The 100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time

The 100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time

Our editors put their stamp of approval on the 100 best-ever albums from the global set.

Prefer CDs? Find the list on shiny disc here.
The 100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time
Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares
Live With Ginger Baker
Everything Is Possible!
The Dub Factor
For�a Bruta
The Orphan's Lament
Buena Vista Social Club
Catch A Fire
Ethiopiques vol 7 (mahmoud ahmed)
Dub From The Roots
Entre Dos Aguas
Tango: Zero Hour
African High Life
Gal Costa
 1.  W�tina by Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Coll...
 2.  Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares by Bulgarian State Television Femal...
 3.  Live With Ginger Baker by Fela Kuti
 4.  Djiriyo by Abdoulaye Diabate
 5.  Congotronics by Konono N1
 6.  Everything Is Possible! by Os Mutantes
 7.  The Dub Factor by Black Uhuru
 8.  For�a Bruta by Jorge Ben
 9.  The Orphan's Lament by Huun-Huur-Tu
10.  Buena Vista Social Club by Buena Vista Social Club
11.  Catch A Fire by Bob Marley
12.  Ethiopiques vol 7 (mahmoud ahmed) by Mahmoud Ahmed
13.  Dub From The Roots by King Tubby
14.  Entre Dos Aguas by Paco De Lucia
15.  Tango: Zero Hour by Astor Piazzola
16.  African High Life by Solomon Ilori
17.  Juicy by Willie Bobo
18.  Gal Costa by Gal Costa
19.  Balance by Sara Tavares
20.  The Ravi Shankar Collection: Liv... by Ravi Shankar
21.  Yol Bolsin by Sevara Nazarkhan
22.  Red & Green by Ali Farka Toure
23.  The Art Of Am�lia Rodrigues Vol. I by Am�lia Rodrigues
24.  The Art of the Koto, Vol. 1 by Nanae Yoshimura
25.  Juju Music by King Sunny Ade
26.  Amen by Salif Keita
27.  Fado em mim by Mariza
28.  Dance Mania (Legacy Edition) by Tito Puente
29.  Originalit� by Franco
30.  Volume 4 - Khaley Etoile by Etoile De Dakar
31.  In The Dub Zone by Ja Man All Stars
32.  La Kahena by Cheb I Sabbah
33.  Diwan by Rachid Taha
34.  Vietnamese Traditional Dan Bau M... by Pham Duc Thanh
35.  Sahra by Khaled
36.  Camping Sha�bi by Think Of One
37.  Precious Platinum by Asha Bhosle
38.  Traditional Music of India by Ali Akbar Khan
39.  Troileana by Liliana Barrios
40.  Via Brasil vol.2 by Tania Maria
41.  Songs from Kenya by David Nzomo
42.  Cesaria by C�saria Evora
43.  New Ancient Strings by Toumani Diabate With Ballake Sis...
44.  Lagaan by A.R. Rahman
45.  Reveries by Paolo Conte
46.  Taraf De Haidouks by Taraf De Haidouks
47.  Promises of the Storm by Marcel Khalif�
48.  Below The Bassline by Ernest Ranglin
49.  Just a Little Bit Crazy by Joyce & Banda Maluca Feat. Bugge...
50.  Mujer De Cabaret by Puerto Plata
51.  Aman Iman: Water Is Life by Tinariwen
52.  Lost Songs Of The Silk Road by Ghazal
53.  Kita Kan by Kandia Kouyate
54.  Wave by Antonio Carlos Jobim
55.  Heart Of The Congos by The Congos
56.  Spirits To Bite Our Ears : The S... by Thomas Mapfumo
57.  Siembra 30th Anniversary Edition by Willie Col�n & Ruben Blades
58.  Segu Blue by Bassekou Kouyate
59.  Welcome to Mali by Amadou & Mariam
60.  East of the River Nile by Augustus Pablo
61.  Fifty Gates Of Wisdom by Ofra Haza
62.  Electric Sufi by Dhafer Youssef
63.  Drums Of Passion by Olatunji
64.  The Venezuelan Zinga Son Vol. 1 by Los Amigos Invisibles
65.  Celia & Johnny by Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco
66.  Shahen-Shah by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
67.  The Sun Of Latin Music by Eddie Palmieri And Friends
68.  Cru by Seu Jorge
69.  Immigr�s by Youssou N'Dour
70.  Live At Acropolis, Athens, Greece by Kodo
71.  Buena Vista Social Club presents... by Ibrahim Ferrer
72.  The Lama's Chant: Songs Of Awake... by Lama Gyurme And Jean-Philippe Ry...
73.  Elis & Tom by Elis Regina
74.  Alone At My Wedding by Ko�ani Orkestar
75.  The Idan Raichel Project by The Idan Raichel Project
76.  Cheo by Cheo Feliciano
77.  Spain by Michel Camilo
78.  Mali Koura by Issa Bagayogo
79.  Bomba de Lo�za by Hermanos Ayala
80.  The Lasting Impressions Of Ooga ... by Hugh Masekela
81.  Legalize It by Peter Tosh
82.  Zamba Malato by Peru Negro
83.  Squeeze Box King by Flaco Jimenez
84.  Pretaluz (Backlight) by Waldemar Bastos
85.  Rodrigo Y Gabriela by Rodrigo Y Gabriela
86.  Pirates Choice by Orchestra Baobab
87.  Africa Must Be Free by 1983 by Hugh Mundell
88.  El Hijo Del Pueblo by Vicente Fernandez
89.  Mr. Gavitt: Calypsos of Costa Rica by Walter Gerguson Gavitt
90.  Music of Bali by Gamelan Semara Pegulingan
91.  I Will Not Be Sad In This World by Djivan Gasparyan
92.  An-ba-chen'n La by Kassav'
93.  Between Heaven & Earth by Andy Statman Quartet
94.  Songs of Praise by Ami Koita
95.  Dan�-�h-S� by Tom Z�
96.  Introducing... Ruben Gonzalez by Ruben Gonzalez
97.  La Revancha Del Tango by Gotan Project
98.  Fondo by Vieux Farka Tour�
99.  Gift Of The Tortoise by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
100.  Altan by Frankie Kennedy And Mairead Ni M...
Featured Artists
Fela Kuti
Os Mutantes
Black Uhuru
Jorge Ben
Bob Marley
Astor Piazzola
Willie Bobo
Gal Costa
Ravi Shankar
Ali Farka Toure
King Sunny Ade
Salif Keita
Tito Puente
Cheb I Sabbah
Rachid Taha
Pham Duc Thanh
Ali Akbar Khan
Tania Maria
C�saria Evora
 1.  Andy Palacio & th...
 2.  Bulgarian State T...
 3.  Fela Kuti
 4.  Abdoulaye Diabate
 5.  Konono N1
 6.  Os Mutantes
 7.  Black Uhuru
 8.  Jorge Ben
 9.  Huun-Huur-Tu
10.  Buena Vista Socia...
11.  Bob Marley
12.  Mahmoud Ahmed
13.  King Tubby
14.  Entre Dos Aguas
15.  Astor Piazzola
16.  Solomon Ilori
17.  Willie Bobo
18.  Gal Costa
19.  Sara Tavares [Leg...
20.  Ravi Shankar
21.  Yol Bolsin
22.  Ali Farka Toure
23.  The Art Of Am�lia...
24.  Nanae Yoshimura
25.  King Sunny Ade
26.  Salif Keita
27.  Mariza
28.  Tito Puente
29.  Franco
30.  Etoile De Dakar
31.  Ja Man All Stars
32.  Cheb I Sabbah
33.  Rachid Taha
34.  Pham Duc Thanh
35.  Khaled
36.  Think Of One
37.  Asha Bhosle
38.  Ali Akbar Khan
39.  Liliana Barrios
40.  Tania Maria
41.  David Nzomo
42.  C�saria Evora
43.  Toumani Diabate W...
44.  AR Rahman
45.  Paolo Conte
46.  Taraf De Haidouks
47.  Marcel Khalif�
48.  Ernest Ranglin
49.  Joyce & Banda Mal...
50.  Puerto Plata
51.  Tinariwen
52.  Ghazal
53.  Kandia Kouyate
54.  Antonio Carlos Jobim
55.  The Congos
56.  Thomas Mapfumo
57.  Willie Col�n & Ru...
58.  Bassekou Kouyate
59.  Amadou & Mariam
60.  Augustus Pablo
61.  Ofra Haza
62.  Dhafer Youssef
63.  Olatunji
64.  Los Amigos Invisi...
65.  Celia Cruz & John...
66.  Nusrat Fateh Ali ...
67.  Eddie Palmieri An...
68.  Seu Jorge
69.  Youssou N'Dour
70.  Kodo
71.  Ibrahim Ferrer
72.  Lama Gyurme
73.  Elis Regina
74.  Ko�ani Orkestar
75.  The Idan Raichel ...
76.  Cheo Feliciano
77.  Guitarra Gitana
78.  Tassoumakan
79.  Hermanos Ayala
80.  Hugh Masekela
81.  Peter Tosh
82.  Peru Negro
83.  Flaco Jimenez
84.  Waldemar Bastos
85.  Rodrigo Y Gabriela
86.  Orchestra Baobab
87.  Hugh Mundell
88.  Lila Downs
89.  Mr. Gavitt: Calyp...
90.  Gamelan Semara Pe...
91.  Djivan Gasparyan
92.  Kassav'
93.  Andy Statman Quartet
94.  Ami Koita
95.  Tom Z�
96.  Ruben Gonzalez
97.  Gotan Project
98.  Vieux Farka Tour�
99.  Ladysmith Black M...
100.  Frankie Kennedy A...

Customer Discussions: 100 Greatest World Music Albums
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Selection Criteria

"World music" is an exceptionally wide-ranging term. Does world music mean music that’s not in English? Does a world music artist have to create music from his/her own particular country or ethnic background? What about "big name" world artists (like Enya, Celtic Woman, Bob Marley) who have had mainstream Top 40 hits? In the end, we came up with the following criteria:

• Broadly speaking, world music is not traditionally Western. We’ve chosen albums featuring music from a particular region, culture, or heritage.
• Albums can include lyrics in English and/or Top 40 hits, as long as the music itself draws from non-western rhythms, instruments, or melodies.
• One album per artist
• No EPs or singles—this list is about albums
• No greatest hits collections or compilations except in cases where no actual album was available, or where the collection acts as a proper album. Bob Marley’s Legend, being a greatest hits compilation album, did not make our list, but Catch a Fire did.

Of course, our editors exercise their judgment regarding quality and/or historical significance. If you disagree with our choices (and there's a good chance you will), let us know in the customer discussions at the bottom of the page.

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