100 Best Albums Of The Last 20 Years | Rolling Stone (1987)
updated 6 months ago
In 1987, Rolling Stone magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary with four special issues. On August 27, it published its first and biggest issue, "The 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years." It was one of the first times that a major music publication attempted to create a musical canon.
Perhaps most shocking at the time was the inclusion of the Sex Pistols' debut at number 2. (Subsequent lists wouldn't rank it as highly.) Overall, black music was generally overlooked, as was jazz and classical. The critics polled here leaned towards 70s chestnuts, since debate had not yet settled on 80s trends such as post-punk and American hardcore. Meanwhile, publisher Jann Wenner reportedly complained, "Where's Loggins & Messina on this poll? Where's Hotel California?"
Rolling Stone has since produced several "best of" lists, most recently a "top 500 albums" list. But this one is the most reflective of the classic rock era.