For some reason, I’ve decided to listen to every single album (and a few double albums) on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All Time list.

Starting with #500 all the way up to #1, I’ll write up my impressions of each album, a rating, and a general comment of whether this selection should be on this list or not. Well, actually, that’s a pretty silly notion, because if Rolling Stone put the album on the list, then it should be on Rolling Stone’s list, right? End of story. So, I guess what I’m really asking is “would I have put this album on the list” or “do I think it deserves to be on here.”  If I think “no, this shouldn’t be on here,” I will attempt to offer up a replacement album that is in the same general ballpark (artist, genre, year released) as the album I’m replacing. It might even be an actual Replacement album.

Some of this I’ll be making up as I go along, so it’ll be an ongoing process. But, for now, the review format will go something like this:

Artist – Album Title
Year Release
Previously owned by me:  Yes or No
(If No, then) First Time Listen: Yes or No
Impressions: Running commentary of impressions while listening to the album.
Starred Songs: Songs that are the recognizable hits, high-points, or otherwise noteworthy. Y’know, starred.
Sneaky Songs: Possibly lesser-known songs that might not be singles or big hits but somehow snuck up on me for whatever reason.
Should this album be on the list? Yes or No or maybe some hedging will happen. I might even comment on whether it should be ranked higher or lower.
(If No, then) Replace With: Alternate album title
Will you listen to this again? Yes or No or Maybe or whatever
Star Rating:

I will probably be adding categories to this list as I go, tweaking the entries, and adding stuff. I’ve also designed a star-based rating system to help those who don’t like to read words and would rather cut to the chase.

I’m going to give each album a fair chance, but I will of course bring some baggage going in to each record. But, I will not bail on a record short of the end! I will listen to each in their entirety and do my best to find them on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, my own collection, wherever. I will try to listen to the “truest” version of the release and avoid counting any bonus material, b-sides or outtakes added later in special or expanded editions. I’m sure that’s going to get to be a grey area, especially with the surprising amount of compilations littering this list.

Again, I don’t know why I’m doing this… I guess “because it’s there?” This list just seems like it would be fun to mark up, rearrange, question, and simply enjoy perusing. Tons of these records I’ve never heard, and technology is such where I can do it without spending too much money (if any at all.) Twenty years ago, a list like this would have cost me a small fortune and taken up untold hours of just hunting down the physical copies of the albums. Now, it’s much easier, and I’d be surprised if I have to purchase too many of these albums. Things might get a little sticky as we move up the list since artists like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin and Metallica don’t make it too easy to get their music for free online, but I’ll do what I can.


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