Blender‘s 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever

By Stereogum / November 14, 2007

In the December issue of Blender, the magazine’s editors have compiled what they see as the “The 100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever,” opening with this little graph:

Mumbled lyrics, couldn’t-care-less strumming, white dudes in sweaters–what’s not to love about indie rock? Born 25-odd years ago in suburban garages and spread via college radio, it has made distortion into something hummable, boredom into something thrilling and aimlessness into a raison d’être–and these days, thanks to blogs and the fine people at Grey’s Anatomy, it’s more popular than ever.

Grey’s Anatomy and blogs? Cute. Let’s take a look at 100-50 here and then round it up post-jump. There are a lot of classic albums on this thing … and a lot that aren’t.

100 The Shaggs – Philosophy Of The World
99 Dream Syndicate – The Days Of Wine And Roses
98 Palace Music – Viva Last Blues
97 The Mekons – Rock ‘N’ Roll
96 TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain
95 The Dismemberment Plan – Emergency & I
94 Half Japanese – Greatest Hits
93 Big Black – Atomizer
92 Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
91 The Chills – Kaleidoscope World
90 Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
89 Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock & Roll
88 Daniel Johnston – Yip/Jump Music
87 Wolf Parade – Apologies To The Queen Mary
86 Flipper – Album – Generic Flipper
85 The Clean – Anthology
84 Beat Happening – You Turn Me On
83 The Misfits – Walk Among Us
82 The Embarrassment – Heyday 1979-83
81 The Vaselines – The Way Of The Vaselines
80 Feist – The Reminder
79 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
78 The 13th Floor Elevators – The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators
77 Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
76 Le Tigre – Le Tigre
75 Galaxie 500 – Today
74 The Fall – 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong
73 Meat Puppets – Up On The Sun
72 The Mountain Goats – We Shall All Be Healed
71 Stereolab – Refried Ectoplasm
70 Mudhoney – Superfruzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles
69 Nick Drake – Pink Moon
68 Descendents – Milo Goes To College
67 Hüsker Dü – New Day Rising
66 Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth
65 Various Artists – No New York
64 Cat Power – The Greatest
63 Nirvana – Bleach
62 The Feelies – Crazy Rhythms
61 LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem
60 Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
59 Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
58 Built To Spill – There’s Nothing Wrong With Love
57 Bikini Kill – Pussy Whipped
56 Archers Of Loaf – Icky Mettle
55 Bad Brains – Bad Brains
54 Unrest – Imperial F.F.R.R.
53 Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
52 Bright Eyes – Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground
51 Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights
50 Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous

49 Spoon – Kill The Moonlight
48 Mission Of Burma – Vs.
47 Green Day – Kerplunk
46 Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
45 Fugazi – Repeater
44 Various Artists – Wanna Buy A Bridge?
43 Black Flag – Damaged
42 Brian Eno – Another Green World
41 Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West
40 New Order – Power Corruption & Lies
39 Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
38 The Strokes – Is This It
37 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever To Tell
36 Elliott Smith – Either/Or
35 Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville
34 Superchunk – On The Mouth
33 The Shins – Oh, Inverted World
32 Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
31 Guided By Voices – Bee Thousand
30 Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
29 Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
28 The Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs
27 M.I.A. – Arular
26 Belle And Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister
25 Sebadoh – III
24 The New Pornographers – Mass Romantic
23 Yo La Tengo – Painful
22 Meat Puppets – Meat Puppets II
21 The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers
20 The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
19 Sleater-Kinney – Dig Me Out
18 Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
17 The White Stripes – White Blood Cells
16 Slint – Spiderland
15 X – Wild Gift
14 De La Soul – 3 Feet High And Rising
13 Hüsker Dü – Zen Arcade
12 Dinosaur Jr – You’re Living All Over Me
11 Minutemen – Double Nickels On The Dime
10 The Smiths – The Smiths
09 Big Star – Third/Sister Lovers
08 My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
07 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground
06 Arcade Fire – Funeral
05 Pixies – Surfer Rosa
04 R.E.M. – Murmur
03 The Replacements – Let It Be
02 Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
01 Pavement – Slanted And Enchanted

Nice to see Sebadoh’s III so high, but while we’re talking numbers, how can they say indie rock started “25-odd years ago in suburban garages” and include The Velvet Underground? No bother – it’s a great record. Also by the numbers: Bands with two albums on the list: 4 (Pavement, Hüsker Dü; Meat Puppets); Hip-hop albums: 1 (De La Soul); 2007 albums: 2 (Feist, Animal Collective). They obviously took care to highlight only early indie releases from some of the major-bound superstars (e.g., Bleach, White Blood Cells) … so why so much Interscope? OK, what else did Blender get right and/or wrong? We’ll start: Where’s Jesus Lizard?