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POP MUSIC

The Readers' Top 100

October 25, 1998|The Readers' Top 100 edited by Robert Hilburn, Times pop music critic

From the first onslaught of ballots in Calendar's quest to learn its readers' choices for the best pop albums ever, the question was not whether a Beatles album would finish No. 1 among the 1,563 ballots we received--but which Beatles album would finish No. 1.

Besides the winner, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," the 1967 collection that regularly tops critics' all-time album polls, five other Beatles albums finished among the Top 100 under a scoring system that gave 10 points for every first-place mention, nine for second and so forth. (If ballots failed to rank the albums, each album on the list was given one point.)

Altogether, the six Beatles albums amassed a spectacular 6,327 points. That's more than three times as many as tallied by runners-up the Rolling Stones (1,765 points) and U2 (1,651).

*

1. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," the Beatles (1967) 1,954

2. "White Album," the Beatles (1968) 1,292

3. "Abbey Road," the Beatles (1969) 1,273

4. "The Joshua Tree," U2 (1987) 1,118

5. "Rubber Soul," the Beatles (1965) 918

6. "Nevermind," Nirvana (1991) 890

7. "Who's Next," the Who (1971) 847

8. "The Dark Side of the Moon," Pink Floyd (1973) 840

9. "Pet Sounds," the Beach Boys (1966) 826

10. "Revolver," the Beatles (1966) 791

11. "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye (1971) 673

12. "Born to Run," Bruce Springsteen (1975) 666

13. "London Calling," the Clash (1980) 661

14. "Exile on Main Street," the Rolling Stones (1972) 657

15. "Let It Bleed," the Rolling Stones (1969) 630

16. "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars," David Bowie (1972) 622

17. "Highway 61 Revisited," Bob Dylan (1965) 575

18. "Are You Experienced?," Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967) 556

19. "Blood on the Tracks," Bob Dylan (1975) 541

20. "Songs in the Key of Life," Stevie Wonder (1976) 538

21. "Tapestry," Carole King (1971) 512

22. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," Elton John (1973) 506

23. "The Doors," the Doors (1967) 459

24. "Led Zeppelin IV," Led Zeppelin (1971) 435

25. "Blonde on Blonde," Bob Dylan (1966) 410

26. "Hotel California," the Eagles (1976) 407

27. "Rumours," Fleetwood Mac (1977) 404

28. "Electric Ladyland," Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968) 390

29. "Achtung Baby," U2 (1991) 387

30. "Court and Spark," Joni Mitchell (1974) 386

31. "Never Mind the Bollocks . . .," the Sex Pistols (1977) 367

32. "The Wall," Pink Floyd (1979) 339

33. "Legend," Bob Marley (1984) 313

34. "Innervisions," Stevie Wonder (1973) 305

35. "Purple Rain," Prince (1984) 288

36. "Layla," Derek & the Dominos (1970) 284

37. "Thriller," Michael Jackson (1982) 282

38. "OK Computer," Radiohead (1997) 280

39. "Sticky Fingers," the Rolling Stones (1971) 272

40. "Graceland," Paul Simon (1986) 264

41. "Physical Graffiti," Led Zeppelin (1975) 250

42. "Los Angeles," X (1980) 244

43. "Moondance," Van Morrison (1970) 232

44. "Velvet Underground & Nico," the Velvet Underground (1967) 223

45. "Blue," Joni Mitchell (1971) 217

46. "Appetite for Destruction," Guns N' Roses (1987) 210

47. "Straight Outta Compton," N.W.A. (1989) 204

48. "Tommy," the Who (1969) 202

49. "Quadrophenia" the Who (1973) 201

50. "Automatic for the People," R.E.M. (1992) 200

51. "Aja," Steely Dan (1977) 192

52. "At the Fillmore East," Allman Brothers Band (1971) 182

53. "Sign 'o' the Times," Prince (1987) 178

54. "Astral Weeks," Van Morrison (1968) 172

55. "Ten," Pearl Jam (1992) 166

56. "Darkness on the Edge of Town," Bruce Springsteen (1978) 159

57. "Born in the U.S.A.," Bruce Springsteen (1984) 157

58. "Crosby, Stills & Nash," Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) 156

59. "Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975," the Eagles (1976) 155

60. "War," U2 (1983) 146

61. "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Simon & Garfunkel (1970) 142

62. "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," the Smashing Pumpkins (1995) 138

63. "1999," Prince (1982) 131

64. "This Year's Model," Elvis Costello (1978) 125

65. "A Night at the Opera," Queen (1975) 121

66. "Beggar's Banquet," the Rolling Stones (1968) 119

67. "Harvest," Neil Young (1972) 116

"It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," Public Enemy (1988) 116

"Low," David Bowie (1977) 116

70. "After the Gold Rush," Neil Young (1970) 112

71. "Axis: Bold as Love," Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968) 104

72. "My Aim Is True," Elvis Costello (1977) 103

"Plastic Ono Band," John Lennon (1970) 103

74. "Kind of Blue," Miles Davis (1959) 100

75. "Let It Be," the Beatles (1970) 99

76. "Hunky Dory," David Bowie (1972) 96

77. "Vs.," Pearl Jam (1993) 94

78. "Paul's Boutique," Beastie Boys (1989) 91

"The Broadway Album," Barbra Streisand (1985) 91

80. "Odelay," Beck (1996) 90

81. "So," Peter Gabriel (1986) 89

82. "Some Girls," the Rolling Stones (1978) 87

83. "Sun Sessions," Elvis Presley (1955*) 85

84. "The Downward Spiral," Nine Inch Nails (1994) 84

"Greatest Hits," Sly & the Family Stone (1970) 84

86. "Exile in Guyville," Liz Phair (1994) 72

"Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack (1977) 72

"Doolittle," the Pixies (1989) 72

89. "Brothers in Arms," Dire Straits (1985) 70

90. "Superfly," Curtis Mayfield (1972) 68

91. "Rain Dogs," Tom Waits (1985) 65

"Talking Book," Stevie Wonder (1972) 65

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