Top 100 Albums of All-Time: 40-31


40. Black Sabbath – Vol. 4 (1972)

One of the few albums to be made in a cocaine-fueled haze that actually sounds great. Best song: “Supernaut”

39. The New York Dolls – The New Yorks Dolls (1973)

Loud, brash and trashy, the Dolls debut was the most explosive rock album of its time, with ragged playing, gutter riffs and larger-than-life personality. Best song: “Looking For A Kiss”

38. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I (1969)

Right out of the gate they were the most exciting musicians on the planet, and they were never more direct or consistent than they were here. Best song: “How Many More Times”

37. The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers (1976)

Recorded in 1971 and 1972, but not officially released until 1976, this was a perfect punk-era collection of Velvets-inspired garage rock songs. The kicker is Jonathan Richman whose bassy voice and goofy wide-eyed lyrics about sobriety and nostalgia for old ways flew directly in the face of everything hippies stood for. Best song: “Roadrunner”

36. Nirvana – MTV Unplugged In New York (1994)

A unique, one-time-only performance that spent almost half of its tracklist tipping its cap to the band’s influences. The greatest live album of all time. Best song: “The Man Who Sold The World”

35. The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street (1972)

The Stones capped off their first decade with this sprawling eighteen-song epic. The murky sound only enhances the decadent blues and country vibe. The last great Stones album.  Best song: “Torn and Frayed”

34. Wire – Pink Flag (1977)

Punk had barely been invented, but Wire was already growing tired of its constraints and began pushing it towards post-punk, with an intelligent art-rock inspired approach that put them ahead of their British contemporaries. With twenty-one songs thrashed out in a lightning-fast thirty-five minutes, Pink Flag was also a huge influence on hardcore. Best song: “Ex Lion Tamer”

33. The Wailers – Burnin’ (1973)

Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer were the best of Jamaica’s many vocal trios and these songs (many of which are re-recorded versions of previously released songs) belong in everyone’s record collection. Best song: “Get Up Stand Up”

32. Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era: 1965-1968 (1972)

Twenty-seven garage rock, folk rock and psychedelic one-hit wonders compiled by Patti Smith collaborator and guitarist Lenny Kaye. The bands behind these songs wanted to be The Beatles or The Stones, and for a three minutes each, they were. Best song: “Psychotic Reaction”

31. The Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (1993)

Hip-hop’s finest hour. This album introduced the world to eight gifted MCs (and U-God) from New York who came together (“like Voltron”) to form  powerful unit under direction from The RZA who provided the Clan with guidance and his staggering production skills. Best song: “Wu-Tang Clan Ain‘t Nuthin‘ Ta F Wit”

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