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500 Greatest Albums of All Times, The [Paperback]

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Item description for 500 Greatest Albums of All Times, The by Joe Levy...

The editors of Rolling Stone pay tribute to the last half century of popular music with a definitive collection of the five hundred greatest albums ever made, accompanied by revealing photographs of recording sessions, album covers, and inside anecdotes. Reprint.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.1" Width: 11.02" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   2.91 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 24, 2006
Publisher   Wenner
ISBN  1932958614  
ISBN13  9781932958614  

Availability  0 units.

More About Joe Levy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jann Wenner is the founder, owner and editor of Rolling Stone magazine. He is also the head of Wenner Media, which includes such magazines as US Weekly and Men's Journal. He lives in Manhattan.
Joe Levy is the Executive Editor of Rolling Stone.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > History & Criticism
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Popular
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Rock
5Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Reference > Discographies & Buyer's Guides
6Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Pop Culture > Music > General

Reviews - What do customers think about 500 Greatest Albums of All Times, The?

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time list really isn't all that bad, if you consider that no matter how they rank all of these great albums, it's never going to please everybody. In fact, I could write my own book about why they should have ranked this album higher or that one lower. For instance, Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is #43 and should actually be near the top. I say that, not because Pink Floyd is my favorite band (they're not), but because I think Dark Side Of The Moon is a true rock music masterpiece. I mean, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (#25) is pretty good, but come on! Eighteen positions ahead of Dark Side Of The Moon?

Rankings aside, this is a pretty good book. The album covers are all pictured, and there's a short review of each of the 500 albums. Plus, there are short features on the recording details of a certain few albums like The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street [Limited Edition, and some great full page photos of some of the artists.

My personal favorite album of all time, The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East, only made it to #49, but that doesn't ruin this book for me. Not everybody in the world thinks like I do. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the #1 album on the list, and I don't have a problem with that. It's a great album, a masterpiece. And this IS Rolling Stone magazine, so it shouldn't surprise anybody that The Beatles and Bob Dylan are heavily represented on the list.

No, it's not the final word on which albums are, in order, the greatest of all time, but it's a somewhat jumbled and interesting reference to the great majority of them. And it's always fun to note your differences of opinion while reading the list.
Not how I would have ranked them, but...  Mar 13, 2008
This is a well made book that ranks 500 albums and audaciously calls them the "greatest". Their rankings are all out of whack, but it stimulates discussion and has some pretty nice background info. on the albums and the bands that created them.
Good reference book and great gift  Jan 7, 2008
Although it's not perfect for die hard music buffs, this book is a great coffee table book and reference to a huge amount of albums for true music lovers. Maybe you won't agree with every entry, or the order they are ranked, but most of my favorite albums were included and we spent hours reading the comments and information about the albums we love. Just by the sheer number listed, it also is a great reference for music you always wanted to get into and may have forgotten about. At the very least, it's a great conversation builder to argue with friends about who are the greatest bands/albums of all time. This is a great gift for anyone who loves music or for someone who seems to have it all.
About what you'd expect  Nov 28, 2007
I'm pretty much obsessed with music lists so I could talk about this book all day so to keep things fairly brief I'm just going to weigh the pros and cons of this thing.

-There's a ton of really great albums on here. They cover a little bit of every genre. They got psychedelic rock, hardcore punk, disco, country, funk, indie rock, hip hop, reggae, blues, jazz, etc. This list will very likely introduce you to some albums you have never heard of before that you will really like.
-Like a lot of coffee table books it's fun just flip through this until you see something that catches your attention.
-The large size of the book is nice. The first ten albums on the list each get a whole page featuring the album cover of that album. That just by itself is pretty cool. There's also a lot of photos of musicians and bands that take up a whole 11" by 11" page.
-Aside from all of the info about the albums, there's some interesting little sections throughout the book that will focus on certain musicians, music studios, composers, and other little tidbits about the creation of some of the albums.

-To create this list, the folks at Rolling Stone asked a lot of people in the music biz to contribute lists of their favorite albums. A list of contributors is printed in the back of the book, and I noticed that there's not a lot of people from the world of hip hop that contributed to the list. So that means there's really not that many hip hop and rap albums on here. And honestly, some of the rap albums they chose are ranked higher than they should be. Jay-Z ranked ahead of Nas? Three Eminem albums? The Marshall Mathers LP is the only one that really needs to be on here.
-A lot of the albums they chose for this list that are from the 90s and 2000s aren't that hot. Maybe enough time hasn't passed for people to realize what some of the best albums are from those decades. Coldplay, No Doubt, Moby? Those aren't bad albums, but come on, we can do better than that.
-There's some really great albums that I just can't believe aren't on the list. Where's Endtroducing by DJ Shadow? I guess every music list is like that for everyone though.
-The list is heavily weighted in favor of the 1960s and the 70s. Those two decades make up over 60% of the entire list.
-Too many greatest hits albums. Elton John and David Bowie each have 5 albums on the list plus a greatest hits album. Most of the songs on the greatest hits are on the other albums that made the list.
-The writing could really be more in depth. Maybe when they originally printed this in RS they didn't have so much space to work with, but now that it's at a bigger size some of the writing in here will be ridiculous. Like they'll just have a little paragraph about an album but it's blown up really big to take up the space on the page. The writing that is there is always pretty interesting though.
-Also, OK Computer needs to be higher on the list. What the hell, man?
Proceed with caution!  Jul 21, 2007
Okay, before I go on, I would like to say that this is not a subjective review. I am not trying to beat the fact that the Eagles and Led Zeppelin (though, in the latter band's case, good) are gruesomely overrated while Herbie Hancock and The Allman Brothers Band are gruesomely underrated into anyone's heads. I am stating my opinion, which I know quite well differs greatly from fact, because opinion by nature cannot be fact.
Rolling Stone pompously declares the 500 albums in this list to be the 500 best ever. In this case, there'd be a lot more jazz on this list, right? Well, according to the good folks at Rolling Stone, "jazz" consists of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman - don't get me wrong, some of jazz's greatest artists. But doesn't Charles Mingus deserve some credit, if only for widely influential works like Mingus Ah Um or The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady? Similarly, Thelonious Monk's Underground, widely considered one of the genre's greatest albums, is totally neglected. How about Herbie Hancock's tremendously influential Head Hunters, Empyrean Isles and Maiden Voyage? They're gone too. And if they wanted a rock spin on jazz, shouldn't the Mahavishnu Orchestra's Inner Mounting Flame been included? Alas, no, that is rejected too. To say nothing of the works of Duke Ellington or Louie Armstrong. You can bet they don't give that a second look. Stupid, it is. Oh, and there are six jazz albums out of these 500: three by Miles (Kind of Blue; B*tches Brew; Sketches of Spain), two by Coltrane (A Love Supreme; Giant Steps), one by Ornette (Shape of Jazz to Come). By contrast, Eminem (a lightweight, obnoxious shock-rapper whose material isn't even that shocking at all) is fawned over - three of his albums are included on this list, which I believe was his complete discography at that point. Similarly, two albums by the Eagles? Ha. And Green Day's Dookie? Again, ha. Also MIA are some more influential and just plain good albums: Jeff Beck's Truth (the original metal album - you'll note how much praise they place on Led Zeppelin's head, who, while a good band, were essentially imitating Jeff Beck) and Wired; Traffic's John Barleycorn and self-titled; Alice in Chain's Dirt. And no matter what this list would want you to believe, there is far more to Joni Mitchell than Blue and Court & Spark.
ich leads directly into my next point: no dark horses I can think of. A seasoned music fan could probably smell the contents of this list from a mile away. All they offer us is the usual cascade of albums that have been met with floods and floods of praise. I, for one, would rather see them stick up for a relatively unknown album like Joni Mitchell's Hissing of Summer Lawns or the Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup (or the Allman Brothers' Eat a Peach and Idlewild South!!!) than see yet another list with Hotel California or Led Zeppelin IV on it.
I give this album 2 stars because I do agree with several choices this book makes, though I would argue their positioning (I, for one, would put Abbey Road at #1). However, there are too many fundamental flaws, and the scope of this list is too limited, to make it truly definitive.
Oh, and anybody looking to contest my claim about Led Zeppelin IV, Dookie Hotel California, or any other albums I claim do not belong on this list (e.g. Pet Sounds - god, what a boring album)... if you say what you wish to in a polite, civilized manner, I will listen to your claim and debate it in similar polite, civilized terms. On the other hand, if you wish to confine your comments to pointless immature sniping, I believe you know where I will instruct you to stick it, because I've heard it all before. So to all flamers, don't bother, as your flame will be ignored.

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