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The Rules


In an effort to maintain some level of continuity, each album has been categorized by its year of release in the US or the UK. If an album never receives a US or UK release, it’s given a “five year buffer period” before it becomes eligible the year of its earliest release anywhere in the world. —SCM


  1.   2011 Yearbook Entry


01. The Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck

02. The Roots: Undun

03. Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues

04. Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What

05. Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring for My Halo

06. St. Vincent: Strange Mercy

07. Van Hunt: What Were You Hoping For?

08. Wild Beasts: Smother
09. PJ Harvey: Let England Shake
10. Mariachi El Bronx: Mariachi El Bronx (II)
11. The Great Book of John: The Great Book of John

12. The Black Keys: El Camino

13. Mastadon: The Hunter

14. Gillian Welch: The Harrow and the Harvest
15. Dan Mangan: Oh Future


01. Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me

02. The Tallest Man On Earth: The Wild Hunt

03. Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid

04. Arcade Fire: The Suburbs

05. Will Stratton: New Vanguard Blues

06. Owen Pallet: Heartland

07. The Black Keys: Brothers

08. Mavis Staples: You Are Not Alone
09. White Denim: Last Day of Summer
10. Josh Ritter: So Runs the World Away
11. Menomena: Mines

12. Robyn: Body Talk

13. Wolf Parade: Expo ‘86

14. Baths: Cerulean
15. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Decade—2009 - 2000:

01. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois

02. Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica

03. Radiohead: In Rainbows

04. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

05. The National: Boxer

06. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion

07. Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary

08. Radiohead: Kid A

09. Spoon: Kill the Moonlight

10. The Strokes: Is This It

11. Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights

12. Arcade Fire: Funeral

13. Death Cab for Cutie: Transatlanticism

14. The Mountain Goats: The Sunset Tree

15. Bloc Party: Silent Alarm

16. Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker

17. Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender

18. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes

19. Panda Bear: Person Pitch

20. Iron & Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days


01. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion
02. DM Stith: Heavy Ghost
03. The Antlers: Hospice
04. P.O.S.: Never Better
05. Dirty Proejctors: Bitte Orca
06. St. Vincent: Actor
07. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz
08. Sunset Rubdown: Dragonslayer
09. Wildbirds & Peacedrums: The Snake
10. Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest
11. Ramona Falls: Intuit
12. Neko Case: Middle Cyclone
13. Mos Def: The Ecstatic
14. Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
15. Will Stratton: No Wonder


01. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
02. TV on the Radio: Dear Science
03. Larsen & Furious Jane: Zen Sucker
04. Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend
05. Sigur Rós: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endaulast
06. Amadou & Mariam: Welcome to Mali
07. Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer
08. Marching Band: Spark Large
09. The Dodos: Visiter
10. Drive-by Truckers: Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
11. Frightened Rabbit: Midnight Organ Fight
12. Peter Adams: I Woke With Planets In My Face
13. Conor Oberst: Conor Oberst
14. Johnny Flynn: A Larum
15. Shearwater: Rook


01. Radiohead: In Rainbows
02. The National: Boxer
03. Panda Bear: Person Pitch
04. Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
05. Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
06. Jens Lekman: Night Falls Over Kortedala
07. Patty Griffin: Children Running Through
08. LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver
09. Kings of Leon: Because of the Times
10. Of Montreal: Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
11. Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam
12. Iron & Wine: The Shepherd’s Dog
13. Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
14. Beirut: The Flying Club Cup
15. Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha


01. Band of Horses: Everything All the Time
02. Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
03. M. Ward: Post-War
04. Final Fantasy: He Poos Clouds
05. Grizzly Bear: Yellow House
06. TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain
07. Destroyer: Destroyer’s Rubies
08. Phoenix: It’s Never Been Like That
09. Josh Ritter: The Animal Years
10. The Decemberists: The Crane Wife
11. Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere
12. Joanna Newsom: Ys
13. Bonnie “Prince” Billy: The Letting Go
14. The Format: Dog Problems
15. Sunset Rubdown: Shut Up I Am Dreaming


01. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
02. Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary
03. The Mountain Goats: The Sunset Tree
04. Bloc Party: Silent Alarm
05. The National: Alligator
06. Andrew Bird: The Mysterious Production of Eggs
07. Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy
08. My Morning Jacket: Z
09. Bright Eyes: I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
10. The Decemberists: Picaresque
11. Animal Collective: Feels
12. The Constantines: Tournament of Hearts
13. Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
14. Sigur Rós: Takk…

15. Cloud Cult: Advice from the Happy Hippo


01. The Arcade Fire: Funeral
02. Iron & Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days
03. Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender
04. Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
05. The Walkmen: Bows + Arrows
06. The Black Keys: Rubber Factory
07. Devendra Banhart: Rejoicing in the Hands
08. Interpol: Antics
09. Ray LaMontagne: Trouble
10. Sufjan Stevens: Seven Swans
11. Drive-by Truckers: The Dirty South
12. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
13. Elliott Smith: From a Basement on the Hill
14. Annie: Anniemal
15. Animal Collective: Sung Tongs


01. Death Cab for Cutie: Transatlanticism
02. The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow
03. The White Stripes: Elephant
04. The Constantines: Shine a Light
05. Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers
06. Josh Ritter: Hello Starling
07. Sufjan Stevens: Greetings from Michigan
08. The Wrens: The Meadowlands
09. Cat Power: You Are Free
10. Sun Kil Moon: Ghosts of the Great Highway
11. The Books: The Lemon of Pink
12. M. Ward: Transfiguration of Vincent
13. Elbow: Cast of Thousands
14. Hot Hot Heat: Make Up the Breakdown
15. The New Pornographers: Electric Version


01. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
02. Spoon: Kill the Moonlight
03. Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights
04. …Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes
05. The Postal Service: Give Up
06. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
07. The Notwist: Neon Golden
08. Damien Rice: O
09. Beck: Sea Change
10. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells
11. Bright Eyes: Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to ...
12. Sonic Youth: Murray Street
13. Red Hot Chili Peppers: By the Way
14. Neko Case: Blacklisted
15. Nada Surf: Let Go


01. The Strokes: Is This It
02. Les Savy Fav: Go Forth
03. Daft Punk: Discovery
04. The Dismemberment Plan: Change
05. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: The Tyranny of Distance
06. Super Furry Animals: Rings Around the World
07. Radiohead: Amnesiac
08. Life Without Buildings: Any Other City
09. Circulatory System: Circulatory System
10. Ryan Adams: Gold
11. Spoon: Girls Can Tell
12. Low: Things We Lost in the Fire
13. The Frames: For the Birds
14. Jim O’Rourke: Insignificance
15. The Shins: Oh Inverted World


01. Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica
02. Radiohead: Kid A
03. Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker
04. Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast
05. The Clientele: Suburban Light
06. The New Pornographers: Mass Romantic
07. Crooked Fingers: Crooked Fingers
08. The Avalanches: Since I Left You
09. Elliott Smith: Figure 8
10. Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned ...
11. Sigur Rós: Ágætis Byrjun
12. Boredums: Vision Creation Newsun
13. Múm: Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today is OK
14. Les Savy Fav: ROME (Upside Down) EP
15. Bright Eyes: Fevers and Mirrors


Chris Nowling—Music Yearbook


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