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500 Greatest Albums

Here’s our list of seminal international albums including The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones among others

Rolling Stone India May 19, 2011
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380. Sunflower ”“ The Beach Boys

A year after they were dropped by Capitol, and just as Brian Wilson began his psychological descent, the Beach Boys scraped together the remarkable Sunflower. The warm harmonies and dreamy textures of “Cool, Cool Water” and “Forever” show Carl and Dennis Wilson stepping up to fill Brian’s space.

379. Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. – Bruce Springsteen

When he started out, he was the pimp’s main prophet. Springsteen’s opening shot dazzled with rapid-fire, poetic street jive. “Blinded by the Light,” “Spirit in the Night” and “Growin’ Up” are R&B-folk songs populated by a cast of gypsies, tramps and thieves.

378. Funky Kingston – Toots and the Maytals

Loose, funky, exuberant, Kingston is the quintessential document of Jamaica’s greatest act after Bob Marley. Showcasing some of the Maytals’ best songs (including “Pressure Drop”) and reaching out to borrow from soul, pop and gospel, Kingston introduced the world to Toots Hibbert, Jamaica’s Otis Redding.

377. CrazySexyCool ”“ TLC

Things were not well with TLC during the making of CrazySexyCool: Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was lighting fires, and the group was in a financial slide that would end in bankruptcy proceedings. But they emerged with the most effervescent and soulful R&B pop anyone had seen since the Supremes.

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376. (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? ”“ Oasis

With their second album, the fighting Gallagher brothers embraced the Stones and Beatles comparisons, then went ahead and established themselves as a rock & roll force in their own right with tunes such as “Roll With It” and the glorious “Wonderwall.”

375. The Ultimate Collection 1948-1990 – John Lee Hooker

“Boogie Chillen” was Hooker’s first hit and one of the last songs he played on this earth. In between that was a lifetime of pure mojo. Collection houses “Boom Boom,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and a voice Bonnie Raitt said could “tap into all the pain he’d ever felt.”

374. The Eagles – The Eagles

The Eagles’ debut created a new template for laid-back L.A. country-rock style. Behind the band’s mellow message ”” “Take It Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling” ”” was a relentless drive. “Everybody had to look good, sing good, play good and write good,” Glenn Frey told Cameron Crowe in these pages.

373. Post ”“ Björk

“I have to re-create the universe every morning when I wake up,” Björk said, explaining her second solo album’s utter lack of musical inhibition: Post bounces from big-band jazz (“It’s Oh So Quiet”) to trip-hop with Tricky. Fun fact: For her vocals, Björk extended her mike cord to a beach so she could sing to the sea.

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372. Late for the Sky – Jackson Browne

On his dark third album, Browne explored, in the words of one Rolling Stone reviewer, the “romantic possibility in the shadow of apocalypse.” There’s an undercurrent of dread on Late for the Sky, from “Before the Deluge” to “For a Dancer” ”” not to mention a lot of obvious songwriting genius.

371. Siren – Roxy Music

“New customers are always welcome!” Bryan Ferry joked as “Love Is the Drug” became Roxy Music’s first U.S. hit. This delicious album of lounge-lizard ennui, inspired in part by Ferry’s girlfriend, Jerry Hall, draws upon the band’s arty roots even as it anticipates the even more rarified atmospheres of 1982’s Avalon.

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