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The Best Best Music Lists of 2005?


My own Best Music of 2005? posting didn’t elicit many comments (does anyone read the front page anymore or are you all too busy down the Pub?), so I thought I would comment on Uncut magazine’s Best New Albums of 2005 instead. I’m probably not the first to notice that only one English act featured among the writers’ Top 10 (the, ahem, Rolling Stones), only one Scottish act likewise (Franz Ferdinand), and that the other eight acts were all from either Canada (including the winners, Arcade Fire) or the USA… Bear in mind that Uncut is a British magazine, presumably with a certain amount of national pride at stake, and this suggests a rather sorry state of affairs for those who believe that ever since the Beatles invaded America, the Brits own bragging rights to all things rock.

A quick scroll through the rest of the Uncut Top 50 barely ups the ante: I counted only 14 acts in total that could possibly claim to be flying the British flag, and that includes American-guested Gorillaz, New York-based Anthony and The Johnsons, Dublin’s HAL, and Sri Lankan born M.I.A.

So: Does Uncut have its finger on the (weakening British) pulse? Or is it unfairly slanted towards American acts for whatever editorial intents and purposes? Is the UK holding its own into 2006? Or has America once again wielded its empirical imperial status to claim your ‘Best Of’ List too?

FuneralArcade Fire: Don’t Call Them A Mericans

If you don’t work but have access to a computer (like most of those who spend all day in the iJamming! Pub), you may want to check out this link at djmartian’s reputable blog: he’s assembled 380 (and counting) Best of 2005 Lists. Martian has my chart sandwiched between a remarkably credible countdown of electronic music courtesy of German online zine thelastbeat.com (one that pretty much answers my own Pub request for Best Electronic Tracks of 2005), and a Top 66 courtesy of Bravewords – not, sadly a Chills web site, but a heavy metal ‘zine out of Canada.

DJ Martian has yet to come up with a formula to assemble all these Best Of Lists into one categorical, heirachal, definitive list. But one link below the Bravewords list, the HMV UK – Music Polls page appears to have done the job for him. Listing several 2005 End of Year Charts from the major British music mags and assembling them into one master chart called Poll of Polls, HMV concludes that the ‘Best’ Album of 2005 was, you guessed it,Funeral by Arcade Fire. An album that featured heavily in most polls a full year ago – in North America, of course.

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Discussion

3 Comment(s)

  1. 6 January, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    My research is qualitative rather quantitative

    However you may be interested in Stefan at Acclaimed Music Forum that is compiling quantitative analysis of 2005 Music Lists

    http://pub37.bravenet.com/forum/3172289350/show/580641

    NEW!!! UPDATE JAN 4TH : BEST ALBUMS OF 2005 (NOW INCLUDING 150 LISTS)

    NEXT UPDATE ON JANUARY 18TH

  2. snotty moore

    11 January, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about Uncut missing the point. They’ll probably spot just how much interesting music came out of Britain in 2005 in three or four years. But where did all these Canadians come from?

  3. 13 January, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    DJ Martian

    Thanks for posting. I don’t know how you find time given everything that goes into your site. I don’t know if using the word “qualitative” means that your links are included only on basis of quality, but if so, thanks.

    Presumably, Strefan over at the Acclaimed Music Forum – your link above – has more time on his hands than either you or me!

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