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1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,860 ratings  ·  102 reviews
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die is a highly readable list of the best, the most important, and the most influential pop albums from 1955 through 2003. Carefully selected by a team of international critics, each album is a groundbreaking work seminal to the understanding and appreciation of music from the 1950s to the present. Included with each entry are productio ...more
Hardcover, 960 pages
Published February 7th 2006 by Universe Publishing(NY) (first published 2005)
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Chris Sudall I went for the 2005 edition, it's slim pickings after that anyway.…moreI went for the 2005 edition, it's slim pickings after that anyway.(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Baal Of
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stew
Initial Thoughts

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 it's almost
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
This book made me check out many CD's from my local library, mostly to stroll back into bands I know and trusted with good music. I've bought an album/week since I first started a paper route. But I've diversified into world and jazz more in the last 20 years, as I'm not too impressed with the US music scene lately. So, I tried some of the more recent bands listed in this book. Sorry to say (IMHO) the equal-respect this book gives to each decade is not worthy of the music quality. I'm sure the 1 ...more
Robert Harris
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't finished this yet, I still have about 120 albums left, but this was the most unique musical experience I've ever had. 3 years ago I listened to every album in this book I owned in order (maybe 70 albums) and it took me a month, and I had a lot of fun. Then later I decided to take the plunge and listen to the entire book in chronological order and review each album as I listened to it. I've gained incredible insight into the evolution of music from this, and have found many new bands, a ...more
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 23, 2015 marked it as long-term-reading
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
Inevitably, a compendium like '1001...' will mean different things to different folk, merely because of combinatorial maths, let alone age, parents', children's and friends' influences, when and if you had your own family, surrounded by boys or girls, which country you lived in, and so on; not to mention eclecticism, audiophilia or simple 'good taste'; or whether you read the NME or Melody Maker, both, none or others. It will have glaring omissions, harrumphed inclusions, substitutions begging, ...more
Alexander Nilsson
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A great book for anyone who wants to take a walk through the history of music.
It has most of the well known classics, as well as some more lesser known albums.

Most of them with a historical significance.

This site is a great compliment for anyone who has this book.
It's giving you one album a day to listen to. From the book. Let's you rate and add comments to each album as well.
Great way to actually get to listen to the albums.
Mar 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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?!! ...more
Jonathan Crary
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book so far. I judge it on the Roxy Music albums they site: Roxy’s first album, “For Your Pleasure”, and “Country Life”. I’m really okay with that. They omitted “Avalon” but okay. I’ve been revisiting my faves and discovering new ones too. I got this from the public library but I need a copy for myself.
Simon Sweetman
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read the book, listened to every album in it. Some poor choices, but really not many.
Martin Waterhouse
A veritable treasure trove of musical gems, and with services like Spotify, etc. it's actually now feasible to have a listen as you're reading. Brilliant! ...more
Jason W. Darling
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I discovered a great deal of new (to me) music from this book. Highly recommended for those addicted to music.
Jeremy Turner
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
It was never going to be something I agreed with wholeheartedly, and there are a good few classics in there, but there's also a lot of fluff. Far too much late 70s/early 80s new wave type stuff (my guess is it's the author's favourite genre), something like 600 Bowie albums (good or not, it's excessive) and the albums added into the 2000s seem more like random top 100 picks rather than the semi-deep dives from previous decades (not that any of it is wicked underground or anything lol). If they'd ...more
Martin Ridgway
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Interesting and it's steered me to stuff I wouldn't otherwise listen to. Having said that, for every undiscovered gem there's also one that's re-confirmed my dislikes - not going to mention which genres in particular. I think, instead, it's a general heads-up that you won't like everything here, and you won't want to listen to more than one track on certain albums before dumping the remaining tracks.
Having said that, there is an over-riding bias towards "the album as an art form" that makes the
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Good list. There is a large panel of objectively good or great albums, and the list was constructively compiled. However, since the book is limited by its size, it isn't very adventurous(mostly widely accepted classics), and obviously, it forgets three quarters of the music world, so take this book with a grain of salt, even as a fervent music listener. The internet remains better to explore the art world. Noetheless, it remains quite an informative book for people who are starting to explore th ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
had this one as a wee lad and it definitely turned me on to some Cool Shit like einsturzende neubauten, liars, neu, dr. octagon, etc. however the book really runs out of steam towards the end of the 90s / early 00s when they just start recommending trash like kid rock (this is objective okay, no one fucking likes kid rock) and the vines. most of the 'classics' are pretty predictable choices or super well known. definitely neat as a primer to the wonderful world of music but idk, i could happily ...more
Gabriella Hoff
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I liked the variety`s of music styles and genre`s presented in the book.

AMERICAN IDIOT-GREEN DAY: Is the Anthem of my life
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
As someone who consistently rates music as their weakest medium of knowledge, this is a great primer to see the evolution of music. It's not got the deep cuts or obscure stuff, but it's more for guys like me who listened to almost exclusively Nick Cave, Tom Waits and David Bowie for waaaaay too long.

David Turko
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great book to find out more albums/musicians. My main complaint is that there are a lot of artists that weren't in this book that I felt deserved to be. Still, it's a great book filled with great album recommendations. ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Completely basic. You will find Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears in this book but not one word about electronic legends such as Squarepusher or Venetian Snares. No thanks.
Al Capwned
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Although I enjoyed most of these 1001 albums, I have to say that it's a very subjective selection, even not considering the fact that most of the albums are of the english language. ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Really nice overview of albums by decade and up to about 2013-14 I think. Enjoyed reading things on ones I own and learning about many I don't. ...more
Paul Young
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good journey through decades of diverse music.
Nicola Batecola
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Massive amount of work, decent result for all tastes. Not for the sophisticated, as one would imagine.
Tor-Håkon Fegri
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The usual suspects

I wish the book would contain more surprices and hidden treasures. But The book itself is good, with layout and The way it works on multiple plattforms.
Jan 04, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
i've been working my way through this book for the past year. i'm determined to listen to all. 131 down (currently listening to iron butterfly - in-a-gadda-da-vida as i type) 870 to go. ...more
David Hallstrom
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
An overall enjoyable read from an interesting series.

Any such work is going to be driven by the biases and preferences of the authors and editors. My taste and theirs do not necessarily match up. That they are fans of Bowie cannot be missed - nine of the 1001 albums, or basically 1%, are Bowie records. A bit much. But then maybe seeing as three of the albums I must hear are by Dexy's Midnight Runners. Uh, no.

Nits can be picked - I would take 'Tumbleweed Connection' over 'Madman Across the Water
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