Thank Goodness the Debate is Over
The Top Ten Albums of All Time:
A Definitive List by Dr. Fred Ablondi
"The results are in. No need for further debate.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Ablondi."
-- Phil Sophia, Rolling Phone Magazine
1. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan (1965)
2. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison (1968)
3. Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones (1972)
“Torn and Frayed”
4. Sweet Revenge, John Prine (1973)
5. Good Old Boys, Randy Newman (1974)
6. Blood On the Tracks, Bob Dylan (1975)
“Tangled Up In Blue”
7. London Calling, The Clash (1980)
“Death or Glory”
8. The Mekons, Fear and Whiskey (1985)
9. My Life, Iris DeMent (1993)
“No Time To Cry”
10. Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Lucinda Williams (1998)
“Right In Time
Sampling the Top Ten
Highway 61 Revisited,
"An A+ record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays prolonged listening with new excitement and insight. It is unlikely to be marred by more than one merely ordinary cut.
An A is a great record both of whose sides offer enduring pleasure and surprise. You should own it.
An A- is a very good record. If one of its sides doesn't provide intense and consistent satisfaction, then both include several cuts that do.
A B+ is a good record, at least one of whose sides can be played with lasting interest and the other of which includes at least one enjoyable cut.
A B is an admirable effort that aficionados of the style or artist will probably find quite listenable.
A B- is a competent or mildly interesting record that will usually feature at least three worthwhile cuts.
A C+ is a not disreputable performance, most likely a failed experiment or a pleasant piece of hackwork.
A C is a record of clear professionalism or barely discernible inspiration, but not both.
A C- is a regrettably successful exploitation or a basically honest but quite incompetent stab at something more.
A D+ is an appalling piece of pimpwork or a thoroughly botched token of sincerity.
It is impossible to understand why anyone would buy a D record.
It is impossible to understand why anyone would release a D- record.
It is impossible to understand why anyone would cut an E+ record.
E records are frequently cited as proof that there is no God.
An E- record is an organically conceived masterpiece that repays repeated listening with a sense of horror in the face of the void. It is unlikely to be marred by one listenable cut."
Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s, 1980
Some Other A to A+ Albums
Laurie Anderson, Strange Angels (1989)
Archers of Loaf, Icky Mettle (1993)
Beatles, Revolver (1966)
Blasters, Hard Line (1985)
Jackson Browne, Late for the Sky (1974)
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willy and the Poorboys (1969)
Derek & the Dominoes, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
Bob Dylan, Modern Times (2006)
Husker Du, New Day Rising (1985)
Los Lobos, How Will the Wolf Survive? (1984)
Nick Lowe, Labour of Lust (1979)
Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs (1999)
Nirvana, Nevermind (1991)
Sinead O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got (1990)
Graham Parker, Squeezing Out Sparks (1979)
The Replacements, Tim (1985)
Paul Simon, Graceland (1986)
Sleater-Kinney, Call the Doctor (1996)
Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out (1997)
Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation (1988)
Rod Stewart, Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)
Television, Marquee Moon (1977)
Richard & Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights (1982)
U2, The Joshua Tree (1987)
The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground (1969)
The Who, Who’s Next (1971)
Wussy, Attica! (2014)
X, Wild Gift (1981)
Neil Young, After the Gold Rush (1970)