Blender Selects the 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time

What do you get when you take the greatest albums ever made and remove any by the Beatles, Rollings Stones, Kinks, AC/DC, the Who, Led Zeppelin, the Clash, Elvis Costello, etc.?

You get Blender's list of the 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time. This one should generate a lot of discussion because for every good thing about the list, there's something equally off.

Let's start with the good. Blender has managed to name a number of albums to the list that aren't usually recognized in such compilations. Albums by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Chic deserve to be recognized along with all the "regulars."

They've been adventurous in some of their selections within an artist's repertoire. For Steely Dan, it's Katy Lied that made the list instead of Aja. Off the Wall for Michael Jackson instead of Thriller. Let's Get It On for Marvin Gaye instead of What's Goin' On.

On the other hand, can a list that doesn't include classics like What's Goin' On really be taken seriously, especially when so many other lists include it in the top ten albums ever made in ANY country...and what's the deal with including Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town but omitting Born to Run?

There are also a great many greatest hits and compilation albums, including the Madonna album deemed to be the greatest by an American artist. While these albums sell in great quantities, the fact remains that they are mainly tracks taken from other works by the artists and the only real new "art", save for the occasional bonus track, is the sequencing and the liner notes. About the only good reason to include them on the list is to acknowledge acts that were never considered to be album artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Hank Williams, the Coasters and the Carpenters (but definitely not Madonna).

Finally, these are supposed to be albums by American artists. Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are Canadian and don't really belong here.

Here is the full top ten and all other listings for veteran artists. To fill in the blanks and see the commentary on each album, go to the Blender site:
  • 1. The Immaculate Collection - Madonna
  • 2. Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys
  • 3. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
  • 4. Innervisions - Stevie Wonder
  • 5. Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses
  • 6. Ramones - Ramones
  • 7. Parallel Lines - Blondie
  • 8. The Great Twenty-Eight - Chuck Berry
  • 9. Nevermind - Nirvana
  • 10. Blue - Joni Mitchell
  • 12. Metallica - Metallica
  • 13. Off the Wall - Michael Jackson
  • 14. Pet Sounds - Beach Boys
  • 15. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
  • 16. Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music - Ray Charles
  • 17. The Velvet Underground & Nico - Velvet Underground, Nico
  • 18. Purple Rain - Prince & the Revolution
  • 19. Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young
  • 20. Sex Machine - James Brown
  • 21. Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan
  • 22. King of the Delta Blues Singers - Robert Johnson
  • 23. Murmer - R.E.M.
  • 24. Mothership Connection - Parliament
  • 26. Van Halen - Van Halen
  • 27. Call Me - Al Green
  • 28. Rocks - Aerosmith
  • 30. Grooviest 17 Original Hits! - Little Richard
  • 31. The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings - Louis Armstrong
  • 32. Superfly - Curtis Mayfield
  • 33. 40 Greatest Hits - Hank Williams
  • 34. Katy Lied - Steely Dan
  • 35. The B-52's - B-52's
  • 36. Risque - Chic
  • 37. Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys
  • 38. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You - Aretha Franklin
  • 39. The Sun Sessions - Elvis Presley
  • 41. Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix
  • 42. Horses - Patti Smith
  • 43. There's a Riot Goin' On - Sly & the Family Stone
  • 46. Raising Hell - Run-DMC
  • 47. Back to Mono: 1958-1969 - Various Artists (Phil Spector)
  • 48. Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
  • 50. Destroyer - KISS
  • 51. Court and Spark - Joni Mitchell
  • 52. 12 Songs - Randy Newman
  • 54. In the Wee Small Hours - Frank Sinatra
  • 55. The Basement Tapes - Bob Dylan
  • 58. American Beauty - Grateful Dead
  • 60. Graceland - Paul Simon
  • 61. 50 Coastin' Classics - Coasters
  • 62. Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen
  • 63. At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
  • 64. Grevious Angel - Gram Parsons
  • 65. Lady in Satin - Billie Holiday
  • 66. Modern Lovers - Modern Lovers
  • 69. (Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd) - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • 70. Sign "O" the Times - Prince
  • 71. Radio - L.L. Cool J
  • 72. The Singles 1969-1981 - Carpenters
  • 74. Lady Soul - Aretha Franklin
  • 76. At Newport 1960 - Muddy Waters
  • 78. From Elvis in Memphis - Elvis Presley
  • 79. Dust Bowl Ballads - Woody Guthrie
  • 81. Nuggets - Various Artists
  • 83. Double Nickles on the Dime - Minutemen
  • 84. Greatest Hits - Buddy Holly
  • 85. Red Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson
  • 86. After the Goldrush - Neil Young
  • 87. Automatic For the People - R.E.M.
  • 89. Remain in Light - Talking Heads
  • 91. Hotel California - Eagles
  • 92. Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams
  • 95. Nilsson Schmilsson - Nilsson
  • 97. The Doors - Doors
  • 98. Let It Be - Replacements
  • 99. Fulfillingness First Finale - Stevie Wonder
  • 100. Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul - Otis Redding

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