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.)

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.

Rules:

*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.

*Span: 1954-2019.

The List:

  1. The 5 Royales – Dedicated to You
  2. King Sunny Ade – Juju Music
  3. Beatles – “Yesterday” and Today
  4. Big Star – Radio City
  5. Black Uhuru – Red
  6. James Brown – Live at the Apollo
  7. Chuck Berry – The Chess Box *#
  8. Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band – Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
  9. Joe “King” Carrasco and the Crowns – s/t
  10. James Carter – The Real Quiet Storm
  11. Ray Charles – The Birth of Soul *#
  12. Chic – Real People
  13. The Clash – London Calling
  14. The Coasters – 50 Coastin’ Classics*
  15. Ray Condo & The Ricochets – Swing Brother Swing
  16. Elvis Costello – King of America
  17. The Cramps – Bad Music for Bad People
  18. Culture – Two Sevens Clash
  19. Miles Davis – Jack Johnson
  20. Dead Moon – Echoes of the Past*
  21. Bo Diddley – s/t
  22. The Dirtbombs – Ultraglide in Black
  23. The Drifters – The Drifters’ Golden Hits*
  24. The Drive-By Truckers – The Dirty South
  25. Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
  26. Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade
  27. Eric B. & Rakim – Follow the Leader
  28. Roky Erickson – I Have Always Been Here Before*
  29. Tav Falco & Panther Burns – Midnight in Memphis
  30. The Fall – I Am Kurious Oranj
  31. Flipper – Generic
  32. Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin
  33. Aretha Franklin – Spirit in the Dark
  34. The Go-Betweens – Tallulah
  35. The Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead
  36. Al Green – Call Me / Livin’ for You %
  37. Merle Haggard – A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today
  38. Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced? (UK version)
  39. Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf / Moanin’ at Midnight %
  40. Linton Kwesi Johnson – Making History
  41. George Jones – Burn the Honky Tonk Down *
  42. King – We Are King
  43. The Kinks – Something Else by The Kinks
  44. Bettye LaVette – I Got My Own Hell to Raise
  45. Jerry Lee Lewis – Live at the Star Club
  46. Love – Forever Changes
  47. Bob Marley and The Wailers – Live!
  48. Mekons – Rock n Roll
  49. M. I. A. – Kala
  50. The Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime
  51. Joni Mitchell – Blue
  52. Van Morrison – Moondance
  53. Motörhead – Orgasmatron
  54. Muddy Waters – Hard Again
  55. Willie Nelson – Spirit
  56. New York Dolls – s/t
  57. Nirvana – MTV Unplugged
  58. The Nomads – Outburst
  59. Lee Scratch Perry – Roast Fish, Collie Weed, and Cornbread
  60. PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
  61. The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
  62. Prince – Dirty Mind
  63. Professor Longhair – Crawfish Fiesta
  64. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  65. Purple Mountains – s/t
  66. Ramones – It’s Alive!
  67. Otis Redding – Dictionary of Soul
  68. Lou Reed – New York
  69. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: Greatest Hits, Volume 2*
  70. The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
  71. Sonny Rollins – Sunny Days, Starry Nights
  72. Rosalía – Malamente
  73. Jimmy Rushing – With the Big Brass / Rushing Lullabies %
  74. Sonny Sharrock – Ask the Ages
  75. Billy Joe Shaver – Live at Smith’s Olde Bar
  76. The Sir Douglas Quintet – The Best of the Sir Douglas Quintet*
  77. Sly & The Family Stone: …there’s a riot goin’ on
  78. Huey Piano Smith – Having a Party with Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns
  79. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
  80. The Staple Singers – The Best of the Vee-Jay Years *
  81. Gary Stewart – Out of Hand
  82. Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story
  83. Swamp Dogg – Total Destruction to Your Mind
  84. James Talley – Woody Guthrie and Songs of My Oklahoma Home
  85. Howard Tate – Get It While You Can
  86. Tracey Thorn – Record
  87. Various Artists – The Doo Wop Box @
  88. Various Artists – Girl Group Sounds: One Kiss Leads to Another
  89. Various Artists – It Came from Memphis, Volume 1 $
  90. Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts (box version) @
  91. Various Artists – Sweet Soul Music $
  92. Various Artists – Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound $
  93. Velvet Underground – 1969 Velvet Underground Live
  94. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones
  95. Keith Whitley – I Wonder Do You Think of Me
  96. Lucinda Williams – S/T
  97. Wussy – Attica
  98. X – Wild Gift
  99. X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents
  100. 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.)

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