40. Nashville Skyline – Bob Dylan 1969
The opening duet with Johnny Cash is, in my opinion, the best song either of them have ever released. It’s raw nostalgia is clear from the first chord of the song.
Essential Track: Girl from the North Country
39. Either/Or – Elliott Smith 1997
Jam-packed with bangers — It’s difficult to narrow down a few tracks that stand out from the rest. Sure to evoke real emotion. Hugely influential. To me it’s the birth of the 21st century singer-songwriter with artists like Conor Oberst, Bon Iver, and Iron & Wine following shortly after.
Essential Tracks: Rose Parade, Angeles, Between the Bars
38. Odessey and Oracle – The Zombies 1968
An album that has since lost its touch to me, but it’s still objectively phenomenal. Forget Time of the Season, the real beauties on this one are the deep cuts. This album is like a funeral on a sunny summer’s day, bolstered by Rod Argent’s keys and surrounding the quintessential track, A Rose for Emily.
Essential Tracks: Care of Cell 44, Brief Candles, A Rose for Emily, This Will Be Our Year
37. A Deeper Understanding – The War on Drugs 2017
Admittedly, this generous ranking stems from slight bias. However, this album really is SMASHING. This one requires patience as every track is at least 6 minutes long, but you won’t be disappointed. The War on Drugs picks up right where they left off with 2014’s Lost in the Dream.
Essential Tracks: Pain, Thinking of a Place
36. Lola Vs Powerman and the Moneygoround – The Kinks 1970
2nd best Kinks album. So many superstar tracks.
Essential Tracks: This Time Tomorrow, Lola, Top of the Pops, Apeman
35. Ian hunter – Ian Hunter 1975
One of the best pure rock and roll albums ever. This one’s for a hard night of drinkin’. the former Mott the Hoople lead absolutely KILLS it in his eponymous debut. The Bowie influence is clear and present throughout and most notably on “Boy”. It’s a feel good album that has unfortunately been long overlooked.
Essential Tracks: Once Bitten Twice Shy, Boy, Lounge Lizard, I Get So Excited
34. Mind Games – John Lennon 1973
Surrealist masterpiece, period.
All tracks are essential.
33. Psychocandy – The Jesus and Mary Chain 1985
I personally prefer Darklands to this one, but speaking objectively this is much better. Far more consistency. The birth of the shoegazing genre and the best of its kind. This is probably one of the weirdest assortments of pop songs you’ll ever hear.
32. Transformer – Lou Reed 1972
Best Lou Reed solo album. Albeit, his best tracks come on subsequent, less notable albums. Bowie’s production is the icing on the cake for this one. I’ll admit, its an acquired taste because his singing voice is shit, but that’s the hallmark of his music and it’s truly remarkable how well he makes it work.
Essential Tracks: Vicious, Andy’s Chest, Satellite of Love, I’m So Free.
31. I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning – Bright Eyes 2005
Like Neutral Milk Hotel, but stripped down and actually good LOL (sorry I just don’t get it with “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”). One of the best Alt-Folk albums.
Essential Tracks: The First Day of My Life, Old Soul Song (For the New World Order), Lua, We are Nowhere and it’s Here