The 1975: Albums Ranked from Worst to Best

The members of The 1975 met at Wilmslow High School in their teens, playing at gigs organised by a local council worker. They started as a punk band, with Matt Healy, the son of two prominent actors, on drums. With the addition of George Daniel, Healy moved to lead vocals, and the band built their career with a series of EPs.

Matt Healy’s underrated as a vocalist – his malleable and expressive voice allows the band to tackle a range of genres, from gospel to punk. He’s a razor-sharp lyricist – songs like ‘Love It If We Made It’, with its lines about how “modernity has failed us”, make him a spokesman for a disaffected generation. The 1975 are clearly dedicated music fans – touchstones for their latest record include Lou Reed’s Street Hassle, Paul Simon’s Graceland, and LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver.

The 1975’s quirks are adorable – every album begins with an introductory track titled ‘The 1975’, and they have the most pretentious portfolio of album titles in popular music – the band set the record for the longest title for a Billboard #1 album with 2016’s I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It. Most importantly, they’ve been able to balance mass popularity – all of their albums to date have topped the UK charts – with making consistently interesting music.

The 1975 recently released the succinct and accessible Being Funny in a Foreign Language. Here are their five studio albums to date, ranked from worst to best. Worst is a relative term – all five of The 1975’s albums released to date are strong.

The 1975: Albums Ranked from Worst to Best

#5 The 1975

The band’s self-titled debut is one-dimensional in comparison with the eclectic road they’ve travelled since. There’s the odd foray into ephemera, like the 1980s synth-pop of ‘Heart Out’ and the delicate closer ‘Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You’. But most of the notable songs are in the same style – funky pop/rock like ‘The City’, ‘Chocolate’, and ‘Girls’, echoing INXS. But it’s a solid debut, paving the way for a string of impressive and top-selling outings.

#4 A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

Due to its more digestible length (less than an hour!), A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships enjoyed more critical acclaim than much of the band’s work. Despite the shorter length, it’s more uneven than usual. Take away the sublime singles like ‘Love It If We Made It’, ‘Sincerity is Scary’, and ‘TooTimeTooTimeTooTime’, and the deep cuts are less impressive than we’ve come to expect from The 1975. Healy’s monologue on ‘The Man Who Married a Robot’ doesn’t hold up to repeated listens.

#3 Being Funny in a Foreign Language

The 1975’s fifth album is their most tightly constructed, with only 11 tracks and a succinct running time. Being Funny abandons The 1975’s usual eclecticism to focus on a sophisticated, 1980s-tinged sound, with assistance from ubiquitous producer Jack Antonoff. Despite the shorter tracklist, there’s plenty to impress. Healy’s lyrics have never been more fascinating. “I like my men like I like my coffee/Full of soy milk and so sweet, it won’t offend anybody” is a great line from the lead single, ‘Part of the Band’. Healy’s deeper vocal register on the record is gorgeous, and their mellow songs like ‘Wintering’ and ‘Human Too’ have never been so stripped-back and vulnerable.

#2 Notes on a Conditional Form

The band’s fifth album follows the precedent of 2016’s I Like It When You Sleep… – a sprawling 80-minute record that covers an astounding amount of musical ground. If anything it’s more diverse, ranging from the screamo punk of ‘People’, the Temptations sampling on ‘Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy)’, the shoegaze of ‘Then Because She Goes’, to the acoustic country of ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America’. It takes some patience, but there’s an embarrassment of riches on Notes on a Conditional Form.

#1 I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It

The 1975’s first album was impressive, but their second set the tone for their career, a sprawling and ambitious collection of songs. It reaches high, but almost invariably hits its targets – the graceful resignation of ‘Somebody Else’, the stadium anthem of ‘The Sound’, and the questioning of ‘If I Believe You’ cover a lot of emotional ground. I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It is the crowning achievement in an impressive career.

What’s your favourite album by The 1975?

What Is Your Favourite Album by The 1975?

Read More


Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.


  1. Right, so I know them pretty well, but not so many of the deep cuts.

    I like 1. Chocolate 2. Somebody else 3. Love it if we made it. And so on. Good stuff.

    The recent songs seem good, but the very strange single release from the 2020 album is quite confusing and did not last on the Indy airwaves.

    “It’s not living if it’s not with you” is either an intentional or uninitintional nod to Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a place on earth”.

    My daughter took me to the show last summer. Legit Indy/alt band, but it was all young girls screaming for him. Plus their boyfriends and dads (like me). He’s a great performer live.

    • Chocolate was a late cut from my list.

      Are you talking about ‘People’ as the weird release that didn’t stick around?

      They’re coming to NZ next year – I’m kind of tempted.

  2. Even though I understand they are pretty famous, I only know the 1975 by name. I sampled all of the tunes in your playlist. I can’t really say it’s love at first sight. I guess the two tunes that speak the most to me are “Girls” and “She’s American”.

    • Thanks for listening. The 1975 do seem to appeal mostly to younger listeners – something I don’t totally understand since they’re clearly mining the 1980s.

  3. I’ve heard of them but the name is odd…they should have been called The 1985. If You’re Too Shy…has a Phil Collins sound.
    I went to your page and it said 1 vote but I had no place I could check anything. I tried a different browser as well. I saw the below but no way of selecting anything.

    What Is The Best 1975 Album?

    I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It (100%, 1 Votes)
    The 1975 (0%, 0 Votes)
    A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (0%, 0 Votes)
    Notes on a Conditional Form (0%, 0 Votes)
    Being Funny in a Foreign Language (0%, 0 Votes)
    Total Voters: 1

    • Weird – the poll thing is brand new. The one vote is mine and it looks ok if I try in a different browser. I don’t see where I can fi it so I might leave it a few days and see if any other responses drift in.

      • I just logged in at work with Firefox…not logged in as a user and it worked. I then tried Chrome at work signed in…and it worked! I’ll just check (I won’t vote again) when I get home. I had tried Chrome and Edge last night.

Leave a Reply

More from Aphoristic Album Reviews

Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person.

Default image
Aphoristical View Profile
Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.

Review Pages

Read about the discographies of musical acts from the 1960s to the present day. Browse this site's review archives or enjoy these random selections:

Brian Eno Another Green World
100 Best Albums of All Time

Here are my 100 favourites from the albums that I’ve reviewed on this site to date. A few longtime favourites […]
Talk Talk Spirit of Eden
Best Album by Year

Recently, a reader suggested that I list my favourite albums by year. So here you are – I’ve mostly only […]
Laura Nyro Album Reviews

New York’s Laura Nyro wrote a batch of hit songs in in the late 1960s, and is an inductee into […]
Gillian Welch

Americana artist Gillian Welch was born in New York and adopted by a pair of comedy music entertainers. Welch later […]
Stevie Wonder Fulfillingness First Finale
1970s Album Reviews

The 1970s are beloved by music nerds; artists in a variety of genres cranked out a 40-minute album every year. […]
Nadia Reid

Singer-songwriter Nadia Reid hails from Port Chalmers, a port suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand, that’s known for alternative life-stylers and […]

Blog Posts

I add new blog posts to this website every week. Browse the archives or enjoy these random selections:

Crowded House The Very Best Of Recurring Dream
Neil Finn's Five Best Albums

Until the emergence of Lorde, song-smith Neil Finn was New Zealand’s most recognisable pop export. Born in Te Awamutu, Finn […]
Bob Dylan's Best Albums of the 1960s: Ranked

Bob Dylan needs no introduction – he’s one of the key figures in rock music. He helped to define the […]
Talk Talk Albums: Ranked from Worst to Best

Formed in 1981, London’s Talk Talk enjoyed an unusual career trajectory. They started their record career as a passable synth-pop […]
The Go-Betweens Send Me A Lullaby
The Go-Betweens: Albums Ranked from Worst To Best

Brisbane’s The Go-Betweens are one of my favourite bands, but it’s sometimes difficult to explain their appeal. Robert Forster and […]
10 Biggest Snubs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

If I were in charge, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would have capped membership years ago. There’d be […]
The Replacements Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash
The Replacements Albums: Ranked from Worst to Best

During ten anarchic years, The Replacements recorded a ton of wonderful Paul Westerberg songs, self-sabotaged their career, and never achieved […]