This is the 20th post in this series, and the final post in our countdown of our Top 500 albums of all-time. Click here to start from the beginning: Inhailer's Top 500 Albums of All-Time: (#500-476)
Well, here we are! Every Friday for the past 6 months, Inhailer has been counting down our totally objective, completely undisputed, most-correct list of the Top 500 albums of all time. We've done 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 Kendrick Lamar, The Stooges, and Kate Bush. This week we finish our list with Nos. 25-1. The ask was simple: excluding compilation albums, what are the 500 best albums of all-time, ranked? Here's the twentieth and final list in the countdown:
25. R.E.M - Murmur (1983)
This dense and enigmatic debut album is miles away from "Shiny Happy People" and "Losing My Religion." It has been appropriately called a film noir for the ears.
24. Big Star - #1 Record (1972)
This shimmering power pop cult classic, completely unknown in its day, perfectly balances rock bravado and acoustic vulnerability.
23. Talking Heads - Remain in Light (1980)
For the new wave genre, this album was a pure, pivotal musical evolution. Listen for Eno's slick production, Frantz' booming kick drum, and David Byrne's top-tier vocal arrangements.
22. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
The perfect blend of neo-soul and hip hop, Hill's ~70 minutes of self-produced magic is a sea change in the music industry; hip hop was no longer a niche genre, but a mainstream product still relevant today as black feminism earns its place.
21. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced (1967)
The ultimate debut album? Jimi symbolically and literally changed the way people held the guitar. (The U.S. track-listing and packaging are far superior to the U.K.)
20. Nick Drake - Pink Moon (1972)
For just over 28 minutes, Drake's slender frame sits on a stool in an recording studio. There are only two instruments, his guitar & his voice. Save a ten second piano overdub, that's all Pink Moon is. And it inspires awe.
19. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991)
If Hendrix reinvented the guitar for the '70s, Kevin Shields of MBV re-reinvented it for the '90s and beyond. The godfather of shoegaze and dream pop introduced near guitar vibrato, alternate tuning, and samplers all staples of pop music today.
18. Funkadelic - Maggot Brain (1971)
Starting your album with a ten minute guitar solo is beyond gutsy. But when you're Eddie Hazel, it works. Ranging from the deep grooves of psychedelic funk to a frenzied soul, here's what came of George Clinton's LSD trip.
17. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young - Déjà Vu (1970)
Making the top 25 and pleasing dads everywhere, the greatest super group of all-time combined vocal chords for "Teach Your Children," "Our House," and "Carry On" among others.
16. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (1959)
Kind of Blue is rightfully the most iconic jazz album of all-time. Davis assigned each performer, including Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, and John Coltrane, a set of scales that fit their strengths, creating an entire project with modalities.
15. Jeff Buckley - Grace (1994)
Jeff Buckley was a shining star with a 4+ octave range & a visceral style, but this studio album was all he needed. Grace lives in the shadows of Buckley's 'mystery white boy' persona, capturing an earnest and sensual mood like no other.
14. Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes (1983)
Against all odds, this album basically invented the seemingly-paradoxical genre of folk punk in unorthodox, rapid-fire yelps.
13. The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead (1986)
One part effortless and two parts quirky, Morrissey's obsession with obscure cultural allusions resulted in "Bigmouth Strikes Again," "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," and Cemetry Gates."