Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time  

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The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time is the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone magazine published in November 2003. The list was based on the votes of 273 rock musicians, critics and industry figures, each of whom submitted a weighted list of 50 albums. Various music genres were featured in the list, including pop, rock, soul, blues, folk, jazz, hip hop, and combinations thereof. The accounting firm Ernst & Young devised a point system to weigh votes for 1,600 submitted titles.


Top 10 albums

Pos. Album Name Artist Release date
1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Beatles June 1967
2 Pet Sounds The Beach Boys May 1966
3 Revolver The Beatles August 1966
4 Highway 61 Revisited Bob Dylan August 1965
5 Rubber Soul The Beatles December 1965
6 What's Going On Marvin Gaye May 1971
7 Exile on Main St. The Rolling Stones May 1972
8 London Calling The Clash December 1979
9 Blonde on Blonde Bob Dylan May 1966
10 The Beatles (also known as The White Album) The Beatles November 1968

Artists with the most albums on the list

Number of albums from each decade

  • 1950s and earlier – 29 albums (5.8%)<ref name="cite-3"/>
  • 1960s – 126 (25.2%) (with 7 of the top 10 and all of the top 5)<ref name="cite-3"/>
  • 1970s – 183 (36.6%) (with 3 of the top 10)<ref name="cite-3"/>
  • 1980s – 88 (17.6%)<ref name="cite-3"/>
  • 1990s – 61 (12.2%)<ref name="cite-3"/>
  • 2000s – 13 (2.6%)<ref name="cite-3"/>


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 younger critics arguing against the magazine's high evaluation of various "classic" albums, including DeRogatis taking on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had been Rolling Stone's top choice.

See also

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