XFM and NME have joined forces to bring you their user poll, counting down the 50 greatest anthems in indie rock (criteria? your guess is as good as ours). You could try and guess which band delivered the #1 single … or you could take the over/under on the number of Oasis tracks to make the cut, which we’ve set at 5. Good luck!

50 My Bloody Valentine – ’You Made Me Realise’
49 The Rapture – ’House Of Jealous Lovers’
48 Sonic Youth – ’Bull In The Heather’
47 The Libertines – ’Up The Bracket’
46 Dinosaur Jr – ’Freak Scene’
45 The La’s – ’There She Goes’
44 The Stone Roses – ’Love Spreads’
43 Suede – ’Animal Nitrate’
42 The Cribs – ’Hey Scenesters’
41 Blur – ’Parklife’
40 Klaxons – ’Golden Skans’

39 Oasis – ’Champagne Supernova’
38 Pixies – ’Gigantic’
37 Kasabian – ’LSF’
36 Kaiser Chiefs – ’I Predict A Riot’
35 Pixies – ’Monkey Gone To Heaven’
34 Radiohead – ’Just’
33 The Killers – ’Mr Brightside’
32 The Stone Roses – ’Fool’s Gold’
31 Oasis – ’Cigarettes & Alcohol’
30 Manic Street Preachers – ’A Design For Life’
29 Arcade Fire – ’Rebellion (Lies)’
28 Pavement – ’Cut Your Hair’
27 Oasis -’ Wonderwall’
26 Radiohead – ’Creep’
25 Oasis – ’Supersonic’
24 Babyshambles – ’Fuck Forever’
23 The Gossip – ’Standing In The Way Of Control’
22 The Breeders – ’Cannonball’
21 The Smiths – ’Panic’
20 Joy Division – ’Transmission’
19 Joy Divison – ’Love Will Tear Us Apart’
18 The Verve – ’Bitter Sweet Symphony’
17 The Stone Roses – ’I Wanna Be Adored’
16 Franz Ferdinand – ’Take Me Out’
15 Blur – ’Song 2′
14 Oasis – ’Don’t Look Back In Anger’
13 The Libertines – ’Can’t Stand Me Now’
12 The Stone Roses – ’She Bangs The Drums’
11 The Smiths – ’This Charming Man’
10 Arctic Monkeys – ’I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
09 The Strokes – ’Last Nite’
08 The Stone Roses – ’I Am The Resurrection’
07 The Smiths – ’How Soon Is Now?’
06 The Libertines – ’Time For Heroes’
05 The Libertines – ’Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’
04 The Smiths – ’There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’
03 Pulp – ’Common People’
02 Nirvana – ’Smells Like Teen Spirit’
01 Oasis – ’Live Forever’

The overs have it. Thank god we’re not a casino.

Comments (131)
  1. bread  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    The Nme and Xfm bum lick Oasis, The Libertines, The Stone Roses and The Smiths. Look at how many times those bands have been on the cover of NME.

    This List is lame.

  2. Nancy Boy  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    Gigantic is at least top 5 worthy. I’d also put U-Mass in consideration with Debaser.

    I’d agree with the inclusion of Rebellion at 29, but Tunnels is the better song.

    And as much as I adore The Smiths, I’d probably only leave Panic. It’s the one that best fits what they’re going for.

    Crap list, though. And this is from someone who loved the last Oasis album.

  3. Since when Nirvana is Indie?? Or Oasis??
    Now i don’t know what “grunge” or “brit POP” is!!

  4. Joy Division, sigh.

  5. Derekh  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    Weezer is absent from this list. Completely absent. But that’s ok. Babyshambles is on there.


  6. iburl  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    To me the term “indie” has always sounded trite and trifling. You may as well say you like “pussie” music or “sweater-pop”. This is exactly the kind of list I’d expect a bunch of affected British pop music writers to come up with. It’s sad.

  7. Steve Sanders  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    This list is expected from the NME.

    No one who knows anything about the magazine would truthfully expect more or less. The magazine is all about hype, fads and trends, as well as a few token nods to a (mostly british) past. The list would have looked vastly different five years ago, and the five years before that, because the NME is all about staying ‘hip’ and ‘current’, which is fine if you’re a teenager looking to learn more about pop music, but should be irrelevant to anyone older.

    If you are over the age of 21 you should know better than to take the NME and this list seriously.

    And as much as I respect other people’s musical tastes, I have to get this out: Nickelback suck.

  8. “The NME also breaks bands and does not contain crap gossip columns or have shinny glossy pictures. It would be amazing to have a US equivalent.”

    Uhhh, sorry? Maybe you haven’t read the NME in say, the last 15 years. NME doesn’t break bands, it creates trends. Trends it shoves so relentlessly down it’s readers’ throats that once they simply can’t stomach them anymore the magazine itself turns on the trend it created.

    Alan McGee just recently wrote an entire editorial in the Guardian about how US music magazines are vastly superior the their English counterparts. [http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/music/2007/03/why_ill_miss_arthur.html]
    I’m not saying I completely agree because I think it’s a grass-is-always-greener syndrome, but I know plenty of UK residents that would shiver with disdain at this list. Not because the artists are SO bad, but because even under the broader UK definition of indie as an aesthetic/attitude/sound rather than label some of these choices are still highly questionable and the presence of 6 Oasis songs is just ridiculous.

  9. benj  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    the people at NME have to realize that 1) there are more than 10 bands in the world, and 2) they have a pro-UK bias which makes this list seem quite silly.

  10. Tony McCarrol  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    I understand most people here are scared of success/$/losing cred, but the songs on that NME list Mean Something. Live Forever came along during a time when the country was in the toilet and was legendary that a few kids who lived in the dying town of Manchester could become a cultural touchstone.

    The best reviewed records of this year (Panda Bear, the Field, Eluvium(!)) will never define this space or time.

    and Nickelback? Really? Nickelback is no different than throwing baby animals onto the third rail. You can’t even argue that.

  11. funny, where are the anthemic indie songs on this list?

  12. Jewmanji  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    Um…Built to Spill?

  13. Ron Fuqua  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    What does “indie” mean to these people? Pavement’s “Summer Babe” is, and will forever be, the ultimate indie anthem. CASE CLOSED!

  14. tony, ‘live forever’ is indeed a quality tune. but come on man, what does ‘don’t look back in anger’ have to do with indie anthems? or ‘champagne supernova’? they aren’t bad songs, but under the criteria they’re using they make no sense. plus, you of all people should realize how bad the albums got after you left. :)

  15. James  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    HA! 18 of the top 20 are from the UK. What homers!

  16. Susannah  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    It’s pointless to criticize, true, but here are some more oversights I just thought of:

    The Undertones, “Teenage Kicks” (John Peel’s favorite record, no less)
    The Only Ones, “Another Girl Another Planet”
    Many, many songs by the Jam
    Teenage Fanclub, “The Concept”

    Et cetera.

    It’s not really fair to complain about the lack of American indie bands on the list–the UK has always had a strange relationship to them–but there are some definite oversights that are totally in keeping with the breathless and bizarre attitude of the NME. Oh well.

  17. rowan nawor  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    i know what i know

    i guess my first question is how is indie defined? As commerically successful?

  18. b.LOUD  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    Did NME do this because a new Oasis album is being released soon or just because. Probably the latter.

    Oasis . . . . . ok, if we’re talking label-wise, then yeah, true, but almost everyone starts their career on an indie label. Sound-wise, uh, no, just . . . . no.

    I understand Nirvana, but they should used one of their songs from Bleach, like “Sliver”, or something. Nirvana was making the transition from Sub Pop to Geffen, or DCG, while recording Nevermind, plus wasn’t it recorded in fucking Hollywood or something? In the same studio that Fleetwood Mac recorded “Rumors”?

    Say what you will about The Strokes, but NME should gave them more love in this countdown. “The Modern Age” should’ve been in the Top 5. Again, say what you will, but if it wasn’t for them, and this rag worshipping them, then every song on this list by bands that formed after The Strokes wouldn’t be on here.

    I agree with what someone said about Sonic Youth. Personally, I think either “BITH”, or Teenage Riot should be in the Top 10. Blur . . . . Parklife, yeah, but Song 2, no. And why are The White Stripes and Coldplay, for that matter, NOT on this list? The Jesus & Mary Chain?

  19. jon.  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    the word ‘indie’ music in the uk and the us are completly different….

    in the uk indie acts are usually working class/hip good looking kids making positive/fun/interesting pop music….. oasis/artic monkeys/kasabian/libertines/kaiser chiefs/blur/echo and the bunnymen/jamc/etc…

    in the north america i found indie artist are usually awkward white collor loner kids making artsy fartsy avante garde pop music……..
    pavement/modest mouse/arcade fire/ween/weeer/pixies/bright eyes/

    my opinion….
    the nme editors seen to be the popular kids having a laugh whist the pitchfork nerds annoy the piss out of me….

    indie uk is way better.
    hands down.

    interesting too is the different parts of indie music make in the uk from the northerners and the acts from the south.

    where most north amercain indie acts to me sound like ween meats pavement with a little bit of the pixies…….

  20. Mohaski  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    I’m sitting in my office, listening to The Kinks, and not even this ridiculous list can ruin my bliss.

  21. Jon, you’re an idiot… The English are still self-glorified bastards… We have our own (and many more) working class/hip good looking kids making positive/fun/interesting pop music right here in the states.

  22. talulah Gosh  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    the list wasn’t put together by the NME, it was voted for by the general (read ) public.
    the list’s sponsored by XFM, a comercial radio station so the decent songs voted for by NME readers (the rapture and klaxons/ joy division and the breeders) were probably out voted by people who’s only knowledge of music was “‘aving it” to oasis songs.
    also the term indie means practically nothing in the UK.
    Anyway no one who cares about independant (rather than “indie”) music takes the NME or XFM seriously. Plan B magazine is far better than the NME and 6music infinately better than XFM

  23. vinylrags  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    where’s loser? that was indie when it was first released.

  24. bart  |   Posted on May 4th, 2007 0

    ah, americans are hilarious. sure, the brits hype everything up and proclaim everything the second coming. But you american go too far in the other direction – you think everything is crap, nothing is impressive to you, and you’re happy when bands fail. Unless the music is obtuse and unlistenable, in which case you proclaim it to be “brilliant”

  25. Wow, I’m glad The Cribs made the list. They changed my life, man.

  26. alexis  |   Posted on May 5th, 2007 0

    Um, Klaxons and like 5 Oasis songs? Where are they living in?
    Stupid stupid list, but of course lists like these only exist to be stupid, so…yeah. This was a waste of my time.

  27. Tom  |   Posted on May 5th, 2007 0

    Down with NME! Long live Pitchfork!

  28. Honestly, has there even BEEN any good Brit-rock after The Libertines?

    And how does a 2, 3 year old band make a list of 50 greatest indie anthems?

  29. iburl  |   Posted on May 6th, 2007 0

    Sincere thanks to talulah Gosh for your perspective. If this is a list generated by the British “public” then that is even scarier than it being the editors of a magazine. USA, don’t be too distainful to see the whimpy whiney pretty-boy brit-pop underbelly of a nation, after all, here is what our “public” thinks is good music: Billboard hot 100: http://tinyurl.com/93a4f

  30. papazano  |   Posted on May 7th, 2007 0

    Fugazi – Waiting Room

  31. Bjorn  |   Posted on May 8th, 2007 0

    WTF? Oasis sucks…I mean really. How are they Indie? seriously this list is crazy…though Stone Roses, Pixies, and Blur are all good choices but really? Better list needed please.

  32. liney  |   Posted on May 12th, 2007 0

    will people stop copyin other peoples comments and sayin oasis are shit hu gives a fuck if they are on the list loads they deserve to be cuz there a great band, but i still agree with all the shit list comments.

  33. 909  |   Posted on May 12th, 2007 0

    americans piss off im surprised you all havent eaten your PC’s by know u bunch of fat, mardy sweaty, man breasted wasters stop sayin british music is crap and go and listen to your rap bull shit, or go and stare at the fridge and see how long it takes you before you dive on it eating all its contents and the fridge it self, then again that wont occupy you for long.

  34. An American  |   Posted on May 16th, 2007 0

    I gotta say, these comments are fascinating to me. Somewhere along the way, I forgot I was reading about the NME list, and got caught up in the comments left by (I’m assuming) British writers stereotyping Americans. It’s interesting to see how other people stereotype you, particular a culture that is about as close as they come (save Canada, of course). It’s funny to read, anyway (largely because the stereotypes are desperately inaccurate).

  35. Steven S  |   Posted on May 25th, 2007 0

    Sure, they put other Libertines songs up there but leave out their definitive (and most anthemic) song ever?!


  36. joe  |   Posted on May 29th, 2007 0

    this list completely blows my mind..

    where is my mind?

  37. Jeff  |   Posted on Jun 7th, 2007 0

    It’s a crazy situa-sheeeyuuun that there aren’t better choices of Pavement and Pixies on here.

  38. michael  |   Posted on Jul 25th, 2007 0

    at list the first song that comes to my mind if someone asked me what is the greatest indie anthem of all time is on the list. “Rebellion (Lies)” at 29.

    thats about all i can say about the list. how they can come up with a list of the greatest indie anthems of all time with only 5 or so that actually deserve to be on such a list is incredible, even for NME.

    i guess it goes to show that voting just doesn’t work.

  39. Trek  |   Posted on Aug 10th, 2007 0

    worst list ever who the fuck works for you guys?

  40. Abs  |   Posted on Aug 21st, 2007 0

    Not a better feel good indie anthem ever as good as that.

  41. Russ Webb  |   Posted on Aug 23rd, 2007 0

    too many people commenting on what they know nothing about, very good list, not sure exactley about the order, but the right tunes none the less, very well done, keep up the good work.

    As i say too many people gobbing off about what they dont know, youngens probs…

  42. Saif Mehdi  |   Posted on Sep 11th, 2007 0

    “Only Shallow” is the greatest indie anthem. It should be New York City’s anthem as Kevin Shields was born and raised there.

  43. Martin  |   Posted on Oct 26th, 2007 0

    According to Wikipedia, an “anthem” can be defined like this: “… The term has evolved to mean a song of celebration, usually acting as a symbol for a certain group of people.”

    I find it hard to call something an anthem if it’s less than just a few years old, however.

  44. Ryan Sloan  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2007 0

    I’m not even sure what the definiton of Indie is, so I’m gonna go and look it up right now. However, all I do know is that it’s good to see “Mr. Brightside” on a “Top # of All Time” list. I’ll never get over how good it is. I guess that’s all. No need to respond negatively to this comment, seeing as how I admit that I haven’t a good clue on exactly Indie is.

  45. Sachin Jani  |   Posted on Dec 5th, 2007 0

    Where is the bloc party!!!

  46. dee  |   Posted on Jan 30th, 2008 0

    There are no Australian songs on this list. Major drawback. Not too sure as what counts as “indie”, but you’d think that The Saints’ classic punk song “Know your product” would top, or nearly top this list. Or perhaps Do Re Mi’s classic “Man overboard”…a nomination for greatest song of all time, in my view. Joan Jet and the Blackhearts “I lover rock’n'roll” deserves to compete for top spot in this list too.

    I think Oasis have only two great songs…Wonderwall, and Free. The latter did not make the list. They wrote a lot of rubbish too, some of which makes this list.

    Really, no Aussie songs equals inferior, British centric compilation.

  47. Alex  |   Posted on Feb 15th, 2008 0

    Really just a crappy list, practically all British bands of the last 10 years. It’s a Britpop list, not an indie anthem list. Whoever wondered why there’s no Debaser is right on. Pixies? Beck? Pavement? Barely reperesented, if at all. I accept that indie in Britain means something different than in America and that a lot of the songs on this list aren’t bad, but c’mon.

  48. where r
    belle and sebastian
    antony and the johnsons


  49. ur a peinis
    americans have nothing to do with indie ur all a bunch or overcompensating loosers who cant write or make any decent music

    u know nothing!
    u will never know anything!
    u narrow minded F****** up waste of life

    u need to read up on the concept of indiependant music and then u will find that you being american and because of that fact probably more mainstream than Mcdonalds!

    and then you will realise why u cant judge this publication

    however i agree that this is a sh** list and NME now nothing but judge english press when you brig us such pooie press like AMP

    get a life

    and ur blatently fat!

  50. ur a peinis
    americans have nothing to do with indie ur all a bunch or overcompensating loosers who cant write or make any decent music

    u know nothing!
    u will never know anything!
    u narrow minded F****** up waste of life

    u need to read up on the concept of indiependant music and then u will find that you being american and because of that fact probably more mainstream than Mcdonalds!

    and then you will realise why u cant judge this publication

    however i agree that this is a sh** list and NME now nothing but judge english press when you brig us such pooie press like AMP

    get a life

    and ur blatently fat!

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