New to the List

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  • Kanye West
    Kanye West
    American rapper
  • Kendrick Lamar
    Kendrick Lamar
    American rapper from California

Jan. 1—When I came up with my Top 100 Albums list for this newspaper 20 years ago, a lot of albums on the 2022 list were not present. A lot of them, of course, weren't around then (i.e. Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly," Tom Petty's "Wildflowers," Kanye West's "My Beautiful, Dark Twisted Fantasy," The White Stripes' "Elephant, "Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.")

But most of the omissions were just oversights on my part, which, by the way, is not unusual when you do this kind of list in a medium that you love with a passion.

(TRUE STORY: Also several years ago — I don't remember the date — I undertook the Hurculean task of coming up with my Top 500 songs of all time for the Herald. (That's right, 500 songs!) I love music so much, I'd spend literally hours going over a group of songs, trying to decide which should be ranked ahead of others. When I finished the exhausting list and it ran in the paper, I started getting calls from people saying, "What about ...? How can you have a top songs list without ...?" And they were right, so what I did was come up with a second Top 500 list of songs that weren't in the first 500. For the math-challenged, that's 1,000 songs. I don't think I'll have the mental faculty to do something like that again.)

Anyway, as I started putting together my album list 20 years down the road, I was amazed at some of the ones I'd left off the first go-around. No "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne (No. 5 here)? Are you kidding? No "Machine Head" by Deep Purple (No. 26)? No "461 Ocean Boulevard" by Clapton? "Kick" by INXS? "Hotel California" by the Eagles?

Hell, no "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, which is only the top-selling album ever?

Yeah, I was surprised at the albums I left off that initial list as well. But adding a few albums released in the past two decades and going back over my album collection — plus adding 50 albums to the list — should be a better representation of what a top album list should look like.

Until, of course, people start asking me: "But what about ..."

New to the List

1. Running on Empty — Jackson Browne

2. Machine Head — Deep Purple

3. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy — Kanye West

4. Bridge Over Troubled Water — Simon & Garfunkel

5. Abbey Road — The Beatles

6. 461 Ocean Boulevard — Eric Clapton

7. Pronounced — Lynyrd Skynyrd

8. Brothers in Arms — Dire Straits

9. Save the Dancer — Gene Cotton

10. Yes — The Yes Album

11. Kick — INXS

12. Streetlife Serenade — Billy Joel

13. Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneygo'round — The Kinks

14. Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus — Spirit

15. Just a Boy — Leo Sayer

16. Hotel California — The Eagles

17. Steppenwolf

18. Some Girls — The Rolling Stones

19. Aerie — John Denver

20. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below — Outkast

21. Wildflowers — Tom Petty

22. Let It Be — The Beatles

23. Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic — Red Hot Chili Peppers

24. Escape — Journey

25. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy — Elton John

26. War Child — Jethro Tull

27. Pet Sounds — The Beach Boys

28. Talking Book — Stevie Wonder

29. Willie and the Poor Boys — Creedence Clearwater Revival

30. Ram — Paul and Linda McCartney

31. Elephant — The White Stripes

32. Against the Wind — Bob Seger

33. The Grand Illusion — Styx

34. Piano Man — Billy Joel

35. Caribou — Elton John

36. Disraeli Gears — Cream

37. Building the Perfect Beast — Don Henley

38. Aja — Steely Dan

39. Diamonds and Rust — Joan Baez

40. To Pimp a Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar

41. Plug Me Into Something — Henry Gross

42. Hair (Soundtrack)

43. At Fillmore East — The Allman Brothers Band (Live)

44. Thriller — Michael Jackson

45. The Doors

46. After the Gold Rush — Neil Young

47. Watch the Throne — Kanye West/Jay Z

48. Honky Chateau — Elton John

49. Wheels of Fire — Cream

50. There Goes Rhymin' Simon — Paul Simon

51. We're an American Band — Grand Funk Railroad

52. Pieces of Eight — Styx

53. Paul Simon

54. In Through the Out Door — Led Zeppelin

55. Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player — Elton John

56. Flag — James Taylor

57. Arc of a Diver — Steve Winwood

58. At Folsom Prison — Johnny Cash

59. Madman Across the Water — Elton John

60. McCartney — Paul McCartney

61. Cosmos Factory — Creedence Clearwater Revival

62. Tumbleweed Connection — Elton John

63. The Magician's Birthday — Uriah Heep

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