The Vatican’s Top 10 Best Rock Albums of All Time… and no, Ozzy didn’t make the list.

Our favorite Vatican newspaper is at it again with another odd article. On Sunday, L’Osservatore Romano published a “semiserious guide” to the ten best rock albums of all time.

“Some songs seem to have been written yesterday…. while others still send shivers down the spine for their illuminating simplicity and musical thrust” the writers of the article said about “Thriller.” Of Oasis’ record, L’Osservatore Romano said “the album was never equaled” in part because of the disruptive in-fighting by the Gallagher brothers, the leaders of the group.

The “little handbook of musical resistance” was published in an attempt to offer an alternative to mediocre and cheesy tunes that feature in Italian popular festivals like the 60-year old one of Sanremo, which starts Tuesday in the north-western Italian region of Liguria and is widely-watched on television.

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

Sign up to get Crisis articles delivered to your inbox daily

Email subscribe inline (#4)

The albums are perfect listening material for anyone who finds himself marooned on a desert island, the Holy See’s newspaper noted.

Not everything at L’Osservatore Romano needs to be serious, and I think this is a fun idea for an article. But the list itself is ridiculous. I’ll reluctantly give you the Beatles’ “Revolver” in the top slot, and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” is a no-brainer (though “The Wall” is better). But Carlos Santana’s “Supernatural,” David Crosby’s “If I Could Only Remember My Name,” and (choke) Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors”? Please. This is the song list you blast at me if I’m ever holed up in a warehouse with hostages.

Where’s Led Zeppelin? You cannot assemble a Ten Best Rock Albums Of All Time column and not have “Led Zeppelin IV” on the list — that’s just science. And what about the Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main St.”? Nirvana’s “Nevermind”? Clearly, like L’Osservatore Romano itself, this list is a work in progress.



  • Brian Saint-Paul

    Brian Saint-Paul was the editor and publisher of Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of America, in Washington. D.C. In addition to various positions in journalism and publishing, he has served as the associate director of a health research institute, a missionary, and a private school teacher. He lives with his wife in a historic Baltimore neighborhood, where he obsesses over Late Antiquity.

Join the Conversation

in our Telegram Chat

Or find us on

Editor's picks

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

Signup to receive new Crisis articles daily

Email subscribe stack
Share to...