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115 Greatest Albums Of All Time

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115 Greatest Albums

"Yer Blues"

"Yer Blues"

113. Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full


"I Ain't No Joke"

95. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours


Recording Sessions

Fleetwood Mac and their co-producers wanted a "no-filler" final product, in which every track seemed a potential single.

"Oh Daddy"

76. Curtis


"People Who Are Darker Than Blue"

52. The Beatles - Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band *


28. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds


about the album Pet Sounds

At the time, we all had assumed that "Good Vibrations" was going to be on the album, but Brian decided to hold it out. It was a judgment call on his part; we felt otherwise but left the ultimate decision up to him. - Al Jardine

"God Only Knows"

19. KISS - Alive!


10. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew


1. Houses of The Holy


Album cover

The cover art for Houses of the Holy was inspired by the ending of Arthur C. Clark's novel Childhood's End (The ending involves several hundred million naked children, only slightly and physically resembling the human race in basic forms.)

"The Ocean"

Collect Them All!

115. AC/DC - Highway To Hell

114. Barry White - Can't Get Enough

113. Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full

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112. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Catch A Fire

111. Various Artists - Saturday Night Fever

110. War - The World Is A Ghetto

109. Prince - 1999

108. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Natty Dread

107. Santana - Abraxas

106. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Legend

105. Curtis Mayfield - Superfly

104. Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston

103. Eagles - Hotel California

102. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Trout Mask Replica

101. The Zombies - Odessey Oracle

100. Al Green -Greatest Hits

99.The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

98. Ray Charles - The Birth of Soul

97. Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You

96. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced

95. Fleetwood Mac - Rumors

94. Black Sabbath - Paranoid

93. Ramones - Rocket To Russia

92. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico

91. The Doors - The Doors

90. Ramones - Ramones

89. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks

88. Steely Dan - Aja

87. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On

86. Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

85. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

84. Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks

83. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Axis : Bold as Love

82. Janis Joplin - Pearl

81. Michael Jackson - Off The Wall

80. Michael Jackson - Thriller

79. The Who - Who's Next

78. Curtis Mayfield - Curtis

77. Otis Redding - Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul

76. Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain

75. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River

74. Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

73. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

72. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland

71. Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power

70. Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti

69. The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.

68. Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollucks Here's The Sex Pistols

67. Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run

66. Pretenders - Pretenders

65. Funkadelic - Maggot Brain

64. Nirvana - Nevermind

63. Parliament - Mothership Connection

62. Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

61. Big Brother & The Holding Company - Cheap Thrills

60. Etta James - At Last

59. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV

58. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin III

57. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II

56. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

55. The Beatles - Let It Be

54. The Beatles - Abbey Road

53. The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

52. The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band *

51. The Beatles - Revolver

50. The Beatles - Rubber Soul

49. U2 - Achtung Baby

48. O'Jays - Back Stabbers

47. Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill

46. Patti Smith - Hores

45. Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde

44. James Taylor - Sweet Baby James

43. Carole King - Tapestry

42. Sly and the Family Stone - Fresh

41. The Beatles - The Beatles(White Album)

40. Stevie Wonder - Talking Book

39. Stevie Wonder - Innervisions

38. Sly & The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On

37. The Allman Brothers - At The Fillmore East

36. Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key of Life

35. James Brown - Live At The Apollo, 1962

34. Sly and the Family Stone - Stand

33. The Clash - London Calling

32. Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul

31. Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back

30. Run DMC - Raising Hell

29. The Band - Music From Big Pink

28. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

27. Joni Mitchell - Blue

26. Muddy Waters - The Anthology

25. Ray Charles - Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

24. AC/DC - Back in Back

23. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

22. The Mothers of Invention - Freak Out!

21. Wu - Tang Clan - Enter The Wu - Tang (36 Chambers)

20. Neil Young - After The Gold Rush

19. KISS - Alive!

18. A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory

17. N. W. A - Straight Outta Compton

16. B.B. King - Live At The Regal

15. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

14. Bob Marley - Exodus

13. The Fugees - The Score

12. Dr. Dre - The Chronic

11. Robert Johnson - King Of The Delta Blues Singers

10. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

9. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme

8. The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready To Die

7. The Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death

6. Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley

5. Love - Forever Changes

4. James Brown - Star Time

3. Sam Cooke - Portrait Of A Legend - 1951- 1964

2. U2 - Joshua Tree

1. Led Zeppelin - Houses of The Holy

* favorite cd

35. Live at the Apollo, 1962


sam209 (author) on July 10, 2013:

Wow, I am like so late to respond to this. Over a year late. Been working so hard! Thank you for your support Daisy! You are an excellent moderator! See you online! Thanks for checking out my page! You always take the time to show love to your fellow hubbers!

WhydThatHappen on August 23, 2012:

How did you steal all of my music? Seriously, 90% of this list is in my library!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on August 23, 2012:


I came back for a second read of your very helpful list. Thanks for taking the time to publish this article.

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 12, 2012:

I only have a couple of these and will have to check out the others.

KDuBarry03 on May 30, 2012:

A Very well organized list and well selected classics! I have to say, the Beatles and Janis Joplin, along with Marvin Gaye, are some of my favorites on this list. Well selected!


Jason F Marovich from Detroit on May 30, 2012:

Oh yeah, I've spent a lot of time listening to many of these artists. Now I have another reference for finding good music. Nice job putting it together.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on May 30, 2012:

This is a great list and I have many of them in my CD collection. But sadly, I have many more in my cassette tape collection and even a few in vinyl. I guess that means I'm old!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on May 30, 2012:

Great list - my Number 1 and 2 would be 'Blue Bell Knoll' and 'Heaven or Las Vegas' by Cocteau Twins with 'Court & Spark' by Joni Mitchell at 3, Hats by Blue Nile at 4, beyond that, I would have to stew over things for a day or two. Beatles would definitely be on my list but not Led Zep, never been much of a fan. You should get lots of comments Sam - people love lists!

Voted up and shared! :o)

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on May 30, 2012:


Thanks for providing me with some suggestions of CDs to add to my collection.

Maria D'Alessandro from Melbourne Australia on May 06, 2012:

AC/DC - a great Aussie band. Glad you mentioned them here at the top of your list. LOL. Very good man for mentioning a couple of Dylan albums also. Cheers, Maria D'Alessandro from Down Under.

Kristi Sharp from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota. on April 05, 2012:

MTV should be calling you any day now!

sam209 (author) on April 05, 2012:

Thanks for the comment! If I was to make a greatest artist list, I know I would add Tina Turner's name somewhere! I've never heard a Tina Turner album that I liked enough to add to my favorite cd's list though. Alicia and Janet have some pretty good work too! As far as Pink, I've never owned a cd by her before.

Kristi Sharp from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota. on April 05, 2012:

You have a really diverse list here, excellent! What about Pink, Alicia Keys, Tina Turner, Janet Jackson? These women can really sing!

Great Job!

sam209 (author) on March 18, 2012:

I think the last cd I listened to on this list was Ray Charles! You can never go wrong with Brother Ray! Thanks for the comment! Always appreciated!

iamaudraleigh on March 18, 2012:

Awesome catalog of choices to listen to!!! Where do I start!?

walkc from All Over on March 17, 2012:

This is a good list . I like how you don't have the typical stuff in the top 10 . Please do a hip hop list which should't be hard . Or even a top ten producers . I'm thinking about doing one myself . Thanks Bro .

sam209 (author) on March 17, 2012:

I'll be sure to look for Cactus on Amazon! I like the group name that they chose for themselves!

MickeySr from Hershey, Pa. on March 17, 2012:

Sam ~ I so know exactly what you mean. My son and I constantly run through lists of our favorite guitarists, Motown artists, Sly songs, etc, etc, and there simply is never room in the top 10 for everyone who ought to be there . . .when you get to top 50 you still need to list 'honorable mentions' or go to 100, etc, etc.


If you like Zeppelin and have never heard Cactus, you should make it a point to listen to their 1st LP - they were not really Zeppelin-like but were very a heavy electric Rock & Roll/Blues. They opened both for Hendrix and Zeppelin and both said they would never follow Cactus again . . . killer guitar, thundering rhythm section, and vocals that are unmatched in their flat-out full-throttle intensity.

sam209 (author) on March 17, 2012:

Some of these cd's you've listed, I haven't played them in so long. I originally started my list at 100, but it kept growing and after awhile I just decided to stop at 115. There's so many great albums to name. You've certainly got some here! Thanks for sharing!

MickeySr from Hershey, Pa. on March 17, 2012:

A great list, with many LPs I was delighted to find, and I have no doubt if I were to compile such a list I would fail to include many that I ought . . . so . . .

If you don't mind, I'd like to suggest a few I personally would include in such a 'before you die' list, and a couple that i would count as glaring omissions:

. . . These I personally would encourage folks to listen to ~

Ten Years After's "Cricklewood Green"

The Who's "Live At Leeds"

Cactus' "Cactus"

Rod Stewart's "Every Picture Tells A Story", "Gasoline Alley", and "The Rod Stewart Album"

ZZ Top's "Tres Hombres"

Muddy Waters' "Hard Again"

Johnny Winter's "Progressive Blues Experiment"

Stevie Ray Vaughan's "The Sky Is Crying"

Savoy Brown's "A Step Further"

Davis Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust"

. . . these I would suggest these need to be heard if you're going to have an understanding of any music you listen to today ~

Benny Goodman's "Live At Carnegie Hall 1938"

Elvis' "The Sun Sessions"

Little Richard "The Georgia Peach"

Cream's "Wheels of Fire"

. . . Eric Clapton I would assert to be a glaring omission from any list, of 115 or 10, of 'must hear' albums . . . including ~

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers "Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton"

Derek & The Dominos' "Layla & Other assorted love Songs"

Eric Clapton's "From The Cradle"

. . . I don't suggest Clapton because I a ludicrous fan, but because you can hardly point to a more significant, influential artist in the past 40 years or so . . . everyone who plays electric Rock guitar plays how Clapton taught the world to play - there is simply before and after Eric Clapton and everything is different after Clapton.

The Bluesbreakers' LP is landmark, the seed of so much that followed . . . Clapton invented the lightening attack guitar solo in this recording. It's not unreasonable to assert that everything comes from Cream, that's how revolutionary and good they were. And the Layla LP is simply put some of the best and prettiest music you can listen to. In "From The Cradle" Clapton provides expert and beautiful examples of just about every flavor of Blues music there is - and all popular music comes from Blues.

sam209 (author) on March 17, 2012:

Thanks for the comment Mr. Colin! I appreciate it! I'm listening to Chuck Berry as I reply to this! "No Particular Place To Go." I'll be looking for you on FB! Thanks again!

epigramman on March 17, 2012:

...Sam you are my hero for posting this great hub - it's brave and it's bold too - but it's so you!!!!! lol Please come over and join our music/cinema group at FACEBOOK if you can - we have a lot of righteous minded people there who would love to have someone like you in their company - I will post this to the group immediately with a direct link back here and my name is Colin Stewart at FB with the same profile photo and on my homepage is the link to the group - hope to see you there - Let's just talk music or cinema - is our name

sam209 (author) on March 11, 2012:

Hi Lady E. Thanks for the comment! Some of these cd's on this list I experimented with and found that they were excellent choices! Although I don't have them in order, my favorite cd listed is definitely Sgt Pepper!

Elena from London, UK on March 11, 2012:

Great Collection. Has some of my favourite artists. The beautiful thing about your list is that I can listen to them on Youtube before I buy them.


Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 07, 2012:

Our way is a fun challenge to find the CDs at the cheapest price!:)

sam209 (author) on March 07, 2012:

Probably 80% of the cd's on this list I purchased from amazon music through sellers selling used cd's. It helped me build my collection the cheapier way!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 07, 2012:

At one time or another I either owned, heard or sold the majority of these CDs. I sell CDs on Ebay and somewhere, someone is always looking for a random CD. They are a classic part of history and the present...hopefully the future also.

sam209 (author) on February 25, 2012:

Yeah if I would have ranked this Michael would have been in my top ten. I grew up on Thriller and that particular cd hasn't aged one bit! Thanks for the comment Alecia!

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on February 25, 2012:

I love your list. Good thing you didn't rank this because I'm sure a lot of people would question you putting Michael Jackson in the 80s. And I like the variety you have as well. Great hub!

sam209 (author) on February 24, 2012:

Thank you for your comment Sweetie! I look forward to reading more of your work!

sweetie1 from India on February 24, 2012:

Sam this is an excellent list you have put it up here. My fav is hotel california.

sam209 (author) on February 24, 2012:

Thanks once again Tammy! I appreciate your comments. The day my mom introduced me to Flashlight by Parliament, I've been a big music lover! Thank you for sharing!

sam209 (author) on February 24, 2012:

Although I haven't gotten around to it yet, I've been meaning to purchase some Johnny Cash! Now that he's on my mind, there's definitely some music I need to get by him today!

Tammy from North Carolina on February 24, 2012:

Great list here! You have some great music hubs. I am going to share these. Well done.

Mardi Winder-Adams from Western Canada and Texas on February 24, 2012:

What absolutely no country??? LOL, great list, love the old blues stuff

sam209 (author) on February 24, 2012:

I think Rakim still to this day is the greatest rapper of all time! This morning I said to myself, I can't believe I didn't put Jay-Z's Blueprint or Reasonable Doubt on there, but I was cleaning up a little last night and those cd's mentioned were scattered all around me, lol.

onthegrind from Florida, United States on February 24, 2012:

I hear ya. Gotta say it was the top picture that drew me in. Ha, such a great song by Eric B and Rakim. True classic. Got some other jewels on that list as well.

sam209 (author) on February 24, 2012:

Although The Beatles Sgt Pepper cd is my favorite cd of all time, the list is in no particular order. Thinking of Led Zeppelin last night made me wanna compose a list of some of my favorite cd's! Thanks for the comment!

onthegrind from Florida, United States on February 24, 2012:

I like the diversity of your list. You didn't just pick the most popular albums either. You branched out with classic rock, R&B, pope, reggae, hip-hop, funk, punk...I think a lot of people would agree with your number one pick. Good read. Voted up, and interesting

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