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. Dogbowl: Flan
  49. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf
  50. Dunnery, Francis: Tall Blonde Helicopter
  51. Eagles: Desperado
  52. Earth, Wind and Fire: All n’ All
  53. Einsturzende Neubauten: Halber Mensch
  54. Einsturzende Neubauten: Haus der Luge
  55. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus
  56. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Trilogy
  57. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery
  58. Eno, Brian: Here Come the Warm Jets
  59. Eno, Brian: Another Green World
  60. Eno, Brian: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
  61. Eno, Brian: Before And After Science
  62. Fall: Hex Enduction Hour
  63. Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent
  64. Family: Bandstand
  65. Family: Fearless
  66. Fear: The Record
  67. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
  68. Fleetwood Mac: Future Games
  69. Fleetwood Mac: Bare Trees
  70. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
  71. Focus: Live At The Rainbow
  72. Fripp, Robert: Exposure
  73. Funkadelic: Maggotbrain
  74. Funkadelic: American Eats Its Young
  75. Gabriel, Peter: Peter Gabriel (III/Melt)
  76. Gang of Four: Entertainment!
  77. Gay Tastee: Songs for the Sodomites
  78. Genesis: Duke
  79. Genesis: Abacab
  80. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  81. Goat: World Music
  82. Good Rats: Birth Comes to Us All
  83. Good Rats: Tasty
  84. Grand Mal: Binge/Purge
  85. Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  86. Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead
  87. Hall, Daryl: Sacred Songs
  88. Hall, Terry and Mushtaq: The Hour Of Two Lights
  89. Hanslick Rebellion: The Rebellion is Here
  90. Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido
  91. Hawkwind: Space Ritual
  92. Head, Jowe and the Demi-Monde: Diabolical Liberties
  93. Hitchcock, Robyn and the Egyptians: Element of Light
  94. Human Sexual Response: 14
  95. Human Sexual Response: In a Roman Mood
  96. Husker Du: Zen Arcade
  97. Jarre, Jean-Michel: Equinoxe
  98. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon: Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
  99. Jethro Tull: Songs From the Wood
  100. Jethro Tull: The Broadsword and the Beast
  101. JethroTull: Heavy Horses
  102. Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
  103. Jethro Tull: A Passion Play
  104. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
  105. Joy Division: Closer
  106. Juluka: Scatterlings
  107. Kamikaze Hearts: Oneida Road
  108. Keineg, Katell: Jet
  109. Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck
  110. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
  111. King Crimson: Red
  112. King Crimson: Live in Chicago
  113. King Crimson: Lizard
  114. Korn: The Paradigm Shift
  115. Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express
  116. Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum
  117. Kurki-Suonio, Sanna: Musta
  118. Laurels: L
  119. Melvins: (A) Senile Animal
  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. Small Axe: A Shot to the Body
  158. Smiths: Hatful of Hollow
  159. Smiths: Louder Than Bombs
  160. Snog: Last of the Great Romantics
  161. Sonin, K.: The Definition of Stupidity is Doing the Same Thing 34 Times and Expecting Different Results
  162. Special A.K.A.: In the Studio
  163. Steely Dan: Aja
  164. Steely Dan: The Royal Scam
  165. Steely Dan: Can’t Buy A Thrill
  166. Steppenwolf: Gold
  167. Swans: Filth
  168. Swans: Holy Money
  169. Talking Heads: Fear of Music
  170. Television Personalities: Closer to God
  171. Thighpaulsandra: The Golden Communion
  172. This Heat: Deceit
  173. Tosh, Peter: Mama Africa
  174. Tragic Mulatto: Italians Fall Down and Look Up Your Dress
  175. Tsukerman, Slava et. al.: Liquid Sky (Original Soundtrack)
  176. Utopia: Utopia
  177. Utopia: Swing to the Right
  178. Van Halen: Van Halen
  179. Various Artists: If You Can’t Please Yourself, You Can’t Please Your Soul
  180. Vek, Tom: Luck
  181. Wailer, Bunny: Blackheart Man
  182. Wall of Voodoo: Happy Planet
  183. Wall of Voodoo: Seven Days in Sammystown
  184. Wasted: We Are Already in Hell
  185. Weasels: Uranus or Bust
  186. Weasels: AARP Go the Weasels
  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. Young, Neil and Crazy Horse: re-ac-tor
  199. Zappa, Frank and the Mothers of Invention: One Size Fits All
  200. Zappa, Frank: Joe’s Garage, Parts I, II and III

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