Recently, JJ Feinauer posted a blog where he claimed to hold the secret to the 'greatest albums of all time' and listed them by album artwork. It's a good list, and my all time favorite album was on there. But he declared it to be objective, and dared the reader to disagree. I'm challenging his list based on his futile attempt at objectivity.
Listing the greatest of all time anythings is a bold undertaking to begin with. I like to deal in more specific, but vague enough terms to limit contention. For instance, instead of listing the greatest albums of all time, I'm more likely to list the greatest albums to listen to while taking a bath after your dog runs away. Not very many people have an opinion on that kind of list.

But I've gone ahead and made a list anyway. It's my futile attempt at objectivity. It's wrong, it's alienating, and someone is going to not like it. Already my wife has scolded me for not including The Soft Bulletin. My defense was, this isn't my list. This is the list, which I've already said is a pointless endeavor. Dark Side of the Moon is not even my favorite Pink Floyd album, but it's the Pink Floyd album that would go on this list. And it was hard enough to not include at least three David Bowie albums. But here it is, the top five greatest albums ever list, and there are six:

1. Michael Jackson, Thriller

2. The Beatles, Abbey Road

3. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon

5. Radiohead, Ok Computer

6. The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds

Yeah, that's it. I don't think there are any real surprises. These are all essential, and good starting points for entry level 20th century pop culture. Like I said, it's probably all wrong. It is heavily biased toward post fifties standard rock instrumentation and pop melody.

There's a very good chance that the greatest album ever recorded exists only on five copies of deterorating audio cassette. But instead of daring you to disagree, I dare you to not find at least one album on this list that you would absolutely love. And from there you can map out the landscapes and scenes painted by millions of memories and experiences that these albums have provided soundtracks for.

Pink Floyd's album Wish You Were Here is another haunting exploration of mental illness, but more personal than Dark Side of the Moon. Abbey Road is essentially perfection, but so are the other dozen Beatles albums. Led Zeppelin might have reached recorded perfection on their fourth album (sometimes called Zoso, in reference to one of the mystical celtic symbols on the record's label) but their follow-up, Houses of the Holy is a tour-de-force of their own virtuosity. And after Ok Computer, Radiohead decided that the predetermined boundaries of rock music no longer applied to them.

And there are, of course, hundreds more albums that defined entire generations. Some of my personal favorites include the previously mentioned Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips (which made JJ's list), Diamond Dogs by David Bowie, The Who Sell Out, London Calling by The Clash, Disintegration by The Cure, and Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel. Click the links provided for my favorite cuts from the album (including the entire side-b medley from Abbey Road) and respond with the many many recommendations of albums that I've left out.

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