My Top 200 Albums Of All Time (2022 Update)

Having completed my Best Albums of 2022 report earlier this month, it seems a good time to update the running list of my most-loved albums. As an orderly music nerd, I’ve been keeping lists of my favorite albums since the very early ’70s, when I was a zealous grade school Steppenwolf fan. My tastes have evolved dramatically over the years (though I still love Steppenwolf), so it’s always fun (for me) to review and update this list periodically, dropping things that haven’t aged well from year to year, and adding new things that excite me and seem to have staying power.

The fact that I’ve posted lists like this here online for so long also seems to catch the regular attention of various search engines, such that I get a lot of interesting connections and comments arising from these posts. Which is good, as I’m always happy to hear from other list-making music nerds. Well, except when their commentary is limited to “Dude, you suck, Y U NO include [their favorite album] here?!?! LULZ ZOMFG 11!1!!1!”

For many years, this was a “Top 100 List,” typed out on various typewriters and word processors and computers as my technology matured. 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 a whole lot younger. I also used to exclude “Greatest Hits” and other compilation or live albums as a point of principle, 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 via “Best Of” collections.

So here’s this year’s 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. 54-40: 54-40
  2. Albion Band: Rise Up Like the Sun
  3. Asian Dub Foundation: Rafi’s Revenge
  4. Bauhaus: The Sky’s Gone Out
  5. Bee Gees: Main Course
  6. Birthday Party: Mutiny/The Bad Seed
  7. Black Angels: Wilderness of Mirrors
  8. Bogmen: Life Begins at 40 Million
  9. Bongwater: The Power of Pussy
  10. Bonzo Dog Band: Keynsham
  11. Bonzo Dog Band: The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse
  12. Bowie, David: Low
  13. Bowie, David: “Heroes”
  14. Bowie, David: Lodger
  15. Buggy Jive: The Buggy Jive Mixtape
  16. Burning Spear: Marcus Garvey
  17. Bush, Kate: Hounds of Love
  18. Butthole Surfers: Hairway to Steven
  19. Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician
  20. Camberwell Now: All’s Well
  21. Cale, John: Honi Soit
  22. Cale, John: The Island Years
  23. Camp Lo: Ragtime Hightimes
  24. Cave, Nick and the Bad Seeds: Henry’s Dream
  25. Chap: Mega Breakfast
  26. Christian Death: Catastrophe Ballet
  27. Clash: Combat Rock
  28. Clash: London Calling
  29. Clean: Mister Pop
  30. Cleveland, Reverend James: Sings Songs of Dedication
  31. Clutch: Book of Bad Decisions
  32. Clutch: Elephant Riders
  33. Clutch: Robot Hive/Exodus
  34. Coil: Horse Rotorvator
  35. Coil: The Ape of Naples
  36. Collins, Phil: Face Value
  37. Coup: Sorry to Bother You
  38. Coup: Sorry to Bother You: The Soundtrack
  39. Cramps: Bad Music for Bad People
  40. Culture: Two Sevens Clash
  41. Cypress Hill: Black Sunday
  42. Dälek: Absence
  43. Dälek: Gutter Tactics
  44. Davis, Jed: Failing Upwards
  45. Death Grips: Ex-Military
  46. Death Grips: Government Plates
  47. Devo: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
  48. Dogbowl: Flan
  49. Dogg, Snoop: BUSH
  50. Dolenz, Micky: Dolenz Sings Nesmith
  51. Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment: Surf
  52. Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg
  53. Eagles: Desperado
  54. Eider, Max: The Best Kisser in the World
  55. Einstürzende Neubauten: Haus der Lüge
  56. Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus
  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. Fairport Convention: Unhalfbricking
  62. Fairport Convention: What We Did On Our Holidays
  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. First Aid Kit: Palomino
  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. Gabriel, Peter: Peter Gabriel (III/Melt)
  77. Gang of Four: Entertainment!
  78. Gang of Four: Songs of the Free
  79. Genesis: Duke
  80. Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  81. Good Rats: Tasty
  82. Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  83. Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead
  84. Hall, Daryl: Sacred Songs
  85. Hall, Terry and Mushtaq: The Hour of Two Lights
  86. Hanslick Rebellion: The Rebellion is Here
  87. Hitchcock, Robyn and the Egyptians: Element of Light
  88. Human Sexual Response: Fig. 14
  89. Human Sexual Response: In a Roman Mood
  90. Hurray for the Riff Raff: Life On Earth
  91. Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade
  92. Jarre, Jean-Michel: Equinoxe
  93. Jazz Butcher: The Wasted Years
  94. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon: Jesu/Sun Kil Moon
  95. Jethro Tull: Songs From the Wood
  96. Jethro Tull: Heavy Horses
  97. Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
  98. Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures
  99. Joy Division: Closer
  100. Juluka: Scatterlings
  101. Kamikaze Hearts: Oneida Road
  102. Kaukonen, Jorma: Quah
  103. Keineg, Katell: Jet
  104. Killdozer: Twelve Point Buck
  105. King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
  106. King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King
  107. Korn: Untouchables
  108. Korn: The Paradigm Shift
  109. Kraftwerk: Minimum-Maximum
  110. Kurki-Suonio, Sanna: Musta
  111. Lateef, Yusef: Eastern Sounds
  112. Lateef, Yusef: The Complete Yusef Lateef
  113. Laurels, L
  114. Led Zeppelin: IV (Zoso)
  115. London, Theophilus: Bebey
  116. Magma: Üdü Ẁüdü
  117. McCartney, Paul: McCartney III
  118. MED, Blu and Madlib: Bad Neighbor
  119. Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell
  120. Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime
  121. Mitchel, Joni: For the Roses
  122. Mitchell, John Cameron and Stephen Trask: Hedwig And The Angry Inch
  123. Modern English: After the Snow
  124. Modern English: Ricochet Days
  125. Mos Def: The Ecstatic
  126. Mould, Bob: District Line
  127. Napalm Death: Time Waits For No Slave
  128. Napalm Death: Utilitarian
  129. Napalm Death: Apex Predator — Easy Meat
  130. Napalm Death: Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
  131. New Order: Movement
  132. New Order: Power, Corruption and Lies
  133. Nyman, Michael: A Zed and Two Noughts (Original Soundtrack)
  134. Palmer, Robert: Pride
  135. Phair, Liz: Exile in Guyville
  136. Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon
  137. Pink Floyd: Animals
  138. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  139. Presley, Elvis: Peace In The Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings
  140. Prieboy, Andy: One and One Makes Three
  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. Richman, Jonathan: It’s Time For . . .
  150. Richman, Jonathan: Ishkode! Ishkode!
  151. Rolling Stones: Exile on Main St.
  152. Rundgren, Todd: Healing
  153. Run The Jewels: RTJ4
  154. Sepultura: Roots
  155. Simon & Garfunkel: Sounds of Silence
  156. Simple Minds: Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call
  157. Snog: Last of the Great Romantics
  158. Snog: Lullabies for the Lithium Age
  159. Sparks: A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip
  160. Special A.K.A.: In the Studio
  161. Specials: More Specials
  162. Steely Dan: Aja
  163. Steely Dan: The Royal Scam
  164. Steppenwolf: Gold: Their Great Hits
  165. Swans: Filth
  166. Swans: Holy Money
  167. Talking Heads: Fear of Music
  168. Tastee, Gay: Songs for the Sodomites
  169. Television Personalities: Closer to God
  170. Ten Years After: Cricklewood Green
  171. The The: Soul Mining
  172. This Heat: Deceit
  173. Tosh, Peter: Mama Africa
  174. Tosh, Peter: Equal Rights
  175. Tracey, Stan Quartet: Under Milk Wood: Jazz Suite
  176. Tragic Mulatto: Italians Fall Down and Look Up Your Dress
  177. Tsukerman, Slava et. al.: Liquid Sky (Original Soundtrack)
  178. Utopia: Swing to the Right
  179. Various Artists: If You Can’t Please Yourself You Can’t, Please Your Soul
  180. Various Artists: The Harder They Come (Original Soundtrack Recording)
  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: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
  187. Who: Who’s Next
  188. Who: Tommy
  189. Wings: Band on the Run
  190. Wings: Venus and Mars
  191. Wire: The Ideal Copy/Snakedrill
  192. Wire: It’s Beginning To And Back Again
  193. Wishbone Ash: Argus
  194. Woods Band: The Woods Band
  195. XTC: Black Sea
  196. XTC: English Settlement
  197. Yes: The Yes Album
  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

The longest-running entry on this list, easy. Thankfully, I don’t have to listen to it on 8-track tape anymore.

11 thoughts on “My Top 200 Albums Of All Time (2022 Update)

  1. Alphabetic is a great order, because otherwise one could spend time (never to be recovered) deciding on the correct order for numbers 175 to 192!
    I knew I would enjoy reading this from reading past articles. And lo, there’s The Albion Band as the second entry, and the two most-essential Fairport albums. I believe that’s the only Richard Thompson on there, though, which just shows that it’s your list instead of mine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love me some RT . . . but in re his solo albums and the ones with Linda, I find myself in the same quandary that I do with The Beatles, there’s no one or two or three or four of them that STAND OUT above the others and everything else, so I rarely end up including them on my list. On that Brit Folky front, one that was a new add for me this year was The Woods Band one . . . I somehow missed that one all these years, though I knew and liked what the Woods had done before and after it. Holy Moly it’s been a mind-blower for me. Read somewhere that when Terry and Gay first left Steeleye that they were working briefly with McDonald and Giles from the Crim. That would have been an unholy alliance of massive contortions had it ever fully manifested, I think!!

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  2. There are LOTS of folks who utterly HATE London Calling. I don’t get it. Songs from the Wood (which I bought as a cutout LP), Face Value, In The Court of the Crimson King, Rumour, Aja, Tommy, Band On The Run, and the Yes Album, for sure on my list, if I were to make one.

    I haven’t listened to reactor in forever (have it on vinyl); I can recreate Mr. Soul in my head even now. I also have only on vinyl, and it’s unheard in this century, Swing To the Right. Conversely, I haven’t heard McCartney III enough to place it on the list.

    Others I may have picked different albums by the same artists: Joni Mitchell’s Blue (and for that matter, Miles Davis’ Blue), Let It Bleed or Sticky Fingers by the Stones, Ziggy Stardust by Bowie, LZ III(!)

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  3. Pingback: What’s Up in the Neighborhood, December 17 2022 – Chuck The Writer

  4. I agree with about half to three quarters of these, which means I need to go listen to the rest.

    Plus, I owe you a drink or four for turning me on to Buggy Jive. One of the 518’s best!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A fun list to read. A few random observations: (1) No Beatles? You’re an eccentric! (2) Nice to see the Brian Eno ones (“Another Green World” is a personal favorite of mine — I might suggest “Before and After Science” too) (3) “Aja” by Steely Dan is great from start-to-finish, full stop. (4). Genesis’ “Lamb” is the sentimental favorite, but my choice is always “Selling England.” Nevertheless, I’m glad to see you listed “Duke,” which is Tony Banks’ personal favorite. Well done. – Marty

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    • I love the Beatles and recognize their greatness, but there’s not one single album that moves me deeply as a standalone entity . . . I probably could add “The Blue Album” as a collection that had the highest capture of stuff I like the most. And I know in years past that I’ve had “Revolver” and “The White Album” on the list at different times. I also love Eno’s “Science,” and it has definitely made the list in years past. It’s just the one of his classic four “rock albums” that I spin the least these days. “Selling England” has some of my very fave Genesis songs, but it’s marred for me by “Battle of Epping Forest,” which I sort of actively dislike. I think “Duke” is a masterpiece, hands down. Glad Tony agrees with me!!!

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      • Ah, but it’s your list. That’s what’s important! I’ll always be a Sgt. Pepper’s freak when it comes to the Fab boys.

        I think it was Mike Rutherford in the band’s oral history book (“Chapter and Verse”) who admitted that there’s very little air space left in “Epping Forest.” Peter crammed too many lyrics into that song, and the rest of them did the same with too many notes! The rest of the album is sublime, imho.

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        • Yeah, Mike said the same thing about “Watcher of the Skies” in terms of the lyrics. Rutherford’s actually my favorite part of Genesis, as I tend to be a listener who focuses on and likes the things/players that other people don’t pay attention to. His autobiography made me like him even more. In the videos that came out with one of the album re-release series some years back, there’s a great interview with Phil, laughing and rolling his eyes at the fact that Mike just couldn’t manage to write anything in “normal” time that a drummer could play without extra thought and effort . . .

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    • (Oh, and yeah, “Aja” . . . another contender for longest-running entry on this list. I have distinct memories of desperately saving money from newspaper route and odd jobs to buy it on the day it came out, at Roosevelt Field on Long Island. One of the greatest of the greats for me!)

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