Music Ranked By Year 1970-2010

Going back into time to rank #1s in music.

1970 #1 Miles Davis (Bitches Brew). Can (Soundtracks), Simon & Garfunkel (Bridge Over Troubled Water).
1971 #1 Can (Tago Mago). Leonard Cohen (Songs of Love and Hate), Yes (Fragile).
1972 #1 NEU! (NEU!). David Bowie (The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars), Can (Ege Bamyasi), Steely Dan (Can’t Buy a Thrill),  Lou Reed (Transformer).
1973 #1 Genesis (Selling England by the Pound). Pink Floyd (The Dark Side of the Moon), Steely Dan (Countdown to Ecstasy), The Stooges (Raw Power), Lou Reed (Berlin).
1974 #1 King Crimson (Red). Supertramp (Crime of the Century).
1975 #1 Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run). Bob Dylan (Blood on the Tracks), NEU! (NEU! ’75).
1976 #1 Rush (2112). Steely Dan (The Royal Scam).
1977 #1 Pink Floyd (Animals). Kraftwerk (Trans Europa Express), Elvis Costello (My Aim Is True).
1978 #1 Elvis Costello (This Year’s Model). Devo (Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!),  Bruce Springsteen (Darkness on the Edge of Town), Kraftwerk (Die Mensch-Maschine), The Jam (All Mod Cons).
1979 #1 The Clash (London Calling). Pink Floyd (The Wall), Gary Numan (The Pleasure Principle), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Damn the Torpedoes).


Best Album of the 1970s: The Clash’s London Calling
Best Song of the 1970s: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
Most Overrated/Worst: Led Zeppelin

1980 #1 Talking Heads (Remain in Light). Rush (Permanent Waves),  Elvis Costello (Get Happy!!), Gary Numan (The Pleasure Principle/Telekon), The Birthday Party (The Birthday Party), Peter Gabriel (Peter Gabriel), The Jam (Sound Affects), David Bowie (Scary Monsters And Super Creeps) , U2 (Boy).
1981 #1 Oingo Boingo (Only a Lad). Rush (Moving Pictures), Devo (Freedom of Choice), King Crimson (Disipline), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Hard Promises), The Cure (Faith).
1982 #1 Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska). Oingo (Boingo Nothing to Fear), Elvis Costello Imperial Bedroom Lou Reed The Blue Mask Prince 1999, Pat Metheny (Travels).
1983 #1 U2 (War). The Police (Synchronicity), Pulp (It), R.E.M. (Murmur), Tom Waits (Swordfishtrombones).
1984 #1 Swans (Cop). The Smiths (The Smiths), Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense), Bruce Springsteen (Born in the U.S.A.), Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (From Her to Eternity), Spinal Tap (This Is Spinal Tap), Prince (Purple Rain), U2 (The Unforgettable Fire), Run-D.M.C.(Run-D.M.C.).
1985 #1 The Smiths (Meat is Murder), Tom Waits (Rain Dogs), Skinny Puppy (Bites), Oingo Boingo (Dead Man’s Party), The Fall (This Nation’s Saving Grace), The Cure (The Head on the Door), Dinosaur Jr. (Dinosaur).
1986 #1 Spaceman 3 (Sound of Confusion–1994 Re-issue version). Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (Your Funeral… My Trial), The Smiths (The Queen is Dead), Paul Simon (Graceland), Spaceman 3 (Sound of Confusion), Swans (Holy Money),  Depeche Mode (Black Celebration).
1987 #1 Pulp (Freaks). The Smiths (Strangeways, Here We Come), U2 (Joshua Tree), Depeche Mode (Music for the Masses), Spaceman 3 (The Perfect Prescription), Swans (Children of God), Dinosaur Jr. (You’re Living All Over Me), Bruce Springsteen (Tunnel of Love), The Cure (Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me).
1988 #1  Pixies (Surfer Rosa). Leonard Cohen (I’m Your Man), My Bloody Valentine (Isn’t Anything), NWA (Straight Outta Compton), Spaceman 3 (Performance), Sonic Youth (Daydream Nation).
1989 #1 Nine Inch Nails (Pretty Hate Machine), Pixies (Doolittle), De La Soul (3 Feet High and Rising), Spaceman 3 (Playing with Fire), The Cure (Disintegration), Nirvana (Bleach).


Best Album of the 1980s: Nine Inch Nail’s Pretty Hate Machine
Best Song of the 1980s: “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nail
Most Overrated: Beastie Boys, Paul’s Boutique

1990 #1 Depeche Mode (Violator). Pixies (Bossanova), Spaceman 3 (Recurring) Morrisey (Bona Drag), Public Enemy (Fear of a Black Planet) Worst:
1991 #1  U2 (Achuting Baby). Nirvana (Nevermind), Swans (White Light From the Mouth of Infinity), My Bloody Valentine (Loveless),  Massive Attack (Blue Lines), Primal Scream (Screamadelica). Worst: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica.
1992 #1 Pulp (Separations). Nine Inch Nails (Broken/Fixed), Tool (Opiate), Spiritualized (Lazer Guided Melodies), Leonard Cohen (The Future), Rabih Abou-Khalil (Blue Camel), Dream Theater (Images and Worlds), Tori Amos (Little Earthquakes), Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (Henry’s Dream), REM (Automatic for the People), Skinny Puppy (Skinny Puppy), Pavement (Slanted and Enchanted). Worst: Sublime (40 Oz. To Freedom), Pearl Jam Even Flow.
1993 #1 Tool (Undertow). U2 (Zooropa), Wu-Tang Clan (Enter the Wu-Tang), PJ Harvey (Rid of Me), Porcupine Tree (Up the Downstair), Blur (Modern Life…), Flaming Lips (Transmissions from the Satellite Heart) Depeche Mode (Songs of Faith and Devotion), Nirvana (In Utero), Suede (Suede). Worst: Snoop Dogg, Guns N’ Roses Spagetti Incident.
1994 #1 Nine Inch Nails (Downward Spiral). Pulp (His n’ Hers), Nirvana (MTV Unplugged), Blur (Parklife), Nick Cave (Let Love In), Dave Matthews (Under the Table and Dreaming), Morrissey Vauxhall and I  Worst: Hole Live Through This, Green Day Dookie.
1995 #1 Pulp (Different Class), Radiohead (The Bends), Spiritualized (Pure Phase), Blur (The Great Escape), King Crimson (THRAK), NIN (Further Down the Spiral), Foo Fighters (self titled), Porcupine Tree (The Sky Moves Sideways), Swans (The Great Annihilator). Worst: Jewel Pieces of You.
1996 #1 Tool (Aenma), Super Furry Animals (Radiator), Beck (Odelay), Nick Cave (Murder Ballids), Belle & Sebastian (If You’re Feeling Sinister)/Belle & Sebastian (Tigermilk), Porcupine Tree (Signify), . Porcupine Tree (Signify), Sheryl Crow (Self titled), The Divine Comedy (Casanova). Worst: Backstreet Boys.
1997 #1 Radiohead (OK Computer). Spirutalized (Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space), Super Furry Animals (Radiator), Blur (Blur), Daft Punk (Homework), Blond Redheaed (Fake Can Be…), Bjork (Homogenic), Bob Dylan (Time Out of Mind) Depeche Mode (Ultra). Godspeed You! Black Emperor (F?A??), Supersilent (1-3), Mogwai (Young Team), Elliot Smith (Either/Or).  Worst: The Offspring, Creed, Limp Bizcuit, Celine Dion.
1998 #1 Massive Attack (Mezzanine). Beck (Mutations), Dave Matthews Band (Before These Crowded Streets–I totally would have ranked this DMB album as #1 at time),  Fatboy Slim (You’ve Come a Long Way Baby), Marilyn Manson (Mechanical Animals), Gomez (Bring It On), Air (Moon Safari), Swans (Swans are Dead). Worst: Dropkick Murphys, Barenaked Ladies, Reel Big Fish.
1999 #1 Nine Inch Nails (The Fragile). Pulp (This is Hardcore), The Flaming Lips (The Soft Bulliton), Super Furry Animals (Guerrla), Blur (13), Porcupine Tree (Stupid Dream), Fiona Apple (When the Pawn…), Gomez (Liquid Skin), The Magnetic Fields (69 Love Songs), Tom Waits (Mule Varaitions), Cibo Matto (Stero Type A), Robbie Williams (The Ego Has Landed), Beck (Midnite Vultures), The Chemical Brothers (Surrender). Worst: Creed (Human Clay), Britney Spears (Baby One More Time).


Ten Best Album of the 1990s:
1. Nine Inch Nails’s The Fragile–best of the decade and all time. Also, NIN scores it’s second straight best album of the decade!
2. Radiohead’s Ok Computer
3. Pulp’s Separations
4. Tool’s Aenma
5. Spirutalized’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
6. Nine Inch Nails’s Broken and Fixed
7. Pulp’s This is Hardcore
8. U2’s Achuting Baby
9. Nine Inch Nails’s Downward Spiral
10.  Pulp’s Different Classes

Best Song of the 1990s: “Like a Friend” by Pulp. Close second: “Somewhat Damaged” by Nine Inch Nails. Also, “Numb” by U2 is pretty cool (note: that’s the last time the words “U2” and “cool” could be used in the same sentence).
Most Annoying Thing about the 90s: Sublime 40 Oz. To Freedom.

2000 #1 Radiohead (Kid A), Porcupine Tree (Lightbulb Sun), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Lift Yr. Skinny Fists), A Perfect Circle (Mer de noms), Robbie Williams (Sing When You’re Winning–ranked #1 by me at the time… I have no idea why), Super Furry Animals (Mwng), PJ Harvey (Stories From the City etc.), At the Drive-In (Relationship of Command), Badly Drawn Boy (The Hour of Bewilderbeast)
2001 #1 Tool (Lateralus), Spiritualized (Let It Come Down), Pulp (We Love Life), Radiohead (Amnesiac), Super Furry Animals (Rings Around the World), Daft Punk (Discovery), Stars of the Lid (The Tired Sounds Of), Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (No More Shall We Part), Muse (Origin of Symmetry), Transatlantic (Bridge Across Forever), Opeth (Blackwater Park), The Strokes (Is This It).
2002 #1 Beck (Sea Change). Porcupine Tree (In Absentia), The Flaming Lips (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots), Nine Inch Nails (Still), Wilco (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot), Queens of the Stone Age (Songs for the Deaf), Trail of Dead (Source Tags & Codes), Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, With Feeling, Doves (The Last Broadcast), Bruce Springsteen (The Rising), Tom Waits (Alice).
2003 #1 The Mars Volta (De-Loused in the Comatorium), Super Furry Animals (Phantom Power–ranked #1 by me at the time), The Knife (Deep Cuts), Belle and Sebastian (Dear Catastrophe Waitress), Muse (Absolution), Blur (Think Tank), Radiohead (Hail to the Thief), King Crimson (The Power to Believe), A Perfect Circle (Thirteenth Step), The Rapture (Echoes)
2004 #1 Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus). Gomez (Split the Difference–ranked #1 by me at the time), Wilco (A Ghost Is Born), Muse (Absolution)Franz Ferdinand (Franz Ferdinand), Arcade Fire (Funeral), Mastodon (Leviathan), Annie (Anniemal), Badly Drawn Boy (One Plus One is One), The Magnetic Fields (i), The Streets (A Grand Don’t Come for Free).
2005 #1 Nine Inch Nails (With Teeth). Porcupine Tree (Deadwing), Gorillaz (Demon Days), The Mars Volta (Frances the Mute), Trail of Dead (Worlds Apart), The National (Alligator), Sufjan Stevens (Illinois), Beck (Guero), LCD Soundsystem (LCD Soundsystem), Fiona Apple (Extraordinary Machine), Coheed and Cambria (Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV).
2006 #1 Muse (Black Holes and Revelations). Tool (10,000 Days), The Knife (Silent Shout).
2007 #1 Porcupine Tree (Fear of a Blank Planet). Nine Inch Nails (Year Zero), Blond Redhead (23–ranked #1 by me at the time), Daft Punk (Alive 2007), Justice (†), Stars of the Lid (And Their Refinement of the Decline), Super Furry Animals (Hey Venus!), Radiohead (In Rainbows), The National (Boxer).
2008 #1 Crystal Castles (Crystal Castles). Ladytron (Velocifero), Neon Neon (Stainless Style), Elbow (The Seldom Seen Kid), TV on the Radio (Dear Science), Beck (Modern Guilt), Underworld & John Murphy (Sunshine Soundtrack)
2009 #1 Porcupine Tree (The Incident). Annie (Don’t Stop), Jarvis Cocker (Further Complications), Mastodon (Crack the Skye), Fuck Buttons (Tarot Sport), The Flaming Lips (Embryonic), The Horrors (Primary Colours), Fever Ray (Fever Ray).


Best Album of the 2000s: Tool’s Lateralus
Best Song of the 2000s: “Optimistic” by Radiohead and “Party Hard” by Andrew WK.
Most Annoying Thing about the 2000s: Creed, Evanescence, Britney Spears, Boy Bands.
Most Overrated: The White Stripes

2010 #1 Gorillaz (Plastic Beach), Crystal Castles (Crystal Castles II), Swans (My Father Will Guide Me…), The National (High Violet).
2011 So far–in no particular order: The Horrors, Elbow, PJ Harvey, The Kills, Yacht, Tim Hecker, Radiohead.

Most #1 Appearances:
Nine Inch Nails – 4
Pulp – 3
Tool – 3
Radiohead – 2
Bruce Springsteen – 2
U2 – 2

Note: I did not originally rank Radiohead (Kid A), Nick Cave (Lyre), Mars Volta (De-Loused), or Porcupine Tree (Fear) as #1 the year they came out. The “promotion” is unofficial because I don’t allow myself to change #1s once I have ranked them so as to preserve the authenticity of the era.