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Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Top 100 Folk/Americana Albums of All Time

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Call it folk, folk-rock, roots music, Americana, alternate country, country rock, or whatever else floats your fancy. Music driven by acoustic instruments or which harkens back to musical forms of a century ago has played a large role in shaping popular music and then responding to popular music trends. By aggregating more than 40 lists, the DMDB has pulled together its list of the best folk/Americana albums of all time. And away we go…

1. Bob Dylan…The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
2. Joni Mitchell…Blue (1971)
3. Various Artists…Anthology of American Folk Music Volumes 1-3 (1932)
4. Bob Dylan…Blood on the Tracks (1975)
5. Woody Guthrie…Dust Bowl Ballads (1940)
6. Lucinda Williams…Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998)
7. Fairport Convention…Liege and Lief (1969)
8. Neil Young…After the Gold Rush (1970)
9. Nick Drake…Five Leaves Left (1969)
10. Grateful Dead…American Beauty (1970)

11. The Band…The Band (1969)
12. Nick Drake…Pink Moon (1972)
13. Bob Dylan…Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
14. Bob Dylan…Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
15. Bob Dylan…Blonde on Blonde (1966)
16. John Prine…John Prine (1971)
17. Uncle Tupelo…No Depression (1990)
18. Neil Young…Harvest (1972)
19. The Band…Music from Big Pink (1968)
20. The Byrds…Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)

21. The Incredible String Band…The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter (1968)
22. Grateful Dead…Workingman’s Dead (1970)
23. Woody Guthrie…The Asch Recordings Volumes 1-4 (1949)
24. Van Morrison…Astral Weeks (1968)
25. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young…Déjà Vu (1970)
26. Gram Parsons…Grievous Angel (1974)
27. The Flying Burrito Brothers…The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969)
28. The Byrds…Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968)
29. Steve Earle…Guitar Town (1986)
30. Fleet Foxes…Fleet Foxes (2008)

31. Simon & Garfunkel…Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
32. Crosby, Stills & Nash…Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969)
33. Leonard Cohen…The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
34. Robert Johnson…The Complete Recordings (1937)
35. Simon & Garfunkel…Bookends (1968)
36. Neil Young…Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
37. Nick Drake…Bryter Layter (1970)
38. Fairport Convention…Unhalfbricking (1969)
39. Richard & Linda Thompson…Shoot Out the Lights (1982)
40. Bruce Springsteen…Nebraska (1982)

41. Bob Dylan…The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964)
42. Johnny Cash…American Recordings (1994)
43. Simon & Garfunkel…Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (1966)
44. Gram Parsons…G.P. (1973)
45. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band…Will the Circle Be Unbroken (1972)
46. Indigo Girls…Indigo Girls (1989)
47. Townes Van Zandt…Townes Van Zandt (1969)
48. Iron & Wine…Our Endless Numbered Days (2004)
49. Ryan Adams…Heartbreaker (2000)
50. Various Artists…Alan Lomax Collection Sampler (1997)

51. The Weavers…The Bst of the Decca Years (1996)
52. Comus…First Utterance (1971)
53. Carole King…Tapestry (1971)
54. Tracy Chapman…Tracy Chapman (1988)
55. Roy Harper…Stormcock (1971)
56. Phil Ochs…I Ain’t Marching Anymore (1965)
57. Bob Dylan…John Wesley Harding (1967)
58. Bob Dylan…Time Out of Mind (1997)
59. Cat Stevens…Tea for the Tillerman (1970)
60. Dillard & Clark…The Fantastic Expedition (1968)

61. James Taylor…Sweet Baby James (1970)
62. Van Morrison…Moondance (1970)
63. Neutral Milk Hotel…In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)
64. Richard & Linda Thompson…I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974)
65. Bob Dylan…Modern Times (2006)
66. Buffalo Springfield…Again (1967)
67. Donovan…Sunshine Superman (1966)
68. Bob Dylan…Love and Theft (2001)
69. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss…Raising Sand (2007)
70. Bob Dylan…Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964)

71. Billy Bragg & Wilco…Mermaid Avenue (1998)
72. Tim Buckley…Starsailor (1970)
73. Wilco…Being There (1996)
74. Emmylou Harris…Wrecking Ball (1995)
75. Judy Collins…Forever: An Anthology (1997)
76. Pete Seeger…If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope & Struggle (1998)
77. The Incredible String Band…5000 Spirits of the Layers of the Onion (1967)
78. Emmylou Harris…Pieces of the Sky (1975)
79. Gillian Welch…Time (The Revelator) (2001)
80. Gene Clark…White Light (1971)

81. John Hartford…Aero Plain (1971)
82. Joan Baez…In Concert Part 2 (1963)
83. Son Volt…Trace (1995)
84. Bob Dylan…Nashville Skyline (1969)
85. The Kingston Trio…At Large (1959)
86. Joan Baez…Diamonds and Rust (1975)
87. Jim Croce…You Don’t Mess Around with Jim (1972)
88. John Prine…Fair & Square (2005)
89. Various Artists…O Brother, Where Art Thou? (soundtrack, 2000)
90. The Byrds…Younger Than Yesterday (1967)

91. Devendra Banhart…Rejoicing in the Hands (2004)
92. Bob Dylan…The Royal Albert Hall Concert (The Bootleg Series Vol. 4) (1966)
93. The Flying Burrito Brothers…Burrito Deluxe (1970)
94. Steve Earle…I Feel Alright (1996)
95. Alexander “Skip” Spence…Oar (1969)
96. Love…Forever Changes (1967)
97. Jeff Buckley…Grace (1994)
98. John Mellencamp…Scarecrow (1985)
99. John Hiatt…Bring the Family (1987)
100. Hank Williams…40 Greatest Hits (1953)


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4 comments:

  1. David Francey's Torn Screen Door should be on your list.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jimmy Driftwood, Carter Family, and all the others??? You're list is tends to lean towards many artists that I would classify as rock and not folk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made no attempt to define or limit the definition of "folk." I just went by the lists. If they put it on their lists, I included it in my database. Then I just created the list by going with whatever albums got the most points.

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  3. My parents got me hooked on Peter, Paul and Mary and I found my way to Bob Dylan. I also got hooked into Paul Simon and into John Prine at an early age having been born in 1979. On the flip side I started out with Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton then found my way to Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krauss.

    I found slight similarities between the Folk artists and Americana artists. I landed on Folk Rock and Country Rock eventually and that lead me in different directions. One was Contemporary Singer-Songwriter and Modern Folk. There is some overlap between genres and a lot of jumping off points.

    The main genres of discussion with this list are Folk music between 1950 and now, Folk Rock, Singer-Songwriter, Country Rock, Country Folk, Americana and a Folk-Alternative vibe.

    Personally I recommend people check out these stations to get an idea of how big the field is: On Google Play Music try Essential Folk, Classic Singer-Songwriters, Reflections of a Singer-Songwriter, Allison Krauss station, Eye Opening Americana, God Bless Americana, Rolling Down The Road Radio, Fireplace Folk, Today's Americana, Today's Indie Folk & Americana and Today's Singer-Songwriters.
    On Pandora try Country Folk, 60s Folk, 70s Folk, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Lite Rock Songwriters, Americana, British Folk, Folk Rock and Acoustic Blues.
    On Aol Radio try Folk, Americana, Songwriters, and Sailing Away.
    On Jango try 60s Folk Rock, Folk Rock, Warm Acoustic Music, 70s Singer Songwriter Redefined, Singing By The Campfire, Mellow and Melancholy Folk, Alt Country and Americana

    Just some ideas. Gives you artists you can then find on Spotify and Rhapsody type sites or try custom stations on the sites.

    ReplyDelete