|Author||Robert Dimery (general editor)|
|Cover artist||Jon Wainright|
|Publisher||Tristan de Lancey; Universe Publishing (first edition)|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|LC Class||ML156.9 .A18 2006|
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die is a musical reference book first published in 2005 by Universe Publishing. Part of the 1001 Before You Die series, it compiles writings and information on albums chosen by a panel of music critics to be the most important, influential, and best in popular music between the 1950s and the 2010s. The book is edited by Robert Dimery, an English writer and editor who had previously worked for magazines such as Time Out and Vogue.
Each entry in the book's list of albums is accompanied by a short essay written by a music critic, along with pictures, quotes, and additional information (such as the album's running time and producer). Only albums consisting of original material by a particular artist are included. Compilations of various artists, and most film soundtracks, are excluded.
The most recent edition consists of a list of albums released between 1955 and 2017, part of a series from Quintessence Editions Ltd. The book is arranged roughly chronologically, starting with Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours and the most recent edition concluding with Microshift by Hookworms.
Selection and sorting methodology
In the book's introduction, general editor Robert Dimery notes that the selections were also intended to bring attention to gifted songwriters. Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello and Nick Cave are named as examples. The release dates are chosen from the date the album first released in the artist's home country, and the version is the first one released, which would affect The Beatles' album tally. In most cases, bonus tracks added for later versions are ignored. The editors also attempted to ensure that each album profiled was still available for purchase. Soundtracks that were not original material from a particular artist were also excluded.
In February 2006, Publishers Weekly called the book a "bookshelf-busting testament to music geeks' mania for lists" and said it was "about as comprehensive a 'best-of' as any sane person could want". The reviewer added: "For music lovers, it doesn't get much better." As of March 11, 2019[update], the 2006 edition had an average rating of 3.96 stars out of 5 with 1,583 ratings on Amazon.com's social cataloging website Goodreads and 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com.
Most of the book's recommendations are rock and pop albums from the Western world. 1001 Albums also features selections from world music, rhythm and blues, blues, folk, hip hop, country, electronic music, and jazz. The rock and pop albums include such subgenres as punk rock, grindcore, heavy metal, alternative rock, progressive rock, easy listening, thrash metal, grunge and rockabilly. Classical and modern art music are excluded.
These artists have the most albums in the 2017 edition.
- 9 albums: David Bowie.
- 7 albums: the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Neil Young.
- 6 albums: Morrissey (and the Smiths), Elvis Costello (and the Attractions), the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel/Paul Simon.
- 5 albums: the Byrds, Brian Eno (and David Byrne), Leonard Cohen, Peter Gabriel (and Genesis), Iggy Pop (and the Stooges), Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed (and the Velvet Underground), Sonic Youth, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, the Who.
- 4 albums: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Miles Davis, P.J. Harvey, the Kinks, Metallica, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, R.E.M., Steely Dan, Talking Heads, U2, Stevie Wonder.
- 3 albums: Aerosmith, the Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, Björk, Black Sabbath, Blur, Tim Buckley, Kate Bush, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Cure, Deep Purple, Dexys Midnight Runners, the Doors, Nick Drake, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Fall, Madonna, Marvin Gaye, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Michael Jackson, Kraftwerk, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Van Morrison, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana, Parliament/Funkadelic, Pet Shop Boys, Pixies, Elvis Presley, Prince (and the Revolution), Public Enemy, Queen, Roxy Music, Frank Sinatra, Kanye West, Wilco, Yes, Frank Zappa.
- Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
- 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die
- 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
- 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
- 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die
- "Publisher description for 1001 albums you must hear before you die / [edited by] Robert Dimery". Library of Congress. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
- Dimery, Robert (June 10, 2016). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2016 ed.). Octopus Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-84403-890-9. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
- Dimery, Robert (2011). 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Preface by Michael Lydon. Octopus. p. 22. ISBN 1-84403-714-2; ISBN 978-1-84403-714-8.
- "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". publishersweekly.com. 2006-02-06. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- "Goodreads: 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". goodreads.com. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- "Amazon.com: 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2019-03-11.