"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 Anglo-American 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

11967Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandThe BeatlesAlbum4.5561
21966Pet SoundsThe Beach BoysAlbum4.4549
31966RevolverThe BeatlesAlbum4.6543
41965Highway 61 RevisitedBob DylanAlbum4.2529
51965Rubber SoulThe BeatlesAlbum4.4548
61971What’s Going OnMarvin GayeAlbum4.6541
71972Exile on Main St.The Rolling StonesAlbum4.3547
81979London CallingThe ClashAlbum4.2536
91966Blonde on BlondeBob DylanAlbum4.244
101968The Beatles (“The White Album”)The BeatlesAlbum4.3551
111975The Sun SessionsElvis PresleyAlbum + Compilation44
121959Kind of BlueMiles DavisAlbum4.5108
131967The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground & NicoAlbum4.735
141969Abbey RoadThe BeatlesAlbum4.755
151967Are You ExperiencedThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum3.9544
161975Blood on the TracksBob DylanAlbum4.326
181975Born to RunBruce SpringsteenAlbum4.3554
191968Astral WeeksVan MorrisonAlbum4.2514
201982ThrillerMichael JacksonAlbum4.4557
211982The Great Twenty‐EightChuck BerryAlbum + Compilation4
221990The Complete RecordingsRobert JohnsonAlbum + Compilation4.510
231970John Lennon/Plastic Ono BandJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono BandAlbum3.8520
241973InnervisionsStevie WonderAlbum531
251963Live at the Apollo, 1962James BrownAlbum + Live4.58
261977RumoursFleetwood MacAlbum4.4561
271987The Joshua TreeU2Album4.451
281971Who’s NextThe WhoAlbum4.452
291969Led ZeppelinLed ZeppelinAlbum4.5557
301971BlueJoni MitchellAlbum4.4519
311965Bringing It All Back HomeBob DylanAlbum4.441
321969Let It BleedThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.4532
341968Music From Big PinkThe BandAlbum422
351972The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From MarsDavid BowieAlbum4.6548
361971TapestryCarole KingAlbum436
371976Hotel CaliforniaEaglesAlbum4.450
382001The AnthologyMuddy WatersAlbum + Compilation21
391963Please Please MeThe BeatlesAlbum4.0566
401967Forever ChangesLoveAlbum4.4519
411977Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex PistolsSex PistolsAlbum4.6539
421967The DoorsThe DoorsAlbum4.537
431973The Dark Side of the MoonPink FloydAlbum4.7596
441975HorsesPatti SmithAlbum4.1522
451969The Band (“The Brown Album”)The BandAlbum4.3520
461984Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The WailersBob Marley & The WailersAlbum + Compilation4.257
471965A Love SupremeJohn ColtraneAlbum4.733
481988It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us BackPublic EnemyAlbum3.3523
491971At Fillmore EastThe Allman Brothers BandAlbum + Live4.527
501957Here’s Little RichardLittle RichardAlbum4.258
511970Bridge Over Troubled WaterSimon and GarfunkelAlbum4.1536
521975Greatest HitsAl GreenAlbum + Compilation14
531964Meet The Beatles!The BeatlesAlbum4.4532
541991The Birth of SoulRay CharlesAlbum + Compilation1
551968Electric LadylandThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum3.8549
561956Elvis PresleyElvis PresleyAlbum4.1514
571976Songs in the Key of LifeStevie WonderAlbum4.5525
581968Beggars BanquetThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.4525
591976Chronicle: The 20 Greatest HitsCreedence Clearwater Revival featuring John FogertyAlbum + Compilation534
601969Trout Mask ReplicaCaptain Beefheart & His Magic BandAlbum4.2510
611970Greatest HitsSly & the Family StoneAlbum + Compilation46
621987Appetite for DestructionGuns N’ RosesAlbum4.3558
631991Achtung BabyU2Album4.433
641971Sticky FingersThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.440
651991Back to Mono (1958–1969)Various ArtistsAlbum + Compilation3
661970MoondanceVan MorrisonAlbum4.5529
672000Kid ARadioheadAlbum4.5530
681979Off the WallMichael JacksonAlbum4.3537
691971[Led Zeppelin IV]Led ZeppelinAlbum4.7568
701977The StrangerBilly JoelAlbum4.4536
711986GracelandPaul SimonAlbum4.641
721972SuperflyCurtis MayfieldAlbum + Soundtrack4.618
731975Physical GraffitiLed ZeppelinAlbum4.2538
741970After the Gold RushNeil YoungAlbum4.922
751991Star TimeJames BrownAlbum + Compilation53
761984Purple RainPrince and The RevolutionAlbum + Soundtrack4.2537
771980Back in BlackAC/DCAlbum4.450
781965Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings SoulOtis ReddingAlbum519
791969Led Zeppelin IILed ZeppelinAlbum4.5551
801971ImagineJohn LennonAlbum438
811977The ClashThe ClashAlbum4.226
821972HarvestNeil YoungAlbum4.4521
831967Axis: Bold as LoveThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum3.938
841967I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love YouAretha FranklinAlbum3.813
851968Lady SoulAretha FranklinAlbum512
861984Born in the U.S.A.Bruce SpringsteenAlbum4.65160
871979The WallPink FloydAlbum4.478
881968At Folsom PrisonJohnny CashAlbum + Live4.313
891969Dusty in MemphisDusty SpringfieldAlbum418
901972Talking BookStevie WonderAlbum519
911973Goodbye Yellow Brick RoadElton JohnAlbum3.949
92197820 Golden GreatsBuddy HollyAlbum + Compilation6
931987Sign “☮︎” the TimesPrinceAlbum4.1515
94197840 Greatest HitsHank WilliamsAlbum + Compilation4
951970Bitches BrewMiles DavisAlbum4.934
961969TommyThe WhoAlbum4.2542
971963The Freewheelin’ Bob DylanBob DylanAlbum4.224
981978This Year’s ModelElvis Costello & The AttractionsAlbum4.6521
991971There’s a Riot Goin’ OnSly & the Family StoneAlbum3.6519
1001968Odessey and OracleThe ZombiesAlbum426


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