Top Ten Most Influential Albums


The Top Ten

1 Thriller - Michael Jackson

If you see the state of modern music we are in ( pop, rap, r&b, Bieber, Cyrus etc... ) nowadays, you can only take the conclusion that this album influenced many bad artists and changed music for the worst. How can this the most influential album of all time if everything after that became less interesting in the music field? It had his highlight in the 80's and it sold the most, but influential? Really? Elvis first album, The Beatles Sgt. pepper's, the first and second Black Sabbath album, Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde etc.. those are the albums that contributed on social, cultural levels and that were influential in music. Thriller is a very good album ( I even bought it when it came out at the time. I was 18 years old. ) but it don't deserve the number one rank of most influential album of all time. It was only influential at a certain moment in time but nowadays it's only a very popular album ( that many people like and some don't like. ).

This album was the most influential album of all time. It sold the most it was the most unique in its time and to date. Michael set the high standard for the artists to follow. which none have ever been able to reach... MJ is the best... - love4mjj

Ok, I love this album, and this influenced a lot of pop and hard rock to follow. But why is Metallica's Kill 'Em All, or Ride the Lightning, or Master of Puppets on this list, but the Black Album is? Come on, those three were so influenticial, they were the blueprint for a lot of metal and rock after them, including many other legends like Slayer and Korn and Testament and Avenged Sevenfold.
But back to this, this album had so many tunes that became the blueprint for a lot of pop and hard rock, especially the title tack. If this album were here today, all the songs would be playing in the top 40 and could at least enjoy a fourth of the radio, rather than only two songs. Love this album.

included many pop songs such as billie jean, beat it, thriller, wanna be starting something. This album also inspired many pop singers such as Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Ne-Yo and many other artists too - idolangelx13

V 14 Comments
2 Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

Most important album. Music was never the same after this. The Beatles deserve the top 5 spots with the white album at 5, abbey road at 4, rubber soul at 3, revolver at 2, and sgt pepper at 1. The Beatles will always be the greatest band ever everyone else is fighting for second

There are two albums that changed music on a social and cultural level. The first Elvis Presley album ( the album that made Rock popular not only in the States but all over the world ) and this one from The Beatles ( the album that changed the late 60's and all what came after that ). It's certainly not " Thriller " from Michael Jackson that changed the eighties and the music on a social and cultural level. Eddie Van Halen, Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones etc... all contributed to the " Thriller " album but people treat Michael Jackson as the one and only genius who influenced and changed everything in music.

List is absurd. Michael Jackson can't touch the Beatles when it comes to talent, creativity and cutting edge writing and composing ability. What a joke! 1

The people here are retarded if they think 3 or 4 Michael Jackson albums are more important than Sgt. Pepper. This changed music forever.

V 9 Comments
3 Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

Better than all the rest. A true masterpiece! Stands the test of time, it envelopes you & strikes a chord with of every passage!

My favorite album of all time! Thriller is nit the most influential album of all time! People just vote for it cause he's dead.

Um, or maybe it's the fact it sold over a million copies and songs like Thriller, Billie Jean, and Beat It are played on the radio and hummed regularly everyday? No, no, no, it's not because this album made Michael Jackson even more famous and gave him the title of the King of Pop, it's because he's dead. Right? - MontyPython

To me this album is less of a group of songs and more of one singular piece of music. DSOTM is the best piece of music ever written.

One of those rare albums where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, must be listened to from beginning to end. A prog rock masterpiece!

V 3 Comments
4 Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart

First album in history that reached simultaniously the number one spot in the USA and UK.
Also the single "Maggie May" was number one at the same time in the USA and UK, sweden, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Chili, France, Greece, Israël, SA and Ireland. - phr

5 Dream With Me - Jackie Evancho

In this, her debut album, Jackie enlightened the world about what Classical Crossover is, and should be, about. With her head in the music and her heart on her sleeve, this young lady uses her gently powerful vocal instrument to set the bar for fine performances. - BobG

Most influential album in my life, so gets my vote.

In an era where almost the only thing being listened to is auto-tuned pop and gutter-level rap, along comes the purest voice in more than a century.

How is this influential? I've never heard anyone mention it. Ever.

6 Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols - The Sex Pistols

It was totally a revolutionary for punk music industry. I believe its their only album but you can still its effect on todays teenagers... Great album from the punk GREAts..

There are so many bands that wouldn�'t exist if this band and this album would not have happened.

7 Awakening - Jackie Evancho

Jackie continues to enlarge the tent of the "classical crossover" genre with this mix of sacred, classical and pop covers and some startling original songs. Something for everyone, and all of it done in grand style. - BobG

Will positively influence every part of your being

Surrender to this voice and you will fly.

Get ready to be influenced.

8 Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan

Really? 47? This deserves probably in the top 5.

9 The Wall - Pink Floyd

I feel like the wall should be in the top ten or the joshua tree because the type of music and genre that pink floyd had

10 Nevermind - Nirvana

This album represents more than just music, it represents a whole generation, albums are not only excellent by their music, it's more the context at the moment they were released and what evoque to any person who lived listening it.

This album has inspired many artists around today, some good, some bad (Miley Cyrus comes to mind with that insulting cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit) and also if it wasn't for Nirvana we wouldn't have Foo Fighters. So not only most influential album, but one of the most influential bands - Danielsun182

Why the hell are there 3 Michael Jackson albums in the top 10? - qaz9999

Thriller is the greatest. But Nevermind is the most influential, it brought not only grunge to mainstream music but also shaped the whole idea of alternative rock. Long live KKD.

V 2 Comments

The Contenders

11 Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley

Say whatever you like about the album. Covers which do nothing special... Vocal tweaking but this album influences every teen at that time to become a rebellious force like Elvis. Rock and roll is finally liberated from racial stereotypes. The charts embrace a new form of music which alters pop culture until the end of time. - RonaldHo

He should be rated higher. The Man is the biggest selling ARTIST of all-time.

I don't think this is a masterpiece, but without it thriller never would exist

I don't know what was the first album of all time, which obviously influenced EVERY other album and therefore is objectively THE most influential album of all time... I'll just vote for the earliest album with pop cultural influence that came to my mind.
Albums of the 21st century should not be on such a list. They fit on genre-specific lists, but not on lists about influential music in general. - Martin_Canine

12 Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys

Defined how we see an album. - JoLeKosovo

Pet Sounds is by far the most innovative, experimental, and influential album of all time. Despite the fact that many claim Sgt. Pepper to be this album, Without Pet Sounds there would be no Sgt. Pepper. A truly masterful work of musical beauty.

Yes, should be in the top three at least. If SMILE had been released in 1966 or '67, it would be in the top three, also

Can't respect any list that doesn't have pet sounds in the top 5 as most influential album of all time.

V 3 Comments
13 Led Zeppelin IV (aka ZOSO) - Led Zeppelin

Proof that hard rock bands could be more than blaring guitars and pounding drums. - ThatDudeRoss

14 Tommy - The Who

I would call this the first undebatable concept album. Pet Sounds sold more of an idea than a concept. Sgt Pepper's was kind of a concept, but even Paul McCartney said it wasn't really. Other albums have been called "kind of concept albums", but none were purely concept albums until Tommy. - JoLeKosovo

Why is there 5 MJ albums in the top 10. It is actually quite disgusting

Its true this was the first reql rock opera or concept album - UsernameHere

15 Paranoid - Black Sabbath

For pioneering music that mom's screamed at their sons for listening to, and doing it successfully at that, this album outta have a spot in the top 10 somewhere. After all, this list is for albums that re invented music, best-seller or not.

Next to Jeff Beck's "Truth' one of the fundations of "Heavy Metal" - phr

16 London Calling - The Clash

The ammount of different sub genres of rock this album bought to the mainstream definitely falls under most influential albums category. Might not be the most influential but deserves to be higher than 24

17 Dangerous - Michael Jackson

I love this album so much! This is the first album of Michael from wich I immediately loved every song. It's one of the best albums of all time, together with all the other Mj albums..

18 Play - Moby
19 Autobahn - Kraftwerk

It started something completely new in music. - PositronWildhawk

20 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back - Public Enemy
21 Queen II - Queen

Brilliant album. The diehard Queen fans and music fans get it... (which is why it’s so influential). while everyone else is worried about grabbing the Greatest Hits album.

I think that this album is pretty underrated. - IronSabbathPriest

22 Invincible - Michael Jackson
23 Off the Wall - Michael Jackson

This was his first debut album as a solo artist. What a start he had... This was a mix of the past with the future... Micheal presented it perfectly... love 4 mj

Wow 5 Michael Jackson albums in the top 10! Amazing! And well deserved! Michael still is the best!

24 HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I - Michael Jackson
25 5 Years of Mau5 - Deadmau5
26 2pacalypse Now - 2pac
27 18 - Moby
28 American Idiot - Green Day

Greatest album of the 2000's..

This album made me play guitar because of the American idiot guitar riff

29 Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
30 Discovery - Daft Punk


31 Revolver - The Beatles

Tomorrow Never Knows is so ahead of its time - MaxPap

my favorite Beatles album, I don't really like all the "ya-yaya" stuff beforehand - Queen-aholic

32 True Blue - Madonna

Madonaa is higher than Pink Floyd?
Oh God!
Why Peaple Whorship this bitches?
What the hell?
How Can Michael Jackson and Madonna and other dumbass POP Singers Higher than Great Bands Like Pink Floyd Metallica and etc. ?

33 Random Album Title - Deadmau5
34 Bad - Michael Jackson

Should be in the top ten too!

Should definitely be in the top ten!


35 Are You Experienced? - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Changed the way guitar was played, without him, none of these other albums would exsist, besides the pop ones like Michael Jackson, they might still exsist, but who did Michael influence? All those crappy artists today that's who. - jfauser

36 Back in Black - AC/DC

This was the blue print to making a great hard rock album.

37 The Velvet Underground and Nico - Velvet Underground

Ok, this is irritating, I was reading the list for best albums and it was basically identical to this. Now don't get me wrong a lot of the albums on here are very good (fantastic even) but how influential were they. Back In Black, one of my favorite albums... But not overly influential so I wouldn't vote for it.

This however was hugely influential and invented punk, without this there would have been no Sex Pistols or Clash, which means no Nirvana or Green Day. This album is incredible to think about the music that was popular at the time, nobody sang about Heroin until Lou Reed did.

Please stop voting for what you like and vote for what is most influential! - DeadAsian

Yes we are now in the year 2014 and this was released in 1966, circa, and I would not deny the original recordings even after being remastered sound dated, however I'm 17 and surely anyone who listens and appreciates real music will realize this is incredible, at the time there was popularity in swing and jazz, this album really bought forward the idea of rebelian and without many great punk groups (Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones, The Ruts, Sham 69, Buzzcocks... And many more) would never have existed.

Also am I going crazy and blind or are Metallica and Iron Maiden not in the Top Ten, the list says most influential, this is 1 but Kill Em All is 2 and Iron Maiden is 3. - DeadAsian

This album created proto punk, art rock, noise rock and progressive rock SO WHY IT ISN'T IN TOP TEN?!?

To see the artists that this is below is shocking; some had no influence on anyone- Shakira and Amy Winehouse spring to mind. The Velvet Underground were not only were the direct and sole influence of genres such as punk, drone and indie rock, but they created the idea of music being an art form.

V 1 Comment
38 Appetite For Destruction - Guns N Roses

Best album of all time.

All the songs on this record is worth a listen

Best selling debut album of all time.

39 Metallica (The Black Album) - Metallica

you may not like it, but it was the album that made heavy metal acceptable to listen to in a wider audience - Psykosauron

40 In Rock - Deep Purple
41 The Clash - The Clash
42 Reckless - Bryan Adams
43 Agnez Mo - Agnes Monica

The Greatest album
All songs are very good
You must hear it
After you hear it, you will repeat and repeat to hear again

The greatest album
All songs are very good
Agnes voice is amazing
The real diva

AgnesMO best album in asian

The best album forever

V 1 Comment
44 The Bodyguard - Whitney Houston

I will always love Whitney forever

45 Back To Black - Amy Winehouse
46 Korn - Korn

It is one of korn's darkest albums

The first nu metal album.

47 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.

One of the greatest gangsta rap albums ever made.

48 Who's Next - The Who
49 Abbey Road - The Beatles
50 Kill 'Em All - Metallica
8Load More
PSearch List

Related Lists

Top Ten Most Influential Metal Albums Most Influential Extreme Metal Albums Top 10 Most Influential Nu Metal Albums Most Influential Metal Debut Albums Most Influential R&B Albums

List Stats

4,000 votes
156 listings
11 years, 53 days old

Top Remixes (12)

1. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
2. Metallica (The Black Album) - Metallica
3. Nevermind - Nirvana
1. Play - Moby
2. Autobahn - Kraftwerk
3. 5 Years of Mau5 - Deadmau5
1. The Bodyguard - Whitney Houston
2. Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston
3. Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

View All 12

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.