Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums

Rolling Stone | Amazon Music

The stories behind some of the most essential albums of all time, told by the artists who made them and Rolling Stone’s writers and editors. Each episode focuses on one album from the brand-new, updated version of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums list, featuring fresh conversations with the people who made the music, classic interview audio and expert commentary. Episodes include the late Tom Petty on his solo classic Wildflowers, Taylor Swift talking about her career-changing 2012 album Red, and Public Enemy breaking down their political masterpiece It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

Listen to songs featured on the podcast and more hits from the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list here.

Now we’re back with Season Two. Across 10 episodes, you’ll hear Dolly Parton tell the stories behind the songs on her 1971 solo breakthrough Coat of Many Colors; Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr delve into the making of the Beatles’ troubled final album, Let It Be; Britney Spears’ collaborators explain how she made 2007’s Blackout in the eye of a paparazzi hurricane; friends and relatives of Alice Coltrane look back at how she overcame tragedy to create her masterpiece Journey in Satchidananda; Rivers Cuomo and his bandmates reflect on the unlikely birth of Weezer’s Blue Album; and much more.

Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums is hosted by Senior Writer Brittany Spanos.

Our Editor's Take

Listeners who love music should pay attention. Why? Because that's what Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums is all about. This is the perfect podcast for those who love listening to music and learning about the inspiration behind every lyric and track. This podcast doesn't just list songs. Instead, it shares in-depth details about the music, lyrics, and artists from each album. Listeners will hear from artists about what inspired albums known and loved by many. Interviews with peers and famous musicians offer lots of musical insight.

Rolling Stone magazine ranks the most storied albums in the history of recorded music on its list. Musicians, critics, and industry figures cast their votes and determine the album rankings. Each episode focuses on a different album from this iconic list. Listeners won't just hear speculations about the music. They'll also hear conversations about the music from the people who wrote it themselves.

How addictive is this podcast? The first season was so popular that Rolling Stone released season two right away. The second season carries on the glory of the first with star-studded interviews. Listeners can expect insightful stories and in-depth interviews. Listen to the podcast Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums on Amazon Music now.

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Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"
Feb 2 2021
Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"
What's Going On was R&B's first concept album, a suite of seamlessly connected songs tackling everything from police brutality to heroin addiction, inner-city poverty, and the dire state of the environment. When Marvin Gaye first proposed the project, inspired by a song brought to him by Four Tops member Obie Benson, Gordy told him it was career suicide. But when the title track came out, it was an instant smash, and Gordy immediately asked for more. Gaye channeled everything that was weighing on his mind, Terrell's tragic death from a brain tumor, his brother Frankie's harrowing experiences in Vietnam, the struggles of the civil-rights movement, all into a sobering yet healing treatise on troubled times.In the season one finale of the Amazon Original podcast, "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums", we take an in-depth look at What's Going On, which took the top spot on Rolling Stone's newly updated 500 Greatest Albums list. In the episode you'll hear archival interviews with Marvin Gaye, where he delves into his evolving mindset at the time. You'll also hear reflections on the record from Marvin's collaborator and confidant Smokey Robinson; esteemed singer Aaron Neville, Gaye's contemporary and longtime admirer; his biographer David Ritz; and even his beloved sister Zeola Gaye. Later in the episode, host Brittany Spanos leads a roundtable discussion on the history and still-vital legacy of What's Going On featuring legendary music journalist Nelson George, who interviewed Gaye during his lifetime; singer Devon Gilfillian, who recently covered What's Going On in full on his own new album; and director Spike Lee, who wove the songs of What's Going On throughout Da Five Bloods, his acclaimed 2020 film about a group of black veterans returning to Vietnam in the present day.See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at
The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds"
Jan 19 2021
The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds"
In early 1966, the Beach Boys arrived at Los Angeles’ Western Studios to hear what Brian Wilson had been up to. The touring version of the band – Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine and Dennis Wilson – had been on the road in Japan, singing surf hits like “Fun, Fun Fun” and “I Get Around.” Wilson, after suffering a mental breakdown on a plane the year before, stayed home, opting to work on instrumental tracks with studio musicians.What the band heard stunned them. Using instruments like harpsichord, harmonica, strings, and even sleigh bells, Wilson had written a spiritual album that captured heartbreak, insecurity, pain and sadness of entering adulthood. According to legend, the Beach Boys did not like "Pet Sounds", and its commercial failure led Brian Wilson to lose confidence in himself and descend further into mental illness. As the band explained to Rolling Stone in this week's episode of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time podcast, the truth is more a little more complicated.While "Pet Sounds" didn’t sell, it inspired generations of musicians, beginning with the Beatles, who, according to George Martin, said ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ “never would have happened” without "Pet Sounds". The album was voted number two on Rolling Stone's rebooted 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, the spot it held in 2003.Rolling Stone’s Jason Fine narrates the episode, which includes archival interviews with Brian Wilson, members of Wrecking Crew and more, as well as new interviews with several Beach Boys, plus members of Brian Wilson’s touring band, who brought the music of Pet Sounds to life on stage for the first time in 2000. See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at