You know, for a while there, I thought I was actually going to manage to make my List of the Week posts a real, weekly recurring feature. That lasted all of two weeks
. Which is pretty good, really, for my track record of half-assery.
I don't know why I didn't follow through on this. Lists are easy. You just copy something from somewhere else, make some snide comments, the end. With that in mind -- it's the revival of the List of the Week!
As with my first one, this is cribbed from the AV Club
. They pointed me toward the Definitive 200
, which is a list of albums "every music lover should own," as complied by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Association of Record Merchandisers. In case that's not clear enough: Record Merchandisers = retailers.
At long last! Rather than those lists compiled by critics, or artists, or music magazines, we get a list compiled by the people who really know what good music is all about -- the retailers! Who better to trust to tell you which music is worth purchasing than the people behind the big chain outlets who still think $18.99 is a reasonable price for a CD?
Unsurprisingly, the list is full of just the most appalling
shit. It's dominated by dreck that went platinum over the past decade and a half, as opposed to albums that are actually good
. This list is made by retailers picking already popular albums in an attempt to sell more by putting a "Definitive 200" sticker on the cover, rather than appreciators of music offering up more obscure, but higher quality, albums (if you want to call, say, Velvet Underground "obscure"). There are some gems on the list; I imagine it would be fairly difficult to completely
exclude quality. But some of these hurt my brain.
As always, the albums in boldface are the ones I actually own (or, in some cases, used
to own, before I had to sell back my gigantic CD collection in order to, you know, eat, on the day I call Black Tuesday*).
1. THE BEATLES – SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
Of course. I think it's against the law not to have this album at #1. Not just on lists of albums. On any
My favorite fruits:
1) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
2. PINK FLOYD – DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Surprisingly high on the list. Perhaps in deference to its record-setting 741 weeks on the Billboard 200.
3. MICHAEL JACKSON – THRILLER
Never owned it on CD, but I used to have the cassette. That's right, I'm old
. Hey, at least it wasn't 8-track.
4. LED ZEPPELIN – LED ZEPPELIN IV
I've grown sick of Led Zeppelin over the years, to the point where I don't own any of their albums anymore (though I used to own this one), and I change the radio whenever one of their songs comes on. Except
... "Stairway To Heaven." Yeah, I know. Lame. But what can I say? It's a bitchin' song.
5. U2 – JOSHUA TREE
Never been a huge fan of U2, but I'm pretty sure I owned this album at some point. It may have spontaneously generated amongst my CD collection.
6. THE ROLLING STONES – EXILE ON MAIN STREET
One of their most critically acclaimed albums (which is why I'm surprised to see it here; maybe it's because it's a double album, which counts double in sales), but I've never cared for it much. Sounds sloppy and fuzzy to me, rather than raw or powerful or whatever the critics want to call it.
7. CAROLE KING – TAPESTRY
8. BOB DYLAN – HIGHWAY '61 REVISITED
I've never owned anything by Bob Dylan. I really should, I guess, but... eh. Can't be bothered.
9. THE BEACH BOYS – PET SOUNDS
I used to own this, but now I'm not sure. I do know I'm not a big fan. Like Exile
, another huge, huge
critical favorite that leaves me cold.
10. NIRVANA – NEVERMIND
Dude, I was in college in '91. (Go Cal!) Of course
I owned this album. And about a dozen flannel shirts. (Though I actually owned most of them before grunge. I just liked that they were cheap and comfy.)
11. PEARL JAM – TEN
And here we get to the first album that I can genuinely say shouldn't be so high -- maybe shouldn't even be ranked. This also came out in '91, and was ubiquitous on campus -- and everywhere else, for that matter. But even though at one point I owned it (I felt like I was required
to own it), I never liked it. I think this band is vastly overrated in every way. You know the only song of theirs I ever liked? "Jeremy." Yep, it's the "Stairway To Heaven" effect all over again.
12. THE BEATLES – ABBEY ROAD
Sure. Great stuff.
13. SANTANA – SUPERNATURAL
Oh, come on
. Really? It was okay, and had that one Rob Thomas song that you couldn't avoid (and I tried), but -- you're calling it the 13th best album ever
14. METALLICA – METALLICA
I'm a big fan of this album, but even I think this is way too high on the list. Though I don't disagree it should be on
a list of the top 200 albums, somewhere.
15. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – BORN TO RUN
an album that should be even higher
. I think this is sheer rock genius, and "Born To Run," the song, is one of the best three rock songs ever made.
16. PRINCE – PURPLE RAIN
Never owned it, but I do appreciate its greatness.
17. AC/DC – BACK IN BLACK
Ah, hell yeah. Great stuff. This is one of those albums that everybody owns, but it's still surprising to know (according to Wikipedia
) it's the fifth best-selling album in the U.S., and the second best-selling album in the world
18. THE ROLLING STONES – LET IT BLEED
My personal favorite Stones album, with my favorite Stones song, "Gimme Shelter."
19. THE DOORS – THE DOORS
I went through a huge Doors phase in late high school and college. Don't listen to them much anymore, but I still don't mind seeing this album here.
20. GRATEFUL DEAD – AMERICAN BEAUTY
Never been a fan, but I won't object.
21. SHANIA TWAIN – COME ON OVERThis
, on the other hand, is ridiculous
. It sold, like, 20 million copies in the U.S., which is obviously why it's here. But it's hardly an enduring piece of art; it's fluff, whose time has passed. Is anyone even a Shania fan anymore? Come to think of it, where is
Shania? I haven't heard anything about her in years
22. THE WHO – WHO'S NEXT
Insult to injury. Shania places above this
? As you probably know by now, I consider this not just the greatest rock album of all time, but the greatest anything
. Still, I should be happy it made the list at all.
23. STEVIE WONDER – SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE
Another actually great album. That's nice.
24. FLEETWOOD MAC – RUMOURS
And another one.
25. PINK FLOYD – WALL
And another one!
26. ALANIS MORISSETTE – JAGGED LITTLE PILL
And the streak is broken. Well... maybe. I can kind of understand the latter-day backlash against Alanis, and this album (which used to be the best-selling album by a female artist ever... before Shania's Come On Over
). This is one of the albums Keith Phipps of the A.V. Club singles out as especially wrong on this list. And I agree with him insofar as only a damned fool would say it's a better album than Kind of Blue
(see below). It shouldn't be ranked this high. But I still think it's a damn fine rock album, groundbreaking to a certain extent, full of raw emotion and catchy hooks, and I think it deserves a place on this list -- a lower place, but still. In short, to answer Keith's question, "does it hold up at all?" I say: yes. Even if you're one of those people who has to object to every line in "Ironic" with, "That's not what irony is!", it's still a terrifically entertaining listen.
27. NORAH JONES – COME AWAY WITH ME
No. Way overrated.
28. EMINEM – MARSHALL MATHERS LP
Here comes a mini-run of rap albums. I've never owned an Eminem album, and I'm not especially well-versed in rap. I don't doubt Eminem should be somewhere
on this list. But as to whether he should be ranked this high, well... I know enough about rap to answer that. Let's just take a look at the next three albums, and ask whether this one is better than them.
29. OUTKAST – SPEAKERBOXX-LOVE BELOW
30. DR. DRE – THE CHRONIC
31. BEASTIE BOYS – LICENSED TO ILL
No fucking way
. I'm not going to mount a huge defense of Outkast, but as for whether Dr. Dre's or the Beastie Boys' landmark albums are better than anything by Eminem -- there's no question in my mind. [EDIT: Paul's Boutique
might even be the better choice for the Beasties.] And WHERE THE HELL IS PUBLIC ENEMY??
32. GUNS 'N ROSES –APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION
. This holds up amazingly well, two full decades later. And I'm not just saying that because I listened to the full album pretty much every night of my Freshman year in college.
33. DIXIE CHICKS – WIDE OPEN SPACES
Can't really speak to this one. I'm inclined to like the Dixie Chicks in theory
, but I've never heard a full album.
34. MILES DAVIS – KIND OF BLUE
The best-selling jazz album of all time, and arguably the best jazz album ever made. I would probably be one of those arguing: I'd rank John Coltrane's best above Miles's. But there's no way I would deny this is capital-A Art on the level of the Sistine Chapel from beginning to end.
35. THE EAGLES – HOTEL CALIFORNIA
I own this on record
. (Though not an original; I bought a used copy for a couple bucks a few years back.) Damn good stuff.
36. DEF LEPPARD – HYSTERIA
This is just stupid
. Are the people making this list retailers, or strip club DJs? If the latter, then yes, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is one of the greatest songs ever. If anything but the latter: no, and stop being stupid.
37. SOUNDTRACK – GREASE
For this one, just imagine me like a comic strip character with a big "?" hovering in a word balloon above my head. What an odd, odd choice. If the retailers are going soundtrack whoring, shouldn't they have gone with The Bodyguard
or Saturday Night Fever
38. MARVIN GAYE – WHAT'S GOING ON
This one always winds up really high on these kinds of lists. I've never heard more than a couple songs from it. I should get this.
39. THE BEATLES – THE WHITE ALBUM
My favorite Beatles album. I will say this for this list: at least it doesn't cram every
Beatles album in the top 20. That said: this should be higher.
40. SOUNDTRACK – SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
it is. I own this one on record, too, and would definitely rank it above Grease
. "Stayin' Alive" vs. "You're the One That I Want"? No contest! Bee Gees win.
41. JIMI HENDRIX – ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
Like Led Zeppelin, I've gotten sick of Hendrix over the past few years. Unlike Zeppelin, I'm hoping I will reacquire my taste for Hendrix at some point. Because I know this is one of the best rock albums ever -- but I'm just so burnt out on it, I can't listen to it anymore.
42. THE BEATLES – REVOLVER
Another peak of brilliance from the Beatles.
43. BOSTON – BOSTON
Noel Murray of the A.V. Club seems to question this album's merit. I don't. I once used it as a jumping-off point for a list of what I called Perfect Albums
. Which is a slight misnomer: I was talking about radio
perfect albums, albums from which every single song became a radio staple. Still: that generally makes for a powerfully great album, and I'd say that's the case here. Rock perfection.
44. BON JOVI – SLIPPERY WHEN WET
I loved this album my Junior year in high school. Though it still has some good songs, I don't think I'd make a strong case for it holding up 20 years later.
45. U2 – ACHTUNG BABY
I said before I've never been a huge U2 fan. Never owned this. I don't even know what's on
this album, to make it place so high. Let me look it up... "Mysterious Ways," "One," "Even Better Than the Real Thing"? Eh. I guess.
46. WHITNEY HOUSTON – WHITNEY HOUSTON
I would vote no on this one. That may just be my personal distaste for Whitney clouding my judgment.
47. LED ZEPPELIN – LED ZEPPELIN II
Above Houses of the Holy
? I don't think so. Hey, I might not be a fan of them now, but I used
48. DAVE MATTHEWS BAND – CRASHNever
liked this band. Not for a second
. They're the equivalent of Hootie and the Blowfish to me. Oh, crap -- Hootie isn't going to be on this list... is it?
49. THE ROLLING STONES – STICKY FINGERS
Never owned it, but I know it's great.
50. GREEN DAY – DOOKIE
Yeah, I was attending Cal Berkeley when these guys were still just a local band playing frat parties. I'm an eternal fan, and I will always defend this album's greatness.
51. LED ZEPPELIN – HOUSES OF THE HOLY
Well, at least it was only four spots lower than II
52. JONI MITCHELL – BLUE
Yeah. Joni's voice on this album -- especially the song "River" -- is quite possibly the most beautiful sound I've ever heard in my life.
53. ELVIS PRESLEY – ELVIS AT SUN
I've never owned any Elvis (other than records I've swiped from my mom's collection, which I don't really listen to), but I'd still call myself a fan. And yet I have no idea what this album is, and I can't be troubled to look it up. I'll just give it a free pass.
54. AEROSMITH – TOYS IN THE ATTIC
Good choice, as far as Aerosmith albums go, but still a little weird, as far as the alleged "200 greatest albums ever" go.
55. LAURYN HILL – THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL
I've always thought Hill was astronomically
overrated, and this album's inexplicable critical and popular acclaim, including its five
Grammy wins, to be a bizarre hiccup in pop culture history. This is not
a good album.
56. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – BORN IN THE U.S.A.
More greatness from Springsteen. Could be higher.
57. 50 CENT – GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN'
Not familiar with it. You tell me: too high on the list?
58. AC/DC – HIGHWAY TO HELL
I love seeing this here. Highway To Hell
and Back in Black
-- released before and after Bon Scott's death -- make for an epic
one-two heavy metal haymaker.
59. NOTORIOUS B.I.G. – LIFE AFTER DEATH
Never liked this guy. And seriously, with all this rap: still no Public Enemy? That is BULLSHIT.
60. VAN HALEN – VAN HALEN
I might rank 1984
a little higher, but this is certainly a tremendous album. They had it going on
, right out of the box.
61. GREEN DAY – AMERICAN IDIOT
YEAH! My favorite album of the new millennium. I love seeing this here, even on a retailers' list skewed toward the recently popular.
62. BLACK SABBATH – PARANOID
Going beyond the recently popular. Landmark heavy metal.
63. EMINEM – THE EMINEM SHOW
See my comments above. And still: WHERE'S THE P.E., FOOLS??
64. JEWEL – PIECES OF YOU
Ick. Is this the top 200 albums for hold music?
65. COLDPLAY – A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD
My current pet peeve band in re: vastly overrated.
66. MEATLOAF – BAT OUT OF HELL
Another one I own on vinyl. Dude, this has got Phil Rizzuto on guest vocal. You can't top that.
67. USHER – CONFESSIONS
I'm clueless on this one, but I suspect it shouldn't be here.
68. KID ROCK – DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE
A big sensation at the time, but I don't think it holds up well at all.
69. GEORGE HARRISON – ALL THINGS MUST PASS
I don't know why I've never bought this. Great music.
70. BILLY JOEL – THE STRANGER
I wouldn't have expected to see this here, but I fully support it. I'm a big Billy Joel fan, and screw you if you don't like it! This is probably his very best, so: nice pick.
71. EAGLES – HELL FREEZES OVER
This is just a load of crap. The new material is awful, and they ruin the old classics (every time I hear the defanged acoustic version of "Hotel California," I die a little inside).
72. VAN MORRISON – MOONDANCE
My favorite Van Morrison. Bonus personal anecdote: on the night I took my last final at Cal, I got ragingly drunk, climbed up the podium at the base of the campus flagpole, and serenaded all passing women at the top of my voice with "Moondance." I do not regret it.
73. R.E.M. – AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE
The A.V. Club's Steve Hyden recently
posted a blog entry questioning R.E.M.'s legacy. Many commenters (including me) responded in a most negative fashion. I've never been a huge
R.E.M. fan, but I certainly think they've had an incredibly significant impact on popular music. And, though I'm glad to see them here, I would rate Out of Time
way higher than this album.
74. PHIL COLLINS – NO JACKET REQUIRED
Used to own this on cassette. Used to be a big fan. Neither is true anymore.
75. METALLICA – MASTER OF PUPPETS
Another landmark heavy metal album. Wow, heavy metal is making a good showing on this list. I like it.
76. FAITH HILL – BREATHE
Eh. She's got a nice voice, but her music leaves me cold. And after seeing her on YouTube
, reacting with unconcealed fury
when she loses a Country Music Award to Carrie Underwood, I just dislike her personally. Seriously, she seems like she would just be awful
77. JOHNNY CASH – AT FOLSOM PRISON
OH YEAH. This is outrageously great. Is this the first country album on this list? Sorry, I mean -- is this the first real
country album on this list? Answer: yes.
78. JOHN COLTRANE – A LOVE SUPREME
Awesome to see this here. Should be a lot higher, I'd say. And yes, this is what I would suggest as the best jazz album ever, over Kind of Blue
. Not that you can lose either way. In fact, if you don't own both these albums, go out and buy them and listen to them both in full before continuing. GO RIGHT NOW!!
79. PINK FLOYD – WISH YOU WERE HERE
Another fine choice. Love this album.
80. MICHAEL JACKSON – OFF THE WALL
Is there really that much material on this album that makes it deserving of placing so high?
81. MARVIN GAYE – LET'S GET IT ON
Another album I suspect I need to hear in full, though I doubt it measures up to What's Going On
82. BOB SEGER – NIGHT MOVES
Man, I like
Bob Seger, but when I think of all the fantastic rock albums out there not on this list, this just makes me cringe.
83. PAUL SIMON – GRACELAND
Possibly this is deserving of being on the list. Maybe even this high. Haven't listened to it in about a decade, which says something about its longevity.
84. LINKIN PARK – HYBRID THEORY
No, I don't think so.
85. PRINCE – 1999
If I were going to own any Prince album... it would be Purple Rain
. But this would be next. I think I like Prince's old music more now than I did at the time. That's staying power.
86. DEF LEPPARD – PYROMANIA
I like Def Leppard, and I like this album better than Hysteria
, but it's still ridiculous
Def Leppard albums in the top 86, but no Neil Young? No Janis Joplin? No Clash? No Ramones? No... I could go on, but you get the point. This list is insane
87. JANET JACKSON – CONTROL
Ugh. I don't know, does this hold up, for people who are predisposed to liking it? I couldn't stand it then, and I can't stand it now.
88. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – BLOOD SUGAR SEX MAGIK
Loved this album. Could be even higher.
89. DIRE STRAITS – BROTHERS IN ARMS
Yeah, all right, I can see this being up here.
90. TUPAC – ALL EYEZ ON ME
Never liked Tupac. And still no
... well, you know.
91. MATCHBOX TWENTY – YOURSELF OR SOMEONE LIKE YOUEVERYONE WHO MADE THIS LIST MUST SHOOT THEMSELVES IN THE HEAD RIGHT NOW.
92. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – CALIFORNICATION
Surprisingly close to their previous entry on the list. This should be much lower than Blood Sugar Sex Magik
93. LED ZEPPELIN – PHYSICAL GRAFFITI
I owned a lot of Zeppelin, but I'm pretty sure I never owned this one. [EDIT:
Yes I do -- on vinyl.] Even though "Kashmir" is my second favorite of their songs.
94. NELLY – COUNTRY GRAMMAR
More rap I'm not familiar with. And we've gotten low enough on the list now that I can begin demanding not only where is the Public Enemy, but also: where is the N.W.A.? Where is the Snoop Dogg? COME ON!!
95. CREED – HUMAN CLAYEVERYONE WHO MADE THIS LIST MUST NOW SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE. AND THEN SHOOT THEMSELVES IN THE HEAD AGAIN.
96. THE CLASH – LONDON CALLING
Slightly lower on the list than it should be. By about ninety places
. Criminy. Look at what these people judge to be only one slot lower than this album. Go on, look.
97. CELINE DION – FALLING INTO YOUARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MINDS?!?
98. NEIL YOUNG – HARVEST
FINALLY. Some respect for Neil. Barely breaking the top 100, which is criminal. And he's sandwiched between two monstrosities.
99. SOUNDTRACK – DIRTY DANCING
Man, we're not even to the second half of the list, and this is sapping the will out of me. Dirty Dancing
? Are you high
? And living in 1987?
100. DIXIE CHICKS – HOME
I gave the Chicks a pass on their first album, but two? I have to call shenanigans on that.
101. TOM PETTY – FULL MOON FEVER
I'd put this in my personal top ten. I think it's pathetic that it doesn't crack the top 100 of this list.
102. VAN HALEN – 1984
I'm all right with this one.
103. SOUNDTRACK – TITANIC
I would gladly sacrifice Aliens
and the first two Terminator
s if only James Cameron had never spawned this abomination and its Celine Dion music.
104. CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG – DÉJÀ VU
Nice choice. Let's pause here and take a breather. Ahhhhhh.
That was pleasant. Okay, let's move on. [EDIT
: Just noticed the list improperly credited this album to Crosby, Stills & Nash, rather than Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Fixed now.]
105. TLC – CRAZYSEXYCOOL
I won't object to this one, but it's not something I would listen to.
106. BECK – ODELAY
I've never owned any Beck, but I still think this should probably place higher.
107. KENNY G – BREATHLESSYOU ARE ALL SATAN'S SPAWN, AND YOU SHALL BURN FOR ALL ETERNITY FOR THIS BLASPHEMY.
108. N.W.A. – STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
Crazy muthafucka named Ice Cube. About time we see a little more of the foundations of rap represented. But I seriously am going to FLIP OUT if we don't get to some Public Enemy soon.
109. SEX PISTOLS – NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS
I've never owned it, but again, I don't deny its relevance. In fact, I'd say place it much higher.
110. THE BEATLES – RUBBER SOUL
Brilliant album. I'd place this one higher, too.
111. RADIOHEAD – O.K. COMPUTER
GAWD, I hate Radiohead. So boring
. They were the first item on one of my earliest and most commented-on posts on this blog, "I Don't Get It,"
a list of inexplicably popular garbage. Radiohead is BORING. Why does anyone listen to them? Are you trying to self-induce comas?
112. SIMON & GARFUNKEL – BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER
Kind of funny I would follow up a "boring" rant with praise for this album, which many of you younger folks (and some of you older ones) may claim is from an incredibly bland and boring group. But this is transcendently gorgeous music (and should be ranked above Paul's solo Graceland
113. DIXIE CHICKS – FLY
I called shenanigans on their second entry. Now I just call bullshit.
114. METALLICA – AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
Like Dixie Chicks, this is Metallica's third entry. But I have no doubts about the importance of any of these three albums. This is awesome rock.
115. MICHAEL JACKSON – DANGEROUS
Well... I don't know. Maybe. It had some good stuff. And it was the last hurrah of sane Michael Jackson, so... okay. [EDIT:
For some reason, I was thinking of Bad
, which is the album that should probably be here rather than Dangerous
116. MARIAH CAREY – DAYDREAM
Maybe this has reason to be here, but I've never seen merit in any of her music.
117. SOUNDTRACK – TOP GUN
These soundtracks have to stop. Though I'd gladly take this over Dirty Dancing
. Or Titanic
118. ELTON JOHN – GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD
. This should be about a hundred
spots higher on the list. I love
119. THE POLICE – SYNCHRONICITY
Another shocker. Has Sting done this much damage with his solo career to the Police's reputation? This was the pinnacle album from a groundbreaking band, and it should be much, much higher.
120. NO DOUBT – TRAGIC KINGDOM
I said of Metallica above, "I have no doubts
..." and I suddenly wondered when we were going to see this album. Didn't take long. I loved early No Doubt, and this album, and I can't fault its placement here, though maybe a bit above where it should be.
121. THE ROLLING STONES – BEGGAR'S BANQUET
Yeah, this is damn fine.
122. R. KELLY – R.
I don't know about this. Isn't this guy basically a child molester? I'm gonna call a "no child molesting" rule right now, and disqualify any R. Kelly albums. Also Gary Glitter, if he's on here.
123. TOOL – LATERALUS
I'd put Aenima
in its place, but it's very interesting to see any
124. OASIS – WHAT'S THE STORY MORNING GLORY
Remember when these guys use to say they were bigger than the Beatles? Remember when they used to... anything
? What happened to these idiots? Are they still around? Ah, who cares. Decent album; wouldn't include it here, though.
125. BOB MARLEY – EXODUS
Not a fan of reggae in general, but there's no way I'm going to speak out against including Bob Marley.
126. JOURNEY – ESCAPE
. Half of me is totally psyched to see this on the list; half of me is mortified. This album was so of its time
... but in that time, it rocked
. I'm sure I wouldn't have included this album, but I'm not offended that it is.
127. CHRISTINA AGUILERA – CHRISTINA AGUILERA
No, I don't think so, though if you want to strip and dance for me a little more, in a video or GQ or wherever, to try and convince me, Christina, I won't object.
128. JAY-Z – BLUEPRINT
More new rap that I'm not familiar with. How do they keep overlooking the rap from fifteen or twenty years ago which paved the way for all this new stuff?
129. ALICIA KEYS – DIARY OF ALICIA KEYS
No. I feel the same about her as I do Lauryn Hill.
130. SOUNDTRACK – O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?
Finally, a soundtrack I can wholeheartedly endorse. One of the best soundtracks ever. I'm not going to denigrate Saturday Night Fever
, but I'd easily rank it above any other soundtrack, at the very least.
131. THE CARS – THE CARS
Don't have this album, but I like the Cars, so okay.
132. ENYA – A DAY WITHOUT RAIN
"Oh wait, is she in a coma?" -- Jack Black, High Fidelity
. Or me, to anyone professing to like Enya.
133. NATALIE COLE – UNFORGETTABLE: WITH LOVE
Other than that creepy, grave-robbing duet with her million-times more talented father, is there anything worthy about this album?
134. SOUNDTRACK – FOOTLOOSE
Enough with the soundtracks! This is over the saturation point.
135. LIONEL RICHIE – CAN'T SLOW DOWN
Has not aged well. Or at all. I don't think this album actually exists outside of 1983.
136. SARAH McLACHLAN – SURFACING
More hold music.
137. BONNIE RAITT – NICK OF TIME
I like Raitt just fine, but I don't think I'd include this on a top 200.
138. METALLICA – RIDE THE LIGHTNING
Four albums is fucking pushing it. Bump this one.
139. SHERYL CROW – TUESDAY NIGHT MUSIC CLUB
Decent enough. I won't object.
140. FRANK SINATRA – IN THE WEE SMALL HOURSAny
Sinatra is welcome, and this is one of his best full albums. (I only own compilations by Ol' Blue Eyes.)
141. EARTH, WIND & FIRE – GRATITUDE
Don't know it, but probably it belongs.
142. ZZ TOP – ELIMINATOR
The first album I ever owned, on cassette. I'm glad to see it here. Bought it the same day as "Weird Al" Yankovic, In 3-D
. I wonder if that album's on the list.
143. WILLIE NELSON – RED HEADED STRANGER
Good to see more real
144. JOHN LENNON – IMAGINE
One of the best songs ever, which automatically makes the album worth including.
145. TONI BRAXTON – TONI BRAXTON
My vote is no.
146. ETTA JAMES – AT LAST
I'm about as familiar with this album as with the previous Toni Braxton album, and yet my vote here would be yes.
147. ELVIS PRESLEY – ELVIS PRESLEY
Sure, why not?
148. CAT STEVENS – TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN
One of the loveliest albums I own.
149. SMASHING PUMPKINS – MELLON COLLIE & THE INFINITE SADNESS
I might rank this a bit higher. Very rarely do double albums hold up from beginning to end; this one falters a bit, but mostly stands complete as a testament to this band's importance in alternative rock.
150. DAVE BRUBECK – TIME OUT
A shocking omission in my (admittedly meager) jazz library. This is the first entry on this list that really makes me feel like I've made a mistake in my collection that I need to correct.
151. JANET JACKSON – JANET
Two albums from her is at least one too many.
152. QUEEN – A NIGHT AT THE OPERA
Never owned any Queen but the Greatest Hits, but I have to admire the Marx Bros. shout-out. Another album I should own.
153. OZZY OSBOURNE – BLIZZARD OF OZZ
More classic heavy metal, one of my favorites.
154. WILL SMITH – BIG WILLIE STYLE
Look two slots down on the list. Then come back here and agree with me when I say: this album, and those who voted for it, can eat shit and die.
155. PRINCE – SIGN O THE TIMES
This third album might be pushing it.
156. PUBLIC ENEMY – IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACKAT LONG LAST!
The greatest, most influential rap album of all time. And it's only at #156 on the list, after (if I'm counting correctly) fifteen
other rap albums. Including the timeless genius of Big Willie Style
. Holy crap, this is a glaring error. This should be top 20, minimum. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
157. BOB DYLAN – BLOOD ON THE TRACKS
Again, I don't own any Dylan, but I can't say this shouldn't be here.
158. GEORGE MICHAEL – FAITH
shouldn't be here.
159. BOYZ II MEN – COOLEYHIGHHARMONY
Ugh. I can't believe people liked this group then
, let alone now.
160. DESTINY'S CHILD – THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL
Not a fan. Delete this.
161. JAY-Z – THE BLACK ALBUM
I like the couple tracks I've heard from The Gray Album
, the Danger Mouse mash-up of this and the Beatles' White Album. As for the original Jay-Z album: never heard it, so no opinion.
162. AVRIL LAVIGNE – LET GO
No. I actually don't hate her, as you might suspect, but this is wrong.
163. THE FUGEES – THE SCORE
See Lauryn Hill, above.
164. MADONNA – LIKE A VIRGIN
Not my cup of tea, but I can understand its inclusion.
165. LED ZEPPELIN – LED ZEPPELIN
Okay, this is over the line, even for the overrated Zeppelin. Five albums? No way.
166. STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN – TEXAS FLOOD
Never been a fan of the blues, frankly. But I can appreciate this entry.
167. STONE TEMPLE PILOTS – CORE
I love this band. I'd take them over Pearl Jam in a second. Would I rank them as high as Pearl Jam's Ten
? No. I don't know that I'd rank them at all. But I don't mind seeing them.
168. ORIGINAL CAST – PHANTOM OF THE OPERA HIGHLIGHTS
Just quit it, with the soundtracks.
169. JETHRO TULL – AQUALUNG
I'd put this much higher. Epic album.
170. TUPAC – ME AGAINST THE WORLD
Nope. Two albums is over the limit for this dude.
171. DAVID BOWIE – RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST
Never owned it, but I know
it deserves better placement than this.
172. SHAKIRA – LAUNDRY SERVICE
Now you're just fucking with me. Seriously? Shakira? Why not Ricky Martin? Oh, shit, Ricky Martin isn't on this list, is he?
173. SOUNDTRACK – FORREST GUMP
This is awful. There's not even anything original on this soundtrack, is there? It's all period rock music apropos to the eras reflected in the film. This is a lame-ass cop-out of a choice.
174. AL GREEN – CALL ME
I don't know. Is this deserving?
175. CURTIS MAYFIELD – SUPERFLY
Okay, I dig this. I'll accept this.
176. LIVE – THROWING COPPER
177. GEORGE BENSON – BREEZIN'
No familiarity with this at all.
178. THE WHITE STRIPES – WHITE BLOOD CELLS
Don't own any White Stripes. I think this could be excluded with no harm.
179. LYNYRD SKYNYRD – PRONOUNCED LEH-NERD SKIN-NERD
Does this have "Free Bird"? All right, it can stay, but barely.
180. SADE – DIAMOND LIFE
181. FLEETWOOD MAC – FLEETWOOD MAC
Nope. You get Rumours
, Fleetwood Mac, and that's it
. Deal with it.
182. PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS – BAND ON THE RUN
Maybe, but it seems weird they're dipping into Wings before the Beatles library is exhausted.
183. BEYONCE – DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE
Hell no. I am so sick of this dame.
184. ANITA BAKER – RAPTURE
185. NAS – ILLMATIC
Hilariously, this list had this album's name as IIIMATIC
before I fixed it. Guess they couldn't tell the difference between capital I's and non-capital L's. Another rap album I know nothing about.
186. BARBRA STREISAND – A STAR IS BORN
Wow, this is stretching. This one just baffles me.
187. EARTH, WIND & FIRE – THAT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD
Nope, won't allow two albums from this group.
188. ANITA BAKER – RHYTHM OF LOVE
You just HAD an album listed. No seconds for you.
189. JAY-Z – IN MY LIFETIME VOL 1
I am sick of seeing this guy's name. Three albums is more than enough.
190. LL COOL J – MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT
I almost want to embrace this album, just for the fact that it's old school rap. But I never liked it. How about some Run-D.M.C. instead?
191. STEELY DAN – AJA
Never liked Steely Dan. [EDIT:
Though it turns out I do still have my sister's copy of it on vinyl.]
192. WILLIE NELSON – STARDUST
I think two Willie albums is too much. Especially when there's no Patsy Cline, or Hank Williams, or Loretta Lynn. Or Hoyt Axton (though that's admittedly a personal bias).
193. ARETHA FRANKLIN – SPARKLE
This seems like an odd pick for Aretha. For which reason I'm going to say it shouldn't be here. So there!
194. ANDREA BOCELLI – ANDREA
Just because Oprah likes you doesn't mean we all have to.
195. BOB DYLAN – BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME
One too many Bob Dylan albums for me to accept.
196. LUTHER VANDROSS – NEVER TOO MUCH
197. U2 – ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND
Again, this is pushing it. Why so many goddam repeats on a list so relatively short?
198. RUSH – 2112
No, no, no. Moving Pictures
, dude. Wrong pick, here.
199. OUTKAST – AQUEMINI
Nope, you already got a double album on the list.
200. GRAND FUNK RAILROAD – WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND
This is a joke, right? Why not the Strawberry Alarm Clock? Or Moby Grape? All right, honestly, I don't mind Grand Funk. But top 200 albums? Get real.
The biggest problem with the list is obviously weighing it so heavily in favor of the too-recent and/or the already-popular (as well as the undeservedly popular). But the second-biggest flaw, in my eyes, is the repetition of certain artists over and over again.
I know this is a gigantic entry, and may have lost most of you before the end. But those of you who made it here: what am I being too harsh on? Or not harsh enough? And which unlisted albums are the most egregious oversights? Comment away!
*Might've been a Wednesday.