"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is a recurring opinion survey and music ranking of the finest albums in history, compiled by the American magazine Rolling Stone. It is based on weighted votes from selected musicians, critics, and industry figures. The first list was published in a special issue of the magazine in 2003 and a related book in 2005.

Critics have accused the lists of lending disproportionate weight to artists of particular races and genders. In the original list, most of the selections were albums by white male rock musicians, with the top position held by the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). In 2012, Rolling Stone published a revised edition, drawing on the original and a later survey of albums released up until the early 2000s.

Another updated edition of the list was published in 2020, with 269 entries not in either of the two previous editions. It was based on a new survey and did not consider the surveys conducted for the 2003 and 2012 lists. The 2020 list featured more artists of color and female artists, topped by Marvin Gaye's What's Going On (1971). It received similar criticisms as the previous lists.

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Release Groups

11971What’s Going OnMarvin GayeAlbum4.6542
21966Pet SoundsThe Beach BoysAlbum4.4553
31971BlueJoni MitchellAlbum4.2521
41976Songs in the Key of LifeStevie WonderAlbum4.5531
51969Abbey RoadThe BeatlesAlbum4.6560
71977RumoursFleetwood MacAlbum4.4568
81984Purple RainPrince and The RevolutionAlbum + Soundtrack4.2538
91975Blood on the TracksBob DylanAlbum4.2527
101998The Miseducation of Lauryn HillLauryn HillAlbum4.1517
111966RevolverThe BeatlesAlbum4.652
121982ThrillerMichael JacksonAlbum4.472
131967I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love YouAretha FranklinAlbum3.6519
141972Exile on Main St.The Rolling StonesAlbum4.3551
151988It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us BackPublic EnemyAlbum3.625
161979London CallingThe ClashAlbum4.242
172010My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyKanye WestAlbum4.2517
181965Highway 61 RevisitedBob DylanAlbum4.2532
192015To Pimp a ButterflyKendrick LamarAlbum4.511
202000Kid ARadioheadAlbum4.4529
211975Born to RunBruce SpringsteenAlbum4.167
221994Ready to DieThe Notorious B.I.G.Album4.2512
231967The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground & NicoAlbum4.538
241967Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandThe BeatlesAlbum4.5566
251971TapestryCarole KingAlbum4179
261975HorsesPatti SmithAlbum4.324
271993Enter the Wu‐Tang (36 Chambers)Wu‐Tang ClanAlbum4.718
291968The Beatles (The White Album)The BeatlesAlbum4.3553
301967Are You ExperiencedThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum4.147
311959Kind of BlueMiles DavisAlbum4.6120
332006Back to BlackAmy WinehouseAlbum4.240
341973InnervisionsStevie WonderAlbum533
351965Rubber SoulThe BeatlesAlbum4.492
361979Off the WallMichael JacksonAlbum3.939
371992The ChronicDr. DreAlbum4.0528
381966Blonde on BlondeBob DylanAlbum4.349
391980Remain in LightTalking HeadsAlbum4.328
401972The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From MarsDavid BowieAlbum4.5557
411969Let It BleedThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.3535
421997OK ComputerRadioheadAlbum4.5539
431991The Low End TheoryA Tribe Called QuestAlbum3.7517
451987Sign “☮︎” the TimesPrinceAlbum4.119
461986GracelandPaul SimonAlbum4.644
481984Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The WailersBob Marley & The WailersAlbum + Compilation4.165
502001The BlueprintJay‐ZAlbum3.55
511982The Great Twenty‐EightChuck BerryAlbum + Compilation4
521976Station to StationDavid BowieAlbum4.1527
531968Electric LadylandThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum4.151
541991Star TimeJames BrownAlbum + Compilation53
551973The Dark Side of the MoonPink FloydAlbum4.75114
561993Exile in GuyvilleLiz PhairAlbum4.57
571969The Band (“The Brown Album”)The BandAlbum4.3521
581971[Led Zeppelin IV]Led ZeppelinAlbum4.7576
591972Talking BookStevie WonderAlbum4.522
601968Astral WeeksVan MorrisonAlbum416
611987Paid in FullEric B. & RakimAlbum3.656
621987Appetite for DestructionGuns N’ RosesAlbum4.4563
631977AjaSteely DanAlbum4.1539
651963Live at the Apollo, 1962James BrownAlbum + Live4.59
661965A Love SupremeJohn ColtraneAlbum4.5537
671996Reasonable DoubtJaÿ‐ZAlbum3.89
681985Hounds of LoveKate BushAlbum3.75212
691995Jagged Little PillAlanis MorissetteAlbum4.137
701988Straight Outta ComptonN.W.AAlbum4.216
711977ExodusBob Marley & The WailersAlbum4.343
721972HarvestNeil YoungAlbum4.527
731991LovelessMy Bloody ValentineAlbum4.418
742003The College DropoutKanye WestAlbum4.217
751968Lady SoulAretha FranklinAlbum4.6514
761972SuperflyCurtis MayfieldAlbum + Soundtrack4.3520
771971Who’s NextThe WhoAlbum4.458
781975The Sun SessionsElvis PresleyAlbum + Compilation44
792016BlondeFrank OceanAlbum4.76
801977Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex PistolsSex PistolsAlbum4.4550
821971There’s a Riot Goin’ OnSly & the Family StoneAlbum3.519
831969Dusty in MemphisDusty SpringfieldAlbum3.820
841980Back in BlackAC/DCAlbum4.4548
851970John Lennon/Plastic Ono BandJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono BandAlbum421
861967The DoorsThe DoorsAlbum4.641
871970Bitches BrewMiles DavisAlbum4.738
881971Hunky DoryDavid BowieAlbum4.435
891997BaduizmErykah BaduAlbum4.3510
901970After the Gold RushNeil YoungAlbum4.727
911978Darkness on the Edge of TownBruce SpringsteenAlbum4164
921967Axis: Bold as LoveThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum441
931997Supa Dupa FlyMissy Misdemeanor ElliottAlbum3.47
941970Fun HouseThe StoogesAlbum4.217
952011Take CareDrakeAlbum4.49
961992Automatic for the PeopleR.E.M.Album3.730
971986Master of PuppetsMetallicaAlbum4.667
981998Car Wheels on a Gravel RoadLucinda WilliamsAlbum4.559
992012RedTaylor SwiftAlbum4.580
1001968Music From Big PinkThe BandAlbum422


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