"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

11967Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandThe BeatlesAlbum4.5564
21966Pet SoundsThe Beach BoysAlbum4.451
31966RevolverThe BeatlesAlbum4.651
41965Highway 61 RevisitedBob DylanAlbum4.2532
51965Rubber SoulThe BeatlesAlbum4.4579
61971What’s Going OnMarvin GayeAlbum4.6542
71972Exile on Main St.The Rolling StonesAlbum4.4551
81979London CallingThe ClashAlbum4.241
91966Blonde on BlondeBob DylanAlbum4.2547
101968The Beatles (The White Album)The BeatlesAlbum4.3553
111975The Sun SessionsElvis PresleyAlbum + Compilation44
121959Kind of BlueMiles DavisAlbum4.55112
131967The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground & NicoAlbum4.738
141969Abbey RoadThe BeatlesAlbum4.6557
151967Are You ExperiencedThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum4.245
161975Blood on the TracksBob DylanAlbum4.2527
181975Born to RunBruce SpringsteenAlbum4.165
191968Astral WeeksVan MorrisonAlbum4.3515
201982ThrillerMichael JacksonAlbum4.570
211982The Great Twenty‐EightChuck BerryAlbum + Compilation4
221990The Complete RecordingsRobert JohnsonAlbum + Compilation4.511
231970John Lennon/Plastic Ono BandJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono BandAlbum421
241973InnervisionsStevie WonderAlbum533
251963Live at the Apollo, 1962James BrownAlbum + Live4.59
261977RumoursFleetwood MacAlbum4.4566
271987The Joshua TreeU2Album4.354
281971Who’s NextThe WhoAlbum4.4554
291969Led Zeppelin (I)Led ZeppelinAlbum4.5561
301971BlueJoni MitchellAlbum4.2521
311965Bringing It All Back HomeBob DylanAlbum4.3543
321969Let It BleedThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.534
341968Music From Big PinkThe BandAlbum422
351972The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From MarsDavid BowieAlbum4.5556
361971TapestryCarole KingAlbum439
371976Hotel CaliforniaEaglesAlbum4.4555
382001The AnthologyMuddy WatersAlbum + Compilation21
391963Please Please MeThe BeatlesAlbum468
401967Forever ChangesLoveAlbum4.4519
411977Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex PistolsSex PistolsAlbum4.5549
421967The DoorsThe DoorsAlbum4.5540
431973The Dark Side of the MoonPink FloydAlbum4.75110
441975HorsesPatti SmithAlbum4.1524
451969The Band (“The Brown Album”)The BandAlbum4.3521
461984Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The WailersBob Marley & The WailersAlbum + Compilation4.161
471965A Love SupremeJohn ColtraneAlbum4.636
481988It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us BackPublic EnemyAlbum3.624
491971At Fillmore EastThe Allman Brothers BandAlbum + Live4.530
501957Here’s Little RichardLittle RichardAlbum4.258
511970Bridge Over Troubled WaterSimon and GarfunkelAlbum439
521975Greatest HitsAl GreenAlbum + Compilation14
531964Meet The Beatles!The BeatlesAlbum4.4532
541991The Birth of SoulRay CharlesAlbum + Compilation1
551968Electric LadylandThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum449
561956Elvis PresleyElvis PresleyAlbum4.1516
571976Songs in the Key of LifeStevie WonderAlbum4.5528
581968Beggars BanquetThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.5528
591976Chronicle: The 20 Greatest HitsCreedence Clearwater Revival featuring John FogertyAlbum + Compilation535
601969Trout Mask ReplicaCaptain Beefheart & His Magic BandAlbum4.311
611970Greatest HitsSly & the Family StoneAlbum + Compilation47
621987Appetite for DestructionGuns N’ RosesAlbum4.4563
631991Achtung BabyU2Album4.336
641971Sticky FingersThe Rolling StonesAlbum4.4542
651991Back to Mono (1958–1969)Various ArtistsAlbum + Compilation3
661970MoondanceVan MorrisonAlbum4.5532
672000Kid ARadioheadAlbum4.4529
681979Off the WallMichael JacksonAlbum4.139
691971[Led Zeppelin IV]Led ZeppelinAlbum4.7574
701977The StrangerBilly JoelAlbum4.339
711986GracelandPaul SimonAlbum4.643
721972SuperflyCurtis MayfieldAlbum + Soundtrack4.3519
731975Physical GraffitiLed ZeppelinAlbum4.1540
741970After the Gold RushNeil YoungAlbum4.924
751991Star TimeJames BrownAlbum + Compilation53
761984Purple RainPrince and The RevolutionAlbum + Soundtrack4.2538
771980Back in BlackAC/DCAlbum4.4553
781965Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings SoulOtis ReddingAlbum4.3519
791969Led Zeppelin IILed ZeppelinAlbum4.4559
801971ImagineJohn LennonAlbum4.141
811977The ClashThe ClashAlbum4.1525
821972HarvestNeil YoungAlbum4.526
831967Axis: Bold as LoveThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceAlbum439
841967I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love YouAretha FranklinAlbum3.817
851968Lady SoulAretha FranklinAlbum512
861984Born in the U.S.A.Bruce SpringsteenAlbum4.55163
871979The WallPink FloydAlbum4.480
881968At Folsom PrisonJohnny CashAlbum + Live4.1515
891969Dusty in MemphisDusty SpringfieldAlbum420
901972Talking BookStevie WonderAlbum4.821
911973Goodbye Yellow Brick RoadElton JohnAlbum453
92197820 Golden GreatsBuddy HollyAlbum + Compilation6
931987Sign “☮︎” the TimesPrinceAlbum4.1517
94197840 Greatest HitsHank WilliamsAlbum + Compilation4
951970Bitches BrewMiles DavisAlbum4.838
961969TommyThe WhoAlbum4.444
971963The Freewheelin’ Bob DylanBob DylanAlbum4.2528
981978This Year’s ModelElvis Costello & The AttractionsAlbum4.421
991971There’s a Riot Goin’ OnSly & the Family StoneAlbum3.6519
1001968Odessey and OracleThe ZombiesAlbum425


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