Top 100 Albums: Average Score

MU Sgt Pepper's 1967A few weeks ago I published a list of Top 100 Albums of all time based on the summed score of all the polls they were listed on. The list was compiled from 88 Top 100 album polls (actually some polls ranked up to a 1000 Albums) from the major aggregators such as: Rolling Stone, New Music Express, Entertainment Weekly and many others. I’ve also included the RIAA top 100 albums by sales for 2012 and 2017. No special reason for the years I chose. The Grammy’s Best Albums of the Year are also included, starting with Henry Mancini’s 1959 album, Music from Peter Gunn, all the way through 2018 with Bruno Mars’ 2016 album, 24K Magic. The polls range in time from 1974 to 2017, with the just stated exception of the Grammys. Every album was assigned a score based on its ranking in the various polls. 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 album’s scores from all the polls were then summed.  The album with the greatest sum was ranked as the number 1 album.  The next highest sum was ranked number 2, and so on. The list I posted on 1 February 2018 had The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers album as 1. It was included in 83 polls with a summed score of 7333.

MU The Night 2008Obviously the more polls an album is listed on, the more likely they will make a list based on its summed score.  To counter this effect I have published below a list based on an album’s average score in the various polls. This was accomplished simply by taking the summed score and dividing it by the number of polls an album is listed on. No surprise, but Sgt. Pepper is still the number one album of all time. It has an average score of 88 (7333 divided by 83) and an average rank of 13.  Some of the exceptions, and there are many, are additions to the list that scored high in individual polls but not in enough polls to get them into the previous list of sums, either because they are too recent or they have fallen out of favor through the years. One example is the fairly recent Kings of Leon’s 2008 album; Only by the Night. It is only listed on 10 polls but scores high on all ten so it shows up in the average list but not the sum list. In a later post I will list the all differences between the sum and average lists.

Now for what it’s worth, agree or disagree, my list:

                  Rank    —    Artist    —    Album     —    Year

1      Beatles  —  The Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  —  1967
2      Beatles  —  Revolver  —  1966
3      Nirvana —  Nevermind —  1991
4      Pink Floyd —  The Dark Side of the Moon —  1973
5      Beatles  —  The White Album  —  1968
6      Bob Dylan  —  Highway 61 Revisited  —  1965
7      Bob Dylan  —  Blonde on Blonde  —  1966
8      Beach Boys  —  The Pet Sounds  —  1966
9      Beatles  —  Abbey Road  —  1969
10    Elvis Presley  —  The Sun Sessions  —  1976
11    Radiohead  —  OK Computer  —  1997
12    U2  —  The Joshua Tree  —  1987
13    Miles Davis  —  Kind of Blue  —  1959
14    Jimi Hendrix  —  Are You Experienced  —  1967
15    Coldplay  —  X and Y  —  2005
16    Sex Pistols  —  Never Mind the Bollocks  —  1977
17    Beatles  —  Rubber Soul  —  1965
18    Muse  —  Origin of Symmetry  —  2001
19    Van Morrison  —  Astral Weeks  —  1968
20    Michael Jackson  —  Thriller  —  1982
21    Pearl Jam  —  Ten  —  1991
22    Rolling Stones  —  Exile on Main Street  —  1972
23    Velvet Underground  —  The Velvet Underground plus Nico  —  1967
24    Clash  —  London Calling  —  1979
25    Stone Roses  — The Stone Roses  —  1989
26    Paul McCartney  —  Band on the Run  —  1973
27    R.E.M.  — Automatic for the People  —  1992
28    Fleetwood Mac  —  Rumours  —  1977
29    Rolling Stones  —  The Let it Bleed  —  1969
30    Bob Dylan  —  Blood on the Tracks  —  1975
31    Live  —  Throwing Copper  —  1994
32    Bruce Springsteen  —  Born to Run  —  1975
33    Radiohead  —  The Bends  —  1995
34    David Bowie  —  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust  —  1972
35    Tool  —  Aenima  —  1996
36    Kings of Leon  —  Only by the Night  —  2008
37    Television  —  Marquee Moon  —  1977
38    Love  —  Forever Changes  —  1967
39    Queens of the Stone Age  —  Songs for the Deaf  —  2002
40    Who  —  Who’s Next  —  1971
41    Metallica  —  Metallica Black Album  —  1991
42    Marvin Gaye  —  What’s Going On  —  1971
43    Primal Scream  —  Screamadelica  —  1991
44    Joni Mitchell  —  Blue  —  1971
45    Smiths  —  The Queen is Dead  —  1986
46    Arctic Monkeys  —  Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not  —  2006
47    Band  —  The Band  —  1969
48    Boston  —  Boston  —  1976
49    Supertramp  —  Breakfast in America  —  1979
50    James Brown  —  Live at The Apollo  —  1963
51    Alanis Morissette  —  Jagged Little Pill  —  1995
52    Led Zeppelin  —  IV  —  1971
53    Meat Loaf  —  Bat Out of Hell  —  1977
54    Van Halen  —  Van Halen  —  1978
55    Adele  —  21  —  2011
56    Pink Floyd  —  The Wall  —  1979
57    Smashing Pumpkins  —  Siamese Dream  —  1993
58    David Bowie  —  Hunky Dory  —  1971
59    Patti Smith  —  Horses  —  1975
60    Public Enemy  —  It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back  —  1988
61    Guns N’ Roses  —  Appetite for Destruction  —  1987
62    Oasis  —  Morning Glory  —  1995
63    Prince  —  Purple Rain  —  1984
64    Rolling Stones  —  Sticky Fingers  —  1971
65    Prodigy  —  The Fat of the Land  —  1997
66    Michael Jackson  —  Bad  —  1987
67    Rolling Stones  —  Beggars’ Banquet  —  1968
68    Blur  —  Parklife  —  1994
69    Clash  —  The Clash  —  1977
70    Stevie Wonder  —  Innervisions  —  1973
71    Bruce Springsteen  —  Born in The U.S.A.  —  1984
72    John Lennon  —  Plastic Ono Band  —  1970
73    Oasis  —  Definitely Maybe  —  1994
74    Dire Straits  —  Brothers in Arms  —  1985
75    U2  —  The Unforgettable Fire  — 1984
76    Pink Floyd  —  Wish You Were Here  — 1975
77    Portishead  —  Dummy  —  1994
78    Derek and The Dominos  —  Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs  —  1970
79    Jimi Hendrix  —  Electric Ladyland  —  1968
80    Red Hot Chili Peppers  —  Californication  —  1999
81    Bob Marley and The Wailers  —  Legend  —  1984
82    Mike Oldfield  —  Tubular Bells  —  1973
83    Keane  —  Hopes and Fears  —  2004
84    Joy Division  —  Unknown Pleasures  —  1979
85    Queen  —  Innuendo  —  1991
86    Bruce Springsteen  —  Darkness on the Edge of Town  —  1978
87    Ramones  —  Ramones  —  1976
88    Doors  —  The Doors  —  1967
89    Eagles  —  Hotel California  —  1976
90    Moody Blues  —  The Days of Future Past  —  1967
91    Led Zeppelin  —  Led Zeppelin  —  1969
92    Simon and Garfunkel  —  Bridge Over Troubled Water  —  1970
93    My Bloody Valentine  —  Loveless  —  1991
94    Carole King  —  Tapestry  —  1971
95    Captain Beefheart  —  Trout Mask Replica  —  1969
96    U2 —  Achtung Baby  —  1991
97    AC/DC  —  Back in Black  —  1980
98    Paul Simon  —  Graceland  —  1986
99    Steely Dan  —  Aja  —  1977
100  Bruce Springsteen  —  The River  —  1980

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
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