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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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450. Fly Like an Eagle – Steve Miller Band

Miller started with a spacey blues sound that drew on the San Francisco ballroom bands of the Sixties. Then a 1972 car accident sidelined him for nearly a year. He came back with an irrepressible pop-rock sound that dominated Seventies radio: slick guitar boogie as catchy as ABBA and as danceable as disco. “Rock ‘n Me,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Dance, Dance, Dance” and the title track kept Fly Like an Eagle on the charts for nearly two years.

449. The World Is a Ghetto – War

A band of badasses doing a Latin-funk song about a Latino TV show from the Fifties ”” that was “The Cisco Kid,” and the band was War, L.A.’s answer to Parliament-Funkadelic. But War were serious: The title song is a sober reflection on inner-city life that hangs in the air like smoke from a riot.

448. In Color – Cheap Trick

They were down-home Midwestern boys from Rockford, Illinois, but Cheap Trick had a rock & roll approach as twisted as guitarist Rick Nielsen’s bow ties. With blond pin-up boy Robin Zander on vocals, the Trick rocked Beatles-style melodies such as “Oh Caroline,” “Downed” and “Come On, Come On.”

447. Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! – Devo

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They came from Akron, Ohio, wore matching jumpsuits, and had a sinister theory of devolution. Their debut album runs on rubber-punk guitars and mechanized New Wave beats, with a robotic, soul-chilling version of the Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

446. Suicide – Suicide

This New York synth-punk duo evokes everything from the Velvet Underground to rockabilly. Martin Rev’s low-budget electronics are violent and hypnotic; Alan Vega uses screams as a rhythmic device. Warning: Late-night listening to “Frankie Teardrop,” a ten-minute-plus tale of a multiple murder, is not recommended.

445. Rum Sodomy and the Lash – The Pogues

With a voice like an ashtray, Shane MacGowan led this fabulous disaster of an Irish folk-punk band. Produced by Elvis Costello (who married bassist Cait O’Riordan), Rum careens between the maudlin “A Pair of Brown Eyes” and such explosive numbers as “The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn.”

444. Criminal Minded – Boogie Down Productions

According to KRS-One, the whole world had a criminal mind, and his pioneering gangsta scenarios were as much critique as celebration. DJ Scott LaRock was killed shortly after the album’s release while trying to make the peace in a South Bronx street argument.

443. Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 – Sam Cooke

Cooke was elegance and soul personified, but he works this Florida club until it’s hotter than hell, all while sounding like he never breaks a sweat. He croons and strokes “For Sentimental Reasons” like a superlover, and when the crowd sings along with him, it’s magic.

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442. Boys Don’t Cry ”“ The Cure

Before they became a goth-pop group, the Cure were a minimalist, inventive post-punk power trio. Boys is all hummable hooks, choppy guitars and mopey vocals. “10:15 Saturday Night” and “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” are ingenious: You wait for a guitar solo and get a club-footed bass line instead.

441. Tragic Kingdom ”“ No Doubt

No Doubt thought they were the last of the ska revivalists, but they were actually the first of the neo-New Wavers. Gwen Stefani thought she was a pierced Madonna, but she belts “Spiderwebs” like Ethel Merman. The haters thought “Just a Girl” was a novelty, but it was only the first single.

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