Top 100 Music Albums: Summed Score from 91 Top Album Lists

MU Sgt Pepper's 1967A hobby of mine for the last 10 years or so has been collecting Top 100 lists of albums.  Every once in a while I concatenate them to see how the world’s musical taste is changing; what’s new, what’s rising, what’s fading.  The world does change, but slowly. Pre-2000 albums still dominate the lists, even today, but acts from the 2000s are starting to break through such as Adele, Coldplay, Muse and Pixies.  Adele’s 21 album which was put out in 2011 is on this list; a truly remarkable feat.  Just as remarkable is Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue from 1959.MU Kind of Blue 1959

The following list was compiled from 88 Top 100 (or more) Album polls from the major aggregators such as: Rolling Stone, New Music Express, Entertainment Weekly. The 2012 and 2017 RIAA top 100 albums by sales and the Grammy Year’s Best Album are also included. The lists range in time from 1974 to 2017. Every album was assigned a score based on its ranking in the various polls. For example an album that was ranked number 1 in a particular poll was given a score of 100. An album ranked at 100 was given a score of 1.  The individual list’s scores were MU Adele 21 2011then summed with the other lists and sorted.  The greatest sum was ranked as the number 1 album.  The smallest sum was ranked as the number 100 album.  The number 1 album is The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s and it was included in 83 polls and had a sum score of 7333. The album included in the least number of polls and still making the list was Muse’s Origin of Symmetry which showed up on just 14 polls.

Obviously the more polls an album is listed on the more likely they will score high on this list.  To counter that effect I will also publish a list based on an album’s average score which should help alleviate that issue.  I will also publish a listing based on the number of polls an album makes.

Now for what it’s worth, my list:

Rank Artist Album Album Year Artist Origin
1 Beatles The Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 England
2 Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon 1973 England
3 Beatles The The White Album 1968 England
4 Nirvana Nevermind 1991 US
5 Beatles The Revolver 1966 England
6 Beatles The Abbey Road 1969 England
7 Beach Boys The Pet Sounds 1966 US
8 U2 The Joshua Tree 1987 Ireland
9 Fleetwood Mac Rumours 1977 England / US
10 Bruce Springsteen Born to Run 1975 US
11 Rolling Stones The Exile on Main Street 1972 England
12 Michael Jackson Thriller 1982 US
13 David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust 1972 England
14 Radiohead OK Computer 1997 England
15 R.E.M. Automatic for the People 1992 US
16 Led Zeppelin IV 1971 England
17 Velvet Underground The The Velvet Underground plus Nico 1967 US
18 Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced 1967 US
19 Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde 1966 US
20 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited 1965 US
21 Sex Pistols The Never Mind the Bollocks 1977 England
22 Clash The London Calling 1979 England
23 Rolling Stones The Let it Bleed 1969 England
24 Marvin Gaye What’s Going On 1971 US
25 Pearl Jam Ten 1991 US
26 Beatles The Rubber Soul 1965 England
27 Pink Floyd The Wall 1979 England
28 Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks 1975 US
29 Who The Who’s Next 1971 England
30 Prince Purple Rain 1984 US
31 Doors The The Doors 1967 US
32 Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction 1987 US
33 Rolling Stones The Sticky Fingers 1971 England
34 Van Morrison Astral Weeks 1968 Ireland
35 Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland 1968 US
36 Paul Simon Graceland 1986 US
37 U2 Achtung Baby 1991 Ireland
38 Eagles Hotel California 1976 US
39 Metallica Metallica Black Album 1991 US
40 Smiths The The Queen is Dead 1986 England
41 Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here 1975 England
42 Joni Mitchell Blue 1971 Canada
43 Dire Straits Brothers in Arms 1985 England
44 Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill 1995 Canada
45 Oasis Morning Glory 1995 England
46 Bruce Springsteen Born in The U.S.A. 1984 US
47 Led Zeppelin II 1969 England
48 Radiohead The Bends 1995 England
49 Love Forever Changes 1967 US
50 Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water 1970 US
51 Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell 1977 US
52 David Bowie Hunky Dory 1971 England
53 Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life 1976 US
54 Miles Davis Kind of Blue 1959 US
55 Carole King Tapestry 1971 US
56 Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times 1987 US
57 Queen A Night at the Opera 1975 England
58 Neil Young Harvest 1972 Canada
59 Band The The Band 1969 Canada
60 AC/DC Back in Black 1980 Australia
61 Stone Roses The The Stone Roses 1989 England
62 Rolling Stones The Beggars’ Banquet 1968 England
63 Patti Smith Horses 1975 US
64 Neil Young After the Goldrush 1970 Canada
65 Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1973 England
66 Who The Tommy 1969 England
67 Oasis Definitely Maybe 1994 England
68 Bob Marley and The Wailers Legend 1984 Jamaica
69 U2 The Unforgettable Fire 1984 Ireland
70 Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti 1975 England
71 Clash The The Clash 1977 England
72 Jeff Buckley Grace 1994 US
73 Van Morrison Moondance 1970 Ireland
74 Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back 1988 US
75 Television Marquee Moon 1977 US
76 Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head 2002 England
77 Stevie Wonder Innervisions 1973 US
78 Bob Dylan Bringing it All Back Home 1965 US
79 Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication 1999 US
80 John Lennon Imagine 1971 England
81 Derek and The Dominos Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs 1970 England/US
82 Lou Reed Transformer 1972 US
83 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin 1969 England
84 Adele 21 2011 England
85 Pixies Doolittle 1989 US
86 Otis Redding Otis Blue 1966 US
87 Joy Division Unknown Pleasures 1979 England
88 James Brown Live at The Apollo 1963 US
89 Massive Attack Blue Lines 1991 England
90 Joy Division Closer 1980 England
91 Crosby Stills Nash and Young Deja Vu 1970 US
92 Elvis Presley The Sun Sessions 1976 US
93 John Coltrane A Love Supreme 1964 US
94 Muse Origin of Symmetry 2001 England
95 Bruce Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town 1978 US
96 Supertramp Breakfast in America 1979 England
97 Captain Beefheart Trout Mask Replica 1969 US
98 Primal Scream Screamadelica 1991 Scotland
99 Ramones Ramones 1976 US
100 Portishead Dummy 1994 England

Poetry with Notes–Snowblind Friend

He said he wanted heaven but prayin’ was too slow                                                   So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow

Written by Hoyt Axton
Album: My Griffin is Gone 1969
Album: Snowblind Friend 1977


Addicts, that live long enough, cultivate an affair of abhorrence and romance with their dependence, a dishonest balance of hate and love. Love, a word that portends need, not affection, in the language of addiction; an unnatural longing disguised as amour and passion, all dressed up as a friend that will stay with them. The friend, though, is fake; only despair, disgrace and despondency will this friend bring.  Hate, for knowing that their friend will remain only till he takes everything. Hate, for the lost chances of respect and reward. Hate for knowing it is all a lie.

Hoyt Axton, agonized, struggled, lived a life of hypocrisy, over booze and cocaine most of his life. Partnering with local law enforcement to discourage kids from using drugs, until the local law enforcement busted him for using drugs. Relying on his friends to provide and protect until his next meager royalty check arrived. Awakening from his alcohol and drug binges, seeing the devil sitting by his side; waiting, smiling. Knowing God only when he wrote a song that was “right”, but the devil’s pen was always dry. Aware that God and song were his real love, but the devil and drugs were a simpler high. Heaven came slowly with a cost during his Earthly time, the devil was faster; the cost payable at a later date.

Axton wrote, in song, repeatedly of his “unholy” habit, always lamenting, but not relenting on his usage: Della and the Dealer, The Pusher, Boozers are Losers, The No-No Song; all were a cry for help and release.  The best though, the most poetic, was Snowblind Friend. A dirge of knowing the end, knowing the final trip along the road coated with alcohol and cocaine, a song of death with no honor, death as a way out, but with a pleading, please…please, not today.

Snowblind Friend

You say it was this morning when you last saw your good friend
Lyin’ on the pavement with a misery on his brain
Stoned on some new potion he found upon the wall
Of some unholy bathroom in some ungodly hall

He only had a dollar to live on ’til next Monday
But he spent it all on comfort for his mind
Did you say you think he’s blind?

Someone should call his parents, a sister or a brother
And they’ll come to take him back home on a bus
But he’ll always be a problem to his poor and puzzled mother
Yeah he’ll always be another one of us

He said he wanted heaven but prayin’ was too slow
So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow
Did you say you saw your good friend flyin’ low?
Flyin’ low, dyin’ slow

You say it was this morning when you last saw your good friend
Lyin’ on the pavement with a misery on his brain
Stoned on some new potion he found upon the wall
Of some unholy bathroom in some ungodly hall

He only had a dollar to live on ’til next Monday
He said he wanted heaven but prayin’ was too slow
So he bought a one way ticket on an airline made of snow
Did you say you saw your good friend flyin’ low?
Dyin’ slow, flyin’ low
Did you say you saw your good friend flyin’ low?
Dyin’ slow, flyin’ low, flyin’ and dyin’ slow

Explorations 9: Clapton’s Anthropomorphic Six Strings

…back when the Beano was boss
if you didn’t live it, it’s truly your loss
the soul intact, but the innocence lost
back when the Beano was boss.

Lyrics to Back When the Beano was Boss by Buddy Whittington

Buddy Whittington, on his 2011 Six String Svengali guitar celebration album, paid tribute, with the song Back When Beano was Boss,EMU JM and EC 1966 to the legendary blues rock sound generated by Eric Clapton playing on a 1960 sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard, which was plugged into a 45-watt Marshall amp, and a Dallas Rangemaster, on the 1966 bluesy rock album: John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton. The John Mayall album

MU 1960 Les Paul.jpg

1960 Les Paul Standard “Beano”. Photo by

became known as the “Beano Album” due to Clapton reading a comic called The Beano on the album cover photo; an overt act of rebellion during the album photo shoot, or as Clapton states in his autobiography: being “uncooperative”.  As the album became known as the “Beano Album”, Clapton’s guitar, which was stolen in 1966 and never recovered, became known as the “Beano Burst”, continuing a tradition of musicians naming their instruments as one will name a pet or a lover.

Clapton made a habit of naming his guitars, as did many other guitarists, but because of his talent, his guitars went down into guitar lore as extremely expensive, and sought after, legends.  One of the most expensive guitars that he, or anyone, ever sold was Blackie; so named because of its black finish, a rebuilt guitar from the parts of 1956

MU Fool Guitar

1964 Gibson SG “The Fool”. Photo by John Peden

and 1957 Stratocasters and was Clapton’s favorite Fender Stratocaster; brought in almost one million dollars at a 2004 charity auction. Brownie, so named because of its brown sunburst body color, was a 1956 Stratocaster that he used mainly with Derek and the Dominos.  Clapton sold Brownie at a charity auction for almost one half million dollars in 1999. During Clapton’s time with Cream he mainly used a 1964 Gibson SG, known as The Fool; due to its psychedelic paint job done by the Dutch design collective also known as The Fool. This guitar passed through various hands, including Todd Rundgren and possibly George Harrison, eventually landing up in a private collector’s hands in the early 2000s.

On a closing note, Joe Bonamassa, no guitar slouch himself and a collector, stated in mid-2016 that he knew where “Beano” currently was, specifically on the east coast of the US.  The announcement was taken as an opening for the possible return of the guitar but no public notice has been posted since.


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