My Top 200 Albums Of All Time (2020 Update)

Life During Quarantine Time has produced something like 12+ hours of music listening time around our apartment, each day, every day. Which is a lot, even by my own extreme standards. To fill the daily jukebox, I’ve been buying plenty of new music, as I do, but also taking a lot of spins through old favorites, some that pop up reasonably often, some that lie in wait for years before I remember to slap them on the (virtual) turntable.

Digging through the back catalog reminded me that it’s been awhile since I’ve updated my running list of most-loved albums, so let’s remedy that situation today. As I’ve noted for background before, I’ve been keeping lists of my 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’ve felt 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. Maybe you’ll be reminded of some old favorites and give ’em some nostalgia spins. Or maybe you’ll find something new to rock your home world. Or maybe you’ll just sigh and wonder what the hell goes on in my head to produce an all-over-the-place listing like this. It’s all good. As is the music.

  1. AC/DC: Back in Black
  2. AC/DC: Highway to Hell
  3. Allison, Mose: Swingin’ Machine
  4. Bad Livers, Delusions of Banjer
  5. Bauhaus: The Sky’s Gone Out
  6. Bee Gees: Main Course
  7. Beef: Stink, Stank, Stunk
  8. Beefheart, Captain and the Magic Band: The Dust Blows Forward
  9. Bogmen: Life Begins at 40 Million
  10. Bongwater: The Power of Pussy
  11. Bonzo Dog Band: Keynsham
  12. Bonzo Dog Band: The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse
  13. Bowie, David: Station to Station
  14. Bowie, David: Low
  15. Bowie, David: “Heroes”
  16. Bowie, David: Lodger
  17. Bowie, David: Blackstar
  18. Buggy Jive: The Buggy Jive Mix Tape
  19. Buggy Jive: The B-Side
  20. Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey
  21. Bush, Kate: Hounds of Love
  22. Bush, Kate: The Dreaming
  23. Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven
  24. Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician
  25. Camberwell Now: All’s Well
  26. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Henry’s Dream
  27. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Tender Prey
  28. Chance The Rapper: Coloring Book
  29. Chap: Mega Breakfast
  30. Christian Death: Catastrophe Ballet
  31. Chrome Hoof: Pre-Emptive False Rapture
  32. Clash: Combat Rock
  33. Clash: London Calling
  34. Clutch: Book of Bad Decisions
  35. Clutch: Elephant Riders
  36. Clutch: Robot Hive/Exodus
  37. Coil: Horse Rotorvator
  38. Coil: The Ape of Naples
  39. Coup: Sorry to Bother You
  40. Coup: Sorry to Bother You: The Soundtrack
  41. Cramps: Bad Music for Bad People
  42. Crisis Actor: Slave New World
  43. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: Déjà Vu
  44. Culture: Two Sevens Clash
  45. Dälek: Absence
  46. Dälek: Gutter Tactics
  47. Death Grips: Ex-Military
  48. Death Grips: Government Plates
  49. Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
  50. Diamond, Neil: Hot August Night
  51. Dogbowl: Flan
  52. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf
  53. Dunnery, Francis: Tall Blonde Helicopter
  54. Eagles: Desperado
  55. Ebanks, Jonathan: Tales From the G-String
  56. Einstürzende Neubauten: Halber Mensch
  57. Einstürzende Neubauten: Haus der Luge
  58. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus
  59. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Trilogy
  60. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery
  61. Eno, Brian: Here Come the Warm Jets
  62. Eno, Brian: Another Green World
  63. Eno, Brian: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
  64. Eno, Brian: Before And After Science
  65. Fairport Convention: Unhalfbricking
  66. Fairport Convention: What We Did On Our Holidays
  67. Fall: Hex Enduction Hour
  68. Fall: The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click)
  69. Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent
  70. Family: Bandstand
  71. Family: Fearless
  72. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
  73. First Aid Kit: Ruins
  74. Fleetwood Mac: Future Games
  75. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
  76. Focus: Live At The Rainbow
  77. Funkadelic: Maggotbrain
  78. Gabriel, Peter: Peter Gabriel (III/Melt)
  79. Gang of Four: Entertainment!
  80. Gang of Four: Songs of the Free
  81. Gay Tastee: Songs for the Sodomites
  82. Genesis: Duke
  83. Genesis: Abacab
  84. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  85. Genesis: Wind and Wuthering
  86. Good Rats: Tasty
  87. Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  88. Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead
  89. Hall, Daryl: Sacred Songs
  90. Hanslick Rebellion: The Rebellion is Here
  91. Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido
  92. Hawkwind: Hall of the Mountain Grill
  93. Heilung: Futha
  94. Hitchcock, Robyn and the Egyptians: Element of Light
  95. Human Sexual Response: Fig. 14
  96. Human Sexual Response: In a Roman Mood
  97. Hüsker Dü: 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: Heavy Horses
  102. Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
  103. Jethro Tull: Benefit
  104. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
  105. Joy Division: Closer
  106. Juluka: Scatterlings
  107. Kamikaze Hearts: Oneida Road
  108. Kaukonen, Jorma: Quah
  109. Keineg, Katell: Jet
  110. Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck
  111. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
  112. King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King
  113. King Crimson: Lizard
  114. King Crimson: Meltdown: Live in Mexico
  115. KOKOKO!: Fongola
  116. Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum
  117. Kurki-Suonio, Sanna: Musta
  118. Lateef, Yusef: Eastern Sounds
  119. Lateef, Yusef: The Complete Yusef Lateef
  120. Lingua Ignota: Caligula
  121. London, Theophilus: Bebey
  122. Magma: Üdü Ẁüdü
  123. Michael Nyman: A Zed and Two Noughts (Original Soundtrack)
  124. Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime
  125. Mitchel, Joni: For the Roses
  126. Mitchell, John Cameron and Stephen Trask: Hedwig And The Angry Inch
  127. Mos Def: The Ecstatic
  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. Parliament: Chocolate City
  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: Animals
  139. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  140. Presley, Elvis: Peace In The Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings
  141. Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet
  142. Public Enemy: Apocalypse ’91 . . . The Enemy Strikes Black
  143. R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant
  144. Renaldo and the Loaf: Songs for Swinging Larvae
  145. Replacements: Let It Be
  146. Residents: Animal Lover
  147. Residents: Demons Dance Alone
  148. Residents: Wormwood
  149. Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St.
  150. Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure
  151. Rundgren, Todd: Healing
  152. Sepultura: Roots
  153. Simon & Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence
  154. Smiths: Louder Than Bombs
  155. Snog: Last of the Great Romantics
  156. Snog: Lullabies for the Lithium Age
  157. Soulfly: Ritual
  158. Special A.K.A.: In the Studio
  159. Steely Dan: Aja
  160. Steely Dan: The Royal Scam
  161. Steely Dan: Can’t Buy A Thrill
  162. Steppenwolf: Gold
  163. Stevens, Cat: Buddha And The Chocolate Box
  164. Swans: Filth
  165. Swans: Holy Money
  166. Talking Heads: Fear of Music
  167. Tazartès, Ghédalia: Diasporas
  168. Television Personalities: Closer to God
  169. This Heat: Deceit
  170. Tosh, Peter: Mama Africa
  171. Tosh, Peter: Equal Rights
  172. Tragic Mulatto: Italians Fall Down and Look Up Your Dress
  173. Tsukerman, Slava et. al.: Liquid Sky (Original Soundtrack)
  174. Utopia: Utopia
  175. Utopia: Swing to the Right
  176. Vega, Alan: IT
  177. Wailer, Bunny: Blackheart Man
  178. Wall of Voodoo: Happy Planet
  179. Wall of Voodoo: Seven Days in Sammystown
  180. Wasted: We Are Already in Hell
  181. Weasels: Uranus or Bust
  182. Weasels: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
  183. Ween: Quebec
  184. Ween: The Mollusk
  185. Who: Who’s Next
  186. Who: WHO
  187. Wings: Band on the Run
  188. Wings: Venus and Mars
  189. Wire: The Ideal Copy
  190. Xiu Xiu: Angel Guts: Red Classroom
  191. Xiu Xiu: Girl With Basket of Fruit
  192. XTC: Black Sea
  193. XTC: English Settlement
  194. Yes: The Yes Album
  195. Yes: Fragile
  196. Yes: Close to the Edge
  197. Young, Neil and Crazy Horse: re-ac-tor
  198. ZZ Top: Tres Hombres
  199. Zappa, Frank and the Mothers of Invention: One Size Fits All
  200. Zappa, Frank: Joe’s Garage, Parts I, II and III

One of my first musical obsessions. I played this 8-track to its breaking point. I also recall a big family argument after my grandfather asked my mother “Why the hell is that boy singin’ about ‘Goddamn the pusher man’?”


3 thoughts on “My Top 200 Albums Of All Time (2020 Update)

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