Universal Orlando: Islands of Adventure


While Universal Studios Florida is designed to resemble a Hollywood film studio and backlot, Islands of Adventure is a more typical theme park design.  It has several themed areas – or “islands” – arranged around a central lagoon.  Overall I found Islands of Adventure to be more aesthetically pleasing and better landscaped of the two parks.  It also has more roller coasters and all the water rides, compared with USF which is home to mostly dark rides.

Me and my drinking buddy, Kevin.

Port of Entry

We didn’t do much in Port of Entry other than pass through, but the area has a number of shops, dining establishments, and bars with an old Mediterranean/Middle Eastern theme.  It’s an attractive area even if we didn’t spend time there.

Marvel Super Hero Island

Marvel is owned by Disney but they continue to honor a licensing agreement with Universal for a Marvel-land.  At least until the Disney lawyers figure a way out of the agreement.  Since Marvel Comics have lots of reboots and multiverses, I think it’s actually appropriate to have attractions themed to comics and animated tv shows at Universal while Disney Parks have attractions themed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  • Storm Force Accelatron – This is a teacup-style ride themed to the X-Men with sound and light effects.  Spinny rides make me puke so I enjoyed sitting on the sideline and watching my family on the ride. ***
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – When Islands of Adventure opened in 1999, this was a key attraction based on state-of-the-art technology.  22 years later it still impresses.  The basic gist is that guests have been recruited as reporters for The Daily Bugle, and ride in a special vehicle called the Scoop to keep tabs on Spider-Man and the team of villains who have taken the Statue of Liberty hostage.  The dark ride takes the Scoop into various 3-D projected scenes with motion and lighting effects.  My Marvel-loving daughter insisted we ride 4 times in a row and I saw something new each time (including spotting all 4 of Stan Lee’s cameo appearances).  *****
  • Captain America Diner – We had a filling and restful lunch here at your basic diner. ***
  • Comic Book Shop – The shop has a large selection of Marvel comic issues and compendiums (but sadly no Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). Oddly, they also had autographed photos and models of actors from Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Toon Lagoon

Toon Lagoon is themed around old comic strips and some cartoons, seemingly whatever Universal could get a good licensing deal on.  I don’t know if any kids still read the “funny pages” these days but I doubt they’re reading Gasoline Alley, Broom Hilda, or Cathy.  Most of the land is shops and dining establishments themed around old comic strips, but the Lagoon is also home to two of the park’s water rides.

Dudley Do-Right and Co overlook the falls.
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – I absolutely loved Rocky and Bullwinkle when I was young even though it was already an old show by that time.  Luckily, a log flume ride with corny puns is something that’s easy to follow regardless of your knowledge of the source material.  The audioanimatronics and design do look a little bit cheap, but then again so did Rocky and Bullwinkle.  The massive final drop makes it all worth it.
  • Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges – This raft ride is themed to Popeye the Sailor  comics which means that my grandparents could feel nostalgic on the ride were they still alive.  The ride is wetter and wilder than the similar Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but lacks a big drop.  ****
  • Me Ship, the Olive –  This is a play structure with ladders and slides adjacent to the Bilge-Rat Barges.  We went on board to use the water cannons to squirt at people in the rafts.  It was fun. ***

Skull Island

This area is marked on the map as its own island but it blends in pretty seamlessly with Jurassic Park.  Anyhow,  it has just one attraction.

  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong – I love King Kong, and think I would have loved Universal Studios Florida’s old KONGfrontation ride with the Roosevelt Island Tram.  Skull Island is wisely not themed to any particular Kong movie although the look is more like the Peter Jackson 2005 remake than the 1933 original.  The ride takes us on large buses to explore Skull Island.  Things go wrong, of course, and we end up chased by the island’s large creatures ultimately swinging on a vine between a carnivorous dinosaur and Kong himself.  There’s an awesome Kong audioanimatronic at the end.  The buses are driven by 5 different virtual guides who provide unique narration although the plot of the ride experience is the same.

Jurassic Park

“You did it. You crazy son of a bitch, you did it!” Life imitates art as we get to step into a real-life Jurassic Park theme park.

The rare but dangerous pizzaraptor.
  • Jurassic Park River Adventure – In the movie, guests ride past the dinosaurs in jeeps.  Here we’ve been upgrade to sailing past dinos on a boat.  But the educational experience is interrupted when Something Goes Wrong and we’re redirected into the raptor pen.  The plotting is obvious but the details are really well done with some good scares along the way.  The ride finishes with an 85-foot drop and a big splash. ****
  • VelociCoaster – I’m a big coaster fan and haven’t found myself actually feeling scared of a roller coaster since I was a child.  But the VelociCoaster took my breath away.  There were supposed to be velociraptors chasing us but I didn’t even see them until the second ride.  I was too busy wondering if the ride’s lap restraint would hold me in for the inversion that seems to keep us upside down a few seconds too long.  The VelociCoaster has earned a prime spot on my Favorite Roller Coasters of All Time list.  *****
  • Raptor Encounter – This is a fun character encounter where you get to have your photo taken with Blue the Velociraptor.  The hilarious banter of the host who tells guests how to interact (and not interact) with the deadly dino makes the attraction.  ***
  • Pizza Predattoria – Under a sign of two raptors fighting over a piece of pizza is a food stand where my daughter and I got a cheese pizza to share and ICEEs.  It was good. ***
RUUUUNNNN!!!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

The wizarding village of Hogsmeade is meticulously recreated (complete with snow on the roofs that doesn’t melt in the Florida sunshine).  We entered Hogsmeade via the Hogswarts Express from Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida (only available to guests with a Park-to-Park ticket) an through Jurassic Park.  Like Diagon Alley, there are a number of opportunities for anyone with a special wand to cast spells.

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – This is the other ride that I didn’t fit on (I’m not sure what the Harry Potter rides have against fat people).  My daughter loved and wide and son enjoyed it as well.  ****
  • Flight of the Hippogriff – This is a kiddie coaster that my wife and daughter rode on.  My wife seemed to enjoy it more.  **1/2
  • Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade – The ride from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley has a different story and effects than it does in the other direction, but otherwise it’s a nice place to rest your feet in a cool, dark cabin while traveling from park-to-park. ***
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – This coaster is designed to look like a chain of motorbikes with sidecars that Hagrid and Arthur Weasley have designed to take students to a magical creatures class.  Things Go Wrong of course and the bikes end up carrying us to the Forbidden Forest past dangerous creatures and various flukes.  I think I ended up riding this 8 times in total and it never got old.  Like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Walt Disney World it is a tamer roller coaster but the terrific theming and the seven different launches make another addition to my Favorite Roller Coasters of All Time.  *****
  • Frog Choir – A quintet of Hogwarts students with two giant frogs sing tunes with more a pop beat than in the movies.  It was a nice diversion while waiting for the fam to return from Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. ***
  • Three Broomsticks – This large dining establishment has lots of cozy nooks and a filling selection of English pub foods.  ****
  • Hog’s Head – An annex of Three Broomsticks serves beer and mixed drinks as well as the non-alcoholic Butterbeer.  It is a cool and restful spot, although the line at the bar moved slowly.

The Lost Continent

This island is the rump of a larger area once themed to myths and legends that got taken over by Hogsmeade and when we were there it had only one operating attraction, which is more of a slight diversion.

It’s not every day you can chat with a fountain.
  • The Mystic Fountain –  If talk to this fountain, it talks back.  His name is Bob.  He liked my floral shirt which reminded him of Magnum, P.I. My wife was absolutely delighted to chat with the fountain for a few minutes.  My son was embarrassed and went off somewhere to hide. ***

Seuss Landing

This children’s island is cleverly and colorfully designed after the artwork of Theodore Geisel.  Unfortunately for a kid’s area, it seemed to have the least shade of anywhere in IOA and got very hot.  They need to plant some more truffula trees, stat!

Not getting wet on One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
  • The Cat in the Hat – This traditional dark ride takes guests past audioanimatronics and projections that retell The Cat in the Hat.  It feels uninspired that it basically is just a book report rather than something that builds on the story we know.  It’s reminiscent of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom which has the same problem. **1/2
  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride – Universal’s answer to Disney’s Peoplemover is a trolley ride that goes over the rooftops of Seuss Landing with great views of the entire park.  A narrator reads a Seuss story while we ride past various clever scenes in the different buildings.  THIS is how to do a Seuss ride properly.  There are two different tracks but ended up on the same trolley both times we rode so I can’t tell you which is better. ****
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish – A spinner ride surrounded by water jets.  I thought this would give us a chance to cool off in the scorching sun of Seuss Landing, but for some reason only one water jet actually functioned while the ride was operating.  Very disappointing. *
  • Oh, The Stories You’ll Hear – A simple show we caught while resting featured a storyteller reading from a book while The Grinch and Sam-I-Am danced around.  We were definitely too old to be the target audience but it was still very cute. ***

Beyond the Parks

CityWalk

Universal Orlando takes the “exit through the gift shop” ethos to a new level with CityWalk.  In order to enter or leave USF or IOA, you have to walk through this shopping center with many restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

  • The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen – On our arrival day we had dinner at this restaurant with a steampunk chocolate factory theme.  It’s unique and well done and the food was good too!  We finished up with some incredible milkshakes! ****
  • Cinnabon – This wasn’t our first choice on our last day, but there aren’t many breakfast options at CityWalk.  The size of the egg & cheese sandwich was disappointing. **
  • Voodoo Doughnut – A better breakfast option is a half-a-dozen or more fancy doughnuts. ****
  • Hollywood Drive-In Golf – We played a round on the Sci-Fi Movie course cleverly themed with aliens “Invaders from Planet Putt-Putt”. ***1/2
  • Universal CineMark – On our last day we had time before our flight departed so we saw Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.  It is a movie multiplex, nothing less, nothing more. ***
  • Universal Legacy Store – This shop includes a number of props that were once used in attractions in the park, including from former attractions, so it was fun to look at even if you don’t buy anything. ***1/2
  • Universal Studios Store – This is more of your run-of-the-mill souvenir store. **

Cabana Bay Beach Resort

We stayed at this Prime Value resort which seemed to offer quite a lot for a good price.  It is themed to vacation hotels and motels from the 1950s and 1960s and full of delightful mid-century modern details.

Vintage cars are parked in front of the hotel. This one was used in the Audrey Hepburn/Albert Finney movie “Two For the Road.”
  • Game-O-Rama Arcade – The kids played in the arcade and seemed to have  good time but were disappointed that several games were not functioning. **
  • Lazy River Courtyard Pool – The smaller pool was open all week and was a nice place to relax in the night after a day at the parks.  It also has a great view of the volcano at Volcano Bay water park (which we didn’t visit).  There’s a lazy river but you have to buy a flotation ring to use and we never had enough time to spend there to justify a purchase. ***1/2
  • The Hideaway Bar & Grill – Where parents go to hide away from their kids.  We had a nice snack there while the kids played in the arcade. ***
  • Bayliner Diner – This is a large food court with a terrific variety of food choices including some impressive vegetarian options.  The downside is that it is a bit pricey for the quality of foods.  ***1/2
  • Swizzle Lounge – My wife & I stopped in to this bar in the lobby a couple of times for creative cocktails and beers. It was almost like we got to go on a date!  The bartenders were very friendly and chatty.  *****
  • Cabana Courtyard Pool – The large pool was open only on the weekend so we only got to use it on our last day.  It has a slide but none of his tried it.  It was a nice place to soak.  ***
  • Atomic Tonic & Grill –  The bar by the Cabana Courtyard Pool had a too long wait on the day I went there, but the grill offered a delicious falafel so things balanced out. ***

Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 160-151


A year ago, Rolling Stone magazine released their most recent list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, which includes a greater variety of artists and genres than previous lists. Looking through the list, there were many albums I’d never listened to before and a few I’d never even heard of. In fact, counting it up, I found that I’d only listened to 140 of the albums, although I’d heard songs from many more. So I’ve decided my project for 2021 is to listen to 10 albums each week and write up some thoughts about each one.

Previous Posts:

500-491 400-381 300-291 200-191
490-481 390-381 290-281 190-181
480-471 380-371 280-271 180-171
470-461 370-361 270-261 170-161
460-451 360-351 260-251
450-441 350-341 250-241
440-431 340-331 240-231
430-421 330-321 230-221
420-411 320-311 220-211
410-401 310-301 210-201

Artist: Pearl Jam
AlbumTen
Year: 1991
Label: Epic
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Alive”
  • “Jeremy”

Thoughts: Pearl Jam is one of those bands that I respect for their music than one I chose to listen to.  So I can recognize this as a solid album even if it’s not one I’d seek out.  In fact I feel a strange sort of nostalgia for this album as this music was dominant in my late teen years.  I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Ten before but I recognize pretty much every track on it, a testament to Pearl Jam’s presence in the 1990s.


Artist: The Police
Album: Synchronicity
Year: 1983
Label: A&M
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: Yes
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Mother” (just because it’s weird and sung by Andy Summers)
  • “Synchronicity II”

Thoughts: There was a time in my younger days when I had all of The Police albums on cassette and Synchronicity was my least favorite despite it having the band’s biggest hits. I think it’s because their earlier works mixed punk, reggae, and power pop in an interesting way while this album sounds more like prog rock mixed with Sting’s jazz pretensions.   Or it could just be that I’ve heard “Every Breath You Take” enough for one lifetime.  Anyhow, if I were going to put an album by The Police on this list I’d go with Reggatta de Blanc.


Artist: Erykah Badu
Album: Mama’s Gun
Year: 2000
Label: Motown
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: No
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “…& On”
  • “Cleva”

Thoughts: Badu’s soulful work is a bit too slow-tempo for my tastes but it is definitely filled with emotion and lived experience.


Artist: Oasis
Album: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
Year: 1995
Label: Epic
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: Yes
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Wonderwall”
  • “Don’t Look Back in Anger”
  • “Champagne Supernova”

Thoughts: I had this album back in the 90s, listened to it for a while, and then grew tired of it and got rid of it (similar to Green Day’s Dookie). It was great to revisit this album.  It definitely has some bangers and I caught myself trying to sing along while at the office. Overall, though, I would classify this album as good, but not great.


Artist: The Replacements
AlbumLet It Be
Year: 1984
Label: Twin/Tone
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: Yes
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “I Will Dare”
  • “Androgynous”
  • “Unsatisfied”
  • “Gary’s Got a Boner”
  • “Answering Machine”

Thoughts: This album is clearly The Replacements’ masterpiece, although I feel there should be more Replacements albums on this list.

I previously reviewed this album in my Music Discovery for The Replacements.


Artist: Jay-Z
AlbumThe Black Album
Year: 2003
Label: Roc-A-Fella
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: No
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “December 4th”
  • “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
  • “Moment of Clarity”
  • “99 Problems”

Thoughts: I’m more familiar with Jay-Z’s music than I realized as his tracks have pretty much been in the ether of modern society since they’re release.  Have people really been making “99 Problems” jokes for 17 years?  Unlike a lot of the 21st-century hip hop albums on this list, Jay-Z raps aggressively rather than singing like his contemporaries, and it’s done over rock samples instead of slow jams.  Thus it sounds old school and more palatable to my ears.


Artist: Aretha Franklin
Album: Amazing Grace
Year: 1972
Label: Atlantic
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Medley: Precious Lord, Take My Hand / You’ve Got a Friend”
  • “Climbing Higher Mountains”
  • “God Will Take Care of You”

Thoughts: This album captures Aretha Franklin returning to her gospel roots with a live performance at a church with the support of a choir.  The church was the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles and the accompaniment came from the Southern California Community Choir.  Add to that the call & response and handclaps from the audience, er, congregation.


Artist: PJ Harvey
AlbumRid of Me
Year: 1993
Label: Island
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: No
Would I Listen to this Album Again?:
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Rid of Me”
  • “50ft Queenie”
  • “Dry”

Thoughts: Here’s another album I should be shamed for missing, considering that in 1993 I was in the target demographic: college student who liked alternative rock particularly The Breeders, Liz Phair, and other artists fairly similar to PJ Harvey.


Artist: Pretenders
Album: Pretenders
Year: 1980
Label: Sire
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Up the Neck”

Thoughts: The Pretenders are on my list of Bands Everyone Loves (Except Me), but I will give this album a fair shake.  The advantage of this early album is that the band has more of a punk/new wave sound than their later pop hits.  Also, “Stop Your Sobbing” is an obnoxious song, but so is the original version by The Kinks.  I may be softening on The Pretenders but not enough to want to listen to it again anytime soon


Artist: George Michael
Album: Faith
Year: 1987
Label: Columbia
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: Yes
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “I Want Your Sex”
  • “One More Try”
  • “Kissing a Fool”

Thoughts: My sister had this album so I’ve probably listened to it all the way through before.  But even if I didn’t, pretty much every song was played repeatedly on the radio as this was the peak of George Michael’s imperial period. I remember “Faith” annoyed me, “Father Figure” creeped me out, and “I Want Your Sex” titillated.  I also remember “Monkey” sounding very different.  I think a dance remix ended up as a big hit.

Holy Cow! There are only 150 albums left to go!


Running List of Albums I’d Listen to Again

  • 500. Arcade Fire, Funeral
  • 498. Suicide, Suicide
  • 497. Various Artists, The Indestructible Beat of Soweto
  • 494. The Ronettes, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
  • 489. A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector from Phil Spector and Various Artists, Back to Mono (1958-1969)
  • 487. Black Flag, Damaged
  • 485. Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
  • 483. Muddy Waters, The Anthology
  • 482. The Pharcyde, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
  • 481. Belle and Sebastian, If You’re Feeling Sinister
  • 478. The Kinks, Something Else by the Kinks
  • 477. Howlin’ Wolf, Moanin’ in the Moonlight
  • 469.Manu Chao, Clandestino
  • 465. King Sunny Adé, The Best of the Classic Years
  • 464. The Isley Brothers, 3 + 3
  • 462. The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Gilded Palace of Sin
  • 459. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon: The End of the Day
  • 457. Sinéad O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
  • 456. Al Green, Greatest Hits
  • 455. Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley
  • 453. Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
  • 452. Diana Ross and the Supremes, Anthology
  • 451. Roberta Flack, First Take
  • 448. Otis Redding, Dictionary of Soul
  • 446. Alice Coltrane, Journey in Satchidanada
  • 444. Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
  • 443. David Bowie, Scary Monsters
  • 440. Loretta Lynn, Coal Miner’s Daughter
  • 439. James Brown, Sex Machine
  • 438. Blur, Parklife
  • 437. Primal Scream, Screamadelica
  • 435. Pet Shop Boys, Actually
  • 433. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
  • 431. Los Lobos, How Will the Wolf Survive?
  • 430. Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True
  • 429. The Four Tops, Reach Out
  • 428. Hüsker Dü, New Day Rising
  • 427. Al Green, Call Me
  • 426. Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams
  • 425. Paul Simon, Paul Simon
  • 424. Beck, Odelay
  • 423. Yo La Tengo, I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One
  • 422. Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On
  • 421. M.I.A., Arular
  • 417. Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come
  • 416. The Roots, Things Fall Apart
  • 415. The Meters, Looka Py Py
  • 414. Chic, Risqué
  • 413. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cosmo’s Factory
  • 412. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Going to a Go Go
  • 409. Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead
  • 408. Motörhead, Ace of Spades
  • 406. Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs
  • 405. Various, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era
  • 403. Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele
  • 402. Fela Kuti and Africa 70, Expensive Shit
  • 401. Blondie, Blondie
  • 400. The Go-Go’s, Beauty and the Beat
  • 398. The Raincoats, The Raincoats
  • 397. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  • 395. D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah
  • 392. Ike and Tina Turner, Proud Mary: The Best of Ike and Tina Turner
  • 390. Pixies, Surfer Rosa
  • 388. Aretha Franklin, Young, Gifted and Black
  • 387. Radiohead, In Rainbows
  • 386. J Dilla, Donuts
  • 385. Ramones, Rocket to Russia
  • 384. The Kinks, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
  • 380. Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um
  • 378. Run-DMC, Run-D.M.C.
  • 377. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell
  • 375. Green Day, Dookie
  • 374. Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues Singers
  • 373. Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul
  • 371. The Temptations, Anthology
  • 369. Mobb Deep, The Infamous
  • 368. George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
  • 365. Madvillain, Madvillainy
  • 364. Talking Heads, More Songs About Buildings and Food
  • 363. Parliament, The Mothership Connection
  • 360. Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove
  • 358. Sonic Youth, Goo
  • 357. Tom Waits, Rain Dogs
  • 356. Dr. John, Gris-Gris
  • 354. X-Ray Spex, Germfree Adolescents
  • 351. Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure
  • 350. Stevie Wonder, Music of My Mind
  • 349. MC5, Kick Out the Jams
  • 348. Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator)
  • 347. GZA, Liquid Swords
  • 346. Arctic Monkeys, AM
  • 345. Bruce Springsteen, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
  • 344. Toots and the Maytals, Funky Kingston
  • 343. Sly and the Family Stone, Greatest Hits
  • 342. The Beatles, Let It Be
  • 341. The Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream
  • 338. Brian Eno, Another Green World
  • 337.  Bob Dylan, John Wesley Harding
  • 335. Bob Dylan and the Band, The Basement Tapes
  • 334. Santana, Abraxas
  • 333. Bill Withers, Still Bill
  • 332. Elvis Presley, Elvis Presley
  • 330. The Rolling Stones, Aftermath
  • 329. DJ Shadow, Endtroducing…
  • 328. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
  • 326. Prince, Dirty Mind
  • 323.The Clash, Sandinista!
  • 320. X, Los Angeles
  • 319. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
  • 317. Billie Holiday, Lady in Satin
  • 316. The Who, The Who Sell Out
  • 310. Wire, Pink Flag
  • 309. Joy Division, Closer
  • 308. Brian Eno, Here Come the Warm Jets
  • 307. Sam Cooke, Portrait of a Legend
  • 306. Al Green, I’m Still In Love With You
  • 304. Bill Withers, Just As I Am
  • 301. New York Dolls, New York Dolls
  • 299. B.B. King, Live at the Regal
  • 297. Peter Gabriel, So
  • 294. Weezer, Weezer
  • 293. The Breeders, Last Splash
  • 292. Van Halen, Van Halen
  • 289.  Björk, Post
  • 288. The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers
  • 287. The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man
  • 283. Donna Summer, Bad Girls
  • 282. Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours
  • 279. Nirvana, MTV Unplugged in New York
  • 278. Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy
  • 276. Radiohead, The Bends
  • 275. Curtis Mayfield, Curtis
  • 274. The Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo
  • 273. Gang of Four, Entertainment!
  • 272. The Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat
  • 267. Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
  • 266. The Beatles, Help!
  • 263. The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night
  • 262. New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies
  • 261. Beastie Boys, Check Your Head
  • 260. The Slits, Cut
  • 259. Janis Joplin, Pearl
  • 257. Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors
  • 256. Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman
  • 254. Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters
  • 252. Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
  • 250. Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady
  • 246. LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out
  • 245. Cocteau Twins, Heaven of Las Vegas
  • 242. The Velvet Underground, Loaded
  • 240. Sam Cooke, Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963
  • 239. Boogie Down Productions, Criminal Minded
  • 238. Kraftwerk, Trans Europe Express
  • 237. Willie Nelson, Red Headed Stranger
  • 236. Daft Punk, Discovery
  • 232. John Coltrane, Giant Steps
  • 229. Patsy Cline, The Ultimate Collection
  • 228. De La Soul, De La Soul Is Dead
  • 227. Little Richard, Here’s Little Richard
  • 226. Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
  • 223. John Lennon, Imagine
  • 221. Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine
  • 220. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, Déjà Vu
  • 215.  Grateful Dead, American Beauty
  • 213. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…
  • 212. Nina Simone, Wild is the Wind
  • 211. Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures
  • 210. Ray Charles, The Birth of Soul
  • 209. Run-DMC, Raising Hell
  • 206. David Bowie, Low
  • 205. Cat Stevens, Tea for the Tillerman
  • 202. Björk, Homogenic
  • 201. A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders
  • 198. The B-52’s, The B-52’s
  • 197. The Beatles, Meet the Beatles!
  • 195. Leonard Cohen, Songs of Leonard Cohen
  • 193. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willy and the Poor Boys
  • 192. Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill
  • 191. Etta James, At Last!
  • 190. The Who, Tommy
  • 189. Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out
  • 185. The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet
  • 184. Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual
  • 181. Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home
  • 178. Otis Redding, Otis Blue
  • 177. Rod Stewart, Every Picture Tells a Story
  • 176. Public Enemy, Fear of a Black Planet
  • 175. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  • 174. Jimmy Cliff and Various Artists, The Harder They Come: Original Soundtrack
  • 173. Nirvana, In Utero
  • 172. Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • 171. Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation
  • 170. Cream, Disraeli Gears
  • 169. Billy Joel, The Stranger
  • 167. Depeche Mode, Violator
  • 166. Buddy Holly, 20 Golden Greats
  • 165. R.E.M., Murmur
  • 164. Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison
  • 162. Pulp, Different Class
  • 161. Crosby, Stills & Nash, Crosby, Stills, & Nash
  • 156. The Replacements, Let it Be
  • 155. Jay-Z, The Black Album
  • 154. Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace
  • 153. PJ Harvey, Rid of Me