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Let's listen to every album on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time list

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Joe

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Dude, you need to really stick with Jazz to really get into, and A Love Supreme is not a casual listen. Listen to it more, it's fucking amazing.
Ok cool, I will definitely do that. Going to mix it in my rotation and maybe play it in the background.

I'm still doing a ton of listening, just haven't had time to update. I've crossed off the top 35, and about 50 total. It's crazy how I never realized how little I listened to or know the classics. I've really enjoyed almost everything so far.

These are my 2 stand-out surprises so far only because I had never even heard of them before and they're amazing:

Carole King - Tapestry


Love - Forever Changes
 

isaacnukem

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Love's Forever Changes is one of my favorite albums of all time, it's so fantastic and you wouldn't find a bad song in it. The last track is also one of my favorite closers ever.
 

Goldenroad

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This is going even slower than I predicted, but:

488. Husker Du - New Day Rising ; Ahh finally. Something that I'm very familiar with. I remember trying to track down this album for a long time, which was apparently out of print for a while in the mid '90's and I finally found a copy, but it was on vinyl. Problem being, I didn't have a record player. Luckily my mom had an old one that needing a new head/needle, but this was the first record that I listened to on the turntable I still use to this day. Nostalgia aside, this album is a psychedelic drenched filthy punk rock overload. It is that perfect middle ground between the Huskers much harder earlier sound and their poppier later 80's sound. It still has all the edge of Zen Arcade (their previous album), but it's a more finely sanded edge with a real nice matte sheen. This would probably make top 25 in my personal top 500.

487. Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual ; Probably one of my least favourite albums on this list so far (toss up between this and Destroyer). This album has some hits for sure, but I don't even like most of those, and the rest of the filler on this album is just that. At best, it sounds like really saccharine krautrock, but some of the anthemic lyrics matched with Lauper's spine tinglingly terrible vocals just put me in a real bad space. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. Still, Time after Time is a real great song.

486. Earth Wind & Fire - That's The Way of the World ; A funk masterpiece. From beginning to end this album just grooves. It's not all that experimental or psychedelic like I really love my funk (Sly, Funkadelic, etc), but it's so smooth and so happy. A lot of artists took inspiration from this music and you hear a lot of these same grooves today all over top 40 radio.

485. Pearl Jam - Vitalogy ; This album was really special to me when it came out. I was a huge Pearl Jam fan. As soon as Ten came out (I was 10), they became my favorite band. Vitalogy was the first album that I ever saved up my own money and bought. I remember the day it came out, my parents had to drive me to like three different record stores to find a copy. I used to listen to it every day on my awesome Discman! I'm not a huge Pearl Jam fan anymore, and Vitalogy was kind of the peak of my fandom to a degree. Listening back....yeah....it's got some really good songs. Immortality, Nothingman, Whipping, Courdory...but it's got some real duds too, the least of which is not the most self-indulgent, arrogant, waste of 10 minutes committed to record since John Lennon's Two Virgin's. Stupidmop should automatically have disqualified this album from appearing anywhere near this list....having said that, somewhere down the line we're going to get to the White Album, (I assume), and maybe a similar argument could be made. This album is no White Album though, and yeah, listening to it 25 years later, was really disappointing for me.
 

pablito

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Didn't post anything since I thought people stopped caring about the thread. I'll add though. So far

500. Outkast - Aquemini
353. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
304. Jeff Buckley - Grace
17. Nirvana - Nevermind
14. The Beatles - Abbey Road

Today

419. Portishead - Dummy. I'm going to seek out more trip hop. I told myself I would when I listened to this for the first time a long time ago and never did. But after listening to this again, I'm loving somber vibes with the slower groovy drums. It's been dark and rainy here lately, and this would go along with that perfectly. The vocals did kind of take me out when I first started, because it felt like she was mixed a little too loud? But a few songs in and I was good.

402. Nas - Illmatic. Great storytelling. Memorable, catchy and disctinctive beats that all come together in a way that makes someone who's never been to New York feel like they experienced it.

299. Weezer - Weezer. I have ignored Weezer for over a decade because I was exposed to them through Pinkerton. I know people love that one, but I still can't do that one. Sorry. Then they had a run of mediocre/bad albums so I'm like why bother. But then I heard a song from White, and it was super catchy and I liked it. I was bored enough to try Blue and I ended up loving it. It's got this summer vacation type of feel to it. Like a montage of just summer shit plays through my mind. Driving with the convertible top down. Going to the beach/lake. Getting some burgers and milkshakes at Johnny Rockets.

201. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral. I've heard a few songs from NIN. Head Like a Hole, Closer, Hurt, and probably a couple others. But I've never sat down and went through an album. And I'm glad I did, because Reptile? Holy shit. That song is perfect. I was really digging the album, then I got to Reptile, and now I'm obsessed. I think I actually like The Fragile more song to song, but this has the greater highlights.

I can't listen to Closer, though. Too cheesy for me.

20. Michael - Jackson Thriller. We all know this one. This is actually the first album I have ever been a fan of. I liked it when I was 5 or 6. I have memories from watching the Thriller video as a kid, to growing up and learning Beat It on guitar. A classic through and through.

Think I'm gonna challenge myself and do albums I already know I don't like next lol.
 
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I never noticed how many greatest hits albums are in the top 100. Seems too easy of a pick especially for stuff like Sly where you could just bump up There's a Riot or Stand.
 

DasPenguin

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12. Miles Davis: Kind of blue
48. Public Enemy: It takes a nation...

I approve this list. Two of my favourite records in the top 50. Even if you don't like jazz, you should listen to number 12. Amazing album and it never gets old. Number 48 is still the best rap/hip hop album that I've bought and it's not even close. Mos Def should be on this list. Didn't notice his name anywhere but maybe I missed it.

And after a quick count I've listened to about 89 of those albums and own about 70+ of them still today. Most that I don't have anymore were on vinyl and have gone missing over the years. Great to see Eric B & Rakim on that list too.
 

Zach

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299. Weezer - Weezer. I have ignored Weezer for over a decade because I was exposed to them through Pinkerton. I know people love that one, but I still can't do that one. Sorry. Then they had a run of mediocre/bad albums so I'm like why bother.

 

GoutPatrol

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I never noticed how many greatest hits albums are in the top 100. Seems too easy of a pick especially for stuff like Sly where you could just bump up There's a Riot or Stand.

Many of those are because the performer did most of their work before the "album era" really kicked in. The early rock n' roll/blues records were the big hits and filler. You don't really need to listen to an original Chuck Berry record straight through.
 

Joe

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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hears Club Band, Revolver, Rubber Soul, White Album, Abbey Road, Please Please Me
I totally get the hype now. Loved it all. Easy to listen to the first time around but still very good and left me wanting to go back.




Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, Bringing It All Back Home
First time listening to Bob Dylan and I really enjoyed it. Initially I kept going back and forth between liking his voice and hating it but I enjoy it now and he's a great songwriter (obviouisly). Started with Highway 61 Revisited which was really good, then Blonde on Blonde and Bringing It All Back seemed weird to me. Like they were records he made for the label and not for himself. Blood on the Tracks was great and reminded me of Highway 61 in that the songs felt personal to him again.




The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St., Let It Bleed
Loved listening to them even though I didn't think I would for some reason. Love the heavy blues influence. I'm a fan.




The Clash - London Calling
A classic that I already loved.




Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
This was new to me and I loved it right away. It's really, really good.




The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced, Electric Ladyland
Jimi Hendrix blows me away. I always heard songs here and there but it was great to hear the albums start-to-finish. Are You Experienced was great during the first listen, Electric Ladyland wasn't. E.L. was definitely interesting and the second half got better to my ears. I'm going to back and give it more listening though.




Nirvana - Nevermind
A classic that I already loved.




Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
I messed up. I've slept on Bruce this entire time. What a badass and great album.




Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
This album took me completely by surprise and might be my favorite album I've listened to so far. It's definitely my most listened - I keep going back to it again and again.




Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings
Thought I would hate it but I really enjoyed it. I like hearing early songs that you can tell influenced lots of people that came after it. I'm not in a rush to listen to it again but it was definitely enjoyable and I will go back to it again at some point for more listening.




Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
Stevie is a bad ass and I think I'm a fan. I'm a sucker for funk. He's got a great voice and it's interesting as well. Definitely want to go back to it.




U2 - The Joshua Tree
I thought it was really good and I was really surprised by the amount of mega-hits on it. When I got to the song "Exit" near the end I fell in love. Amazing song.




The Who - Who's Next
I've pretty much skipped all 60s and 70s British rock and that includes The Who. They definitely live up to the hype. Need to listen to it more but I enjoyed it. Enjoyed the Stones more but I'm not sure if that's a fair comparison.




Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
This was great. The thing that hit me the hardest was how good they were on their first album and how distinct their sound was on their first album.




Ramones - Ramones
Loved it right away and can't wait to listen to it again.




The Band - Music From The Big Pink
Enjoyed it, songs were a little "samey" to me but I still enjoyed it. Definitely need to go back to it again though to see if it sticks.



David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
A classic that I already loved.




Carole King - Tapestry
Blew me away! I wasn't expecting that voice to come out of that woman on the cover. Really liked it, and I like going back to it.




Eagles - Hotel California
It was great first time through and I definitely want to go back to it again soon.




Muddy Waters - The Anthology
Another one that I thought I wouldn't like but actually enjoyed. I've always heard the name but never the music. Like with the Robert Johnson album it's great hearing early influencers. Will go back to it at some point.




Love - Forever Changes
Another huge surprise for me. I didn't know what to expect at all and it blew me away. The horns especially. The album had a great sound and style, it all sounded good. I've already gone back to it a lot.



Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
A classic that I already loved.




The Doors - The Doors
A classic that I already loved.




Patti Smith - Horses
Another great surprise for me because I had no idea what to expect. I loved how interesting and unique it was. I really liked the songs but it was a hard listen, not in a bad way but it just really needs a lot of attention. At least that's how it felt to me.



Van Morrison - Moondance
Not nearly as good as Astral Weeks for me but there was still a couple of songs that I liked a lot.



Billy Joel - The Stranger
Pretty dang awesome. Billy Joel is a great storyteller and songwriter. Not in a rush to go back to it but I know that when I do it will be great.


(updating a whole bunch at once really sucks)
 

Joe

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I listened to this because you liked Love's record and I figured we might have a bit of similar taste and I was surprised on what songs this record has, certified classics!

Yeah I thought the same exact thing. Couldn't believe she had some legendary songs on there.
 

TheYanger

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I think people just rag on U2 because they don't like Bono. Or they're old.

Grew up with The Joshua Tree and I think I wouldn't be in love with music as much as I am now if that wasn't playing a lot when I was a kid.

Funny, I think most of the people that rag on U2 on here are young actually and have never heard a classic U2 album or song (though they probably HAVE heard bits of some of Joshua Tree because its' just THAT prolific).

Make no mistake, while it's cool to hate on U2 nowadays, kiddos, they're not Nickelback or anything - they did in fact get huge because they made great music.

The Joshua Tree is a legit amazing album.
 

isaacnukem

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Funny, I think most of the people that rag on U2 on here are young actually and have never heard a classic U2 album or song (though they probably HAVE heard bits of some of Joshua Tree because its' just THAT prolific).

Make no mistake, while it's cool to hate on U2 nowadays, kiddos, they're not Nickelback or anything - they did in fact get huge because they made great music.

The Joshua Tree is a legit amazing album.
Sorry if I phrased that poorly, I meant people hate U2 because the band is old, not the folks who hate them. Old people love U2.
 

pablito

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Lol yo it was fans that were ragging on the albums. I figure I'd spend my time trying other stuff if fans weren't digging those albums.

But I enjoy them now. Still waiting for Pinkerton to click but Blue is my shit.
 

StrawberryJam

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It's great that more people in this thread are listening to Love for the first time. Forever Changes is such a fantastic album.

PRO TIP!

Don't listen to any other albums by Love if you like Forever Changes.
 

isaacnukem

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It's great that more people in this thread are listening to Love for the first time. Forever Changes is such a fantastic album.

PRO TIP!

Don't listen to any other albums by Love if you like Forever Changes.
Eh, why? Da Capo is great too, and their debut isn't bad either. Now everything else though...
 

Fuchsdh

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This one is a bit better. the Rolling Stone one is more like some 60 year olds picking their favourite albums from when they were young, then they got too old to form any kind of meaningful bond with newer music. There's great albums in there, but that top 150 or so seems absurdly elevated to me, and I feel it's to do with the age of the writers more than anything..

Shockingly, I think you'll find that if you poll any age bracket, their favorite music will be heavily weighted according to their age.

Anyhow, I've got these ones already:

Beatles:
*Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
*Revolver
*Rubber Soul
*Abbey Road
*The Beatles

(What album people pick out of the Beatles is always an interesting look into their tastes. I can see why people pick Sgt. Pepper's as it's probably the Beatles at their peak, but I've always preferred Rubber Soul more. "She's Leaving Home" is still one of the most beautiful and poignant songs they ever produced, though.)

Looking over the 1-250 list looks like I probably own close to 30 of the albums, and then songs from another two or three dozen. A lot of the more pop/soul/funk artists I don't think I've ever listened to in an album format, so I'm gonna' hit up the top-ranked Marvin Gaye and James Brown picks.

No Sufjan Stevens whatsoever in the top 500

And Talking Heads 77 above More Songs About Buildings and Food? No Fear of Music? Please.

While it doesn't have the best versions of *all* of their songs ("One In A Lifetime" and "Crosseyed and painless" are better on their original albums), I think the Stop Making Sense live album is the best thing out of the Talking Heads by a huge margin. It's also the only live album I own and like, generally preferring the studio mixes, and even the concert video is arresting.
 

Joe

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I've only started listening to The Beatles recently but Rubber Soul is my favorite so far. Mainly because of Nowhere Man.

Sgt. Pepper didn't really hook me in at all right away either.
 

eso76

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Weird list.
I mean I'm not sure including next to entire discographies for certain artists makes a lot of sense. Well, it does as those certainly are albums deserving a spot in the top 500, but I needed a list to broaden my mind.
I own or know probably 400 of those albums.

Surprised at the inclusion of MGMT - Oracular Spectacular: I love it, but thought I was alone.

Anyway, not a lot to discover but I'm in.
 

Pancake Mix

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Wow, I had no idea they chose Master of Puppets and Metallica (the black album), skipping ...And Justice For All, the true masterpiece.

There's too much metal on that chart

Just by a quick glance, a mere 6 of the first 120 are metal....only 5%.
 

sasliquid

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Eh, why? Da Capo is great too, and their debut isn't bad either. Now everything else though...

Everything by the original line up is at least good. Some of the later singles are pretty good too, like the song with Jim Morrison.

Forever Changes is above all of it tho
 
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I've been meaning to listen to all 500 for a while now, so I'm gonna make this my motivation. I'll probably make an update every 10-25 albums, so I can really think about what I'm listening about
 

isaacnukem

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Speevy

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Guys, the music from the 60s and 70s is better than what's come out this century. I hope there's not some debate on this.
 

Setzer

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Funny, I think most of the people that rag on U2 on here are young actually and have never heard a classic U2 album or song

This is most likely the case as the majority of NeoGAF members are in their teens/early 20's. U2 was great in the 80's and early 90's...that was about it. I still consider them one of the greatest bands of all-time.
 

NandoGip

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Over one hundred albums before hip hop was even acknowledged but at least it's on the list. I'm gonna listen check out the music from this list
 
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