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You can have a lot of discussions on all the albums that are not in the list. You can have a lot of discussions on the listing itself. But what's for sure is that it gives a nice overwiew of albums that are real important for the development of popular music. It's fun to look through while listening to your favourite albums. It's great, greater, greatest! And why not using it to complete your music collection: you'll be secured you get the best of music of all time.
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Well - the book is great with a bunch of albums getting reviewed, and told why it was chosen. You can agree or not, still fun. BUT I lack that the albums have listet the songs from the album, producer and other data stuff. And please let ALL albums mentioned have a picture of the cover. if that gives any problem regarding the size of the book, then cut down to 400 greatest... :)
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100 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Good for discussion, but flawed in several ways28 Nov 2005
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Like the various "top 100" movie lists, this wonderfully illustrated list of the top 500 albums is a great source of discussion: what belonged, what didn't, what was too high, what was too low, and so on. Since much of this is a matter of taste (though some of the perspective on what is historically important in that it influenced what was to come is a bit more objective), I'll refrain from commenting on individual albums. However, there are two bigger problems that are worth commenting upon.
The first is that the editors seem to not like and not value what is sometimes called "art rock." I first noticed this when I thumbed through looking for the Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed. I assumed it would be somewhere in the top 50, but it wasn't even in their top 500. Neither were any other Moody Blues albums, when I would have thought that at least three (Days of Future Passed, For Our Children's Children's Children, and Seventh Sojourn) belonged (and, for my tastes, I would have included more). But as I looked around, I noticed that the whole subgenre seemed to be missing. There was no Genesis, no Yes, no Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Even if, as a matter of taste, the editors didn't care much for this type of music, there should have been some representation of these artists. (I don't like Eminem, but I understand why he was included.)
The second problem is one of scope. The book includes a small number of jazz albums -- a few by Miles Davis and John Coltraine. This is either too many or way too few. The either should not have taken on jazz or should have given it it's rightful place. If this were the best albums of all time and jazz was included, where is Dave Brubeck's Take Five? There is some Miles Davis, but where is his very important rendition of Porgy and Bess? Where are the works of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Billie Holliday, Ellah Fitzgerald, and so on. Either do jazz right or don't do it at all. Don't pretend that only a half a dozen jazz albums belong on the list of 500 best albums.
35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Alrighty then...29 July 2006
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I've read through Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums" guide and it has some real problems, all of which add up to it being extremely unhelpful for someone honestly looking for great albums. I considered giving this guide a higher rating simply because I agree that many of the albums included really are great, but the writing (or really, the lack thereof) is so bad that this book couldn't possibly be helpful to anyone who was not already familiar with the albums. This book gets off to a preposterous start when the editor claims that the Beatles' first album should be the number one album because it is the first one that HE bought, and getting all nostalgic about it makes him feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Wha?! And this guy is the editor?! That's not a basis for an argument for an album's position on a list ranking greatest albums! That should have told me what I was getting myself into by continuing to read. If you were to ask yourself whether or not you know anything new about the music after reading the article for any given album in this book, most likely the answer will be no (especially for 11-500). You may know that the drummer spilled beer on his drum kit while recording the big hit single, or some other piece of at best marginally useful information, but that's about it. And they don't even put much effort into providing much in the way of that level of information beyond the first 10 albums, the rest only get a paragraph of completely obvious and/or useless information. For a while I was under the impression that "Rolling Stone" was a music magazine that was knowledgeable about and understood and appreciated music (well, rock music at least, in the most narrow definition of the term, and perhaps blues, the father of rock). This book and other publications such as their brazenly mindless album guide, truly show what little respect and appreciation that they have for music. I almost get the impression that they want to show that they are too cool to take music seriously enough to put any thought or effort into what they write. They rarely even attempt to make a convincing argument as to why the albums hold the positions that they do in this book. It's clear after reading this guide AND their magazine review section for a while that the critics at Rolling Stone do not thoroughly listen to albums, and that they rate music based on things that have nothing to do with the merits of the material. They rate music based on type and image more than anything else, being much more concerned with shaping and pushing their idea of "cool" than with the actual merits of the music. It's obvious that they don't even understand jazz (which I guess goes hand in hand with not understanding even the fundamentals of music theory), but there are many areas of music that they don't seem to understand or appreciate. I don't see how it is at all helpful to judge music by how closely it adheres to aesthetic characteristics that are generally specific to the type that you like. Those that fit the mold will likely be overrated and those that don't will likely be underrated. Rolling Stone takes this unbelievably self-indulgent approach throughout this book. So this guide ends up being really unhelpful. But hey, where else are you going to find a book with so many pretty and glossy artist and album cover photos :-)? Unless that's what you're looking for though, you're better off saving your money. The ONLY consistently helpful and reliable expert critical review source that I'm aware of is "Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews", so you should go over there and check out their site and their "5 Star Records" page in particular if you want a truly helpful guide to some great albums.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
About what you'd expect28 Nov 2007
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I'm pretty much obsessed with music lists so I could talk about this book all day so to keep things fairly brief I'm just going to weigh the pros and cons of this thing.
Pros: -There's a ton of really great albums on here. They cover a little bit of every genre. They got psychedelic rock, hardcore punk, disco, country, funk, indie rock, hip hop, reggae, blues, jazz, etc. This list will very likely introduce you to some albums you have never heard of before that you will really like. -Like a lot of coffee table books it's fun just flip through this until you see something that catches your attention. -The large size of the book is nice. The first ten albums on the list each get a whole page featuring the album cover of that album. That just by itself is pretty cool. There's also a lot of photos of musicians and bands that take up a whole 11" by 11" page. -Aside from all of the info about the albums, there's some interesting little sections throughout the book that will focus on certain musicians, music studios, composers, and other little tidbits about the creation of some of the albums.
Cons: -To create this list, the folks at Rolling Stone asked a lot of people in the music biz to contribute lists of their favorite albums. A list of contributors is printed in the back of the book, and I noticed that there's not a lot of people from the world of hip hop that contributed to the list. So that means there's really not that many hip hop and rap albums on here. And honestly, some of the rap albums they chose are ranked higher than they should be. Jay-Z ranked ahead of Nas? Three Eminem albums? The Marshall Mathers LP is the only one that really needs to be on here. -A lot of the albums they chose for this list that are from the 90s and 2000s aren't that hot. Maybe enough time hasn't passed for people to realize what some of the best albums are from those decades. Coldplay, No Doubt, Moby? Those aren't bad albums, but come on, we can do better than that. -There's some really great albums that I just can't believe aren't on the list. Where's Endtroducing by DJ Shadow? I guess every music list is like that for everyone though. -The list is heavily weighted in favor of the 1960s and the 70s. Those two decades make up over 60% of the entire list. -Too many greatest hits albums. Elton John and David Bowie each have 5 albums on the list plus a greatest hits album. Most of the songs on the greatest hits are on the other albums that made the list. -The writing could really be more in depth. Maybe when they originally printed this in RS they didn't have so much space to work with, but now that it's at a bigger size some of the writing in here will be ridiculous. Like they'll just have a little paragraph about an album but it's blown up really big to take up the space on the page. The writing that is there is always pretty interesting though. -Also, OK Computer needs to be higher on the list. What the hell, man?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
IT'S NOT THE GOSPEL, BUT IT DOES OFFER A CREDIBLE AND DEBATABLE FRAMEWORK FROM AN AMERICAN POP/ROCK MUSIC MAGAZINE !8 April 2008
ol' nuff n' den sum
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Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time list really isn't all that bad if you consider that no matter how they rank all of these great albums, it's never going to please everybody. In fact, I could write my own book about why they should have ranked this album higher or that one lower. For instance, Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is #43 and should actually be near the top. I say that, not because Pink Floyd is my favorite band (they're not), but because I think Dark Side Of The Moon is a true rock music masterpiece. I mean, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (#25) is pretty good, but come on! Eighteen positions ahead of Dark Side Of The Moon?
Rankings aside, this is a pretty good book. The album covers are all pictured, and there's a short review of each of the 500 albums. Plus, there are short features on the recording details of a certain few albums like The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street [Limited Edition, and some great full page photos of some of the artists.
My personal favorite album of all time, The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East, only made it to #49, but that doesn't ruin this book for me. Not everybody in the world thinks like I do. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the #1 album on the list, and I don't have a problem with that. It's a great album, a masterpiece. And this IS Rolling Stone magazine, so it shouldn't surprise anybody that The Beatles and Bob Dylan are heavily represented on the list.
No, it's not the final word on which albums are, in order, the greatest of all time, but it's a somewhat jumbled and interesting reference to the great majority of them. And it's always fun to note your differences of opinion while reading the list.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Proceed with caution!21 July 2007
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Okay, before I go on, I would like to say that this is not a subjective review. I am not trying to beat the fact that the Eagles and Led Zeppelin (though, in the latter band's case, good) are gruesomely overrated while Herbie Hancock and The Allman Brothers Band are gruesomely underrated into anyone's heads. I am stating my opinion, which I know quite well differs greatly from fact, because opinion by nature cannot be fact. Rolling Stone pompously declares the 500 albums in this list to be the 500 best ever. In this case, there'd be a lot more jazz on this list, right? Well, according to the good folks at Rolling Stone, "jazz" consists of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman - don't get me wrong, some of jazz's greatest artists. But doesn't Charles Mingus deserve some credit, if only for widely influential works like Mingus Ah Um or The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady? Similarly, Thelonious Monk's Underground, widely considered one of the genre's greatest albums, is totally neglected. How about Herbie Hancock's tremendously influential Head Hunters, Empyrean Isles and Maiden Voyage? They're gone too. And if they wanted a rock spin on jazz, shouldn't the Mahavishnu Orchestra's Inner Mounting Flame been included? Alas, no, that is rejected too. To say nothing of the works of Duke Ellington or Louie Armstrong. You can bet they don't give that a second look. Stupid, it is. Oh, and there are six jazz albums out of these 500: three by Miles (Kind of Blue; B*tches Brew; Sketches of Spain), two by Coltrane (A Love Supreme; Giant Steps), one by Ornette (Shape of Jazz to Come). By contrast, Eminem (a lightweight, obnoxious shock-rapper whose material isn't even that shocking at all) is fawned over - three of his albums are included on this list, which I believe was his complete discography at that point. Similarly, two albums by the Eagles? Ha. And Green Day's Dookie? Again, ha. Also MIA are some more influential and just plain good albums: Jeff Beck's Truth (the original metal album - you'll note how much praise they place on Led Zeppelin's head, who, while a good band, were essentially imitating Jeff Beck) and Wired; Traffic's John Barleycorn and self-titled; Alice in Chain's Dirt. And no matter what this list would want you to believe, there is far more to Joni Mitchell than Blue and Court & Spark. Wh ich leads directly into my next point: no dark horses I can think of. A seasoned music fan could probably smell the contents of this list from a mile away. All they offer us is the usual cascade of albums that have been met with floods and floods of praise. I, for one, would rather see them stick up for a relatively unknown album like Joni Mitchell's Hissing of Summer Lawns or the Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup (or the Allman Brothers' Eat a Peach and Idlewild South!!!) than see yet another list with Hotel California or Led Zeppelin IV on it. I give this album 2 stars because I do agree with several choices this book makes, though I would argue their positioning (I, for one, would put Abbey Road at #1). However, there are too many fundamental flaws, and the scope of this list is too limited, to make it truly definitive. Oh, and anybody looking to contest my claim about Led Zeppelin IV, Dookie Hotel California, or any other albums I claim do not belong on this list (e.g. Pet Sounds - god, what a boring album)... if you say what you wish to in a polite, civilized manner, I will listen to your claim and debate it in similar polite, civilized terms. On the other hand, if you wish to confine your comments to pointless immature sniping, I believe you know where I will instruct you to stick it, because I've heard it all before. So to all flamers, don't bother, as your flame will be ignored.