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1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die (1001 Before You Die)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,173 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
"All the greats are here: from Marvin Gaye's inspirational 1971 What's Going On - a response to his brother's return from Vietnam - to David Bowie's extraordinary concept album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust ... Explore musical history, from the Beach Boys' pop milestone Pet Sounds to Nirvana's catapulting of grunge into the popular consciousness with Nevermind. As we ...more
Paperback, 960 pages
Published October 5th 2005 by Cassell Illustrated (first published 2005)
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Aug 26, 2012 B0nnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
Working my way through this

Sinatra, Frank – In the Wee Small Hours
Presley, Elvis – Elvis Presley (1956)
Louvin Brothers – Tragic Songs of Life
Prima, Louis – Wildest
Domino, Fats – This is Fats
Ellington, Duke – At Newport (1956)
Sinatra, Frank – Songs for Swingin’ Lovers!
Crickets – Chirping…
Basie, Count – Atomic Mr Basie
Monk, Thelonious – Brilliant Corners
Sabú [Martínez] – Palo Congo
Davis, Miles – Birth of the Cool
Machito – Kenya
Sep 19, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music I sit, listening to Einstürzende Neubauten's great album, "Kollaps" which is semi-rhythmic collection of German yelling, banging on garbage cans and recorded sounds from every day objects such as water burbling, feet shuffling and what almost sounds like a broken AM radio.

Such is the story of my life.

My good friends Mike and Karen generously bought me this book several months ago, which was very much appreciated (of course). As close we are, they did not know that they were doomin
Apr 21, 2015 7jane rated it liked it
Just a short note: I thought this was a solid book of important album, with only two flaws - including a Limp Bizkit album (should have chosen Deftones' "White Pony" or something, even Linkin Park would do), and I don't think Britney Spears fits in (but this one is just my opinion)... anyway at least the former should've been taken off. Otherwise great book with reasonably good taste.
Mar 29, 2013 angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

There is much for music lovers to be happy about once they get a hold of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Arranged by decade (1950s to present day), the hefty book is full of compulsively readable reviews written by various music critics, all more than willing to back up exactly why they consider these selections essential to your musical life.

Kicking off with Frank Sinatra’s heartbreaking In The Wee Small Hours, 1001 Albums tells us that Sinatra was almost a has-been when he recorded i
Matthew Revert
I thought the "1001 Movies You Must Watch Before You Die" was a surprisingly varied and informative book. For every "Titanic" was a "Satantango". It was for this reason that I picked up "1001 Albums...".

I was disappointed to see how unadventurous it was. For the most part we're presented with a stale list of standards that do very little to expand musical horizons. When the most "out there" release included is by Einsturzende Neubauten, we have a problem. What I hoped this book would provide wa
Jul 30, 2010 Tanya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-of-life
For those who have spent the large part of their teen/adult years searching out the most obscure and underground music to whet their musical palates, this volume offers great suggestions to get acquainted with the "classics." 1001 Albums gave me some great listening recommendations in the areas of jazz and rock, making me step outside my comfort zone and acknowledge that some mainstream releases are certainly worth a listen. Who would've imagined that I'd ever buy (and like) a Byrds cd?!!
Mar 17, 2016 Jim marked it as long-term-reading  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music, xmas-gift-2015

An Xmas gift at my request. thanks RJ!

The title is somewhat extreme . Lord, I don't feel the obligation to listen to them all or to follow any kind of order. That would be too much like work!

a link to youtube videos of a great many of the songs.

a complete list

List cut and pasted from Goodreads user B0nnie

Sinatra, Frank – In the Wee Small Hours
Presley, Elvis – Elvis Presley (1956)
Louvin Brothers – Tragic Songs of L
Dec 30, 2016 Dbgirl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A good book to list all the influential, remarkable western popular albums. I put many albums to my wishlist, although many I knew before too but I tried to listen to all artists/bands so it was quite a long project. Visually this is very clear and neat looking and it categorizes albums by decades, starting from the 50's (I would have liked if there would have been music from the 30's too). There are many reviewers so the quality and style varies a bit but not dramatically. Usually there are fou ...more
Baal Of
Dec 25, 2016 Baal Of rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love lists. On the other hand, any fucker with an opinion can put together a list, so let me modify that to say I like lists but I love lists that include justification for each entry, or have some over-arching criteria by which they are constructed. If this book were merely a bare list, it wouldn't be particularly elevated above the thousands of other lists (on discogs for example), but it is more than that. A list like this will never satisfy everyone, and in fact its almost guaranteed to sa ...more
Nathan Rodeberg
Dec 13, 2016 Nathan Rodeberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2016 Per-Olof rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Alla som läser den här boken kommer garanterat att tycka att vissa artister / musikstilar / tidsepoker är över- eller under-representerade. Kort sagt, den listan som presenteras här är helt fel. Men det hindrar ju inte att det är underhållande läsning.
Part of a growing stable of “1001 blanks you must blank before you die” titles published by Universe, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die lists a variety of records from a variety of popular music genres from 1955 to 2008 (though heavily weighted towards the later periods of this range), organized by large group of music critics and editors to be particularly representative of the development and evolution of modern music. Borrowed to me by a friend after I expressed my desire to learn more ...more
Tim Niland
Jan 15, 2015 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
There is nothing a music geek likes more than a good list, and this book may be the mother of all music lists. Just like it says on the tin, the editors and several authors list 1001 of their favorite albums from 1955 - 2005. Instead of ranking them from 1 - 1001, they present the albums by year of release, moving from crooners, jazz and the first stirrings of rock and roll in the mid 1950's then focusing almost exclusively on rock and pop music through to the mid-2000's. It is a fascinating boo ...more
William Schram
Ordered chronologically, this book contains albums that are considered to be great by a series of critics. Starting with Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, the book continues on through the rest of the 1950s and on into the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. Since it has a huge amount of material to cover, I imagine the list had to be pared down quite a bit.

All the entries have the name of the artist, the name of the particular album in question, and some basic stats about the album; the
Apr 01, 2009 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-music
I love compendia such as this, which condense a vast and varied field into bite-sized bits, like a well-seasoned stew or packaged breakfast cereal. The authors show a somewhat British bias, and an artist bias, resulting in numerous Where are they and Why is this in here and Who the hell are they talking about among the recognisable wheat.
Whether or not I will ever hear most of these albums is not the issue (how long would it take anyway--a million years?--who has that kinda time, except maybe S
Nick H
Jan 26, 2011 Nick H rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a gluttonous attempt at something that is proven again and again to do nothing but piss people off because of the exclusion of albums that should rightfully be included, but just didn't make the cut due to the contributors' taste in music. That being said, there are a lot of albums included that I was pleasantly surprised to see (Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue being a great example.) Also, the format becomes glaringly insufficient when I'm reading in 2011, and hit 2005 as an end ...more
Aug 04, 2008 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music lovers
Shelves: music
I am currently reading this massive volume, and for the most part, I enjoy it when I read it. I've tried to read it from cover to cover, and so far am up to 1987.

While I was reading it, I noticed some very interesting albums I might be interested in listening to, so I bought some sticky tabs to mark those pages. I've probably marked hundreds of albums at this point. It definitely opens you up to some eclectic albums, ones you probably wouldn't consider just seeing it on the CD shelf.

I enjoy tha
J Rock
Jul 18, 2007 J Rock rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less a giant tome of musical treasures than an exercise in tedium, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die was something I wanted to love but couldn't. I wanted to discover a lot of music that I may have missed, but it focuses mostly on what's widely discussed as classics anyway so I already knew about most of what was included here. Of what I hadn't heard, hardly any piqued my interest enough to get me to check them out, in fact the only group this book turned me on to was Wire.

I don't really
Jan 31, 2010 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book to read mostly to learn about some new music "of worth" by someone's estimation. Of course, many of the reviews are fawning over music that I may or may not care for, but I always like to learn about new music. It also got me to listen to some music that I have but have let sit idle for a while.
One downside to it is that the most recent albums are from 2004-ish, so they're missing some good albums that have come out in the past few years, a problem which will only g
Shane Malcolm
Jun 27, 2009 Shane Malcolm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This giant tome is an excellent guide to the greatest albums of the rock music era, 1950s to present. The reviews are well-written and incisive, and there are hundreds of diverse acts featured, from the usual suspects (The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell) to more often overlooked performers (Siouxsie And The Banshees, Matthew Sweet). I would have given the thing five stars, but for the fact that female artists are slightly under-represented (typical for these books, although this one is much b ...more
A "must" for anyone who enjoys music as an art expression. It's a good guide for those who want to discover new albuns or music genres/styles.
But there are many great albuns that are not listed. And the reviews are too shallow. Also, there's a lack of non american or british are artists, it's clearly oriented to american and british musicians. And I think there's obviously a whole musical WORLD outside these only two countries, which american critics and the public just don't know. It just show
Cedric Hendrix
Aug 09, 2012 Cedric Hendrix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a die-hard music junkie like me, this book is a must-have. That's not to say that I want to hear all 1,001 albums covered here. Some are very mainstream, and I'm not a mainstream kind of music fan. But someone out there is looking for the perfect Brittney Spears album, and good luck to them. This book fits that need at times. But more often than not, it's a good guide to the "jumping-off point albums" of a lot of good artists. Some artists get more coverage than others, but you could still b ...more
Jan 16, 2009 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is NOT Max, and actually loves music.
i'm just gonna go ahead and say that i 'read' this book although i dont think i will ever finish reading the whole 4000-some-odd pages of this behemoth. although this book does included some fascinating notes and info about most of my favorite albums and a lot of music i have never been exposed to, reading it all would force me to learn way too much about albums by artist(and i used the term loosely) that i have absolutely no interest in, including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin T ...more
May 10, 2013 Chris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Actually started paging thru this at a friend's place and really liked it. It's organized by decade, with short essays about the picks that include some history of the band and some context for where the music fit the scene at the time.

This is a fun thing to have now that lots of these albums are available to explore online for free at Youtube and elsewhere. I'm actually listening to one right now.
Jul 08, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Consider it the holy bible of the music world.

This is a list with of some of the greatest albums of all time. A lot of my favorite albums, bands and artists were included in this book. Although I think some albums shouldn't have been included, and some others should have been included instead, it's still a great list for anyone who wants to expand their horizons. Now I know about more bands and artists that I didn't know about before.
Surfing Moose
Could not disagree more with a lot of entries in this book. Only one entry for The Residents and not even one of their first two albums, really? I don't recall seeing any of the original No-Wave bands on the list. Two entries for The Arcade Fire... two entries too many.

Seems that the list has more filler than killer. But alas it is only a list and these things cause consternation in music snobs such as myself.
Keith Seekwhence
Is not as essential or definitive as I had hoped, but given the nature of the book, it's mostly left up to opinion. Personally 80% of the works mentioned are irrefutable, but I find a vast myriad of albums that go without mention and I do not agree with a considerable amount that are. At any rate, it is a well done book, nice chunky size, but I cannot help but feel if it were of a more standard form a good portion of the album re-reviews would be in greater detail.
Feb 10, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether you'd need to listen to every single one of these albums is entriely up to you, but it's a good read if you're a big music fan. The only arguable disadvatange in my case is the fact I'd listened to quite a few of the albums from the late 80s onwards and I was hoping to find some new albums to listen to, but it's no big deal.
Arthur dos Santos
I had great expectations about this book. As a music enthusiast I thought I would indeed find 1001 great albuns listed on this book, but most of them are not a must hear. I was glad to find my favorite bands and artists listed on this book, but they didn't even picked their best albuns! There are also some non-sense reviews about some records, and there are too much Björk albuns for my taste.
Kirsten Pedersen
May 12, 2013 Kirsten Pedersen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Music Nerds
I pull this book out every April to compare it to the Record Store Day List and see if there is anything that strikes my fancy. This year there wasn't- the Cure's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was my only official RSD purchase- but I did buy other records in this book while at my local independent vinyl store.
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