My Top 50 Albums 2000-18

The Guardian recently published a list of the Top 100 albums of the 21st century. It was pretty good, but nothing like what my list would be. So I thought I’d do my own 50. I must stress that this isn’t what I think the most important or popular 50 albums are. It’s just the ones I’ve loved. And there were so many candidates that if I did the same thing next week it could be quite different. The other thing that comes from just selecting albums is that a lot of the dance/rap/soul that I’ve liked doesn’t make it, as that tends to be single tracks rather than whole albums. Cue another list some time?

The Guardian list seemed wary of recent albums. My tendency was the other way, so I tried to remember what moved me back in in the early years of this century. There’s probably still a bit of bias towards recent albums. I’ve cut it off at 2018, as trying to place this year’s great albums in context is premature. There’ll be a top ten for 2019 of course.

So here’s my top fifty, today!

1 – Babes Never Die by Honeyblood

2 – In Rainbows by Radiohead

3 – The Bones of What You Believe by Chvrches

4 – Honeyblood by Honeyblood

5 – Cigarettes and Truckstops by Lindi Ortega

6 – Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves

7 – A Dream Outside by Gengahr

8 – Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs

9 – The Rising by Bruce Springsteen

10 – Is This It? by The Strokes

11 – My Love is Cool by Wolf Alice

12 – Kid A by Radiohead

13 – Fading Lines by Amber Arcades

14 – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea by PJ Harvey

15 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind by U2

16 – Don’t Let the Kids Win by Julia Jacklin

17 – Light on Our Limbs by Daisy Vaughan

18 – Talk of This Town by Catherine McGrath

19 – Channel Orange by Frank Ocean

20 – Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts

21 – Let England Shake by PJ Harvey

22 – Dear River by Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo

23 – Dead & Born & Grown by The Staves

24 – The King of Limbs by Radiohead

25 – Room on Fire by The Strokes

26 – Adore Life by Savages

27 – Same Trailer, Different Park by Kacey Musgraves

28 – Little Red Boots by Lindi Ortega

29 – Tramp by Sharon van Etten

30 – Party by Aldous Harding

31 – Where Wildness Grows by Gengahr

32 – Masterpiece by Big Thief

33 – Waiting for the World to Turn by Palace Winter

34 – Fixed Ideals by Muncie Girls

35 – James Blake by James Blake

36 – Faye Webster by Faye Webster

37 – Writing of Blues and Yellows by Billie Marten

38 – Bashed Out by This Is The Kit

39 – Alvvays by Alvvays

40 – Blonde by Frank Ocean

41 – See the Morning In by Grand Drive

42 – Trouble Will Find Me by The National

43 – Royal Blood by Royal Blood

44 – Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest

45 – If You Wait by London Grammar

46 – Glasvegas by Glasvegas

46 – Soul Journey by Gillian Welch

48 – Antidotes by Foals

49 – Silver Dollar Moment by The Orielles

50 – Goat Girl by Goat Girl

I’ve put together a Spotify playlist of the albums in the fifty. I’ve disciplined myself and allowed only two songs from each album. Nerdy point: for some reason Spotify has started adding “Kids” to the title of Honeyblood’s “Cruel”.

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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2 Responses to My Top 50 Albums 2000-18

  1. Dood says:

    Well, John, you’re nothing if not consistent. Two Honeyblood albums in your top four since the turn of the century. That’s conviction……

    I do take your point about albums generally embracing some musical forms more than others, which I can see helps to account for the absence of rap and dance music in your list. And although you’ve loaded up big time with your favourite female singer-songwriters – who I reckon make up over 30% of your list – there’s enough variety elsewhere to keep the troglodytes like me happy.

    For what it’s worth, your list and mine would have about ten albums in common. And you will know what they would be.

    • John S says:

      Yes, I think I can guess which ones you’d include! There are plenty I left out which could easily have been there – at least three more Radiohead for a start – and most of the placings are pretty arbitrary. But Honeyblood is genuine: I really do think the first two albums are brilliant and have listened to them more than anything else over the last three years. The third, this year’s “In Plain Sight” will certainly be in my 2019 top ten, though not necessarily first – there is some strong competition.

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