Dave's Music Database books

Friday, December 31, 1999

Vibe’s 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century

image from pixgood.com

In December of 1999, the urban-oriented American magazine Vibe published its list of the 100 essential albums of the 20th century, as determined by the Vibe staff. Surprisingly, a link to that list has proved elusive. However, you can find the original article through Google books here.

The albums were not ranked, so the list below is organized in alphabetical order by artist. Note: because many of these are compilations, the date of release may be adjusted to reflect the years represented by the collection instead. For example, Sam Cooke’s collection The Man and His Music was released in 1986, but only covers material through 1965, so the latter date is the one used.

  1. Louis Armstong An American Icon (1998)
  2. Eric B. & Rakim Paid in Full (1987)
  3. The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
  4. Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986)
  5. The Beatles The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
  6. Chuck Berry 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (1999)
  7. Bjork Post (1995)
  8. Black Sabbath Paranoid (1970)
  9. Mary J. Blige My Life (1994)
  10. Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded (1987)

  11. David Bowie Station to Station (1976)
  12. James Brown In the Jungle Groove (1971)
  13. Johnny Cash I Walk the Line (1964)
  14. Ray Charles Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection (1997)
  15. Chic Dance, Dance, Dance – The Best of (1982)
  16. The Clash London Calling (1979)
  17. Patsy Cline The Collection (1991)
  18. Ornette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
  19. John Coltrane A Love Supreme (1965)
  20. Sam Cooke The Man and His Music (1965)

  21. Elvis Costello Armed Forces (1979)
  22. Miles Davis Kind of Blue (1959)
  23. De La Soul Is Dead (1991)
  24. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)
  25. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks (1975)
  26. Duke Ellington The Centennial Edition (1927-1973)
  27. Fleetwood Mac Rumours (1977)
  28. Aretha Franklin Lady Soul (1968)
  29. The Fugees The Score (1996)
  30. Funkadelic One Nation Under a Groove (1978)

  31. Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971)
  32. Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto Getz/Gilberto (1963)
  33. Dizzy Gillespie The Complete RCA Victor Recordings (1937-1949)
  34. Al Green The Supreme Al Green (1992)
  35. Woody Guthrie Library of Congress Recordings (1964)
  36. Guy Guy (1988)
  37. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
  38. Billie Holiday..Quintessential (1940-1942)
  39. Buddy Holly & the Crickets Collection: 50 Classic Recordings (1959)
  40. Husker Du Zen Arcade (1984)

  41. Ice Cube Death Certificate (1991)
  42. Janet Jackson Control (1986)
  43. Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
  44. Robert Johnson The King of the Delta Blues Singers Vol. 1 (1937)
  45. B.B. King Live at the Regal (1964)
  46. Kraftwerk Trans-Europa Express (1977)
  47. Fela Anikulapo Kuti Zombie (1977)
  48. The Last Poets This Is Madness (1971)
  49. Leadbelly Last Sessions (1948)
  50. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II (1969)

  51. Little Richard 18 Greatest Hits (1985)
  52. Bob Marley & the Wailers African Herbsman (1972)
  53. Massive Attack Blue Lines (1991)
  54. Curtis Mayfield Superfly (1972)
  55. Charles Mingus Pithecantrophus Erectus (1956)
  56. Joni Mitchell Blue (1971)
  57. Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1 (1947)
  58. Van Morrison Moondance (1970)
  59. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral (1994)
  60. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)

  61. The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die (1994)
  62. N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (1989)
  63. Charlie Parker Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve (1988)
  64. Lee Perry & the Upsetters Blackboard Jungle Dub (1973)
  65. The Police Message in a Box: The Complete Recordings (1977-1986)
  66. Elvis Presley The King of Rock and Roll: The Complete ‘50s Masters (1953-1959)
  67. Prince Purple Rain (1984)
  68. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
  69. Sun Ra Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 (1965)
  70. Ramones Rocket to Russia (1977)

  71. Shabba Ranks As Raw As Ever (1991)
  72. Otis Redding Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding (1993)
  73. The Replacements Let It Be (1984)
  74. The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (1971)
  75. Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus (1956)
  76. Roxy Music Siren (1975)
  77. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan Ask Rufus (1977)
  78. Run-D.M.C. Raising Hell (1986)
  79. Mongo Santamaria Our Man in Havana (1959)
  80. Santana Abraxas (1970)

  81. Tupac Shakur Greatest Hits (1998)
  82. Nina Simone Sugar in My Bowl: The Very Best of (1998)
  83. Frank Sinatra Songs for Swinging Lovers (1956)
  84. Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988)
  85. Sly & the Family Stone There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971)
  86. Bessie Smith The Essential (1923-1933)
  87. Patti Smith Horses (1975)
  88. The Specials The Specials (1979)
  89. Bruce Springsteen Born to Run (1975)
  90. The Stooges The Stooges (1969)

  91. The Supremes Anthology (1969)
  92. Talking Heads Remain in Light (1980)
  93. A Tribe Called Quest The Low-End Theory (1991)
  94. Various Artists Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (1977)
  95. Sarah Vaughan The Complete Sarah Vaughan (1954-1967)
  96. The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
  97. War Anthology (1970-1994)
  98. Muddy Waters At Newport (1960)
  99. Stevie Wonder Innervisions (1973)
  100. Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

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