It's hard to overstate the influence Rick Rubin has had on modern music, and pop culture more broadly, since he first appeared on the scene in the mid-80s.
Since co-founding Def Jam Records with Russell Simmons in 1984, Rubin has had a profound effect on the development of rap and metal. He’s also known as someone with a gift for isolating and magnifying the qualities that make an artist special. Perhaps the most famous example was his extended collaboration with Johnny Cash from the 90s that produced some of the greatest work of the country icon’s career.
As you might expect from someone who's been working for the best part of 40 years, Rubin has worked on a lot – a lot – of albums. That work has taken on many guises, from producing, to mixing, engineering, and just popping in to add a sprinkle of magic before disappearing again, not even to make it on to the liner notes. Some of those albums are among modern music's most essential. And, as can be expected for a back catalogue so vast, some of them, frankly... aren't.
So, as we look to definitively sort the ultimate Rubin wheat from the chaff, we want your help. Perhaps your favourite albums are from his trailblazing early work fusing rap and rock with the Beastie Boys; perhaps his later years with Johnny Cash are more your speed.
We've got you started with a long-list below, but it's by no means exhaustive – it doesn't include best ofs, live albums or soundtracks, for starters – so there's an option to add your own favourite at the bottom. You're allowed five votes, so make 'em count.
We'll be announcing the results in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back and see how your favourites fared.