Blonde” is the last of the three albums that Bob Dylan released in a 15-month stint, after “Bringing It All Back Home” and “Highway 61 Revisited,” and it solidified his starring role in the pantheon of rock. Dylan started making the album in New York City, where sessions did not go well, and moved it to Nashville, Tennessee, where it was done in a week. The mournful closing song “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” was recorded in one 4 a.m. take after Dylan spent eight hours writing it.

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#29. 'Remain in Light' by Talking Heads

- Best Ever Albums score: 35,310
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #30
- Rank in decade: #3
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1980

The album “Remain in Light” by the Talking Heads started with the band composing the music from scratch in a recording studio. David Byrne then added his inspired lyrics. The technique became the band’s preferred songwriting process. The album includes the hit “Once in a Lifetime.”

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#28. 'The Doors' by The Doors

- Best Ever Albums score: 37,240
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #29
- Rank in decade: #10
- Rank in year: #3
- Year: 1967

The Doors’ stunning self-titled debut graced the rock world with “Break on Through (to the Other Side),” “The End,” and “Light My Fire,” the first song guitarist Robby Krieger ever wrote. Lead vocalist Jim Morrison died four years later.

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#27. 'Rumours' by Fleetwood Mac

- Best Ever Albums score: 37,726
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #28
- Rank in decade: #7
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1977

“Rumours” was released amid emotional turmoil for the band members of Fleetwood Mac. Vocalist and keyboard player Christine McVie was divorcing bassist John McVie, and Stevie Nicks was splitting up with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The album’s many standout singles included “The Chain,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “You Make Loving Fun,” and “Go Your Own Way.”

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#26. 'In the Court of the Crimson King' by King Crimson

- Best Ever Albums score: 38,090
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 89
- Rank all-time: #27
- Rank in decade: #9
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1969

“In the Court of the Crimson King” was the debut album by the English rock band King Crimson. Not long afterward, founding band member Ian McDonald left and would later start Foreigner. Michael Giles also left, as did Greg Lake who went on to Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

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#25. 'Rubber Soul' by The Beatles

- Best Ever Albums score: 39,112
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #26
- Rank in decade: #8
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1965

"Rubber Soul" was recorded in four weeks and released in 1965, the year the Beatles did their first performance at Shea Stadium in New York. “Norwegian Wood” marks the first time George Harrison played sitar on a recording, while “In My Life” includes a piano solo by George Martin, recorded at half speed and played back at normal speed for effect. According to Paul McCartney, the album title was a play on the words “plastic soul,” which he had heard used by an old blues musician to describe Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger. It was the first Beatles album that did not have their name on the cover.

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#24. 'The Wall' by Pink Floyd

- Best Ever Albums score: 40,625
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #24
- Rank in decade: #6
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1979

The concept double album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd featured the hugely successful single "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" and was a huge commercial success. It also featured "Is There Anybody Out There?" and "Comfortably Numb."

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#23. 'Highway 61 Revisited' by Bob Dylan

- Best Ever Albums score: 40,988
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 89
- Rank all-time: #23
- Rank in decade: #7
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1965

The electric sound of “Highway 61 Revisited” caused an uproar among Bob Dylan’s acoustic fans. “I like the sound. I like what I’m doing now,” Dylan said in an interview when the album was released. “They can boo until the end of time. I know that the music is real, more real than the boos.” The nine-song album features “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Desolation Row,” and “Tombstone Blues.”

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#22. 'Loveless' by My Bloody Valentine

- Best Ever Albums score: 42,257
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #22
- Rank in decade: #5
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1991

"Loveless" was a definitive album by the Irish rock band My Bloody Valentine, recorded over the course of two years in 19 different studios. The band, headed up by frontman Kevin Shield, broke up following its release.

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#21. 'Is This It' by The Strokes

- Best Ever Albums score: 43,016
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 86
- Rank all-time: #21
- Rank in decade: #4
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2001

Most of the tracks on The Strokes’ debut "Is This It" were recorded just once, part of lead singer and songwriter Julian Casablancas’s desire for the sound to be raw. Release of the album in the United States was delayed following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

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#20. 'The Bends' by Radiohead

- Best Ever Albums score: 45,646
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #20
- Rank in decade: #4
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1995

“The Bends” was Radiohead’s second album. Some of its songs were recorded at a studio owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, and others were done at London’s Abbey Road Studios. “The Bends” was better received by critics than the debut Pablo Honey had been, but none of its songs matched the success of “Creep,” the hit single from the first album.

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#19. 'The Queen is Dead' by The Smiths

- Best Ever Albums score: 48,928
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #19
- Rank in decade: #2
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1986

The Queen is Dead” was the third album by The Smiths, with dark lyrics by Morrissey and bright guitar work by Johnny Marr. “Bigmouth Strikes Again” and “The Boy With the Thorn in His Side” were the album hits.

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#18. 'London Calling' by The Clash

- Best Ever Albums score: 49,204
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #18
- Rank in decade: #5
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1979

The dystopian lyrics of “London Calling” still resonate more than 40 years after its release by The Clash. The band went on to have more commercial success with the album “Combat Rock” featuring “Rock the Casbah” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

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#17. 'Doolittle' by Pixies

- Best Ever Albums score: 49,532
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #17
- Rank in decade: #1
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1989

"Doolittle" was alt-rock band The Pixies’ second album. Talking about its influence, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain once said in an interview that when he was writing “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” he was “trying to rip off the Pixies.” Its standouts include “Debaser,” a tribute to the surrealist film “Un Chien Andalou,” and “Wave of Mutilation.”

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#16. 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea' by Neutral Milk Hotel

- Best Ever Albums score: 55,150
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #16
- Rank in decade: #3
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1998

“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” was the second album by the American rockers Neutral Milk Hotel. The songs mix acoustic guitar, big band horns, accordions, banjo, and saws. The album became a cult hit on college campuses.

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#15. 'The Beatles (The White Album)' by The Beatles

- Best Ever Albums score: 55,432
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 89
- Rank all-time: #15
- Rank in decade: #6
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1968

Recorded as conflicts among the Beatles were growing, the 30-song “White Album” kicks off with the driving “Back in the USSR,” and closes with “Good Night,” a lullaby John Lennon wrote for his son Julian, and sung by Ringo Starr. The band had wanted the album to be a clear see-through record in a clear see-through sleeve, but producers said it couldn’t be done. McCartney played drums on “Back In The USSR” and “Dear Prudence” when Ringo Starr left temporarily. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was voted the worst song ever in an online poll by the BBC in 2004.

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Gie Knaeps // Getty Images

#14. 'Nevermind' by Nirvana

- Best Ever Albums score: 55,571
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 87
- Rank all-time: #14
- Rank in decade: #2
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1991

"Nevermind" has one of Nirvana’s best-known singles, "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Although it made its debut at #144 on Billboard’s album chart, it rose to #1, pushing aside “Dangerous” by Michael Jackson.

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Michael Ochs Archives // Getty Images

#13. 'Pet Sounds' by The Beach Boys

- Best Ever Albums score: 58,084
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #13
- Rank in decade: #5
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1966

"Pet Sounds" is considered by many to be the Beach Boys’ album masterpiece. It includes the timeless “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” and “Sloop John B.”

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#12. 'Untitled (Led Zeppelin IV)' by Led Zeppelin

- Best Ever Albums score: 59,549
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 90
- Rank all-time: #12
- Rank in decade: #4
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1971

The fourth album by Led Zeppelin featured the now timeless hit “Stairway to Heaven.” With no printed title, the iconic album cover featured a 19th-century painting of a man burdened with a bundle of sticks that Robert Plant found in an antique shop.

 

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#11. 'Funeral' by Arcade Fire

- Best Ever Albums score: 59,910
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 88
- Rank all-time: #11
- Rank in decade: #3
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2004

Canada’s Arcade Fire made its dramatic debut with “Funeral.” It has dramatic piano melodies, folk influences, Caribbean Island inspirations, and the track “Wake Up” with the band’s 15 musicians singing in unison.

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#10. 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' by The Velvet Underground and Nico

- Best Ever Albums score: 61,539
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 89
- Rank all-time: #10
- Rank in decade: #4
- Rank in year: #2
- Year: 1967

“The Velvet Underground and Nico” was the experimental rock band’s debut album, produced by Andy Warhol. Band founder John Cale has recounted that Warhol gave songwriter Lou Reed 14 titles and told him to write songs for each. Its songs included “I’m Waiting for the Man,” “Heroin,” “There She Goes Again,” “Venus in Furs,” and “Femme Fatale.” German-born Nico, who made six solo albums, died in 1988 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.

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Michael Ochs Archives // Getty Images

#9. 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars' by David Bowie

- Best Ever Albums score: 63,792
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 90
- Rank all-time: #9
- Rank in decade: #3
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1972

David Bowie played out his love of science fiction and space travel with “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars,” creating the sexually fluid, glittery alien rock star alter ego. The flashy album includes “Starman,” “Suffragette City,” and the “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide.”

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#8. 'Wish You Were Here' by Pink Floyd

- Best Ever Albums score: 64,530
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 91
- Rank all-time: #8
- Rank in decade: #2
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1975

Pink Floyd recorded "Wish You Were Here" at London’s Abbey Road Studios. The release followed its hugely successful “Dark Side of the Moon.” “Wish You Were Here” headed straight to the top of the charts in England and in America.

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#7. 'In Rainbows' by Radiohead

- Best Ever Albums score: 66,317
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 89
- Rank all-time: #7
- Rank in decade: #2
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2007

"In Rainbows" was initially released as a “pay-as-you-like” download on Radiohead’s website, the first major use of the noncommercial ploy. More than two years in the making, it was the band’s first album after it ended its recording contract with EMI. Members later said the recording sessions were slow and frustrating and that they had considered breaking up.

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#6. 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' by The Beatles

- Best Ever Albums score: 71,589
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 91
- Rank all-time: #6
- Rank in decade: #3
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1967

Many critics say the psychedelic, spiritual “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” was the Beatles’ best work, and Ringo Starr called it their “grandest endeavor.” The playful idea of the Beatles masquerading as another band was Paul McCartney’s. It was the first album the band recorded after playing their final live concert in 1966 in San Francisco. The song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” was inspired by a drawing by John Lennon’s 3-year-old son Julian, and the album includes producer George Martin playing a harpsichord on “Fixing a Hole.”

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#5. 'Kid A' by Radiohead

- Best Ever Albums score: 71,659
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 89
- Rank all-time: #5
- Rank in decade: #1
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 2000

For “Kid A,” Radiohead added drum machines, synthesizers, and an ondes martenot, an instrument invented in the 1920s that has an oscillating sound not unlike a theremin. Ahead of the album’s release, Radiohead made it available for online streaming. Even so, it went platinum in its first week, debuted at the top of U.S. charts, and was awarded a Grammy for best alternative album.

97 / 100
Mirrorpix // Getty Images

#4. 'Revolver' by The Beatles

- Best Ever Albums score: 76,868
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 91
- Rank all-time: #4
- Rank in decade: #2
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1966

The cover artwork on "Revolver" was drawn by Beatles’ friend Klaus Voorman, who would later play bass for the band Manfred Mann. It won a Grammy for best album cover. Uncredited singers doing vocals on “Yellow Submarine” included Marianne Faithfull, Donovan, guitarist Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, and George Harrison’s then-wife Pattie Boyd. The album was released before the Beatles stopped touring, but they never performed any of its songs live.

98 / 100
Express // Getty Images

#3. 'Abbey Road' by The Beatles

- Best Ever Albums score: 83,880
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 92
- Rank all-time: #3
- Rank in decade: #1
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1969

The cover of "Abbey Road," the iconic shot of the Beatles crossing a London street, shows neither the name of the album nor the band. The last album the Beatles recorded before breaking up, it includes George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something.” “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” was inspired by the real-life story of a fan who climbed into Paul McCartney’s house and stole clothes and photographs.

99 / 100
Michael Ochs Archives // Getty Images

#2. 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by Pink Floyd

- Best Ever Albums score: 97,467
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 92
- Rank all-time: #2
- Rank in decade: #1
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1973

Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" was so popular that it spent 937 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart. Critics said it showed the band moving away from their experimental, progressive sounds to become sovereigns of rock. Its tracks included “Money” and “ Us and Them.” Band members used some of their profits to help finance the film comedy “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

100 / 100
Michael Ochs Archives // GettyImages

#1. 'OK Computer' by Radiohead

- Best Ever Albums score: 105,916
- Best Ever Albums user rating: 92
- Rank all-time: #1
- Rank in decade: #1
- Rank in year: #1
- Year: 1997

Ahead of the release of "OK Computer," recording company EMI predicted low sales and said the album would be hard to market. But the album was internationally popular, hailed by critics, and awarded best alternative music album at the Grammys in 1998.

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