Elvis Costello created a list of the best 500 albums in music history

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When asked by Vanity Fair to compile a list of his favourite albums, Costello did his work in typically efficient style and created a mammoth collection of 500 albums with single track recommendations.

“I decided to also name the tracks that make these albums special to me,” he explained. “So, if nothing is written, head straight for the title track or assume that the whole damned thing is irresistible. (faroutmagazine)

“This is also a list of where I began and where I stopped listening. There are huge gaps and blind spots. Unsurprisingly, I favour songwriters over players, but any hit parade of great singers would have to include Johnny Hodges.

“Making this list made me listen all over again.”

 

Here it is, Elvis Costello’s 500 favourite albums:

TO READ THE FULL 500 LIST CLICK HERE

• Abba
o Abba Gold – 1992
• David Ackless
o The Road To Cairo – 1968
o Subway To The Country – 1969
• Cannonball Adderley
o The Best Of… – 1968
• Amy Allison
o The Maudlin Years – 1996
• Mose Alison
o The Best Of… – 1970
• Almamegretta
o Lingo – 1998
• Louis Armstrong
o The Complete Hot Five And Hot Seven Recordings – 2000
• Fred Astaire
o The Astaire Recordings – 1952
• Johann Sebastian Bach
o The Well Tempered Clavier – 1934
o The Six Cello Suites – 1936
o Six Partitas – 1984
o Mass In B Minor – 1999
• Burt Bacharach
o The Look Of Love : The Burt Bacharach Collection – 1998
• Chet Baker
o The Best Of Chet Baker Sings – 1989
o Broken Wing – 1978
• The Band
o Music From Big Pink – 1968
o The Band – 1969
• Dave Bartholemew
o The Monkey – 1985
• Bela Bartok
o Six String Quartets – 1988
• Cecilia Bartoli
o If You Love Me:18th Century Italian Love Songs – 1992
• Count Basie
o The Atomic Mr Basie – 1957
• The Beach Boys
o Pet Sounds – 1966
o Carl And The Passions – So Tough – 1972
o Holland – 1973
o Good Vibrations – 30 Years Of The Beach Boys – 1993
• Beastie Boys
o Paul’s Boutique – 1989
• The Beatles
o With The Beatles – 1963
o A Hard Days Night – 1964
o Help – 1965
o Rubber Soul – 1965
o Revolver – 1966
o Sgt Pepper – 1967
o Past Masters Vol. 2 – 1988
• Beck
o Odelay

 

• Bee Gees
o Best Of The Bee Gees
• Ludwig Van Beethoven
o Otto Klemperer Live At The Concertgebouw – Symphony #9 – 1965
o Symphony #7 – 1975
o Late Quartets – 1997
o Violin Concerto – 1997
• Derek Bell
o Derek Bell Plays With Himself – 1981
• Tony Bennett And Bill Evans
o The Tony Bennett And Bill Evans Album – 1975
• Alban Berg
o Violin Concerto – 1993
• Hector Berlioz
o Damnation Of Faust – 1987
• Agnes Barnelle
o Farther’s Lying Dead In The Ironing Board – 1995
• Leonard Bernstein
o West Side Story – 1957
• Chuck Berry
o Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade – 1967
• Bjork
o Debut – 1993
o Post – 1995
• Ruben Blades
o Buscando America – 1984
• Bobby Blue Bland
o Two Steps From The Blues – 1961
• Blondie
o The Best Of Blondie – 1981
• Blur
o 13 – 1999
• Dirk Bogarde
o Lyrics For Lovers – 1960
• David Bowie
o Hunky Dory – 1971
o Station To Station – 1976
o Low – 1977
o Heroes – 1977
• Johannes Brahms
o Ein Deutsches Requiem – 1962
• Johnny Bristol
o Hang On In There Baby – 1974
• Benjamin Britten
o Serenade For Tenor, Horn And Strings – 1996
• Charles Brown
o Driftin’ Blues: The Best Of Charles Brown – 1996
• Clifford Brown
o Clifford Brown With Strings – 1955
• James Brown
o Live At The Apollo – 1963
o Star Time – 1991
• Jackson Brown
o Jackson Brown (Saturate Before Using) – 1972
• Anton Bruckner
o Symphony #9 – 1990
• Jeff Buckley
o Grace – 1994
• Harold Budd & Brian Eno
o Ambient 2: The Plateaux Of Mirror – 1980
• Buffalo Springfield
o Retrospective: The Best Of.. – 1969
• Bulgarian State Radio & Television Choir
o Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares – 1990
• T Bone Burnette
o Proof Through The Night – 1983
o T Bone Burnette – 1986
o The Talking Animals – 1988
• The Byrds
o Younger Than Yesterday – 1967
o The Notorious Byrd Brothers – 1968
o Sweetheart Of The Rodeo – 1968
• John Cale
o Music For A New Society – 1982
• Maria Callas
o Five Heroines-Operatic Extracts – 1990
• Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band
o Trout Mask Replica – 1969
o Clear Spot – 1972
• Hoagy Carmichael
o Hoagy Sings Carmichael – 1956
• James Carr
o At The Dark End Of The Street – 1987
• Johnny Cash
o The Essential Johnny Cash – 1992
• June Carter Cash
o Press On – 1999
• Ray Charles
o Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music – 1962
o A Life In Music – 1982
• Chic
o Chic’s Greatest Hits – 1979
• Frederic Chopin
o Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 – 1978
• The Clash
o London’s Calling – 1979
o The Singles – 1991
• Patsy Cline
o Greatest Hits – 1973
• The Coasters
o The Ultimate Coasters – 1986
• Leonard Cohen
o The Best Of Leonard Cohen – 1976
o More Best Of … – 1997
• Ornette Coleman
o The Shape Of Jazz To Come – 1959
• John Coltrane
o My Favorite Things – 1961
o The Impulse! Years – 1993
• Ry Cooder
o Paradise And Lunch – 1974
• Sam Cooke
o Night Beat – 1963
• Don Covay
o Checkin’ In With Don Covay – 1989
• Noel Coward
o The Masters Voice: His HMV Recordings – 1993
• Bing Crosby
o His Legendary Years – 1993
• David Crosby
o If Only I Could Remember My Name – 1971
• Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young
o Déjà Vu – 1970
• Crowded House
o Temple Of Low Men – 1988
• D’angelo
o Voodoo – 2000
• Miles Davis
o Birth Of The Cool – 1956
o Miles Ahead – 1957
o Porgy And Bess – 1958
o Kind Of Blue – 1959
o Sketches Of Spain – 1960
o My Funny Valentine – 1964
o In A Silent Way – 1969
o On The Corner – 1969
• Miles Davis And Stan Getz And Lee Konitz
o Conception – 1975
• Claude Debussy
o Pelleas Et Melisande – 1992
o Preludes – 1994
• Alfred Deller
o William Byrd And His Age – 1956
• Destiny’s Child
o The Writing’s On The Wall – 1999
• Bo Diddley
o His Best – 1997
• Dr John
o Dr John’s Gumbo – 1972
• Eric Dolphy
o Outward Bound – 1960
o Iron Man – 1969
• Lee Dorsey
o Ride Your Pony – 1966
o Yes We Can – 1970
• John Dowland
o Awake Sweet Love – 1965
o Dowland: The Collective Works – 1980
• John Dowland And William Byrd
o Night’s Black Bird – 1989
• Henri Dupark
o Melodies – 1971
• Jimmy Durante
o September Song – 1963
• Ian Dury
o New Boots And Panties – 1977
• Dyke And The Blazers
o So Sharp – 1983
• Bob Dylan
o Bringing It All Back Home – 1965
o Blond On Blond – 1966
o John Wesly Harding – 1968
o Planet Waves – 1974
o Blood On The Tracks – 1974
o The Basement Tapes – 1975
o Shot Of Love – 1981
o Time Out Of Mind – 1997
o Bob Dylan Live 1966: The Royal Albert Hall Concert – 1998
• Edward Elgar
o Symphony #1 – 1957
o Cello Concerto – 1965
• Duke Ellington
o Anatomy Of A Murder – 1959
o ….And His Mother Called Him Bill – 1968
o The Centennial Edition: The Complete Rca Victor Recordings – 1999
• Duke Ellington With Charles Mingus And Max Roach
o Money Jungle – 1962
• Eminem
o The Marshall Mathers LP – 2000
• The Bill Evans Trio
o Waltz For Debby – 1961
• The Gill Evens Orchestra
o Out Of The Cool – 1960
• The Everly Brothers
o It’s Every Time – 1960
• The Fairfield Four
o I Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray – 1997
• Marianne Faithfull
o Blazing Away – 1990
• Georgie Fame
o Sound Venture – 1966
• Gabriel Faure
o L’horizon Chimerique – 1999
• Morton Filedman
o Madame Press Died Last Week At Ninety – 1991
• Ella Fitzgerald
o Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Songbook – 1956
• Ella Fitzgerald And Louis Armstrong
o The Complete Ella Fitzgerald And Louis Armstrong On Verve – 1997
• Fleetwood Mac
o Greatest Hits – 1971
• The Flying Burrito Brothers
o The Gilded Palace Of Sin – 1969
• The Four Tops
o Anthology – 1974
• Aretha Franklin
o I Never Loved A Man They Way I Loved You – 1967
o Aretha’s Gold – 1967
o Amazing Grace – 1972
• Bill Frisell
o Quartet – 1996
• Fugees
o The Score – 1996
• Funkadelic
o One Nation Under A Groove – 1978
• Marvin Gaye
o Super Hits – 1970
o What’s Going On – 1971
o Lets Get It On – 1973
o Here My Dear – 1979
• Marvin Gaye And Tammi Terrell
o Greatest Hits – 1970
• Stan Getz
o Stan Getz Plays – 1952
• Stan Getz And Astrid Gilberto
o Getz/Gilberto – 1963
• Dizzy Gillespie
o Perceptions – 1961
• Allen Ginsburg
o The Lion For Real – 1989
• Graham Central Station
o Release Yourself – 1974
• Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five & The Sugar Hill Gang
o Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five Vs. The Sugar Hill Gang
• Grateful Dead
o Workman’s Dead – 1970
o American Beauty – 1970
o Europe ’72 – 1972
o Wake Of The Flood – 1973
• Al Green
o Call Me – 1973
o You Say It! Raw! Rare! And Unreleased!
• Edvard Grieg
o Lieder – 1993
• Charles Haden And Hank Jones
o Steal Away – 1995
• Merle Haggard
o The Best Of The Best Of.. – 1972
• George Frideric Handle
o Marian Cantatas – 1994
o Heroes – 1999
• Tim Harden
o Tim Harden – 1966
• Slim Harpo
o The Best Of Slim Harpo – 1997
• Emmylou Harris
o Elite Hotel – 1976
• PJ Harvey
o Rid Of Me – 1993
• Coleman Hawkins
o Body And Soul – 1988
o Rainbow Mist – 1993
• Joseph Haydn
o Complete Piano Sonatas – 1987
o String Quartets – 1990
• Tubby Hayes
o Tubby’s Groove – 1959
• Richard Hell And The Voidoids
o Blank Generation – 1977
• Jimi Hendrix
o Smash Hits – 1968
o Electric Ladyland – 1968
o Live At Woodstock – 1994
• The Heptones
o Night Fool – 1976
• Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks
o Last Train To Hicksville.. The Home To Happy Feet – 1973
• Lauryn Hill
o The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill – 1998
• Johnny Hodges
o Passion Flower – 1995
• Billy Holiday
o Lady In Satin –1958
o The Billy Holiday Story – 1972
o The Complete Decca Recordings – 1991
• The Hollies
o The Best Of The Hollies – 1978
• Howlin’ Wolf
o His Best – 1997
• The Isley Brothers
o Super Hits – 1976
• Charles Ives
o The Unanswered Question Of Orchestra – 1998
• Jackson Five
o Greatest Hits – 1971
• The Jam
o All Mod Cons – 1978
• Skip James
o The Complete Early Recordings Of Skip James – 1994
• Leos Janacek
o String Quartets – 1994
• Jefferson Airplane
o Crown Of Creation – 1968
• The Jesus And Mary Chain
o Psychocandy – 1985
• Antonio Carlos Jobim
o Jazz Masters 13 – 1995
• Little Willie John
o Free At Last – 197
• Robert Johnson
o Complete Recordings – 1990
• George Jones
o Anniversary: Ten Years Of Hits – 1982
o Cup Of Loneliness: The Classic Mercury Years – 1994
• Oum Kaltsoum
o Anthologie De La Musique Arabe, Vol 1-8 – 1989
• The Kinks
o The Ultimate Collection – 1989
• Rahsaan Roland Kirk
o The Inflated Tear – 1968
• Erich Korngold
o From The Operas Of Erich Korngold – 1993
• The La’s
o The La’s – 1990
• Peggy Lee
o Mill Peggy Lee- 1998
• John Lennon
o Plastic Ono Band – 1970
o Imagine – 1971
o Shaved Fish – 1975
• Alan Jay Lerner And Fredrich Lowe
o My Fair Lady – 1956
• Jerry Lee Lewis
o Rockin’ My Life Away – 1991
• Little Feat
o Sailin’ Shoes – 1972
o Feats Don’t Fail Me Now – 1974
• Little Richard
o Here’s Little Richard – 1957
o The Explosive Little Richard – 1967
• The Louvin Brothers
o When I Stop Dreaming: The Best Of The Louvin Brothers – 1995
• The Louvin’ Spoonful
o Anthology – 1990
• Nick Lowe
o Jesus Of Cool – 1978
o The Impossible Bird – 1994
• Donal Lunny
o Donal Lunny – 1987
• Loreta Lynn
o The Best Of Loretta Lynn – 1999
• Machito And His Afro-Cubans
o Cubop City – 1992
• Madness
o The Rise And Fall – 1982
• Gustav Mahler
o Symphony #1 – 1968
• The Mamas And The Papas
o A Gathering Of Flowers – 1970
• Aimee Mann
o Whatever – 1993
• Bob Marley And The Wailers
o African Herbsman – 1972
o Natty Dread – 1975
• The Marvelettes
o The Return Of The Marvelettes – 1970
• Groucho Marx
o An Evening With Groucho – 1972
• Massive Attack
o Protection – 1994
• Matching Mole
o Matching Mole – 1972
• Curtis Mayfield
o The Very Best Of Curtis Mayfield – 1996
• Curtis Mayfield And The Impressions
o The Anthology 1961 – 1977 – 1992
• Paul McCartney
o McCartney – 1970
o Flaming Pie – 1997
• Kate And Anna Mcgrrigle
o Kate And Anna Mcgrrigle – 1975
• Tommy Mclain
o The Essential Collection – 1997
• The Meters
o The Best Of The Meters – 1975
• Mina
o Gli Anni D’oro – 1984
• Charles Mingus
o Blues And Roots – 1959
o Mingus Ah-Um – 1959
o Pre-Bird – 1960
o Mingus At Antibes – 1960
o Mingus Plays Piano – 1963
o Let My Children Hear Music – 1971
o Epiaph – 1990
• Joni Mitchell
o Blue – 1971
o For The Roses – 1972
o Court And Spark – 1974
o The Hissing Of Summer Lawns – 1975
o Hejira – 1976
o Taming The Tiger – 1998
• The Modern Lovers
o The Modern Lovers – 1976
• Thelonious Monk
o Genious Of Modern Music Vol. 1 – 1951
o Brilliant Corners – 1957
o Monk’s Music – 1958
• Bill Monroe
o The Music Of Bill Monroe – 1994
• Claudio Monteverdi
o L’incoronazione Di Poppea – 1993
• Moondog
o The Story Of Moondog – 1957
• Van Morrison
o Astral Weeks – 1968
o Moondance – 1970
o His Band And Street Choir – 1970
o Veeden Fleece – 1974
• Jelly Roll Morton
o Birth Of The Hot – 1995
• The Mothers Of Invention
o We’re Only In It For The Money – 1968
• The Move
o The Best Of The Move – 1974
• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
o Piano Concerto #20 – 1970
o Requiem – 1986
o Quartets Dedicated To Hayden – 1991
o La Clemenza Di Tito – 1993
o Le Nozze Di Figaro – 1993
• Modest Mussorgsky
o Songs Of Dances And Death – 1995
• Roy Nathanson
o Fire At Keaton’s Bar And Grill – 2000
• Oliver Nelson
o The Blues And Abstract Truth – 1961
o Straight Ahead – 1961
• Willie Nelson
o Stardust – 1978
• Bob Neuwirth
o Back To The Front – 1988
• Aaron Neville
o Greatest Hits – 1990
• Randy Newman
o Randy Newman – 1968
o Sail Away 1972
o Good Old Boys – 1974
o Trouble In Paradise – 1983
• New York Dolls
o New York Dolls – 1973
• Nirvana
o Nevermind – 1991
• Luigi Nono
o Fragmente-Stille An Diotima – 1983
• NRBQ
o NRBQ – 1969
• Laura Nyro And Labelle
o Gonna Take A Miracle – 1971
• Roy Orbison
o The Orbison Way – 1966
• Augustas Pablo
o El Rockers – 2000
• Giovanni Palestrina
o Missa Viri Galiaei – 1992
• Charlie Parker
o The Complete Studio Sessions – 1978
• Van Dyke Parks
o Discover America – 1972
• Gram Parsons
o GP – 1973
o Grievous Angel – 1974
• Ann Peebles
o I Can’t Stand The Rain – 1974
• Dan Penn
o Nobody’s Fool – 1973
• Dan Penn And Spooner Oldham
o Moments From This Theater – 1999
• Sam Phillips
o Martinis And Bikinis – 1994
• The Pogues
o Rum, Sodomy And The Lash – 1985
• Dulce Pontes
o Caminhos – 1998
• Iggy Pop
o The Idiot – 1977
o Lust For Life – 1977
• Portishead
o Dummy – 1994
o Portishead – 1997
• Francis Poulenc
o Melodies – 1950
• Bud Powell
o The Best Of Bud Powell – 1994
• Elvis Presley
o The Sun Sessions – 1976
o The Memphis Album – 1987
• Pretenders
o Pretenders – 1980
o The Singles – 1987
• Prince
o Around The World In A Day – 1985
o Parade – 1986
o Sign Of The Times – 1987
• John Prine
o John Prine – 1972
• Sergey Prokofiev
o Romeo And Juliet – 1998
• Pulp
o Different Class – 1995
• Henry Purcell
o Dido And Aeneas – 1993
o Fantasias & In Nominees – 1995
• Radiohead
o The Bends – 1995
o O.K. Computer 1997
• Bonnie Raitt
o Give It Up – 1972
• Otis Redding
o The Very Best Of Otis Redding – 1992
• Jimmy Reed
o The Best Of Jimmy Reed – 1962
• Lou Reed
o Berlin – 1973
• R.E.M.
o Reckoning – 1984
o Green – 1988
• The Replacements
o All Shook Down – 1990
• Marc Ribot
o Marc Robot Y Los Cubanos Postizos – 1998
• Charlie Rich
o Feel Like Going Home: The Essential Charlie Rich – 1997
• Jeannie Robertson
o The Queen Among The Heather – 1998
• Smokey Robinson And The Miracles
o The Anthology – 1973
• The Rolling Stones
o Aftermath – 1966
o Between The Buttons – 1967
o Let It Bleed – 1969
o Some Girls – 1978
• Sonny Rollins
o Saxophone Colossus – 1964
• Diana Ross And The Supremes
o The Ultimate Collection – 1997
• Gioacchino Rossini
o Rossini Arias – 1989
• Otis Rush
o His Cobra Recordings – 1989
• George Russell
o The Jazz Workshop – 1956
• Salt ‘N Pepa
o The Best Of Salt ‘N Pepa – 1999
• Sam And Dave
o The Best Of Sam And Dave – 1969
• Franz Schubert
o B-Flat Major Piano Sonata – 1971
o F-Sharp Minor Piano Sonata – 1993
o Winterreise – 1996
o Lieder – 1997
• Jimmy Scott
o Heaven – 1996
• Raymond Scott
o Reckless Nights And Turkish Twilights – 1992
o Manhattan Research Inc. – 2000
• Andress Segovia
o Andress Segovia And His Contemporaries Vol 6. – 1999
• The Sex Pistols
o Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols – 1977
• Ron Sexsmith
o Ron Sexsmith – 1995
• Dmitry Shostakovich
o Cello Concerto #1 – 1959
o The String Quartets – 1991
o 24 Preludes And Fugues – 1995
o Shostakovich Plays Shostakovich, Cello Sonata – 1998
o Symphony #14 – 2000
• Paul Simon
o Paul Simon – 1972
o There Goes Rhymin’ Simon – 1973
• Simon And Garfunkel
o Bookends – 1968

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