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NME Picks the Top 100 British Albums of All Time

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UK music publication NME has released an excerpt of their poll of the Top 100 British Albums of All Time. The full list will appear in NME’s January 28 issue. Apparently my invitation to participate in the poll got lost in the mail (some folks call it post, I call it mail). It is clearly an atrocious oversight on their part. How could they conduct a poll of British music without inviting me? I am not British but I still like to put the “u” in flavour and favourite and colour! That has to be close enough.

Somehow, I got left out of the poll. Shenanigans! I am declaring shenanigans! The UK was well represented in my Top 10 of 2005. I remembered to include the UK in my list yet the UK seems to have forgotten all the fuck about me. That rots.

So here is their Top 10:

1. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
2. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
3. Oasis Definitely Maybe
4. Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks
5. Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
6. Blur Modern Life Is Rubbish
7. Pulp Different Class
8. The Clash London Calling
9. The Beatles Revolver
10. The Libertines Up The Bracket

Skimming this list, I see I own a grand total of three of these albums: Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, The Beatles’ Revolver, and The Libertines’ Up The Bracket. The Libertines album is one I added to my collection just this year. I wonder if that is why they skipped me. That would be a bullshit reason. It is not like those are the only three British albums I fucking own.

Besides, I give myself two asterisks. I own ‘Best Of’ compilations by Blur and The Stone Roses so I have heard cuts from The Stone Roses and Modern Life is Rubbish (which is one of my favourite album titles ever).

It is interesting to see the Arctic Monkeys in the Top 10. Their debut album is being released just this year. The Beatles and Sex Pistols are among the most important and influential artists in rock history. The Clash might not have the same degree of influence or importance as The Beatles or Sex Pistols but they are not far behind. Oasis, Blur, Pulp… these bands were cornerstones of the ’90s Britpop movement. They might not be kings of the British charts today but they dominated the airwaves during their time. The Arctic Monkeys are new money. They might be great. They have not had to stand the test of time. That seems an important consideration when one is making an “All-Time” list. Will Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not hold such a prominent place five to seven years from now? There is a good chance they will. We just will not know for five or seven more years.

So who is missing?

Five years ago I would have bet money Radiohead’s OK Computer would be in the Top 10. It is strange how what seems indispensable today can be left by the wayside. OK Computer might still be one of my Top 10 Albums of All Time, period.

There is only one Beatles album in the Top 10. No Stones. No Bowie. No Who. I am sure these artists are represented in the full 100. There was a time they probably would have made the Top 10. Britpop seems to have pushed them aside. Have Oasis, Blur, and Pulp surpassed these titans of music or is this poll a tad short-sighted?

This is the first salvo in a series. I am going to document my journey through the Top 10 British Albums of all Time. I will acquire and listen to the seven albums I do not own and revisit the three I do. The Top 10 British Albums of All Time? Let me be the judge of that!

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About Josh Hathaway

  • Wait. Wait. You don’t own The Stone Roses? Wha–heh–whe–how???

    Also, Kid A is a better album than OK Computer. Or maybe it’s just me…

  • Who the hell are the artic monkeys? Radiohead’s OK Computer belongs in the top 10.

    Interesting that Oasis ranked higher than the Beatles considering Oasis wouldn’t be where or what they are without the fab four.

  • I know… The Stone Roses is going to the top of my “Must Buy” list (especially now that I have declared I will write about it.

    I love me some Kid A and put it just slightly behind OKC.

  • Nice Oasis/Beatles blast, Scott. Although Oasis did rip off more than the Beatles (TRex, Bowie, The Jam, etc).

    I agree on Radiohead.

  • Well, the nicest thing I can say about Oasis is they at least have good taste on who they rip off.

  • I guess these lists rank the new folks to sell copy or something. It seems terribly flippant to put a brand new bank, with what 1 album to their name in the top ten. And to put Revolver at 9 is blasphemy.

    totally interested in reading the rest of the series. Have to admit I own less than half of the albums on this list.

  • I thought the list did a bit of a disservice to albums made more than 20 minutes ago, too. It’s not that it has to be all Pink Floyd, Stones, and Beatles either. Definitely Maybe broke some of those records. It stands the test of time. If a list is going to be all time (rather than, say, a shorter frame of time) Arctic and some of these other guys don’t seem to deserve being this highly rated.

    That said… I plan to be the judge and evaluate them all. I haven’t told The Wife to Whom I Am Married we have to buy seven CDs for a research project yet. Wish me luck.

  • i own three:

    Never Mind The Bollocks
    London Calling

    no Oasis (yuck)
    no Smiths (double plus yuck)

    i’m surprised at the lack of OK Computer. gees, they used to blather on about that record like it was super-mega-ultra revolutionary.

    …when in reality it was just low-rent King Crimson.

  • I will admit to not looking forward to The Smiths, but who knows? I don’t really know much of that particular album.

    Oasis – OK, I get that I am the only Oasis fan in America. I can live with that. I fucking love them.

    As for Radiohead being low-rent anything… Mr. Saleski, I could not beg to differ any more. I love Radiohead, especially the stretch from The Bends through Kid A. That was some inventive, innovative, interesting, quality material. I still blather on about OK Computer for it is worthy.

  • i actually enjoy OK Computer. it’s just that i read (and heard) all of this stuff about how it was just going to turn my brain to mush with its brilliance….and i honestly didn’t hear anything there that hadn’t already been done by Crimson.

  • I actually think KID A was the more adventurous record. That’s just me. OK Computer was, to me, a masterful exercise of art and commerce. Experimental but still rooted in rock and song-based music.

  • I own 6 of the 10.

  • i like both Kid A and Amnesiac better. but honestly, there’s a little “apples/oranges” there. those two records are very different from OK Computer.

    i also like the last record. heck, i think i even reviewed it on bc.

  • Amnesiac didn’t have the legs with me that Kid A did. I like both. I just liked Kid A better. I think it’s because I knew what to expect with Amnesiac. Kid A seemed so much more unexpected. I almost wish they had released that as a double album rather than splitting it into two.

  • why is ther no pink floyd albums in the top 10 i wounder and thay kick all the bands asses on the top 10 atom heart mother is a gr8 album and is so under ratide but oasis suck balls man why should ther shit be higher than the beatles god damn mother fuckers people in the music bizz dont know shit look at half the shit out today and it sucks wish i was in the 70’s and fuck all you emo fucks

  • Wow. That post had the highest cussword-per-typo-runon sentence ratio I’ve seen since I last read graffiti in a toilet.

  • Scott, don’t let The Duke hear you say that or he’ll come in here a-cussin’ and a typin’ like a fiend. =)

  • “whispers: ‘sorry’ and sneaks away.”

  • (That was me being quiet as I escape stage left)

  • Very cute, Scott. But I fear The Duke knows what we are up to anyhow so you might as well stick around for the fireworks, firearms, and fun. Heh.

  • Spookiedookie

    No Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin in the top 10?
    Worst list ever.

  • Justme!

    I’m a brit I own

    1. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
    3. Oasis Definitely Maybe
    6. Blur Modern Life Is Rubbish
    7. Pulp Different Class
    8. The Clash London Calling
    9. The Beatles Revolver
    10. The Libertines Up The Bracket

    anyway I think they put the artics in there ‘cuz they sold 200 000 copies of their new album in about a day. Still they don’t deserve to be there, one hit wounders if you ask me… and they still arnt very good.!

  • hegemaniac

    most of these posts are about radiohead!!! case in point. I don’t give a crap about whether you like kid a or ok computer better. but they both deserve to be in the top 10.

    I listen to a crapload of music and if had a choice of going to a deserted island with a solar powered music player and told to pick my top 10, radiohead would be very well represented. The meaning of classic is “timeless”. ok computer ages well (so does kid a).

    by the way, bollocks to you people who have not invested time in the smiths. The queen is dead is pure genius after repeated listens, full stop.

    so in summary:

    NME is populist shite.

  • Justme!

    Yeah the smiths music it all about real life issuses of the day. woooo i prefer his new stuff, first in the gand to die etc etc

  • The thing about this poll is that it reads like a reader’s poll, not a writer’s.

    I would have expected readers to come up with more new stuff than old–their memory is more selectively short-term. Critics, on the other hand, we expect to be more educated (albeit more full of shite) and appreciative of a fuller spectrum.

    Which begs the question, who the Hell ARE these NME writers?

  • Shark

    Most of this Top 10 looks like it was written by an 18 year old.

    Two words, brit motards:



    an aside:

    Ironically, *Radiohead is Number One on Shark’s list of the Top 10 Most Overrated Faux-intellectual College Frat Boy Oh-Ain’t I Eclectic and Cool Bands in history.)

    * tunes for kiddies who just discovered their brains — and yet don’t have a clue about the history of contemporary music.

    Best line: Saleski’s “low-rent King Crimson”

    heh. Don’t they wish.

  • Simon

    Well the list isn’t any good! (actually the person who’s sold most records in England is cliff richard)
    They left a whole load of good stuff out. Obviously this is ust ignorant people’s opinion! I say BAH! to them.

  • Matias, o sea yo..

    i must admit im from the minority but i think you should have included Radiohead in that list, and Pink Floyd, i dont know much about Pulp, but come on, you really think Pulp is better than Pink or Radiohead?, come on…
    what’s that said artic monkeys? i’ve never heard anything like that, where is elton john? where are the rolling stones? come on.. this list is so weak i can’t even think in anything worst than this.., well maybe if you included some hip-hop artist yeah.., by the way, where the f*ck is the cure’s greatest work ever disintegration??
    i dont believe in this thing.
    sorry, i just don’t.

  • rob

    Matias, I was also surprised to not see any Cure on the list. I’m not a huge fan, but I no a lot of people that thought/think the world of them. I also find it strange that Pink Floyd, the Stones, Radiohead aren’t there. I always thought highly of The Kinks too. To each his own.

  • I own 6 of the ten. I own a Blur “Best Of…” disc, but that never counts.

    And any list of best UK records that doesn’t have “The White Album” in the top 10 (though Revolver is amazing on its own) just isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

    And I agree with everything positive anyone said about Radiohead in the posts above.

  • I own the same three as Mark Saleski.

    As with all of these lists, I think this one is seriously flawed.

    Based on sheer number of great songs and on influence, Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model should be in the top 10.

    I’d also have expected to see Who’s Next and something to represent The Animals, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones on the list. The idea that Oasis could possibly have an album better than the best of those three bands is ludicrous.

    And as personal favorites I’d have put Singles Going Steady by the Buzzcocks and Cool for Cats by Squeeze on there. The Buzzcocks were the real version of what the Sex Pistols were pretending to be and Cool for Cats has some of the best written pop songs of all time on it.

    And who the hell are The Arctic Monkeys and Stone Roses? The flavor of the week should’t get in the top 10 just because some editor at NME thinks they’re hip.


  • Two words, brit motards:



    Dear Baby Boom Generation:

    Get over yourself.


  • Ok, I’ve now listened to some songs by The Arctic Monkeys and Stone Roses – iTunes sure is great.

    The Arctic Monkeys are just awful. Half the bands playing bars in Austin are more talented and more original. The fact that they’re even in the top 10 shows how trend driven and meaningless this list is.

    The Stone Roses on the other hand are a nice, bland, generic 80s band. My 13 year old daughter will love them. Easily deserving of being in the top 100. Top 10 not in a million years.


  • And who the hell are The Arctic Monkeys and Stone Roses? The flavor of the week should’t get in the top 10 just because some editor at NME thinks they’re hip.

    The Arctic Monkeys thing is definitely Flavor of the Week, being that it’s not even OUT yet in the U.S. Preposterous as an entry on this and not to be taken seriously.

    The Stone Roses, however, belong on any list of Top Ten British albums. For one thing, the album came out in 1989, so it’s not Flavor of the Week; for another, it may be the rock album of the past 20 years. Any guitar band formed since then has been seriously influenced by SR.

  • SR sounds like watered down Squeeze filtered through late Kinks stuff to me. Nothing really remarkable about it at all. Certainly not as significant a guitar band as Social Distortion from that same era.

    BTW, my 13 year old has now listened to both bands – she’s home sick – and disagrees with me. She thinks SR sucks and that Arctic Monkey might get some play in the US.


  • Not as significant as Social Distortion? SD was great and all, Dave, but I am not joking when I suggest that the self-titled SR album was the Sgt. Pepper of its era.

  • Oh, and I missed that Blur and Pulp were on the list. WTF, wasn’t Oasis enough to represent the era of unlistenable dreck?


  • The Sgt Pepper of its era? By that you mean unlistenable and self-indulgent?


  • I’m talking influence, Dave. I’m kinda weary of Sgt. Pepper, too. But if I’d wanted to talk about unlistenable self-indulgence, I’d have mentioned the favorite band of this thread, King Crimson.

  • Any guitar band formed since then has been seriously influenced by SR.

    maybe in the uk.

    i never ‘got’ the whole manchester sound anyway…thought the Stone Roses were really, really boring.

  • As Saleski well knows, although I kick myself for not having made the point larger, my Top 2 of 2005 [from my podcast] are both from Manchester bands with brothers. I guess I drank the Kool-Aid on that one.

    I do think the list is slightly skewed in its historical view (particularly the Arctic Monkeys). I also think it would be skewed to continue on with the notion that nothing good was recorded after 1972. I think most of these lists quickly get unbalanced. In fairness to NME, their full list documents 100, not just 10. Maybe the full list does a better job of being representative.

  • Let me also pick up on something that has run through the comments that I mentioned in the article…

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the absence of say, The Stones. There are a lot of music critics who don’t think the Stones were ever a good ALBUM band. Yeah, they wrote some great songs but they never delivered a great album. Myself, I think that’s rubbish. However Exile is generally considered their great album but there really wasn’t a huge single on it. Does a great album have to have a great single? Not necessarily, but most of them do. I still think The Stones should have been on there.

  • maybe in the uk.

    Well, yes. But it’s a UK list, in’it?

  • looks like you’re going to have to pick up the other 90.

    time to start lobbying the wife to whom you are married.

    buy some kneepads.

  • I’d’ve picked Let It Bleed, personally, DJRadiohead, but you’re right. The Stones should have made the list.

  • Good call, Michael. Let it Bleed would be a VERY close second for me. Great album. One of them should have been there.

  • Saleski, I would like to think I have some of those other 90. But you’re right, the lobbying effort would be intense.

  • true mjw….it’s sort of interesting how some bands can be huge in britain and hardly make a ripple over here (and vice versa).

  • Dave Nalle

    DJR, put aside the Stones for a second and tell me why you think Who’s Next shouldn’t be in that top 10.


  • I can’t understand where zingzing is during all of this? This NME list practically demands one of his rants.

  • Dave, I mentioned in the article that The Who were conspicuously absent from the Top 10. Myself, I am stunned Bowie got shutout too. Influence? Holy shit!

    Now for my shameful confession. I’m not a big Who guy. I actually have a column on that forthcoming or I might do it on the podcast. It’s that thing of “Band/Artist You Should Like That For Some Damn Reason You Don’t.” I love so many of The Who’s peers and the music of that era. For some damn reason, The Who are the one band that… well they just don’t do it for me. I’ve listened to them. I have talked to friends of mine who are down to try and get some insight. I’ve just… I’ve never gotten into them. All of that said, The Who have been amazingly influential and successful. I can’t believe they got shoved out the Top 10.

  • I would probably have to put My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless on that list, too, although it can probably fit in the Top 15.

  • Dave Nalle

    More troubling than The Who getting shoved out of the top 10 is the crap that got in there instead. I suspect this was a list composed by 20 somethings who are completely oblivious to music recorded before they were born.


  • Dave, that is why I am going to journey through this Top 10. I am going to determine the righteous and the shite. I am going to listen to it all. Every note. I will then report back to you all. This is just one of the many services I, DJRadiohead, willingly and courageously perform for Blogcritics, God, Country, Man, Woman, Child, Beast, and others (I wussed out, I had names instead of ‘others’ but could not bring myself to do it).

    I am willing to bet all 10 of these albums belong in the 100. I am just not sure they are slotted correctly. That’s my initial position heading into the process. I will see if I still feel that way at the end.

  • zingzing

    (zingzing rides in on a cow who obviously needs to be milked.) WEEE-OOOo! bessy.

    hey! dave! listen to “i am the resurrection” and “fools gold” by stone roses! then get back to me and mike. that album is definitely the start of 90’s british rock.

    i don’t know that it deserves to be #1… but if the title of the piece was “top 100 albums that influenced the way british people make and buy rock music in the 21st century,” then it would be #1 on that list. toot sweet.

    not being able to see the full 100, i have a question or two: where is new order!? where is the fall!? MY BLOODY VALENTINE!?!? not putting bowie in there (even if they would have put ziggy stardust) removes any credibility this list could have had.

    modern life is rubbish–rubbish!–parklife, mother fuckers!

    oasis!? rub my nuts. artic monkeys?! flavor of the week.

    and dexy’s midnight runners-don’t stand me down should top the list. *drool*

  • I suspect this was a list composed by 20 somethings who are completely oblivious to music recorded before they were born.

    This is one of the things that I get a little tense about. I’m a twentysomething who is vastly well-versed to music recorded before I was born and I still think that music of my lifetime belongs on this list.

    But twentysomethings who are oblivious to music recorded before they were born are no worse than forty- and fiftysomethings who are completely oblivious to music recorded after 1980.

  • zingzing

    here’s the top 100:

    sorry, editors… i don’t know how to do that thing where you turn it all blue and the rest of it just disappears… [email me at editoratlarge (at) gmail if you want an explanation. Comments Editor]

  • Whichever chapter Oasis winds up being in my saga is going to get me covered in scorn and derision. I must be the only man in America who likes Oasis. Perhaps the world. Fuck a duck. I just got a new Oasis single in the mail this morning (it came Royal Mail!) along with a soundtrack with a new Oasis song. You guys are going to clobber me. Oh, well. So be it. Definitely Maybe is fucking tops in my book. I love that album.

    I like the Stone Roses stuff I’ve heard. I just don’t have the debut album in its entirety.

    Zingzing, I have heard some back and forth on which Blur was better: Parklife or Modern Life is Rubbish. I’ll have to check out both. I only have Best of Blur.

    And Michael, agreed.

  • Oh, God. The Specials made the list? Wake me when it’s over.

  • Dave Nalle

    The Specials are GODS, Michael, GODS I tell you!


  • Dave Nalle

    The full 100 list is just as fucked up as the top 10. No Animals, no Squeeze in the top 100? You’ve got to be kidding me.


  • I have to agree with you there, Dave. The list sucks. Although I don’t like Squeeze, and I think the Animals were a definite singles band, the list sucks.

  • That list is a bit rubbish. Franz Ferdinand is nice and all but they’re 40 places in front of Bowie and 20 in front of the first mention of The Stones? I don’t fuckin’ think so.

    Wow. Shocking.

  • OK, I read the list a little more closely. I calmed down and actually read the list this time.

    {wait for it}

    {wait for it}

    I still think it sucks! HA!

    Of course there are some great records on that list but I don’t think they came close to getting it right. That said… my quest will be completed. I will not be deterred.

  • How can a country with such great music have such terrible taste therein?

  • zingzing

    dude, look at america when you say that.

  • Point taken.

  • some guy

    Hmm, the beatles are 9, but oasis is 3? As someone else said, Oasis wouldn’t even be Oasis if it weren’t for the Beatles. Plus they’re crap… Ok, ok, well I dont like them. But come on, the Beatles are way better.

    Also, why are the pistols at 4, but The Clash is at 8? The pistols may be bigger, but you have to remember something… No shit they were bigger, they were a fake, crappy fabrication that couldn’t play their instruments. They sucked. At least the clash had some talent.

  • Well, some guy, I think impact counts as much as quality if you’re talking about “greatness,” and the Sex Pistols WERE the punk revolution in England.

  • zingzing

    and the guitar player from the pistols could play. listen to god save the queen. details! details!

    that said, where the fuck is p.i.l.?

  • The top 10 looks ok…although many of those records are in the wrong order, I mean, shouldn’t the Beatles be #1?

  • mr nobody

    I think this is totally incorrect, there looking at popular bands and not really caring about the music, how can artic monkeys be in there? its only been out a week or two…its a great album never the less…This is one reason why NME sucks and i will never read it.

  • Shark

    #57 Michael J. West: “I suspect this was a list composed by 20 somethings who are completely oblivious to music recorded before they were born.”

    #27 – Shark: “Most of this Top 10 looks like it was written by an 18 year old. …kiddies who just discovered their brains — and yet don’t have a clue about the history of contemporary music.”

    Wow! A 20-something who is almost as smart and articulate as a Baby Boomer.

    ))) Shark STILL can’t get over his Baby Boomer self….cuz… (((



  • zingzing

    it was dave that said that, shark. here is what 20-something michael j said:

    “This is one of the things that I get a little tense about. I’m a twentysomething who is vastly well-versed to music recorded before I was born and I still think that music of my lifetime belongs on this list.

    But twentysomethings who are oblivious to music recorded before they were born are no worse than forty- and fiftysomethings who are completely oblivious to music recorded after 1980.”

    which, is obviously true. get over the 60’s. there is music coming out today that would blow your mind.

  • Sharky Poo,

    Yes, indeed–I was quoting Dave Nalle when I said that. And at the risk of being super-repetitious, I’d like to draw your attention to one piece of comment #57 in particular, so even though Zingzing just quoted it above I’m going to restate it anyway:

    twentysomethings who are oblivious to music recorded before they were born are no worse than forty- and fiftysomethings who are completely oblivious to music recorded after 1980.

    The 60s were great! They were also four decades ago.

    Thirty-six years’ worth of music has transpired since the ’60s ended. And some of it is–brace yourself–BETTER than a good deal of music from the 60s!

  • Dave Nalle

    20 somethings who forget the 60s and 40 somethings who ignore the last two decades are in the same boat as far as not being .

    But I listen to music from all eras, including music going back to well before I was born, and Blur, Oasis and Arctic Monkey just aren’t characterized by the kind of excellence I would think they should have to qualify for the top 10. I’d be just as offended if The Smiths, The Clash and The Beatles were not in the top 10, but they are.


  • Can we get the link to the full 100 added to the top of this post so people won’thave to scroll through the comments to find it?

    I’m going to invite some friends over to join this debate.

  • I agree, Dave, and I listen to the same variety of music.

    That comment was far more directed at those who insist that the era in which they came of age is objectively superior to any era that followed.

    All eras being therefore equal, I will say for the record that I like Oasis but don’t think they’re the greatest anything; ditto for Blur (although they edge out Oasis); and I haven’t even heard Arctic Monkey yet.

    Finally, I would suggest that there be at least a five-year moratorium on an album before it can be considered one of “the Greatest.” You have to at least see whether its ideas have any impact before you can rank it, don’t you?

  • zingzing

    dave–blur is worthy of attention. i dunno if they should make the top 10, but they have done some very interesting and excellent work.

  • Dave Nalle

    It does seem bizarre and ridiculous for an album literally just released to make the top of a greatest of all time list.

    As for blur, they’re ok, but not top 10 material – better than Arctic Monkey, but then what isn’t?


  • That list is laughable, superficial and stupid. I have lost all respect for the NME and its readership.

  • Looking at their website I sort of wonder if NME has a financial relationship of some sort with Arctic Monkey. They sure are plugging them hard.


  • Shark

    West: “…That comment was far more directed at those who insist that the era in which they came of age is objectively superior to any era that followed.”

    I would never do that.

    I hate most of the crap from the 60s and 70s.

    I felt the same way then as I do now: if it’s popular, it’s probably from a Spawn of Satan — and has a propensity to suck the life-force out through a listener’s nose.


    Just for the record, kids, HEREWITH:

    SHARK’S TOP 10 British Albums:

    1) Soft Machine vol. II
    2) Soft Machine vol III
    3) National Health – Of Queues and Cures
    4) National Health – (self-titled)
    5) Matching Mole – (self-titled)
    6) Matching Mole – Little Red Record
    7) Hatfield & the North – (self-titled)
    8) Hatfield & the North – Rotter’s Club
    9) Rolling Stones – Beggar’s Banquet
    10) Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bullocks

    Shark ~Currently listening to Mozart to celebrate the 250th birthday of that theomorphic bipedal god)

  • gonzo marx

    ummm..let’s see now..

    the Who
    the Beatles
    David Bowie
    the Kinks
    Sex Pistols
    Elvis Costello and the Attractions
    Led Zeppelin
    Iron Maiden
    the Rolling Stones

    any of those folks, dead with their flesh rotting off , dropping to the ground and striking the keys of an out of tune accordian wrapped in tin foil is better than most of this so called “top ten” list

    excepting of course, the two on my list that are in the post title’s list

    but i bet the folks that compiled this list would think an album was too big to fit into their walkman’s anyway and probably shave by wetting their faces with milk and letting a kitten lick it off…

    yeah..i know..i’m olde

    but i am also a bass player with something of an ear as well as a sense of rock history and “vocabulary”

    things which the creators of this “list” obviously have no clue about


  • OMG I just thought of yet another great album not on the list. Where the hell is Jethro Tull – either Aqualung or Minstrel in the Gallery. Insane that they’re not on the list. But wait, neither is Steeleye Span, Led Zeppelin or the Dave Clark Five. Faugh!


  • I think I figured out at least part of the mystery of this list. There are a number of groups who are fantastic and have more great songs than the groups on the NME list, but not concentrated on a single album. In fact few bands manage to concentrate more than 2 or 3 really great songs on a single disc. That said, there are still many who deserve to be on the top of this list more than the ones selected by NME.

    So that means that I’ve put together my list. Of the ones on the NME list, only three deserve to be there – Revolver, London Calling and Never Mind the Bollocks. Instead of including them, I’m just doing my list of the 10 albums that ought to be in the top 10 but aren’t – in no particular order.

    Who’s Next, The Who
    Aqualung, Jethro Tull
    Below the Salt, Steeleye Span
    The Clash, The Clash
    Next Year’s Model, Elvis Costello
    Cool for Cats, Squeeze
    All Things Must Pass, George Harrison
    Specials, The Specials
    Boys Don’t Cry, The Cure
    Goodbye Yellowbrick Road, Elton John


  • In fairness to NME: the diversity of opinion just on this thread demonstrates the preposterousness of trying to get a definitive list. I do like a number of the suggestions in here as much as anything on their list (but stop taking the piss out of Oasis).

    I am still looking forward to revisiting the three (I spent most of today listening to Up the Bracket) and to spending time with the other seven.

  • gonzo marx


    i’d rather listen to monkey’s farting in a Dr. Pepper can

    nuff said?


  • [MR]Chip

    Long thread, so lots to say:

    1. People who don’t appreciate bands like The Smiths or Pulp, are probably the kind of people who don’t listen to (or value) the lyrics.

    2. The ‘Best of’ the Stone Roses IS that first album. No compilation can beat that.

    3. That guy complaining about a punk band not being able to play very well is funny. (what was punk about, again?)

    4. To all those people complaining about bands being influenced by others – it’s exactly because they’re standing on the shoulders of giants that they can see further. Actually, I think that’s a problem with influential bands. When your ideas have been taken further by others, your own efforts seem less interesting in comparison.

  • The first thing to remember is that the NME doesn’t represent a broad selection of music, even though it pretends to. The great tragedy is that the NME has had far too much influence over what new music gets exposure; they have the same malign influence over UK music as corporate commercial radio has in the US.

    The other thing to remember is that Britain’s baby boom was a decade later than America’s, and came of age during the punk era in the late 70s. Just like America’s boomers they’ve mistaken stupid generational prejudices for eternal truths.

    This explains the lack of late 60s/early 70s artists in the list; they represented everything that was completely out of fashion way back in 1977. Later generations of NME hacks seemed to absorb these prejuduces by osmosis. For example, anything connected with 70s prog-rock is dismissed with derision; which is why you’ll never see Pink Floyd or Led Zepellin on any NME list.

    Saying that, the list is stupid even by NME standards; the ridiculously over-hyped Arctic Monkeys only released their album a week ago!

  • Tim, interesting input on British sensibilities and the NME.

    I think the main outcry in this thread has been Arctic Monkeys or rather that seems the most egregious example of what might be wrong with this list.

  • Apart from the overhyped Arctic Monkeys, the obvious thing wrong with the list is the total absense (save for the one token Beatles album) of anything that isn’t either Punk or Indie. Their list is so one-dimensional I can’t understand why anybody should expect to take the NME any more seriously than something like Kerrang.

  • hegemaniac

    grrrrr, NME piss me off! I’ve just read the full list. No credibility, none! It’s like a fucking critics/populist porridge, which tastes like shit.

    They now join the Rolling Stone who sold out a long time ago. Imagine giving Britney Spears 3 1/2 stars and The Bends 3 1/2 stars!!! Irrelevance beckons…

  • Arctic Monkeys so don’t belong in the top 10.

  • Did X-Ray Spex Germ-Free Adolescents make the Top 100? Bought it today. Great record. Yesterday I bought the CD of Who’s Next, which was on sale. And yes, that one is more or less unquestionable. But these Brit lists are always so weird, for the same reason Brits are weird: their tastes are soooo, what’s the word, un-American.

  • For which the entire world is grateful, Rodney…

  • But these Brit lists are always so weird, for the same reason Brits are weird: their tastes are soooo, what’s the word, un-American.

    Remember, this isn’t a list compiled by a representative cross-section of the record-buying public. It’s the work of a self-appointed clique with very narrow tastes, and should be seen as that.

    Britain will never have a decent music scene until the last commercial radio DJ is strangled with the last copy of the NME.

  • Irish Cloud

    My Bloody Valentine = Irish

  • zingzing

    oh my. irish cloud is right. but, did he know that kevin shields was born (and lived for several years) in the good old usa! fuck yeah! born on american soil, mother fuckers!

  • Bah, wheres the JOY DIVISION, NEW ORDER, SEX PISTOLS, PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED (well not sure if pil/lydon is british)… hell the stones for that matter… bowie…. they are all more then deserving to be in the top 10.. HELL.. closer by joy division is one of the most incredale albums ever recorded in my oppionion

  • Markus

    Oasis is the greatest band since Queen… Their debut album is one of the greatest and the follow-up the greatest.. Dont pick on Oasis: THEY ROCK!!!

  • Steve

    Had to laugh at your comment Rodney, I am reminded of how ‘weird’ country music sounds to my ears (being a Canadian who grew up mostly in the UK), country music just sounds soooo American!!!

    However, I do agree with many of you folks comments regarding NME, they do have a very narrow view of music from what I’ve read and heard, I think you can see however, that each generation of music critics think the music of their adolescence was better than todays or those that have gone before, unless it totally apes the artists from their own era. Just shows how subjective music really is, and how much we like a song depends on what we associate with it vis a vis our own lives.

    I don’t put much stock in these lists by any critics, British or otherwise. I like what I like and I don’t care what any critic has to say about it really. It’s all subjective anyway.

  • steve boswell

    nobody mentioned the bends, or pablo honey

  • Leo

    Hi, nice discussion. I´m from Brazil and i´ve been listening the british music since 12 years old, in the early 90s. Except for libertines and arctic monkeys jokes, the list seems almost ok to me. At least no babyshamblers.
    But no Sgt Peppers, no Stones, Who, Kinks, etc. Only Revolver from de 60s? Pink Floyd, Elton John, David Bowie, Queen, Joy Division, Radiohead. I think Verve would have some down space in some lists. Stone Roses probably insn´t the best of all-time, but they surely build the structure for the 90s britpop. Easyly a top 5. Its tuff to do a list like this. Probably it would be better to do a Top 5 list by decade, I don´t know.
    Anyway, I liked the site, already bookmarked. If you have time, download some record from “Los Hermanos”, a band from Brazil, great stuff.

  • Jefferson

    It’s funny seeing these King Crimson fans claiming Radiohead ripped off their band.

    Also can someone fill me in on how The Stone Roses have influenced Radiohead because I don’t see it?? The two bands sound nothing like each other and Radiohead are far more original on top of that.

  • Also can someone fill me in on how The Stone Roses have influenced Radiohead because I don’t see it??

    Then you’ve never listened to The Bends.

  • The Radiohead/Stone Roses connection is probably a bit less obvious than that of Radiohead and King Crimson, but I agree with Michael.

  • Steve

    Oasis is the best band of all time.. So what if the Beatles influenced them? Just cos something influences another, doesnt mean it cant be better…

  • Rich_UK

    i have read this whole page and no 1 really mentions the libertines. Ok the came out after the strokes and slightly changed there sound but the lyrics Doherty/baret wrote are some of the best i have heard. Up The Bracket is a cd that is always playing in my stereo. Also ther second album (self titled) is another excelent british album. I also agree that arctic monkeys are over hyped NME lift them up only to drop them for the next flavor of the month.

  • Martin

    I am not a Brit but I love and respect bands from the islands. I own some Pulp albums, Oasis, Libertines, Radiohead, and Pet Shop Boys. From my country I would recommend Exctasy of Saint Theresa (Czechs).

  • Adhi

    I think oasis is the best band, one of the coolest ever! Started when i heard the single ‘stand by me’ then i was looking for another songs. It’s true, they’re just some a kind music genius persons!

  • The NME used to be a great music paper but those days are long gone. The top three groups in their list are three of the biggest crimes against rock ever perpetrated. For shame!

  • lee

    most of u r fall of shit oasis r great they didnt rip of the beatles if u heard them only 1 song really sounds like the beatles i know they r noway as good as them n 1 of u said if it wasnt for the beatles their would b no oasis well if it wasnt for the beatles their wouldnt b any good bands oasis rock n should b in the top 10 n far better than most bands thats come from america

  • none

    get rid of the arctic monkeys

  • michael

    im so fucking sick of this “oasis rip off beatles shit” get a fucking clue, come with some examples instead will you! jesus fucking christ.. bealtes are great, but music moves on, dont u get it?? and yeahh… oasis slay beatles nowadays.. get over it.. seriously, feel free to flame me.. no band ever had such an impact on me as oasis.. they make no bad songs, and dont come and tell me they ripped their 200-300 songs off from beatles, cunts

  • Michael, if you need examples, that just says you don’t know anything about music. Mind you, your opinion of Oasis says that anyway as they are the first band in history whose tribute bands are more interesting than they are!

    The best thing about Oasis is Liam’s voice, who does have a pretty impressive sneer and the worst is Noel’s cliched guitar playing and trite lyrics, which he ripped off from not only The Beatles but also all the bands he roadied for. If only he’d stayed doing that!

    I don’t think he ripped off any songs from The Cunts though.

  • “I don’t think he ripped off any songs from The Cunts though.”


  • 14 Year Old Mod

    I’d just like to say, I love The Jam, and I have been listening to Mr Wellers work for some 11 months now and the fact that he isn’t on the top 10 is a shock. Has anyone heard of The Mod Revival ? And I don’t want to argue with anyone that’s just my point ! Weller is King !

    P.S I also love The Cure, where are they !

  • Callum

    There has to be some Joy Division on here, whether its Unknown Pleasures or Closer I definitly think they deserve to be in the top 10 instead of an album that has just been released.

  • Mike Dubois

    I am Canadian and frankly some of the choices on that list surprise me too but what I find more surprising is to not find albums such as Yes Songs, Thick as a Brick or Selling England by the Pound and I wont mention Ziggy Stardust or Octopus, I guess it is time for us older folks to move out of the way and let the kids take over.