If it's not a spurious Q 100 greatest albums list, it's a spurious list by Spin, this of the best albums of the last twenty years to celebrate their own china anniversary. Worth a look at the BBC News report, which seems surprised the Beatles, Stones and Beach Boys haven't had any new albums judged to be good enough released since 1985 and features the unmissable line "record sales did not affect the choices. The Pixies... did not sell millions before their initial split".
100 Strokes - Is This It
Toto, we're not in early 2002 now.
99 Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen
This is the sort of position Leftism generally get to in UK magazine polls, and nobody really owns that either.
98 Cornershop - When I Was Born For The Seventh Time
This never gets into UK magazine polls, conversely, presumably because they're hardly aware of the remix in America.
97 Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Responsible for about 38% of US indie at the moment, so fair enough.
96 The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy And The Lash
Mojo's Best Album Ever Ever Ever last week, of course.
95 Elastica - Elastica
What? Not to suggest this wasn't hugely exciting in its day, but it's hardly been something held up as a signpost for future directions since.
94 Slint - Spiderland
Mogwai's block vote arrived late. This would have been top 30 five years ago, I bet.
93 Pearl Jam - Ten
92 Big Black - Atomizer
91 XTC - Skylarking
Andy Partridge's British pastoral album, produced by an American (Todd Rundgren), giving them their US breakthrough. Sense takes a holiday.
90 Sonic Youth - Sister
89 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever To Tell
Well, you can understand how it's outlasting the Vines, but despite what mad people reviewing Kelly Clarkson will try and tell you it's not as if we're now drowing in Karen O-alikes. Their animated appearance in the Guardian Music Monthly advert is good, though.
88 Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Pleasant surprises, that's this list. Isn't there some convoluted reasoning behind this title?
87 Blur - Parklife
But they weren't cared about in America! I want to see this write-up, unless it's indicative of where all these British bands are coming out of.
86 Meat Puppets - Up On The Sun
85 REM - Automatic For The People
REM's only showing, bearing in mind the period covered starts with Fables Of The Reconstruction. When you're down in reputation, you're down.
84 Soundgarden - Superunknown
83 At The Drive-In - Relationship Of Command
82 Jeff Buckley - Grace
Is it Coldplay's fault?
81 Beck - Mellow Gold
80 D'Angelo - Voodoo
79 Moby - Everything Is Wrong
Ahead of Play, which is simultaneously very right and very wrong.
78 The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
77 Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Surely more read about than heard.
76 Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
75 Le Tigre - Le Tigre
Hot Topic a moment of seasonal greatness, of course. Latter day attempted selling to pop kids via TKO being playlisted on viewer's choice satellite channels less successful.
74 Portishead - Dummy
73 Pulp - Different Class
72 Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
Wu-Tang in full effect, as you can tell from the otherwise inexplicable title.
71 The Jesus & Mary Chain - Psychocandy
70 Jay-Z - The Blueprint
69 DJ Shadow - Entroducing
68 Tricky - Maxinquaye
67 Slayer - Reign In Blood
And indeed, bloody hell.
66 Outkast - Aquemini
The album before Stankonia, which idiots do refer to as their debut.
65 Basement Jaxx - Remedy
64 Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
63 Pavement - Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
62 Missy Elliott - Supa Dupa Fly
61 Weezer - Pinkerton
I thought everyone wrote this off these days, and indeed at the time, yet there's no genre-inventing Blue Album on the list.
60 De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead
59 Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West
Matadoria 1996 breakthrough of sorts, well before Float On ended up deemed "kid-friendly" enough for Kidz Bop 7 (apologies if it's your upload I've just stolen, but hardly anyone reads this so you won't be that pushed for bandwidth) The next edition includes Take Me Out and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, which is just trying too hard for WTF?-spawning mp3 blog entries and JK & Joel picking up an import copy.
58 Metallica - Master Of Puppets
57 The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
56 PJ Harvey - To Bring You My Love
Mmm? No Dry, but this neither one thing nor the other transitional record?
55 The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole
54 The Breeders - Last Splash
53 Rage Against The Machine - The Battle Of Los Angeles
Oh, piss off.
52 Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill
51 Nirvana - In Utero
50 New Order - Low Life
49 Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill
48 Radiohead - Kid A
Still surviving despite critical question marks of late by people who pretend to hate The Wire.
47 Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full
46 The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
Almost this poll's saving grace, frankly
45 Kanye West - The College Dropout
The only entry from 2004. Just think about that, in relation to all those end of year polls you read.
44 Green Day - Dookie
43 Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded
Invented gangsta rap pretty much single-handedly; ended up referenced on Guns Don't Kill People Rappers Do. Such is life.
42 Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
41 Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
40 Run DMC - Raising Hell
39 Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams
Ah, somewhere in these critic polls is an element that will forever remain Word.
38 A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
The high end theory? Lord knows how this is up here, actually. Q-Tip's passport to no end of guest vocals, all of which do better than records he's put his name to.
37 Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
36 Pixies - Doolittle
I see, it's Surfer Rosa's turn this year.
35 Dr Dre - The Chronic
34 Elliott Smith - Either/Or
33 Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted
32 The Replacements - Tim
Again with the juxtaposition, given everyone else thinks Let It Be was their classic.
31 Dinosaur Jr - You're Living All Over Me
30 The Notorious BIG - Ready To Die
Wouldn't be up here if he actually hadn't, of course.
29 Fugazi - 13 Songs
28 Oasis - Definitely Maybe
27 The Cure - The Head On The Door
Yeah, I know they're popular now, but that's no excuse for picking one from when Robert was full into the panstick/hair/pies accessorising.
26 Bjork - Post
25 Nine Ince Nails - The Downward Spiral
24 Sleater Kinney - Dig Me Out
Who's compiled this, Robert Christgau?
23 Outkast - Stankonia
22 My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
21 Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet
20 Wu Tang Clan - Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
19 Hole - Live Through This
See this? It's a stare of incomprehension. Unless Courtney bartered top 20 for a photoshoot next month.
18 Guns 'N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
17 Nas - Illmatic
16 Beck - Odelay
15 Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville
Much like everyone else round about her last album, I've never quite got what Phair does that elevates her above, say, Juliana Hatfield, Lisa Germano and sundry others.
14 Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
13 Husker Du - New Day Rising
Zen Arcade being so last year.
12 Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
11 U2 - Achtung Baby
10 NWA - Straight Outta Compton
9 PJ Harvey - Rid Of Me
There was presumably a scare factor included.
8 Prince - Sign O' The Times
7 De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising
6 Pixies - Surfer Rosa
5 The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
Not, you'd imagine, their most palatable album to American ears, but something has to explain Ben Gibbard's popularity.
4 Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted
Once got 2 out of 5 in a retrospective piece in Q where Terror Twilight got 4. Written by John Aizlewood, probably.
3 Nirvana - Nevermind
Spin virtually admit they didn't want to put this at number one *again*. Needless to say, their choice for number one is an album that far more people are willing to take issue with.
2 Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
The greatest album ever to open with a sample of Dave Pearce. Imagine the kudos he must have with US PE fans.
1 Radiohead - OK Computer
These kind of polls are often decried with a reference to the Q list that put OK Computer top less than a year after its release. Those people don't appear to have much to say on that front any more, I'd suggest. Still not as good as the unfeatured Bends.