500 Greatest Albums
Here’s our list of seminal international albums including The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones among others
290. Talking Heads: 77 – Talking Heads
The Heads wore button-down shirts and embraced a tightly wound normality as rebellion. “For a long time, I felt, ‘Well, fuck everybody,’ ” David Byrne told Punk magazine in 1976. “Well, now I want to be accepted.” That’s the tense, ingeniously constricted sound of Talking Heads’ debut.
289. Call Me – Al Green
Green’s Call Me contains a pair of familiar country songs, which were intended to bolster the soul singer’s accessibility to white listeners: Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away,” both reworked to blend seamlessly with Green’s swaying Southern R&B.
288. Something Else By the Kinks – The Kinks
By 1968, America’s rock trends and England’s Kinks were moving in opposite directions, yet Ray and Dave Davies penned two of their greatest songs that year, “Waterloo Sunset” and “Death of a Clown.” And the beauty and lyrical descriptiveness of “Two Sisters” transcends nationality.
287. Anthem of the Sun – Grateful Dead
The tracks were built from multiple live performances and studio takes, which were faded in and out of each track in an attempt to re-create the alchemy of the Dead’s shows. Jerry Garcia said, “We really mixed [the album] for the hallucinations, you know?” One listen, and you did.
286. Los Angeles ”“ X
The quintessential L.A. punk band made the first great West Coast punk album with its debut. Los Angeles is best known for its city-defining anthem and the torrid “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene”; produced by Ray Manzarek of the Doors, it also shows that punk and classic rock can be occasional friends.
285. I’m Still in Love With You – Al Green
After topping the R&B and pop charts with Let’s Stay Together, Green released his second LP of that year, one that was even more sensual than its predecessor. “Love and Happiness” is a slow-building masterpiece: His band provided the subtle groove; Green added a mountain of soul.
284. Music of My Mind ”“ Stevie Wonder
Recording after his onerous contract with Motown had expired, a newly empowered Wonder flexes his artistic control on Mind, making a relaxed love-smitten warm-up for the blockbusters to come, playing nearly every funky note on classics such as “Love Having You Around.”
283. Five Leaves Left ”“ Nick Drake
Peter Buck of R.E.M. once said that you could turn a Nick Drake song up all the way, but it would still sound quiet. Drake’s 1969 debut ”” recorded while he was still at Cambridge University ”” introduced the world to his gorgeous, melancholy folk on songs such as “Time Has Told Me.”
282. The Cars ”“ The Cars
“We used to joke that the first album should be called The Cars’ Greatest Hits,” said lead guitarist Elliot Easton. The Cars’ 1978 debut was arty and punchy enough to be part of Boston’s New Wave scene and yet so catchy that nearly every track ”” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Just What I Needed” ”” landed on the radio.
281. Can’t Get Enough ”“ Barry White
In 1974, White had three albums on the charts simultaneously, all of which contained orchestrated hits that fanned the flames of disco fever. But the newly married maestro was also a master balladeer, and “I Can’t Believe You Love Me” keeps the boudoir drama coming for ten-plus minutes.