The Rolling Stone 200 – The Essential Rock Collection (May 15, 1997)

The Rolling Stone 200 is staid and unimaginative; it is also useful. In theory, the magazine’s more recent list of 500 albums provides welcome breadth and variety, but in fact it doesn’t at all–it merely brings you closer to the present with albums  you totally expect to be there, plus older picks that flesh out known quantities.

In contrast, this more limited 200 provides the canon and little more. However, if you want to talk the talk, this is what you need to be able to walk. And it’s not like this is bad music. Hardly! Even stuff I don’t go nuts over is at least helpful in forming a knowledge base. Hegemony has its uses.

Per usual, I did not correct errors in the original text; however, I am called to note that the 1974 Supremes Anthology LP is in the list, but the 1995 CD gets the accompanying picture. I also doubt the Big Star two-fer was ever a double CD, and Roxy Music made an album named Siren, not Sirens. It’s a long list–errors will be made. Forgiveness is a virtue.

Here are links to jump to the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.

The 50s Era:

Hail, Hail Rock & Roll by David McGee

  • Chuck Berry, The Great Twenty-eight (1984, Chess/MCA)
  • Ruth Brown, Rockin’ in Rhythm: The Best of Ruth Brown (1996, Rhino)
  • Johnny Cash, The Sun Years (1990, Rhino)
  • Ray Charles, The Birth of Soul (1991, Atlantic)
  • Ray Charles, Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music (1962, ABC, reissued on Rhino)
  • Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley (1986, Chess/MCA)
  • Fats Domino, My Blue Heaven – The Best of Fats Domino (1990, EMI)
  • The Everly Brothers, Cadence Classics (Their 20 Greatest Hits) (1985, Rhino)
  • Buddy Holly, 20 Golden Greats (1978, MCA)
  • Jerry Lee Lewis, The Jerry Lee Lewis Anthology: All Killer No Filler! (1993, Rhino)
  • Little Richard, The Georgia Peach (1991, Specialty)
  • Roy Orbison, For the Lonely: A Roy Orbison Anthology, 1956-1964 (1988, Rhino)
  • Carl Perkins, Original Sun Greatest Hits (1986, Rhino)
  • Elvis Presley, The Complete Sun Sessions (1987, RCA)
  • Elvis Presley, Elvis’ Golden Records (1984, RCA)
  • Elvis Presley, The Memphis Record (1987, RCA)
  • Joe Turner, Big Bad and Blue (1994, Rhino)
  • Atlantic R&B 1947-1974 (1991, Atlantic)
  • The Best of Doo Wop Uptempo (1989, Rhino)
  • The Sun Records Collection (1994, Rhino)

The 60s Era:

Let It Bleed by Anthony DeCurtis

  • The Animals, The Best of the Animals (1966, MGM, reissued on Abkco)
  • The Band, The Band (1969, Capitol)
  • The Beach Boys, Endless Summer (1974, Capitol)
  • The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966, Capitol)
  • The Beatles, The Beatles/1962-1966 (1973, Capitol)
  • The Beatles, Rubber Soul (1965, Capitol)
  • The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967, Capitol)
  • The Beatles, The Beatles (The White Album) (1968, Apple)
  • The Beatles, Abbey Road (1969, Apple)
  • James Brown, Star Time (1991, Polydor)
  • Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again (1967, Atco)
  • The Byrds, The Byrds’ Greatest Hits (1967, Columbia)
  • Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica (1969, Reprise)
  • Sam Cooke, The Man and His Music (1986, RCA)
  • Cream, Wheels of Fire (1968, Atco, reissued on Polydor)
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willy and the Poor Boys (1969, Fantasy)
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Deja Vu (1970, Atlantic)
  • The Doors, The Doors (1967, Elektra)
  • Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home (1965, Columbia)
  • Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited (1965, Columbia)
  • Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde (1966, Columbia)
  • Bob Dylan, The Basement Tapes (1975, Columbia)
  • Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks (1975, Columbia)
  • The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969, A&M)
  • Aretha Franklin, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967, Atlantic, reissued on Rhino)
  • Aretha Franklin, Lady Soul (1968, Atlantic, reissued on Rhino)
  • The Grateful Dead, Live Dead (1970, Warner Bros.)
  • The Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead (1970, Warner Bros.)
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced? (British version) (1967, Track U.K., reissued on MCA)
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: Bold as Love (1968, Reprise, reissued on MCA)
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland (1968, Reprise, reissued on MCA)
  • Jefferson Airplane, Surrealistic Pillow (1967, RCA)
  • The Kinks, The Kinks Greatest Hits! (1966, Reprise, reissued on Rhino)
  • The Kinks, Something Else (1968, Reprise)
  • John Mayall, Bluesbreakers – John Mayall With Eric Clapton (1966, London)
  • Joni Mitchell, Blue (1971, Reprise)
  • Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967, Capitol)
  • Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon (1973, Capitol)
  • Otis Redding, Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding (1993, Rhino/Atlantic)
  • Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Anthology (1995, Motown)
  • The Rolling Stones, Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) (1966, London, reissued on Abkco)
  • The Rolling Stones, Beggar’s Banquet (1968, London, reissued on Abkco)
  • The Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed (1968, London, reissued on Abkco)
  • The Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers (1971, Rolling Stones, reissued on Virgin)
  • The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street (1972, Rolling Stones, reissued on Virgin)
  • The Rolling Stones, Some Girls (1978, Rolling Stones, reissued on Virgin)
  • Simon and Garfunkel, Greatest Hits (1972, Columbia)
  • Phil Spector, Back to Mono (1958-1969) (1991, Abkco)
  • Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis (1969, Atlantic, reissued on Rhino)
  • Diana Ross and the Supremes, Anthology (1974, Motown)
  • The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967, MGM/Verve, reissued on Verve/PolyGram)
  • The Velvet Underground, Loaded (1970, Cotillion, reissued on Rhino/Atlantic)
  • The Who, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (1971, Decca, reissued on MCA)
  • The Who, Tommy (1969, Decca, reissued on MCA)
  • The Who, Who’s Next (1971, Decca, reissued on MCA)
  • Jackie Wilson, Mr. Excitement! (1992, Rhino)
  • The Yardbirds, Greatest Hits, Vol. I (1964-1966) (1986, Rhino)
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out! (1966, Verve, reissued on Rykodisc)
  • The Best of the Girl Groups, Vols. I and II (1990, Rhino)
  • Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection, 1959-1971 (1992, Motown)
  • Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 (1972, Elektra, out of print)

The 70s Era:

One Nation Under a Groove by Mark Coleman

  • AC/DC, Highway to Hell (1978, Atlantic)
  • Aerosmith, Rocks (1976, Columbia)
  • The Allman Brothers Band, At Fillmore East (1971, Capricorn, reissued and expanded on Polydor as “The Fillmore Concerts”)
  • Big Star, Radio City (1974, Ardent, reissued on Ardent as a double CD with Big Star’s first album, “#1 Record”)
  • Black Sabbath, Paranoid (1971, Warner Bros.)
  • Blondie, Parallel Lines (1978, Chrysalis)
  • David Bowie, Hunky Dory (1971, RCA, reissued on Rykodisc)
  • David Bowie, Low (1977, RCA, reissued on Rykodisc)
  • Jackson Browne, Late for the Sky (1974, Asylum)
  • Chic, Risqué (1979, Atlantic)
  • The Clash, The Clash (1977, Epic)
  • The Clash, London Calling (1979, Epic)
  • Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True (1977, Columbia)
  • Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970, RSO/Polydor)
  • The Eagles, Hotel California (1976, Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch)
  • Brian Eno, Another Green World (1975, EG)
  • Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (1977, Warner Bros.)
  • Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On (1971, Tamla)
  • Marvin Gaye, Anthology (1995, Motown)
  • Al Green, Greatest Hits (1972, Hi, reissued on Right Stuff)
  • Billy Joel, Greatest Hits: Vol. I and Vol. II (1985, Columbia)
  • Elton John, Honky Château (1972, MCA, reissued on Rocket/Island)
  • Elton John, Greatest Hits (1974, MCA)
  • Carole King, Tapestry (1971, Ode/CBS)
  • Kraftwerk, Trans-Europe Express (1977, Capitol)
  • Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II (1969, Atlantic)
  • Led Zeppelin, (Led Zeppelin IV) (1971, Atlantic)
  • John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band (1970, Apple/EMI)
  • John Lennon, Imagine (1971, Apple/EMI)
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers, Burnin’ (1973, Tuff Gong/Island)
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers, Live! (1975, Tuff Gong/Island)
  • Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, The Anthology 1966-1977 (1992, MCA)
  • Van Morrison, Astral Weeks (1968, Warner Bros.)
  • Van Morrison, Moondance (1970, Warner Bros.)
  • Van Morrison, The Best of Van Morrison (1990, Polydor)
  • Willie Nelson, Red Headed Stranger (1975, Columbia)
  • Randy Newman, 12 Songs (1970, Reprise)
  • The New York Dolls, New York Dolls (1973, Mercury)
  • The O’Jays, Back Stabbers (1972, Philadelphia International, reissued on Legacy)
  • Parliament/Funkadelic, Mothership Connection (1975, Casablanca/Polygram)
  • Parliament/Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove (1978, Warner Bros., reissued on Priority)
  • Pere Ubu, The Modern Dance (1977, Blank/Rough Trade, available on DGC’s box set “Datapanik in the Year Zero”)
  • The Pretenders, Pretenders (1979, Real/Sire)
  • Ramones, Ramones (1976, Sire)
  • Roxy Music, Sirens (1975, Reprise)
  • The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977, Warner Bros.)
  • Sly and the Family Stone, Greatest Hits (1970, Epic)
  • Sly and the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Going On (1971, Epic)
  • Patti Smith, Horses (1975, Arista)
  • Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run (1975, Columbia)
  • Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A. (1984, Columbia)
  • Steely Dan, Pretzel Logic (1974, MCA)
  • Rod Stewart, Every Picture Tells a Story (1971, Mercury)
  • The Stooges, Funhouse (1970, Elektra)
  • James Taylor, Sweet Baby James (1970, Warner Bros.)
  • Stevie Wonder, Talking Book (1972, Tamla/Motown)
  • Stevie Wonder, Innervisions (1973, Tamla/Motown)
  • X, Los Angeles (1980, Slash)
  • Neil Young, After the Gold Rush (1970, Reprise)
  • Neil Young, Tonight’s the Night (1975, Reprise)
  • Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps (1979, Reprise)
  • The Harder They Come (1972, Mango/Island)
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977, RSO/Polygram)

The 80s Era:

Appetite for Destruction by Ira Robbins

  • Laurie Anderson, Big Science (1982, Warner Bros.)
  • Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force, Planet Rock – The Album (1986, Tommy Boy)
  • Beastie Boys, Paul’s Boutique (1989, Capitol)
  • Black Flag, Damaged (1981, SST)
  • The Cure, Staring at the Sea: The Singles (1986, Elektra)
  • De La Soul, Three Feet High and Rising (1989, Tommy Boy)
  • Eurythmics, Touch (1983, RCA)
  • Gang of Four, Entertainment! (1979, Warner Bros., reissued on Infinite Zero)
  • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Greatest Message’s (1984, Sugar Hill)
  • Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction (1987, Uzi Suicide/Geffen)
  • Don Henley, The End of the Innocence (1989, Geffen)
  • Hüsker Dü, Zen Arcade (1984, SST)
  • Michael Jackson, Off the Wall (1979, Epic)
  • Michael Jackson, Thriller (1982, Epic)
  • Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking (1988, Warner Bros.)
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain, Psychocandy (1985, Reprise)
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, I Love Rock & Roll (1981, Boardwalk, reissued on Blackheart)
  • Joy Division, Closer (1980, Factory, reissued on Qwest)
  • LL Cool J, Radio (1985, Def Jam/Columbia)
  • Madonna, Like a Prayer (1989, Sire)
  • Metallica, Kill ‘Em All (1983, Megaforce, reissued on Elektra)
  • Ministry, The Land of Rape and Honey (1988, Sire)
  • Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime (1984, SST)
  • N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton (1988, Ruthless/Priority)
  • Sinéad O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990, Ensign/Chrysalis)
  • Pixies, Surfer Rosa (1988, 4AD/Rough Trade, reissued on 4AD/Elektra)
  • Prince, Dirty Mind (1980, Warner Bros.)
  • Prince, Purple Rain (1984, Warner Bros.)
  • Prince, Sign ‘o’ the Times (1987, Paisley Park/Warner Bros.)
  • Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988, Def Jam/Columbia)
  • Bonnie Raitt, Nick of Time (1989, Capitol)
  • R.E.M., Murmur (1983, I.R.S.)
  • R.E.M., Document (1987, I.R.S.)
  • The Replacements, Let It Be (1984, Twin\Tone)
  • Run-DMC, Raising Hell (1986, Profile)
  • The Smiths, The Smiths (1984, Rough Trade/Sire)
  • Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation (1988, Blast First/Enigma, reissued on DGC)
  • Talking Heads, Remain in Light (1980, Sire)
  • U2, The Joshua Tree (1987, Island)
  • U2, Achtung Baby (1991, Island)

The 90s Era:

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Lorraine Ali

  • Beck, Odelay (1996, DGC)
  • Dr. Dre, The Chronic (1992, Death Row/Priority/Interscope)
  • PJ Harvey, Dry (1992, Too Pure/Indigo)
  • Hole, Live Through This (1994, DGC)
  • Massive Attack, Blue Lines (1991, Virgin)
  • Moby, “Go” (1991, Instinct)
  • My Bloody Valentine, Loveless (1991, Sire)
  • Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine (1989, TVT)
  • Nirvana, Nevermind (1991, Sub Pop/DGC)
  • Nirvana, Unplugged in New York (1994, DGC)
  • The Orb, The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld (1991, Island)
  • Pavement, Slanted and Enchanted (1991, Matador)
  • Pearl Jam, Ten (1991, Epic)
  • Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville (1993, Matador)
  • The Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream (1993, Virgin)
  • The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses (1989, Silvertone/RCA)

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