My Top 10 Albums Of All Time

Apple music released their list of the 10 Greatest Albums of all time. A list that, no matter who makes it, sparks a LOT of debate. It was part of a larger list, their “100 Best Albums” list. They call it their “definitive list of the greatest albums ever made.

This inspired me to make my own top 10 album list. We’ll get into that later but I’ll tell you now: making a top 10 album list is HARD! It doesn’t help that I am super indecisive. Add to that the fact that my taste in music is all over the place and it makes settling on just 10 albums quite the difficult task.

Apple had the advantage of an “internal team.” They all submitted their choices and ended up with a collective list of the top 100 albums. The top 10 albums have been sparking some debate, as these lists usually do.

Apple Music’s top 10 albums look like this:

1: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” – Laryn Hill

2: “Thriller” – Michael Jackson

3: “Abbey Road” – The Beatles

4: “Purple Rain” – Prince

5: “blond” – Frank Ocean

6: “Songs in the Key of Life” – Stevie Wonder

7: “good kid, m.A.A.d city” – Kendrick Lamar

8: “Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse

9: “Nevermind” – Nirvana

10: “Lemonade” – Beyonce

I gotta be honest, I don’t know how they did 100. I came up with my own “top 10” and it was way more painstaking that it probably should have been. If I had to come up with 100, it would probably take me 100 years. However, I managed to at least come up with 10. I tried to keep it simple. My parameters were 1: albums that I enjoyed enough to listen to multiple times and 2: With no skips- every song on the album has to be good. So, here’s what I came up with.

  • 10: "The Black Album" - Jay-Z


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    This was Jay-Z’s “retirement” album. As a sendoff, it was pretty much perfect. It started with a cameo from his mom and ended with the sound of Jay throwing down his studio headphones. Every song on it is a banger, including the classics “99 Problems,” “Encore,” “Change Clothes” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder.”

  • 9: "Metallica" (The Black Album) - Metallica

    There are so many Metallica Albums that can be on this list. I probably enjoy “And Justice For All” and “Master of Puppets” more. But, this album is iconic. It marked a change in sound for Metallica. A change that many of their fans didn’t like. But, it was hella marketable, containing 6 Billboard Hot 100 hits (out of their total 17). They were already a huge band. But, this album was probably the one that brought them into the conversations of the greatest rock bands ever.

  • 8: "My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy" - Kanye West


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    I had a tough time deciding which Kanye West album to include. I love and listen to many of them regularly. His questionable antics aside, the man is one of the most influential musicians of our generation. So, I posed the question to my friend and coworker, Stirling Knight, aka ‘DJ Knightmare.’ He gave me his top 3 Kanye albums: 3- “Late Registration,” 2- “College Dropout” and 1- “MBDTF.” He called it Kanye’s “Magnum Opus” so I figured it deserved the spot.

  • 7: "MTV Unplugged In New York" - Nirvana


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    MTV’s “Unplugged” series produced a LOT of great performances. Nirvana’s was great on so many levels. In addition to originals, Nirvana also covered songs from David Bowie, The Meat Puppets, Leadbelly and The Vaselines. Each of their songs seem like they were written specifically for Nirvana and this performance. This was recorded just a few months before Kurt Cobain committed suicide, it was a rare intimate experience with easily the most influential band of the 90’s.

  • 6: "The Marshall Mathers LP" - Eminem


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    Eminem’s coming out party as hip-hop’s biggest artist (at the time). There wasn’t really anything bigger than Eminem when this album dropped. His debut was great but many wondered if it was a fad or if the novelty of a white rapper would wear off. “The Marshall Mathers LP” showed us that Eminem wasn’t just a good rapper, but a talented lyricist as well.

  • 5: "Purple Rain" - Prince

    This one, for me, is led by nostalgia. But, also, it’s like a mini-‘greatest hits’ album. If you’ve also seen the movie, the songs are that much better.

  • 4: "Appetite For Destruction" - Guns N' Roses


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    Most people will tell you that grunge killed hair bands. But, I think it started with Guns n’ Roses. Sure, they kinda had the hair but they definitely weren’t singing about love and romance. This was just a great, in your face rock n roll band defined by sex, drugs, leather and debauchery. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore- the band OR the album.

  • 3: "ATLiens" - Outkast


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    I could literally have put several of Outkast’s albums on this list. “Stankoina,” “Aquemini,” “Speakerbox/ The Love Below,” are all great albums start to finish. “Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik” was their debut. Picking that one was too easy. But, “ATLiens,” to me, was the album that showed us, ‘OK, these guys are for real’. Each song takes me back to when it came out, hearing it for the first time and thinking that I had never heard hip-hop this smooth and funky, and I was proud that these guys were from Georgia.

  • 2: "Nevermind" - Nirvana


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    When “Smells Like Teen Spirit” came out it was loud, angsty, gritty and…wait, what is this guy even saying? No one had ever heard anything like Nirvana. The deeper you got into the album, the more you fell in love with the band. Rock music never sounded the same after this.

  • 1: "Thriller" - Michael Jackson

    This was my first favorite album ever. As a kid, I was a Michael Jackson fanatic. I had the glove, the socks, a ‘Beat It’ jacket, the MJ t-shirt… The album itself, broke records and is even still the best-selling album of all-time (that’s not a greatest hits album).

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