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What Are the Best Indie Rock Albums Ever?

Half the time, we music fans can't even decide what indie rock is — so naturally, Blender magazine's list of the 100 greatest indie rock albums of all time is bound to be fodder for debate (starting with No. 1, Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted). So I'm tempted to put it to you guys sans commentary and just say, "Have at it!"

But, let's be real: I can't resist making just a few comments. I'm pleased to see one of my favorite bands, the Mountain Goats, represented, but I would have picked Tallahassee instead of We Shall All Be Healed (No. 72). On the other hand, I support their pick of Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous (No. 50). And I've never considered The Velvet Underground an indie band — but maybe that's just me.

You can read Blender's full list with explanations, or if you're just raring to go, you can see the list if you

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
9. Big Star - Third/Sister Lovers
8. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
7. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground
6. Arcade Fire - Funeral
5. Pixies - Surfer Rosa
4. R.E.M. - Murmur
3. The Replacements - Let It Be
2. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
1. Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted

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anniemation anniemation 8 years
i wasn't expecting to see the new pornographers (my favorite band everrrrrr) on there, but there they are, at #24. yay for that but my incredulous feeling towards anything 'blender' remains forevermore.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Murmur above Loveless? Heck, Funeral above Loveless? Blasphemy.
galaxist galaxist 8 years
Joanna Newsom, anyone? The "The Milk-Eyed Mender" (Drag City) should have been in the Top 20.
HitThat9787 HitThat9787 8 years
Smashing Pumpkins all the way!Gish rocks!
weezyheart weezyheart 8 years
i think rilo kiley should have been ranked higher. Under the blacklight was such a good album, and their performances are so good. check this one out:: http://www.mtvu.com/video/?id=1574348
Lindsb Lindsb 8 years
Wow to Rilo making it in the Top 50 - awesome. I really would have thought that Interpol would have ranked higher.. ?
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
Ha, nicachica! Maybe later on I'll post my own list! :rotfl:
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
Okay, now that I've had time to really peruse this list (I checked from my phone last night and it was hard to read and type) I can see which I own. 98. Palace Music - Viva Last Blues 96. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain 90. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam 89. Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll 87. Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary 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 72. The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed 71. Stereolab - Refried Ectoplasm 69. Nick Drake - Pink Moon 64. Cat Power - The Greatest 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 56. Archers Of Loaf - Icky Mettle 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. 46. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand 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 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 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 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 13. Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade 12. Dinosaur Jr - You're Living All Over Me 10. The Smiths - The Smiths 9. Big Star - Third/Sister Lovers 8. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless 7. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground 6. Arcade Fire - Funeral 5. Pixies - Surfer Rosa 4. R.E.M. - Murmur 3. The Replacements - Let It Be 2. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation 1. Pavement - Slanted And Enchanted Yikes. That's kind of a lot.
nicachica nicachica 8 years
oh this is great! now i at least have a point of reference to go to when i want to explore some bands i haven't listened to but always heard about. :) Or maybe Whiplash can do her own list? I definitely trust your opinion! ;)
yyam084 yyam084 8 years
Death cab for cutie songs are great... fountains of wayne, the strokes, modest mouse...
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 8 years
Based on this list, I guess what I consider indie rock is not what is mainstream indie rock. Dang -- some of that stuff is neither indie nor rock or not both..... Oh well....
msshellokitty msshellokitty 8 years
I'm so glad to see the Replacements on there.Let it be is such a great album.Le Tigre is good too.Alot of bands on there I don't consider indie and there are alot of great indie bands out there.
Marci Marci 8 years
I love The Strokes
allhailtoyin allhailtoyin 8 years
Wow! What a list!
remedios remedios 8 years
I think that mags just put out lists so we can all argue about them. My favorite is when there's a "best guitarist" type list and Jack White and Kurt Cobain are on it - it gets my husband all worked up. Amuses me. As to what "indie" means, that can vary - independent label? independent approach to the record making (i.e., not a major producer)? independent marketing? Out of mainstream (whatever that means)? People consider everything from shoegazing to hardcore punk to be "indie" so it may not be very helpful. Just looking at the list here, we have Dead Kennedys and Feist - two completely different sounds under the same categorization. I think the next list should be "Top 100 Interpretations of Indie Music."
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
You're right, Jen, "Dookie" was on an indie label. I have to disagree about the Velvets, though. Not only do I consider them an indie band, I just might consider them the FIRST indie band. But I think all their albums were on major labels at the time, so I suppose I'm not right. At any rate, I love Brian Eno's quote about the Velvet Underground: he said that only 1000 people bought their first album but every one of them started a band. :rotfl: There's no denying how influential and important they are.
pickle pickle 8 years
Fountains of Wayne: Fountains of Wayne
girlabouttown girlabouttown 8 years
I don't agree that Nick Drake is "indie" I would consider him more folk. They didn't not include anything from Red House Painters or Mark Koelek's later band Sun Kil Moon. SKM's Ghosts of the Great Highway is brillant and "Carry Me Ohio" brings me to tears everytime I hear it, it's so beautiful!
Adrianne Adrianne 8 years
I love these albums: Modest Mouse's Good News For People Who Love Bad News, The Decemberists' Castaways and Cutouts, and Tegan & Sara's So Jealous. ;) I love some of the artists that made it on the Blender list, but I love so much more that is off the list. :o
glam-sugar glam-sugar 8 years
Exactly lm5841. Anyway, probably my favorite album off this list is Nine Inch Nails. I also like the Nirvana, Interpol, Greenday, Franz Ferdinand, Smashing Pumpkins, The Strokes, Meat Puppets, LCD Soundsystem and the White Stripes albums.
lm5841 lm5841 8 years
the green day cd was released on an indie label. the term "indie" is misused a lot, just like "alternative", people refer to it as a genre instead of what it technically means. alternative music originally meant any music that wasn't maintstream. indie music means any music on an independent label. now the term "indie" is used as a genre to refer to a certain type of bands/music... similar to what happened with alternative.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
Green Day was totally indie when they first started. Dookie was their first major label record. Wasn't it...? :? I love a lot of these bands! I had no idea they were "indie". I need to brush up on my categorization. :P
SassAndBide SassAndBide 8 years
I agree with magpie wtf Green day is mainstream, not indie :? HUH? wtf. but on that list, i agree bout Arcade fire :dance: ..:)
magpie22 magpie22 8 years
also, (sorry lists like these always make me angry!!) in what universe has Green Day ever been "indie?" Yeah, Kerplunk is good...but seriously?
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