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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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350. Rust Never Sleeps – Neil Young and Crazy Horse
In 1978, Young went on tour with a batch of songs his audience had never heard and got two albums out it ”” Rust Never Sleeps and the double LP Live Rust. Both are essential Young, full of impossibly delicate acoustic songs and ragged Crazy Horse rampages. Highlights: “My My Hey Hey” (a tribute to Johnny Rotten), a surreal political spiel called “Welfare Mothers” (“make better lovers”) and “Powderfinger,” where Young’s guitar hits the sky like never before.

349. Roger the Engineer (a.k.a. Over Under Sideways Down) – The Yardbirds
Jeff Beck played briefly in the Yardbirds, but his presence is heavily felt here, where he pushed the Brit blues rockers in a more adventurous, psychedelic direction. “Over Under Sideways Down” is one of Beck’s most mind-bending riffs.

348. At Newport 1960 – Muddy Waters
Waters was starting to draw a wider pop audience when he performed this live concert. It’s got his classics ”” “Hoochie Coochie Man”; the set closer, “Got My Mojo Working” ”” with a band that’s tough, tight and in the groove. James Cotton’s harmonica jams are a special treat.

347. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn – Pink Floyd
“I’m full of dust and guitars,” Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett told Rolling Stone. Here’s what that sounded like. The band’s debut is all playful, psychedelic imagery and acid guitars. “Astronomy Domine” shows the group’s pop side; “Interstellar Overdrive” shows its spacier freakouts.

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346. 3 Feet High and Rising – De La Soul
At the end of the eighties, De La Soul rolled out their new style of “D.A.I.S.Y. Age,” which stood for “Da Inner Sound, Y’All.” They led the Native Tongues posse ”” no gold chains, just samples, skits, jokes and beats, biting everyone from P-Funk to Hall and Oates and Johnny Cash.

345. Stop Making Sense ”“ Talking Heads
This soundtrack to Jonathan Demme’s 1984 concert film functions as a greatest-hits and a band history. It begins with a spare version of “Psycho Killer” and builds to an expansive “Take Me to the River,” where the Heads are joined by members of the P-Funk mob. Eighties art funk at its finest.

344. Berlin – Lou Reed
Reed followed up his breakthrough album, Transformer, with Berlin, which he called “my version of Hamlet.” A bleak song cycle about an abusive, drug-fueled relationship, it’s hugely ambitious but also one of the gloomiest records ever made ”” slow, druggy and heavily orchestrated by producer Bob Ezrin.

343. Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf’s megaselling, megabombastic breakthrough was written by pianist Jim Steinman, who’d intended the material for a new version of Peter Pan. This is one of rock’s most theatrical, grandiose records, yet Loaf brings real emotion to “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

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342. Violator – Depeche Mode
For many Depeche Mode fans, Violator is the crowning glory of the boys’ black-leather period. In “Sweetest Perfection,” “Halo” and “World in My Eyes,” they turn teen angst and sexual obsession into grand synth-pop melodrama, and their attempt at guitar rock resulted in a hit with “Personal Jesus.”

341. Play ”“ Moby
Play was the techno album that proved a Mac could have a soul. Moby took ancient blues and gospel voices and layered them with dance grooves, creating songs such as “Porcelain” and “Natural Blues,” which have a strange, haunting beauty that also became background music in countless TV commercials.

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