Here’s What Apple Music Considers An “Essential” Album

What do Lorde‘s ‘Melodrama,’ Michael Jackson‘s ‘Thriller’ and Lana Del Rey‘s ‘Born to Die’ all have in common?

 

Well according to Apple Music, each of these critically-acclaimed projects is considered an “Essential Album.” As many users already know, select artist profiles on Apple Music like Kendrick Lamar, Adele, Taylor Swift and more have a special menu dedicated to their essential albums. It remains unclear what criteria an artist/project needs to meet for this special menu, or why some projects are selected over another. If it’s not the editorial staff choosing them, do artists have to apply for this recognition?

 

While the feature is certainly helpful for users unfamiliar with an artist, the albums deemed “essential” on Apple Music are puzzling at times. Take Lady Gaga‘s profile for instance, which features ‘The Fame Monster’ as an essential album but leaves out ‘Born This Way.’ Another odd choice for the essential album slot is Sia‘s ‘This Is Acting,’ a commercial success that was arguably a step down from her Grammy Album of the Year nominee  ‘1000 Forms of Fear.’

And then there are the artists with zero essential albums. Some head-scratchers include Ariana Grande, Lil Uzi Vert, Charli XCX, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus and Cardi B, among others. Older artists have a better chance at earning this slot, though, so let’s hope these acts get the recognition they deserve soon.

 

To get an idea of what counts as an “essential album” on Apple Music, the team at Pop Crave scoured over 150 of the biggest artist profiles on the service to see which projects made the cut. Continue reading below for an alphabetical list of artists and their albums that Apple Music deemed essential.

 

 

 

AC/DC

  • ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ (1976)
  • ‘Let There Be Rock’ (1977)
  • ‘Highway to Hell’ (1979)
  • ‘Back in Black’ (1980)

 

Adele

  • ’21’ (2011)

 

Alanis Morissette

  • ‘Jagged Little Pill’ (1995)

 

Alicia Keys

  • ‘Songs In A Minor’ (2001)
  • ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys’ (2003)

 

Amy Winehouse

  • ‘Back to Black’ (2006)

 

Arcade Fire

  • ‘Funeral’ (2004)
  • ‘The Suburbs’ (2010)

 

Backstreet Boys

  • ‘Millennium’ (1999)

 

Barbra Streisand

  • ‘The Barbra Streisand Album’ (1963)
  • ‘The Broadway Album’ (1985)

 

Beach House

  • ‘Teen Dream’ (2010)
  • ‘Bloom’ (2012)

 

The Beatles

  • ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (1964)
  • ‘Help!’ (1965)
  • ‘Rubber Soul’ (1965)
  • ‘Revolver’ (1966)
  • ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (1967)
  • ‘The Beatles (The White Album)’ (1968)
  • ‘Abbey Road’ (1969)

 

The Black Keys

  • ‘Brothers’ (2010)
  • ‘El Camino’ (2011)

 

Beck

  • ‘Odelay’ (1996)
  • ‘Mutations’ (1998)
  • ‘Sea Change’ (2002)

 

Beyoncé

  • ‘Dangerously in Love’ (2003)
  • ‘I Am… Sasha Fierce’ (2008)
  • ‘Lemonade’ (2016)

 

Björk

  • ‘Debut’ (1993)
  • ‘Post’ (1995)
  • ‘Homogenic’ (1997)
  • ‘Vespertine’ (2001)

 

Billy Joel

  • ‘The Stranger’ (1977)
  • ’52nd Street’ (1978)
  • ‘An Innocent Man’ (1983)

 

Bob Dylan

  • ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964)
  • ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ (1965)
  • ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ (1965)
  • ‘Blonde On Blonde’ (1966)
  • ‘Blood On the Tracks’ (1975)
  • ‘Infidels’ (1983)
  • ‘Oh Mercy’ (1989)
  • ‘Time Out of Mind’ (1997)

 

Bon Iver

  • ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ (2007)
  • ‘Bon Iver’ (2011)
  • ’22, A Million’ (2016)

 

Bon Jovi

  • ‘Slippery When Wet’ (1986)
  • ‘New Jersey’ (1988)

 

Britney Spears

  • ‘In the Zone’ (2003)
  • ‘Blackout’ (2007)

 

Bruce Springsteen

  • ‘Born To Run’ (1975)
  • ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ (1978)
  • ‘The River’ (1980)
  • ‘Nebraska’ (1982)
  • ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ (1984)

 

Bruno Mars

  • ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’ (2010)
  • ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ (2012)

 

BTS

  • ‘The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever’ (2016)
  • ‘Love Yourself’ (2017)

 

Carly Rae Jepsen

  • ‘E-MO-TION’ (2015)

 

Carrie Underwood

  • ‘Some Hearts’ (2005)

 

Céline Dion

  • ‘Falling into You’ (1996)

 

Chance the Rapper

  • ‘Coloring Book’ (2016)

 

Chris Stapleton

  • ‘Traveller’ (2015)

 

Coldplay

  • ‘Parachutes’ (2000)
  • ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ (2002)

 

Common

  • ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ (2000)
  • ‘Be’ (2005)

 

Christina Aguilera

  • ‘Stripped’ (2002)

 

Cyndi Lauper

  • ‘She’s So Unusual’ (1984)

 

Daft Punk

  • ‘Homework’ (1997)
  • ‘Discovery’ (2001)

 

David Bowie

  • ‘Hunky Dory’ (1971)
  • ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’ (1972)
  • ‘Station to Station’ (1976)
  • ‘Low’ (1977)
  • ‘Heroes’ (1977)
  • ‘Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)’ (1980)
  • ‘Let’s Dance’ (1983)

 

Destiny’s Child

  • ‘The Writing’s On the Wall’ (1999)

 

Diana Ross

  • ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ (1964)
  • ‘The Supremes A’ Go-Go’ (1966)
  • ‘Diana’ (1980)

 

Diplo

  • ‘Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü’ (2015)

 

Dixie Chicks

  • ‘Wild Open Spaces’ (1998)
  • ‘Fly’ (1999)
  • ‘Home’ (2002)

 

Dolly Parton

  • ‘Coat of Many Colors’ (1971)
  • ‘Jolene’ (1974)

 

Dr. Dre

  • ‘The Chronic’ (1992)
  • ‘2001’ (1999)

Drake

  • ‘Take Care’ (2011)

 

Eagles

  • ‘Desperado’ (1973)
  • ‘One of These Nights’ (1975)
  • ‘Hotel California’ (1976)

 

Ed Sheeran

  • ‘X’ (2014)
  • ‘Divide’ (2017)

 

Elvis Presley

  • ‘Elvis Presley’ (1956)
  • ‘Elvis’ (1956)
  • ‘His Hand in Mine’ (1960)
  • ‘From Elvis in Memphis’ (1969)

 

Erykah Badu

  • ‘Baduizm’ (1997)
  • ‘Mama’s Gun’ (2000)
  • New Amerykah, Pt 1 (4th World War) (2008)

 

Eminem

  • ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ (2000)

 

Elton John

  • ‘Tumbleweed Connection’ (1970)
  • ‘Madman Across The Water’ (1971)
  • ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ (1973)

 

Faith Hill

  • ‘Breathe’ (1999)

 

Fiona Apple

  • ‘When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like King…’ (1999)
  • ‘Extraordinary Machine’ (2005)

 

Fleet Foxes

  • ‘Fleet Foxes’ (2008)

 

Fleetwood Mac

  • ‘Fleetwood Mac’ (1975)
  • ‘Rumors’ (1977)
  • ‘Tusk’ (1979)

 

Frank Ocean

  • ‘Channel Orange’ (2012)
  • ‘Blonde’ (2016)

 

Frank Sinatra

  • ‘Swing Easy!’ (1954)
  • ‘In the Wee Small Hours’ (1955)
  • ‘Songs for Swinging’ Lovers!’ (1956)

 

Future

  • ‘DS2’ (2015)

 

Green Day

  • ‘Dookie’ (1994)
  • ‘American Idiot’ (2004)

 

Grimes

  • ‘Visions’ (2012)
  • ‘Art Angels’ (2015)

 

Gwen Stefani

  • ‘Love Angel Music Baby’ (2004)

 

Harry Styles

  • ‘Harry Styles’ (2017)

 

Ice Cube

  • ‘Death Certificate (25th Anniversary Edition)’ (1991)

 

J Balvin

  • ‘Energía’ (2016)

 

Jamie XX

  • ‘In Colour’ (2015)

 

Janet Jackson

  • ‘Control’ (1986)
  • ‘Rhythm Nation 1814’ (1989)
  • ‘Janet’ (1983)

 

James Blake

  • ‘James Blake’ (2011)

 

Jay-Z

  • ‘Reasonable Doubt’ (1996)
  • ‘The Blueprint’ (2001)
  • ‘The Black Album’ (2003)
  • ‘American Gangster’ (2007)
  • ‘4:44’ (2017)

 

Jennifer Lopez

  • ‘Como Ama una Mujer’ (2007)

 

John Legend

  • ‘Get Lifted’ (2004)

 

John Mayer

  • ‘Room For Squares’ (2001)

 

Justin Bieber

  • ‘Purpose’ (2015)

 

Justin Timberlake

  • ‘Justified’ (2002)

 

Kacey Musgraves

  • ‘Golden Hour’ (2018)

 

Kanye West

  • ‘The College Dropout’ (2004)
  • ‘Late Registration’ (2005)
  • ‘808s & Heartbreak’ (2008)
  • ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ (2010)
  • ‘The Life of Pablo’ (2016)

 

Kate Bush

  • ‘The Dreaming’ (1982)
  • ‘Hounds of Love’ (1985)

 

Katy Perry

  • ‘Teenage Dream’ (2010)

 

Kelly Clarkson

  • ‘Breakaway’ (2004)

 

Kendrick Lamar

  • ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ (2012)
  • ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ (2015)
  • ‘DAMN. COLLECTORS EDITION.’ (2017)
  • ‘DAMN.’ (2017)

 

Lady Gaga

  • ‘The Fame Monster’ (2009)

 

Lana Del Rey

  • ‘Born to Die’ (2012)

 

Lauryn Hill

  • ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ (1998)

 

LCD Soundsystem

  • ‘Sound of Silver’ (2007)
  • ‘This Is Happening’ (2010)

 

LeAnn Rimes

  • ‘Blue’ (1996)

 

Lil’ Kim

  • ‘Hard Core’ (1996)

 

Lil Wayne

  • ‘Tha Carter II’

 

Lorde

  • ‘Pure Heroine’ (2013)
  • ‘Melodrama’ (2017)

 

Lupe Fiasco

  • ‘Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool’ (2007)

 

M.I.A.

  • ‘Arular’ (2005)

 

Madonna

  • ‘True Blue’ (1986)
  • ‘Like a Prayer’ (1989)
  • ‘Ray of Light’ (1998)

 

Major Lazer

  • ‘Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do’ (2009)

 

Maluma

  • ‘Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy’ (2015)

 

Maren Morris

  • ‘Hero’ (2016)

 

Mariah Carey

  • ‘Music Box’ (1993)
  • ‘Daydream’ (1995)
  • ‘The Emancipation of Mimi’ (2005)

 

Mary J. Blige

  • ‘What’s the 411?’ (1992)
  • ‘My Life’ (1994)

 

Maroon 5

  • ‘Songs About Jane’ (2002)

 

Metallica

  • ‘Kill ‘Em All’ (1983)
  • ‘Ride the Lightning’ (1984)
  • ‘Master of Puppets’ (1986)
  • ‘…And Justice for All’ (1988)
  • ‘Metallica’ (1991)

 

Michael Jackson

  • ‘Off the Wall’ (1979)
  • ‘Thriller’ (1982)
  • ‘Bad’ (1987)

 

Migos

  • ‘Culture’ (2017)

 

Missy Elliott

  • ‘Supa Dupa Fly’ (1997)
  • ‘Da Real World’ (1999)
  • ‘Miss E… So Addictive’ (2001)

 

MGMT

  • ‘Oracular Spectacular’ (2007)

 

Miranda Lambert

  • ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ (2007)
  • ‘Revolution’ (2009)
  • ‘Platinum’ (2014)
  • ‘The Weight of These Wings’ (2016)

 

M83

  • ‘Saturdays = Youth’ (2008)

 

Nas

  • ‘Illmatic’ (1994)
  • ‘It Was Written’ (1996)
  • ‘Stillmatic’ (2001)
  • ‘The Lost Tapes’ (2002)

 

Neil Diamond

  • ‘Sweet Caroline’ (1969)
  • ‘Tap Root Manuscript’ (1970)
  • ‘Stones’ (1971)
  • ‘Moods’ (1972)

 

Nicky Jam

  • ‘Fénix’ (2017)

 

Nirvana

  • ‘Bleach’ (1989)
  • ‘Nevermind’ (1991)
  • ‘In Utero’ (1993)

 

Norah Jones

  • ‘Come Away With Me’ (2002)

 

N.W.A.

  • ‘Straight Outta Compton’

 

Outkast

  • ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik’ (1994)
  • ‘ATLiens’ (1996)
  • ‘Aquemini’ (1998)
  • ‘Stankonia’ (2000)

 

Ozuna

  • ‘Odisea’ (2017)

 

Paul Simon

  • ‘Paul Simon’ (1972)
  • ‘There Goes Rhymin; Simon’ (1973)
  • ‘Graceland’ (1986)
  • ‘The Rhythm of the Saints’ (1990)

 

Pink Floyd

  • ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ (1967)
  • ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ (1973)
  • ‘Wish You Were Here’ (1975)
  • ‘The Wall’ (1979)

 

Reba McEntire

  • ‘For My Broken Heart’ (1991)

 

Prince

  • ‘Dirty Mind’ (1980)
  • ‘1999’ (1982)
  • ‘Purple Rain’ (1984)
  • ‘Parade’ (1986)
  • ‘Sign O’ the Times’ (1987)

 

Queen

  • ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ (1974)
  • ‘A Night at the Opera’ (1975)
  • ‘News of the World’ (1977)
  • ‘The Game’ (1980)

 

Radiohead

  • ‘The Bends’ (1995)
  • ‘OK Computer’ (1997)
  • ‘Kid A’ (2000)
  • ‘In Rainbows’ (2007)

 

Rick Ross

  • ‘Deeper Than Rap’ (2009)
  • ‘Teflon Don’ (2010)

 

Rihanna

  • ‘Loud’ (2010)
  • ‘Anti’ (2016)

 

Robyn

  • ‘Robyn’ (2005)
  • ‘Body Talk’ (2010)

 

The Rolling Stones

  • ‘Aftermath’ (1966)
  • ‘Beggars Banquet’ (1968)
  • ‘Let it Bleed’ (1969)
  • ‘Sticky Fingers’ (1971)
  • ‘Exile On Main St.’ (1972)
  • ‘Some Girls’ (1978)

 

Run The Jewels

  • ‘Run the Jewels 2’ (2014)

 

Selena

  • ‘Amor Prohibido’ (1994)

 

Shania Twain

  • ‘The Woman In Me’ (1995)
  • ‘Come On Over’ (1997)

 

Sheryl Crow

  • ‘Tuesday Night Music Club’ (1993)
  • ‘Sheryl Crow’ (1996)

 

Sia

  • ‘This Is Acting’ (2016)

 

Simon & Garfunkel

  • ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’ (1966)
  • ‘Bookends’ (1968)
  • ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (1970)

 

Skrillex

  • ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ (2010)
  • ‘Bangarang’ (2011)
  • ‘Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü’ (2015)

Snoop Dogg

  • ‘Doggystle’ (1993)

 

Solange

  • ‘A Seat at the Table’ (2016)

 

Stevie Wonder

  • ‘My Cherie Amour’ (1969)
  • ‘Talking Book’ (1972)
  • ‘Innervisions’ (1973)
  • ‘Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974)
  • ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ (1976)

 

Sturgill Simpson

  • ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music’ (2014)

 

St. Vincent

  • ‘Strange Mercy’ (2011)
  • ‘St. Vincent’ (2014)

 

Sufjan Stevens

  • ‘Illinois’ (2005)
  • ‘Carrie & Lowell’ (2015)

 

SZA

  • ‘Ctrl’ (2017)

 

Tame Impala

  • ‘Lonerism’ (2012)
  • ‘Currents’ (2015)

 

Taylor Swift

  • ‘Fearless’ (2008)
  • ‘Red’ (2012)
  • ‘1989’ (2014)

 

Tegan and Sara

  • ‘Heartthrob’ (2013)

 

Tim McGraw

  • ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ (2004)

 

TLC

  • ‘CrazySexyCool’ (1994)

 

Tony Bennett

  • ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ (1962)
  • ‘I Wanna Be Around…’ (1963)
  • ‘The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album’ (1975)
  • ‘Steppin’ Out’ (1993)

 

Travis Scott

  • ‘Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight’ (2016)

 

 

Tyler, The Creator

  • ‘Flower Boy’ (2017)

 

Usher

  • ‘My Way’ (1997)
  • ‘8701’ (2001)
  • ‘Confessions’ (2004)

 

Vampire Weekend

  • ‘Vampire Weekend’ (2008)
  • ‘Contra’ (2010)
  • ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ (2013)

 

Van Halen

  • ‘Van Halen’ (1978)
  • ‘Van Halen II’ (1979)
  • ‘Women and Children First’ (1980)
  • ‘1984’ (1984)

 

The Weeknd

  • ‘House of Balloons’ (2011)

 

Whitney Houston

  • ‘Whitney Houston’ (1985)
  • ‘Whitney’ (1987)

 

Zedd

  • ‘Clarity’ (2012)

 

2Pac

  • ‘Me Against the World’ (1995)

What do you think of the list? Which albums left out deserved to make the cut? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter at @PopCrave!

 

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