My Top 200 Albums Of All Time (2018 Update)

A couple of years have passed since I last refreshed my all-time favorite albums list, and when a friend recently noted that my alleged Top 200 roster actually contained 202 entries, I figured it was time for an update.

I’ve been keeping a master list of favorite albums since the very early ’70s, when I was a grade school Steppenwolf fan. My tastes have evolved dramatically over the years (though I still like Steppenwolf), so I review and update this list periodically, dropping things that haven’t aged well, and adding new things that excite me and seem to have staying power.

For many years, this was a “Top 100 List,” but as I’ve gotten older, I feel entitled to expand the roster beyond the century mark, since I’ve listened to a whole lot more music now than I had when I was younger. I also used to exclude “Greatest Hits” and other compilation or live albums, but I’ve gotten less uptight about that, too, since for some artists, their best work may have appeared on singles that only saw long-form release in the form of “Best Of” collections.

So here’s the update, in alphabetical order by artist name. As soon as I post this list, I will invariably change my mind about something, but that’s the beauty of updates, right? Watch this space in 2020 to see what I got wrong this time!

  1. AC/DC: Back in Black
  2. Allison, Mose: Swingin’ Machine
  3. Bauhaus: The Sky’s Gone Out
  4. Beef: Stink, Stank, Stunk
  5. Beefheart, Captain and the Magic Band: Clear Spot
  6. Beefheart, Captain and the Magic Band: The Spotlight Kid
  7. Beefheart, Captain and the Magic Band: Trout Mask Replica
  8. Birthday Party: Junkyard
  9. Black Flag: Damaged
  10. Body: I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer
  11. Bogmen: Life Begins at 40 Million
  12. Bonzo Dog Band: Keynsham
  13. Bonzo Dog Band: The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse
  14. Bowie, David: “Heroes”
  15. Bowie, David: Lodger
  16. Bowie, David: Blackstar
  17. Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey
  18. Bush, Kate: Hounds of Love
  19. Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven
  20. Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician
  21. Camberwell Now: All’s Well
  22. Camper Van Beethoven: Camper Van Beethoven
  23. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Henry’s Dream
  24. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Tender Prey
  25. Chance The Rapper: Coloring Book
  26. Chap: Mega Breakfast
  27. Christian Death: Catastrophe Ballet
  28. Clash: Combat Rock
  29. Clutch: Book of Bad Decisions
  30. Clutch: Elephant Riders
  31. Clutch: Robot Hive/Exodus
  32. Clutch: Psychic Warfare
  33. Coil: Backwards
  34. Coil: Horse Rotorvator
  35. Coil: The Ape of Naples
  36. Collider: WCYF
  37. Coup: Sorry to Bother You
  38. Coup: Sorry to Bother You: The Soundtrack
  39. Cramps: Bad Music for Bad People
  40. Cypress Hill: Cypress Hill
  41. Dälek: Absence
  42. Dälek: Gutter Tactics
  43. Davis, Jed: Small Sacrifices Must Be Made
  44. Death Grips: Ex-Military
  45. Death Grips: Government Plates
  46. Department of Eagles: The Cold Nose
  47. Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
  48. Diamond, Neil: Hot August Night
  49. Dogbowl: Flan
  50. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf
  51. Dunnery, Francis: Tall Blonde Helicopter
  52. Eagles: Desperado
  53. Earth, Wind and Fire: All n’ All
  54. Einsturzende Neubauten: Halber Mensch
  55. Einsturzende Neubauten: Haus der Luge
  56. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus
  57. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Trilogy
  58. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery
  59. Eno, Brian: Here Come the Warm Jets
  60. Eno, Brian: Another Green World
  61. Eno, Brian: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
  62. Eno, Brian: Before And After Science
  63. Fall: Hex Enduction Hour
  64. Fall: The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click)
  65. Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent
  66. Family: Bandstand
  67. Family: Fearless
  68. Fear: The Record
  69. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
  70. First Aid Kit: Ruins
  71. Fleetwood Mac: Future Games
  72. Fleetwood Mac: Bare Trees
  73. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
  74. Focus: Live At The Rainbow
  75. Funkadelic: Maggotbrain
  76. Funkadelic: American Eats Its Young
  77. Gabriel, Peter: Peter Gabriel (III/Melt)
  78. Gang of Four: Entertainment!
  79. Gay Tastee: Songs for the Sodomites
  80. Genesis: Duke
  81. Genesis: Abacab
  82. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  83. Goat: World Music
  84. Good Rats: Birth Comes to Us All
  85. Good Rats: Tasty
  86. Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  87. Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead
  88. Hall, Daryl: Sacred Songs
  89. Hall, Terry and Mushtaq: The Hour Of Two Lights
  90. Hanslick Rebellion: The Rebellion is Here
  91. Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido
  92. Hawkwind: Space Ritual
  93. Head, Jowe and the Demi-Monde: Diabolical Liberties
  94. Hitchcock, Robyn and the Egyptians: Element of Light
  95. Human Sexual Response: 14
  96. Human Sexual Response: In a Roman Mood
  97. Husker Du: Zen Arcade
  98. Idles: Brutalism
  99. Idles: Joy As An Act of Resistance
  100. Jarre, Jean-Michel: Equinoxe
  101. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon: Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
  102. Jethro Tull: Songs From the Wood
  103. Jethro Tull: The Broadsword and the Beast
  104. JethroTull: Heavy Horses
  105. Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
  106. Jethro Tull: A Passion Play
  107. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
  108. Joy Division: Closer
  109. Juluka: Scatterlings
  110. Kamikaze Hearts: Oneida Road
  111. Kaukonen, Jorma: Quah
  112. Keineg, Katell: Jet
  113. Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck
  114. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
  115. King Crimson: Red
  116. King Crimson: Live in Chicago
  117. King Crimson: Lizard
  118. Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express
  119. Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum
  120. Kurki-Suonio, Sanna: Musta
  121. Laurels: L
  122. Michael Nyman: A Zed and Two Noughts (Original Soundtrack)
  123. Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime
  124. Mitchel, Joni: For the Roses
  125. Mitchell, John Cameron and Stephen Trask: Hedwig And The Angry Inch
  126. Mos Def: The Ecstatic
  127. Mould, Bob: District Line
  128. Napalm Death: Time Waits For No Slave
  129. Napalm Death: Utilitarian
  130. Napalm Death: Apex Predator — Easy Meat
  131. New Order: Movement
  132. New Order: Power, Corruption and Lies
  133. Octopus: Restless Night
  134. Parliament: Chocolate City
  135. Pas/Cal: I Was Raised on Matthew, Mark, Luke and Laura
  136. Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance
  137. Pere Ubu: Terminal Tower
  138. Phair, Liz: Exile in Guyville
  139. Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
  140. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  141. Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet
  142. R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant
  143. Renaldo and the Loaf: Songs for Swinging Larvae
  144. Replacements: Let It Be
  145. Replacements: Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash
  146. Robbins, Marty: Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs
  147. Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St.
  148. Rose, Caroline: Loner
  149. Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure
  150. Rundgren, Todd: Healing
  151. Rush: Signals
  152. Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel: Nail
  153. Sepultura: Roots
  154. Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
  155. Shriekback: Oil and Gold
  156. Simon and Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence
  157. Six Feet Under: Warpath
  158. Smiths: Hatful of Hollow
  159. Smiths: Louder Than Bombs
  160. Snog: Last of the Great Romantics
  161. Special A.K.A.: In the Studio
  162. Steely Dan: Aja
  163. Steely Dan: The Royal Scam
  164. Steely Dan: Can’t Buy A Thrill
  165. Steppenwolf: Gold
  166. Swans: Filth
  167. Swans: Holy Money
  168. Talking Heads: Fear of Music
  169. Television Personalities: Closer to God
  170. Thighpaulsandra: The Golden Communion
  171. This Heat: Deceit
  172. Tosh, Peter: Mama Africa
  173. Tragic Mulatto: Italians Fall Down and Look Up Your Dress
  174. Tsukerman, Slava et. al.: Liquid Sky (Original Soundtrack)
  175. Utopia: Utopia
  176. Utopia: Swing to the Right
  177. Van Halen: Van Halen
  178. Various Artists: If You Can’t Please Yourself, You Can’t Please Your Soul
  179. Vek, Tom: Luck
  180. Wailer, Bunny: Blackheart Man
  181. Wall of Voodoo: Happy Planet
  182. Wall of Voodoo: Seven Days in Sammystown
  183. Wasted: We Are Already in Hell
  184. Weasels: Uranus or Bust
  185. Weasels: AARP Go the Weasels
  186. Weasels: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
  187. Ween: Quebec
  188. Ween: The Mollusk
  189. Who: Who’s Next
  190. Wings: Band on the Run
  191. Wings: Venus and Mars
  192. Wire: The Ideal Copy
  193. Wire: Silver/Lead
  194. XTC: Black Sea
  195. XTC: English Settlement
  196. Yes: The Yes Album
  197. Yes: Fragile
  198. Zappa, Frank and the Mothers of Invention: One Size Fits All
  199. Zappa, Frank: Joe’s Garage, Parts I, II and III
  200. Zvuki Mu, Grubiy Zakat

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