A new Rolling Stone top album list

Pet Sounds, still.

Lauryn Hill.TheMiseducationofLaurynHillalbumcoverSomehow I missed the release of a new Rolling Stone top album list back on September 22.

Consequence of Sound notes its semi-import. “It’s nerd news, yes, but the list — if only because it has been the most famous and accessible of its kind — has been as much an authority and tome as anything else over the last two decades on what’s essential when it comes to popular music albums.”

The last time the list was fully updated was in 2003 . This list of the Top 100 from that year is far more accessible.

Here is Top 10 for 2020 (and where that album was in 2003):

01. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (6)
02. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (2)
03. Joni Mitchell – Blue (30)
04. Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life (56)
05. The Beatles – Abbey Road (14)
06. Nirvana – Nevermind (17)
07. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (26)
08. Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain (72)
09. Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks (16)
10. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (314)

The 2003 version (and where that album is in 2020):

01. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (24)
02. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (2)
03. The Beatles – Revolver (11)
04. Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (18)
05. The Beatles – Rubber Soul (35)
06. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (1)
07. The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street (14)
08. The Clash – London Calling (16)
09. Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde (38)
10. The Beatles – The White Album (29)

In with the new 

The CoS notes Five Reasons to Appreciate Rolling Stone’s New Top 500 Albums. they are Inclusion; Canons Change; More Music Is a Good Thing; The Purpose of Criticism Has Changed; and Precedent.

As it turns out, I have all of the albums in each Top 10 list. But my collection is sorely bereft of rap/hip hop. So I don’t have any Kayne West (#17) or The Notorious B.I.G. (#22), e.g. 

I know these lists have helped me discover music I haven’t listened to. Rolling Stone Top 10 Albums of the 1980s got me to add Shoot Out The Lights by Richard And Linda Thompson to my collection. Likewise, I’ve only acquired Public Enemy (#15) and Kendrick Lamar (#19) recently.

I’m actually happy to see the Beatles relinquish dominance of the Top 10, from four albums to a totally different one. Likewise, two Dylan albums have been replaced by another. I’m amazed how Pet Sounds has remained at #2. Joni, Stevie, and Prince belonged there years ago.

Here are some songs from those Top 10 albums according to Rolling Stone in 2020.

Lost Ones  – Lauryn Hill.
Shelter from the Storm – Bob Dylan.
Take Me With U  – Prince.
The Chain – Fleetwood Mac.
In Bloom  – Nirvana.

Because  – The Beatles.
All Day Sucker  – Stevie Wonder.
A Case of You   – Joni Mitchell.
I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times   – Beach Boys.
Right On   – Marvin Gaye.