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Apple Music ranks best albums of all time, Lauryn Hill snags top spot

Apple Music has revealed the final 10 spots of its 100 Best Albums list, crowning 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as the No. 1 record of all time.

It’s an eclectic list, with The Beatles, Nirvana, and Amy Winehouse also represented in the top 10. Apple’s rankings aren’t based on any kind of listening statistics, but rather an “editorial statement” crafted by a mix of industry pros and Apple Music editors. It’s an opinionated list, sure to spark discussion – a few inclusions and omissions left us baffled for sure – but there’s no denying there’s some incredible albums that changed the music world in there. Below is the top 10 – head to Apple’s 100 Best Albums page for the full list.

  1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), Lauryn Hill
  2. Thriller (1982), Michael Jackson
  3. Abbey Road (1969), The Beatles
  4. Purple Rain (1984), Prince & The Revolution
  5. Blonde (2016), Frank Ocean
  6. Songs in the Key of Life (1976), Stevie Wonder
  7. good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012), Kendrick Lamar
  8. Back to Black (2006), Amy Winehouse
  9. Nevermind (1991), Nirvana
  10. Lemonade (2016), Beyoncé

Each of the chosen albums has been discussed in detail by special guests Nile Rodgers and Maggie Rogers, alongside Apple Music’s own Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden. Their roundtable chat on why they love these albums is worth a watch, but if you don’t have 45 minutes spare Apple’s press release includes selected quotes from the discussion. There’s also a full 100 Best Albums Radio playlist in the Podcasts app, which tells the story of all 100 episodes.

Lauren Hill said of her victory, “This is my award, but it’s a rich, deep narrative, and involves so many people, and so much sacrifice, and so much time, and so much collective love.”

If this list has inspired you to rediscover the joy of full albums – as opposed to playlists and shuffled singles – check out the thoughtful album-centric app Longplay. It works equally well with an Apple Music subscription or your own mp3 collection. You might also want to check up our own roundup of apps that help you to discover new music and bands.