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. Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven
  23. Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician
  24. Camberwell Now: All’s Well
  25. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Henry’s Dream
  26. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Tender Prey
  27. Chance The Rapper: Coloring Book
  28. Chap: Mega Breakfast
  29. Christian Death: Catastrophe Ballet
  30. Chrome Hoof: Pre-Emptive False Rapture
  31. Clash: Combat Rock
  32. Clash: London Calling
  33. Clutch: Book of Bad Decisions
  34. Clutch: Elephant Riders
  35. Clutch: Robot Hive/Exodus
  36. Coil: Horse Rotorvator
  37. Coil: The Ape of Naples
  38. Collins, Phil: Face Value
  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. Dogg, Snoop: BUSH
  53. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf
  54. Dunnery, Francis: Tall Blonde Helicopter
  55. Eagles: Desperado
  56. Ebanks, Jonathan: Tales From the G-String
  57. Einstürzende Neubauten: Halber Mensch
  58. Einstürzende Neubauten: Haus der Luge
  59. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus
  60. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Trilogy
  61. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Brain Salad Surgery
  62. Eno, Brian: Here Come the Warm Jets
  63. Eno, Brian: Another Green World
  64. Eno, Brian: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
  65. Eno, Brian: Before And After Science
  66. Fairport Convention: Unhalfbricking
  67. Fairport Convention: What We Did On Our Holidays
  68. Fall: Hex Enduction Hour
  69. Fall: The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click)
  70. Fall: Imperial Wax Solvent
  71. Family: Bandstand
  72. Family: Fearless
  73. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold
  74. First Aid Kit: Ruins
  75. Fleetwood Mac: Future Games
  76. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
  77. Focus: Live At The Rainbow
  78. Funkadelic: Maggotbrain
  79. Gabriel, Peter: Peter Gabriel (III/Melt)
  80. Gang of Four: Entertainment!
  81. Gang of Four: Songs of the Free
  82. Gay Tastee: Songs for the Sodomites
  83. Genesis: Duke
  84. Genesis: Abacab
  85. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  86. Genesis: Wind and Wuthering
  87. Good Rats: Tasty
  88. Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  89. Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead
  90. Hall, Daryl: Sacred Songs
  91. Hanslick Rebellion: The Rebellion is Here
  92. Hawkwind: Doremi Fasol Latido
  93. Hawkwind: Hall of the Mountain Grill
  94. Heilung: Futha
  95. Hitchcock, Robyn and the Egyptians: Element of Light
  96. Human Sexual Response: Fig. 14
  97. Human Sexual Response: In a Roman Mood
  98. Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade
  99. Jarre, Jean-Michel: Equinoxe
  100. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon: Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
  101. Jethro Tull: Songs From the Wood
  102. Jethro Tull: Heavy Horses
  103. Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
  104. Jethro Tull: Benefit
  105. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
  106. Joy Division: Closer
  107. Juluka: Scatterlings
  108. Kamikaze Hearts: Oneida Road
  109. Kaukonen, Jorma: Quah
  110. Keineg, Katell: Jet
  111. Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck
  112. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
  113. King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King
  114. King Crimson: Lizard
  115. King Crimson: Meltdown: Live in Mexico
  116. KOKOKO!: Fongola
  117. Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum
  118. Kurki-Suonio, Sanna: Musta
  119. Lateef, Yusef: Eastern Sounds
  120. Lateef, Yusef: The Complete Yusef Lateef
  121. Lingua Ignota: Caligula
  122. London, Theophilus: Bebey
  123. Magma: Üdü Ẁüdü
  124. Michael Nyman: A Zed and Two Noughts (Original Soundtrack)
  125. Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime
  126. Mitchel, Joni: For the Roses
  127. Mitchell, John Cameron and Stephen Trask: Hedwig And The Angry Inch
  128. Mos Def: The Ecstatic
  129. Napalm Death: Time Waits For No Slave
  130. Napalm Death: Utilitarian
  131. Napalm Death: Apex Predator — Easy Meat
  132. New Order: Movement
  133. New Order: Power, Corruption and Lies
  134. Parliament: Chocolate City
  135. Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance
  136. Pere Ubu: Terminal Tower
  137. Phair, Liz: Exile in Guyville
  138. Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
  139. Pink Floyd: Animals
  140. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  141. Presley, Elvis: Peace In The Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings
  142. Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet
  143. Public Enemy: Apocalypse ’91 . . . The Enemy Strikes Black
  144. R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant
  145. Renaldo and the Loaf: Songs for Swinging Larvae
  146. Replacements: Let It Be
  147. Residents: Animal Lover
  148. Residents: Demons Dance Alone
  149. Residents: Wormwood
  150. Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St.
  151. Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure
  152. Rundgren, Todd: Healing
  153. Sepultura: Roots
  154. Simon & Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence
  155. Smiths: Louder Than Bombs
  156. Snog: Last of the Great Romantics
  157. Snog: Lullabies for the Lithium Age
  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. Various Artists: If You Can’t Please Yourself You Can’t, Please Your Soul
  177. Vega, Alan: IT
  178. Wailer, Bunny: Blackheart Man
  179. Wall of Voodoo: Happy Planet
  180. Wall of Voodoo: Seven Days in Sammystown
  181. Wasted: We Are Already in Hell
  182. Weasels: Uranus or Bust
  183. Weasels: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
  184. Ween: Quebec
  185. Ween: The Mollusk
  186. Who: Who’s Next
  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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