23 March 2009

100 Top Indie Albums of All Time

Here are the 100 Top Indie Rock Albums of All Time... as proposed by Amazon.com's music editors.

Am I a dumbass because I've never heard of #5?

I was surprised by how many new albums are on here. I'd like to see a pie chart breaking down the 80's, 90's and 00's. It's got to be at least 50% from the last five to seven years.

Rankings and the definition of "indie" aside,

They totally got it right with:
Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
Postal Service - Give Up
Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville
Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One
Broken Social Scene - You Forget It In People
Mirah - Advisory Committee
Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
Bikini Kill - Pussy Whipped
Notwist - Neon Golden
Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
TV on the Radio - Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
Rachel's - The Sea and Bells
(I was happily surprised to see this made the list)
The New Pornographers' Mass Romantic
(at first I thought this was the wrong choice, but the more I think about it, this is the right pick)

I guess it depends on what the criteria is for "top album" but there are some albums on there I'd disagree with:

Right artist, wrong album:
Belle and Sebastian's - If You're Feeling Sinister
(Tigermilk, their first album was really the breakthrough and believe me I'm trying to be sensitive to first-album bias)
Neko Case - Furnace Room Lullaby
(Blacklisted is better from beginning to end)
The National - Alligator
(yeah, Boxer was more popular, but that's because it's a more solid album)
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
(I can see the argument for Surfer Rosa, but I would have picked Doolittle)

Where the heck is...
Throwing Muses?
Ani DiFranco?
The Mountain Goats?
... shoot, I know there are a ton I'm spacing on.

Read the complete list at Amazon.com's Chordstrike blog.


Unknown said...

I'm with you on the Pixies choice, for sure. I do love Surfer Rosa, but Doolittle is pretty dang amazing, as well as influential.

I, however, am not with you on the Belle & Sebastian pick. I LOVE Tigermilk. I do. I really can't imagine my life without it. However, my heart belongs to If you're feeling sinister.

Unknown said...

And I've never heard of #5 either.

BookBuster said...

Another arbitrary list to raise my ire. So many wrong choices. Any list like this that doesn't have Pavement's "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" I can't take seriously. No "Doolittle?" *poof* there goes any credibility.

Any list that would put the Replacements "Let it Be" at number 32 I can't take seriously.

Any list that omits Built to Spill's "Perfect from Now On" I can't take seriously (without mentioning "Ultimate New Wavers" is the WORST BtS record!)

No "Real Ramona" from Throwing Muses? No "It's a Shame About Ray" from Lemonheads? No "Double Nickels on the Dime" from The Minutemen??? Heresy!

Any list that has R.E.M. completely missing I can't take seriously. Those guys more or less INVENTED "indie rock."

Many of these picks are not even the best records by the artist as you noted. "Bakesale" is a middling Sebadoh record. "Wild Love" is a middling (Smog) record, etc. etc. "The Things We Lost in the Fire" is Low's masterpiece, not the record they have listed.

And the list is recent enough that they really should take the chance and put Bon Iver's "For Emma, Forever Ago" on there as it's better than a third of what they have listed here.

I had that record by Unrest and it was pretty good...but no way in hell it ranks in the top 10 or even the top 20 indie records of all time.

Also for me it's a tie between "Tigermilk" and "If You're Feeling Sinister." Tigermilk's the ground breaker, Sinister's oh-so-slightly better overall, but doesn't have anything as good as "State I'm In."

End rant transmission.

BookBuster said...

Wait. Hold up. I just noticed there is NO Guided by Voices on this list. Nada. None.

See, now they're just trying to make me angry...

...and succeeding! Hacks!

BookBuster said...

Um, Guided by Voices is listed number one. I was blinded by a heady mixture of anger and stupidity.