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‘Rolling Stone’ Updates ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’ List – Kendrick, Kanye, Lauryn Hill Make Top 20

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Rolling Stone has updated their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list with 154 new entries. “No list is definitive,” they write, which is why they decided to remake the original index, which came about in 2003, from scratch.

“We received and tabulated Top 50 Albums lists from more than 300 artists, producers, critics, and music-industry figures (from radio programmers to label heads, like Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman).”

The census among the industry leaders who voted was that while “the classics are still the classics,” newer artists have proven themselves as great as the legends of old.

Which artists made the list?

Among some of the post-2003 entries include:

  • The Arctic Monkeys at #346 with “AM” (2013)
  • Kanye West at #244 with “808s & Heartbreak” (2008)
  • Rosalía at #315 with “El Mal Querer” (2018)
  • Lil Wayne at #208 with “Tha Carter III” (2008)
  • Bad Bunny at #447 with “X 100pre” (2018)
  • Solange at #312 with “A Seat at the Table” (2016)
  • Fiona Apple at #444 with “Extraordinary Machine” (2005)
  • Vampire Weekend at #328 with “Modern Vampires of the City” (2013)
  • Lana Del Rey at #321 with “Norman F***ing Rockwell!” (2019)
  • Rihanna at #230 with “Anti” (2016)
  • Robyn at #196 with “Body Talk” (2010)

The top 20

We won’t give away the top 500 – that’s for you to peruse! But check out the top 20, where some of the best artists, including one who only emerged in the past decade, earned their place as legends in the industry.

20. Radiohead – “Kid A” (2000)

19. Kendrick Lamar – “To Pimp a Butterfly” (2015)

18. Bob Dylan – “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965)

17. Kanye West – “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (2010)

16. The Clash – “London Calling” (1979)

15. Public Enemy – “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” (1988)

14. The Rolling Stones – “Exile on Main Street” (1972)

13. Aretha Franklin – “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You” (1967)

12. Michael Jackson – “Thriller” (1982)

11. The Beatles – “Revolver” (1966)

10. Lauryn Hill – “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (1998)

9. Bob Dylan – “Blood on the Tracks” (1975)

8. Prince and the Revolution – “Purple Rain” (1984)

7. Fleetwood Mac – “Rumours” (1977)

6. Nirvana – “Nevermind” (1991)

5. The Beatles – “Abbey Road” (1969)

4. Stevie Wonder – “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976)

3. Joni Mitchell – “Blue” (1971)

2. The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds” (1966)

1. Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On” (1971)

The update’s analyses of each album were provided by writers Jonathan Bernstein, Pat Blashill, Jon Blistein, Nathan Brackett, David Browne, Anthony DeCurtis, Matt Diehl, Jon Dolan, Chuck Eddy, Ben Edmonds, Gavin Edwards, Jenny Eliscu, Brenna Ehrlrich, Suzy Exposito, David Fricke, Elisa Gardner, Holly George-Warren, Andy Greene, Kory Grow, Will Hermes, Brian Hiatt, Christian Hoard, Charles Holmes, Mark Kemp, Greg Kot, Elias Leight, Joe Levy, Angie Martoccio, David McGee, Chris Molanphy, Tom Moon, Jason Newman, Rob O’Connor, Park Puterbaugh, Jody Rosen, Austin Scaggs, Karen Schoemer, Bud Scoppa, Claire Shaffer, Rob Sheffield, Hank Shteamer, Brittany Spanos, Rob Tannenbaum, David Thigpen, Simon Vozick-Levinson, Barry Walters and Jonah Weiner.