Best Albums of All Time – By Artist

In the list below, I have taken my “Best Albums of All Time” list and organized it by performing artist/musician, in alphabetical order.  The date is generally the date of first release (usually US or UK).  In the case of compilations, I have used recording dates instead of release dates.

Although the 33 original source lists I used to compile this meta-list were usually labeled “Best Albums” or “Best Music”, they focused primarily on various forms of rock and pop, as well as rhythm & blues, soul, funk, hip hop, and singer/songwriter.  There is a little bit of jazz and country.

To see the other best albums lists, click on the links below:

Best Albums of All Time: Ranked
Best Albums of All Time: Chronological

AC/DC
Back in Black (1980) (21 lists)
acdc performing

Aerosmith
Toys in the Attic (1975) (on 7 lists)
aerosmith

Air
Moon Safari (1998) (on 4 lists)
Air_(band)_playing_in_2010

Alice in Chains
Dirt (1992) (on 4 lists)
alice in chains

The Allman Brothers Band
At Fillmore East (1971) (on 6 lists)
allman brothers band

Tori Amos
Little Earthquakes (1992) (on 3 lists)
tori amos

Aphex Twin
Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992) (on 3 lists)
aphex twin

Arcade Fire
Funeral (2004) (on 5 lists)
the Arcade Fire

A Tribe Called Quest
The Low End Theory (1991) (on 6 lists)
a tribe_called_quest

Bad Company
Bad Company (1974) (on 3 lists)
Bad Company

The Band
The Basement Tapes (rec. 1967-1975, rel. 1975) (with Bob Dylan) (on 3 lists)
Music from Big Pink (1968) (on 13 lists)
The Band (1969) (on 17 lists)
The-Band

The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds (1966) (on 30 lists)
Sunflower (1970) (on 3 lists)
Surf’s Up (1971) (on 3 lists)
the beach boys

Beastie Boys
Licensed to Ill (1986) (on 8 lists)
Paul’s Boutique (1989) (on 10 lists)
beastie boys

The Beatles
With the Beatles (1963) (on 3 lists)
Meet the Beatles (1964) (on 3 lists)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964) (on 7 lists)
Rubber Soul (1965) (on 28 lists)
Revolver (1966) (on 32 lists)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) (on 30 lists)
The Beatles (The White Album) (1968) (on 31 lists)
Abbey Road (1969) (on 26 lists)
Let It Be (rec. 1968-1970, rel. 1970) (on 3 lists)
the beatles live

Beck
Odelay (1996) (on 13 lists)

beck

The Bee Gees 
Saturday Night Fever (1977) (with other artists) (on 9 lists)
the bee gees

Chuck Berry
The Great Twenty-Eight (rec. 1955-1965) (on 5 lists)
chuck berry

The B-52s
The B-52’s (1979) (on 4 lists)
B-52s

Big Star
Radio City (1974) (on 5 lists)
Third/Sister Lovers (1978) (on 6 lists)
big star

Björk
Debut (1993) (on 3 lists)
Post (1995) (on 4 lists)
Icelandic Singer Bjork Makes Debut In Shanghai

Black Flag
Damaged (1981) (on 3 lists)

Black Sabbath
Paranoid (1970) (on 8 lists)
Black Sabbath (1970) (on 3 lists)

Blind Faith
Blind Faith (1969) (on 5 lists)

Blondie
Parallel Lines (1978) (on 7 lists)

Blur
Parklife (1994) (on 8 lists)

Bon Jovi
Slippery When Wet (1986) (on 6 lists)

David Bowie
Hunky Dory (1971) (on 19 lists)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars (1972) (on 30 lists)
Station to Station (1976) (on 4 lists)
Low (1977) (on 5 lists)
Heroes (1977) (on 5 lists)

James Brown
Star Time (rec. 1956-1984) (on 5 lists)
Live at the Apollo (1963) (on 13 lists)

Jeff Buckley
Grace (1994) (on 14 lists)

Tim Buckley
Starsailor (1970) (on 3 lists)

Buffalo Springfield
Buffalo Springfield Again (1967) (on 3 lists)

Kate Bush
Hounds of Love (1985) (on 8 lists)

Buzzcocks
Singles Going Steady (rec. 1977-1979) (on 3 lists)

The Byrds
Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) (on 3 lists)
Younger than Yesterday (1967) (on 5 lists)
The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968) (on 8 lists)
Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968) (on 3 lists)

Captain Beefheart
Trout Mask Replica (1969) (on 13 lists)
Clear Spot (1972) (on 3 lists)

Johnny Cash
At Folsom Prison (1968) (on 8 lists)

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
The Boatman’s Call (1997) (on 3 lists)

Ray Charles
Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music (1962) (on 5 lists)

Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick at Budokan (1978) (on 3 lists)

Chicago
Chicago Transit Authority (1969) (on 4 lists)

Eric Clapton
Slowhand (1977) (on 3 lists)

The Clash
The Clash (1977) (on 14 lists)
London Calling (1979) (on 27 lists)
Sandanista! (1980) (on 4 lists)

Leonard Cohen
Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) (on 3 lists)
Songs of Love and Hate (1971) (on 5 lists)

Coldplay
Parachutes (2000) (on 4 lists)
A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) (on 5 lists)

John Coltrane
Giant Steps (1960) (on 5 lists)
A Love Supreme (1965) (on 8 lists)

Elvis Costello
My Aim is True (1977) (on 10 lists)
This Year’s Model (1978) (on 8 lists)
Armed Forces (1979) (as Elvis Costello & the Attractions) (on 3 lists)

The Crickets (featuring Buddy Holly)
The “Chirping” Crickets (1957) (on 3 lists)

Counting Crows
August and Everything After (1993) (on 3 lists)

Cream
Disraeli Gears (1967) (on 8 lists)

Creedence Clearwater Revival
Green River (1969) (on 6 lists)

Crosby, Stills & Nash
Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) (on 3 lists)

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Déjà Vu (1970) (on 5 lists)

The Cure
Disintegration (1989) (on 6 lists)

D’Angelo
Voodoo (2001) (on 3 lists)

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue (1959) (on 16 lists)
Sketches of Spain (1960) (on 4 lists)
In a Silent Way (1969) (on 3 lists)
Bitches Brew (1970) (on 10 lists)

Def Leppard
Hysteria (1987) (on 4 lists)

De La Soul
3 Feet High and Rising (1989) (on 6 lists)

Derek & the Dominoes
Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) (on 11 lists)

Devo
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) (on 3 lists)

Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Searching for the Young Soul Rebels (1980) (on 3 lists)

Dire Straits
Brothers In Arms (1985) (on 10 lists)

DJ Shadow
Endtroducing… (1996) (on 6 lists)

The Doors
The Doors (1967) (on 22 lists)
Strange Days (1967) (on 4 lists)
L.A. Woman (1971) (on 5 lists)

Nick Drake
Five Leaves Left (1969) (on 4 lists)
Bryter Layter (1970) (on 3 lists)
Pink Moon (1972) (on 5 lists)

Dr. Dre
The Chronic (1992) (on 5 lists)

Duran Duran
Rio (1982) (on 3 lists)

Bob Dylan
Bringing It All Back Home (1965) (on 16 lists)
Highway 61 Revisited (1965) (on 23 lists)
Blonde on Blonde (1966) (on 21 lists)
John Wesley Harding (1967) (on 3 lists)
The Basement Tapes (rec. 1967-1968, rel. 1975) (with The Band) (on 3 lists)
Blood on the Tracks (1975) (on 21 lists)
Desire (1976) (on 4 lists)
Time Out of Mind (1997) (on 5 lists)

The Eagles
Hotel California (1976) (on 11 lists)

Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) (on 5 lists)

Brian Eno
Here Come the Warm Jets (1974) (on 4 lists)
Another Green World (1975) (on 5 lists)

Eric B. & Rakim
Paid in Full (1987) (on 3 lists)

Donald Fagen
The Nightfly (1982) (on 3 lists)

Fairport Convention
Liege and Leaf (1969) (on 3 lists)

The Flaming Lips
The Soft Bulletin (1999) (on 3 lists)

Fleetwood Mac
Rumours (1977) (on 27 lists)

The Flying Burrito Brothers
The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969) (on 5 lists)

Aretha Franklin
I Never Loved a Man the Way that I Love You (1967) (on 8 lists)
Lady Soul (1968) (on 8 lists)

Fugees
The Score (1996) (on 3 lists)

Funkadelic
Maggot Brain (1971) (on 4 lists)
One Nation Under a Groove (1978) (on 3 lists)

Peter Gabriel
So (1986) (on 8 lists)

Serge Gainsbourg
Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971) (on 3 lists)

Gang of Four
Entertainment! (1979) (on 5 lists)

Marvin Gaye
What’s Going On (1971) (on 26 lists)
Let’s Get It On (1973) (on 3 lists)

Grateful Dead
Live/Dead (1969) (on 3 lists)
American Beauty (1970) (on 7 lists)
Workingman’s Dead (1970) (on 5 lists)

Al Green
Call Me (1973) (on 6 lists)

Green Day
Dookie (1994) (on 6 lists)
American Idiot (2004) (on 3 lists)

Guns n’ Roses
Appetite for Destruction (1987) (on 16 lists)

George Harrison
All Things Must Pass (1970) (on 5 lists)

P.J. Harvey
Rid of Me (1993) (on 3 lists)
Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000) (on 6 lists)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Are You Experienced? (1967) (on 27 lists)
Electric Ladyland (1968) (on 22 lists)
Axis: Bold As Love (1968) (on 6 lists)

Lauryn Hill
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) (on 10 lists)

Hole
Live Through This (1994) (on 5 lists)

Hüsker Dü
Zen Arcade (1984) (on 5 lists)
New Day Rising (1985) (on 5 lists)

Michael Jackson
Off the Wall (1979) (on 15 lists)
Thriller (1982) (on 25 lists)

The Jam
All the Mod Cons (1978) (on 3 lists)

Jane’s Addiction
Nothing’s Shocking (1988) (on 3 lists)
Ritual de lo Habitual (1990) (on 3 lists)

Jay-Z
The Blueprint (2001) (on 4 lists)

Jefferson Airplane
Surrealistic Pillow (1967) (on 4 lists)

The Jesus & Mary Chain
Psychocandy (1985) (on 6 lists)

Jethro Tull
Aqualung (1971) (on 5 lists)

Billy Joel
The Stranger (1977) (on 3 lists)

Elton John
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) (on 13 lists)

Robert Johnson
The Complete Recordings (rec. 1936-1937) (on 3 lists)

Janis Joplin
Pearl (1971) (on 6 lists)

Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures (1979) (on 9 lists)
Closer (1980) (on 11 lists)

Carole King
Tapestry (1971) (on 14 lists)

King Crimson
In the Court of the Crimson King (1989) (on 4 lists)

The Kinks
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968) (on 7 lists)

Kraftwerk
Trans-Europe Express (1977) (on 6 lists)

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin (1969) (on 13 lists)
Led Zeppelin II (1969) (on 15 lists)
Led Zeppelin III (1970) (on 7 lists)
[Led Zeppelin IV] (1971) (on 30 lists)
Houses of the Holy (1973) (on 9 lists)
Physical Graffiti (1975) (on 16 lists)
In Through the Out Door (1979) (on 3 lists)

John Lennon
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970) (on 12 lists)
Imagine (1971) (on 10 lists)

Little Richard
Here’s Little Richard (1957) (on 5 lists)

Love
Forever Changes (1967) (on 15 lists)

Madonna
The Immaculate Collection (rec. 1983-1990) (on 3 lists)
Like a Prayer (1989) (on 5 lists)

The Magnetic Fields 
69 Love Songs (1999) (on 3 lists)

Manic Street Preachers
Everything Must Go (1996) (on 5 lists)

Bob Marley & the Wailers
Legend (rec. 1972-1983) (on 9 lists)
Catch a Fire (1973) (on 4 lists)
Exodus (1977) (on 7 lists)

Massive Attack
Blue Lines (1991) (on 11 lists)

Curtis Mayfield
Super Fly (1972) (on 3 lists)

Paul McCartney & Wings
Band on the Run (1973) (on 5 lists)

Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Kate & Anna McGarrigle (1975) (on 3 lists)

Meat Loaf
Bat out of Hell (1977) (on 6 lists)

Metallica
Kill ‘Em All (1983) (on 3 lists)
Master of Puppets (1986) (on 9 lists)
Metallica [Black Album] (1991) (on 11 lists)

Minutemen
Double Nickels on the Dime (1984) (on 7 lists)

Joni Mitchell
Blue (1971) (on 17 lists)
Court and Spark (1974) (on 9 lists)
The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975) (on 3 lists)

Moby
Play (1999) (on 4 lists)

Moby Grape
Moby Grape (1967) (on 4 lists)

The Modern Lovers
The Modern Lovers (rec. 1971-1973, rel. 1976) (on 4 lists)

The Monks
Black Monk Time (1966) (on 3 lists)

The Moody Blues
Days of Future Passed (1967) (on 3 lists)

Alanis Morissette
Jagged Little Pill (1995) (on 7 lists)

Van Morrison
Astral Weeks (1968) (on 21 lists)
Moondance (1970) (on 14 lists)
It’s Too Late To Stop Now (1974) (on 3 lists)

The Mothers of Invention (feat. Frank Zappa)
We’re Only In It For the Money (1968) (on 3 lists)

My Bloody Valentine
Loveless (1991) (on 9 lists)

Nas
Illmatic (1994) (on 5 lists)

Randy Newman
Good Old Boys (1974) (on 3 lists)

New York Dolls
New York Dolls (1973) (on 6 lists)

Nine Inch Nails
The Downward Spiral (1994) (on 7 lists)

Nirvana
Nevermind (1991) (on 30 lists)
In Utero (1993) (on 9 lists)
MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) (on 5 lists)

The Notorious B.I.G.
Ready to Die (1994) (on 4 lists)

N.W.A.
Straight Outta Compton (1988) (on 10 lists)

Oasis
Definitely Maybe (1994) (on 11 lists)
(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) (on 14 lists)

OutKast
Aquemini (1998) (on 3 lists)
Stankonia (2000) (on 5 lists)

Parliament
Mothership Connection (1975) (on 4 lists)

Gram Parsons
G.P. (1973) (on 7 lists)
Grievous Angel (1974) (on 7 lists)

Dolly Parton
Coat of Many Colors (1971) (on 3 lists)

Pavement
Slanted and Enchanted (1992) (on 7 lists)

Pearl Jam
Ten (1991) (on 16 lists)

Pere Ubu
The Modern Dance (1978) (on 4 lists)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Damn the Torpedoes (1979) (on 3 lists)

Liz Phair
Exile in Guyville (1993) (on 4 lists)

Pink Floyd
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) (on 6 lists)
The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) (on 25 lists)
Wish You Were Here (1975) (on 15 lists)
The Wall (1979) (on 14 lists)

Pixies
Surfer Rosa (1988) (on 4 lists)
Doolittle (1989) (on 12 lists)

The Pogues
Rum, Sodomy & the Lash (1985) (on 3 lists)

The Police
Synchronicity (1983) (on 8 lists)

Iggy Pop
Lust For Life (1977) (on 3 lists)

Portishead
Dummy (1994) (on 10 lists)

Prefab Sprout
Steve McQueen (1985) (on 5 lists)

Elvis Presley
The Sun Sessions (rec. 1953-1955) (on 8 lists)
Sunrise
(rec. 1953-1955) (on 3 lists)
Elvis Presley (1956) (on 5 lists)

The Pretenders
Pretenders (1980) (on 9 lists)

Primal Scream
Screamadelica (1991) (on 11 lists)

Prince
Dirty Mind (1980) (on 4 lists)
1999 (1982) (on 7 lists)
Purple Rain (1984) (as Prince & the Revolution) (on 21 lists)
Sign o’ the Times (1987) (on 16 lists)

The Prodigy
The Fat of the Land (1997) (on 6 lists)

Public Enemy
It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) (on 18 lists)
Fear of a Black Planet (1990) (on 8 lists)

Public Image, Ltd.
Metal Box (1979) (on 4 lists)
Second Edition (1980) (on 3 lists)

Pulp
Different Class (1995) (on 5 lists)

Queen
A Night at the Opera (1975) (on 11 lists)

Radiohead
The Bends (1995) (on 13 lists)
OK Computer (1997) (on 20 lists)
Kid A (2000) (on 10 lists)

Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machine (1992) (on 7 lists)

Ramones
Ramones (1976) (on 23 lists)
Rocket to Russia (1977) (on 4 lists)

Otis Redding
Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965) (on 13 lists)

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) (on 11 lists)
Californication (1999) (on 4 lists)

Lou Reed
Transformer (1972) (on 13 lists)

R.E.M.
Murmur (1983) (on 10 lists)
Life’s Rich Pageant (1986) (on 3 lists)
Document (1987) (on 3 lists)
Out of Time (1991) (on 7 lists)
Automatic for the People (1992) (on 19 lists)

The Replacements
Let It Be (1984) (on 8 lists)

The Rolling Stones
Aftermath (1966) (on 4 lists)
Beggar’s Banquet (1968) (on 15 lists)
Let It Bleed (1969) (on 22 lists)
Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out! (1970) (on 3 lists)
Sticky Fingers (1971) (on 21 lists)
Exile on Main St. (1972) (on 27 lists)
Some Girls (1978) (on 8 lists)
Tattoo You (1981) (on 4 lists)

Roxy Music
Roxy Music (1972) (on 3 lists)
For Your Pleasure (1973) (on 10 lists)

Todd Rundgren
Something/Anything? (1972) (on 4 lists)

Run-D.M.C.
Raising Hell (1986) (on 6 lists)

Santana
Abraxas (1970) (on 7 lists)

The Sex Pistols
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977) (on 26 lists)

Paul Simon
Graceland (1986) (on 17 lists)

Simon & Garfunkel
Bookends (1968) (on 4 lists)
Bridge over Troubled Water (1970) (on 14 lists)

Frank Sinatra
Songs for Swingin’ Lovers (1956) (on 4 lists)

Sly & the Family Stone
Stand! (1969) (on 7 lists)
There’s a Riot Going On (1971) (on 9 lists)

The Smashing Pumpkins
Siamese Dream (1993) (on 9 lists)
Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness (1995) (on 6 lists)

Elliott Smith
Either/Or (1997) (on 3 lists)

Patti Smith
Horses (1975) (on 19 lists)

The Smiths
Hatful of Hollow (rec. 1983-1984) (on 4 lists)
The Smiths (1984) (on 8 lists)
The Queen is Dead (1986) (on 19 lists)

Sonic Youth
Daydream Nation (1988) (on 9 lists)

Soundgarden
Superunknown (1994) (on 8 lists)

Phil Spector (with various artists)
Phil Spector: Back to Mono (rec. 1958-1969)

Dusty Springfield
Dusty in Memphis (1969) (on 12 lists)

Bruce Springsteen
Born to Run (1975) (on 24 lists)
Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) (on 11 lists)
The River (1980) (on 3 lists)
Nebraska (1982) (on 5 lists)
Born in the U.S.A. (1984) (on 9 lists)

Steely Dan
Countdown to Ecstasy (1973) (on 4 lists)
Pretzel Logic (1974) (on 3 lists)
Aja (1977) (on 5 lists)

Rod Stewart
Every Picture Tells a Story (1971) (on 5 lists)

The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses (1989) (on 14 lists)

The Stooges
The Stooges (1969) (on 4 lists)
Fun House (1970) (on 10 lists)
Raw Power (1973) (as Iggy & the Stooges) (on 11 lists)

The Strokes
Is This It (2001) (on 9 lists)

Suicide
Suicide (1977) (on 4 lists)

System of a Down
Toxicity (2001) (on 3 lists)

Talking Heads
More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978) (on 3 lists)
Remain In Light (1980) (on 13 lists)
Stop Making Sense (1984) (on 3 lists)

James Taylor
Sweet Baby James (1970) (on 5 lists)

Television
Marquee Moon (1977) (on 16 lists)

Richard & Linda Thompson
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974) (on 7 lists)

T. Rex
Electric Warrior (1971) (on 5 lists)

Tricky
Maxinquaye (1995) (on 4 lists)

Tina Turner
Private Dancer (1984) (on 3 lists)

U2
War (1983) (on 4 lists)
The Unforgettable Fire (1984) (on 6 lists)
The Joshua Tree (1987) (on 20 lists)
Achtung Baby (1991) (on 19 lists)

Van Halen
Van Halen (1978) (on 6 lists)

The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) (on 26 lists)
White Light/White Heat (1968) (on 3 lists)
The Velvet Underground (1969) (on 11 lists)
Loaded (1970) (on 3 lists)

The Verve
Urban Hymns (1997) (on 7 lists)

Tom Waits
Swordfishtrombones (1983) (on 6 lists)
Rain Dogs (1985) (on 7 lists)

Scott Walker
Scott 4 (1969) (on 4 lists)

Weezer
Weezer [Blue Album] (1994) (on 5 lists)

Kanye West
The College Dropout (2004) (on 3 lists)
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) (on 3 lists)

The White Stripes
White Blood Cells (2001) (on 3 lists)
Elephant (2003) (on 3 lists)

The Who
The Who Sell Out (1967) (on 5 lists)
Tommy (1969) (on 11 lists)
Who’s Next (1971) (on 22 lists)
Quadrophenia (1973) (on 7 lists)

Lucinda Williams
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998) (on 5 lists)

Amy Winehouse
Back to Black (2006) (on 3 lists)

Wire
Pink Flag (1977) (on 5 lists)

Stevie Wonder
Talking Book (1972) (on 8 lists)
Innervisions (1973) (on 15 lists)
Songs in the Key of Life (1976) (on 18 lists)

Wu-Tang Clan
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993) (on 6 lists)

Robert Wyatt
Rock Bottom (1974) (on 3 lists)

X
Wild Gift (1981) (on 3 lists)

Yes
Fragile (1971) (on 3 lists)

Neil Young
After the Goldrush (1970) (on 18 lists)
Harvest (1972) (on 9 lists)
On the Beach (1974) (on 3 lists)
Tonight’s the Night (1975) (on 9 lists)
Rust Never Sleeps (1979) (on 6 lists)

The Zombies
Odyssey and Oracle (1968) (on 5 lists)

One thought on “Best Albums of All Time – By Artist

  1. Pingback: Authors and Auteurs: The Individual As Creative Force | Make Lists, Not War

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