Updated: Jan 27, 2021
This is the 5th 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 Ian Dury, MGMT, and Chet Baker. This week we continue with Nos. 400-376. The ask was simple: excluding compilation albums, what are the 500 best albums of all-time, ranked? Here's the fifth list in the countdown:
400. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (2011)
Listen to "The Plains / Bitter Dancer" for exemplary harmonic chromaticism that is somehow still accessible.
399. Galaxie 500 - On Fire (1989)
Slowcore formed from the ashes of Dean Wareham's dreamy guitar.
398. The Pretenders - Pretenders (1979)
Released in the last week of 1979 in the U.S. and the first week of 1980 in the U.K. That makes sense, because we can't quite decide whether it fits in the '70s or the '80s.
397. MC5 - Kick Out The Jams (1969)
The first of terrible radio edits and a headache to sensors everywhere. Let's kick out the jams!
396. PJ Harvey - Rid of Me (1993)
Arguably the first overtly feminist alternative rock statement. But, of course, PJ denies it.
395. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony - E.1999 Eternal (1995)
This landmark gangsta funk record smoothly rides the line between rapping and singing. Just add clever synth arrangements.
394. Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For the Deaf (2002)
Indie rock just hard enough to make you squirm, featuring the G.O.A.T. Dave Grohl on drums.
393. Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues (1983)
White funk, new wave pop, art disco, dance music. This commercial breakthrough for the Talking Heads has too many genres to count.
392. Parliament - Mothership Connection (1975)
"We had put black people in situations nobody ever thought they would be in, like the White House. I figured another place you wouldn't think black people would be was in outer space," says George Clinton in 1975.
391. Boston - Boston (1976)
Wow, the mid-70s really liked spaceships (see above). Tracked solely by Tom Scholz in his Massachusetts basement studio, this record-breaking debut album vaulted 3 Top 40 singles.
390. War - The World Is A Ghetto (1972)
The best-selling album of 1973 is a brilliant mix of black rock, funk, roots, and soul. And yes, that is a Rolls Royce with a flat tire in the ghetto.
389. Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel (1974)
This majestic country album by the Stone Poney herself proves the power of proper songwriting aesthetic.
388. Paul Westerberg - 14 Songs (1993)
After the dissolution of The Replacements, Westerberg compiled his best saved songs in the studio with the likes of Joan Jett, Iam McLagan (Faces), and John Pierce (Pablo Cruise).
387. Panic! At The Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (2005)
This album was recorded one month after the band graduated...from high school. Now it's regarded a necessary emo pickup at your local Hot Topic.
386. Bill Fay - Time of the Last Persecution (1971)
Fay's deeply biblical lyrics and progressive folk songwriting were completely unnoticed upon initial release, but have continued to influence bands like Wilco, The War on Drugs, Six Organs of Admittance, Okkervil River, and Sonic Youth.
385. Wire - Chairs Missing (1978)
This synthy, gothic art-punk record is named for a person who "mildly disturbed." The music itself isn't missing a thing.
384. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (1988)
What makes a Daydream Nation? Infinity, woman, omega, and a demon drummer. Eat it, Led Zeppelin.
383. The Cure - Disintegration (1989)
Some light reading: "Remembering you standing quiet in the rain/and we kissed as the sky fell in/and screamed at the make-believe/screamed at the sky."
382. Toots and the Maytals - Funky Kingston (1975)
Toots' breakthrough album broke down the walls of reggae with a light and lively sound reminiscent of mid '60s pop and Motown soul.
381. The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen (1993)
Unsuspecting hooks and downtrodden lyrics dominate this seminal Midwestern alt. rock release.
380. The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
While everyone else was going psychedelic, the Davies brothers went folksy and pastoral on what might be their greatest album.
379. Norma Tanega - Walking My Cat Named Dog (1966)
This cult folk artist is a true unheralded songwriter that graced us with a sentimental folk pop record. Apparently, she really did have a cat she named dog.
378. Frank Sinatra - In the Wee Small Hours (1955)
Not only is this considered the first concept album, this Crooner's masterwork may be the Western world's very first true album.
377. Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill (1972)
Step 1: name your band after a sex toy. Step 2: record massively catchy latin-jazz rock tunes. Step 3: design a massively kitschy album cover.
376. Erykah Badu - Baduizm (1997)
Drawing numerous comparisons to '70s soul and even Billie Holliday, this jazzy neo-soul record launched Badu into the limelight.
Want to listen to our choice cuts from this list? Follow our countdown playlist on Spotify!
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