Consequence of Sound:
The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time
The first version of this list was published in 2010. At the time, the website described it as “a definitive ranking voted and debated by our editors, staff writers, and contributors.” Then Michael Roffman, the President/Editor-in-Chief, offered up a long essay on the pros and cons of lists pretty much hitting on points which the reader already knows.
In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Consequence of Sound updated the list, noting that only two staff members were part of compiling the 2010 and 2022 versions. The introduction notes, “Tastes have been reshaped, genres have been born and died away...Records that weren’t considered – or even released – the last time we undertook this challenge now have prominent placement.” Unlike the egotism that allowed the 2010 version to be referred to as “definitive,” the introduction to the 2002 acknowledges, “You’re going to disagree about as much as you agree with what we’ve done here. You’re going to wonder how album X didn’t warrant mention, or why album Y is higher than album Z. Or where the heck is artist W?” It concludes saying, “maybe you, dear reader, believe there is a definitive, eternal, unimpeachable ranking of records…Who knows, maybe you’re right. This isn’t that list.”
I have included both lists below. There are 56 albums which appear on both lists. They are noted with asterisks (*).
Check out other publications and organizations’ best-of album lists here.
1. Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain (soundtrack, 1984) *
11. Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
21. Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971) *
31. Metallica Master of Puppets (1986)
41. Jay-Z Reasonable Doubt (1996)
51. Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison (1968) *
61. The Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street (1972) *
71. U2 The Joshua Tree (1987) *
81. Adele 21 (2011)
91. The Who Who’s Next (1971) *
1. The Beatles Abbey Road (1969) *
11. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966) *
21. Van Morrison Astral Weeks (1968) *
31. Ramones Rocket to Russia (1977)
41. Patti Smith Horses (1975) *
51. Sonic Youth Daydream Nation (1988) *
61. Green Day Dookie (1994) *
71. Tom Waits Rain Dogs (1985) *
81. Neil Young Harvest (1972)
91. The Clash The Clash (1977)
Resources and Related Links:
First posted 9/15/2010; last updated 9/13/2022.