Every Rolling Stones album ranked from worst to best (2023)

Every Rolling Stones album ranked from worst to best (1)

Over half a century into their existence, the Rolling Stones have only released 23 studio albums in the UK, but within this catalogue can be found some of the most influential, game-changing and iconic recordings of the rock‘n’roll era.

From the moment they exploded from the sweaty, smoke-filled clubs of London’s visceral early sixties’ rhythm’n’blues scene, the Stones defined a hitherto unprecedented rebel sensibility that’s since become accepted as an essential ingredient of all subsequent rock. But it wasn’t exclusively cavalier swagger, belligerent attitude, fearless ingestion of sundry intoxicants and an uncanny ability to tie superfluous scarves to their legs that earned the band their enviable reputation as ‘the greatest rock‘n’roll band in the world’.

While The Beatles, under the enabling tutelage of George Martin, embraced strings, woodwind, piano-based melodies, Tin Pan Alley populism, music hall Englishness and European classical elements to create their blueprint for mainstream pop, the Stones remained true to their r’n’b roots by looking across the Atlantic for the raw materials of the music that we now recognise as rock.

Roughneck electric Chicago blues, booty-loosening soul syncopation, edgy urban funk and the righteous sedition of a burgeoning civil rights movement collided with the dustbowl-born, bourbon-soaked grit and painfully raw, blue collar emotions of country music as the Stones unified previously mutually exclusive genres against the political backdrop of a steadily dissolving racial divide.

Uncontaminated by the limiting baggage of segregational convention, the band swept across America voraciously accumulating new sounds and new styles at every truck-stop and juke joint that they encountered on the road. Back in the studio they combined these elements to create a succession of career-defining albums - Beggars Banquet (’68), Let It Bleed (’69), Sticky Fingers (’71), Exile On Main St. (’72) – that introduced mainstream America to Americana, the folk music that had existed under their very noses since time immemorial, and they loved them for it. They still do.

But there’s far more to the Rolling Stones than this core quartet of releases, both before and since. Their sixties hits never lose their potency, they’re still one of the greatest live bands ever to grace a stage and, beyond this lot there are enough bootlegs to keep you entranced until doomsday.

Some of their superior live recordings are being accorded official release via the band’s website but there are countless others (along with TV appearances, radio sessions and studio out-takes) that are readily available by nefarious means and well worth a listen. That withdrawn, contract-fulfilling Decca single Schoolboy Blues (AKA Cocksucker Blues) with Andrew’s Blues on the flip? You’ve gotta hear that.

But in the meantime, there’s this. Enjoy.

27) Emotional Rescue (1980) (opens in new tab)

Not so much ‘avoid’ as ‘buy last’, Emotional Rescue marks the Stones’ ill-advised immersion in the world of disco. Though it has to be noted a good five years after the rest of the planet. As Jagger goes all high-pitched, self-grabbing and Gibbsy, it’s all the self-respecting Rolling Stones aficionado can do not to weep.

Dance (Pt. 1) is right up there on the rotten front as well, which is a shame as it marks Ronnie Wood’s only writing credit alongside Jagger and Richards. Some might say it sounds an awful lot like Led Zeppelin’s Trampled Underfoot… That said, Keith’s All About You is something of a classic and deserves better company.

26) Dirty Work (1986) (opens in new tab)

Hobbled by a debilitating mid-80s production, Dirty Work finds the Stones in turmoil, Richards livid at Jagger for releasing She’s The Boss, his first solo album, and the pair barely speaking. Charlie meanwhile was in the grip of unlikely mid-life addictions to heroin and booze. Listening to the album now it’s unsurprisingly poor.

Obviously it’s the Stones so it’s not without charm, but you have to look extremely hard for any. Its single, a weary cover of Bob & Earl’s Harlem Shuffle, is dispiritingly similar to Jagger’s Dancing In The Street Live Aid Bowie duet. On the plus side? As it’s not for charity, you don’t have to pretend to like it.

25) Steel Wheels (1989) (opens in new tab)

Endeavouring to set animosity aside, Jagger and Richards set to work on a post-Dirty Work comeback that pretty much set a template for all that was to follow. An album where the Stones largely rock out in familiar, even caricature style, there’s a fragile Keith lead vocals to add country-tinged piratical whimsy to the mix and, production-wise, it’s hard not to notice that everything appears anchored to, and built around, Charlie’s snare.

And, of course, there’s an accompanying tour, not least it seems, to test just how high a ticket price the contemporary market can take. Continental Drift, their last great sonic experiment (featuring, with no little historic significance, the Brian Jones-favoured Master Musicians Of Jajouka) passed almost unnoticed, while the album’s three accompanying singles all failed to make the UK top thirty.

24) Bridges To Babylon (1997) (opens in new tab)

It’s all very well being The Greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll Band In The World but what do you do for your next trick? On 1997’s Bridges To Babylon the Stones elected to conjure up more of the same… but different.

They experimented with sampling and Jagger - always with his eye on the contemporary - brought in The Dust Brothers to add some production magic. Meanwhile, Keith – always with his eye on Jagger – brought in Dylan/Band/Clapton traditionalist Rob Fraboni to produce his tracks, an unprecedented three of which made the final cut. Danny Saber and Don Was also garnered production credits, and no less than eight bass players endeavoured to lock down the band’s bottom end.

Cooks? Broth? There’s probably some kind of kitchen-based analogy crying out to be be deployed here, but in all honesty there’s a lot to love about Bridges To Babylon. Having said that, Keith and reggae? Never the easiest of bedfellows.

(Video) Ranking the Studio Albums: The Rolling Stones

23) Voodoo Lounge (1994) (opens in new tab)

The Stones suffered a difficult 1980s. Who didn’t? But the band emerged from their mid-life crisis and mid-career divorce from departing bassist Bill Wyman in 1993, refreshed and ready to go back to work. Mick and Keith had both got their extra-marital solo flirtations out of their systems, Darryl Jones was in place to take care of the bottom end, and Voodoo Lounge captures a band revitalized.

Producer Don Was squeezed contemporary sparks from Love Is Strong, as he reset the crown jewels of the band’s sound into a sophisticated nineties setting more becoming a band of their vintage. Even when their pedal’s to the metal, as on You Got Me Rocking, the band come off sounding dignified and distinguished.

22) Black And Blue (1976) (opens in new tab)

With Mick Taylor calling it a day at the conclusion of It’s Only Rock ’N Roll, the Stones were scoping about for a replacement, and auditions for the vacant position can be heard on Black And Blue.

Based purely on their contributions, you could see why Muscle Shoals sideman Wayne Perkins or Canned Heat’s Harvey Mandel were considered – the former for the killer chops ’n’ syrupy soul of Hand Of Fate and Fool To Cry, the latter for Hot Stuff’s punchy funk, both for their sterling work on album highlight Memory Motel, but Ronnie Wood got the job for a couple of lukewarm portions of cod reggae and a by-numbers Crazy Mama. He must have nailed a better interview. Or hairstyle.

21) Between The Buttons (1967) (opens in new tab)

Recorded on the hoof in Hollywood and London during the latter half of 1966, Between The Buttons gave clear indication that Brian Jones was fast becoming a marginalised creative force in the band that he once called his own. Other than a vibraphone clanging awkwardly across album opener Yesterday’s Papers’ misogynistic lyrics, Between The Buttons was stripped of almost all exotic instrumentation.

The full-tilt a-ronk-a-ronk of Miss Amanda Jones and barreling Berry-isms of Keith’s Connection sparked with a freshness and lack of contrivance that mirrored the permissiveness of their time. Although frequently overlooked by the received wisdom of accepted critical opinion, Between The Buttons was the first album to capture the classic post-Jones Rolling Stones’ sound as ultimately perfected on Sticky Fingers.

20) Goats Head Soup (1973) (opens in new tab)

Always determined to assimilate contemporary elements into their trademark sound, Goats Head Soup finds the Stones (who’d just come off the road with support act Stevie Wonder) newly in thrall of urban funk. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) with its driving Billy Preston clavinet and strident Jim Price horn arrangement is the class act here, Dancing With Mr. D menaces nicely but, at heart, Goats Head Soup is an album of ballads.

The best, Angie, is arguably the Stones’ finest, so more than worthy of inclusion, but unremarkable space fillers like Winter and Coming Down Again will have you running into the arms of the wonderful, if hackneyed, Star, Star.

19) Undercover (1983) (opens in new tab)

While Undercover may not have been the final occasion The Rolling Stones aimed for relevance it marked the last time the global zeitgeist was prepared to suspend its disbelief and allow them the luxury of appearing so. Lead single Undercover Of The Night’s Julien Temple-directed promo was even deemed too controversial for MTV.

Following Tattoo You’s archival water-tread, Undercover was the Stones’ first album of all-new material since Emotional Rescue’s disco hiccup, and re-emerging in a post-Smash Hits landscape, where synth-pop was king, rap on the rise and youth at a premium, rock’s elder statesmen had a lot to prove. A contemporary, Chris Kimsey co-production brought the Stones’ sound bang up to date and as before they endeavoured to cover all bases: funk (Undercover Of The Night), rock (She Was Hot), reggae (Feel On Baby), Jagger even rapped (Too Much Blood).

Ultimately though, Undercover, while a commercial success, was to be the Stones’ last truly ambitious album. With pop already starting to split along generic lines, it was no longer possible for one band to be all things to all men.

18) It’s Only Rock ’N Roll (1974) (opens in new tab)

The ongoing funking of the Rolling Stones continues on It’s Only Rock ’N Roll with the extended groove of Fingerprint File but, while an eminently satisfying collection of tracks, the album as a whole continues the rudderless drift of Goats Head Soup.

Luxury finds the band, at Keith’s behest no doubt, turning their attention toward reggae, Time Waits For No One utilizes a gentle Latin lilt and If You Can’t Rock Me… rocks, but the title track, credited to Jagger/Richard but actually co-written by Jagger and Ronnie Wood during sessions for the future Stone’s solo album, is the song that ultimately defines the album, and with its sentiment, the band’s entire oeuvre.

17) Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967) (opens in new tab)

Though certainly not a classic, Their Satanic Majesties Request is far from the ill-conceived psychedelic folly that received critical wisdom might have you believe. Recorded hot on the heels of unremarkable time-marker Between The Buttons, it was the inevitable product of barely-restrained experimentation (both musical and chemical) and the unavoidable fallout of both.

(Video) Rolling Stones Albums Ranked From Worst to Best

Drug busts, court cases, jail terms and general partying saw the band rarely in the studio as a unit, and solo indulgences by those that did make it had a tendency to rob the material of its intrinsic Stones-ness. That said 2000 Light Years From Home, Citadel and She’s A Rainbow (complete with John Paul Jones string arrangement) stand as bona fide psych classics.

16) Out Of Our Heads (1965) (opens in new tab)

As non-album hits and tabloid rancor continued to ramp up the Stones’ domestic reputation as the anti-Beatles their third covers-heavy long player reflected mod-propelled changing times by shifting its attention from blues to soul.

Don Covay’s Mercy Mercy, Marvin Gaye’s Hitch Hike and Sam Cooke’s Good Times find the Stones mastering a fresh discipline. With each successive tour of the States (the Promised Land so compellingly mythologized in the songs of their musical idols), these insatiable students of Americana soaked up fresh inspiration, broadened their palette of influences and ultimately tore down generic boundaries to define rock’s future.

Progressive yes, but they still find room for a sprightly romp through Chuck Berry’s Talkin’ Bout You.

15) The Rolling Stones No. 2 (1965) (opens in new tab)

This feet-finding exercise ostensibly captured the Stones living their dream (recording at Chess Studios in Chicago and RCA in Hollywood between dates on their debut US tour). Yet their first taste of America was not quite as sweet as they may have hoped. A chance encounter with Muddy Waters was counterbalanced by a derisive on-air roasting from TV host Dean Martin.

Mocked as neanderthals by a conservative establishment they poured their passion into career-defining takes of Norman Meade’s Time Is On My Side and Don Raye’s Down The Road Apiece while the nascent Jagger/Richard songwriting partnership gained confidence with the assured if derivative What A Shame, Grown Up Wrong and Off The Hook.

14) Shine A Light (2008) (opens in new tab)

The audio soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s exceptional cinematic document of a pair of 2008 gigs at New York City’s comparatively intimate Beacon Theater captures the stately Stones at the latter-day zenith of their live powers. It’s the best recorded example of what Keith Richards likes to call ‘the ancient art of weaving’, the intuitive, almost telepathic interplay between Rock’N’Roll Himself and Honest Ron.

A beautifully paced career-encompassing set-list finds all of the central protagonists on rare form: Mick Jagger’s unmistakably mannered vocal delivery, Charlie’s trademark swinging precision, admirable support from veteran sidemen Bobby Keys (sax) and Chuck Leavell (keyboards), but it’s the magic sparking between Keith and Ron that truly dazzles.

13) Tattoo You (1981) (opens in new tab)

Who would have thought it? Sent into the vaults to conjure up an album for the band to tour behind in 1981, producer Chris Kimsey returns with pure gold.

Tops and Waiting On A Friend date back to 1972’s Goats Head Soup sessions and feature Mick Taylor, while the career-reinvigorating star of the show, Start Me Up found its unlikely genesis in the single rock take of a Black And Blue-era reggae cast-off by the name of Never Stop.

Long forgotten songs, instrumentals jams and choice snippets are recalibrated with contemporary vocal performances, but little production sheen and the end result gives the impression of a band returning to both their roots and their very best form.

12) A Bigger Bang (2005) (opens in new tab)

Despite flitting from genre to genre, soaking up inspiration like a sponge, and producing authentic, often exemplary, instances of blues, country, funk, rock ‘n’ roll, soul and r‘n’b along the way, somewhere along the line the Stones stumbled upon an instantly identifiable and utterly inimitable Rolling Stones sound.

While it’s devilishly hard to describe, it’s also instantly recognisable, and it’s never been nailed to better effect or quite so precisely as it is on Rough Justice, the opening track of the Stones’ latest studio offering of 2005. Oh No Not You Again is, as unlikely as it might seem, similarly insuppressibly excellent, and proves beyond doubt that no one does the Rolling Stones quite like the Rolling Stones.

11) Blue & Lonesome (2016) (opens in new tab)

Eleven years on from A Bigger Bang it was starting to look like the Stones' recording days were behind them. After all, as the ultimate touring legacy act, boasting a gilt-edged songbook, they'd no need of fresh material to fuel their still blazing fire. Then, with minimum fanfare, Blue & Lonesome dropped, an all-but-live, supremely executed assault on a dozen blues covers (prime cuts from those that shaped the Stones: Little Walter; Jimmy Reed et al) cracked out over three frantic days in Chiswick.

With all concerned, especially an indefatigably vital Jagger, at the top of their game, the album blazes by in a blur. I Gotta Go romps, Commit A Crime swaggers, Just Like I Treat You swings and Clapton guests. This is the Rolling Stones doing what they do best. And, when they're on this form, nobody does better.

(Video) Ranking Every The Rolling Stones Album Ranked Worst To Best

10) Aftermath (1965) (opens in new tab)

Marking an enormous artistic leap, Aftermath (recorded entirely in Los Angeles) was the first Stones album to exclusively consist of Jagger/Richard compositions. Still firmly based in r’n’b, it’s Brian Jones’s visionary instrumentation that’s truly driving the band forward at this juncture.

Following the lead of George Harrison, Jones closely mimicked a sitar on Mother’s Little Helper by a applying a slide to his electric 12-string, before ultimately upgrading to the real thing for non-album single Paint It Black.

Brian similarly enhanced Lady Jane by bringing an other-worldly, Elizabethan shimmer to proceedings with an Appalachian dulcimer and made the humdrum misogyny of Under My Thumb extraordinary by transposing its signature guitar riff onto African marimbas.

9) Brussels Affair (Live 1973) (2011)

Official recognition and release has been a long-time coming, but most Stones fans in the know have owned ‘official’ bootleg Brussels Affair (AKA Bedspring Symphony) in some form or other since highlights of the show were originally broadcast in the mid-seventies.

Recorded in 1973 with Mick Taylor at the very peak of his form it’s, quite simply, the best Stones live performance available. Ironically, it could have been even better. The unofficial version, taken from a BBC radio edit, substitutes superior versions of Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash and Street Fighting Man, from a different show.

The Official Brussels Affair is available to download from The Rolling Stones official online archive.

8) The Rolling Stones (1964)

Often overlooked, invariably under appreciated, the Stones’ eponymous debut album – inexplicably unavailable with its original UK track-listing on CD, though iTunes can still oblige with an accurate download – captures the band in their original incarnation as evangelical purveyors of authentic rhythm and blues.

Tell Me, an engaging Brill Building pop facsimile, bodes well as an early sighting of a soon-to-be gilt-edged Jagger/Richards compositional credit, but three-quarters of the album’s dozen songs are r’n’b covers. The lazy shuffle of Jimmy Reed’s Honest I Do, Brian Jones’s slide stings on Slim Harpo’s I’m A King Bee, Keith’s delinquent swagger through Chuck Berry’s Carol: formative foundations upon which the Stones were to build the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world.

7) Some Girls (1978) (opens in new tab)

The Stones were never more titanic and ubiquitous than they were in the mid-seventies, but their game had wavered slightly since delivering Exile On Main St. Ron Wood had stepped in for Mick Taylor, but their albums had been patchy; until 78’s Some Girls. Despite Jagger’s optimistic aspirations, the Stones were never going to attempt to take on the punks at their own game, but disco? They could do that.

Miss You owned that summer. Its Bill Wyman-via-Billy Preston bass-lope, when allied to Charlie’ Watts’ four-to-the-floor backbeat, was irresistible. Elsewhere, a strong supporting cast of Respectable, When The Whip Comes Down, Far Away Eyes and Beast Of Burden similarly deliver.

6) Get Yer Ya-Yas Out! (1970) (opens in new tab)

No other live album captures the raw, visceral excitement of a rock show quite as succinctly as Ya-Yas. Its no-frills vérité approach suits the Stones’ style perfectly. Here were a band recently up-graded into American arenas, but with the girlish screams of provincial Odeons still echoing in their ears and the sweaty intimacy of the Crawdaddy Club fresh in their memory.

Jagger’s on rare crowd-pleasing form and Richards (finally freed up from carrying a half-cocked Brian Jones) is on fire, sparring confidently with prodigious rookie, Mick Taylor. Introduced as ‘the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world’ for the very first time they don’t disappoint. Robert Johnson’s Love In Vain flies, Midnight Rambler astounds and a brace of Berry’s delight… Charlie good tonight, ain’t he?

5) Singles Collection: The London Years (1989) (opens in new tab)

While the Stones’ 1960s albums invariably delivered, building on the band’s higher profile singles output in a way that contemporary long players from The Who and Small Faces didn’t, the band’s greatest Decca-era work was captured on 7” vinyl. Contemporary hits albums (High Tide And Green Grass, Through The Past Darkly, Flowers) are fondly remembered, but in the CD era, all the very best stuff can be found on this one-stop 3-disc set.

An uncharacteristically polite, debut canter through Chuck Berry’s Come On; a savage breakthrough assault on Lennon and McCartney's I Wanna Me Your Man; the world-conquering, slack-jawed riffs and petulant, anti-establishment sentiments of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Get Off Of My Cloud and 19th Nervous Breakdown… All here and all, still, brilliant.

4) Beggar’s Banquet (1968) (opens in new tab)

Though Brian Jones’ contributions - tambura here, mellotron there - occasionally haunt proceedings, his narcotic- and paranoia-debilitated state essentially left the band one man down during the Beggars sessions. And yet, with assistance from first-time Stones producer Jimmy Miller, Keith Richards stepped up to the plate to deliver one of their best albums.

(Video) Every Rolling Stones Album Ranked Worst To Best

Beggars followed Satanic Majesties’ unfocussed psych with a confident redefinition of all rock could be. From the tribal anti-gospel insistence of Sympathy For The Devil, through the Zeitgeist-defining sedition of Street Fighting Man, to the libertine salaciousness of Stray Cat Blues, Beggars hardened the Stones’ bad boy image into a vision of amoral excess that rock ‘n’ roll’s been trying to live up/down to ever since.

3) Let It Bleed (1969) (opens in new tab)

Arriving in the final month of the sixties, Let It Bleed served to cement the Stones’ reputation as deliciously diabolic harbingers of counter-cultural doom. Looking back, it seems almost unbelievably prescient that the album’s ominous opening track, Gimme Shelter, should have been released the very day before Altamont.

‘A storm is threatening’ indeed: Merry Clayton’s extraordinary backing vocals are worth the price of admission alone. Elsewhere extensive brooding psychodrama, Midnight Rambler ramps up the darkness, Live With Me confirms suspicions that the Stones are modern-day Hellfire Club libertines before You Can’t Always Get What You Want closes proceedings on an epic, if bittersweet, fin de siecle choral crescendo.

2) Exile On Main St. (1972) (opens in new tab)

Exile enjoys an unassailable position in accepted Stones lore as their crowning achievement, yet while it captures a crack unit at the peak of their form, they’ve produced better work in terms of core material. Exile’s legend has grown more around the chaotic circumstances of its birth, its accompanying U.S. tour and contemporary photographic portfolio, than the power of its constituent songs.

That said there are a fair few bona fide classics here: Tumbling Dice represents rock as she should be rolled, Rocks Off slips up a gear with every crash of Charlie’s cymbal and All Down The Line’s driving groove defines the compelling corvine swagger of Keith ’72. Rip This Joint? Forget about it. Exile’s incorrigible.

1) Sticky Fingers (1971) (opens in new tab)

Housed in an iconic Andy Warhol-designed sleeve that, during the vinyl age, viciously assaulted all of your other records with its unashamedly impractical metal zipper, Sticky Fingers exemplifies all the Stones’ best qualities over the course of ten essential selections.

From the strident opening riff of evergreen party-starting staple Brown Sugar (arguably the Stones’ ultimate defining moment), through the Gram Parsons-inspired, country rock paradigm Wild Horses, to the coked-out dreamscape of Moonlight Mile, Mick Taylor’s studio debut never lets up.

Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’s one-take extended coda, with its Santana-styled congas, propels Bobby Keys’ sax improvisation and Taylor’s inspired fluidity to dizzy heights. Bitch’s brassy arrogance, Sister Morphine’s opiate oblivion: the Stones were never better than this.

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Every Rolling Stones album ranked from worst to best (2)

Ian Fortnam

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 19 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977.Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.

Whiskey Myers interview: the southern sound hits an exhilarating new p...►


Every Rolling Stones album ranked from worst to best? ›

Check out Rolling Stones Albums Ranked Worst to Best.
  • 8: 'Out of Our Heads' (1965) ...
  • 7: 'Aftermath' (1966) ...
  • 6: 'Between the Buttons' (1967) ...
  • 5: 'Some Girls' (1978) ...
  • 4: 'Beggars Banquet' (1968) ...
  • 3: 'Sticky Fingers' (1971) ...
  • 2: 'Let it Bleed' (1969) 2: 'Let it Bleed' (1969) ...
  • 1: 'Exile on Main St.' ( 1972)
Mar 12, 2015

What is Rolling Stones #1 album of all time? ›

The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the list, with Rolling Stone's editors describing it as "the most important rock 'n' roll album ever made".

What is the Rolling Stones best selling album? ›

The best-selling album by THE ROLLING STONES is HOT ROCKS 1964-1971, which sold over 6,917,540 copies .

What is the number 1 greatest album of all time? ›

100 Greatest Albums of All Time
11.The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
22.The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced? (1967)
33.The Beatles Abbey Road (1969)
44.The Beatles Revolver (1966)
55.The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (1966)
99 more rows

What is the top 10 selling albums of all time? ›

Top 10 Best-Selling Albums of All Time (2022)
  • #7 - Whitney Houston - The Bodyguard. ...
  • #6 - Fleetwood Mac - Rumours. ...
  • #4 - AC/DC - Back in Black. ...
  • #3 - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV. ...
  • #2 - Eagles - Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) ...
  • #1 - Michael Jackson - Thriller. ...
  • Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell. ...
  • Michael Jackson - Bad. What is this?
May 31, 2022

Who is the best-selling rock band of all time? ›

As of 2017, based on both sales claims and certified units, the Beatles are considered the highest-selling band.

What is the fastest selling album? ›

This is a list of the fastest-selling albums (pure sales) in the United States since Nielsen SoundScan tracking began on March 1, 1991. 25 by Adele is the fastest-selling album of all time in the US with 3,378,000 copies sold in its first seven days.

What is the best album ever released? ›

Here's our picks for the best albums of all time:
  1. 1. “ ...
  2. “Revolver” (1966) – The Beatles. ...
  3. “The Velved Underground And Nico” (1967) – The Velvet Underground. ...
  4. “Trans Europe Express” (1977) – Kraftwerk. ...
  5. “Blonde on Blonde” (1966) – Bob Dylan. ...
  6. “Sgt. ...
  7. “Straight Outta Compton” (1989) – NWA. ...
  8. “Electric Ladyland” (1968) – Jimi Hendrix.
Jul 11, 2022

Who has the most albums on the Rolling Stone top 500? ›

Artists with the most appearances on the 2020 version of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time.
See also Rolling Stone's top 500 songs list.
Artist# of AlbumsAverage Rank
The Beatles9130.2
Bob Dylan8198
Kanye West (eligible in 2029)6154.2
155 more rows
Jun 17, 2022

Who sold most albums ever? ›

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 257.7 million certified sales. Second is Elvis Presley with almost 207 million sales, followed by Michael Jackson with 169.7 million.

What band sold the most albums? ›

1. The Beatles — 183 million units.

What album has the most songs? ›

The most songs on a digital album is 446, and was achieved by Mark Lee and The Pocket Gods (both UK) with the album titled "500X30 Morse Code Days In Lockdown", released on 1 May 2021. This is the third time The Pocket Gods have achieved the record, having previously managed 111 tracks in 2016 and 298 tracks in 2019.

What is considered the best rock album of all time? ›

Best rock albums of all time
  1. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon. $9.99. ...
  2. Led Zeppelin - IV. $9.49. ...
  3. The Beatles - Abbey Road. $12.49. ...
  4. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here. $12.99. ...
  5. Led Zeppelin - II. $10.00. ...
  6. The Beatles - Revolver. $9.00. ...
  7. The Who - Who's Next. $11.84. ...
  8. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced. $17.46.
Jul 19, 2022

Who sold more records Led Zeppelin or Rolling Stones? ›

At last count, the RIAA had certified 45 million more records to Zeppelin's name than the Stones. Worldwide, that edge holds or even increases, with estimates pegging Zeppelin's total output at over 300 million units.

What is the best selling vinyl of all time? ›

1/ Thriller - Michael Jackson - 27 million vinyl records sold. Who else but the King of Pop for the top step of the podium? Only one year after its release in 1982, Thriller was already the best-selling album of all time, with no less than 32 million units sold in all formats, and 66 million to date.

What is the most sold song of all time? ›

According to Guinness World Records, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" (1942) as performed by Bing Crosby is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 50 million copies.

Who has the most #1 hits? ›

The Beatles have the most No. 1 hits of all time: 20. Though unclear for how long, the Beatles still reign supreme as the artist with the most No.

What is the number one song of all time? ›

Therefore, “Blinding Lights” surpassed Chubby Checker's 1960s classic “The Twist” as the all-time No. 1 song, spending 90 total weeks on the Hot 100 Chart.

Who is the biggest band ever? ›


Who is considered the greatest band of all time? ›

Even 50 years after their breakup, the Beatles still hold the distinction of "greatest band ever" for IPR's Mark Simmet. Here's why. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison formed the Beatles in 1960, with various changes of personnel resulting in Ringo Starr completing the quartet in 1962.

Who was bigger Elvis or Michael Jackson? ›

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Elvis Presley sold 146.5 million albums, which is 62.5 more than Michael Jackson, who sold 84 million albums.

Who sold 1 million first week? ›

"The Marshall Mathers LP" by Eminem

"The Marshall Mathers LP," Eminem's third album, sold 1,760,000 copies in the first week after its release.

Has anyone sold a million first week? ›

The last album to move one million copies in one week was Swift's Reputation, which sold 1.238 million in 2017.

What is the fastest album to go diamond? ›

Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" Is the Fastest-Selling Diamond Record of All Time.

What is the most downloaded album of all time? ›

Top 10 downloaded albums of all time
  • Artist: Lumineers. Album: 'Lumineers' Downloads 977,000 (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
  • Artist: Taylor Swift. Album: 'Red' Downloads 1,155,000 (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
  • Artist: Imagine Dragons. Album: 'Night Visions' ...
  • Artist: Adele. Album: '21'

What are the most influential albums of all time? ›

25 of the most influential albums in music history
  • Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures (1979) ...
  • The Beatles - Revolver (1966) ...
  • Nirvana – Nevermind (1991) ...
  • My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (1991) ...
  • The Smiths - Hatful Of Hollow (1984) ...
  • The Clash - London Calling (1979) ...
  • Portishead - Dummy (1994) ...
  • Metallica - Master Of Puppets (1986)
Apr 2, 2021

Is Sgt Pepper the best album ever? ›

The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is no longer The Greatest Album of All Time according to Rolling Stone. Topping the magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003, a revised 2020 poll drops the Fab Four's 1967 recording all the way down to Number 24.

Is revolver the greatest album of all time? ›

In contrast, the release of Revolver was overshadowed by Lennon's infamous and widely misinterpreted 'more popular than Jesus' comments. But time has affirmed the enduring worth of Revolver. It now stands as The Beatles' greatest album.

Is blonde the best album ever? ›

Conversation. Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' has now spent 200 weeks on the Billboard 200. Time named it the best album of 2016, and was also ranked at number 79 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. 1:00 AM · Oct 24, 2020·Hootsuite Inc.

Where should I start with Rolling Stones? ›

I recommend you start with either:
  • Let It Bleed.
  • Sticky Fingers.
  • Hot Rocks 1964-1971.
Feb 17, 2020

Is Beggars Banquet the best Stones album? ›

One of the best rock albums ever made, the project remains one of the cornerstones of their legend and status as one of the greatest groups to ever rock. For the crew of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts, Beggars Banquet is arguably their strongest album.

What was the last good Rolling Stones album? ›

The Rolling Stones' 'Tattoo You' Legacy -- The Last Great Rolling Stones Album.

Is let it bleed a good album? ›

Fifty years after it came out, Let It Bleed sounds timelier than ever. Amid all the chaos, the Stones made a masterpiece that holds up as the ultimate rock & roll album for bleak times, which is why it feels like the most 2019 album of 1969. Their darkest album, yet also their funniest — not to mention their greatest.

What is Mick Jagger favorite song? ›

“That's why 'Let's Dance' is my favorite song of his — it reminds me of those times, and it has such a great groove,” Jagger said. “He had a chameleon-like ability to take on any genre, always with a unique take, musically and lyrically.”

What was The Rolling Stones biggest hit song? ›

1. “Gimme Shelter” – 'Let It Bleed' (1969) Many things add up to “Gimme Shelter” being the greatest Rolling Stones song ever.

Did The Rolling Stones do drugs? ›

Toward the end of their time in France, the Stones racked up quite a debt to drug dealers. By this time Richards had developed a rampant addiction to heroin. His ex-partner Anita Pallenberg says in “1971” that “eventually, we got the word we had to leave because we were going to be arrested.

Why does Beggars Banquet have two covers? ›

Originally set to arrive in the summer of '68, the cover controversy pushed the release date for Beggars Banquet back to Dec. 6, 1968. The original compromise cover adopted a wedding-invitation style; by the early '80s, reissues began using the original cover design.

Which Came First let it be or let it bleed? ›

Although The Rolling Stones released Let It Bleed slightly before The Beatles released their similarly-titled album, the two bands worked on the albums simultaneously, so it's possible the Fab Four inspired The Rolling Stones.

Who played slide guitar on no expectations? ›

Brian Jones' acoustic slide guitar on the recording represents one of his last major contributions before leaving the band.


1. The Rolling Stones Albums Ranked and Reviewed (Worst to Best)
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3. The Rolling Stones Album Covers Ranked Worst To Best
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4. Ranking The ROLLING STONES Albums!
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5. The Best Rolling Stones Albums Ranked
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6. Every Rolling Stones Album Ranked
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