In March, the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, working together, will launch the Definitive 200 campaign aimed at promoting the most commercial or critically successful albums in history.

Beginning March 6, the albums on the list -- which should be in everyone's music collection, according to the two organizations -- will be highlighted at retail stores nationwide. The promotion will be enhanced by artist appearances and live performances.

"If it's in the Definitive 200, you can be assured that the CD is a classic, with enduring relevance," says NARM president Jim Donio. "This list came from the retailers' perspective. Both new and old titles, from rock, country, soul, everything. These are the albums that our members have seen, over time, continue to move people and be a significant part of their lives."

NARM members have nearly 7,000 outlets and represent 85% of U.S. music sales. The list, which will exclude greatest hits albums, is apparently timed to coincide with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner, which will be held on March 12 in New York. The promotion will get an additional boost in New York -- March 12 will be declared "Definitive 200 Day" by Mayor Bloomberg, according to a joint press release issued by the two organizations.

"We are pleased to be working with NARM's retailers and music labels to bring the Definitive 200 to the public so people have the opportunity to add to -- or replace -- their collections with the music that has defined our times," says Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO and president Joel Peresman.

The Definitive 200 campaign primarily celebrates the art form of the album, which is in contrast to the growing popularity of single song downloads that are now so popular in the digital era.