Only just found this web site – Acclaimed Music. They’re one of several sites that function as a sort of meta-critic for music, gathering and analyzing reviews across multiple sources, assigning scores and rankings. Current music lists are are updated bi-weekly and they also have a downloadable spreadsheet featuring what they say are the 3,000 Most Acclaimed Albums of All Time.
Here’s their top ten:
- Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
- Beatles – Revolver
- Nirvana – Nevermind
- Velvet Underground & Nico – Velvet Underground & Nico
- Beatles – Sgt. Pepper
- Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
- Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde
- Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
- Clash – London Calling
- Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks
No surprises there. I don’t really rate the Pistols album that highly but of course I like it. Exiles is probably my all time #1, or at least it occasionally resides in that position.
As I look further down the list, some stuff jumps out at me.
The highest charting hip hop album? Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions is at #17 and then the next one doesn’t show up until #77 with De La Soul. These are albums that register with older white folks like me.
The highest charting jazz album? Of course it’s Miles Davis and Kind of Blue, in at #39. Next is John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme at #67. These are jazz albums that are popular with rock fans.
The Strokes’ Is This It is one of the top 50? Really?
And another one of my sometimes-I’ll-say-it’s-my-all-time-favorite-albums Derek & the Dominos Layla doesn’t show up until #75. The Allman Brothers’ Live at Fillmore East only shows up at #120. Love’s magnificent Forever Changes just ekes into the top 50 at #49.
Of course there’s no right and wrong to this. You might think of it as a guide to albums you should check out. I’ve got all of the top 100 but when I look down at the bottom of the list, I definitely see some stuff listed that I’ve never even heard of let alone heard. Time to starting filling in the gaps!