Search Results : (AMBIENT)

Feb 062018
 

A selection of more than one thousand albums/recordings I consider essential, from 1923 to the present. Click the decade link to view the whole decade in one page or click the single year.

New! View it in Google Sheets.

The lists:

Notes about the lists:

  • This is a work in progress.
  • The lists are focused on rock music, including roots and derivative genres. So they cover other genres as well, even if not extensively, in those cases where the content is considered influential for rock music.
  • The first section (Early blues, jazz, folk and rock ‘n’ roll) includes mostly compilations. The other lists include albums only, although there are few exceptions.
  • They include 10 main albums per year (at least starting from 1964) plus a variable number of notable albums listed after (I’m more “generous” in the last decade). The release date is reported between the parenthesis and the albums are sorted by that date, unless specification indicates otherwise.
  • Straight blues is covered more extensively here: Blues recordings selection.
  • The following acronyms are used to identify some minority genres or nationalities:

Album covers selected from the lists above, one for each year:

 

Dec 102017
 

Rank order:

  1. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper (October 20)(DOOM)
  2. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Async (April 28)
  3. Fen – Winter (March 10)(BM)
  4. Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven (September 22)(BM)
  5. Drudkh / Paysage d’Hiver – Somewhere Sadness Wanders (August 25)(BM)
  6. Rosalía – Los Ángeles (February 10)(FLAMENCO)
  7. Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spoon (September 22)
  8. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers (September 22)
  9. Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar (April 7)
  10. Auðn – Farvegir Fyrndar (November 10)(BM)

Others, release date order:

  • The xx – I See You (January 13)
  • Piano Magic – Closure (January 20)
  • Moon Duo – Occult Architecture Vol 1 (February 3)
  • Tinariwen – Elwan (February 10)(AFRICA)
  • Lawrence English – Cruel Optimism (February 17)(AMBIENT)
  • Grails – Chalice Hymnal (February 17)
  • Dool – Here Now, There Then (February 17)
  • Vagabon – Infinite Worlds (February 24)
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Don’t Get Lost (February 24)
  • Jay Som – Everybody Works (March 10)
  • Planning For Burial – Below The House (March 10)
  • Yasmine Hamdan – Al Jamilat (March 17)(LEBANON)
  • Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me (March 24)
  • Falls of Rauros – Vigilance Perennial (March 31)(BM)
  • Robyn Hitchcock – Robyn Hitchcock (April 21)
  • The Black Angels – Death Song  (April 22)
  • Mark Lanegan Band – Gargoyle (April 28)
  • Flowers Must Die – Kompost (April 28)
  • Slowdive – Slowdive (May 5)
  • Perfume Genius – No Shape (May 5)
  • Hampshire & Foat – Galaxies Like Grains of Sand (May 26)(JAZZ)
  • Big Thief – Capacity (June 9)
  • Flotation Toy Warning – The Machine That Made Us (June 16)
  • Offa Rex – The Queen of Hearts (July 7)(BRITISH)
  • Lana Del Rey – Lust For Life (July 21)
  • Oh Sees – Orc (August 25)
  • Der Weg Einer Freiheit – Finisterre (August 25)(BM)
  • LCD Soundsystem – American Dream (September 1)
  • The Dream Syndicate – How Did I Find Myself Here? (September 8)
  • Gregg Allman – Southern Blood (September 8)
  • The National – Sleep Well Beast (September 8)
  • Motorpsycho – The Tower (September 8)
  • Myrkur – Mareridt (September 15)(BM)
  • The Horrors – V (September 22)
  • UUUU – s/t (October 6)
  • Yellow Eyes – Immersion Trench Reverie (October 20)(BM)
  • Julien Baker – Turn Out the Lights (October 27)
  • Converge – The Dusk in Us (November 3)
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest (November 17)(FRANCE)

Reissues/Compilations:

  • Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 (Compilation, June 23)

EPs:

  • VANUM – Burning Arrow (EP, April 1)(BM)
  • Oranssi Pazuzu – Kevät / Värimyrsky (EP, April 12)(BM)

« Best albums of 2016
» Best albums of 2018

Mar 022016
 

Release date order:

  1. Notwist – Neon Golden (January 14)
  2. Sunn O))) – Flight Of The Behemoth (January 22)(DRONE)
  3. Cerberus Shoal – Mr Boy Dog (March 5)
  4. Black Tape for a Blue Girl – The Scavenger Bride (April 23)
  5. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (April 23)
  6. Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights (August 19)
  7. Aimee Mann – Lost In Space (August 27)
  8. Low – Trust (September 24)
  9. Sigur Rós – ( ) (October 28 )
  10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Yanqui UXO (November 4)

Others:

  • 16 Horsepower – Folklore (August 6)(FOLK)
  • Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf (August 27)
  • Porcupine Tree – In Absentia (September 24)
  • Steve Roach – Darkest Before Dawn (December 1)(AMBIENT)
  • Calexico – Scraping (?)

« Best albums of 2001
» Best albums of 2003

Mar 022016
 

Release date order:

  1. Low – Things We Lost In The Fire (January 21)
  2. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – No More Shall We Part (April 2)
  3. Mark Lanegan – Field Songs (May 8)
  4. Radiohead – Amnesiac (June 4)(ELECTRONIC)
  5. The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (July 3)
  6. Muse – Origin Of Symmetry (July 17)
  7. Lofty Pillars – Amsterdam (September 18)
  8. Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions – Bavarian Fruit Bread (October 23)
  9. Robert Rich – Somnium (?)(AMBIENT)
  10. Steve Wynn – Here Come The Miracles (?)

Others:

  • Stars of the Lid – The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid (October 29)(AMBIENT)

Released posthumously:

  • Various artists – Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, 1964–1969 (Compilation, June 19; recordings: 1964–1969)
  • Parson Sound: Parson Sound (?; recorded 1966-1968)

« Best albums of 2000
» Best albums of 2002

Mar 012016
 

Release date order:

  1. The Black Heart Procession – 1 (January 1)
  2. June Of 44 – Four Great Points (January 20)
  3. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (February 10)
  4. Dirty Three – Ocean Songs (March 31)
  5. Massive Attack – Mezzanine (April 20)(ELECTRONIC)
  6. Calexico – The Black Light (May 19)
  7. Mercury Rev – Deserter’s Songs (September 19)
  8. Cat Power – Moon Pix (September 22)
  9. Robert Rich – Seven Veils (?)(AMBIENT)
  10. Six Organs of Admittance – Six Organs of Admittance (?)

Others:

  • Air – Moon Safari (January 16)(ELECTRONIC)
  • Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis (January 26)
  • Madonna – Ray of Light (February 22)
  • Eels – Electro-Shock Blues (September 21)
  • Robert Rich – Below Zero (?)(AMBIENT)
  • Yume Bitsu – Giant Surface Music Falling to Earth Like Jewels from the Sky (?)

« Best albums of 1997
» Best albums of 1999

Feb 292016
 

Release date order:

  1. P.J. Harvey – To Bring You My Love (February 27)
  2. Ulver – Bergtatt, Et eeventyr i 5 capitler (February)(BM)
  3. Bardo Pond – Bufo Alvarius, Amen 29:15 (March 1)
  4. Laika – Silver Apples of the Moon (March 28)(ELECTRONIC)
  5. Flying Saucer Attack – Further (April 17)
  6. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Methodrone (August 25)
  7. Sparklehorse – Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot (August)
  8. Don Caballero – Don Caballero 2 (September 15)
  9. Low – Long Division (?)
  10. Robert Rich / Lustmord – Stalker (?)(AMBIENT)

Others:

  • Morphine – Yes (March 21)
  • King Crimson – Thrak (March 31)
  • Mermen – A Glorious Lethal Euphoria (May 1)
  • Supergrass – I Should Coco (May 15)
  • Primus – Tales From The Punchbowl (May 23)
  • Dirty Three – Dirty Three (July 25)
  • Robert Fripp – A Blessing of Tears: 1995 Soundscapes, Vol. 2 (August 18)(AMBIENT)
  • Sonic Youth – Washing Machine (September 26)
  • Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (October 23)
  • Dirty Three – Sad & Dangerous (?)
  • David Torn – Tripping Over God (?)
  • June Of 44 – Engine Takes To The Water (?)
  • Madredeus – Ainda (?)(PORTUGAL)
  • Massimo Volume – Lungo i bordi (?)(ITALIA)

« Best albums of 1994
» Best albums of 1996

Feb 152016
 

Release date order:

  1. Primus – Frizzle Fry (February 7)
  2. Depeche Mode – Violator (March 19)
  3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Good Son (April 16)
  4. Fugazi – Repeater (April 19)
  5. Mazzy Star – She Hangs Brightly (May 21)
  6. Mark Lanegan – The Winding Sheet (May)
  7. Codeine – Frigid Stars (August)
  8. Lustmord – Heresy (?)(AMBIENT)
  9. Marc Ribot – Rootless Cosmopolitans (?)
  10. Thin White Rope – Sack Full of Silver (?)

Others:

  • Lou Reed / John Cale – Songs For Drella (April 11)
  • The Breeders – Pod (May 28)
  • Ozric Tentacles – Erpland (June 25)
  • Robert Rich / Steve Roach – Strata (August 20)(AMBIENT)
  • Phish – Lawn Boy (September 21)
  • Ivano Fossati – Discanto (September)(ITALIA)
  • Ride – Nowhere (October 15)
  • Helmet – Strap It On (?)
  • Jesus Lizard – Head (?)
  • Ismael Rivera – Sonero Numero #1 (Compilation, ?)(LATIN)

« Best albums of 1989
» Best albums of 1991

Feb 152016
 

Release date order:

  1. The Flaming Lips – Telepathic Surgery (January 3)
  2. The Cure – Disintegration (May 2)
  3. Pixies – Doolittle (April 17)
  4. Peter Gabriel – Passion (June 5)
  5. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Automatic (October 9)
  6. Primus – Suck on This (November)
  7. The Dream Syndicate – Live at Raji’s (?)
  8. Robert Rich – Rain Forest (?)(AMBIENT)
  9. Slint – Tweez (?)
  10. The New Christs – Distemper (?)

Others:

  • The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (May 2)
  • Nirvana – Bleach (June 15)
  • Bob Dylan – Oh Mercy (September 18)
  • Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine (October 20)
  • Bad Religion – No Control (November 2)
  • Galaxie 500 – On Fire (?)
  • The Telescopes – Taste (?)

« Best albums of 1988
» Best albums of 1990

Feb 152016
 

Release date order:

  1. Lou Reed – New York (January 10)
  2. Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire (February)
  3. Pixies – Surfer Rosa (March 21)
  4. Talk Talk – Spirit Of Eden (September 16)
  5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey (September 19)
  6. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation (October 18)
  7. My Bloody Valentine – Isn’t Anything (November 21)
  8. Dinosaur Jr. – Bug (October 31)
  9. Steve Roach – Dreamtime Return (?)(AMBIENT)
  10. Thin White Rope – In The Spanish Cave (?)

Others:

  • The Pogues – If I Should Fall from Grace with God (January 18)(CELTIC)
  • The Church – Starfish (February 16)
  • N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton (August 8)(HIP-HOP)
  • Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking (August 23)
  • Bad Religion – Suffer (September 8)
  • Syd Barrett – Opel (Compilation, October 17)
  • R.E.M. – Green (November 7)
  • Eleventh Dream Day – Prairie School Freakout (?)
  • The Steppes – Stewdio (?)
  • Van Morrison – Irish Heartbeat (?)(CELTIC)

« Best albums of 1987
» Best albums of 1989

Feb 132016
 

Release date order:

  1. Hoodoo Gurus – Stoneage Romeos (March)
  2. Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth (March)
  3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – From Her To Eternity (June 18)
  4. Violent Femmes – Halloweed Ground (June)
  5. Hüsker Dü – Zen Arcade (July)
  6. Minutemen – Double Nickels On The Dime (July)
  7. Cocteau Twins – Treasure (November 1)
  8. Butthole Surfers – Psychic Powerless (December)
  9. The Dream Syndicate – Medicine Show (?)
  10. Steve Roach – Structures from Silence (?)(AMBIENT)

Others:

  • Pretenders – Learning To Crawl (January 9)
  • Black Flag – My War (March)
  • Fabrizio De André – Crêuza de mä (March)(ITALIA)
  • Meat Puppets – Meat Puppets II (April)
  • The Replacements – Let It Be (October 2)
  • Paolo Conte – Paolo Conte (October 23)(ITALIA)
  • The Smiths – Hatful of Hollow (Compilation, November 12)
  • Diaframma – Siberia (December 5)(ITALIA)
  • Robyn Hitchcock – I Often Dream of Trains (?)
  • Plasticland – Plasticland (?)

« Best albums of 1983
» Best albums of 1985