NME Top 500 Albums (2013)

NME has released its list of the Top 500 Albums of All Time, and it’s a doozy. Now, keep in mind, this is a British music magazine, so the fact that six of the top 10 acts are British shouldn’t be terribly surprising. There are also no women or black artists in the top 10. Apparently voting was done rather last minute, and the magazine got in touch with writers and staff from years past to compile their personal lists before tallying up all the votes. And the results…
The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead is the greatest album of all time. It’s better than anything the Beatles ever did (though Revolver came close). Meanwhile, the band Queen is nowhere on the list at all, whereas Queens of the Stone Age shows up thrice (they also show up Thrice, who don’t appear). Some other interesting highlights include Oasis’ Definitely Maybe starting the top 10, PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake making an impressive No. 15, Arcade Fire’s Funeral (13) slotting higher than My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless (18), and Outkast’s Stankonia only good enough to slip in at 500.
More oddities: The highest ranked Michael Jackson album (Thriller) hits at 131, while LCD Soundsystem broke the top 50 with Sound of Silver (49). It’s rad that Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed America (429) made it on, but having it one spot below Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA and two above Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger seems kinda crazy. Speaking of the Boss, Nebraska (148) isn’t quite as good as Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange (147), but slightly better than Elliott Smith’s Either/Or (149) and The Streets Original Pirate Material (150). Also, apparently Arctic Monkeys’ one-month-old AM (449) is already better than Big Star’s Third (451).
Now, here’s something extra strange: NME released a Top 100 British Albums Ever back in 2006, and the numbers don’t quite match. The Queen Is Dead comes in at No. 2 behind The Stone Roses’ self-titled record, which drops to No. 7 on the All-Time list. The biggest drop sees The Libertines’ Up The Bracket go from No. 10 to No. 70. Also odd, NME posted their current staff’s top 10 lists that were submitted for the big 500, and none of them had The Smiths as number one; five didn’t even have them on the list at all. Then again, if Laura Snapes had her wish, the top four would all be The National albums, while Kevin EG Perry would prefer a Rolling Stones takeover.

The Smiths The Queen Is Dead

The Beatles Revolver

David Bowie Hunky Dory

The Strokes Is This It

The Velvet Underground & Nico (3) The Velvet Underground & Nico

Pulp Different Class

The Stone Roses The Stone Roses

Pixies Doolittle

The Beatles The Beatles

Oasis (2) Definitely Maybe

Nirvana Nevermind

Patti Smith Horses

Arcade Fire Funeral

David Bowie Low

PJ Harvey Let England Shake

Joy Division Closer

Public Enemy It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

My Bloody Valentine Loveless

Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Radiohead OK Computer

Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Blur Parklife

David Bowie The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

Rolling Stones* Exile On Main St.

Marvin Gaye What's Going On

The Beach Boys Pet Sounds

Primal Scream Screamadelica

Amy Winehouse Back To Black

Television Marquee Moon

Wu Tang Clan Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers)

Suede Dog Man Star

Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique

Blur Modern Life Is Rubbish

The Beatles Abbey Road

Nirvana In Utero

Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks

Love Forever Changes

Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols

The Clash London Calling

Joy Division Unknown Pleasures

Sonic Youth Daydream Nation

Stevie Wonder Innervisions

The Beatles Rubber Soul

Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible

Blondie Parallel Lines

Björk Debut

The Smiths Strangeways, Here We Come

Kate Bush Hounds Of Love

LCD Soundsystem Sound Of Silver

Dusty Springfield Dusty In Memphis

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Rolling Stones* Let It Bleed

David Bowie Station To Station

Talking Heads Remain In Light

The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers

Neil Young After The Gold Rush

Kraftwerk Die Mensch·Maschine

Pixies Surfer Rosa

Radiohead In Rainbows

Massive Attack Blue Lines

The Clash The Clash

Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde

Joni Mitchell Blue

Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited

R.E.M. Automatic For The People

Radiohead The Bends

Oasis (2) (What's The Story) Morning Glory?

Van Morrison Astral Weeks

R.E.M. Murmur

The Libertines Up The Bracket

Neil Young Harvest

Lou Reed Transformer

Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home

Nas Illmatic

Green Day Dookie

Daft Punk Discovery

The White Stripes White Blood Cells

Suede Suede

Miles Davis Kind Of Blue

Iggy And The Stooges* Raw Power

Kraftwerk Trans Europa Express

Carole King Tapestry

The Band The Band

Hole (2) Live Through This

Bruce Springsteen Born To Run

Jeff Buckley Grace

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Roxy Music For Your Pleasure

Lauryn Hill The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill

The Streets A Grand Don't Come For Free

Prince And The Revolution Purple Rain

Super Furry Animals Radiator

Queens Of The Stone Age Songs For The Deaf

The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet

Talk Talk Spirit Of Eden

Public Enemy Fear Of A Black Planet

The Smiths The Smiths

Neutral Milk Hotel In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

The Libertines The Libertines

The Smiths Hatful Of Hollow

Kraftwerk Computerwelt

The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland

The Stooges Fun House

Tom Waits Rain Dogs

Led Zeppelin Untitled

Rage Against The Machine Rage Against The Machine

Weezer Pinkerton

Bruce Springsteen Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Fairport Convention Liege & Lief

The Human League Dare

Genius* GZA Liquid Swords

Belle And Sebastian* If You're Feeling Sinister

Radiohead Kid A

Teenage Fanclub Bandwagonesque

The White Stripes Elephant

ABC The Lexicon Of Love

Dexys Midnight Runners Searching For The Young Soul Rebels

Pulp His 'N' Hers

De La Soul 3 Feet High And Rising

Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works 85 92

Neworder* Technique

Blur 13

Paul Simon Graceland

James Brown James Brown Live At The Apollo

Beastie Boys Ill Communication

Ramones Ramones

The Verve Urban Hymns

Neil Young On The Beach

Interpol Turn On The Bright Lights

Michael Jackson Thriller

Pink Floyd The Dark Side Of The Moon

John Lennon Plastic Ono Band* John Lennon Plastic Ono Band

P J Harvey* Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever To Tell

Blur Blur

Sufjan Stevens Come On Feel The Illinoise

The Cure Disintegration

Nick Drake Bryter Layter

Bob Marley & The Wailers Natty Dread

Serge Gainsbourg Histoire De Melody Nelson

Bob Dylan Desire

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Are You Experienced

The Zombies Odessey And Oracle

At The Drive In Relationship Of Command

Frank Ocean channel ORANGE

Bruce Springsteen Nebraska

Elliott Smith Either Or

The Streets Original Pirate Material

P J Harvey* Dry

Mercury Rev Deserter's Songs

The La's The La's

PJ Harvey To Bring You My Love

The Prodigy Music For The Jilted Generation

Spiritualized Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

The Jesus And Mary Chain Psychocandy

Wild Beasts Two Dancers

Gang Of Four Entertainment!

Primal Scream Exterminator (XTRMNTR)

Arcade Fire The Suburbs

The National Boxer

Neu! Neu! '75

Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds* Let Love In

Pulp This Is Hardcore

Aretha Franklin Lady Soul

Portishead Dummy

Dexys Midnight Runners Don't Stand Me Down

Smashing Pumpkins* Siamese Dream

Talking Heads Fear Of Music

Stevie Wonder Songs In The Key Of Life

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III

Bright Eyes I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

David Bowie Young Americans

Rufus Wainwright Want One

Mogwai Young Team

The Coral The Coral

Missy Elliott Miss E ...So Addictive

X Ray Spex Germfree Adolescents

Boards Of Canada Music Has The Right To Children

Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go

OutKast Speakerboxxx The Love Below

MIA* Kala

Eric B. & Rakim Paid In Full

Jay Z The Blueprint

My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything

John Coltrane A Love Supreme

Todd Rundgren A Wizard, A True Star

Pink Floyd The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

Elastica (2) Elastica

Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand

Ryan Adams Gold

Guns N' Roses Appetite For Destruction

The Beatles A Hard Day's Night

The Stranglers Stranglers IV (Rattus Norvegicus)

AC DC Back In Black

Prince Sign "O" The Times

The Boo Radleys Giant Steps

The Breeders Last Splash

The Fall Hex Enduction Hour

Tricky Maxinquaye

Beach House Teen Dream

Michael Jackson Bad

N.W.A* Straight Outta Compton

Pavement Slanted And Enchanted

Janis Joplin Pearl

Chic Risqué

Kate Bush The Kick Inside

The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs

Grace Jones Nightclubbing

Kings Of Leon Youth & Young Manhood

Funkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

AIR French Band* Moon Safari

Massive Attack Mezzanine

New Order Power Corruption & Lies

Iggy Pop Lust For Life

The Horrors Primary Colours

The Jam All Mod Cons

The National Alligator

Marianne Faithfull Broken English

Fever Ray Fever Ray

Arcade Fire Neon Bible

Echo And The Bunnymen* Heaven Up Here

T. Rex Electric Warrior

The Doors The Doors

John Lennon Imagine

Pavement Brighten The Corners

PiL* Metal Box

David Bowie Aladdin Sane

Dr. Dre The Chronic

Leonard Cohen Songs Of Leonard Cohen

Babyshambles Down In Albion

Pet Shop Boys Behaviour

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds* Murder Ballads

Suicide Suicide


Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones

Dizzee Rascal Boy In Da Corner

Ian Dury New Boots And Panties!!

Madonna Ray Of Light

Michael Jackson Off The Wall

Joni Mitchell The Hissing Of Summer Lawns

Wild Beasts Smother

Super Furry Animals Fuzzy Logic

Nirvana MTV Unplugged In New York

Glasvegas Glasvegas

Eminem The Slim Shady LP

Prodigy* The Fat Of The Land

Weezer Weezer

The Beach Boys Surf's Up

Grimes (4) Visions

Pussy Galore (2) Exile On Main St

The Smiths Meat Is Murder

Metronomy The English Riviera

Elvis Costello This Year's Model

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds The Boatman's Call

Nick Drake Five Leaves Left

Public Enemy Yo! Bum Rush The Show

Specials* Specials

Bob Marley And The Wailers* Live!

Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded

Laura Marling I Speak Because I Can

The Beatles Please Please Me

Hole (2) Celebrity Skin

Coldplay A Rush Of Blood To The Head

Dr. Feelgood Stupidity

Todd Rundgren Todd

The Horrors Skying

The Kinks The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

The Velvet Underground Loaded

Coldplay Parachutes

Kanye West The College Dropout

R.E.M. Green

The Who Quadrophenia

Echo & The Bunnymen Ocean Rain

The Sundays Reading, Writing And Arithmetic

The Slits Cut

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band* Trout Mask Replica

Aphex Twin Drukqs

Elvis Costello My Aim Is True

Teenage Fanclub Grand Prix

Roxy Music Roxy Music

Fugazi 13 Songs

Marvin Gaye Midnight Love

Screaming Trees Dust

Slayer Reign In Blood

Stevie Wonder Music Of My Mind

The Modern Lovers The Modern Lovers

The Bluetones Expecting To Fly

The Byrds Younger Than Yesterday

The Cribs The New Fellas

Aztec Camera High Land, Hard Rain

Klaxons Myths Of The Near Future

Snoop Doggy Dogg* Doggystyle

David Bowie Let's Dance

Can Ege Bamyasi

Malcolm McLaren Duck Rock

The Go Betweens 16 Lovers Lane

The Who The Who By Numbers

Arthur Russell World Of Echo

Daft Punk Homework

Charles Mingus Mingus Ah Um

The Orb U.F.Orb

Rod Stewart Every Picture Tells A Story

Bob Dylan The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Beck Midnite Vultures

Lemonheads* It's A Shame About Ray

Metallica Metallica

Steely Dan Countdown To Ecstasy

Super Furry Animals Guerrilla

Cocteau Twins Treasure

Tom Waits Franks Wild Years

Slint Spiderland

Big Brother & The Holding Company Cheap Thrills

Elvis Costello And The Attractions* IbMePdErRoIoAmL (Imperial Bedroom)

Gram Parsons Grievous Angel

Ice T O.G. Original Gangster

The Who Who's Next

Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones

Doves Lost Souls

LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening

Miles Davis Bitches Brew

R.E.M. Lifes Rich Pageant

Beck Sea Change

Yo La Tengo I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One

Beck Mutations

The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

David Bowie "Heroes"

Portishead Third

MC5 Kick Out The Jams

Shack (3) H.M.S. Fable

Paul McCartney And Wings* Band On The Run

The Avalanches Since I Left You

Queens Of The Stone Age ...Like Clockwork

Neneh Cherry Raw Like Sushi

Danger Mouse The Grey Album

The Notorious B.I.G.* Ready To Die

Pearl Jam Ten

Sister Sledge We Are Family

Tom Waits Closing Time

Spiritualized Lazer Guided Melodies

Bob Dylan John Wesley Harding

Eels Beautiful Freak

Elvis Costello And The Attractions* Punch The Clock

New Order Low life

Sonic Youth Dirty

Whitney Houston Whitney

alt J An Awesome Wave

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club B.R.M.C.

The Byrds Sweetheart Of The Rodeo

The Velvet Underground White Light White Heat

mclusky mclusky Do Dallas

Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul

New York Dolls New York Dolls

Pixies Bossanova

Sugar (5) Copper Blue

Robert Wyatt Rock Bottom

The Mothers Of Invention* We're Only In It For The Money

The Strokes Room On Fire

Faces (3) A Nod's As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse

Beastie Boys Hello Nasty

Black Flag Damaged

Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago

Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables

Leonard Cohen Songs Of Love And Hate

Metronomy Nights Out

Radiohead Hail To The Thief

St. Vincent Strange Mercy

The Cribs Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever

Beck!* Odelay

Big Black Atomizer

Curtis Mayfield (There's No Place Like) America Today

Frank Sinatra In The Wee Small Hours

Morrissey Vauxhall And I

Sam Cooke Live At The Harlem Square Club 1963

Roy Harper Stormcock

Wire Pink Flag

Belle & Sebastian The Boy With The Arab Strap

Bloc Party Silent Alarm

David Bowie Scary Monsters

Simon And Garfunkel* Bridge Over Troubled Water

The Long Blondes Someone To Drive You Home

Elvis Presley Elvis Presley

The White Stripes Get Behind Me Satan

Gillian Welch Revival

The Clash Combat Rock

Tim Buckley Happy Sad

Le Tigre Le Tigre

The Verve A Northern Soul

Burial Burial

Edan Beauty And The Beat

Prince Dirty Mind

Wire Chairs Missing

The White Stripes De Stijl

Heartbreakers* L.A.M.F.

Jay Z Reasonable Doubt

Neil Young & Crazy Horse Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues The Lyre Of Orpheus

The Fall This Nation's Saving Grace

Throbbing Gristle 20 Jazz Funk Greats

Mystery Jets Twenty One

Björk Vespertine

Gene Clark No Other

Otis Redding Otis Blue Otis Redding Sings Soul

Queens Of The Stone Age R

Ride Going Blank Again

Pavement Crooked Rain Crooked Rain

Can Tago Mago

Interpol Antics

Madvillain Madvillainy

DJ Shadow Endtroducing.....

Happy Mondays Pills 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches

The Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole

Chet Baker Chet Baker Sings

Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion

Ash 1977

Eels Electro Shock Blues

Spiritualized Let It Come Down

A Tribe Called Quest People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm

Big Star Radio City

Kevin Rowland & Dexys Midnight Runners Too Rye Ay

The Who Live At Leeds

U2 The Joshua Tree

Nancy & Lee* Nancy & Lee

Sonic Youth Goo

Eno* Here Come The Warm Jets

Bruce Springsteen Born In The U.S.A.

Jimmy Eat World Bleed American

Scott Engel Scott 4

Soundgarden Badmotorfinger

Tindersticks Tindersticks

Dr. Dre 2001

Prefab Sprout Steve McQueen

Patti Smith Group Easter

Battles Mirrored

TV On The Radio Dear Science

Kings Of Leon Aha Shake Heartbreak

The Futureheads The Futureheads

Billy Bragg Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy

ABBA Arrival

Al Green Al Green Is Love

Bill Callahan Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle

Depeche Mode Violator

Fleetwood Mac Tusk

Hot Chip The Warning

Bowie* Diamond Dogs

Suede Sci Fi Lullabies

Arctic Monkeys AM

P J Harvey* Rid Of Me

Big Star 3rd

The B 52's The B 52's

The House Of Love The House Of Love

Destiny's Child The Writing's On The Wall

Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend

Frank Sinatra September Of My Years

Goldfrapp Black Cherry

Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Jay Z The Black Album

Nirvana Bleach

Manic Street Preachers Generation Terrorists

Metallica Master Of Puppets

The Breeders Pod

Kings Of Leon Because Of The Times

The National High Violet

Wu Tang Clan The W

Iggy Pop The Idiot

The Shins Chutes Too Narrow

The Beach Boys Holland

Kanye West Graduation

MGMT Oracular Spectacular

The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

Verve* A Storm In Heaven

Fuck Buttons Tarot Sport

Kurt Vile Smoke Ring For My Halo

Foo Fighters Foo Fighters

Crystal Castles Crystal Castles

The National Trouble Will Find Me

Throwing Muses The Real Ramona

Aretha Franklin I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You

Brian Wilson Smile

Billie Holiday With Ray Ellis And His Orchestra Lady In Satin

Elvis Costello And The Attractions* Blood & Chocolate

Bruce Springsteen The River

Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city

Björk Homogenic

The Jam Sound Affects

Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man

The Wedding Present George Best

MC5 Back In The USA

Pet Shop Boys Actually

These New Puritans Hidden

This Mortal Coil Blood

The Cure The Head On The Door

The Killers Hot Fuss

Girls (5) Album

Daft Punk Random Access Memories

Lou Reed Berlin

Belly Star

OutKast Stankonia