Mar 032016

A selection of more than one thousand albums/recordings I consider essential, from 1923 to the present. Click the decade link to view the whole decade in one page or click the single year.

The lists:

Notes about the lists:

  • They are focused on rock music, including roots and derivative genres. So they cover other genres as well, even if not extensively, in those cases where the content is considered influential for rock music. The following acronyms are used to identify some genres/nationality:
    • (AMBIENT) – Ambient
    • (BLUES) – Blues
    • (BM) – Black metal
    • (FLAMENCO) – Spanish flamenco
    • (HIP-HOP) – Hip Hop / Rap
    • (INDIA) – Indian
    • (ITALIA) – Italian
    • (JAZZ) – Jazz
    • (LATIN) – Latin American
    • (LEBANON) – Lebanese
    • (PORTUGAL) – Portuguese
    • (REGGAE) – Reggae
    • (TECHNO) – Techno / Electronica
  • The first section (Early blues, jazz, folk and rock ‘n’ roll) includes mostly compilations. The other lists include albums only, although there are few exceptions.
  • They include 10 main albums per year (at least starting from 1964) plus a variable number of notable albums listed after. They are sorted by release date unless specification indicates otherwise.
  • Straight blues is covered more extensively here: Blues recordings selection.
  • This selection is a work in progress.


Album covers selected from the lists above, one for each year: