Special Report

100 Best Albums of All Time

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90. Van Halen (1978)
> Artist: Van Halen
> Copies sold in U.S.: 10 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 19

Van Halen’s self-titled debut release peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 chart but introduced the world to a new era of guitar rock. Critics lauded Eddie Van Halen’s singular guitar style, with AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine noting “it altered perceptions of what the guitar could do.”

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89. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966)
> Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
> Copies sold in U.S.: 3 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 4

“Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” followed shortly on the heels of Simon and Garfunkel’s 1966 sophomore release “Sound of Silence.” The release, which features the duo’s beloved take on the traditional song “Scarborough Fair,” sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. since its release.

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88. Seal (1994)
> Artist: Seal
> Copies sold in U.S.: 4 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 15

Seal’s 1994 self-titled album followed his 1991 debut album, which was also self-titled. Despite the name peculiarities, the second release proved to be a massive hit thanks to “Kiss from a Rose,” which earned the singer three Grammy Awards in 1995.

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87. Sticky Fingers (1971)
> Artist: The Rolling Stones
> Copies sold in U.S.: 3 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 1

“Sticky Fingers” was The Rolling Stones’ ninth British full-length release. It includes the iconic classic tracks “Brown Sugar,” “Wild Horses,” “Can You Hear Me Knocking,” and “Dead Flowers.” The album earned commercial and critical acclaim with famed rock critic Lester Bangs saying he “played ‘Sticky Fingers’ more than any other record” that year.

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86. In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
> Artist: King Crimson
> Copies sold in U.S.: 0.5 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 28

King Crimson’s “In The Court of the Crimson King” failed to break into the top 25 on the Billboard 200 chart but has left a powerful legacy. In 2015, Rolling Stone named the album the second greatest prog rock album of all time behind Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.”

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85. Crash (1996)
> Artist: Dave Matthews Band
> Copies sold in U.S.: 7 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 2

“Crash” by the Dave Matthews Band followed their 1994 breakout smash “Under the Table and Dreaming” and helped lock DMB as one of the biggest bands of the 1990s. The album has since been certified seven times platinum by the RIAA.

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84. Electric Warrior (1971)
> Artist: T. Rex
> Copies sold in U.S.: N/A
> Billboard 200 peak position: 32

“Electric Warrior” shot to the top of the U.K. albums chart in 1971 with help from the band’s signature hit single “Get It On.” The album hung on at the top of the charts in Britain for eight weeks.

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83. The Stranger (1977)
> Artist: Billy Joel
> Copies sold in U.S.: 10 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 2

“The Stranger” marked Billy Joel’s seventh studio release. It features the beloved tracks “Movin’ Out,” “Only the Good Die Young” and “She’s Always a Woman.” Another classic on this album is “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” which was never released as a single but holds a permanent place in Joel’s live sets.

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82. Surfin’ USA (1963)
> Artist: The Beach Boys
> Copies sold in U.S.: 0.5 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 11

“Surfin’ USA” peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 chart on Aug. 31, 1963 and brought the California surf rockers to a new level of fame. In 1990, Brian Wilson recalled that period, saying, “It was the big time for us.”

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81. The Time Has Come (1967)
> Artist: Chambers Brothers
> Copies sold in U.S.: 0.5 million
> Billboard 200 peak position: 4

The Chambers Brothers broke through to national success with the “The Time Has Come” in 1968. The album’s hit single “Time Has Come Today,” which melds psychedelic music with R&B, helped propel the album to the No. 4 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.