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This is the useful data from the Rolling Stones magazine list of 500 best albums of all time. Also, a sample scraper documented in Brazilian Portuguese.

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Eurythmics 500 Annie Lennox looked like a gender-bending robot zombie, but she sang with soul; producer Dave Stewart hid behind his beard and masterminded the sound. Together they made divine synth-pop, especially "Who's That Girl," a tale of kinked-up sexual obsession, and their biggest hit, "Here Comes the Rain Again." Touch
Albert King 499 King's first album for the Stax label combines his hard, unflashy guitar playing with the sleek sound of the label's house band, Booker T. and the MGs. Hits such as "Crosscut Saw" and "Laundromat Blues" influenced rockers from Clapton to the Stones and earned King a new rock & roll audience. Born Under a Bad Sign
ZZ Top 498 A decade before the Texas blues trio became MTV stars, ZZ Top got their first taste of national fame with this disc, which features one of their biggest hits, the John Lee Hooker-style boogie "La Grange," as well as the boozy rocker "Jesus Just Left Chicago" and the concert anthem "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers." Tres Hombres
Public Enemy 497 On the debut by Long Island's hip-hop revolutionaries, baritone rapper Chuck D and his production crew the Bomb Squad introduced an intense, booming new sound and an urgent social and political message to rap music, especially on "You're Gonna Get Yours" and "Miuzi Weighs a Ton." Yo! Bum Rush the Show
KISS 496 By the time their fifth album was released, KISS was the most popular band in America, with sold-out stadium tours and eventually its own pinball machines, makeup line and a TV movie. Built around the proto power ballad "Beth," this is a ridiculously over-the-top party-rock album that just gets better with age. Destroyer
Hüsker Dü 495 These three Minneapolis dudes played savagely emotional hardcore punk that became a key influence on Nirvana and other Nineties alt-rockers. Guitarist Bob Mould and band created a roar like garbage trucks trying to sing Beach Boys songs, especially on the anthems "Celebrated Summer" and "Perfect Example." New Day Rising
Cyndi Lauper 494 Lauper's first band had broken up, she had filed for bankruptcy, and she was singing in a Japanese restaurant. Then this debut album of razor-sharp dance pop became the first by a female performer to score four Top Five hits, including "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time." She's So Unusual
Earth, Wind and Fire 493 Before he got into African thumb piano and otherworldly philosophizing, founder Maurice White was a session drummer at Chess studios (that's him on Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me"). EWF's seventh album is make-out music of the gods; its title track is one of funk's most gorgeous ballads. That's the Way of the World
Pearl Jam 492 They were the most successful rock band in the world by the time of their second record, Vs. They celebrated by suing Ticketmaster and making Vitalogy, where their mastery of rock's past and future became complete. Soulful ballads such as "Nothingman" are matched by hardcore-influenced rockers such as "Spin the Black Circle." Vitalogy
Mott the Hoople 491 Mott the Hoople were a hard-rock band with a Dylan fixation until David Bowie got ahold of them and turned them into glam rockers. He penned the androgyne title track and had Mott cover Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane." Mott would sound more soulful but never more sexy or glittery. All the Young Dudes
Gang of Four 490 Formed in 1977, Gang of Four combined Marxist politics with punk rock. They played staccato guitar-driven funk, and the stiff, jerky aggression of songs such as "Damaged Goods" and "I Found That Essence Rare" invented a new style that's still influencing young bands such as the Rapture. Entertainment!
Steve Earle 489 "I got a two-pack habit and a motel tan," Earle sings on the title track. By the time he released his debut at thirty-one, he had done two stints in Nashville as a songwriter, and he wanted something else. Guitar Town is the rocker's version of country, packed with songs about hard living in the Reagan Eighties. Guitar Town
D'Angelo 488 D'Angelo recorded his second album at Electric Lady, the Manhattan studio built by Jimi Hendrix. There he studied bootleg videos of Sixties and Seventies soul singers and cooked up an album heavy on bass and drenched in a post-coital haze. The single "Untitled (How Does It Feel?)" sounds like a great lost Prince song. Voodoo
The Smashing Pumpkins 487 Billy Corgan indulged his love of Seventies prog-rock on this double disc of alt-rock epics built around James Iha's ethereal guitar and Corgan's anguished keen; "Tonight, Tonight" and the New Wave tribute "1979" are the Pumpkins at their finest. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Funkadelic 486 "Play like your mama just died," George Clinton told guitarist Eddie Hazel. The result was "Maggot Brain," ten minutes of Hendrix-style guitar anguish. This is the heaviest rock album the P-Funk crew ever created, but it also made room for the acoustic-guitar funk of "Can You Get to That" Maggot Brain
Loretta Lynn 485 Anyone who thinks country music is cute should listen to "Fist City," where Lynn threatens to beat down a woman if she doesn't lay off her man. The White Stripes worship this coal miner's daughter, and so should anyone with a taste for country gals who kick ass. All Time Greatest Hits
Merle Haggard 484 Haggard's tough country sound was born in Bakersfield, California, which became known as Nashville West. His songs are full of drifters, fugitives and rogues, and he's not kidding in the title track when he talks about holding his head up after getting out of prison — he did time in San Quentin for robbery. Branded Man
The Notorious B.I.G. 483 As the Roots' Ahmir Thompson put it, "Rakim is the Father, Biggie's the Son, and Jay-Z's the Holy Ghost." Released less than a month after Biggie's murder, Life After Death is two CDs of humor and bravado, no filler at all, as Biggie tops himself in "Mo Money Mo Problems" and "#!*@ You Tonight." Life After Death
Elvis Costello and the Attractions 482 Costello's third album is wound tight, full of paranoia and anger. The concept is personal politics; the original title was Emotional Fascism, and one of the songs is called "Two Little Hitlers." The keyboard-driven sound of "Accidents Will Happen" helped define New Wave. Armed Forces
The Smiths 481 "I recognize that mystical air/It means I'd like to seize your underwear," Morrissey moans, and rock music was never the same. The Smiths' debut is a showcase for Morrissey's morose wit and Johnny Marr's guitar chime, trudging through England's cheerless marshes in "Still Ill" and "This Charming Man." The Smiths
George Michael 480 When Michael left Wham!, he signified his new maturity by not shaving; thankfully, his music was still tasty pop candy. "I Want Your Sex" is one of the decade's best Prince imitations, and the best ballad is the spooky, soulful "Father Figure," which underscores the incestuous implications of the word baby in most lyrics. Faith
Richard and Linda Thompson 479 Richard played guitar like a Sufi-mystic Neil Young; wife Linda had the voice of a Celtic Emmylou Harris. Bright Lights is their masterwork of folk-rock dread. To hear where Radiohead picked up some guitar tricks, check out "The Calvary Cross." I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
LL Cool J 478 LL Cool J was only sixteen when he released his first single, "I Need a Beat." A year later, he had the first hit on the fledgling Def Jam label. The sound he and producer Rick Rubin found on hits such as "I Can't Live Without My Radio," "That's a Lie" and "Rock the Bells" was harder and leaner than hip-hop had ever been before. Radio
The Fugees 477 On their second album, the Fugees, led by Wyclef Jean, blend R&B and hip-hop influences into an eclectic, politically aware sound on joints such as "Fu-Gee-La." But the track that grabbed everybody was the cover of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," showcasing the amazing pipes of Lauryn Hill. The Score
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band 476 "Born in Chicago" is where the white youth of America got the notion they could play the blues. But this band had two killer guitarists — Michael Bloomfield, a rich kid from Chicago, and Elvin Bishop — and their blues knew no color boundaries. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Bruce Springsteen 475 After the big-scale Born in the U.S.A., this came as a shock — Springsteen stripped down for an album of stark, intimate, mostly acoustic confessionals. The newly wed superstar gets personal on adult love songs such as "One Step Up" and "Walk Like a Man." The marriage may not have lasted — but the music does. Tunnel of Love
Otis Redding 474 The Memphis soul man was a brilliant, methodical craftsman in the studio. But he also really knew how to bring it onstage. On this live album, Redding lives up to his reputation as a crowd flattener, exuding the warmth, humor and high spirits that always made him much, much more than a mere virtuoso. Live in Europe
Coldplay 473 Chris Martin's ambition for his songwriting is simple: "Emotion that can make you feel sad while you're moving your legs." Coldplay churn out bighearted British guitar rock on their second album, with the romantic strains of "The Scientist," "Clocks" and "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face." A Rush of Blood to the Head
Def Leppard 472 Def Leppard had a run of bad luck in the Eighties, especially when drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car crash on New Year's Eve 1984. But the lads admirably decided to stick by their old mate, who learned to play drums using his feet. The band was vindicated when Hysteria and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" became a smash. Hysteria
Echo and the Bunnymen 471 The Bunnymen refresh psychedelia for the New Wave era with an arena of foggy guitars and doomy drums, while Ian McCulloch updates the aura of Jim Morrison. Melody meets melodrama on the title track and on "A Promise," where McCulloch sing-sobs a story of love gone wrong. Heaven Up Here
R.E.M. 470 R.E.M. were trying something new with each new album in the Eighties, but this straight-ahead rock move was the one that made them mainstream stars. "The One I Love" and "Finest Worksong" were hits, but the best-loved fan favorite is the manic "It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)." Document
Public Image Ltd. 469 After the Sex Pistols exploded, Johnny Rotten reclaimed his real name — John Lydon — and started his bold new band. PIL played eerie, futuristic art punk with dub bass and slashing guitar. The U.K. release Metal Box (retitled Second Edition in the U.S.) originally came as three vinyl discs in a metal film canister. Metal Box
Elton John 468 John doesn't exactly look like a rock star on the cover of his U.S. debut album. But he does have the tunes, with Paul Buckmaster's orchestrations and Bernie Taupin's lyrics, on piano ballads such as "Your Song" and the enigmatic rocker "Take Me to the Pilot." Elton John has been a rock star ever since. Elton John
Bob Dylan 467 Blood, desperation and wicked gallows humor are in the air as Dylan and his road band provide a raucous tour of twentieth-century musical America via jump blues, slow blues, rockabilly, Tin Pan Alley ballads and country swing. "Summer Days" sounds like the exact moment when R↦B morphed into rock & roll. Love and Theft
Hole 466 On Hole's breakthrough album, Courtney Love wants to be "the girl with the most cake," and spends the whole album paying for it, in the punk-rock anguish of "Miss World," "Softer, Softest" and "Doll Parts." Sadly, Kurt Cobain's body was found just days before the album was released. Live Through This
The Drifters 465 By the early 1960s, the Drifters had evolved into the most suave soul group on the block. Even after Ben E. King went solo (scoring with "Stand by Me"), producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and the Drifters kept coming up with timeless odes to urban romance such as "Up on the Roof" and "Under the Boardwalk." Golden Hits
Jay-Z 464 If Frank Sinatra had been born a Brooklyn rapper, The Blueprint is the album he would have made. It's all flash and bravado, with Jay-Z dissing rivals, talking smack about his troubles with the cops and flossing hard with ladies all around the world, as he samples everyone from the Doors to the Jackson 5. The Blueprint
Elton John 463 John has always had a jones for the mythology of the American West. Along with lyricist Bernie Taupin, he indulges his cowboy fantasies in songs such as "Burn Down the Mission." "Amoreena" plays unforgettably in the opening scene of the Al Pacino film Dog Day Afternoon. Tumbleweed Connection
Marvin Gaye 462 It's one of the weirdest Motown records ever. Gaye's divorce settlement required him to make two new albums and pay the royalties as alimony to his ex-wife — the sister of Motown boss Berry Gordy. So Gaye made this bitterly funny double LP of breakup songs, including "You Can Leave, but It's Going to Cost You." Here, My Dear
Los Lobos 461 "We were kids with long hair and plaid shirts playing Mexican folk instruments," said Los Lobos' Louie Perez. But the band, lifelong friends from East L.A., became a surprise success, mixing traditional Mexican sounds with blues and rockabilly for tough, whomping roots rock. How Will the Wolf Survive?
Alice Cooper 460 Onstage, Cooper was the shock-rock king who decapitated baby dolls, but his early studio albums are smart, razor-sharp attacks of Detroit rock. On Love It to Death, producer Bob Ezrin joins him for the twisted kicks of "Hallowed Be My Name" and the teen-spirit anthem "I'm Eighteen." Love It to Death
EPMD 459 At the height of hip-hop's golden age, the summer of 1988, Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith, a.k.a. EPMD (Erick and Parrish Making Dollars), rolled out of Long Island with a new style of slow-grooving hip-hop funk. The title smash even samples "I Shot the Sheriff." Strictly Business
John Prine 458 Prine was a former mailman turned folk singer, and his debut is a vision of America that is unique in its generosity, tolerance and wit. Prine sang about smoking dope, but his empathy for old folks ("Hello in There") and a junkie Vietnam vet ("Sam Stone") makes most hippie songwriters sound smug. John Prine
Jackson Browne 457 Browne emerged as the J.D. Salinger of the California singer-songwriter scene with his second album, capturing the transition from the idealistic Sixties to the disillusioned Seventies. He sings a moving update of "These Days," a song he originally wrote as a teenager for Velvet Underground singer Nico. For Everyman
Big Star 456 Big Star recorded their third and final album in 1974, but it didn't get released until 1978, in part because singer Alex Chilton sounds like he's having a nervous breakdown. It's a record of gorgeous, disjointed heartbreak ballads such as "Take Care," "Nighttime" and "Blue Moon." Third/Sister Lovers
The Police 455 "I do my best work when I'm in pain and turmoil," Sting told Rolling Stone. And indeed, the dissolution of his first marriage produced some of his best work yet, including "King of Pain" and the stalker's anthem "Every Breath You Take." There was pain and turmoil in the band, too — it would be the Police's last album. Synchronicity
Stan Getz 454 The menthol-cool brazilian style of bossa nova met American jazz here, as saxman Getz teamed up with two Brazilian legends, guitarist-singer Joao Gilberto and pianist-songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim. Gilberto's wife, Astrud, became a star herself with a sensual guest vocal on "The Girl From Ipanema." Getz/Gilberto
Jane's Addiction 453 Perry Farrell began the Lollapalooza tour and helped shape Nineties rock. But his proudest moment? "Been Caught Stealing," his insanely catchy ode to shoplifting. His band's third album became the sound of the Lollapalooza Nation: Led Zeppelin bravado with goth eyeliner. Ritual de lo Habitual
Madonna 452 Madonna aimed for "naked emotion" with this album, declaring, "This time, I've removed all the layers." But she also looked hot in her cowboy hat. French producer Mirwais brought the glitch-techno grooves, as Madonna sang with soul and fire in "I Deserve It" and "What It Feels Like for a Girl." Music
MC5 451 In the sixties, the Motor City Five were the house band for the White Panther Party, devoted to "dope, guns and fucking in the streets." But here the Detroit revolutionaries channel their ferocious sound and politics into the concise, Chuck Berry-style riffs of "The American Ruse," "Looking at You" and "Shakin' Street." Back in the USA
Steve Miller Band 450 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. Fly Like an Eagle
War 449 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. The World Is a Ghetto
Cheap Trick 448 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." In Color
Devo 447 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." Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Suicide 446 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. Suicide
The Pogues 445 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." Rum Sodomy and the Lash
Boogie Down Productions 444 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. Criminal Minded
Sam Cooke 443 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. Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963
The Cure 442 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. Boys Don't Cry
No Doubt 441 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. Tragic Kingdom
Beck 440 Breakups are painful, but breakup records are rarely this lovely. Sea Change is the pristine sound of everything falling apart, a glossy take on a bummed-out Sixties folk sound. The music seems to be floating up from the bottom of the ocean; the words were straight from Beck's broken heart. Sea Change
Nirvana 439 After the success of Nevermind, Nirvana hired the misanthropic Steve Albini to record their new album, and Geffen wanted them to clean up a few of the results. Some of this tension shows in white-noise ruckus such as "Serve the Servants," but the only thing that can explain the scalding "Rape Me" is inner pain. In Utero
Big Star 438 Alex Chilton and Chris Bell were the Memphis whiz kids at the heart of Big Star. They mixed British pop finesse with all-American hard rock, from the surging "Feel" to the acoustic "Thirteen." Big Star didn't sell many records at the time, but over the years they inspired artists such as R.E.M. and Jeff Buckley. #1 Record
George Harrison 437 Harrison had almost enough songs stored up from his Beatles days for a triple LP — the gas starts to run out on Side Six jams such as "Thanks for the Pepperoni." But with Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr on board, spiritual guitar quests such as "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life" became classics. All Things Must Pass
Brian Eno 436 The former roxy music keyboardist's first solo album pioneered a new kind of glammy art rock: jagged, free-form and dreamy. "Baby's on Fire" and "Needle in the Camel's Eye" are vicious rockers with detached vocals, and Robert Fripp's warped guitars swarm and stutter. Here Come the Warm Jets
PJ Harvey 435 Harvey sings the blues like Nick Cave sings gospel: with more distortion, sex and murder than you remember. Love was a towering goth version of grunge. Harvey's whisper is even scarier than her scream in morbid rockers such as "Down by the Water" and "Working for the Man." To Bring You My Love
The Police 434 They would get bigger, but they never sounded fresher. The Police were punks who could play their instruments, absorbing reggae into the spare, bouncy sound of their debut album. "Roxanne," "Next to You" and "So Lonely" proved that Sting was already a top-notch pop songwriter. Outlandos d'Amour
Brian Eno 433 After years as a rock eccentric, Eno was exploring new ideas about ambient music. But he said goodbye to song form with this album of pure synthetic beauty, mixing lush electronics ("Becalmed") with acoustic instruments ("Everything Merges With the Night") to cast a truly hypnotic spell. Another Green World
Peter Wolf 432 Wolf accomplishes a rare feat on this modern blues album: He sings about adult romance without sounding jaded. The former J. Geils Band singer testifies about true love in his soulful growl, with help from friends such as Mick Jagger ("Nothing But the Wheel") and Keith Richards ("Too Close Together"). Sleepless
Diana Ross and the Supremes 431 In the genius assembly-line soul of Motown, the Supremes were a hit factory unto themselves. Anthology collects hits and near misses. There may be no more spine-tingling moment in pop than in "You Keep Me Hangin' On," when Diana Ross sings, "Why don't you be a man about it/And set me free?" Anthology
Cheap Trick 430 After three studio albums, Cheap Trick were bigger in Japan than in their native America. But this record of a live Tokyo gig became their first U.S. hit. The Japanese schoolgirls are practically the lead instrument here, screaming their lungs out to "Surrender" and "I Want You to Want Me." At Budokan
Gram Parsons 429 Parsons helped invent country rock with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, but he perfected it here. Emmylou Harris was his ideal singing partner, and their voices blend in the high lonesome wail of "Brass Buttons" and "$1,000 Wedding." Weeks after finishing the album, Parsons was dead at twenty-six. Grievous Angel
Radiohead 428 Just when they seemed destined to become the next U2, Radiohead made this fractured, twitchy record. Despite esoteric nods to glitchy electronica ("Idioteque") and free jazz (an eight-horn pileup in "The National Anthem"), they morphed those sounds into a surprisingly accessible elegy to tenderness — and had a hit anyway. Kid A
The Ronettes 427 More a spanish harlem street gang than a girl group, the Ronettes were pop goddesses dressed as Catholic schoolgirls gone to hell and back. Phil Spector builds his Wall of Sound as his teen protegee Ronnie Spector belts "Be My Baby" and "Walking in the Rain." Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
Rage Against the Machine 426 Some punk, lots of funk, plenty of metal and a mother lode of righteous political fury — it all added up to Rage's loudest album, their last before the band fell apart in 2000. Tom Morello's boombastic guitar effects sounded even more pissed off than Zack de la Rocha's raps. The Battle of Los Angeles
David Bowie 425 Bowie's first greatest-hits collection sums up the finest disguises of his golden years. He plays the sex-crazed glitter rocker of "Rebel Rebel," the sensitive poet of "Changes," the lonely astro boy of "Space Oddity" and the utterly deranged soul crooner of "Young Americans." And the man was just getting started. Changesone
Robert Johnson 424 Johnson died at twenty-seven — poisoned by a jealous husband. But he left behind these 1930s recordings, just a haunted man and his acoustic guitar. His moaning at the end of "Love in Vain" is still one of the saddest sounds ever heard. King of the Delta Blues Singers Vol. 2
The Mamas and the Papas 423 This wonderful hits collection confirms this folk-rock-harmony group's wide range of gifts. Among them: the jaunty birth-of-a-band humor in "Creeque Alley," the brassy pop of "I Saw Her Again" and the tenderness of the ode to teen runaways, "Twelve-Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)." Greatest Hits
Various Artists 422 In the lean years between Elvis and the Beatles, the girl groups kept the spirit of rock & roll alive. This package has the classics: The Shirelles are the sleek ones, the Ronettes are the sexy ones, and the Shangri-Las are the scary biker chicks hanging on the corner. The Best of the Girl Groups Volumes 1 and 2
Buddy Holly and the Crickets 421 Holly was only twenty-one when the Crickets cut these tracks, some on an Oklahoma Air Force base. With these standards — "That'll Be the Day," "Oh Boy," "Maybe Baby," "Not Fade Away" — Holly melded country, rockabilly and R&B into rock & roll for the ages. The "Chirping" Crickets
The Beatles 420 The album cover photo is the same as their U.S. debut, Meet the Beatles!, but in the U.K. this was the Beatles' second album. It celebrates Motown with rocked-up versions of the Miracles' "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" and Barrett Strong's "Money." With the Beatles
Portishead 419 Portishead used some of the same building blocks as fellow Bristol, England, trip-hoppers Massive Attack — woozy break beats, jazzy samples, live guitar, girl singer/guy programmer dynamic — but Beth Gibbon's brooding, pop-cabaret vocals showed to the world that you could feel real pain over a trip-hop groove. Dummy
Wings 418 Paul McCartney and Wings trekked to EMI's studio in Lagos, Nigeria, for seven stressful weeks to make Band, regarded by many as McCartney's finest post-Beatles hour. Opening strongly with the one-two punch of "Band on the Run" and "Jet" (named after Paul's dog), it proved that McCartney still knew how to rock. Band on the Run
U2 417 Too ingenuous for punk, too unironic for New Wave, U2 arrived on Boy as big-time dreamers with the ambition to back it up. The Dublin foursome boasted Bono's arena-ready voice and Dave "the Edge" Evans' echoey, effects-laden guitar, as well as anthemic songs such as the club favorite "I Will Follow." Boy
Tom Waits 416 After five silent years, Variations was the victorious return of Waits' rawboned, bluesy art rock. Using found instruments for rhythm and Smokey Hormel's angular guitar for color, Waits careers from carnival barker to croaky balladeer. The highlight: the sad but sweet "Hold On." Mule Variations
Van Halen 415 Van Halen's debut gave the world a new guitar hero (Eddie Van Halen) and charismatic frontman (David Lee Roth). Tunes such as "Runnin' With the Devil" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" put the swagger back in hard rock, and Van Halen's jaw-dropping technique, particularly on "Eruption," raised the bar for rock guitar. Van Halen
James Brown 414 This single-cd distillation of the four-disc Star Time is the Brown compilation to own. You won't get more bang for your buck on any CD than these twenty high-energy soul and funk workouts; sixteen were R&B chart-toppers. Brown remains the most sampled artist in history; this album will show you why. Greatest Hits
Go-Go's 413 The most popular girl group of the New Wave surfed to the top of the charts with this hook-y debut. Everyone knows "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Our Sealed," exuberant songs that livened up the Top Forty, but the entire album welds punkish spirit to party-minded pop. Beauty and the Beast
Massive Attack 412 Tricky had split, and three years had passed since Massive Attack's last proper album, but Mezzanine returned the Bristol, England, collective to prominence. Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser was the designated chanteuse, and her icy voice stands out against the earthy backdrops of songs such as "Teardrops." Mezzanine
Minutemen 411 "Our band could be your life," sing the Minutemen on "History Lesson — Part 2" and never did a lyric better articulate punk's Everyman aesthetic. Guitarist D. Boon and bassist Mike Watt push each other to fast, funny and agitated heights. Sadly, Boon would die a year later in a van accident. Double Nickels on the Dime
Wire 410 This first-generation U.K. punk band made sparse tunes that erupted in combustible snippets on its twenty-one-track debut album. America never got it, but Pink Flag — as revolutionary discs tend to do — influenced some important bands, including the Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Elastica and R.E.M. Pink Flag
Eric Clapton 409 Clapton emerged from heroin addiction with a mellower but still substantive musical outlook. Boulevard recast him as a survivor who had traded guitar histrionics for self-preservation. Songs such as "Motherless Children" flash his old chops, but here his fire is fueling, not consuming, him. 461 Ocean Boulevard
Bob Dylan 408 The first of Dylan's two late-career triumphs. Producer Daniel Lanois' dark, atmospheric settings envelops Dylan in a sonic fog appropriate to the isolation and distance he sings of in a ravaged, weary voice. The songs — especially "Love Sick" and "Not Dark Yet" — are ghostly but forceful. Time Out of Mind
The Doors 407 Though it lacks a song as captivating as "Light My Fire," the Doors' second album is nearly as strong as their debut, The Doors, released earlier the same year. A mood of alienation, evident on "Strange Days" and "People Are Strange," carries through to the lengthy closer, "When the Music's Over." Strange Days
Sinead O'Connor 406 O'Connor's second LP is most remembered for her dramatic reading of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U." But I Do Not Want delivers true originality and range, from the maternal warmth of "Three Babies" to the fiddle and beatbox of "I Am Stretched on Your Grave." I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
PJ Harvey 405 Like Patti Smith, she wanted to be Bob Dylan. Unlike Patti Smith, she played guitar very, very loud. Polly Jean Harvey's second album, recorded with Steve Albini, is charged with aggressive eroticism and rock fury. It careens from blues to goth to grunge, often in the space of a single song. Rid of Me
The Clash 404 The Clash's ballooning ambition peaked with Sandinista!, a three-album set named after the Nicaraguan revolutionary movement. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones reached beyond punk and reggae into dub, R&B, calypso, gospel and whatever else — say, a kids' chorus on "Career Opportunities" — crossed their minds. Sandinista!
Big Star 403 Like the Velvet Underground, Big Star's influence far outstripped their sales. On this lean, guitar-driven album they come up with a new, upside-down pop sound, filtering their love of the Beatles through their Memphis-soul roots. Towering achievement: the blissful, sad "September Gurls." Radio City
Dr. John 402 After a series of eerie, voodoo-stoked records, pianist Mac Rebennack — a.k.a. Dr. John — returned to his New Orleans roots with spirited covers of classics such as "Iko Iko" and "Junko Partner." With his rolling piano figures and gritty vocals, Dr. John rekindled interest in the New Orleans sound. Dr. John's Gumbo
Lynyrd Skynyrd 401 From the git-go, these mainstays of Southern rock played hard, lived hard and shot from the hip (with three guitars!). Discovered and produced by Al Kooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd offered taut rockers including "Poison Whiskey" and the ultimate anthem, "Freebird." (Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd)
March 2012
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