My Favorite Albums by Year 1980 -- 2006

Hey Ho! Let's Go!

A note: These lists are cribbed from Top Ten lists I made for my college station's DJ poll, yearly letters to my friends, entries in my journal, and occasional printed criticism. They reflect a combination of what I felt then combined with how I feel about the same recordings now. Most of the older ones have made the transition from vinyl to digital and make up the core of my collection. (In fact, I've put an * next to any 1980s record I still don't have --in some form -- on CD or as decent-quality mp3z.)

Revisionism? You bet there's revisionism, as I rediscover old recordings by long-time favorites, discover old recordings by new favorites, and reject albums that haven't aged well.

Oh yeah, the listings from 1980 - 1994 were as of October 17, 1995. Unless they've been changed, of course.

For future years, the "as of" date will be noted as they are added to this page.

As an extra added bonus, I've added links to my reviews of many of these albums. How fun is that?!? Of course, I didn't think of it until 2003.

Yes, these lists are too white and too "alternative"-oriented, but then again, so am I . . .

(As of October 31, 2007)
01.The ClashLondon Calling
03.The English BeatI Just Can't Stop it
04. The Soft BoysUnderwater Moonlight
06.Pete TownshendEmpty Glass
07.XLos Angeles
08.BuzzcocksA Different Kind of Tension
09.Elvis Costello and the AttractionsGet Happy!!
10.XTCBlack Sea
11.Bruce SpringsteenThe River
12.The BrainsThe Brains*
13.The ClashBlack Market Clash
14.The Psychedelic FursThe Psychedelic Furs
15.Joy DivisionCloser
16.RamonesEnd of the Century
17.The FeeliesCrazy Rhythms

01.XWild Gift
02.The Psychedelic FursTalk Talk Talk
04.Tom VerlaineDream Time
05.The Rolling StonesTattoo You
06.Robyn HitchcockBlack Snake Diamond Röle
07.Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersHard Promises
08.The ClashSandinista!
09.The JamSound Affects
10.PretendersExtended Play
11.Elvis Costello and the AttractionsTrust
12.Neil Young and Crazy HorseRe·ac·tor*
13.The ChurchThe Church
14.Joy DivisionStill

01.The Dream SyndicateThe Days of Wine and Roses
02.XTCEnglish Settlement
03.The JamThe Gift
04.R.E.M.Chronic Town
05.XUnder the Big Black Sun
06.Lou ReedThe Blue Mask
07.Rank and FileSundown
08.TranslatorHeartbeats and Triggers
09.Pete TownshendAll The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes
10.The ChurchThe Blurred Crusade
11.Dave EdmundsDE#7

02.Violent FemmesViolent Femmes
04.The ChurchSeance
05.XMore Fun in the New World
06.TranslatorNo Time like Now
07.The ReplacementsHootenanny!
08. Big CountryThe Crossing
09.The AlarmThe Alarm
11.The JamSnap!
12.U2Under a Blood Red Sky
13.Hüsker DüMetal Circus
15.Echo and the BunnymenPorcupine
16.The NeatsThe Neats
17.New OrderPower, Corruption and Lies

01.The ReplacementsLet it Be
02.Robyn HitchcockI Often Dream of Trains
04.U2The Unforgettable Fire
05.The SmithsThe Smiths
06.Hüsker DüZen Arcade
07.XTCThe Big Express
08. The AlarmDeclaration
09.The BanglesAll Over the Place
10.Bruce SpringsteenBorn in the U.S.A
11.Hoodoo GurusStoneage Romeos
12.Black UhuruAnthem*
13.Toy DollsDig That Groove Baby*
14.Red RockersSchizophrenic Circus*
15.Echo and the BunnymenOcean Rain
16.The ReducersThe Reducers
17.Lou ReedNew Sensations

01.Bob DylanBiograph
02.R.E.M.Fables of the Reconstruction of the Fables
03.Hüsker DüFlip Your Wig
04.The ReplacementsTim
05.Danny and DustyThe Lost Weekend
06.Lloyd Cole and The CommotionsRattlesnakes
07.28th Day28th Day
08.Hüsker DüNew Day Rising
09.Robyn Hitchcock and The EgyptiansGotta Let this Hen out!!
10.The Smiths Meat Is Murder
11.The Velvet UndergroundV.U.
12.The WaterboysThis Is the Sea
13.The Jazz ButcherThe Gift of Music
14.Various ArtistsThe Indestructable Beat of Soweto
15.JacobitesRobespierres Velvet Basement
16.The WhoWho's Missing
17.John Cougar MellencampScarecrow
18. Pale FountainsFrom Across the Kitchen Table*
19. Artists United Against ApartheidSun City*

01.The Jesus and Mary ChainPsychocandy
02.The SmithsThe Queen Is Dead
03.Hüsker DüCandy Apple Grey
04.Lloyd Cole and the CommotionsEasy Pieces
05.R.E.M.Lifes Rich Pageant
07.Peter CasePeter Case
08.Bruce Springsteen & The E Street BandLive 1975/1985
09.The FeeliesThe Good Earth
10.Robyn Hitchcock and The EgyptiansElement of Light
11.Beastie BoysLicensed to Ill
12.Elvis CostelloKing of America
13.Elvis Costello and the AttractionsBlood and Chocolate
14.New OrderBrotherhood
15.Tommy KeeneSongs From The Film
16.Violent FemmesThe Blind Leading the Naked
18.Nikki Sudden and the JacobitesThe Ragged School

01.Hüsker DüWarehouse: Songs and Stories
02.dB'sThe Sound of Music
03.The ReplacementsPleased to Meet Me
04.U2The Joshua Tree
05.The Miss AlansBus
07.The Cat HeadsHubba!
08.The Jesus and Mary ChainDarklands
09.Bruce SpringsteenTunnel of Love
10.Hoodoo GurusBlow Your Cool
11.The ConnellsBoylan Heights
12.The SmithsLouder than Bombs
13.Alter BoysSoul Desire
14.Sonic YouthSister
15.Bobby SutliffeOnly the Ghosts Remain*
16.Paul Kelly and the MessengersGossip
17.Tom Petty and The HeartbreakersLet Me Up, I've Had Enough

01.Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
02.Lloyd Cole and the CommotionsMainstream
03.N.W.A.Straight Outta Compton
04. Sonic YouthDaydream Nation
05. Midnight OilDiesel and Dust
06.The PrimitivesLovely
07.The Dream SyndicateGhost Stories
08.Close LobstersFoxheads Stalk this Land
09.U2Rattle and Hum
10.The PoguesIf I Should Fall from the Grace of God
11.The Cat HeadsSubmarine*
12.FeeliesOnly Life
14.Guns N' RosesAppetite for Destruction
15.Keith RichardsTalk Is Cheap
16.Paul Kelly and the MessengersUnder the Sun
17.The GodfathersBirth, School, Work, Death*
18.SugarcubesLife's Too Good
19.Guided By VoicesSandbox

01.The PoguesPeace and Love
02.Neil YoungFreedom
03.MekonsMekons Rock 'N' Roll
04.Lou ReedNew York
05.The Dream SyndicateIt's Too Late to Stop Now
06.The PrimitivesPure
07.The Stone RosesThe Stone Roses
10.The Jazz ButcherBig Planet, Scarey Planet
11.Tom PettyFull Moon Fever
12.The ReplacementsDon't Tell A Soul
13.De La Soul3 Feet High and Rising
14.Close LobstersHeadache Rhetoric
15.Hoodoo GurusMagnum Cum Louder
16. Beastie BoysPaul's Boutique
17.Yo La TengoPresident Yo La Tengo

02. Sinead O'ConnorI Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
03. Neil Young and Crazy Horse Ragged Glory
04. Uncle Tupelo No Depression
05. Living Colour Time's Up
06. Bob Mould Black Sheets of Rain
07. The Replacements All Shook Down
08. Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet
09. Sonic Youth Goo
10. Goo Goo Dolls Jed
11. Robyn Hitchcock Eye
12. The Pogues Hell's Ditch
13. The Jazz Butcher Cult of the Basement
14. The Miss Alans Smack the Horse
15. Urban Dance Squad Mental Floss for the Globe
16. Social Distortion Social Distortion
17. The Posies Dear 23
18.Dwight Yoakam If There Was A Way
19.Yo La Tengo Fakebook
20. Ex-Cat HeadsOur Frisco
21. The Wedding Present Bizarro
22. Sidewinders Auntie Ramos' Pool Hall
23.They Might Be Giants Flood

01. Nirvana Nevermind
02. Bob DylanThe Bootleg Series Vol. 2
03. U2Achtung Baby!
04. Guns N' RosesUse Your Illusion II
05. Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque
06. Matthew Sweet Girlfriend
07. Goo Goo DollsHold Me Up
08. L.L. Cool JMama Said Knock You Out
09. PixiesTrompe Le Monde
10. Too Much JoyCereal Killers
11. R.E.M. Out of Time
12. Public Enemy Apocalyspe 901...the Enemy Strikes Black
13. The Miss Alans All Hail Discordia!!
14. X-TAL Die Monster Die!
15. Ice-TO.G.. Original Gangster
16. Robyn Hitchcock Perspex Island
17. Neil Young and Crazy Horse Weld
18. Marshall CrenshawLife's Too Short
19. Feelies Time for a Witness
20.Soundgarden Badmotorfinger

01. Sugar Copper Blue
02. R.E.M. Automatic for the People
03. Buffalo TomLet Me Come Over
04. Neil Young Harvest Moon
05. LemonheadsIt's a Shame about Ray
06. Disposable Heroes of HiphoprisyHypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury
07. Lou ReedMagic and Loss
08. Sonic YouthDirty
09. U2Salome!
10. Pavement Slanted and Enchanted
11. Screaming Trees Sweet Oblivion
12. My Bloody Valentine Loveless
13. Too Much JoyMutiny
14. SuperchunkTossing Seeds
15. Morrissey Your Arsenal
16. Freedy JohnstonCan You Fly
17. Chris BellI Am The Cosmos
18. Pearl Jam Ten
20. Various ArtistsSingles Soundtrack
21. Nirvana Incesticide
22Lucinda WilliamsSweet Old World
23. Sedan DeliveryDog Riot!!*

01.Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
02. The Breeders Last Splash
03. Liz Phair Exile in Guyville
04. Grant Lee Buffalo Fuzzy
05. Dinosaur Jr. Where Ya Been
06. Nirvana In Utero
07. Uncle Tupelo Anodyne
08. Belly Star
09. Bob Dylan World Gone Wrong
10. Dramarama Hi-Fi Sci-Fi
11. Paul Westerberg 14 Songs
12. Yo La Tengo Painful
13. Goo Goo Dolls Superstar Car Wash
14. Gutterball Gutterball
16. The Velvet Underground Live MCMXCIII
17. Bash and Pop Friday Night Is Killing Me
18. Masters of Reality Sunrise on the Sufferbus
19. Tommy Keene The Real Underground
20. Van Morrision Too Long in Exile
21. Various Artists Sweet Relief
22. Jimmie Dale Gilmore Spinning Around The Sun
23. Tom O' Dowd All From His Head*

(As of October 31, 2007)
01. Hole Live Through This
02. Pavement Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
03. Soundgarden Superunknown
04. Nirvana Unplugged
05. Guided By Voices Bee Thousand
06.Soul CoughingRuby Vroom
07. Magnapop Hot Boxing
08. Sebadoh Bakesale
09. Sugar File Under: Easy Listening
10. The Miss Alans Blusher
11. Neil Young and Crazy Horse Sleeps With Angels
12. The Jesus and Mary Chain Stoned and Dethroned
13. Liz Phair Whip-Smart
14. Oasis Definitely Maybe
15. Hüsker Dü The Living End
16. Eugenius Mary Queen of Scots
17. Pearl Jam Vitalogy
18. Lloyd Cole Bad Vibes
19. Freedy Johnston This Perfect World
20. Kevin Salem Soma City

01. Oasis (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
02. Neil Young Mirror Ball
03. Wilco A.M.
04. Son Volt Trace
05. Guided By Voices Alien Lanes
06. Sonic Youth Washing Machine
07. Rancid . . . And Out Come The Wolves
08. Yo La Tengo Elect-ro-Pura
09. Luna Penthouse
10. Pavement Wowee Zowee
11. The Geraldine Fibbers Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My House
12. Everclear Sparkle and Fade
13. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Playback Disc 6
14. Matthew Sweet 100% Fun
15. Teenage Fanclub Grand Prix
16. Goo Goo Dolls A Boy Named Goo
17. The Jesus and Mary Chain Hate Rock 'n' Roll
18. Emmylou Harris Wrecking Ball
19. Shane MacGowan and The Popes The Snake
20. Chris Isaak Forever Blue
21. Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
22. Charlie Sexton Sextet Under The Wishing Tree

(As of Dec. 7, 1997)
01. Beck Odelay
02. Wilco Being There
03.Imperial Teen Seasick
04. Aimee Mann I'm With Stupid
05. Robyn Hitchcock Moss Elixir
06. Sebadoh harmacy
07. Mysteries of Life Keep A Secret
08.Tobin Sprout Carnival Boy
09. The Posies Amazing Disgrace
10. Soundgarden Down on The Upside
11.Lyle Lovett The Road to Ensenada
12.Amy Rigby Diary of A Mod Housewife
13. R.E.M. New Adventures in Hi-Fi
14. Steve Earle I Feel Alright
15.Hoodoo Gurus In Blue Cave
16. Jack Logan Mood Elevator
17. Guided By Voices Sunfish Holy Breakfast
18. Paul Westerberg Eventually
19.The Lemonheads Car Button Cloth
20. The Miss Alans Ledger
21. Yo La Tengo Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo
22.Counting Crows Recovering The Satellites
23.Robert Pollard Not In My Airforce
24.Perfect When Squirrels Play Chicken
25.Guided By Voices Under The Bushes Under The Stars

(As of September 19, 1998)
01. Whiskeytown Strangers Almanac
02. Pavement Brighten The Corners
03.The Replacements Nothing For All
04. that dog Retreat From The Sun
05. Yo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One
06. Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole
07. Guided by Voices Mag Earwhig!
08.The Geraldine Fibbers Butch
09. Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind
10. Dinosaur Jr. Hand It Over
11.Belle and Sebastian If You're Feeling Sinister
12.X Beyond and Back
13. Various Artists Anthology Of American Folk Music
14. Beth Orton Trailer Park
15.Radiohead OK Computer
16. Freedy Johnston Never Home
17. Sleater-Kinney Dig Me Out
18. Honeydogs Seen a Ghost
19.Dan Bern Dan Bern
20. Ron Sexsmith Other Songs
21. Bettie Serveert Dust Bunnies

(As of June 14, 2001)
01. Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Avenue
02. Bob Dylan & The Hawks The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert
03.Pearl Jam Yield
04. R.E.M. Up
05. Hole Celebrity Skin
06. Son Volt Wide Swing Tremolo
07. Beastie Boys Hello Nasty
08.Liz Phair whitechocolatespaceegg
09. Rancid Life Won't Wait
10. Spiritualized Live at the Royal Albert Hall
11.Lucinda Williams Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
12.Kid Rock Devil Without A Cause
13.Bruce Springsteen Tracks
14. Amy Rigby Middlescence
15. The Posies Success
16.Beck Mutations
17.Sonic Youth A Thousand Leaves
18. Grant Lee Buffalo Jubilee
19. Radiohead Airbag/How Am I Driving?
20. Lyle Lovett Step Inside This House
21. Soul Coughing El Oso
22. Dwight Yoakam A Long Way Home

(As of June 10, 2004)
01. Matthew Sweet In Reverse
02. Wilco Summer Teeth
03.Guided By Voices Do The Collapse
04. Old 97's Fight Songs
05. The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs
06. Drive-by Truckers Pizza Deliverance
07. Gomez Liquid Skin
08. Pavement Terror Twilight
09.Charlatans U.K. Us and Us Only
10.Robyn Hitchcock Jewels For Sophia
11. Too Much Joy Gods and Sods
12. Dan Bern Smartie Mine
13. XTC Apple Venus
14.Various Artists Grevious Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons
15.Counting Crows This Desert Life
16. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Echo
17. Superchunk Come Pick Me Up
18.Continental Drifters Vermillion
19.Beck Midnite Vultures
20.Paul Westerberg Suicane Gratifaction
21.Pretenders Viva El Amor!
22.Moby Play
23.Blink-182 Enema of the State

(As of June 14, 2001)
01. U2 All That You Can't Leave Behind
02. Lloyd Cole The Negatives
03.Everclear Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1
04. The Jayhawks Smile
05. Radiohead Kid A
06. Aimee Mann Bachelor No. 2
07. PJ Harvey Stories From The City Stories From The Sea
08.Teenage Fanclub Howdy!
09.Rancid Rancid
10. Outkast Stankonia
11. Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Ave. Vol 2
12.XTC Wasp Star: Apple Venus Vol 2
13.Built to Spill Live
14. Neko Case & Her Boyfriends Furnace Room Lullaby
15. Doves Lost Souls
16. Dwight Yoakam Tomorrow's Sounds Today
17.Amy Rigby The Sugar Tree
18.Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
19. Steve Earle Transcendental Blues
20.Kasey Chambers The Captain
21. Yo La Tengo And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
22. Sinead O'Connor Faith and Courage
23. Everclear Songs From An American Movie Vol 2

(As of March 21, 2002)
01. Bob Dylan Love and Theft
02. Whiskeytown Pneumonia (Napster version)
03.Pete Yorn musicforthemorningafter
04. Guided by Voices Isolation Drills
05. Ryan Adams Gold
06. The White Stripes White Blood Cells
07. Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
08. The Velvet Underground The Bootleg Series Volume 1: The Quine Tapes
09.The Old 97s Satellite Rides
10.The Strokes Is This It
11. Preston School of Industry All This Sounds Gas
12. Clem Snide The Ghost of Fashion
13.Radiohead I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings
14.R.E.M. Reveal
15. Steve Wynn Here Come The Miracles
16. Radiohead Amnesiac
17. Beechwood Sparks Once We Were Trees
18.Steve Malkmus Steve Malkmus
19.Bruce Springsteen & The E. St Band Live in NYC
20.blink-182 Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
21. Various Artists O Brother, Where Art Thou?
22. Jay Farrar Sebastopol

(As of June 10, 2004)
01. Drive-by Truckers Southern Rock Opera
02. Wilco YHF Demos
03.Paul Westerberg Stereo/Mono
04. Gomez In Our Gun
05. Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head
06. ... and you will know us by the Trail of Dead Source Tags and Codes
07. Foo Fighters One by One
08. Rhett Miller The Instigator
09.Soft Boys Nextdoorland
10.Apples in Stereo The Velocity of Sound
11. The Soundtrack of Our Lives Behind the Music
12. J. Mascis & The Fog Free So Free
13.Bruce Springsteen The Rising
14.Elvis Costello When I Was Cruel
15. Ryan Adams Demolition
16. Pearl Jam Riot Act
17. The Vines Highly Evolved
18.Interpol Turn on the Bright Lights
(As of October 23, 2007)
01. Wrens The Meadowlands
02. Ryan Adams lloR N kcoR
03.Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers
04. White Stripes Elephant
05. Paul Westerberg Come Feel Me Tremble
06. Joe Strummer Streetcore
07. Beulah Yoko
08. OutKast Speakerboxx / The Love Below
09.Rancid Indestructible
10.Drive-by Truckers Decoration Day
11. The Thrills So Much For the City
12. Zwan Mary, Star of the Sea
13.Matthew Sweet Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu
14.Television Live at the Old Waldorf
15.Belle & Sebastian Dear Catastrophe Waitress
16. Radiohead Hail to the Thief
17. Kathleen Edwards Failer
18. Led Zeppelin How the West Was Won
19.Stephen Malkmus Pig Lib
20.Jet Get Born
21.Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 Static Transmission

(As of October 31, 2007)
01. The Arcade Fire Funeral
02. U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
03.Green Day American Idiot
04. Ambulance LTD LP
05. Wilco A Ghost is Born
06. Secret Machines Now Here is Nowhere
07. Rilo Kiley More Adventurous
08. The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me
09.Drive-by Truckers The Dirty South
10.Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose
11. Paul Westerberg Folker
12. Camper Van Beethoven New Roman Times
13.Tift Merritt Tambourine
14.Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
15. Neko Case The Tigers Have Spoken
16. Guided by Voices Half-Smiles of the Decomposed

(As of October 31, 2007)
01. The Hold Steady Separation Sunday
02. Wilco Kicking Television: Live in Chicago
03.Bloc Party Silent Alarm
04. Neil Young Prairie Wind
05. Sufjan Stevens Illinois
06. The White Stripes Get Behind Me, Satan
07. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Cold Roses
08. Low The Great Destroyer
09.Bob Dylan Bootleg Series, Vol.7: No Direction Home
10.Son Volt Okemah and the Melody of Riot
11.Franz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much Better
11. Oasis Donít Believe the Truth
12. Beck Guero
13.New Order Waiting for the Sirensí Call
14.My Morning Jacket Z
15. Foo Fighters In Your Honor
16. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Howl
17. Steve Wynn ...tick tick tick
18. The National Alligator

(As of October 31, 2007)
01. The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America
02. The Long Winters Putting The Days to Bed
03.Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, Thatís What Iím Not
04. Yo La Tengo I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
05. Drive-by Truckers A Blessing and a Curse
06. Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 Ole Tarantula
07. Bob Dylan Modern Times
08. The Concretes In Colour
09.Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live at the Fillmore East 1970
10.Sonic Youth "Rather Ripped"
11. Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops
12. Neil Young Living With War
13.Jenny Lewis Rabbit Fur Coat
14.Pete Yorn Nightcrawler
15. Silversun Pickups Carnavas
16. Steve Wynn Live Tick
17. Raconteurs Ranconteurs
18. Cat Power The Greatest
19.Robert Pollard From A Compound Eye
20.The 88 Over and Over
21. Pearl Jam Pearl Jam
22.Wolfmother Wolfmother
23.Rhett Miller The Believer
24. Ray Davies The Tourist
25. Sufjan Stevens The Avalanche
26. Amy Rigby Little Fugitive
27. Tom Waits Orphans

Most appearances on these lists:

  1. Paul Westerberg (Replacements / Solo) - 13
  2. R.E.M. - 12
  3. U2 - 11
  4. Robyn Hitchcock (Soft Boys / Solo) - 11
  5. Jeff Tweedy (Uncle Tupelo / Wilco) - 11
  6. Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü / Sugar / Solo) - 11
  7. Robert Pollard (Guided by Voices / Solo) - 10
  8. Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate / Danny & Dusty / Gutterball / Solo) - 9
  9. Bob Dylan - 8
  10. Neil Young - 8
  11. Yo La Tengo - 8
  12. Sonic Youth - 7
  13. Bruce Springsteen - 7
  14. Steve Malkmus (Pavement / Solo) - 7

What do you think??

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This page was created on 17 October 1995

It was last modified on 31 October 2007
I was listening to Radiohead - In Rainbows