Albums By The Century: 1901-1999

Welcome back to this special retrospective music-posting feature. The gimmick is simple — each week, you post a list (ranked or unranked) of your favourite 25 (or however many) albums of a given year or, in this case, century. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to guide this series into what will be it’s final post. As for my own list, I’ve decided to go with a straight list of 100 recordings with no distinction of genre or between live recordings and studio ones.


Abou-Khalil, Rabih: Blue Camel

Aphex Twin: Richard D. James Album

Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Alternate Express

Art Ensemble of Chicago: Full Force

Albert Ayler: In Greenwich Village

Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (1982 Trevor Pinnock recording)

Bach: Cello Suites (1936-1938 Pablo Casals recordings)

Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1981 Glenn Gould recording)

Bach: Magnificat (1985 John Eliot Gardiner recording)

Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra / Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1990, Mariss Jansons recordings)

The Beatles: Abbey Road

The Beatles: Rubber Soul

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk

Blondie: Parallel Lines

David Bowie: Low

Peter Brötzmann: Machine Gun

Can: Future Days

Captain Beefheart: Doc at the Radar Station

Jane Ira Bloom: Art and Aviation

Tim Brady: Strange Attractors

John Carter: Castles of Ghana

Don Cherry, Nana Vasconcelos, Colin Walcott: Codona 3

Ornette Coleman: Of Human Feelings

Ornette Coleman: The Shape of Jazz to Come

Alice Coltrane: World Galaxy

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme

John Coltrane: Live at Birdland

John Coltrane: Live at the Village Vanguard

John Coltrane: Live in Japan

Bing Crosby: Merry Christmas

Anthony Davis: Episteme

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue

Miles Davis: Milestones

Miles Davis: Miles Smiles

Francis Dhomont: Sous le regard d’un soleil noir *

DJ Shadow: Endtroducing DJ Shadow

Eric Dolphy: At the Five Spot

Eric Dolphy: Conversations

Duke Ellington: The Far East Suite

Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn: The Nutcracker Suite

Duke Ellington/Charles Mingus/Max Roach: Money Jungle

Brian Eno: Another Green World

Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets

Bill Evans: You Must Believe in Spring

Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

Ella Fitzgerald: Songs in a Mellow Mood

Fleeetwood Mac: Tusk

Ganelin Trio: Catalogue

Philip Glass: Satyagrahah (1984 Christophe Keene recording)

Herbie Hancock: Crossings

Bernard Herrmann: North by Northwest

Dave Holland: Conference of the Bird

Sheila Jordan: Portrait of Sheila

King Crimson: Discipline

King Crimson: Red

King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black

Krzysztof Komeda: Astigmatic

Kronos Quartet: Night Music

Jeanne Lee & Ran Blake: The Newest Sound Around

Gyorgy Ligeti: Requiem, Lontano, Continuum (1969 Ernest Bour recordings)

Louvin Brothers: Tragic Songs of Live

Love: Forever Changes 

Shelly Manne & His Men: At the Black Hawk

John McLaughlin: Extrapolation

Charles Mingus: Pithecantropus Erectus

Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners

Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music

Moody Blues: Days of Future Passed 

Oliver Nelson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth 

Elvis Presley: Elvis’ Christmas Album

Radiohead: O.K. Computer

Steve Reich and Musicians: Music for 18 Musicians

Terry Riley: Shri Camel

Max Roach: We Insist! Freedom Now Suite

Sonny Rollins: A Night at the Village Vanguard

Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus

Sonny Sharrock: Ask The Ages *

Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony # 5 (1984 Evgeny Mravinsky live recording)

Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony # 8 (1982 Evgeny Mravinsky live recording)

Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony # 10 (1976 Evgeny Mravinsky live recording)

Paul Simon: The Rhythm of the Saints

Nina Simone: At Newport

Nina Simone: Forbidden Fruit

Thomas Stanko: Lontano

Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps (1973 Bernard Haitink recording)

Sun Ra: Jazz in Silhouette

Sun Ra: Lanquidity

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Gospel Train

Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense

Television: Marquee Moon *

Henry Threadgill: Makin’ a Move

U2: Achtung Baby

Sarah Vaughan: Sarah Vaughan

Mal Waldron: The Quest

David S. Ware: Godspelized

Neil Young: Chrome Dreams (unauthorized release)

Frank Zappa: The Grand Wazoo

Frank Zappa: Roxy & Elsewhere

Frank Zappa: The Yellow Shark

John Zorn: Naked City