Essential Albums List

A companion piece (of sorts) to my earlier ‘favourite albums’ list. I recommend so many records on that list I thought I’d whittle it down to the ones I regard as the best of the best – essential listening. I’ve stuck to studio albums for the most part but some compilations are so good they demand inclusion. Note – this list excludes classical music and soundtracks. 

A+ Albums: 

AC/DC – Back in Black 
Alice in Chains – Jar of Flies 
All About Eve – All About Eve 
Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes 
Louis Armstrong – Best of the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens 
The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
The Beach Boys – The Very Best of (2001)
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles – Abbey Road
The Beatles – Past Masters 2 
Beck – Sea Change 
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath 
Blue Oyster Cult – The Best Of 
Blur – Modern Life is Rubbish 
David Bowie – Station to Station
David Bowie – Low 
Kate Bush – The Whole Story 
The Byrds – The Notorious Byrd Brothers 
Johnny Cash – At San Quentin 
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Kicking Against the Pricks
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Your Funeral My Trial
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Let Love In 
Leonard Cohen – Various Positions 
Elvis Costello – The Very Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions 
The Cure – Disintegration 
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue 
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
Miles Davis – Tribute to Jack Johnson 
Deep Purple – In Rock 
Derek and the Dominos – Layla  
Dire Straits – Love Over Gold
Dire Straits – The Very Best Of (1998)
The Doors – The Doors 
The Doors – LA Woman 
Nick Drake – Pink Moon 
Bob Dylan – Bringin’ It All Back Home
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde
Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
The Fall – Live at the Witch Trials
The Fall – The Rough Trade Anthology 
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours 
Fleetwood Mac – The Best Of (2002)
Rory Gallagher – The Irish Tour ’74
Genesis – Selling England By the Pound 
Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction 
George Harrison – All Things Must Pass 
The Jimi Hendrix Experience  – Are You Experienced
Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden 
Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene 
Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues Singers
Robert Johnson – The Complete Recordings 
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Joy Division – Substance 
Judas Priest – Painkiller 
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I 
Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti 
Bob Marley and the Wailers – Exodus 
Bob Marley and the Wailers – Legend 
Massive Attack – Mezzanine 
Megadeth – Rust in Peace 
Metallica – Ride the Lightning 
Metallica – Master of Puppets
Metallica – …And Justice for All 
Charles Mingus – The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady 
Motorhead – Overkill 
Motorhead – Ace of Spades 
Motorhead – No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith 
Motorhead – 1916
Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff (and early singles) 
Muddy Waters – The Anthology 
Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York 
Sinead O’Connor – The Lion and the Cobra 
Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn 
Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz 
Pearl Jam – Ten
Pearl Jam – Rearviewmirror The Greatest Hits 
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon 
Pink Floyd – The Wall 
Pink Floyd – The Division Bell 
The Pixies – Surfer Rosa 
Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime 
Radiohead – The Bends
Radiohead – OK Computer 
The Ramones – It’s Alive 
REM – Chronic Town (EP) 
REM – Reckoning 
The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street 
The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
The Rolling Stones – Let it Bleed
The Rolling Stones – Beggar’s Banquet 
The Rolling Stones – The London Years
Simon and Garfunkel – Bookends 
Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water 
Slayer – Reign in Blood 
Patti Smith – Wave 
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead 
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska 
Cat Stevens – The Best of 
Al Stewart – The Year of the Cat 
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses 
Suede – Dog Man Star 
Talking Heads – Fear of Music 
U2 – The Joshua Tree 
Various Artists – Motown Anthems 
The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico
Tom Waits – Rain Dogs 
The Who – Who’s Next 
The Who – The Ultimate Collection 
Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life 
Neil Young – On the Beach 
Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night 
Neil Young – Decade 
Neil Young – Harvest Moon



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