Rolling Stone GOAT Lists

The AWESOME! page has random music stuff that I think is cool. You never know what you will find here!

People LOVE lists. I think it’s because of 2 things – a list puts chaos into order, and it allows you to remember something which may or may not be important. The latter of these has a nostalgia element that I think is very relevant to music lovers.

That’s why music lists are fun. And…potentially controversial, when the list is a “Greatest of All Time” list. I greatly enjoy the debate that comes with a discussion of GOAT music with another music lover. And, I find that when I want to discover something in music that I haven’t discovered before, a GOAT list is a great place to find that hidden treasure. has dared to put together a few personal GOAT lists for your reading pleasure and debate. They are all in the AWESOME section – my picks for The Greatest Artists of All Time was published on September 30, 2018, my picks for The Greatest Frontmen in Rock & Roll History was published on July 24, 2019, and my picks for The Greatest Double Albums of All Time was published on November 8, 2017. Go check them out, and see if you agree!

There are many sources of GOAT lists in the music world. If you google it, you’ll find lists by Billboard, AllMusic,Ranker, Top40Weekly, Spinditty, Liveabout, TheTopTens, PopVortex, Q, Acclaimed Music, hundreds of blogs, and of course…Rolling Stone Magazine. Personally, I give the most street cred to Rolling Stone – they’ve been on the cutting edge of reporting on music since 1967, and with the solid contributions of music insiders over the years, they have earned their place as THE definitive source of GOAT lists. I particularly appreciate the fact that they develop their lists by polling the artists, critics and music industry insiders themselves.

Rolling Stone has published many lists over the years, periodically updating the most important ones (not without controversy – but of course, the debate that comes with it is part of the fun). The most important lists are their lists of the 100 Greatest Artists, 500 Greatest Songs, and 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. You’ll find that I often report on these three in my blog when I write about a particular artist.

On September 22, 2020, Rolling Stone published their updated list of The Greatest Albums of All Time. Their previous efforts at developing the list were in 2003 and 2012. Of course, social media is full of vitriol over the list. I say – relax. OK, some of my favorites dropped off the list (there were 154 albums on the earlier lists that dropped off), but personally, I’m good with it. In fact, I’ve set an ambitious goal – I’m starting at #500 (Arcade Fire’s Funeral) and will stream every one of them. Turns out there are tons of albums by artists that I have a lot to learn about. And, I like the fact that I own 37 of them on vinyl or CD.

In September 2021, Rolling Stone updated their Greatest Songs list. To me, this list is kind of a head scratcher. How is it possible that the #2 greatest song of all time is Fight the Power by Public Enemy. Seriously? And #8 is Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliott? This is so preposterous, it invalidates the entire list.

The most recent Rolling Stone GOAT list of artists dates from 2010.

Here are the top 5 on the most recent version of these 3 GOAT lists from Rolling Stone:

Greatest Albums

5. The Beatles, Abbey Road

4. Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life

3. Joni Mitchell, Blue

2. The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds

1. Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On

Greatest Songs

5. Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit

4. Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone

3. Sam Cooke, A Change Is Gonna Come

2. Public Enemy, Fight the Power

1. Aretha Franklin, Respect

Greatest Artists

5. Chuck Berry

4. The Rolling Stones

3. Elvis Presley

2. Bob Dylan

1. The Beatles

So…what do your GOAT lists look like?

Here’s a video put out in 2019 from the #1 group, from the #5 album on the GOAT lists – Here Comes The Sun, from Abbey Road by The Beatles. One of the best from arguably the best artist ever!

3 thoughts on “Rolling Stone GOAT Lists”

      1. Releasing their TWENTIETH Studio (non-compilation) album “Tribes” in January 2021. Typical CTS; songs are commentary on current affairs, self described as “Music that thinks while it rocks”. Check out select song videos on YouTube.

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