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. Bogmen: Life Begins at 40 Million
  11. Bonzo Dog Band: Keynsham
  12. Bonzo Dog Band: The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse
  13. Bowie, David: “Heroes”
  14. Bowie, David: Low
  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. Che Guevara T-Shirt: Everyone That’s Dead Was Obviously Wrong
  28. Check Engine: Check Engine
  29. Christian Death: Catastrophe Ballet
  30. Clash: Combat Rock
  31. Clutch: Elephant Riders
  32. Clutch: Robot Hive/Exodus
  33. Clutch: Psychic Warfare
  34. Coil: Love’s Secret Domain
  35. Coil: Backwards
  36. Coil: Horse Rotorvator
  37. Coil: The Ape of Naples
  38. Collider: WCYF
  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: Imperial Wax Solvent
  65. Family: Bandstand
  66. Family: Fearless
  67. Fear: The Record
  68. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
  69. Fleetwood Mac: Future Games
  70. Fleetwood Mac: Bare Trees
  71. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
  72. Focus: Live At The Rainbow
  73. Fripp, Robert: Exposure
  74. Funkadelic: Maggotbrain
  75. Funkadelic: American Eats Its Young
  76. Gabriel, Peter: Peter Gabriel (III/Melt)
  77. Gang of Four: Entertainment!
  78. Gay Tastee: Songs for the Sodomites
  79. Genesis: Duke
  80. Genesis: Abacab
  81. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  82. Goat: World Music
  83. Good Rats: Birth Comes to Us All
  84. Good Rats: Tasty
  85. Grand Mal: Binge/Purge
  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. Jarre, Jean-Michel: Equinoxe
  99. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon: Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
  100. Jethro Tull: Songs From the Wood
  101. Jethro Tull: The Broadsword and the Beast
  102. JethroTull: Heavy Horses
  103. Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
  104. Jethro Tull: A Passion Play
  105. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
  106. Joy Division: Closer
  107. Juluka: Scatterlings
  108. Kamikaze Hearts: Oneida Road
  109. Keineg, Katell: Jet
  110. Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck
  111. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
  112. King Crimson: Red
  113. King Crimson: Live in Chicago
  114. King Crimson: Lizard
  115. Korn: The Paradigm Shift
  116. Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express
  117. Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum
  118. Kurki-Suonio, Sanna: Musta
  119. Laurels: L
  120. Michael Nyman: A Zed and Two Noughts (Original Soundtrack)
  121. Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime
  122. Mitchel, Joni: For the Roses
  123. Mitchell, John Cameron and Stephen Trask: Hedwig And The Angry Inch
  124. Mos Def: The Ecstatic
  125. Mould, Bob: District Line
  126. Napalm Death: Time Waits For No Slave
  127. Napalm Death: Utilitarian
  128. Napalm Death: Apex Predator — Easy Meat
  129. New Order: Movement
  130. New Order: Power, Corruption and Lies
  131. Octopus: Restless Night
  132. Parliament: Chocolate City
  133. Pas/Cal: I Was Raised on Matthew, Mark, Luke and Laura
  134. Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance
  135. Pere Ubu: Terminal Tower
  136. Phair, Liz: Exile in Guyville
  137. Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
  138. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  139. Prieboy, Andy: The Questionable Profits of Pure Novelty
  140. Prieboy, Andy: Upon My Wicked Son
  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. Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure
  149. Rundgren, Todd: Healing
  150. Rush: Signals
  151. Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel: Nail
  152. Sepultura: Roots
  153. Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
  154. Shriekback: Oil and Gold
  155. Simon and Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence
  156. Six Feet Under: Warpath
  157. Smiths: Hatful of Hollow
  158. Smiths: Louder Than Bombs
  159. Snog: Last of the Great Romantics
  160. Sonin, K.: The Definition of Stupidity is Doing the Same Thing 34 Times and Expecting Different Results
  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. Ween: Quebec
  187. Ween: The Mollusk
  188. Who: Who’s Next
  189. Wings: Band on the Run
  190. Wings: Venus and Mars
  191. Wire: The Ideal Copy
  192. Wire: Silver/Lead
  193. XTC: Black Sea
  194. XTC: English Settlement
  195. Yes: The Yes Album
  196. Yes: Fragile
  197. Young, Neil and Crazy Horse: re-ac-tor
  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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