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 listed albums I’ve already reviewed on this site. I don’t know some years very well – I’m dubious about including veteran artists in a couple of 1990s slots, and I don’t know the 2008-2012 era well enough for informed choices.

Amazingly, it took until 2022 for an artist to win take the title for best album for multiple years. Unlucky artists include The Replacements, Stevie Wonder, Tom Waits, Randy Newman, and Jamila Woods.


1963: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
1964: Out to Lunch by Eric Dolphy
1965: A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
1966: Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
1967: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
1968: Odessey & Oracle by The Zombies
1969: Liege & Lief by Fairport Convention


Bruce Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town

1970: After The Gold Rush by Neil Young
1971: Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones
1972: Close to the Edge by Yes
1973: A Wizard, A True Star by Todd Rundgren
1974: Radio City by Big Star (Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell is very unlucky here – it’s my 4th favourite album of all time….)
1975: Another Green World by Brian Eno
1976: Station to Station by David Bowie
1977: Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
1978: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen
1979: Into the Music by Van Morrison


1980: Remain in Light by Talking Heads
1981: Pirates by Rickie Lee Jones
1982: Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello & the Attractions
1983: Murmur by R.E.M.
1984: Zen Arcade by Hüsker Dü
1985: Hounds of Love by Kate Bush
1986: The Colour of Spring by Talk Talk (Skylarking by XTC is very unlucky here – it’s also in my all-time top ten….)
1987: The Joshua Tree by U2
1988: 16 Lovers Lane by The Go-Betweens
1989: Hats by The Blue Nile


1990: Jordan: The Comeback by Prefab Sprout
1991: Trompe Le Monde by the Pixies
1992: Slanted and Enchanted by Pavement
1993: Together Alone by Crowded House
1994: Illmatic by Nas
1995: Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris
1996: Ten Easy Pieces by Jimmy Webb
1997: The Mollusk by Ween
1998: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
1999: Ágætis Byrjun by Sigur Rós


2000: Kid A by Radiohead
2001: Here Come The Miracles by Steve Wynn
2002: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco
2003: 加爾基 精液 栗ノ花 (Kalk samen kuri no hana) by Sheena Ringo
2004: Funeral by Arcade Fire
2005: Twin Cinema by The New Pornographers
2006: Boys and Girls in America by The Hold Steady
2007: Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem
2008: April by Sun Kil Moon
2009: The Whirlwind by Transatlantic


2010: The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe
2011: Let England Shake by PJ Harvey
2012: Devotion by Jessie Ware
2013: Modern Vampires Of The City by Vampire Weekend
2014: 1989 by Taylor Swift
2015: Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
2016: I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It by The 1975
2017: Preservation by Nadia Reid
2018: Be The Cowboy by Mitski
2019: U.F.O.F. by Big Thief


2020: 真っ黒 [Makkuro] by Tricot
2021: Valentine by Snail Mail
2022: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You by Big Thief

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  1. I only have two in common with you I think. Sgt Pepper and Station to Station. And possibly LCD Sound System, but I’m not sure I did one for that year

  2. Not sure if you are interested:)
    Your pick for 1989 led me to re-listen to Hats again, and now we have 10 and not 9 in common… I already liked it (but I now think it’s ‘great’ rather than just ‘really good). Was behind The Sensual World, which I kinda think you underrate…

    • A lot of people love Sensual World – I’m well aware that I’m an outlier. I didn’t hear Blue Nile until relatively recently- I always read about them but didn’t get to hear them until the streaming era.

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