NME Best of 2005 Controversy!

Nme_bestofNME‘s Best of 2005 issue just hit newsagents (I love talking British) and is already causing controversy. Londonist claims claims that the published list of Best Albums has been doctored by NME higher-ups (EIC Conor McNicholas is implied but not named), and that it differs wildly from "real" list they had gotten their hands on previously. Specifically, they say real winners The Arcade Fire have been replaced by Bloc Party. Whether or not this is true, this kind of fiddling with lists happens all the time — right up to print deadline — at magazines, be it People’s "50 Most Beautiful People" or EW’s "It List." "What’s that? Your label wants to buy a two-page ad for The Blandy Blokes? Oh you’re right, they ARE on our Best Of list."

That said, NME has gone steadily downhill since Conor McNicholas took over as Editor in Chief in the early ’00s and turned it into a much more generic rock mag. Someone claiming to be McNicholas in the Londist post’s comments responds to the article. There are a few of them, but here’s my fave:

I’m afraid this blog is not held in such high esteem. Clearly, in this
situation the on us is on you to prove you are not manufacturing this
list, working for your own anti-NME agenda, and cowardly hiding behind
an established code of journalistic conduct — which, as highly
subjective bloggers, you have no real claim to in the first place.

Oh boy. Whether or not this is the real list, NME‘s picks for Albums of the Year are pretty obvious, especially the Top Ten. While I haven’t seen the list of singles, Single of the Year is given to Futureheads’ cover of Kate Bush’s "Hounds of Love" which will be in my Top Ten when I get around to publishing it.

Here’s NME’s Top 50 Albums of 2005 as published in the mag:

  1. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
  2. Arcade Fire – Funeral
  3. Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have it So Much Better
  4. Antony & The Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now
  5. Kaiser Chiefs – S/T
  6. The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan 
  7. Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise
  8. Kanye West – Late Registration
  9. Babyshambles – Down in Albion
  10. Gorrilaz – Demon Days
  11. The Cribs – The New Fellas
  12. Devandra Banhart – Cripple Crow
  13. The Rakes – Capture/Release
  14. Dungen – Ta Det Lungt
  15. Maximo Park – A Certain Trigger
  16. British Sea Power – Open Season
  17. The Magic Numbers – S/T
  18. Art Brut – Bang Bang Rock and Roll
  19. Coldplay – XY
  20. Editors – The Back Room
  21. LCD Soundsystem – S/T
  22. Raevonettes – Pretty in Black
  23. Hard-Fi – Stars of CCTV
  24. Oasis – Don’t Believe the Truth
  25. MIA – Arular
  26. Super Furry Animals – Love Kraft
  27. Kate Bush – Aerial
  28. Absentee – Donkey Stock
  29. Madonna – Confessions on a Dancefloor
  30. Doves – Some Cities
  31. Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  32. Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabyes to Paralyze
  33. We Are Scientists – With Love and Squalor
  34. Rufus Wainright – Want Two
  35. Elbow – Leaders of the Free World
  36. The Bravery – S/T
  37. Circulus – Lick on the Tip of an Envelope
  38. Autolux – Future Perfect
  39. Vitalic – OK Cowboy
  40. Brakes – Give Blood
  41. Nine Black Alps – Everything Is
  42. Sigur Ros – Takk
  43. Engineers – S/T
  44. Field Music – S/T
  45. Shout Out Louds – Howl Howl Gaff Gaff
  46. The Duke Spirit – Cuts Across the Land
  47. Sleater-Kinney – The Woods
  48. Ladytron – Witching Hour
  49. Dead Meadow – Feathers
  50. Test Icicles – For Screening Purposes Only

EDIT: I just realized that this issue is about a month earlier than it used to come out. I remember racing to Rebel Rebel on Bleeker the week between Christmas and New Years to pick up one of the copies of this before it sold out. Obviously the need to be first has superceeded all else these days. Times have changed.


  1. It's Aerial (in reference to the Kate Bush album) and didn't Want Two and Funeral come out in 2004 or did they come out in the UK this year?

  2. Thanks Matt for correcting my spelling yet again. You should seriously consider getting a job as a Copy Editor. As for Want Two and Funeral, a simple check on Amazon.co.uk finds that both didn't see a UK release until this year. Though it seems like a lifetime ago for Funeral, doesn't it?

  3. You're welcome and thanks for the info regarding the release dates. It does indeed seem like ages ago that Funeral was released here (September 2004).

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