Apple Music Is Rounding up the 100 Best Albums of All Time

Apple Music 100 Best Albums hero Credit: Apple
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Apple Music is kicking off a 10-day event to celebrate the “100 Best Albums of all time” — at least according to its editorial team and hand-picked list of experts and artists.

Apple announced the event today in a newsroom release, making it clear that the list “is an editorial statement” that has nothing to do with streaming numbers on Apple Music. In other words, it won’t be a list of the most popular albums but rather the ones that Apple believes have a significant place in music history.

Over the next 10 days, Apple will run a countdown of these 100 Best Albums, posting ten per day in reverse order. The list will be posted on a new 100 Best microsite and will also include new and exclusive content and Apple Music Radio episodes dedicated to the event.

100 Best brings together all the things that make Apple Music the ultimate service for music lovers — human curation at its peak, an appreciation for the art of storytelling, and unparalleled knowledge of music and an even deeper love for it. We have been working on this for a very long time, and it’s something we are all incredibly proud of and excited to share with the world.Rachel Newman, Apple Music’s senior director of content and editorial

Apple describes the list as “a love letter to the records that have shaped the world music lovers live and listen in.” In addition to the Apple Music editorial team, Apple has brought together “a select group of artists,” that include Maren Morris, Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, Charli XCX, Mark Hoppus, Honey Dijon, and Nia Archives, plus select songwriters, producers, and industry professionals.

When the dust settles, reasonable music fans may disagree with Apple’s picks here, but if nothing else, they’re sure to promote discussion, which is likely the ultimate goal here. Apple Music’s global creative director, Zane Lowe, described the task as “practically mission impossible,” but added, “it was also amazing to really take a minute and sit and think about the music and albums and artists that we love so much in this context.”

If this list sparks more debate among fans outside of Apple Music and gets people talking passionately about the music they love, then we’ve done what we set out to do.Zane Lowe, Apple Music’s global creative director

The first ten albums at the bottom of the list, numbers 91 through 100, represent an interesting if somewhat eclectic collection. Some will argue that they lean too heavily into modern albums — seven of the 10 are from the 21st century, with only one from the 70s and none from the 80s — but it’s only the tip of the iceberg, so it’s probably best to reserve judgment until we see where this is going as the list makes its way to number 1.

Here are the albums at the bottom of the top 100:

100. Body Talk, Robyn
99. Hotel California, Eagles
98. ASTROWORLD, Travis Scott
97. Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine
96. Pure Heroine, Lorde
95. Confessions, USHER
94. Untrue, Burial
93. A Seat at the Table, Solange
92. Flower Boy, Tyler, The Creator
91. Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, George Michael

As Scott Plagenhoef, Apple Music’s global head of music programming, shared, there’s much more to explore for many of these picks than just the music. “For example, two of the records revealed today were promoted without the image of the artist,” he says, “but for opposite reasons — Burial’s Untrue because the artist was still operating anonymously at the time, and George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 because the artist was actually retreating from fame.”

As the list unfolds, Apple will also run “a full 100 Best Albums Radio takeover” on its Apple Music Hits station, with daily specials at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET and exclusive content on Apple Music and Apple Podcasts to accompany the countdown.

When the final top ten drop next Wednesday, May 22, Apple Music will also host a special roundtable discussion in which Ebro Darden, Maggie Rogers, Zane Lowe, and Nile Rodgers will discuss the top picks, and Lowe will release a special mashup-style DJ mix featuring songs from all of the 100 Best Albums.

Music fans can follow along at 100best.music.apple.com and follow @AppleMusic on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or X.

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