Picks and Pans Review: The Top 100 Rock 'n' Roll Albums of All Time

updated 06/15/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/15/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Edited by Paul Gambaccini

Gambaccini, a London-based music critic, canvassed 80 other rock reviewers—most of them in the U.S. or Britain—to produce this list. If nothing else, it ought to be good for a few arguments to while away the time while the musicians are setting up their amplifiers. The consensus top choice, based on Gambaccini's point system, was the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run was second, Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde third. (The rest of the Top 10: Marvin Gaye's What's Going On?; Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A.; Elvis Presley's The Sun Collection; The Velvet Underground and Nico; the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds; Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, and The Beatles.) It seems shortsighted to have only three black critics and four women among the 80—Gaye, Stevie Wonder and James Brown are the only black artists in the Top 20 and no woman appears until No. 26 (Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie on Fleetwood Mac's Rumours)—but then everyone will find something missing here, which is part of the fun. Greil Marcus, a columnist for Artforum, deserves an award for picking the most bizarre Top 10, including LPs by the groups X-Ray Spex, the Buzzcocks, Young Marble Giants, the Mekons and Image Publique S.A. Far out, Greil. Way, way, way, far, far, far out, in fact. (Harmony, $12.95)

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