HomeBerkeley PlaceTHE 25 BEST INDIE ROCK ALBUMS EVER . . . ACCORDING TO THE BLOGOSPHERE. THE 25 BEST INDIE ROCK ALBUMS EVER . . . ACCORDING TO THE BLOGOSPHERE. ekko | May 7, 2007 | This post has been moved! Go here to read it! Share this:ShareRedditFacebookTwitterPinterestGooglePocketTumblr Tweet Pin It Related Posts Berkeley Place BUSSES-Wizard of the Eye May 12, 2015 | ekko | No Comments | More Berkeley Place VIDEO OF THE DAY October 6, 2009 | ekko | No Comments | More Berkeley Place HURRICANE BELLS- October 22, 2011 | ekko | No Comments | More Berkeley Place BROKEN RECORDS-Weights and Pulleys June 6, 2014 | ekko | No Comments | More About The Author ekko More From This Author 119 Comments Charbarred May 7, 2007 Very nice list…I must admit my only problem is with the Arcade Fire. I really don’t understand why people would put this band in the same pantheon as the rest of these artists. Log in to Reply Lauren May 7, 2007 The Elliot Smith cover (Give Me Love) was originally by George Harrison, not John Lennon. Log in to Reply ekko May 7, 2007 Yeah, I know that Lauren. I’m a shmuck. I don’t even know why I wrote that. As to Charbarred–I gotta disagree. For me, Funeral is the beginning of modern indie rock. There were albums before it, but this was the one that really broke through and affected me (and lots of the mainstream public). In fact, it’s one of the main reasons I went into blogging in the first place. Log in to Reply adam May 7, 2007 oof… me = not cool. only one of mine made the list (Slint) and that was a total softball pick 🙂 i probably would’ve put Daydream Nation, but I was thinking DGC = major…it did originally come out on Enigma which was sorta kinda an indie… i’m kinda shocked at how many very recent records are on this list…but once again: me=dinosaur. Log in to Reply hugger May 7, 2007 What? No debut Stone Roses album (Silvertone)? Tut tut, great work though. Log in to Reply strangerontheearth May 7, 2007 How could you leave the Shins off this list? “Wincing the Night Away” is the best album of ’07! Log in to Reply ekko May 7, 2007 Adam-I also think Daydream Nation was major, but like I said, I let the votes have it. Hugger-Save your tuts for your colleagues in the blogosphere. Although some of mine made it to the top 25, many didn’t. Log in to Reply Tim May 7, 2007 Wincing the Night Away is not even close. I love the Shins, but that album just don’t do it. I could stand to see some Les Savy Fav on here. I don’t know anymore, though. Is French Kiss a subsidiary of GiantRecordConglomerateCorp? Log in to Reply Davis May 7, 2007 Neither Death Cab for Cutie nor The Postal service are rock bands. And Sufjan Stevens, while brilliant, doesn’t listen to or write rock music. What’s wrong with an indie-label album (“Hot Fuss”, Lizard King) getting picked up by a major label and made available for more people to listen to? I love most of the albums on this list, but it doesn’t have anything to do with what other people are listening to. If I like it, I like it, whether or not millions of others do as well. No one has made the case that an album changes intrinsically as soon as it’s picked up and distributed by a major label. “Hot Fuss” is leagues ahead of “Turn on the Bright Lights” as a first album, and “Sam’s Town” kicks Ben Gibbard all over the playground, with Bono, Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Elton John cheering behind. Log in to Reply Celainn May 7, 2007 I agree with you to a degree about Sufjan Stevens. What don’t you like? If you are OK with the voice and just can’t stand the pretentiousness, than try “Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lakes State”. Much better songs, much less of that “o gee he’s so precious” ness that I hated on “Illinois”. In particular, listen to “Romulus”. Not a bad song, that…. Log in to Reply Jamie Dugan May 7, 2007 Do you have any information on the live Neutral Milk Hotel show you posted, like when or where it was recorded? Any info would be helpful, thanks. Log in to Reply DudeAsInCool May 7, 2007 Nice list, Ekko. Log in to Reply chiefexecbj May 7, 2007 Bloc Party for sure!!! Listen i am trying to start a blog called Blog 40 Hits…. can u suggest on how to go about it? You can reply on my blog…thanks Log in to Reply chiefexecbj May 7, 2007 http://chiefexecbj.wordpress.com. Give me ideas guys… i am counting in you!!! Log in to Reply EJ May 7, 2007 Very good list, only in the spirit of Indie Rock, it would have been nice to see each artist represented by only one of their works on the list. With Pavement and The Pixies, it’s a tough call (Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and Slanted and Enchanted are both indie rock classics for sure). Thanks for putting this together Ekko. Log in to Reply aharoni May 7, 2007 Oh my. Thank you so much for Neutral show. Log in to Reply alt-gramma May 7, 2007 I’m in complete agreement with the Pixies, Death Cab, Belle and Sebastian, and (swoon) Neutral Milk Hotel. Thanks for those live recordings. Yes, the first White Stripes WAS the best. I’d trade Postal Service for the Notwist, but I have no idea if they’re indie and I can’t really complain because I didn’t send you any nominations, did I? So all I can really say is, Good job! Log in to Reply Yan Xishan May 7, 2007 Not bad… I was a bit surprised you put Crooked Rain over Slanted and Enchanted, as most would have it reversed. But since Crooked Rain is my all time favorite album, I am with you on this one. Log in to Reply ekko May 7, 2007 Yan-I didn’t put Crooked over Slanted. The voters did. I am but a conduit. As for Hot Fuss being indie, if it was indeed released on an indie label then it WOULD have qualified for this list. If someone had voted for it. Not a soul did, including you, Davis, so stop your complaining. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. I’ve never said, for the record, that the major labels don’t release good music. I love Hot Fuss–it’s one of my favorite albums ever–and I’m a big fan of the new Hold Steady, most Jay-Z, and Amy Winehouse. However, I–like many bloggers–have been threated with lawsuits by the major labels. THAT is the reason that I no longer help hype their material. This is not a blog about hyping whatever I like to listen to dancing around naked in my bedroom. It’s a blog about helping the little guys, the indies, the ones without multi-million dollar advertising and studio budgets. If you want to find blogs that cater to your major label tastes, please do. I read Smoking Section, Gorilla vs. Bear, etc., regularly. It’s just not what I do. And I do find it interesting that so many people get offended by that. Weird. Log in to Reply airellb May 7, 2007 interesting countdown. Ive not heard of half the bands in the top ten but will surely give it a try. Log in to Reply Amy May 8, 2007 Hmm, can’t say I’m surprised by much of this but sorta disappointed in the predictability and lack of anything pre-90s. Pretty much all of these are good to great (except for the Ben Gibbard-related stuff–I will *never* understand the appeal of that guy). For the person who said Stone Roses S/T: Hell yeah! Cept I think it was a major label release in the US. Good to see There’s Nothing Wrong With Love up there. Log in to Reply ekko May 8, 2007 Amy- You know I love you & UR blog, but your comment is baffling. You only voted for a few albums, as I recall, and I think they’re all here!! As for the post-80s slant, I don’t really think “indie rock” as a genre existed before then, did it? I mean, sure there were rock bands who released things independently, but “indie rock” itself is pretty new, I think. Log in to Reply burp182 May 8, 2007 I have most of these!! Yay! I’m so indie rock, yeeeah! Log in to Reply Chris May 8, 2007 ::Cough:: Pinback. Log in to Reply Chris Blumen May 8, 2007 Surfer Rosa makes the list? Hell yeah. Doolittle makes the list? Hell yeah. Not good that doolittle is rated better than surfer rosa? Uh, yeah. Log in to Reply merz May 8, 2007 As for the post-80s slant, I donâ€™t really think â€œindie rockâ€ as a genre existed before then, did it? I mean, sure there were rock bands who released things independently, but â€œindie rockâ€ itself is pretty new, I think. It wasn’t called indie rock in those days, it was called college (radio) rock and the same “indieness” applied. That was the days that college radio held a huge sway on new independent rock music. So, the genre did exist, just under another name. I didn’t vote so won’t say anything else but nice job on putting this together. Merz Log in to Reply VoodooGuru May 8, 2007 As for the post-80s slant, I donâ€™t really think â€œindie rockâ€ as a genre existed before then, did it? I mean, sure there were rock bands who released things independently, but â€œindie rockâ€ itself is pretty new, I think. I think “indie rock” is just a catch-all term bands are put into to appear in the NME and Spin. Back in the 80s acts were on Independent labels, had independent distribution and were classed as “indie bands” on the Independent Charts. In Britain at least. They became “college bands” once they crossed the Atlantic and signed to a major for distribution purposes. It was always going to be a thankless task.One person’s definition of “indie rock” is another’s Bloc Party. Lastly, is Neutral Milk Hotel-In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, possibly the most overated “indie” album EVER! This is the defintion of a “critics album”. You buy it, take it home, listen to it 3 or 4 times, and never listen to it again. Then when it crops up in conversation/lists you say “Yeah I’ve got that. It’s a classic.” Log in to Reply Davis May 8, 2007 I suppose I just think of “indie” to mean a certain sound– a sound that represents a contribution to rock music from a scene that, in the past, was completely independent from major labels and not heard by as many people. And I like that sound. It’s the sound of musicians who grew up in the nineties listening to good eighties music, and it’s such a good sound that it’s appeal has become very widespread since the beginning of this century. That said, I hear you loud and clear (Ekko) when you talk about getting shit from the record labels. I’m not a fan of “the music business” either. As for Sufjan Stevens, I love his music. I just don’t think it belongs with rock. I like “Transatlanticism” alright, too; love the “Postal Service”, but I don’t think it’s rock. I wish I’d found this site sooner, or I’d have voted myself. As it is, I just ran across it this morning. New laptop! So I’ll definitely check out those blogs. Log in to Reply ekko May 8, 2007 Exactly. “Indie rock” does not equal “college radio.” That’s just my opinion. It would be fine to put together a best-college-radio list, or a best “alternative rock” list, or what have you, but I think indie does have a specific sound. As for Death Cab not being rock, I just disagree. It’s got the same basic three-chord progressions. Rock is such a vague term, anyway, arising from blues, folk, etc. Anyway, as I’ve said before (and I don’t know why I’m so defensive about this), I didn’t pick these albums. My regular readers did. In addition to the ones above, I got votes for John Coltraine, Mr. Lif, and a host of other Jazz and Rap albums. Clearly, to me at least, those aren’t rock. But some readers thought they were. Log in to Reply DudeAsInCool May 8, 2007 Wikipedia says Indie Rock had its roots in the early 80s.. bit I think you could probably credit the Sex Pistols and the early punk scene, due to their anti-establishment stance. Then again, the Beatles and the Stones were anti-establishment, too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indie_rock Today, the division is crystal clear: indie rock versus the congloms…and you know who is going to win 🙂 Log in to Reply ekko May 8, 2007 Thanks, Dude. I agree: It had its roots in the early 80s. Glad to know I agree with Wikipedia. And yeah, the congloms are going to win. They always do, right? Janis Joplin gave way to Britney Spears. Led Zep gave way to Poison. Run DMC gave way to Another Bad Creation. Great starts in a genre, leading to tepid follow ups. A recent example: The Killers gave way to The Killers. Log in to Reply gringopig May 8, 2007 Interesting Ekko 1… However, I gagged out loud at the inclusion of The Pixies! wtf! They have to be THE most over-rated band I’ve ever heard; I can’t stand them! Both Pete, Paul & Mary AND Husker Du are 10X better… BTW, where are Husker Du? Have people forgotten them already? SST records owes a lot to these guys and probably haven’t paid them back yet… 🙂 Log in to Reply Davis May 8, 2007 Now you’re just being unnecessarily mean. Log in to Reply alisbasement May 8, 2007 Very cool post, I put up a link to your blog from my site, keep up the great work! Log in to Reply IndieAnna May 8, 2007 I built playlists with alot of that stuff here http://www.seeqpod.com – great site for indie Log in to Reply lulu May 8, 2007 Nice! I’d forgotten about some of these albums! Log in to Reply jason May 8, 2007 I’m sorry ekko, but you are simply wrong, indie rock and college radio are practically interchangable and have been since the 80’s. Early Sub Pop, IRS, Touch and Go, SST, and Dischord have been operating for decades now. “Indie Rock” is not a genre. It is a term that has changed in sound as the bands and music has changed. On an indie label? Play music for that indie label? Don’t have any affiliation with a major label? Congrats, you are indie. Don’t matter if you sound like Negativland or REM (probably the first Indie to major success story). But “Indie Rock” has been around since Punk Rock and New Wave and probably goes back even further. And as far as Indie Rock as a sound look no farther than IRS era REM. And by the way, Nirvana’s Bleach is the best selling indie rock album of all time. You got the label right, just not the album. Log in to Reply merz May 8, 2007 I agree 100% with Jason and was my point earlier. When I was in college during the 80’s, college radio stations were in their heyday and college rock was indie rock. Maybe today college rock (if there is even such a thing anymore) is not the same but back in the 80’s it was. Trust me, I lived thru it. And amen to Nirvana’s Bleach! Log in to Reply KEN May 8, 2007 INDIE-IS-SO-COOL!!! 😉 Log in to Reply Theo May 8, 2007 I was deeply involved in college radio and the music played thereon from 1969 until the early ’80s, the time of the music in this story. I regret that I know almost nothing of this music and hope to use stories like this to help me get into it. However, when I was spinning disks, the commercial stations except for a few so called ‘hippie’ stations, shunned what is now called heavy metal, hard rock, classic rock, until the economic power was too much to ignore. We did ‘freeform’ radio which meant that we played anything we wanted to, in any order, but we did work to keep the quality high. Now some few stations at odd hours, or now satellite radio play “lost tracks” that are especially good songs which didn’t become hits, and hence didn’t get played to death. Friends, colleagues, and me actually played mostly lost tracks but way before the term was coined. There is really tons of great stuff out there, which I expect you all know, and you can just see “classical’ music being born, sort of like Bach and Beethoven in their time. I enjoy this post because people mostly stay away from hostility and simply discuss and argue about this beautiful form of sonic pleasure. “What a long strange trip it’s been.” And continues to be. Log in to Reply Orlick May 8, 2007 Indie might even be over, 1995-200? whats the new genre going to be called. Please dont let it be emo. Log in to Reply Blotto Otto May 8, 2007 First, I’m amazed at how rude people are to you, Ekko. Thanks for doing this. Second, I don’t see why you are “wrong” and this Davis dude is “right.” I totally agree with Ekko–College radio had a much different sound that Ekko. It may be all rock on independent labels, but Indie Rock is definitely something different than what came before. Just like psychedelic rock was different from folk rock or heavy metal. It’s all rock. And Nirvana’s Bleach didn’t sell well until Nirvana was picked up by a label. Postal Service was the fastest selling indie rock record in history, and the best-selling based solely on a band’s indie status. See? We can all be right. Log in to Reply DudeAsInCool May 8, 2007 “And yeah, the congloms are going to win. They always do, right?” ..Not this time–they are toast. They are losing their lock on distribution, their music sucks, and they have alienated the consumers. Long live indie music! Log in to Reply mikesingletary May 9, 2007 I think I would of had Sunny Day Real Estate in there with “Diary.” Also, As Tall As Lions “S/T” Log in to Reply mikesingletary May 9, 2007 oh and also some Hot Water Music Log in to Reply stephan632 May 9, 2007 How old are the people who voted. What about the beginning of indi rock music? How could that be the best? The list is endless of all time greats that have inspired everyone of these bands. “RaidoHead” is one band that comes to mind. Log in to Reply ekko May 9, 2007 The people who voted are my readers. I didn’t ask for ages. This is what they picked. How can any “best of” list really be the “best”? I mean, Stairway to Heaven is good and all, but is it really the best rock song in history? Log in to Reply dmanx May 9, 2007 first comment: a great amount of effort must have gone into this list, my compliments. second: age, an old fart, I’m over fifty third: very interesting to read ither people’s comments. “theo” makes a significant point with his opinions of colleeg radio in the ’80s. most of these stations, along with their opinions, were shunned and mocked and laughed at by the “establishment” radio moguls. remember, whether you like them, hate them, or don’t care, the effect of college radio will not be denied, or even ignored for that matter. WBCN, Boston, has underdone many changes, again, good or bad?, but it started as “Boston College Network” Many of these stations had and continue to have “daytime only” licenses, yet they had and have a loyal following and continue to thrive. my point? don’t give up, persevere, and you’ll succeed. God bless and thanks for listening Log in to Reply anandamide May 9, 2007 I can’t believe you neglected one of the most important artists of the last 25 years: http://anandamide.wordpress.com/2007/04/13/who-says-all-the-great-art-is-made-by-pinkos-and-sissies/ Log in to Reply theo May 9, 2007 Thx, dmanx, et al; Gotta luv U guyz ‘n galz. This is a great discussion. My involvement in college radio was full time. No pay. First WRPI (Rensselear Polytechnic Institute) was a 500 watt FM broadcasting from a homemade “basketball hoop” in the sixties until some of the geeks there discovered an open frequency, applied to the FCC and got licensed to do 10,000 watts full-time stereo FM. A local defunct TV station donated its 700 foot tower to the school and the staff had state-of-the-art antennas installed, got a new transmitter and microwave link to the studio, and started in ’69. This non-commercial station played the hard rock, folk rock, Zeppelin, Hendrix, Doors, Beatles, J Tull, Byrds, Mahavishnu Orchrestra etc etc and the likes of Steeleye Span, Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and pre Stevie Fleetwood Mac (Brit) etc which couldn’t be heard anywhere else in the area. We ‘broke’ albums like Bruce’s “greetings from asbury park NJ” and outrated the commercial “pop top 40” stations and were even played in mall sound systems. Not too far away is the 50,000 watt WBRU (Brown Univ, RI) which sells commercials but was and is one of strongest and most influential student operated college stations in the US. These 2 stations are exceptions I’m familiar with. There was also a Philly station out of Temple U ? (I’ve forgotten the call letters), and WFMU, East Orange NJ (Michael Kuskuna’s legendary “Cocaine Karma”) which carried into NYC. Unfortunately, commercial forces have made stations such as WBCN, WABX Detroit, and countless more go to “modern rock” and tighten up their playlists and become very dull. Even the big “classic rock” stations during the day playlist very few tracks. Just as in TV, predictability sells. But the music loving public is not to be denied. Thats why IPODS and custom CDs are so popular. Of course we did the same with cassettes in past years, putting together “mixes” which keep ones interest. I will sign off for now and take all your suggestions to look for more “indie” music. Just as in films, the most imaginative stuff seems to come from the indies. Bless ’em! Log in to Reply fairest May 9, 2007 great stuff. thanks. i like that hold steady song about the hood rat but i never heard the hold steady before, and if thats top indie of all time, everclear should be somewhere on this list, too. Log in to Reply flavadave May 9, 2007 You mentioned that the Postal Service had “The bestselling indie album in history.” Not sure if you just meant indie-rock, but “Smash” by the Offspring is the highest selling independent album of all time. Log in to Reply ekko May 10, 2007 So, we’ve got Bleach, Smash, and Postal Service. Anybody got a source for what’s the bestseller? Log in to Reply Tanny May 10, 2007 How is it possible for not one early Flaming Lips album to be on this list???? Log in to Reply dimsy May 10, 2007 best of all time? i have major problems with this list. surprised yo la tengo’s and then nothing isn’t up there. or perhaps a galaxie 500 or even the feelies…. wedding present anyone? this list is terrible. Log in to Reply Roz May 10, 2007 i will come to ekko’s defense. i interned at both IRS and WLIR and we NEVER used the term “indie rock” in the 80s. college radio is not indie rock any more than heavy metal is what alan freed meant when he refereed to rock n roll. or any more than an apple, which comes from a seed, is an appleseed. college radio belongs to MY generation. please don’t coopt it into yours. Log in to Reply frank May 10, 2007 Does it matter what itÂ´s called? It is a fine list of music that obviously many people like. And if you like other music more…good, and probably post it so other people will know. As for a new post, IÂ´d be extremely interested in a list sort of: “….whatever I like to listen to dancing around naked in my bedroom…” (but that might not be indie labels…) Log in to Reply vanillaqueen May 10, 2007 Jayzus! Look up the word “boring” in a dictionary of your choice, and you’ll find this list. A bunch of whiny young men (& a few women) with electric guitars. And the exact reason why “indie rock” is such an incredibly uninteresting genre. Log in to Reply strangerontheearth May 10, 2007 Tim, what’s wrong with Wincing the Night Away? It’s a great album! Log in to Reply webcms May 10, 2007 I like your list. I would have to add Husker Du Candy Apply Gray (or anothe title) to this list. I would also think that some of the more early indy roots music would be here – The Replacements Let it Be is a great – great – album. REM Murmur which was also a truly indy album at one point is another ablum that would be on list. For balance some skate thrash may also have its place at the bottom of the list. Anyone remember Agent Orange. Goo Log in to Reply elizabeth May 11, 2007 Great list and cool tunes, thanks! I’ve got to hand it to you and the other blogs that post various lists: Even if readers don’t agree with all the entries, you make it possible for us to understand why the entry is included. Sure beats the heck out of VH1 and other MSM “lists.” You know, the ones that always have Nirvana in position number one, followed by entries that make little or no sense. They should take notes. For future reference the MSM has coined a new term for the indie music blogosphere. Consider yourself a member of the “Bloggerati.” Log in to Reply E.T. May 11, 2007 Ekk0- thansk for making this list. you clearly put a lot of work into it. i want to apologize on behalf of your readers for all the mean comments above. if they didn’t vote, they shouldn’t complain, and even if they did vote, the results aren’t your fault. a lot of my picks aren’t on here, either, but with such a vast array of albums to chose from, i get why. and for the record: it doesn’t matter what it’s called, but indie rock IS a new genre and is NOT the same as what i grew up listening to on BCN. it’s got a hole different ethos and sound. thanks again. you’ve got a fantastic blog. keep posting about little known artists. Log in to Reply JoggerDog May 11, 2007 I agree with E.T. I discovered Cricket, My Brightest Diamond, and Division Day because of you, and I love ’em all. Log in to Reply Salmonspartan May 12, 2007 Calling Interpol sellouts makes you look like a poorly educated twat. Death Cab signed to a bigger label then capitol and still made a good record in plans. Elliot Smith put some of his best work on “sellout” matt damon movie sound tracks. Interpol has put out two records that were top 2-3 records of the year, and turn on the bright lights is one of the best records of the last 20 years. Making it easy to find there new album for everyone, not just indie people is smart. ahd who the fuck said that that the pixes are underrated? let me guess. you don’t like the beatles, you think that only posers like radiohead and you prefer bauhaus to the cure or joy division. stop trying to be different. and “Give Up” is the SECOND best selling album in sub-pop history. It’s sold 650,000, but nirvana still wins by a bit. if you want to be a pain about it, maverick is technically not a a major label as it’s artist owned, so Jagged Little Pill is the best selling indie record of all time. or lauren hill, of ruffhouse records, which is no question every bit as indie as epitaph, sold millions. smash would be third-ish if that’s all considered. Log in to Reply Sarah May 12, 2007 This is a great list. I’m really into Death Cab for Cutie, Postal Service, Modest Mouse, Interpol, and Arcade Fire. However, I’m a little sad to see that nothing by The Shins made the list! Their albums “Oh Inverted World,” “Chutes Too Narrow,” and new this year “Wincing the Night Away” are all amazing if you’re into the indie music scene. If you’ve seen Zach Braff’s film Garden State then you’ll recognize two of their tracks (‘Caring is Creepy’ and ‘New Slang’) from their first album “Oh Inverted World.” With their new album “Wincing the Night Away” they have finally made it to the radio here in Toronto, Ontario with the single “Phantom Limb.” They played a sold out Show at the Kool Haus in Toronto on March 17th which was easily the best concert I’ve seen in a long time! I suggest giving The Shins a listen! Log in to Reply ekko May 12, 2007 Salmon- How do you REALLY feel? I totally agree that Interpol has every right to be signed, and I actually liked Plans more than any other DCFC album. Frankly, I’m not sure why I wrote that Interpol were “sell outs” and I’m sorry I did. I may edit the post. It was probably in a fit of pique because I now cannot review their stuff. Major labels have this thing about blogs. As for your other comments, I get them (despite the fact that they are unnecessary ad hominem, hostile and rude, and I suspect that you, not I, sound more like an “uneducated” female member as a result of using such terminology. As is evident from the comments above, many of us have slightly different definitions of “indie.” For me, it means that the band’s label doesn’t sue through the RIAA. Ruffhouse does, Epitaph doesn’t. It’s that simple. Log in to Reply Vickie May 15, 2007 I thought all the bands on there were all right especially since i’m a huge fan of the White Stripes and MOdest Mouse. But i was sorely dissapointed to not see Dinosaur Jr or the Shins on the list. But, whatever. I’ll have fun discovering the rest of the unknowns (to me) on the list Log in to Reply bsd987 May 15, 2007 Aeroplane is both one of the best and one of the worst albums ever made. Yes, it is quite possibly the best release of the 1990s, but it has also revolutionized independent music much to the worse. Of Montreal wouldn’t even sell 1 copy of their last few albums if this were 20 years ago because, quite honestly, it would have been trashed by every critic. But because of NMH, of Montreal is actually one of the better independent bands out there. It should not be this way. NMH and Sunny Day Real Estate, two amazing bands, have ruined independent music because of so many bands trying to imitate them and watering down the music in the process. Anyway, Aeroplane isn’t rock so it should not be on this list at all, but that’s a different story. Log in to Reply Marie May 16, 2007 For Sonic Youth I would say that “Sister” is the classic, but “Daydream Nation” is close second. If Postal Service made the list does that mean that Indie Rock extends to “Indietronic”? In that case I think that the new Plastic Operator album, “Different Places” should make the next list. It kicks ass. Here’s my favourite song from the album for educational purpose only: http://www.speedyshare.com/932383497.html Marie x Log in to Reply bigtimetopbanana May 18, 2007 your blogosphere is distinctly brooklyn……. no Fall, Stone Roses, Buzzcocks, Smiths, Nick Drake, Bjork, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus & Mary Chain, Oasis, Verve, Libertines, or Joy Division? Jeez….. sorry if I’m not being constructive, but Neutral Milk Hotel v My Bloody Valentine? Not even close. Manchester has been the epicenter for Indie music for the last thirty years… any one would think it was the corner of Bedford and 4th…. Log in to Reply Lance May 23, 2007 White Stripes are the only good band. Log in to Reply earache June 17, 2007 “Congratulations to NMH. I donâ€™t have this album (yet), but Iâ€™ve heard it in college a bunch a times, and I promise to get it.” You finished college 6 years before this album was released – or did you go back for another BA? Or fudging your age…? Hmm… Drop me a line. Log in to Reply ekko June 17, 2007 How can I drop you a line if you don’t leave your e-mail? And where do you get a theory about my age from? Log in to Reply drum June 19, 2007 fucking sufjan stevens and the postal service in the same group as pavement and sonic youth? you make me want to neck punch you. Log in to Reply lauren July 12, 2007 actually, i find sufjan stevens and postal service to be an excellent choice it’s a shame you forgot bright eyes. Log in to Reply CWaDD July 29, 2007 This is the worst list ever. The guy writing it (apparently) doesn’t even know shit about indie rock. I mean, it’s obvious from reading it that he didn’t put it together himself, but still he’s like I’ve never heard this one, or I don’t own this one, or I think this one sucks. What a fucking waste. Log in to Reply giramondu August 2, 2007 a list like any others… what about the smiths, joy division, peter murphy, echo & the bunnymen, the cure in seventeen seconds, dream syndicate, bith magnet, dEUS, stone roses, this mortal coil…. modern indie rock was conceived by the velvet underground, implemented by sonic youth and their fellows in the 80’s and finally rebuilt by bands like arcade fire and the postal service in the last years… Log in to Reply cochise August 2, 2007 i think that lifted by bright eyes should be on here. that album is freaking amazing. it just hits every emotion on the spectrum. i like the list though, for the most part. Log in to Reply John August 16, 2007 woahhhh no bright eyes or the smiths? good list though. the album i would put for bright eyes would be I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning…lifted is a little too winey although about half of the album is very good. the smiths debut is one of the best albums and they influenced everyone! i agree with another person that the shins new album (or their debut ) should be on here the list is very good though! Log in to Reply Joe September 21, 2007 I think we all know Goo is the best indy album ever made i think sonic youth pritty much define indy. i love sonic youth Log in to Reply Angie October 14, 2007 In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a brilliant album. Probably one of my favourites. Log in to Reply Eric October 16, 2007 Hmmm I think Radiohead and the Shins deserved a spot somewhere on here. But great list. Log in to Reply John October 17, 2007 ^I wouldn’t really consider Radiohead indie… Log in to Reply superdick October 27, 2007 Bright Eyes fuckin sucks, you people needto shut up it doesn’t deserve to be on the fuckin list. BY the way the best MM album is Moon and Antarctica and 2 other albums made the list, just goes to show how strong MM is. I’m happy to see Fugazi get a spot, repeated is an incredible fucking album, I still listen to it on a consistant basis after 15 fucking years, fucking incredible. SUck a sock you jerk offs, you fucks don’t know shit. suck it. Log in to Reply superdick October 27, 2007 by the way, fucking Ween deserves a spot on every list of everything ever fucking made. Anyways, fuck you all. Log in to Reply superdick October 28, 2007 how in the fuck is nuetral milk hotel even on this fucking list? They are fucking aweful. You people are idiots. Log in to Reply shoebrush101 December 2, 2007 Why would you be ashamed to put Bloc Party on the list, they’ve write such good music, beautiful lyrics as well. Log in to Reply ekko December 2, 2007 Obviously, I agree with you, Shoebrush, but most indie fans would probably say that the album isn’t as good as, say, Slint. Log in to Reply SecyBetry December 6, 2007 mm.. why this page loading so slow? Log in to Reply PCH December 6, 2007 No GBV? Total disgrace. Alien Lanes and Bee Thousand should both be on this list… Log in to Reply Dayton, OH December 7, 2007 What PCH said. Log in to Reply ekko December 7, 2007 Yeah? Well then both of you should have voted! Log in to Reply superdick December 10, 2007 you stupid fucks dont know shit so just shut the fuck up. Log in to Reply ekko December 10, 2007 Superdick- Who are you talking to? Log in to Reply Jens Lekamn December 13, 2007 nice list. i dont understand the cult status with bands like sonic youth. the cd surely didn’t blow my mind, nor does the band. I think the list would be different if the author knew more bands. nada surf “let go” if anyone even gave it a listen, and let it completely grow on them, their minds would be blown. i also think there needs to be room made for the shins on the list. to resolve the discussion about 2007s best album, i will have to say that the shins nor les savy fav deserve that honor. have you not listened to GAGAGAGAGA? the new spoon album has become better and better every time i listen to it and its simply flawless. switching a track on that cd is almost impossible. Log in to Reply therenovator December 13, 2007 He shmukko–the “author” was a bunch of people who voted–blog author didn’t write this list. Why bother to come to the site if you’re not gonna read it? Log in to Reply barfuelontap December 29, 2007 Great to see so many cool bands already there, but I do sorta feel we should have some input from the other side of the Atlantic too. I realise of course that this is all down to not enuff people outside the U.S. voting for these bands, but still… dEUS – Worst Case Scenario is one of the most absorbing albums ever! Stone Roses – The Stone Roses has several stunning songs on. The Cure – Boys don’t Cry and Disintegration are two wonderful albums, full of emotion. Also the BuzzCocks deserve a mention, as do the early Muse albums before Warner got their hands on them. And a couple of other’s that would get my vote: Breeders – Pod is a classic. And by the way, The White Stripes best album is without doubt White Blood Cells. End of. Log in to Reply joe January 1, 2008 all these bads suck….you guys got a weird sense of music o.0 Log in to Reply ekko January 1, 2008 and you have a weird sense of spelling. Log in to Reply lord pim hates thursday January 3, 2008 my two cents. it was nice that you included the minutemen, and pixies twice. but many are left out, and most that are mentioned here would make it seem like alternative music only existed in the past 6 to 8 years. also most of these bands are doing the same thing! not very “alternative” what about ramones? what about Roxy Music? what about lots of bands? it’s as though no one ever did anything but weepy acoustic ballads or smarmy teen angst bullshit. get a grip on the music world. you’ve only got a pinch of it. Log in to Reply nate January 6, 2008 Great blog, but a little international exposure wouldn’t hurt. Yes I realize Arcade fire is from Toronto and Victoria. Log in to Reply SB January 19, 2008 I’m getting a bit old, but Sun Records was the greatest indie label. A one man show that had the first recordings of Howlin Wolf. That would be enough, but they also recorded BB King, Elvis, Jerry lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl perkins, Charlie Rich and others. The label only lasted a decade or so. It’s influence is still reverbrating loud and clear. Log in to Reply Holly February 19, 2008 I think it’s fantastic that Built to Spill, Sonic Youth and Pixies made the list. Sufjan, Belle & Sebby, Modest Mouse, those are all current “indie kid” staples but as a 20something female who wore horn-rimmed glasses back before emo was a house-hold name, it’s nice to see homage paid to some of the original indie rocksters. Log in to Reply Chiggers Dudley March 7, 2008 Obviously this list was made by people born in the 80s and 90s (for the most part). One of the great things of NOT voting (the local newspaper never told me where to vote) is that I can go on this site and be an indie snob equal with all of you. Bands I would have included would be Camper Van Beethoven (Key Lime Pie) The Jesus Lizard (Liar) Whiskeytown (Faithless Street) Uncle Tupelo (all of their albums) The Blue Rags (Eat at Joe’s) Brian Jonestown Massacre (Give it Back) The Decemberists (I’m gonna have to go with Crane’s Wife) The Essex Green (Cannibal Sea or Long Goodbye) Beachwood Sparks (s/t and Once We Were Trees) Mudhoney (pick an album) The Mekons (Fear and Whiskey) M Ward (Transfiguration of…) Marah (20,000 Street..) The Minus Five (Down With Wilco) Mojave 3 (Puzzles Like You or Spoon and Rafter) Ryan Adams (stuff on Bloodshot and Lost Highway) The Sleepy Jackson (Lovers is album that sticks with me though lyrically it’s inane); The Volebeats (sky and the ocean and Mosquito Spiral are excellent albums) The Wrens (Silver – is indie rock 101) Fiery Furnaces (pick any of their albums though many skip Rehearsing my Choir) New Pornographers (you all know them – I pick Mass Romantic) Shudder to Think (Get your Goat) — maybe too emo for some Laura Veirs (Carbon Glacier – fans of Modest Mouse will like this) I can’t include: the Butthole Surfers to save you indie kings and queens a headache; Band of Bees (close – they are the adult Ween); The Frames (also close); Bobby Bare Jr. (Young Criminals is close); The Lemonheads (grew out of their stuff on Taang); Waco Brothers (too consistently country); Langhorne Slim (too new); Magnetic Fields (69 love songs or “i” is close); Old 97’s (close); Sparklehorse (It’s a Wonderful Life is close – though may be on major); Stereolab (emperor tomato ketchup is a good album and a definite college rock album); The Thrills (I’m a sucker for So Much for the City though too embarrassed to put in top 25); The Meat Puppets (early SST sides are interesting); Granddaddy (close) And of course I have to at least mention Sebahoh, Archers of Loaf, Superchunk, Guided by Voices, The Posies, Dinosaur Jr., Young Fresh Fellows, Braniac, Arcwelder, Urge Overkill, Teenage Fanclub, Log in to Reply steve March 16, 2008 wolf parade-apologies to the queen mary should be on there. its only about two years old but if you havent heard you should check it out Log in to Reply francescop1 April 22, 2008 death cab for cutie – we have the facts is the greatest album of all time. Log in to Reply Konrad May 3, 2008 I actually really liked this list. I never like lists like these, but I agree with it for the most part. People have pointed out some noticeable exclusions, but they always will on lists like this (which should be the point, I guess). I believe that Page France and Two Gallants will be on this list in 5 years. Log in to Reply migilgi May 6, 2008 My vote to include Stone Roses debut album. It seems a “last years best indie albums”with someexceptions (great Pavement!). An “ever” list should include more from the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s& even before. Some classics today were indie’s then (Ramones, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Talking heads, Patti Smith, etc). Nice job anyway to discuss largely. Examples: Patti Smith – Horses 1975, Suicide 1977, Ramones debut 1976, Smiths- Queen is dead 1986, The pogues -If I..1988, Cowboy Junkies – trinity session 1988, J&M Chain – Darklands 1987 & many others from Nick Cave, Teenage Fanclub, Radiohead,da,da,da… Log in to Reply skyharness May 10, 2008 No Smiths or Stone Roses?!?!?! A worthless list without their inclusion. Log in to Reply Bacon (is my dog) May 13, 2008 Modest Mouse – Lonesome Crowded West changed my life. I listened to that album for, really, a year straight. It happened for all of us, with one album or another. Some of us, it was the Beatles, and some of us it was Archers of Loaf (I am more inclined toward the Crooked Fingers), and for a whole new group it is going to be N.I.N. (again…). Keep in mind, that although your top album may not have been honored the way you would have liked by the voters in this list, it is no less special to you. Similar to the way you are always special to your mom, but your favorite album is probably not going to cut the crusts off your grilled cheese… Oh, yeah, I guess if anyone finds an album that will cut of the crusts off my grilled cheese let me know. I gotta have it (unless it is Linkin Park – in that case I will cut my own crusts). Good list man! Log in to Reply ... May 27, 2008 mekons Log in to Reply BVan July 31, 2008 Pinback!!! Log in to Reply TdotTim August 3, 2008 Interesting list. Made for a good playlist or 2. The one band that I feel like I should like from what I read but I can’t seem to get into is The Hold Steady. They are similar in style to some other music I like, they get rave reviews from all the right places…yet I still don’t get it…but I’m trying. I think my biggest issue is the singer. Vocals are a key for me with most bands, and I have never really liked singers who talk most of the time instead of singing. That seems to be my issue so far. But I’m not giving up on them yet. Listening to them makes me want to throw on Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket or even Kings of Leon. As for some of the others: I always heard people ranking Slanted as the best Pavement album but I always like Crooked better. Goo is actually my favorite Sonic Youth record, as a couple of others have said as well. And Sufjan I cannot get into in the least. Love Arcade Fire but it’s ranked high now because it’s the most recent big thing in indyland. It will drop with time. I actually much preferred Clap Your Hands Say Yeah overall. LOVE that album! Log in to Reply Chris August 8, 2008 OMG!! NMH!! Only u and Magnet put it at #1. And i think it would be my choice too. The rest I may have sum arguments with (as would most) but I respect the list and am glad u published it. Thanks for this!! Log in to Reply jeff August 22, 2008 Godspeed You! Black Emperor…. denied? Log in to Reply Ryan August 22, 2008 How can you not have My Bloody Valentine on this list? Log in to Reply Elias September 3, 2008 That is no the correct track list for Neutral Milk Hotel. Most of those songs were not even on the record Log in to Reply fuzzy September 23, 2008 no oasis????????? Log in to Reply myke October 30, 2008 i dont think MBV was considered independent, didn’t Loveless bankrupt someones label? Nobody should ever say anything bad about Areoplane over the Sea, And I was hoping to see Eliott smith mentioned more here Log in to Reply Add Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.