Top 10 Most Influential Albums of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Thriller - Michael Jackson

Okay, I love this album, and it greatly influenced a lot of pop and hard rock that followed. But why aren't Metallica's Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, or Master of Puppets on this list, while the Black Album is? Those three albums were incredibly influential, serving as the blueprint for much of the metal and rock that came after, including for legends like Slayer, Korn, Testament, and Avenged Sevenfold.

But back to Thriller, this album had so many tunes that became the blueprint for a lot of pop and hard rock, especially the title track. If this album were released today, all the songs would be playing in the top 40 and could dominate at least a quarter of the radio, rather than just two songs. I truly love this album.

When you consider the state of modern music (pop, rap, R&B, Bieber, Cyrus, etc.), it seems that this album influenced many artists and changed music, perhaps not for the better. How can it be the most influential album of all time if everything that followed became less interesting in the music field? It had its highlight in the '80s and was the best-selling, but influential? Really?

Elvis' first album, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's, the first and second Black Sabbath albums, and Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, among others, contributed on social and cultural levels and were truly influential in music. Thriller is a very good album (I even bought it when it came out. I was 18 years old), but it doesn't deserve the number one rank as the most influential album of all time. It was influential at a certain moment, but nowadays, it's only a very popular album that many people like and some don't.

2 Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

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

My favorite album of all time! Thriller is not the most influential album of all time! People just vote for it because he's dead.

Better than all the rest. A true masterpiece! It stands the test of time, envelops you, and strikes a chord with every passage!

3 Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

There are two albums that changed music on a social and cultural level. The first is Elvis Presley's 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 '60s and everything that came after). It's certainly not "Thriller" from Michael Jackson that changed the eighties and 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.

The 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 place.

While you could say that Pet Sounds inspired Sgt Pepper, Pet Sounds was itself inspired by Rubber Soul. However, that is another subject. Sgt Pepper created the concept album in the sense as it is known today.

4 Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart

This is the first album in history that reached simultaneously 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, Chile, France, Greece, Israel, South Africa, and Ireland.

5 Nevermind - Nirvana

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). Also, if it wasn't for Nirvana, we wouldn't have Foo Fighters. So, it's not only the most influential album but also one of the most influential bands.

This album represents more than just music. It represents a whole generation. Albums are not only excellent because of their music. It's more about the context at the moment they were released and what they evoke in any person who lived listening to it.

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.

6 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 album, 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!

This album is more deserving of a spot on this list than half of what's above it! I mean, most of these albums are great, but many of them weren't particularly influential, don't you think?

Really, this album was so much different from everything else from its time - both musically and lyrically - that it created a whole new spectrum of rock music, which broadened its content and the meaningfulness drastically. Genres like punk rock, post-punk, alternative rock, noise rock, shoegaze, etc., exist thanks to this very album! Along with numerous other genres! That is something that can't be said for very many other albums in history!

And I repeat, be careful when voting on this list. Even though popularity and influence aren't mutually exclusive, they aren't nearly the same thing!

7 Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan

Really? Ranked 47th? This album deserves to be probably in the top 5.

8 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.

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.

This is the most influential album in my life, so it gets my vote.

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

It was totally revolutionary for the punk music industry. I believe it's their only album, but you can still see its effect on today's teenagers. A great album from the punk greats.

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

10 Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys

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.

I can't respect any list that doesn't have Pet Sounds in the top 5 as the most influential album of all time.

Yes, it 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.

The Newcomers

? White Album - The Beatles

This is perhaps as influential as Sgt. Pepper's, Rubber Soul, and Revolver. Why didn't anyone add this yet?

The Contenders
11 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.

Surrender to this voice and you will fly.

Get ready to be influenced.

12 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.

One of the greatest gangsta rap albums ever made.

13 Led Zeppelin IV (aka ZOSO) - Led Zeppelin

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

14 Dangerous - Michael Jackson

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

15 Are You Experienced? - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
16 Paranoid - Black Sabbath

For pioneering music that moms screamed at their sons for listening to, and doing it successfully at that, this album ought to have a spot in the top 10 somewhere. After all, this list is for albums that reinvented music, bestseller or not.

17 London Calling - The Clash

The amount of different sub-genres of rock this album brought to the mainstream definitely falls under the most influential albums category. It might not be the most influential but deserves to be higher than 24.

18 Play - Moby
19 Autobahn - Kraftwerk

It started something completely new in music.

20 Invincible - Michael Jackson
21 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back - Public Enemy
22 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. Michael presented it perfectly. Love for MJ.

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

23 HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I - Michael Jackson
24 Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley

I don't know what the first album of all time was, which obviously influenced EVERY other album and therefore is objectively THE most influential album of all time. So, 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.

Say whatever you like about the album. Covers which do nothing special, vocal tweaking, but this album influenced 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.

He should be rated higher. The man is the biggest-selling artist of all time.

25 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.

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