Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Last updated on 6 August 2017

"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is a 2003 special issue of American magazine Rolling Stone, and a related book published in 2005.[1] The lists presented were compiled based on votes from selected rock musicians, critics, and industry figures, and predominantly feature American and British music from the 1960s and the 1970s.

In 2012, Rolling Stone published a revised edition of the list drawing on the original and a later survey of albums in the 2000s.[2] It was made available in "bookazine" format on newsstands in the US from April 27 to July 25. The new list contained 38 albums not present in the previous one, 16 of them released after 2003.

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Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" magazine cover

Background

The first version of the list, published as a magazine in November 2003, was based on the votes of 273 rock musicians, critics, and industry figures, each of whom submitted a weighted list of 50 albums. The accounting firm Ernst & Young devised a point system to weigh votes for 1,600 submitted titles. The list includes a few compilations, and "greatest hits" collections.[3]

The following authors contributed to the citations made of each album:

An amended list was released in book form in 2005, with an introduction written by Steven Van Zandt. As the editor's foreword explains, some compilation albums were removed, and Robert Johnson's The Complete Recordings was substituted for both of his King of the Delta Blues Singers volumes, making room for a total of eight new entries on the list. The Complete Recordings would be reinstated to the list in the 2012 edition.

List statistics

Number of albums from each of the decades

Decade Number of albums Percentage
1950s 10 2.0%
1960s 105 21.0%
1970s 186 37.2%
1980s 84 16.8%
1990s 73 14.6%
2000s 40 8.0%
2010s 2 0.4%

Artists with the most albums[4]

12 albums

11 albums

10 albums

8 albums

7 albums

6 albums

5 albums

4 albums


3 albums

Reception

Writing in USA Today newspaper, Edna Gundersen described the list as predictable and "weighted toward testosterone-fueled vintage rock".[3] The Rolling Stone 500 has also been criticised for being male-dominated, outmoded and almost entirely Anglo-American in focus.[6][7]

Following the publicity surrounding the list, rock critic Jim DeRogatis, a former Rolling Stone editor, published Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics (ISBN 1-56980-276-9) in 2004. This featured a number of generally younger critics arguing against the high evaluation of various "great" albums, some of which had been included in the list, including DeRogatis taking on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had been Rolling Stone's top choice.

See also

References

  1. ^ Levy, Joe; Van Zandt, Steven, eds. (2006) [2005]. Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814.
    Related news articles:
  2. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. May 31, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "It's Certainly a Thrill: Sgt. Pepper Is Best Album", USA Today, November 17, 2003.
  4. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  5. ^ Collett-White, Mike (April 27, 2012). "Kanye West gets 3 albums on Rolling Stone's revised 500 greatest list". msnbc.com. MSN. Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  6. ^ Biron, Dean. 2011. Towards a Popular Music Criticism of Replenishment. Popular Music & Society, 34/5: 661-682.
  7. ^ Schmutz, Vaughan. 2005. Retrospective Critical Consecration in Popular Music: Rolling Stone's Greatest Albums of All Time. American Behavioral Scientist, 48/11: 1510-1523.

External links

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