I went based on all the albums I grew up with and all the songs are worth listening to on each album.
Cheap Trick-Live at Budokhan
The Cars- Candy O
The Beatles- Revolver
Madonna- Like a Virgin
Elton John-Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
No Doubt-Tragic Kingdom
Michael Jackson-Off the Wall/this album I thought was better than Thriller.
David Bowie-Young Americans
My honorable Mentions
Pink Floyd-The Wall - I wore this vinyl album out.
Abbey Road - The Beatles Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys The Joshua Tree - U2 Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morrisette Rumors - Fleetwood Mac Blue - Joni Mitchell Achtung Baby - U2 Back to Black - Amy Winehouse London Calling - The Clash Sgt. Pepper - The Beatles
I'll do an actual list, well three. Each artist is only on one list, so in cases such as Led Zeppelin IV it's not on the studio list, since I included a live album.
no particular order
1. Purple Rain - Prince
2. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
3. The Doors -The Doors
4. The White Album - The Beatles
5. The Wall - Pink Floyd
6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
7. Achtung Baby - U2
8. Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys
9. The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem
10. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
I thought I'd add a list of 10 "Greatest Hits" type albums as well, since I don't feel they belong in the same category.
1. Legend - Bob Marley & The Wailers
2. The Very Good Years - Frank Sinatra
3. The Hits - Garth Brooks
4. Forty Licks - The Rolling Stones
5. The Ultimate Experience - Jimi Hendrix
6. The Immaculate Collection - Madonna
7. History - Michael Jackson
8. Anthology - The Temptations
9. Every Breath You Take - The Police
10. Aerosmith's Greatest Hits - Aerosmith
The same with Live Albums
1. Unplugged in New York - Nirvana
2. How the West Was Won - Led Zeppelin
3. Live at Red Rocks 8-15-95 - Dave Matthews Band
4. Unplugged - Alice in Chains
5. Live Phish Vol. 13 10-31-94 - Phish
6. Frampton Comes Alive - Peter Frampton
7. At Budokan - Cheap Trick
8. Live at the Apollo - James Brown
9. At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
10. Live at Fillmore East - The Allman Brothers
The Beatles - Abbey Road
The Cure - Disintegration
Duran Duran - Rio
U2 - War
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure
Depeche Mode - Violator
The Police - Zenyatta Mondetta
It's been a while since I was here, but I had to chime in on this.
The Beatles-Rubber Soul
This is the first album that they really started to expand what they were doing, and you should own this because it has "In My Life" on it. The Cure-Disintegration This is Robert's masterpiece. My favorite Cure song of all time,"Untitled" is on this record, and it is great from start to finish. The only issue i have ever had with it is that i'm not a big fan of "Fascination Street" placement on the album. Would have been better as a one off single. Pink Floyd-Dark Side of the Moon Like everyone else, this is not my favorite Floyd album (Wish You Were Here). But, this has the greatest Gilmour solo of all time, the one on "Time." This is also where Waters went a little more introspective with the lyrics. David Gilmour is my guitar hero, and he is all over this album. I'm not a huge fan of all the synth work, but its there, and i deal with it. Van Morrison-Moondance Flat out, one of the best singer songwriters of our time. People should own this album for "Into the Mystic" alone. Metallica-Ride the Lightning One sentence for this album. This is Heavy Metal! U2-Achtung Baby I like "The Joshua Tree" and all, but Achtung is the business. So many great songs. It has "One" "Mysterious Ways" and my personal favorite U2 song, "Ultra Violet" Bruce Springsteen-Born to Run I bought this album when I was 24, I'm going to be 27 soon, and since I picked up this album, I have never been the same. One reason i would give someone to own this album is the saxophone solo from "Jungleland" If that does not have some sort of emotional effect on you, you my friend are a robot. This is is one of the greatest records, start to finish of all time. It has everything that is great about Rock N' Roll in it. The Boss has never topped this. The Sisters of Mercy-First, Last, and Always This is Goth rock. I love this record. It has that great fat 80's bass sound, lush 12 string guitars, the deep baritone that every Goth band singer should have. An absolute classic. Crass-The Feeding of the 5000 I may be getting a little obscure here, but if you want to hear some good ol' fashioned mad at the system punk rock, well friend, here you go! Rolling Stones-Sticky Fingers "Dead Flowers" and "Moonlight Mile."
Honorable Mention Led Zepplin-III
The Jesus and Mary Chain-Psychocandy
The Misfits-Walk Among Us
The Clash-London Calling
"The moose say's you're closed, i say you're open" Clark W. Griswold
Man it's tough just to narrow it down to ten. I agree that live, and best of albums don't count (at least on my list)
10. Sign O' The Time's - Prince : Though much less successful than Purple Rain, it covered a wider musical range.
9. The Wall - Pink Floyd : A stronger album than Dark Side of the Moon, it just doesn't sync up with the Wizard of OZ quite so well.
8. The Joshua Tree - U2 : the album that defined the 80's (sorry Jacko... they write their own tunes)
7. So - Peter Gabriel : After many years of avant garde art rock, Mr. Gabriel proves that when he dabbles in straight simple pop tunes, he can give them infectious rhythms and witty lyrics.
6. Graceland - Paul Simon : Good call Mr. Simon, to team up with LadySmith Black Mombazo (whom I to have had the pleasure of singing with on stage).
5. Tapestry - Carly Simon (no relation): A chick album even a guy can love (admit it you can't help singing along with Natural Woman)
4. The Kids Are Alright - The Who - OK I cheated it's a best of, but not really. It's the soundtrack to the best Rockumentory ever made, with some of the best versions of there classic tunes.
3. The World As Best As I Can Remember It - Rich Mullins : Some one most of you won't know. A Christian poet with a unique gift of music that allowed you to see his love of God in a very refreshing transparent genuine way.
2. Time Out - Dave Bruebeck - A jazz selection, that is accessible to those that don't like jazz. Can be listened to as background, but please turn it up and bring it to the foreground.
1. Abbey Road - The Beatles: Though released before Let it Be, was the last album the Fab Four recorded. Admittedly it was hard to choose which Beatle album I liked the best, but because it features some of the strongest writing by the most underrated (George Harrison)
So honorable mentions: Traveling Wiburies Vol 1 - The Traveling Wilburies Selling England By The Pound - Genesis Brothers in Arms - Dire Straights Syncronicty - The Police Nothing Like The Sun - Sting
I didn't include Bob Dylan, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Elvis and a few others because, as mentioned before they put out great singles (thus some fantasic Best Of albums) but the albums were one good song and 27 minutes of filler.