Rolling Stone gave its much talked (read: argued) about “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” a reboot, with less emphasis on rock and a noticeable nod to other musical tastes.
The time around, the list, which was originally created in 2003 (and tweaked in 2012), honored Marvin Gaye’s seminal What’s Going On? with the No. 1 slot, replacing The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
According to Rolling Stone, this revamp includes “154 new albums not previously on the 500 list, and 86 albums from this century.” Three-hundred artists (including Beyoncé, Wu-Tang’s Raekwon, H.E.R. and Tierra Whack), journalists and industry types shaped this revision by voting on their favorite 50 albums of all time, and then the magazine tallied the scores.
While this is a win for Gaye fans, it’s also a win for Black artists in general, given that a good number of the “500 Greatest Albums” top spots went to them. Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life (No. 4), Prince’s Purple Rain (No. 8), Michael Jackson’s Thriller (No.12) and Aretha Franklin’s I Never Loved Another Man (No. 13) dominated the top 15.
Two Hip-Hop records were also in that group: Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (No. 10) and Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (No. 15). L-Boogie’s Grammy-snatching classic hop, skipped and leaped 300 slots from the previous directory.
Kanye West (My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy), Kendrick (To Pimp A Butterfly) and Biggie (Ready to Die), slid in at No. 17, 19 and 22, respectively, while Outkast’s Aquemini checked in at No. 49 and Jay-Z’s Blueprint popped up at No. 50.
Beyoncé’s second visual album, Lemonade, made its appearance at No. 32.