Sunday, February 24, 2013

The 100 Most Influential Albums

There was a peculiar "quiz" that surfaced on Facebook about a month back called 100 Influential Albums which reeked of being written by a 20 something with a fondness for Brit pop. I asked my friends and self proclaimed rock/pop pundits to help me come up with a true list of our own...your own everyone's own. This was compiled with no particular intent other than to school that young lad across the pond but really just to amuse ourselves, and possibly throw stones at each other like bullyish rock snobs.

I really hope you do two things with this list. Steal all of the music on here and play it for someone who really has no clue, and is mired down in the sugary sweet excesses of processed pop, or  argue with me.

Either way, the list wins.

To be clear. INFLUENCE has zero to do with album sales....sure, there will be plenty of platinum on this list, but these albums for the most part ignited a genre that previously didn't exist, or inspired a very large percentage of musicians/writers/artists within the generation of the release of an album on the list, or future generations in garage and basements galore until the end of time.

To be clear part Two. INFLUENCE and "favorite" some of the time do not go hand in hand. There will be entries, you don't own, you've forgotten about or were appalled with in the first place. Respectfully, I've tried to cover as many genres as I could with the help of my brethren in the know. So here goes in no particular order

1) Chuck Berry- After School Sessions

2) Elvis Presley-Self titled

3) Buddy Holly-Self Titled

4) Aretha Franklin-Lady Soul

5) The Beatles-Revolver

6) Bob Dylan –Highway 61 Revisited

7) John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers Featuring Eric Clapton

8) Beach Boys-Pet Sounds

9) James Brown-Live at the Apollo

10) The Everly Brothers.-Self titled

11) Van Morrison-Astral Weeks
12) Byrds-Sweetheart of the Rodeo
13) Big Brother-Cheap Thrills
14) The Beatles-Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
15) The Doors-Debut album
16) Love-Forever Changes
17) Rolling Stones-Let it Bleed
18) Bob Dylan-Blood on the Tracks
19) Jimi Hendrix Experience-Are You Experienced
20) Led Zeppelin- IV

21) The Stooges-Debut Album
22) New York Dolls Debut
23) Joni Mitchell-Blue
24) Stones-Exile on Main Street
25) The Who-Who’s Next
26) Led Zeppelin- I
27) CSNY- Déjà Vu
28) Sex Pistols-Never Mind The Bollocks

29) Miles Davis-Bitches Brew
30) Pink Floyd-Dark Side of the Moon
31) Neil Young-Harvest
32) Bob Marley and the Wailers-Natty Dread
33) Iggy and the Stooges-Raw Power
34) Black Sabbath-Debut
35) John Coletrane- A Love Supreme
36) Deep Purple-Machine Head
37) The Eagles- Greatest Hits 1971-1975
38) Yes-Fragile

39) Simon and Garfunkel-Bridge Over Troubled Water
40) Sly and the Family Stone-Theres a Riot Goin' On
41) Marvin Gaye-What’s Going On
42) Cream-Disraeli Gears
43) David Bowie- The Rise of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
44) Big Star-#1 Record
45) Roxy Music-Debut
46) CCR-Cosmos Factory
47) Ramones-Debut album
48) Fleetwood Mac-Rumours
49) Brian Eno-Another Green World
50 The Clash-London Calling
51) Wire-Pink Flag
52) Elvis Costello-My Aim Is True
53) The Cars-Debut album
54) Frank Zappa-Apostrophe
55) Funkadelic-Maggot Brain
56) Velvet Underground and Nico
57) Television-Marquee Moon
58) Lou Reed-Transformer
59) REM- Murmur
60) U2-War
61) Guns and Roses-Appetite For Destruction
62) Prince-1999
63) Beastie Boys-Paul's Boutique
64) Sonic Youth-Daydream Nation
65) AC/DC-Let There Be Rock
66) Slayer-Reign in Blood
67) Lynyrd Skynyrd-Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd
68) The Allman Brothers Band- Live at the Fillmore East
69) Bruce Springsteen-Born to Run
70) My Bloody Valentine-Loveless
71) Nirvana-Nevermind
72) Radiohead-OK Computer
73) Metallica-Master of Puppets
74) Kyuss-Blues For the Red Sun

75) Public Enemy-Fear of a Black Planet
76) Grandmaster Flash-The Message

77) Johnny Cash-At Folsom Prison

78) Van Halen-Debut

79) White Stripes-White Blood Cells

80) Pixies-Doolittle

81) Queen-A Night at The Opera

82) Weezer-Blue Album

83) Wilco-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

84) The Replacements-Let It Be

85) Joy Division-Closer

86) Michael Jackson-Thriller

87) Talking Heads-Remain in Light

88) Saturday Night Fever- Soundtrack

89) Kraftwerk-Trans Europe Express

90) T Rex-Electric Warrior

91) Grateful Dead-Europe ‘72

92) Bad Brains-I Against I

93) Minor Threat-Self titled EP

94) Willie Nelson- Red Headed Stranger
95) Robert Johnson-King of the Delta Blues Singers
96) The Police-Outlandos d' Amour
97) The Smiths-Meat is Murder
98) The Band-Music From Big Pink
99) Nine Inch Nails-Pretty Hate Machine
100) King Crimson-In the Court of the Crimson King

Missed the Cut but would Probably be in the next 50

The Cure-Disintegration
The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society
Elton John-Tumbleweed Connection
Daft Punk-Daft Punk
Iron Maiden-Number of The Beast
Jane's Addiction -Nothing's Shocking
Boston-Debut Album
The Beatles-Rubber Soul
Husker Du-Zen Arcade
Pretenders-Debut Album
Patti Smith-Horses
Curtis Mayfield-Superfly
Rush -2112
Madonna-Like a Virgin
Genesis-The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Pearl Jam-Ten
Stevie Ray Vaughan-Texas Flood
The Flying Burrito Brothers-Guilded Palace of Sin
U2-The Joshua Tree
Frank Zappa-We're Only In It For the Money
The Feelies-Crazy Rhythms
Jeff Buckley-Grace
Jimi Hendrix-Electric Ladyland
Pink Floyd-The Wall
Tom Waits-Rain Dogs
Joy Division- Unknown Pleasures
The Buzzcocks-Singles Going Steady
The Faces-A Nod is as Good As A Wink.....
The Minutemen-Double Nickels on the Dime
Devo-Are We Not Men

The ratio of those I missed on your list to those you missed on my list should cancel each other out, no? 

Personally I can't get through 5 minutes of  #s 70, 80,95, 97 and 99 without wanting to launch myself out a window and impale myself on the nearest fencepost...while using a nail gun to my forehead on the way down.

But let's argue the omissions anyway.

In the meantime, I'll be kidnapping Beliebers, scratch that....I'll be rounding up random tweens in my neighborhood for brainwashing..err, listening session in my living room....with their parents permission of course. For reals,  most of the parents should be forced to attend as well...




  1. Seano: Can't argue with most of these, tho I wonder who Slayer ever influenced, & by the time of the Eagles' best-of their country-rock had already done its damage so I don't see how that album's an influence.
    SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO is pretty lame. Influential, but lame. & it's the only Byrds album in the 100?
    Also, why Simon&Garf's BRIDGE? Why not PARSLEY SAGE or BOOKENDS, which came earlier & got their folk-rock ball rolling?
    Van Halen's 1st was influential? Maybe on Guns 'N' Roses, but otherwise?
    Wrong Elton John album. Why not HONKY CHATEAU or PIANO PLAYER or YELLOW BRICK ROAD?
    I woulda chose WORKINGMAN'S or AMERICAN BEAUTY over EUROPE '72....
    Extra points for the Miles & Coltrane picks.
    I haven't heard much of the newer/British stuff, so some of this is a mystery to me (Joy Division, Smiths, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, etc), but I at least know the NAMES, so....
    I can argue with summa your choices, but I didn't do the work. So overall, a pretty tough list to argue with. Nice work! More, please?

  2. First off, this is an impossible list to put together, but super fun to think about, thanks for putting together! I think it reads a little too Classic Rock heavy, and the omission of contemporary albums is pretty glaring, with the White Stripes (2001) and Wilco (2002) being the latest releases, and those have been out over a decade! Maybe there needs to be a grace period before being influential - don't know, of the 100 there HAS to be at least one Hip Hop album released in the 90's IMO, it's been so influential to both music and pop-culture, like it or not.

    Still, fun as all hell list, thanks for letting me voice my opinion when making it.

    Also, @TAD, Joy Division and Smiths can NOT be called new!!! They've been around for 30 years, and NIN is an American band :-)

  3. I too appreciate the effort. Very well thought out!