The Lists 1994-2009

At the end of each year I make a list of the twenty albums I enjoyed the most. To be eligible, a record has to be of album length (at least ~30 mins), and contain entirely (or almost entirely) new material; live albums, cover records, and compilations are ineligible.

You can find the full version of each list from 2010 onwards linked here. For the sake of (approaching) completeness, here’s a summary of my lists from 1994-09.

2009

  1. Biffy Clyro — Only Revolutions
  2. Manic Street Preachers — Journal for Plague Lovers
  3. Crazy Arm — Born to Ruin
  4. Pure Reason Revolution — Amor Vincit Omnia
  5. The Decemberists — The Hazards of Love
  6. Tegan & Sara — Sainthood
  7. The Dirty Projectors — Bitte Orca
  8. Paramore — Brand New Eyes
  9. Pearl Jam — Backspacer
  10. Bike for Three! — More Heart Than Brains
  11. Cursive — Mama, I’m Swollen
  12. Green Day — 21st Century Breakdown
  13. Humcrush — Rest at World’s End 
  14. Keith Jarrett — Yesterdays
  15. The Mars Volta — Octahedron
  16. Bat for Lashes — Two Suns
  17. Lady Gaga — The Fame
  18. Nisennenmondai — Destination Tokyo
  19. Muse — The Resistance
  20. John Frusciante — The Empyrean

2008

  1. Laura Marling — Alas, I Cannot Swim
  2. Metallica — Death Magnetic
  3. Bloc Party — Intimacy
  4. Vampire Weekend — Vampire Weekend
  5. Cold War Kids — Loyalty to Loyalty
  6. Kings of Leon — Only By The Night
  7. Fleet Foxes — Fleet Foxes
  8. Coldplay — Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
  9. The Mars Volta — The Bedlam in Goliath
  10. Portishead — Third
  11. Death Cab For Cutie — Narrow Stairs
  12. TV On the Radio — Dear Science
  13. The Duke Spirit — Neptune
  14. Jenny Lewis — Acid Tongue
  15. Islands — Arm’s Way
  16. Parts & Labor — Receivers
  17. This Will Destroy You — This Will Destroy You
  18. R.E.M. — Accelerate
  19. Lykke Li — Youth Novels
  20. The Walkmen — You & Me

2007

  1. Arcade Fire — Neon Bible
  2. Tegan & Sara — The Con
  3. Radiohead — In Rainbows
  4. The Shins — Wincing the Night Away
  5. Silverchair — Young Modern
  6. Cold War Kids — Robbers & Cowards
  7. Jimmy Eat World — Chase This Light
  8. Bloc Party — A Weekend in the City
  9. Biffy Clyro — Puzzle
  10. Kings of Leon — Because of the Times
  11. Klaxons — Myths of the Near Future
  12. Bright Eyes — Cassadaga
  13. The White Stripes — Icky Thump
  14. Bat for Lashes — Fur And Gold
  15. Björk — Volta
  16. Machine Head — The Blackening
  17. Rilo Kiley — Under the Blacklight
  18. Foo Fighters — Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
  19. Buck 65 — Situation
  20. KT Tunstall — Drastic Fantastic

2006

  1. My Chemical Romance — The Black Parade
  2. Thom Yorke — The Eraser
  3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Show Your Bones
  4. Cat Power — The Greatest
  5. Ben Kweller — Ben Kweller
  6. Howling Bells — Howling Bells
  7. Tapes n’ Tapes — The Loon
  8. Keane — Under the Iron Sea
  9. Deftones — Saturday Night Wrist
  10. Joanna Newsom — Ys
  11. Head Automatica — Popaganda
  12. Snow Patrol — Eyes Open
  13. The Long Blondes — Someone to Drive You Home
  14. Tilly & the Wall — Wild Like Children
  15. Saves the Day — Sound the Alarm
  16. Be Your Own Pet — Be Your Own Pet
  17. Beck — The Information
  18. Razorlight — Razorlight
  19. The Raconteurs — Broken Boy Soldiers
  20. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah — Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

2005

  1. Arcade Fire — Funeral
  2. Weezer — Make Believe
  3. Bright Eyes — I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  4. Bloc Party — Silent Alarm
  5. The White Stripes — Get Behind Me Satan
  6. Death from Above 1979 — You’re a Woman; I’m a Machine
  7. Coldplay — X&Y
  8. Spin Doctors — Nice Talking to Me
  9. Bright Eyes — Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
  10. The Subways — Young for Eternity
  11. KT Tunstall — Eye to the Telescope
  12. Alanis Morissette — Jagged Little Pill (Acoustic)1
  13. Nine Black Alps — Everything Is
  14. Test Icicles — For Screening Purposes
  15. Rilo Kiley — More Adventurous
  16. Laura Veirs — Year of Meteors
  17. Madonna — Confessions on a Dancefloor
  18. System of a Down — Hypnotize
  19. Giant Drag — Hearts + Unicorns
  20. Buck 65 — Secret House Against the World

2004

  1. Green Day — American Idiot
  2. Head Automatica — Decadence
  3. The Vines — Winning Days
  4. Kings of Leon — Aha Shake Heartbreak
  5. Björk — Medulla
  6. Joanna Newson — The Milk-Eyed Mender
  7. The Go! Team — Thunder, Lightning, Strike!
  8. The Von Bondies — Pawn Shoppe Heart
  9. Beastie Boys — To The 5 Boroughs
  10. The Prodigy — Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
  11. Keane — Hopes and Fears
  12. Incubus — A Crow Left of the Murder
  13. Razorlight — Up All Night
  14. 22-20s — 22-20s
  15. Jimmy Eat World — Futures
  16. Willy Mason — Where the Humans Eat
  17. The Concretes — The Concretes
  18. Hope of the States — The Lost Riots
  19. Ben Kweller — On My Way
  20. PJ Harvey — Uh Huh Her

2003

  1. The Distillers — Coral Fang
  2. The White Stripes — Elephant
  3. Radiohead — Hail to the Thief
  4. Muse — Absolution
  5. The Strokes — Room on Fire
  6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Fever to Tell
  7. Pretty Girls Make Graves — New Romance
  8. Jet — Get Born
  9. Thea Gilmore — Avalanche
  10. Buck 65 — Talkin’ Honky Blues
  11. Kings of Leon — Youth and Young Manhood
  12. Deftones — Deftones
  13. The Dandy Warhols — Welcome to the Monkey House
  14. The Cooper Temple Clause — Kick Up The Fires and Let The Flames Break Loose
  15. The Cardigans — Long Gone Before Daylight
• • •

The original lists prior to 2003 have been lost to the mists of time, but in 2005 I wrote a top 3 for the preceding decade, and that’s what’s presented for that period here.

2002

  1. Desaparecedos — Read Music, Speak Spanish
  2. Silverchair — Diorama
  3. Vex Red — Start With a Strong and Persistent Desire

2001

  1. Weezer — Weezer
  2. System of a Down — Toxicity
  3. The White Stripes — White Blood Cells

2000

  1. Radiohead — Kid A
  2. Eminem — The Marshall Mathers LP
  3. Deftones — White Pony

1999

  1. Foo Fighters — There is Nothing Left to Lose
  2. Silverchair — Neon Ballroom
  3. The White Stripes — The White Stripes

1998

  1. R.E.M. — Up
  2. Garbage — Version 2.0
  3. The Beastie Boys — Hello Nasty

1997

  1. Radiohead — OK Computer
  2. The Prodigy — Fat of the Land
  3. Deftones — Around the Fur

1996

  1. Weezer — Pinkerton
  2. Pearl Jam — No Code
  3. R.E.M. — New Adventures in Hi-Fi

1995

  1. Deftones — Adrenaline
  2. Radiohead — The Bends
  3. The Smashing Pumpkins — Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness

1994

  1. Weezer — Weezer
  2. Jeff Buckley — Grace
  3. Soundgarden — Superunknown

⏎ Return to the index of lists


  1. I’m aware this is pushing against the rules a little: it is a studio album, and they’re Morissette’s own songs (not covers)… but they were obviously all previously released in different versions in 1995. This is a debate I’m going to have to have again if Taylor Swift does re-record Red and 1989 as she has said she intends to.  ↩︎