1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
His biases and gaps are kind of apparent (only 50 some albums from the 50's? no Giant Steps or Charlie Parker? No Mississippi John Hurt or Dock Boggs?), and you can nitpick some of his selections (One hit wonders The Only Ones over the Fleshtones? XTC's Skylarking and Apple Venus (1), but not Drums and Wires or English Settlement?), but a good jumping off point for a lot of different discussions about the history and meaning of pop music over the past half century.