Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Recurring magazine music ranking / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is a recurring opinion survey and music ranking of the finest albums in history, compiled by the American magazine Rolling Stone. It is based on weighted votes from selected musicians, critics, and industry figures. The first list was published in a special issue of the magazine in 2003 and a related book in 2005.[1]

Critics have accused the lists of lending disproportionate weight to artists of particular races and genders. In the original list, most of the selections were albums by white male rock musicians, with the top position held by the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). In 2012, Rolling Stone published a revised edition, drawing on the original and a later survey of albums released up until the early 2000s.[2]

Another updated edition of the list was published in 2020, with 269 entries not in either of the two previous editions. It was based on a new survey and did not consider the surveys conducted for the 2003 and 2012 lists. The 2020 list featured more artists of color and female artists, topped by Marvin Gaye's What's Going On (1971).[2] It received similar criticisms as the previous lists.[3] Another revision was published in 2023.[4]

Since 2020 Rolling Stone has also produced a weekly podcast called Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums, which, according to magazine, is based on an "updated version of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list".[5] The podcast is hosted by Brittany Spanos, a staff writer at the magazine.[6][7]

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