10 Best Ever Albums

Obviously, any list of 10 best ever albums is going to be wildly subjective, but every genre has a few classics that consistently come up when the true believers get to talking over drinks. Check out this quick list of 10 best ever albums and see how many are on your list.

  1. Beatles – "Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band." Probably the most cited candidate for Best Ever Album among baby boomers, this 1967 classic features some of the Fab Four's best known tracks, including "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," "With A Little Help From My Friends" and "Lovely Rita."
  2. My Bloody Valentine – "Loveless." Rarely has a single album defined a genre as effectively as 1991's "Loveless" defined shoegazing. Two decades after its release, there are still scads of bands trying to recreate the shimmering, gauzy, dreamy sound that Kevin Shields seemingly created out of nowhere.
  3. Led Zeppelin – "IV." From the monster opening guitar riff of "Black Dog" to the pounding, oft-sampled finale of "When the Levee Breaks," Led Zeppelin's 1967 masterpiece has held up better than any of their releases.
  4. Guns 'n' Roses – "Appetite for Destruction." Axl Rose and crew were never able to recreate the sledgehammer effect of this 1987 full-length debut album, but songs like "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Paradise City" haven't lost much of their appeal since.
  5. Wu-Tang Clan – "Enter the 36 Chambers." This 1993 debut from the Wu proved without a doubt that you don't need big-budget production value for a rap classic album, just solid beats, solid rhymes and a pile of inventive attitude.
  6. Global Communication – "76:14." It might not have sold quite as many copies as the other albums on this list, but ask any fan of 90's ambient who did it the best and there's a good chance they'll reference this super-chilled platter from 1994.
  7. Prince – "Purple Rain." His Royal Badness has long since been overcome by His Royal Weirdness, but Prince was at the top of his game with this soundtrack album that managed to be avant-garde and insanely catchy at the same time. Nothing has sounded like it before or since.
  8. DJ Shadow – "Endtroducing." A mind-blowing trip through Shadow's unfathomably deep stacks of forgotten hip-hop, soul and funk, with an enormous number of samples cut up and re-purposed for an entirely unique listening experience.
  9. Nirvana – "Nevermind." Although the effect of this great grunge album was quickly blunted by years of sound-a-likes and rip-offs, Kurt Cobain's impossibly raw emotion makes every song on this album hit home even when you have no idea what the hell he's talking about.
  10. Portishead – "Dummy." The trip-hop genre only lasted a few short years and didn't produce too many classics, but this sexy, mysterious album is still a great soundtrack to any late-night adventures; or misadventures.
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