HotStaff Lists

Consequence of Sound’s Top 100 Albums Ever

on September 15, 2010, 11:30am
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100thumb 260x260 Consequence of Sounds Top 100 Albums EverOh boy. We’re in for trouble. The greatest albums…of all time? Are they nuts? Where do they get the nerve? Wait ’til they hear my piece of mind! All thoughts racing through your temples right now. (That is, if you’re even taking the time to read this.) But, think about it: You love these lists. We do, too. But more on that in a second.

For now, try and imagine the culture we live in. The idea of learning about someone through conversation, or even something as rudimentary as spending time together, is so “old-fashioned” and so “passe.” Nope. Anything that takes longer than 30 seconds isn’t worth your time. It’s the runoff from our Facebook culture, where identity depends on how well your profile looks. Do you have an underrated band next to an acceptable mainstream group? Is your bio too long or too short? Are you quirky without trying too hard? Do you look chubby in your profile photo?

Don’t shake your head. That’s how society works these days – at least our online culture here. We’re quick to pass judgment within seconds. That’s why we try to be on our toes at all times, ready for criticism and on the defensive. (Sometimes we try to just say, “Oh, fuck it” and ignore you. But that takes patience, which comes with time. Don’t ask.) Because of this difficult and remarkable situation, we turn to “the list.”

These days, lists have become synonymous with identity. Is that a surprise? It’s a collection of someone’s opinions on an easy-to-swallow topic. Whether it’s the Top 10 Solos by Ace Frehley or the Top 10 Feel Good Hits of the Summer, you’re leaving with an impression. This impression is incredibly valuable to you, the reader, and us, the publisher. It offers some clarity for you and some air for us. We may have to wash our shirts out from the rotten tomatoes, but hell, it feels good to know we tore down the proverbial curtains.

So, what about this specific list? Is it a bit much for us to lay out what we feel are the greatest albums of all time? Sure, you could argue that. (We did. Several times. Until we finally just…decided it’d be fun to do.) However, you’d be missing the point. Despite all the forthcoming disagreement, this list summarizes where we stand with our views on music. It’s sort of a, uh, take it or leave it approach, really. Are we expecting you to agree? No. Of course not. In fact, given that this is a collective endeavor, we don’t necessarily agree with every decision made here on a personal level. But, we’d all agree that this is the best representation of how we, as a staff, rank all the albums in music history.

Okay, so it’s a little egotistical, but lick it up, baby. Lick. It. Up.

-Michael Roffman

Artwork by Cap Blackard.

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Michael Thompson
September 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm

This isn’t a terrible list. There’s a lot of variety, which is cool, and in many ways: genres, decades, styles, etc. I’m guessing there were lots of contributors? But…HOW did the Who get three albums up here, while so many amazing groups didn’t even rank? I mean, from a classic rock perspective they gave something, I guess, but three albums? Are they really that good? And ACDC? Seriously? So lame. Might as well give Kiss the first three spots. I’d rather eat Joy Division on Vinyl and imagine I was listening to it then even think about how many people wear ACDC shirts.

Can I get an amen? Standards people! Clearly there isn’t a lack of good taste here – there are plenty of good albums here. But huge problems too!

August 26, 2014 at 9:38 am

No Pearl Jam Ten or Soundgarden Superunknown? Are you all forgetting about the real bands of the 90s?

August 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Neutral friggin Milk Hotel and no Oasis and not even The Jam. That’s just silly

July 24, 2014 at 1:34 am

Stadium Arcadium by RHCP? Easily in the top 25.

September 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm

You can’t have seriously expected to see that record in any top 500 ever lists let alone top 100. If you like it, then that’s cool. But come on…

Skip Hire Borehamwood
June 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm

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Alfonso Philippe
June 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Disappointing. Clearly biased. Way too many repeats and snubs. You guys suck…

May 15, 2014 at 5:30 am

U2 “were out of the UK”. No they weren’t…

Charles Davis
May 15, 2014 at 3:46 am

really happy to see hunky dory on this list, and I totally agree with abbey road being number one. Definitely my favorite beatles album. I would’ve gone with electric lady land over are you experienced, and the band’s self titled album is infinitely better than music from big pink.

May 9, 2014 at 4:57 am

led zepplin
pink floyd
iron maiden
dream theater
pocrupine tree

May 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I like the Beatles but Pink Floyd just was much more experimental also Joy Division is a hell of a Band to me. I so would take Dark Side of The Moon on First Place i don’t give a crap’s ass about who come up with what. We would better much off without shallow Pop Songs.

May 7, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Pet Sounds sucks so hard

May 6, 2014 at 4:48 am


May 6, 2014 at 4:46 am


April 29, 2014 at 12:14 am

The fact that Eat A Peach- Allman Bros. isnt on here is kind of ridiculous.

April 16, 2014 at 7:38 am

I love Jesus

Jess Frank
March 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Yes “Close To The Edge”
XTC “Drums And Wires”
Gang Of Four “Entertainment!”
Minutemen “Double Nickels On The Dime”
Modest Mouse “The Moon And Antarctica”
King Crimson “Red”
Sufjan Stevens “Illinois”
The Wrens “Meadowlands”
The Dismemberment Plan “Emergency And I”
Deerhoof “Apple O”

To name a few snubs.

October 18, 2014 at 2:43 am

I like you.

July 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Boring top. Way too much classic rock, some hip hop and folk. Ever heard of electronic music?

Where are the best albums by Kraftwerk, Jarre, Vangelis, Depeche Mode, Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Portishead, Ladytron, Royksopp, Goldfrapp, Underworld, Orbital, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, FSOL, Massive Attack, Biosphere, Crystal Castles, LCD Soundsystem, Air, Leftfield, The Human League, OMD, New Order, Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream etc, ? Just to name a few.

Jordan Maylath
July 22, 2013 at 3:10 am

My favorites from this list:

97, 96, 92
88, 82
76, 73, 71, 70
59, 59, 59, 59, 51
45, 44, 40
33, 32
9, 7, 5, 2

Great list! If only CoS was much more into the shoegaze scene ;))

July 21, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I agree with Abbey Road as the best album ever because it was everything that was great about that period of rock and roll that lasted from about 1965-1973.

None of the members of the Beatles would ever come close in their respective solo careers to the brilliance presented here. I may have a different opinion about my own favorite album of all time, but I agree that Abbey Road is the most universally acclaimed album ever and deserves the top of this list.

James Moore
July 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Very well done list guys! I’m partially saying this because almost all of these would actually make my own list (opinion is unavoidable), but also, these are culturally important albums. I have to say, Consequence of Sound is the biggest publication that I relate to in a big way…you’re one of the few who cover good music as opposed to solely hipster/gossip fodder. Good work!

Jamie Breslow
June 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Abbey Road. It tells the whole story of the greatest band in a very succinct, literate, and passionate way. If you listen closely you can hear a part of every Beatle era that came before, and see with full transparency how they went from boys to men in a way that no other artistic presence, in all recorded time, ever did. Abbey Road will never be considered, rightfully so, as their most influential album. The reason being that most bands will never come close to pulling off something nearly as refined, rocking, and reflective, as side B.

May 15, 2013 at 10:01 am

This…this is actually a brilliant list. Thanks

February 25, 2013 at 2:41 am

I want to agree with Abbey Road — I love Abbey Road, but no matter which way you look at it, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer is a terrible cheeseball of a song. Lennon himself said it then, and it only sounds worse with time.

November 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I liked the list until I saw peter gabriel and genesis was on it.

some guy
July 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

“Let’s Get It On” is NOT in “What’s Going On”. How do they not know this? Lets Get It On is an album itself!

lavell williams
July 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I think it’s laughable how everytime I see one of these lists there is an amazing omission of so many albums by influential black artist. Been watching this since I was around 11 or 12 and I’m 45 now. Funny how we’ve come so far and yet we’re still stuck in the same ignorance and I guess lack of knowledge. Thanks COS

Apple Malch
July 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I’m so glad that Hunky Dory was up there! Great list, I can’t agree with all of it though!

April 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Yeah, the Strokes are all image and no substance (IMHO).  WAY overrated.

September 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Just came across this article. On any best albums list, you KNOW The Beatles are going to come up on top, (just like Beethoven will top any best composers list), always, all the time. The only suspense is which album is it going to be? Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, or Abbey Road?

Jon Mahon
July 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Where is ‘Grace’?

November 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Grace is on on the “overrated snoozers” list.


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