"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 154 new entries not in either of the two previous editions. It was based on a new survey and does not factor in the surveys that were conducted for the previous lists. This time, the list featured more black and female artists, topped by Marvin Gaye's What's Going On (1971). It received similar criticisms as the prior lists.

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Release Groups

11971What’s Going OnMarvin GayeAlbum4.6538
21966Pet SoundsThe Beach BoysAlbum4.4546
31971BlueJoni MitchellAlbum4.4518
41976Songs in the Key of LifeStevie WonderAlbum4.5524
51969Abbey RoadThe BeatlesAlbum4.754
71977RumoursFleetwood MacAlbum4.659
81984Purple RainPrince and The RevolutionAlbum + Soundtrack4.2536
91975Blood on the TracksBob DylanAlbum4.3525
101998The Miseducation of Lauryn HillLauryn HillAlbum4.1513
111966RevolverThe BeatlesAlbum4.6539
121982ThrillerMichael JacksonAlbum4.455
131967I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love YouAretha FranklinAlbum3.813
141972Exile on Main St.The Rolling StonesAlbum4.645
151988It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us BackPublic EnemyAlbum3.3523
161979London CallingThe ClashAlbum4.2535
172010My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyKanye WestAlbum4.516
181965Highway 61 RevisitedBob DylanAlbum4.328
192015To Pimp a ButterflyKendrick LamarAlbum4.759
202000Kid ARadioheadAlbum4.629
211975Born to RunBruce SpringsteenAlbum4.454
221994Ready to DieThe Notorious B.I.G.Album4.2511
231967The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground & NicoAlbum4.633
241967Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandThe BeatlesAlbum4.5559
251971TapestryCarole KingAlbum4.1535
261975HorsesPatti SmithAlbum4.320
271993Enter the Wu‐Tang (36 Chambers)Wu‐Tang ClanAlbum4.6515
291968The Beatles (“The White Album”)The BeatlesAlbum4.451
301967Are You ExperiencedThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum443
311959Kind of BlueMiles DavisAlbum4.552
332006Back to BlackAmy WinehouseAlbum4.132
341973InnervisionsStevie WonderAlbum531
351965Rubber SoulThe BeatlesAlbum4.4544
361979Off the WallMichael JacksonAlbum4.2534
371992The ChronicDr. DreAlbum4.126
381966Blonde on BlondeBob DylanAlbum4.2544
391980Remain in LightTalking HeadsAlbum4.427
401972The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From MarsDavid BowieAlbum4.648
411969Let It BleedThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.531
421997OK ComputerRadioheadAlbum4.6533
431991The Low End TheoryA Tribe Called QuestAlbum3.815
451987Sign “☮︎” the TimesPrinceAlbum4.1514
461986GracelandPaul SimonAlbum4.641
481984Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The WailersBob Marley & The WailersAlbum + Compilation4.355
502001The BlueprintJay‐ZAlbum3.75
511982The Great Twenty‐EightChuck BerryAlbum + Compilation4
521976Station to StationDavid BowieAlbum4.126
531968Electric LadylandThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum3.8548
541991Star TimeJames BrownAlbum + Compilation52
551973The Dark Side of the MoonPink FloydAlbum4.886
561993Exile in GuyvilleLiz PhairAlbum4.255
571969The Band (“The Brown Album”)The BandAlbum4.3519
581971[Led Zeppelin IV]Led ZeppelinAlbum4.7567
591972Talking BookStevie WonderAlbum519
601968Astral WeeksVan MorrisonAlbum4.3514
611987Paid in FullEric B. & RakimAlbum3.55
621987Appetite for DestructionGuns N’ RosesAlbum4.4553
631977AjaSteely DanAlbum4.234
651963Live at the Apollo, 1962James BrownAlbum + Live4.58
661965A Love SupremeJohn ColtraneAlbum4.730
671996Reasonable DoubtJaÿ‐ZAlbum4.157
681985Hounds of LoveKate BushAlbum3.8525
691995Jagged Little PillAlanis MorissetteAlbum4.1536
701988Straight Outta ComptonN.W.AAlbum416
711977ExodusBob Marley & The WailersAlbum4.7533
721972HarvestNeil YoungAlbum4.620
731991LovelessMy Bloody ValentineAlbum4.5518
742003The College DropoutKanye WestAlbum4.413
751968Lady SoulAretha FranklinAlbum512
761972SuperflyCurtis MayfieldAlbum + Soundtrack4.618
771971Who’s NextThe WhoAlbum4.351
781979The Sun SessionsElvis PresleyAlbum + Compilation4.53
792016BlondeFrank OceanAlbum4.655
801977Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex PistolsSex PistolsAlbum4.737
821971There’s a Riot Goin’ OnSly & the Family StoneAlbum3.6519
831969Dusty in MemphisDusty SpringfieldAlbum418
841980Back in BlackAC/DCAlbum4.4546
851970John Lennon/Plastic Ono BandJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono BandAlbum420
861967The DoorsThe DoorsAlbum4.5538
871970Bitches BrewMiles DavisAlbum4.9533
881971Hunky DoryDavid BowieAlbum4.3532
891997BaduizmErykah BaduAlbum46
901970After the Gold RushNeil YoungAlbum4.922
911978Darkness on the Edge of TownBruce SpringsteenAlbum553
921967Axis: Bold as LoveThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum3.938
931997Supa Dupa FlyMissy Misdemeanor ElliottAlbum3.655
941970Fun HouseThe StoogesAlbum4.214
952011Take CareDrakeAlbum3.656
961992Automatic for the PeopleR.E.M.Album425
971986Master of PuppetsMetallicaAlbum4.6553
981998Car Wheels on a Gravel RoadLucinda WilliamsAlbum4.57
992012RedTaylor SwiftAlbum4.4523
1001968Music From Big PinkThe BandAlbum422


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