This is the 18th 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 Aretha Franklin, Radiohead, and Cocteau Twins. This week we continue with Nos. 75-51. The ask was simple: excluding compilation albums, what are the 500 best albums of all-time, ranked? Here's the eighteenth list in the countdown:
75. The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs (1999)
Fields frontman Stephin Merritt sat in a LGBTQ piano bar in Manhattan, resolving "to write 100 love songs as a way of introducing myself to the world. Then I realized how long that would be. So I settled on 69."
74. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (2008)
You can just this book by its 16th Century Dutch album cover. Robin Pecknold's sweeping folk vision was stunningly realized upon his arrival to the music world.
73. U2 - The Joshua Tree (1987)
Capturing Bono's undying obsession with American imagery was tightly packaged in echoing hooks, showing The Edge's mastery of the delay pedal.
72. The Cars -The Cars (1978)
Ric Ocasek's chugging guitar is all you need to get into the mood for well-crafted power pop hits "Just What I Needed," "My Best Friend's Girl," & "Good Times Roll."
71. Gorillaz - Demon Days (2005)
Featuring collaborations with everyone from De La Soul to Ike Turner to MF Doom, the internet's favorite virtual band was daring in release campaign, genre fusion, and Danger Mouse's production collage.
70. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (2008)
Fraternity brothers everywhere love Ezra Koenig's revival of 'yacht rock,' intertwining brainy turn-of-phrase with chamber pop orchestrals.
69. Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love (1968)
Hendrix didn't necessarily turn up his amp for his highly-anticipated second album, but he did spend a little more time with his pen, demonstrating more introspective songwriting with a more 'live' recording feel.
68. The Doors - The Doors (1967)
The first major album released in '67, The Doors' debut shone light on the dark, disgusting world of psychedelic rock and Jim Morrison instantly became the first bad boy of rock 'n roll.
67. Otis Redding - Otis Blue (1965)
Never since has an artist made other's songs so much their own. Redding's three compositions on the record "Ole Man Trouble," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," and "Respect" are among the best soul songs ever recorded.
66. Janis Joplin - Pearl (1971)
Recorded in the month leading up to her tragic death, Joplin left the world in the peak of her legacy, culminating in her rejection of consumerist culture in "Mercedes Benz," recording just three days before her death.
65. Prince - Purple Rain (1984)
His place as a pop music icon was all but born, christened, and manifested by the ambitiousness of Purple Rain, that somehow captured the collective emotional consciousness of America's cultural consumption.
64. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)
If Prince capitalized on America's collective conscious, Kurt Cobain rejected it. Nevermind's razor-thin balance between impenetrable fuzzy grunge and familiar pop rock had A&R managers everywhere searching for the next big spawn act.
63. Elvis Costello And The Attractions - Armed Forces (1979)
Well, they originally titled it "Emotional Fascism." And that's just what it is: a slinky and sardonic amalgam of Costello's political terra firma & personal strife.
62. The Replacements - Let It Be (1984)
Paul Westerberg had guts: "This was our way of saying that nothing is sacred, that The Beatles were just a fine rock & roll band. We were seriously gonna call the next record Let It Bleed."
61. Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
As their murky partnership fell apart, Simon wrote his most enduring tunes, completely abandoning the hope he would ever return to his more folksy roots.
60. Songs: Ohia - The Magnolia Electric Co. (2003)
The ghost of Jason Molina caught up with him, this time on an eerie Midwestern backroad. You can feel the fog through the haunting lapsteel, faded organ layers, and Molina's guttural whimpering.
59. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)
November in Wisconsin is the kind of brutality Bon Iver needed as he recorded in father's alpine hunting cabin, a "victory" for his mental health and for indie folk fans ready to feel the rushes of his sensitive falsetto.
58. Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970)
The album's material came from spontaneous bursts of trial-and-error on stage and in rehearsal, featuring Tony Iommi's scalpel-work on guitar and Geezer Butler's heavy, melodic baselines.
57. De La Soul - Three Feet High and Rising (1989)
Just seconds into "The Magic Number," Johnny Cash chimes in: “How high’s the water, mama? Three feet high and rising." Softer rhymes, positive messages, and samples dominate this alternative hip hop classic.
56. Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt (1969)
On his magnum opus, TVZ delivers his stripped-down self-portrait, pained with the whimsy of Country and the poetic earnestness of folk.
55. David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)
Bowie brought his best batch of songs along with Ziggy Stardust, his androgynous, bisexual alter-ego that oozes raw sexuality and glam power chords (loud in the mix, Mr. Ronson!).
54. Cat Stevens - Tea For the Tillerman (1970)
Stevens' folk rock masterpiece is brashly dramatic, deeply melancholy, and doesn't have a weak track among it.
53. N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Who gets more, the MC or the DJ? Self-described victims and perpetrators N.W.A. established the presence of West Coast rap, creating massive careers for both Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
52. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On (1971)
There's no question mark there. This album became the defining light in "progressive soul," meshing Gaye's politicized expression of black identity with lush arrangements and world rhythms that continue to influence R&B today.
51. Love - Forever Changes (1967)
This album shows everything that was right about 1960s counterculture music: psychedelic instrumentation, eerie lyricism, folky acoustics, and baroque orchestration anchoring Arthur Lee's gleaming baritone.
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: #50-26.