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Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

Hey I found out about this list on Stereogum today.


In my honest opinion, I think its shit...not enough variety, but to each his/her own. It reads:

The term "Indie Rock" is undeniably tricky. We challenge anyone to definitively define what is and what is not indie rock--you will fail. For the purposes of compiling this list we've decided to use a combination of hard and fast rules and gut instinct. Our hard and fast rules are listed below, but as for gut instinct--you just kind of have to know. For example: John Oates put out a rock record called Phunk Shui on an indie label, however, in no way should Phunk Shui be mistaken for indie rock. Likewise, Black Flag put out many seminal punk albums on SST, but we're not talking about punk or grunge or classic post-kraut-rock, we're talking about indie rock. Are Black Flag really indie rock? Not to our ears.

Important to note that there was only one album per artist, Guided By Voices, Sonic Youth, and Sebadoh (Liz Phair is cool with this rule), plus no singles or EPs or comps or greatest hits. Dig in:

100 Dangerous Magical Noise - The Dirtbombs
99 Passover - The Black Angels
98 To Survive - Joan As Police Woman
97 Ultimate Alternative Wavers - Built To Spill
96 Trans Am - Trans Am
95 The Discovery Of A World Inside... - The Apples In Stereo
94 Waiter: 'You Vultures!' - Portugal The Man
93 Alligator - The National
92 Horses In The Sky - Silver Mt. Zion
91 Gallowsbird's Bark - The Fiery Furnaces
90 Louden Up Now - (!!! Chk Chik Chick)
89 The Milk-Eyed Mender - Joanna Newsom
88 The Power Out - Electrelane
87 Cure For Pain - Morphine
86 Worn Copy - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
85 Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls
84 Hearts Of Oak - Ted Leo/Pharmacists
83 Save Yourself - Make Up
82 The Last Match - The Aislers Set
81 The Sea and the Bells - Rachel's
80 The Ugly Organ - Cursive
79 De Stijl - The White Stripes
78 Nothing Feels Good - The Promise Ring
77 The Smell Of Our Own - The Hidden Cameras
76 Jane From Occupied Europe - Swell Maps
75 Furnace Room Lullaby - Neko Case
74 The Curtain Hits The Cast - Low
73 The R&B Of Membership - The Delta 72
72 II & III - Camper Van Beethoven
71 Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating... - Spiritualized
70 The Fawn - The Sea And Cake
69 Feast of Wire - Calexico
68 Oh, Inverted World - The Shins
67 Will You Find Me - Ida
66 Milk Man - Deerhoof
65 Coquelicot Asleep In The Poppies... - Of Montreal
64 Rejoicing in The Hands - Devendra Banhart
63 Destroyer's Rubies - Destroyer
62 TNT - Tortoise
61 Neon Golden - The Notwist
60 Daddy's Highway - The Bats
59 Set Yourself On Fire - Stars
58 Fabulous Muscles - Xiu Xiu
57 Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes - TV On The Radio
56 The Decline And Fall Of Heavenly - Heavenly
55 The Mysterious Production of Eggs - Andrew Bird
54 Pussy-Whipped - Bikini Kill
53 Sing No Evil - Half Japanese
52 Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express - The Go Betweens
51 Emperor Tomato Ketchup - Stereolab
50 And Don't The Kids Just Love It - Television Personalities
49 Wild Love - Smog
48 Agaetis Byrjun - Sigur Ros
47 Red House Painters I - Red House Painters
46 Advisory Committee - Mirah
45 How Memory Works - Joan Of Arc
44 On Fire - Galaxie 500
43 On - Imperial Teen
42 Mass Romantic [Remastered] - The New Pornographers
41 Gulag Orkestar - Beirut
40 This Nation's Saving Grace - The Fall
39 You Forgot It In People - Broken Social Scene
38 I Am A Bird Now - Antony & The Johnsons
37 When Your Heartstrings Break - Beulah
36 Our Endless Numbered Days - Iron & Wine
35 Person Pitch - Panda Bear
34 Let's Get Out of This Country - Camera Obscura
33 Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective
32 Let It Be [Expanded Edition] - The Replacements
31 Repeater + 3 Songs - Fugazi
30 Zen Arcade - Hüsker Dü
29 24 Hour Revenge Therapy - Jawbreaker
28 Lift Your Skinny Fists... - godspeed you black emperor!
27 Yellow House - Grizzly Bear
26 The Glow Pt. 2 - The Microphones
25 Black Candy - Beat Happening
24 Funeral - Arcade Fire
23 Moon Pix - Cat Power
22 Diary - Sunny Day Real Estate
21 Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil... - Bright Eyes
20 I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One - Yo La Tengo
19 Kill the Moonlight - Spoon
18 Give Up - The Postal Service
17 Dig Me Out - Sleater-Kinney
16 No Pocky for Kitty - Superchunk
15 I See A Darkness - Bonnie "Prince" Billy
14 We Have The Facts and We're Voting Yes - Death Cab For Cutie
13 Michigan - Sufjan Stevens
12 Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
11 69 Love Songs Volume 1 - The Magnetic Fields
10 Bakesale - Sebadoh
09 Either/Or - Elliott Smith
08 Surfer Rosa - Pixies
07 If You're Feeling Sinister - Belle & Sebastian
06 Slanted & Enchanted - Pavement
05 Imperial f.f.r.r. (Deluxe Edition) - Unrest
04 Exile In Guyville - Liz Phair
03 Spiderland - Slint
02 In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
01 Bee Thousand - Guided By Voices

I do like that they included the Vivian Girls cd and a couple other newer ones, but there is way too much soft listentohomealonewithheadphoneson music at the top of this list & not enough music I can listen to while vandalizing property.

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

My only gripe with that list is a few of their selections from certain artists.

Like, The National: Pick Alligator and not Boxer?!

Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out and not One Beat or The Woods?!

TV On The Radio: DYBB and not Return To Cookie Mountain or Dear Science?!

Sufjan Stevens: Michigan and not Seven Swans or Illinois?!

No Wilco at all?!

It's like they thought 'hey we're making an indie list' so we'd better pick the ones that came out before anyone heard of them over the far superior ones that broke them out.

Interesting to see MPP, only three months old. I'm surprised, based on the other inclusions on the list, they didn't go with Sung Tongs instead.

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

Besides Bill's gripes, which I share, and the fact that Postal Service is ranked WAY too high, this is actually a pretty good list. Nothing in the top 25 that I can argue with except for the one I already mentioned.

The only possibility I can think of for leaving Return To Cookie Mountain out was that it was the major label debut for TV On The Radio, so not technically an indie record. Still, there are other indie records on the list from big labels, so I doubt it. More likely just a bad call.

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

I *hate* the idea that "indie" is a genre now instead of a description of the LABEL a band is signed to. That John Oates album IS "indie rock" as far as I'm concerned.

I think too many people want to make "indie rock" mean "Something you're not cool enough to have heard yet".

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

Wait, I just realized that Dinosaur Jr's You're Living All Over Me isn't on there. Suddenly, the list drops sharply from my favor, even if it does have Fiery Furnaces' Gallowsbird's Bark.

What a glaring, glaring omission.

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

American biased - I've always associated the term 'indie' much more with Britain...

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

95 The Discovery Of A World Inside... - The Apples In Stereo

This stood out to be more than anything. Fun Trick Noisemaker is a classic, and they choose that?

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

The list is generated to sell albums. If all their choices were obvious, the list wouldn't be as effective.

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

Really? Daydream Nation is the 12th best indie album and not the first?

Also, I echo Bill's statement about their choosing unknown albums from famous artists as opposed to the album that made them famous. Kind of lame, but whatever.

Re: Amazon's 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums

The last Apples in Stereo record was their true classic. In fact I'd choose any of their 00s stuff over their 90s records. They didn't have that girl with the cute voice that sang "Rainfall." I was suprised to see Heavenly's The Decline And Fall Of Heavenly rank higher than Le Jardin de Heavenly which is often considered the best twee album not written by Stuart Murdoch.