Seventeen years after first publishing “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” Rolling Stone magazine announced that it is giving the list a major update, making it “less rock-centric” in the process.
“When we first published the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in December 2003, Amy Winehouse was still three years from releasing Back to Black, and Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, was almost a decade away; many of today’s top musicians (and fans) weren’t in middle school yet,” the magazine said in an article announcing the update.
The list now features 154 new albums not previously on the 500 list, and 86 albums from this century. The change represents a massive shift for the magazine, moving to recognize more contemporary albums and a wider range of tastes.
Among the standouts are the addition of two Prince albums to the top 50, “Sign O’ the Times” at 45 and “Purple Rain” at no. 8. “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” jumped more than 300 spots to now sit at no. 10 on the list.
Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” replaced the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in the top spot.
“One distinction from the old list is the idea that there’s not one objective history of popular music,” said Rolling Stone’s Reviews Editor Jon Dolan in a statement. “I think it’s an honest reflection of how taste is now.”
The revamp was a year-long process, the magazine said, and more than 300 artists, journalists, and industry figures voted and helped determine the new list — including stars like Beyoncé, Carly Rae Jepsen and members of U2.
Voters submitted ballots ranking their 50 favorite albums of all time, and the magazine tabulated the votes. More than 3,000 albums received at least one vote, it said.
The new list now includes more modern classics, including albums like Beyoncé’s self titled, Frank Ocean’s “Blond” and Adele’s “21.”