This is a work in progress. Finally at least, I am following my own questionable rules. What I’m striving for is a balance between the canon, which deserves critical attack but is not always in error, and my own lifelong habits–I know this music like the back of my hand, and if I return to something over and over, that’s no minor thing. Eventually, I will post a more stable list. Stable–that’s hilarious.
*I must have returned to the album on a very regular basis–thus, it is a favorite.
*The album satisfies my gestaltist persnicketyness: as a whole, it is very effective.
*Compilations (*) are allowed ONLY if the artist represented made no consensus-approved CLASSIC album-as-album.
*10 single-artist compilations maximum are allowed.
*5 single-artist box sets (#) are allowed BUT they count toward the compilation maximum, and I must have returned to them repeatedly.
*Unlimited various artist compilations ($) are allowed.
*Unlimited various artist box sets (@) are allowed, but I must have returned to them repeatedly.
*5 “twofer” (%) CDs maximum are allowed ONLY if they were legitimately released in that form.
*1 album maximum may be included for each artist (if they appear otherwise in a group formation, that’s cool).
*Style: the album must have a pinkie-toe dipped in the pond of rock and roll.
- The 5 Royales – Dedicated to You
- King Sunny Ade – Juju Music
- Beatles – “Yesterday” and Today
- Big Star – Radio City
- Black Uhuru – Red
- James Brown – Live at the Apollo
- Chuck Berry – The Chess Box *#
- Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band – Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
- Joe “King” Carrasco and the Crowns – s/t
- James Carter – The Real Quiet Storm
- Ray Charles – The Birth of Soul *#
- Chic – Real People
- The Clash – London Calling
- The Coasters – 50 Coastin’ Classics*
- Ray Condo & The Ricochets – Swing Brother Swing
- Elvis Costello – King of America
- The Cramps – Bad Music for Bad People
- Culture – Two Sevens Clash
- Miles Davis – Jack Johnson
- Dead Moon – Echoes of the Past*
- Bo Diddley – s/t
- The Dirtbombs – Ultraglide in Black
- The Drifters – The Drifters’ Golden Hits*
- The Drive-By Truckers – The Dirty South
- Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
- Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade
- Eric B. & Rakim – Follow the Leader
- Roky Erickson – I Have Always Been Here Before*
- Tav Falco & Panther Burns – Midnight in Memphis
- The Fall – I Am Kurious Oranj
- Flipper – Generic
- Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin
- Aretha Franklin – Spirit in the Dark
- The Go-Betweens – Tallulah
- The Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead
- Al Green – Call Me / Livin’ for You %
- Merle Haggard – A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today
- Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? (UK version)
- Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf / Moanin’ at Midnight %
- Linton Kwesi Johnson – Making History
- George Jones – Burn the Honky Tonk Down *
- King – We Are King
- The Kinks – Something Else by The Kinks
- Bettye LaVette – I Got My Own Hell to Raise
- Jerry Lee Lewis – Live at the Star Club
- Love – Forever Changes
- Bob Marley and The Wailers – Live!
- Mekons – Rock n Roll
- M. I. A. – Kala
- The Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime
- Joni Mitchell – Blue
- Van Morrison – Moondance
- Motörhead – Orgasmatron
- Muddy Waters – Hard Again
- Willie Nelson – Spirit
- New York Dolls – s/t
- Nirvana – MTV Unplugged
- The Nomads – Outburst
- Lee Scratch Perry – Roast Fish, Collie Weed, and Cornbread
- PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
- The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
- Prince – Dirty Mind
- Professor Longhair – Crawfish Fiesta
- Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
- Purple Mountains – s/t
- Ramones – It’s Alive!
- Otis Redding – Dictionary of Soul
- Lou Reed – New York
- Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: Greatest Hits, Volume 2*
- The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
- Sonny Rollins – Sunny Days, Starry Nights
- Rosalía – Malamente
- Jimmy Rushing – With the Big Brass / Rushing Lullabies %
- Sonny Sharrock – Ask the Ages
- Billy Joe Shaver – Live at Smith’s Olde Bar
- The Sir Douglas Quintet – The Best of the Sir Douglas Quintet*
- Sly & The Family Stone: …there’s a riot goin’ on
- Huey Piano Smith – Having a Party with Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns
- Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
- The Staple Singers – The Best of the Vee-Jay Years *
- Gary Stewart – Out of Hand
- Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story
- Swamp Dogg – Total Destruction to Your Mind
- James Talley – Woody Guthrie and Songs of My Oklahoma Home
- Howard Tate – Get It While You Can
- Tracey Thorn – Record
- Various Artists – The Doo Wop Box @
- Various Artists – Girl Group Sounds: One Kiss Leads to Another
- Various Artists – It Came from Memphis, Volume 1 $
- Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts (box version) @
- Various Artists – Sweet Soul Music $
- Various Artists – Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound $
- Velvet Underground – 1969 Velvet Underground Live
- Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones
- Keith Whitley – I Wonder Do You Think of Me
- Lucinda Williams – S/T
- Wussy – Attica
- X – Wild Gift
- X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents
- Neil Young – Rust Never Sleeps
3 thoughts on “My Imaginary Top 100 Ballot Submitted to Rolling Stone for its “500 Greatest Albums of the Rock and Roll Era” (NEAR-FINAL DRAFT–I still haven’t even gotten off the couch to scan the stacks for insane omissions.)”
A terrific list! Thank you
My pleasure! I hope you saw a few items you hadn’t tried before!
Quite a few, indeed! (Nomads, Dirtbombs, King, Tav Falco, Ray Condo, J.K. Carrasco…). I will definitely check them out. Thank you!