The music mavens at the venerable Time magazine have compiled their list of the “ALL-TIME 100″ albums — unranked and broken down by decade. We’re not sure what’s better: that only five albums of the past five years are among their 100 greatest, or that four of those five were by people who were dead before the ’00s even began. Whatever. Anyway, here’s the list in reverse chronological order (via NY Post):

Hank Williams – The Essential Hank Williams Collection
Kanye West – The College Dropout
Sam Cooke – Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964
Elvis Presley – Elvis: 30 No. 1 Hits
Muddy Waters – The Anthology, 1947 – 1972
Radiohead – Kid A
Outkast – Stankonia
PJ Harvey – Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP

Elvis Presley – Sunrise
Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
Radiohead – OK Computer
The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready To Die
Bob Dylan – Time Out Of Mind
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing…
Oasis – (What’s The Story) Moning Glory
Hole – Live Through This
Mary J. Blige – My Life
Pavement – Slanted And Enchanted
Dr. Dre – The Chronic
U2 – Achtung Baby
Nirvana – Nevermind
R.E.M. – Out Of Time
Various Artists – Phil Spector, Back To Mono (1958-1969)
Garth Brooks – Ropin’ The Wind
James Brown – Star Time
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory

Madonna – Like A Prayer
Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton
R.E.M. – Document
Eric B. And Rakim – Paid In Full
Prince – Sign O’ The Times
U2 – The Joshua Tree
Paul Simon – Graceland
Metallica – Master Of Puppets
Run-DMC – Raising Hell
Bob Marley And The Wailers – Legend
Prince – Purple Rain
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
Chuck Berry – The Great Twenty-Eight
Michael Jackson – Thriller
AC/DC – Back In Black

The Clash – London Calling
Parliament/Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove
The Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
The Eagles – Hotel California
The Ramones – Ramones
Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life
Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
Patti Smith – Horses
Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger
Al Green – Call Me
Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust
The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street
Stevie Wonder – Talking Book
Jimmy Cliff And Various Artists – The Harder They Come
Joni Mitchell – Blue
Dolly Parton – Coat Of Many Colors
David Bowie – Hunky Dory
Led Zeppelin – IV
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
Carole King – Tapestry
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
The Who – Who’s Next
Neil Young – After The Gold Rush
Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band
Van Morrison – Moondance

The Beatles – Abbey Road
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
Sly & The Family Stone – Stand!
The Band – The Band
Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
Johnny Cash – At Folsom Prison
Aretha Franklin – Lady Soul
The Beatles – The Beatles (“The White Album”)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced
Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground And Nico
Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde
The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
The Beatles – Revolver
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
Otis Redding – Otis Blue
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
James Brown – Live At The Apollo (1963)
Ray Charles – Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music
Robert Johnson – King Of The Delta Blues Singers

Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
Little Richard – Here’s Little Richard
Frank Sinatra – Songs For Swingin’ Lovers
Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours

Head over to Time for there detailed explanations on each choice. What you won’t find are explanations as to why no Pixies, Smiths, or Britney Spears albums appear anywhere on there.

Comments (77)
  1. kevin  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 +3

    i’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to put greatest hits on a top 100 list.

  2. howie  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    Not a single Stones album from the 60′s? Ever heard of “Let it Bleed” or “Beggar’s Banquet”?
    How a/b Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks…contains the nastiest (“Idiot Wind”) and sweetest (“You’re a Big Girl Now” and “If you See Her Say Hello”) breakup songs all in one place.
    Any Heads fan knows “The Name of This Band Is….” is their definitive live album, not “Stop Making Sense”.
    Finally, Neil’s “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” invented grunge and Pearl Jam’s “10″ is, despite being written off by rock snobs at the time, the grunge album that holds up best

  3. You’re right – that 2000s list is a bullshit cop-out. Let’s smoke out that TIME staff with some N.W.A. Noreaga-style.

  4. there’s something stupid about putting compilations on a list like this. Something real stupid.

  5. Dollars to donuts the people who came up with this list graduated from high school sometime between 1973 and 1976.

  6. Hank Williams, Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters… YEP, those artists sure have shaped the last five years in music….

  7. Dave  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 -2

    Whatever, any list that does not include the words Evan and/or Essence does not deserve my attention.

  8. gary  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 +4



  9. Dave  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    Whatever. Hank Williams and Muddy Waters have been rocking my Hooverville since 2000.

  10. GARTH BROOKS being on this list makes it not a valid list….

  11. This doesn’t help the R.E.M./U2 debate much.

  12. jack  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 -1

    no blood brothers? way to leave out our generation’s velvet underground.

  13. is there even anyone under 60 that works at time?

    i think they just skimmed a few music mags, probably rolling stone or spin at some point in time, and decided to throw in a few of their top favorites to make their list look a little more credible.

  14. zoe  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    good thing these TIME MAG folks dont work in the music industry

  15. very, very depressing.

  16. And they wonder why kids aren’t reading their magazine…

  17. These lists are always a tragedy.

  18. Krossfader  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    36 Chambers??????????

  19. rgr_moore  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    I actually like this list a lot

  20. Blu  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    Neko Case could’ve had one of her solo albums in the 2000s list, and yet her idol, Hank Williams has a compilation in there?

  21. rgr_moore  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    oh wait, hole but no blur…

    hmmm :\

  22. The Zimzi  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    That list is horrible. “Best Of’s” don’t really count as CD’s. Booh Time!

  23. Dayne  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    For the 1980′s…

    Should have included…

    The Replacements “Let it Be”
    The Pixies “Surfer Rosa”

  24. Sean  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 +2

    We’re all missing something very important…someone named ‘jack’ just said the Blood Brothers were this generation’s Velvet Underground. THE BLOOD BROTHERS. Seriously. He said it. Scroll up. It’s there.

  25. Gary said it best…



    This list reeks of the myopia of a baby-boomer staff clinging to names they assumed were important just because they were used a lot.

    O.K. Computer? Probably; but not The Bends?

    Joshua Tree? Of course; where’s War?

    And what about The Wall and Dark Side Of The MOTHERFATHER Moon? Huh? No Dark Side? One of Billboard’s longest ranking titles?

    Time can go choke on a rolled up copy of US News & World Report.


  26. Freeehold Arts  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    The White Stripes suck, I guess.

  27. toronto  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    urban hymns not being in the 90′s is a complete travesty!!

  28. eddie  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    I think Live’s Throwing Copper certainly deserves to be in there in the 1990′s. That record blew the Various Artist’s record away.

  29. Tom Petty  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    No Tom Petty? No me? What, “Damn The Torpedoes” was bongwater?

  30. calvin  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    neutral milk hotel, anyone?

  31. bobgoatcheese  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    I suppose that you can find something to disagree with on any list like this one, but this is really a piece of sh*t. Music dopes put it together and then ran into the next room to ask the cool kids to add a few things to add some edge to a list for casual music fan.

    “Boo” indeed

  32. Hmm, a future TIME/LIFE Music collection infomercial hosted by Billy Idol and Pam Anderson?

    Billy (with snarl): Whoa, this is like, the greatest music collection that you?ve probably already heard like a billion times before?but don?t try looking for these songs in music stores, because music stores don?t exist anymore!

    Pam (with boobs hanging out): That?s right Billy. This is a last-ditch effort to try to make money regurgitating cumbersome CD compilations, because, let?s face it– music is largely dead. But gee whiz, some of these songs really take me back. Like the first time I got felt-up in a Firebird?

    (Cue Music to: Side One of Led Zeppelin IV)

  33. will  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 +2

    where the fuck is Loveless?

  34. Devin  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    It’s always amusing hearing people justify why they think lists like these are wrong with some of the worst supporting evidence I’ve ever read. Blood brothers our generations velvet underground? If that were the truth I would kill myself right now. It’s hard to determine who our generations innovative noise rock group are but it’s definitely not them. The Black Angels have the spark for it, serena maneesh really wishes they were, the shocking pinks first album was probably the closest thing to it so far. Also, those mentioning the dark side of the moon are a decade late in recognizing Pink Floyd. By that point they were corporate rubbish.

  35. Come on guys, quit the debating over what’s missing. This list is so ridiculous and irrelevant that you shouldn’t give it even the slightest validation by pretending it’s meritorious enough to discuss.

  36. dannygutters  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2006 0

    So the post thinks that more than 5 albums written in the last decade are more important that ALL MUSIC FOR ALL OF TIME? I mean out of roughly 7 million years of human history? I know this reply is trite but that’s saying 5% of the ALL TIME greatest music ever was composed in roughly .000142% of length of humanity’s existence. Get over yourself decade. I mean if it’s really all time you’d have to figure that out of billions of years and then it just gets ridiculous..

  37. the only band i can think of nowadays that is even close to being considered this generation’s velvet underground is the fiery furnaces, and i would still hesitate to make such a comparison.
    but the blood brothers?
    if it were the 1980s, you’d probably be calling dexy’s midnight runners the velvet underground of the decade.

  38. Doug  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    ummm…Garth Brooks is on here, but Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is nowhere to be found. That’s very odd.

  39. elvis perkins  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    the blood brothers crack was a joke, you people are too uptight, learn to take a joke.
    however, i do agree with the objection of no yankee hotel foxtrot

  40. docbrown  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    if you are going to make a list, at least get some balls and number the albums. they need to take a stance and say “this is what time magazine thinks the best album is” and so on. anyone can just list off a bunch of albums that they like from each decade. its more admirable to take a stance and say WHY you put one ahead of another.

  41. ian  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    hotel california’s on the list but My aim is true isn’t? Two madonna cds but no cyndi lauper:( She’s so unusual was a great album, don’t deny it. I’m surprised no one’s upset about having out of time and not automatic for the people. Also, 3 feet high and rising should be on it somewhere, as should enter the 36 chambers as was already said, but the fact that raising hell’s on it is good. I also just realized that they didn’t include the miseducation of Lauryn Hill which is mandated by law to be on these lists, or at least that’s how it seems.

  42. KingHarvest  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    guys why isnt [good album] on [shitty, out of touch top 100 list]

  43. allison  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    elvis perkins, there was obviously no way to tell it was a joke. so telling people to lighten up doesn’t make sense.

  44. crilo in p-gro  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    Apparently no-one else has noticed the most glaring problem with the list — that music apparently was shit before the 1950s (save for the obligatory inclusions of Hank, Muddy, and Bobby Johnson). Guess all that stuff that influenced those “greatest records of all time” was just so much dribble…

  45. 1945  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    I completely agree that greatest hits and Various Artists have no place on this list. I am, however, surprised that TIME knew what the Low End Theory was . It’s fairly obvious though that for the most part, this list was derived from record sales with few name drops here and there to keep it somewhat readable. I am a huge fan of In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea, but it was never going to make this list… shame. However, I personally don’t think Yankee Hotel Foxtrot makes Wilco’s top 3, let alone a top 100 albums list, but that’s just my opinion.

  46. bryan  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    they obviously need to hear more music

  47. goldend  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    No Smiths??

    Fuck Time!

    No Morrissey???? just kidding ;), but Moz is too cool for school, or for lists. Also, I am going to see him in concert this saturday :)

  48. It’s pretty stupid when half the albums in 2000s are compilations of songs from the previous century.

    I’m surprised no Sonic Youth. Even the Library Of Congress has acknowledged Daydream Nation and put it into its archives.

    Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea is good but by far not the best PJ Harvey album.

  49. mark  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    the addition of A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory is much appreciated to say the least! i was expecting a coolio album or some other grammy nominated rapper. finally, some legitimacy in the rap genre!

  50. jumbasi  |   Posted on Nov 15th, 2006 0

    the replacements – let it be

    where is it!?!?!

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