Beating Nirvana and Oasis...
Holly Frith

10:21 23rd December 2010

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Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ has been named the greatest album of the past 25 years by music fans.

The 1997 album, which features ‘Paranoid Android’ and ‘Karma Police’, topped a recent poll by Q Magazine readers.

Radiohead beat Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ which came second and Oasis took third and fourth place with ‘(What's The Story) Morning Glory?’ and ‘Definitely Maybe’.

‘‘Our readers see OK Computer as the benchmark against which all other albums continue to be judged," Paul Rees, Q's editor-in-chief said.

Meanwhile, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood has moved to clarify reports that work on the band’s new album is nearing completion.

The Top Ten Albums:

‘OK Computer’, Radiohead.
‘Nevermind’, Nirvana.
‘(What's The Story) Morning Glory?’, Oasis.
‘Definitely Maybe’, Oasis.
‘Whatever People Say I Am’, Arctic Monkeys.
‘The Joshua Tree’, U2.
‘The Stone Roses’, The Stone Roses.
‘The Bends’, Radiohead.
‘Achtung Baby’, U2.
‘Black Holes And Revelations’, Muse

The 50 Greatest Albums Of The Millennium

  • 50. M.I.A – ‘Kala’ (2007) Already a classic despite its relatively recent release ‘Kala’ is the sound of an artist running wild with her influences and creating something essential. It’s no wonder that M.I.A is now starting to break the US off the back of this album, it needs to be heard.

  • 49. Badly Drawn Boy - ‘The Hour of The Bewilderbeast’ (2000) The 2000 Mercury Prize winning debut from Manchester’s Badly Drawn Boy aka Damon Gough is still his one masterpiece. Acoustically based but seeing Gough play a plethora of instruments the album tells the tale of a romantic relationship through a dry lyrical wit.

  • 48. Wilco – ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ (2002) Highly influenced by the collaboration of Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Jim O’Rourke at the Noise Pop in San Francisco as the Loose Fur, Wilco’s fourth album was originally given away for free on the bands website after their dismissal from Reprise. Take that Radiohead!!

  • 47. The National – ‘Boxer’ (2007) The National’s second album in our countdown had a lot to live up to following the brilliance of ‘Alligator’ but it didn’t disappoint. Something of a grower it can take several listens before you unearth its downbeat and mysterious brilliance that lies amongst the timid appearance.

  • 46. Arcade Fire – ‘Neon Bible’ (2007) While ‘Neon Bible’ may not reach the unadulterated heights of its predecessor ‘Funeral’ it still stands head and shoulders above the majority of albums released in the past 12 months. Featuring a reworked version of early demo ‘No Cars Go’ it explores the dark recesses of the post 9/11 western world.

  • 45. Bjork – ‘Vespertine’ (2001) The microbeats and samples on ‘Vespertine’ hide what is essentially a very personal album from the Icelandic nymph. With the help of such luminaries as Matthew Herbert and Matmos she created her most essential album and her biggest selling to date.

  • 44. Kings of Leon – ‘Because of the Times’ (2006) Following the relative disappointment and perceived side step of their over-produced second album ‘Aha Shake Heartbreak’, the Fallowill’s moved forward once again on ‘Because Of The Times’. Harmonious, heartfelt all importantly ambitious in its scope it is the sound of a band finding their feet.

  • 43. Amy Winehouse – ‘Back To Black’ (2006) Never mind the drugs, the alcohol and the husband from hell – when it boils down to it Amy Winehouse is still a stunning artist and ‘Back To Black’ is the best pop album released by a British artist this decade and her coming of age.

  • 42. Les Savy Fav – ‘Go Forth’ (2001) Long before the NME were asking ‘Who is Tim Harrington?’ Les Savy Fav were reaching the creative mountaintops with their third full length offering. Gone was the messiness of fans favourite ‘The Cat & The Cobra’ replaced by a more defined article. Simply stunning.

  • 41. Gorillaz – ‘Demon Days’ (2005) A semi-parody of ‘Let It Be’ by four animated monkeys may not sound like the best of prospects but on ‘Demon Days’ Damon Albarn’s simian collective proved they were no gimmick. It also provided them with their biggest hit to date, the Shaun Ryder slurring anthem ‘Dare’.

  • 40. Boards of Canada – ‘Geogaddi’ (2002) The second full length offering by mysterious brothers Michael and Marcus Eoin takes what they started on ‘Music Has The Right To Children’ and goes darker. Strewn throughout with symbolism and subliminal/subconscious messages it can be can be unsettling and fraught with paranoia at times.

  • 39. Thom Yorke – ‘The Eraser’ (2006) He may have ditched his Radiohead compadres for ‘The Eraser’ but Thom Yorke’s debut solo album definitely sings from the same hymn sheet as the likes of ‘Kid A’. Yorke plays with his computer once more to create a taut world of squalling electronics around his own harrowing falsetto.

  • 38. The Streets – ‘Original Pirate Material’ (2002) While Craig David was too busy making love every day of the week, Mike Skinner was taking control of the mic and changing the face of UK Garage. ‘Original Pirate Material’ brought us a grittier side of the scene through geezer tales of real street life.

  • 37. The Rapture – ‘Echoes’ (2003) Like At The Drive-in, The Rapture have a lot to answer for. Off the back of ‘Echoes’ the world was treated to a thousand watered down versions of the New York punk-funk troupe but that doesn’t stop the album being a nailed on classic.

  • 36. Roots Manuva – ‘Run Come Save Me’ (2001) The album that followed his hugely successful, ‘Brand New Second Hand,’ ‘Run Come Save Me,’ contained yet more adventurous hip-hop beats, categorised by the album’s strongest single, 'Witness (One Hope).'

  • 35. Aphex Twin – ‘Drukqs’ (2001) Spilt over two discs, the 30 track long, ‘Drukqs,’ from Aphex Twin was as mesmerising and perplexing musically as the names of the songs on the album when it was released. Following the success of 1999’s, ‘Windowlicker,’ the LP brought Aphex Twin firmly into the 21st Century.

  • 34. Hot Chip – ‘The Warning’ (2006) Containing the band’s two most popular numbers (‘I Wish I Was A Boy From School’ and ‘Over And Over’) ‘The Warning’ turned Hot Chip into one of the most played band’s in indie disco’s across the land. Rumour has it, the follow-up will be even better.

  • 33. Godspeed You Black Emperor – ‘Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven’ (2000) Consisting of four tracks, the fourth album from Godspeed takes on a symphonic format with the composition’s internal movements fading in and out of each other. Regarded amongst one of the heaviest albums of all time, it is a record of orchestral majesty very rarely matched.

  • 32. … And You Will Know Us By The Rail Of Dead – ‘Madonna’ (2000) ‘Madonna,’ …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead’s second album, fulfilled all the promise of their debut, and then some. Emotional and engrossing from start to finish.

  • 31. Outkast – ‘Stankonia’ (2000) It took Outkast a long time to create a commercially successful release. ‘Stankonia’ was the turning point. Containing the truly pioneering lead single, ‘Ms Jackson’ and the album’s 24 songs were just as challenging – not just to hip-hop but to music in general.

  • 30. Interpol – ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’ (2002) One of the NYC movements from the turn of the century, with, ‘Turn On The Bright Lights,’ Interpol brought the sound of the movement right into the ears of the world’s listeners. Whilst Paul Banks’ vocals echo with a ghostly resonance, the music that they transcend is still eye-opening.

  • 29. Sufjan Stevens – ‘(Come On Feel The) Illinoise’ (2005) Sufjan Stevens 2005 album ‘(Come On Feel The) Illinoise’ was Stevens’ second album written about a US state. With his second attempt he turned a difficult concept into a fantastic 22 song LP which received all the critical praise it deserved.

  • 28. Bloc Party – ‘Silent Alarm’ (2005) Bloc Party stamped themselves as indie music’s most indie band with their debut album, ‘Silent Alarm.’ From the empowering and relentless, ‘Helicopter’ to the melting ‘This Modern Love,’ this album is stamped with Bloc Party’s undeniable sound.

  • 27. Midlake – ‘The Trials Of Von Occupanther’ (2006) From multi-part harmonies to lush melodies, ‘The Trials Of Von Occupanther,’ provided the listener with a musical journey which was powered by lyrics which were not just imaginative but also thought provoking as well.

  • 26. M.I.A – ‘Arular’ (2005) Nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, ‘Arular,’ dealt starkly with serious issues whilst still maintaining a poignant musical edge. From hip-hop to tribal to electro, the influences were all apparent and perfectly executed.

  • 25. Daft Punk – ‘Discovery’ (2001) The word pioneer can firmly be attached to Daft Punk, who have taken dance music to more places than many thought it could go. ‘Discovery’ is their masterpiece of the millennium so far, with each track taking the listener on a new, unexpected turn.

  • 24. Radiohead – ‘In Rainbows’ (2007) It’s safe to say that no one was quite expecting ‘In Rainbows’ when it was released via the pioneering manner of allowing fans to name what price they paid for it. One of the band’s most accessible releases to date, it will forever be known for the invigorating way in which it was released.

  • 23. Franz Ferdinand – ‘Franz Ferdinand’ (2004) Moulding Franz’s art-rock influences with some of the most catchy indie melodies of the millennium so far, Franz Ferdinand’s self titled album, pushed by the arena conquer, ‘Take Me Out,’ is an album of diligent brilliance.

  • 22. The White Stripes – ‘White Blood Cells’ (2001) It could be argued that you wouldn’t have The Strokes or The Hives if it wasn’t for The White Stripes’ era defining album, ‘White Blood Cells.’ The LP that gave the band their first real taste of commercial success was helped by the stunning single, ‘Fell In Love With The Girl.’

  • 21. Muse – ‘Black Holes and Revelations’ (2006) From the haunting, galactic sounds of opener ‘Take A Bow’ to the stomping galloping horses of ‘Knights Of Cydonia,’ ‘Black Holes And Revelations,’ reaffirmed Muse as one of the greatest rock bands around. A truly emphatic album on record, a truly EMPHATIC album when witnessed in the flesh.

  • 20. TV on the Radio – ‘Return To Cookie Mountain’ (2006) It’s not often that an album crops up that leaves you speechless thanks to its hypnotic, almost alien rhythms – but Return To Cookie Mountain is one of those records. Dave Sitek and co. produced an opus that was as weird as it was brilliant and a genuine breath of fresh air.

  • 19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Fever To Tell’ (2003) Featuring their finest moment, ‘Maps’, the brilliant ‘Fever To Tell’ propelled Yeah Yeah Yeahs to the status of indie royalty thanks in a large part to inimitable front woman Karen O.

  • 18. Sigur Ros – ‘Takk’ (2005) The Icelandic outfit’s third album builds on their previous efforts, but is a more lavish and grand affair. It contains arguably their best moment too – the absolutely stunning ‘Hoppipola’

  • 17. Grandaddy – ‘The Sophtware Slump’ (2000) A concept album about the increasingly technology obsessed world and man’s futility in the face of it. True, it may sound pretentious on paper, but in reality this was a gorgeous and very humbling record that gets better with time.

  • 16. Eminem – ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ (2000) Whereas The Slim Shady LP showcased flashes of his genius, this, his second and best album, was Eminem’s talent perfectly realised. Fun, inventive and at times incredibly brutal, it’s a work of great depth and one that Mr Mathers is going to find damn difficult to top.

  • 15. The Libertines – ‘Up The Bracket’ (2002) Despite their later troubles, Carl Barat and Pete Doherty proved they were a match made in heaven with their devastatingly brilliant debut – an album they’ve tried to emulate in their respective guises, but have so far spectacularly failed.

  • 14. LCD Soundsystem – ‘LCD Soundsystem’ (2005) Sounding like a curious hybrid of Talking Heads and Kraftwerk, James Murphy and co. borrowed from the old to create something new and fresh. Repetition has never sounded so good.

  • 13. Arctic Monkeys – ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ (2006) From Sheffield they came and conquered. The fastest selling British album (until Ms Leona Lewis came along), was a blitzkrieg of stupidly good tunes, witty, pertinent observations and lashings of humour and individuality.

  • 12. PJ Harvey – ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’ (2000) Easily Ms Harvey’s most sexed up, brooding, brash and confident album, ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’ is nothing short of a revelation. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke bolstered some tracks too – we can’t say further than that.

  • 11. The Avalanches – ‘Since I Left You’ (2001) Not so much an album of separate songs, but over an hour of collaged samples, insane noise and quite stunning tunes combine to create a strangely coherent and unique record. Quite what’s taking them so long with the follow-up, we’ll never know.

  • 10. Dizzee Rascal – ‘Boy In Da Corner’ (2003) Released at the unfeasibly young age of 18, Dizzee Rascal proved he was a prodigious talent with his searing debut album, which tackled gritty real life in London like never before.

  • 9. Queens of the Stone Age – ‘Rated R’ (2000) “Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol… C-C-C-COCAINE!” was Josh Homme’s beckoning call on one of the many album highlights ‘Feelgood Hit Of The Summer’ – apt for a serotonin rush of an album that’s enduring brilliance lasts. An intelligent record of gargantuan rock tunes.

  • 8. The Flaming Lips – ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots’ (2002) Many felt that The Lips’ previous effort ‘The Soft Bulletin’ quite simply couldn’t be topped, but they were wholly wrong. A wondrously constructed concept album about the adventures of a young girl named Yoshimi, it’s a startling record that confirms Wayne Coyne’s status as a bona fide genius.

  • 7. Radiohead – ‘Kid A’ (2001) Partly inspired by the band’s obsession with the Warp label, and partly as a direct reaction to the overbearing critical acclaim of OK Computer, Radiohead divided their fans with this experimental opus. Whatever side of the fence you sit on, ‘Kid A’ is inescapably one of the most important albums of recent times – yet another for the inimitable Oxford outfit.

  • 6. Primal Scream – ‘XTRMNTR’ (2000) Released in the very first month of the new millennium, ‘XTRMNTR’ is very much a landmark album that arguably tops the dizzy peaks of ‘Screamadelica’ a decade earlier. Electronic-tinged, fizzing with energy and political clout, it’s a tour-de-force that overshadows Primal Scream’s nauseatingly boring subsequent records.

  • 5. Jay-Z – ‘The Blueprint’ (2001) Fusing Jay-Z’s dextrous rhymes with soul samples, slickly produced grooves and a genuine positivity, ‘The Blueprint’ is a triumph in every possible sense and is an album that has been copied by many, but never topped.

  • 4. The Knife – ‘Silent Shout’ (2006) Abandoning the kitsch, dirty electro-pop of their previous effort ‘Deep Cuts’, The Knife travelled down much darker electronic avenues with their groundbreaking third album. On the first spin it’s baffling, second it’s intriguing, but many listens in and you realise that Karin and Olaf Dreijer have concocted a masterpiece of their genre.

  • 3. Arcade Fire – ‘Funeral’ (2005) They may hail from the country that gave us Brian Adams and Celine Dion, but everything about Arcade Fire wreaks of beauty, grandiose brilliance and touching poignancy. Seemingly out of nowhere they delivered an album of startling brilliance, that tugged at the heartstrings of millions.

  • 2. The Strokes – ‘Is This It’ (2001) Receiving the kind of blanket critical acclaim that Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ received four years earlier, ‘Is This It’ quickly became a defining album of recent times. As well as making skinny jeans trendy again, the New York five-piece almost single-handedly made guitar music cool again and paved the way for countless other bands. An irrefutable classic.

  • 1. At The Drive-In – ‘Relationship Of Command’ (2000) Inventive, challenging and invigorating, seven years on and ‘Relationship of Command’ is still a howling beast of a record that in an unassuming way has carved its own, cult niche in rock history. It may not have shifted as many units nor had the transparent influence of ‘Is This It’, but it gets the pulse racing like no other release this side of millennium. For that reason alone, it tops our list.

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