Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time

Rolling Stone published their original 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time list in 2003, with a slight update in 2012. Over the years, it’s been the most widely read (and argued over) feature in the history of the magazine. But no list is definitive — tastes change, new genres emerge, the history of music keeps being rewritten. So they decided to remake their greatest albums list from scratch.

The new list is online now, and in the October issue of the magazine. More than 300 artists, writers and industry figures — everyone from Beyonce to U2 to Stevie Nicks — sent in ballots to help create the new 500.

We’re pleased to tell you that The Who have four entries on the list! Who’s Next came in at #77; Tommy came in at #190; The Who Sell Out at #315 and Live at Leeds at #327. This is a tremendous accomplishment; remember that this list covers all albums from all time. So far.

Who’s Next, released in 1971 on Track Records.
Here’s what Rolling Stone has to say about #77 on their list
Tommy, released in 1969 on Track Records.
Here’s what Rolling Stone has to say about #190 on their list
The Who Sell Out, released in 1967 on Track Records.
Here’s what Rolling Stone has to say about #315 on their list

Live At Leeds, released in 1970 on Track Records.
Here’s what Rolling Stone has to say about #327 on their list

Want to see the full list of all 500 albums? Here’s the complete list.

29 thoughts on “Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time”

  1. martin J Thomas says:

    How can Quadrophenia not make the list! Definayive album for all teenage boys.

  2. Nice to have these albums on the list. Surely Quadrophenia is one of the 500 greatest Albums of all time. Boz Scaggs could come off to make room!

  3. Jon Kinsley says:

    Zero respect for anything Rolling Stone!! Quadrophenia not in the top 500. They should all be fired!!!!

  4. Perry Carnes says:

    No Quad? Those albums belong in the top 25, if not the top ten. I’m sure the Beatles are still up there. That’s bogus.

  5. JAFFRE says:

    Where is Quadrophenia ???

  6. Chris Behr says:

    So Who’s Next is only #77, Live At Leeds is #327 and Quadrophenia (the greatest album of all time) isn’t even listed? Preposterous! Though as my late, great mother-in-law used to say, “Consider the source.” They polled Beyonce and Stevie Nicks instead of people who actually know something about making music. If they’d talked to Joe Walsh or Dave Grohl, the outcome would’ve been quite different.

  7. Luis Emilio says:

    This list is garbage. It’s incredible: A Kanye West”s album better than Genesis’ Selling England… or Yes’ Close to the Edge

  8. Walt says:

    Rolling Joke more like it – these list are clearly an internal music industry ploy to increase sales for specific artist and studios while the 2003 list was suspect the latest “of all time” is without vision or objectivity

  9. Mike J Danley says:

    Dumbfounded how Quadrophenia was removed from this list. Maybe I’m partial, but that is the greatest Who album.

  10. Donald Lowman says:

    Sorry, but Who’s Next at #77 is an insult to The Who. Just do a quick read of the various inferior albums placed ahead of this one. Pretty crazy. How many of those other albums still (ever?) have three or four exceptional songs that still seem fresh and relevant almost 50 years later?

  11. Carl Draper says:

    The list is an absolute joke. No list that puts Taylor Swift and Beyonce above Pink Floyd’s Dark Side can be taken seriously.

  12. Craig de Mello says:

    It is a really awful list, truly awful. Which sums up Rolling Stone really.

  13. David Dagesse says:

    How in God’s green earth is Qudraphenia omitted!

  14. Philip Mcgargle says:

    I as a who fan since the early 70’s love these albums and think they should be a lot higher in this chart but were is the best of them all quadrophenia in my small opinion the best album of any band old or young.
    I also think that band sadly may have to postpone the gigs in march and April.


  15. Donald Marriott says:

    No Quadrophenia make me wonder about the “list”. Secondly, Whos Next is top 20 worst case scenario.
    Quadrophrnia again makes me wonder if RSMagazine is still the real music source it was in 1970s etc.
    QUADROPHENIA is arguably better than Tommy.

  16. thierry RABIER says:

    and Quadrophenia !!!
    A masterpiece !!!

  17. Raleigh Powell says:

    What!!! No QUADROPHENIA. I think they should rethink this list.

  18. Friedhelm says:

    And what about “Quadrophenia”? I think there are a lot of overrated albums ranking between 1 and 50. The most overrated of them in my opinion: Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. And by the way I would claim that “Who’s next” is the ONLY absolute perfect rock album ever. Even better than all the Beatles albums.

  19. Thorsten says:

    How can it be that Quadrophenia did NOT make the list?!?

  20. Rob says:

    Rolling Stone is a joke…like the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. Quadrophenia is THE GREATEST ROCK album ever recorded and they don’t put it in the top 500? I’m honestly surprised they’re still in business.

  21. Dr.Marcello Vannucci says:

    Where´s Quadrophenia? The very best concept album of all time. Music. Harmonies. Attitude!!!!

  22. Jennifer says:

    Rolling Stone’s list is pandering to modern day artists…the fact that Beyonce or Taylor Swift is even on the list is ridiculous. There is NOTHING remotely rock-like about either one’s music. I realize that Rolling Stone wants to be comprehensive, but you cannot rank albums that stem from such varying genres.

    …and to the point of another contributor, the fact that Dark Side of the Moon is listed below anything Beyonce and Swift produced just shows how lame the list is. Who’s Next is only #77? That album should be in the top 10. Plus, the fact that Quadrophenia is not even listed is an outrage. Rolling Stone lost its soul a long time ago…

  23. Luis says:

    Rolling Stone is not a credible music, social and political, source since the magazine was sold to a conservative group. The decline began years ago, with some questionable covers questionable omissions (bands like The Moody Blues, Badfinger, The Kinks, Ten Years After, Guess Who, and many more, or solo musicians and songwriters like Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, etc etc. Its a really serious omission to exclude QUADROPHENIA, from the list since it is a piece of art and the highest pinnacle of The Who as musicians. Really a lot of musically not worthy and questionable inclusions. And the sad thing is that the inclusion of late 90s and recent questionable artist and bands that can not play instruments or sing, wont help Rolling Stone, win a new generation of readers. They seem to not know their actual readers’ age.

  24. Peter Kubsch says:

    Das Quadrophenia nicht unter den 500 besten Alben auftaucht ist schon eigenartig.
    Ich finde Who`s Next hat eine viel bessere Platzierung verdient, also mindestens sollte es unter den 10 besten LPs sein.

  25. Frank Rankin says:

    Quadrophenia is the best album of all time. My favourite album of all time is Quadrophenia Live in London. Think whoever complied this list needs to pay Quadrophonia now and move the others up a good bit. Who’s Next is a masterpiece, Tommy is revolutionary and Live at Leeds has never been equalled. Come on!!

  26. Claude says:

    I am ashamed that Quadrophenia isn’t in this list. So sad for the band and the fans.

  27. Rob Blick says:

    How can the staff of Rolling Stone not know that The Who’s greatest album is? Ask any Who fan!
    Quadrophenia – I find it hard to believe.

    Ask these five rock artists what The Who’s greatest album is:
    Mick Jagger, Ray Davies, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Ray Armstrong.

    I don’t know why I picked them but sometimes when voting on best players in sports they ask the players themselves to vote rather than the sports writers or the fans. They could ask credible musicians (in the rock genre especially) for the top 100-200 rock albums.
    The list might be very different.

  28. Ed says:

    I checked the list looking for the position of Who’s Next & Quadrophenia as benchmarks. I’d obviously have Who’s Next Higher. Obviously, so would the producers of CSI. But not on the list? I’d have Quadrophenia as my top album as I’ve listened to that start to finish more than anything. Quadrophenia is aptly named as the composition of the music is truly a multi-voice rock opera. It’s not just awesome because of great songs, but technically perfect.

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