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Best Albums Over the Last 25 Years

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In honor of their 1000th issue, Entertainment Weekly listed what someone(s?) on their staff must think are the best albums released since 1983.

Here’s the list:

100 George Michael – Faith (1987)
99 Hole – Live Through This (1994)
98 Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism (2003)
97 Britney Spears – Britney (2001)
96 PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)
95 T.I. – Trap Muzik (2003)
94 The Police – Synchronicity (1983)
93 Elliott Smith – Either/Or (1997)
92 Destiny’s Child – The Writing’s on the Wall (1999)
91 Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
90 System of a Down – Toxicity (2001)
89 Aimee Mann – Bachelor No. 2 (2000)
88 Peter Gabriel – So (1986)
87 2Pac – All Eyez on Me (1996)
86 My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (1991)
85 Dixie Chicks – Home (2002)
84 New Order – Low-Life (1985)
83 The Pretenders – Learning to Crawl (1984)
82 Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)
81 Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)
80 Christina Aguilera – Back to Basics (2006)
79 The Replacements – Let It Be (1984)
78 Pearl Jam – Vs. (1991)
77 Portishead – Dummy (1994)
76 Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (2000)
75 Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
74 Moby – Play (1999)
73 Smiths – The Queen is Dead (1986)
72 Van Halen – 1984 (1984)
71 No Doubt – Rock Steady (2001)
70 Mary J. Blige – My Life (1994)
69 The Postal Service – Give Up (2003)
68 Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball (1995)
67 Metallica – Metallica (1991)
66 Dr. Dre – The Chronic (1992)
65 The White Stripes – Elephant (2003)
64 Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun (2000)
63 U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)
62 Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
61 Eric B. & Rakim – Paid in Full (1987)
60 Pavement – Crooked Rain Crooked Rain (1994)
59 Madonna – Ray of Light (1998 )
58 The Pixies – Surfer Rosa (1988 )
57 Neil Young – Harvest Moon (1992)
56 Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
55 Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions… (1988 )
54 Janet Jackson – Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)
53 Elvis Costello – King of America (1986)
52 Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007)
51 Fugees – The Score (1996)
50 LCD Soundsystem – Sounds of Silver (2007)
49 Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
48 Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002)
47 Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville (1993)
46 Björk – Homogenic (1997)
45 Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister (1996)
44 Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (1998 )
43 Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)
42 Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
41 Bob Marley and the Wailers (1984) – Legend
40 The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die (1994)
39 Sheryl Crow – Sheryl Crow (1996)
38 Run-DMC – Raising Hell (1986)
37 Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica (2000)
36 TLC – CrazySexyCool (1994)
35 Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill (1995)
34 The Strokes – Is This It (2001)
33 Alicia Keys – As I Am (2007)
32 R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant (1985)
31 Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006)
30 Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (1987)
29 Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway (2004)
28 Nas – Illmatic (1994)
27 Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)
26 Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind (1997)
25 Interpol – Turn On the Bright Lights (2002)
24 Shania Twain – Come On Over (1997)
23 The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (1999)
22 De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)
21 Mariah Carey – The Emancipation of Mimi (2005)
20 Fiona Apple – Tidal (1996)
19 Beyoncé – Dangerously in Love (2003)
18 A Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990)
17 Beck – Odelay (1996)
16 Tom Waits – Rain Dogs (1985)
15 Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
14 The Cure – Disintegration (1989)
13 Cat Power – You Are Free (2003)
12 OutKast – Stankonia (2000)
11 Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)
10 Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007)
09 Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2007)
08 Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
07 Jay-Z – The Blueprint (2001)
06 Green Day – American Idiot (2004)
05 Madonna – Madonna (1983)
04 Kanye West – The College Dropout (2004)
03 U2 – Achtung Baby (1991)
02 Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998 )
01 Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain (1984)

I guess this list is fairly solid in what it has on it. But the order is so screwed, in my opinion, up that I don’t even know where to begin. My biggest concern is that I definitely don’t feel like Purple Rain is the best album of the last 25 years. Plus, I don’t like American Idiot being on there, at least not at number 6 anyway. And who decided that OK Computer was so much worse than In Rainbows? Furthermore, I don’t know much about Metallica, but I’m pretty sure that Metallica wasn’t there best album. Why is Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga on the list but not Gimme Fiction? Is My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless really less influential or worse than Sheryl Crow? And does MTV Unplugged in New York even count as a NIRVANA album? Well, I guess it won a grammy, but still.

In trying to include genres from all across the board, their list has been left with some serious holes. Besides, when are these magazines going to learn that making X NUMBER OF GREATEST SOMETHING OF SOME PERIOD OF TIME lists is a waste of time because they either fail miserably, or spend so much time on it and make it so all-inclusive that it ends up being overly-pretentious? I dunno. Kudos for trying, I guess. There were a few albums I was (pleasantly) surprised to see on there, I guess. Like Surfer Rosa and Turn on the Bright Lights.

Here’s an idea, comment with what you think are some of the best albums of the last 25 years.

And in the meantime, read this hilarious apology letter from Josh Homme where he insists with some very colorful language and clever little metaphors that he’s not a homophobe. Note: In case you didn’t here, Homme called a concert-goer that threw a shoe at him a “little f*g**t” many times and threatened him with things that aren’t exactly legal to do to a minor. Here’s the video.

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6 Responses

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  1. […] Best Albums Over the Last 25 Years 27 Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004) 26 Bob Dylan – Time Out of Mind (1997) 25 Interpol – Turn On the Bright Lights (2002) 24 Shania Twain – Come On Over (1997) 23 The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (1999) … […]

  2. I totally agree on the order being messed up. I mean, I think Loveless was, at one time, said to be the best album of the ’90s (later ranked down to #2 and OK Computer was #1), but I don’t remember when music zine said that. Marshall would know though. He rants about it all the time.

    Eli

    June 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm

  3. Yeah, I mean, with lists like this no one’s going to come away happy — except for lovers of relatively mainstream music. It’s sort of like unless you’re really specializing (like “10 Greatest Punk Albums of all Time”), then there are a lot of people who are going to feel disturbed. It’s the eclecticism, I guess. There are always people upset with one list or another, but yeah, when you’re trying to appeal to everybody, no one but the Prince fans come out happy. :p

    Interesting Lizzy mentions the Pitchfork list, though. When you look at the Pitchfork list of the 100 greatest of the 90s, they actually list a lot of REALLY good CDs. But when they’re hyping bands, they get wet over stuff like the Black Kids and forget that they gave really good reviews to something noisy and loud. So that just bugs me. It’s why I hate music magazines. :p Well what I hate is things that aren’t specialized — like with the lists I just mentioned. If it’s a punk magazine, I’ll be a lot more likely to enjoy it because the writers know the scene. With Pitchfork, it’s some nrrrd trying to review everything at once. That just gets to me, because it strips the depth and specialty from it. Has anyone here read their review of Kid A? That sums up my feelings on music magazines in general. Blogs and specialized publications are great, but Pitchfork, not so great.

    And Stankonia is better than Surfer Rosa or Loveless? Yeah, /whatever/ man.

    Edit:
    Interesting idea tagging the post with Music Zen. I don’t understand well enough how that system works, but it seems worth trying!

    Marshall B

    June 20, 2008 at 10:57 pm

  4. Hm. This has kind of made me curious to make my own list. I think in such a case, you could avoid that specialization, since you’re saying “this is my personal thing, not of all time.”

    *goes off to do that*

    Sarah K

    June 20, 2008 at 11:22 pm

  5. I guess thinking about it, I agree with Marshall, that for alist to be complete, it has to be pretty specialized. I think the biggest detriment to this list is that it included pop like Kelly Clarkson.

    Jacob Z

    June 21, 2008 at 1:14 am

  6. aha, but she’s my favorite of our Idols! XD

    Yeah, the personal thing is definitely it. I’d make a list like that but I think I’d change everything around way too much. I think 100 starts getting to be too many records for me to even begin to order anyway. <_< lolz.

    Marshall B

    June 21, 2008 at 1:57 am


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