Updated: Mar 29, 2021
This is the 15th post in this series. Click here to start from the beginning: Inhailer's Top 500 Albums of All-Time: (#500-476)
Every Friday, Inhailer is counting down our totally objective, completely undisputed, most-correct list of the Top 500 albums of all time. We're doing so in bite-size chunks of 25 albums (nobody has the energy in their thumbs to scroll through 500 albums in one sitting). Last week we continued our countdown with the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, The Cure, and Big Star. This week we continue with Nos. 150-126. The ask was simple: excluding compilation albums, what are the 500 best albums of all-time, ranked? Here's the fifteenth list in the countdown:
150. Elvis Costello - My Aim is True (1977)
A little known songwriter named Declan MacManus called in sick to his day job clerking to record a debut album with backing band Clover, launching his rise to stardom.
149. Spacemen 3 - The Perfect Prescription (1987)
This 'ecstasy symphony' of quirky neo-psychedelia simulates the experience in its spacey grandeur.
148. Groove Armada - Vertigo (2000)
Intentionally ambiguous in form but meticulous in sound, their work is as much ambient pop as it is shoe-gaze.
147. Sly and the Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On (1971)
Sly abandoned the R&B pop format with brilliant pysch funk songs like "Family Affair," "Spaced Cowboy," and "Time."
146. Fiona Apple - When the Pawn... (1999)
For her sophomore album, Apple created a new vision of the singer songwriter. Oh, and read the whole album title, we'll wait.
145. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994)
Do do do do do doooo, do do do do do do do dooooooo. Can you hear this catchy indie rock cut your hair?
144. Frank Ocean - Channel ORANGE (2012)
Orange was the color Ocean associated with the summer he feel in love, synesthesia wrapped up in shimmering bedroom R&B.
143. The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die (1994)
Halfway through recording his debut album, Biggie's producer (P. Diddy) was fired by his record label. Luckily, the work was not lost the A&R shuffle.
142. Beyoncé - Lemonade (2016)
Today's queen of pop showed an unapologetic blackness that was deeply and painfully informed by knowledge of black history, identity, and culture.
141. Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica (2000)
Named after an easter egg in Blade Runner, this alternative masterpiece is just as disorienting, cold, and moody as Ridley Scott's magnum opus.
140. 2PAC - All Eyez On Me (1996)
The last album released before his tragic death, 2Pac cemented his legacy with the first ever mainstream double album in hip hop.
139. Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
Before all of the cheesiness, CTA captures a tight blend of jazz and rock. The band even took a royalty cut in order to release their debut as a double album.
138. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children (1998)
A pastiche of detuned synths, field recordings, and clunky samples, this album was crucial in developing the genres of electronic and digital music.
137. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People (2002)
Kevin Drew fronted an eleven piece ensemble that explored the limits of density of the indie rock sound.
136. Mort Garson - Mother Earth's Plantasia (1976)
You could only find this record if you bought a houseplant from an LA plant store or a Simmons mattress from a Sears outlet. Still, against all odds, the album became a cult classic; and, it helps your plants grow.
135. Mew - Frengers (2003)
Danish indie rock band perfectly captures the discomfort of being in the middle; they are not quite a friend, but not quite a stranger.
134. The Who - Who's Next (1971)
The Who assembled anthems like "Baba O'Riley," "Behind Blue Eyes," and "Won't Get Fooled Again" on arguably the most even-keeled of classic rock albums.
133. Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
Flavor Flav and Chuck D set out to match Marvin Gays, making the hip hop equivalent of "What's Goin' On." What resulted was sharp-tongued social commentary via hard-hitting rhymes.
132. LCD Soundsystem - Sounds of Silver (2007)
James Murphy shaped the archetypal album in the elusive "dance punk" category with his trademark punchy, East Coast electronica.
131. Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland (1969)
Hendrix self-produced his only double album that featuring extreme exploration of what the electric guitar can be. It scorches from Voodoo Chile to Voodoo Child.
130. Howlin' Wolf - Moanin' in the Moonlight (1959)
This is almost certainly the most influential blues album of all-time, and it features the premiere cast of blues players, including Ike Turner, Otis Spann, and Willie Dixon.
129. Jonathan Richman - I, Jonathan (1992)
The soft side of punk shines through on Jonathan Richman's idiosyncratic, quirky art rock (read as: the awkward opening act in a high school battle of the bands).
128. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (1967)
Okay, bare with us. Sgt. Pepper's aesthetic statement is legendary. Its studio innovation is excellent. Its songwriting... isn't their best.
127. Randy Newman - Good Old Boys (1974)
Newman expanded his palette, adding MOOG synthesizers, heavy background vocals, and layered Rhodes pianos over his already-iconic singer-songwriter schtick.
126. Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
The crown jewel of free jazz was a sea change for the genre, proving that radical and expanded formations of jazz could reach audiences provocatively.
Want to listen to our choice cuts from this list? Follow our countdown playlist on Spotify!
Stay tuned for Inhailer Radio's next installment in the totally objective, completely undisputed, most-correct list of the Top 500 Albums of All-Time. Disagree with our rankings? Definitely don't @ us on our Facebook and Instagram. Next week: #125-101.