NME has released its list of the Top 500 Albums of All Time, and it’s a doozy. Now, keep in mind, this is a British music magazine, so the fact that six of the top 10 acts are British shouldn’t be terribly surprising. There are also no women or black artists in the top 10. Apparently voting was done rather last minute, and the magazine got in touch with writers and staff from years past to compile their personal lists before tallying up all the votes. And the results…
The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead is the greatest album of all time. It’s better than anything the Beatles ever did (though Revolver came close). Meanwhile, the band Queen is nowhere on the list at all, whereas Queens of the Stone Age shows up thrice (they also show up Thrice, who don’t appear). Some other interesting highlights include Oasis’ Definitely Maybe starting the top 10, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake making an impressive No. 15, Arcade Fire’s Funeral (13) slotting higher than My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless (18), and Outkast’s Stankonia only good enough to slip in at 500.
More oddities: The highest ranked Michael Jackson album (Thriller) hits at 131, while LCD Soundsystem broke the top 50 with Sound of Silver (49). It’s rad that Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed America (429) made it on, but having it one spot below Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA and two above Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger seems kinda crazy. Speaking of the Boss, Nebraska (148) isn’t quite as good as Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange (147), but slightly better than Elliott Smith’s Either/Or (149) and The Streets Original Pirate Material (150). Also, apparently Arctic Monkeys’ one-month-old AM (449) is already better than Big Star’s Third (451).
Now, here’s something extra strange: NME released a Top 100 British Albums Ever back in 2006, and the numbers don’t quite match. The Queen Is Dead comes in at No. 2 behind The Stone Roses’ self-titled record, which drops to No. 7 on the All-Time list. The biggest drop sees The Libertines’ Up The Bracket go from No. 10 to No. 70. Also odd, NME posted their current staff’s top 10 lists that were submitted for the big 500, and none of them had The Smiths as number one; five didn’t even have them on the list at all. Then again, if Laura Snapes had her wish, the top four would all be The National albums, while Kevin EG Perry would prefer a Rolling Stones takeover.