Which Four Radiohead Albums Did KEXP’s Listeners Vote As Superior To “Daydream Nation” And “Led Zeppelin IV”?

Oct 13th, 2008 // 39 Comments

As Matos mentioned earlier this month, the Seattle radio station KEXP decided to mark its annual membership drive by counting down its listeners’ 903 favorite albums–and they’d better realize that however much Radiohead is currently in their playlist, it’s not nearly enough, as four albums by that band are in this list’s top 20. OK Computer tops the list; The Bends is No. 9; Kid A is No. 11; and In Rainbows squeaks into No. 20. Where it’s right behind The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. (You know what I love about Internet polling? The perspective all of the people who care enough to vote on these sorts of things seem to have.) Anyway, the top 50–as well as Nos. 900-903–are after the jump. Take notes on it, as this Thom, Win, Kurdt, and Bono-heavy list will surely calcify into The New Classic Rock Orthodoxy sometime within the coming decade.

1. Radiohead OK Computer
2. Clash London Calling
3. Arcade Fire Funeral
4. Nirvana Nevermind
5. Pixies Doolittle
6. Neutral Milk Hotel In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
7. Beatles White Album
8. U2 The Joshua Tree
9. Radiohead The Bends
10. Pixies Surfer Rosa
11. Radiohead Kid A
12. Beatles Abbey Road
13. Jeff Buckley Grace
14. Beatles Revolver
15. Sufjan Stevens Illinois
16. The Smiths The Queen is Dead
17. Pearl Jam Ten
18. David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
19. Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
20. Radiohead In Rainbows
21. The Cure Disintegration
22. Elliott Smith Either/Or
23. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon
24. Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
25. Beastie Boys Pauls Boutique
26. Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks
27. Pavement Slanted and Enchanted
28. Rolling Stones Exile on Main St.
29. My Bloody Valentine Loveless
30. Postal Service Give Up
31. Modest Mouse The Moon And Antarctica
32. Built To Spill Perfect From Now On
33. Death Cab For Cutie Transatlanticism
34. Weezer Weezer
35. Beach Boys Pet Sounds
36. Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin
37. Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde
38. Replacements Let it Be
39. Velvet Undergound & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico
40. Belle & Sebastian If Youre Feeling Sinister
41. Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
42. Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs
44. Elliott Smith XO
45. Stone Roses The Stone Roses
46. Modest Mouse The Lonesome Crowded West
47. The National Boxer
48. A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory
49. Miles Davis Kind of Blue
50. Band of Horses Everything All The Time

[ ... ]

900. Maps We Can Create
901. Mclusky The Difference Between Me and You Is That Im Not On Fire
902. Mission of Burma Signals, Calls, And Marches
903. New Order Movement

KEXP’s Top 903 Albums [kexp.org]

  1. Anonymous

    Most of this if forgivable but, Arcade Fire? At #3? Along with Band Of Horses and Minus The Bear, it seems listeners aren’t letting the hype settle enough to see if they’ll stand the test of time or be dated to a certain (blog) period

  2. doublewhiskycokenoice

    WHOA WHOA WHOA. Serious shafting to Mclusky.

    Also, WTF man. No Temple of the Dog?


  3. Anonymous

    @doublewhiskycokenoice: It gets even more depressing when you find out Vampire Weekend beat 75% of the list (at #107)

  4. doublewhiskycokenoice

    @2ironic4u: We both know that without Vampire Weekend, there would be no music.

  5. NoOneCaresAboutYourFuckingBlog

    Does anyone else find it suspicious that the last few in the list are in alphabetical order?

  6. iantenna

    holy jesus that list is so white my eyes hurt. i know college radio (ok, they’re not really college radio, but that’s how they started) is pretty white bread but this is outrageous, at least the stations in the bay area occasionally play, you know, reggae, soul, hip hop, jazz, blues… yikes. i mean, i don’t really believe that your musical taste reflects your sociopolitical opinions but damn seattle hipsters who take online poles, you’re looking kinda racist to me.

  7. Hamm Beerger

    Hang on, which eponymous Weezer album is that at number 34?

  8. Marth

    Agree, the list is okay, I guess. I have a few points of befuddlement, though. Namely:

    - How on earth did Sigur Ros’ “( )” and “Takk” beat “Aegetis Byrjun” by nearly 400 spots! Not only was Byrjun their big introduction to the US, but in my opinion it runs circles around everything else Sigur Ros has released since. I’m guessing there must’ve been a lot of younger voters who only picked up on them since ( ) came out.

    - In the same vein, how did “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” place SO FAR below “Being There” and “Summerteeth,” and even “AM”? It was one of the biggest albums of that year, and was on everyone’s Best-Of-Whatever lists. Of course, I’m one of the rare “Sky Blue Sky” fans out there, so as far as I’m concerned that should’ve been at-or-near the top of Wilco’s offerings on the list.

    - Slightly annoyed by the two Pixies albums in the top 10. Yes, they’re good, but it all goes back to KEXP’s John (In The Morning) constantly talking about being a huge Pixies fan, I worry there are a lot of people saying, “Hey John, I like the Pixies too!”– as if he’ll read their lists and they’ll become friends.

    - I still don’t buy into the idea that people honestly think “Nevermind” is their favorite album.

    - Yoshimi places higher than The Soft Bulletin? Yeesh!

    But anyhow… good list otherwise.

  9. Marth

    @iantenna: But what about TV On The Radio!

    From what I can tell KEXP plays about 3 different hip hop songs. Two are from some lame local Seattle groups, and one is from some slighty-less-lame Minneapolis group. And one of those uses a Modest Mouse sample, so that probably doesn’t even count.

  10. Anonymous

    @iantenna: Is only listening to music by white bands racist….? I think you would be missing out, I think your tastes might run a little boring, (The National in the top 50?) but racist? Nope.

  11. MayhemintheHood

    @iantenna: Dude, it has Bob Marley, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Roots, The Fugees/Lauryn Hill, James Brown, etc. on the list. Cheesy, I know, but I doubt people that are into soul/hip hop/jazz/reggae are doing online polls for this station.

    @doublewhiskycokenoice: I read your comment before looking at the entire list…as McLusky fans we should be surprised these people voted them in the top 900, let alone the top 9000, judgeing by the rest of the list.

  12. Anonymous

    Am i the only one surprised that Modest Mouse’s Moon and Antarctica is their highest placing album on this list? I would have thought either Lonesome Crowded West or one of the two newest ones.

  13. raihala

    @NoOneCaresAboutYourFuckingBlog: They were probably tied, thus alphabetized. It happens numerous times when you look at the whole list at the link.

    @iantenna: What the station plays isn’t necessarily what the listeners vote on in, uh, “poles.”

  14. iantenna

    @Thesemodernsocks: mostly i was making a point with a over the top statement that i even qualified as not really believing in in the first place. however, i think only listening to white bands, or the classic “i like every kind of music but country (read: redneck hick music),” is indicative of a bias, no matter how unconcious it might be. obviously an alternative radio station in no more “racist” than an r&b/rap station, but isn’t KEXP supposed to be a “free form” radio station? to me a free form radio station should cover all eras, genres, and continents but they seem to all be becoming more and more indie-rock wastelands.

    @MayhemintheHood: i will not even bother with a list that doesn’t include expensive shit and heart of the congos in its top 903 albums.

  15. iantenna

    @raihala: doh!

  16. Michaelangelo Matos

    I think the New Classic Rock Orthodoxy calcified in place a while ago, actually, but maybe that’s just because I live in Seattle. LOL @ No. 49, though.

  17. La Mareada

    @2ironic4u: I’m shocked Fleet Foxes is not in the top ten. Really, they are the be all end all for Seattle indie/KEXP fans right now. Step aside Modest Mouse, Death Cab, and Shins!

    @MayhemintheHood: They didn’t even pick the “right” Tribe Called Quest album, both by quality and appealing to white people who don’t listen to rap. That would be Peoples Instinctive Travels.

  18. iantenna

    @La Mareada: woah there. maybe you’re right re: appealing to white people but quality wise the correct answer is, of course, midnight mauraders. ;)

  19. doublewhiskycokenoice

    Again. Temple of the Motherf*cking Dog.

  20. iantenna

    @iantenna: man my spelling sucks today. i’ll just quit.

  21. Anonymous

    No Led Zep in the top fifty? At all? Anywhere?
    There is no love in the world.

  22. The Van Buren Boys

    The omission of any hip-hop or r&b (Beastie Boys notwithstanding) in the top 50 is quite startling, but it all goes back to the people voting. Public radio listeners always seem to have pretty bland music tastes in my opinion. Also, in 5 years this poll will be very different with most of the recent albums dropping much lower. (Band of Horses has no business anywhere in this list)

  23. D.R. Mosby


    midnight mauraders

    Paging Dr. Freud…

  24. The Van Buren Boys

    @Lax Danja House: *raises hand*

  25. Thierry

    Sufjan at 15? Seriously? Who are these people?

  26. DocStrange

    Holy crap, some else other than me knows who Mclusky is.

    Surpised to see my #1 (Wish You Were Here) and #3 (Loveless) albums of all time so low (#2 is OK Computer) and my #4 (Spiderland) at #381(!) and #5 (Barafundle) not there at all. Of course, since I am the only person in America who knows who Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci is, let alot like them, I can see why “Barafundle” isn’t there. But “Spiderland”? at #381? come on!

  27. DocStrange

    and Pulp’s “Different Class” is at #229. I mean, Silversun Pickups’ “Carnavas” (a great album, but nowhere near as kickass as “Different Class”) is at #204. And that came out two years ago!

  28. doublewhiskycokenoice

    @Thierry: sufjan is garbage. remember his 50 states project? way to follow through, hipster jesus.

  29. Maura Johnston

    @DocStrange: I am the only person in America who knows who Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci is


  30. revmatty

    If this is what Classic Rock Radio sounds like in ten years it will be an almost immeasurable improvement over what it is now.

  31. Maura Johnston

    @revmatty: I dunno, man. I’d much rather listen to Toys In The Attic-era Aerosmith than Sufjan or Dark Side Of The Moon.

  32. janine

    @Lax Danja House: I have. Same goes for Nevermind too. Those albums are like Golden Grahams; you forget how good they are.

  33. DocStrange

    @Maura Johnston: Yay! someone else cares about them!

    At their most popular – even in Wales – they were a cult band, but they are probably one of the best bands of 1990′s.

  34. Anonymous

    Yes…we all know how bloody superior Neutral Milk Hotel is to The Beatles…

    I dislike lists like this because they don’t make sense….


  35. Marth

    @DocStrange: Count me in. “How I Long To Feel That Summer In My Heart” remains one of my go-to records when I just need to chill out.

    (Did I just say “chill out”? Yikes.)

  36. Anonymous

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE someone post a link to that clip of the KEXP morning show BEGGING for ONE CALLER to call in and make a pledge during their pledge drive. It was the saddest radio I’ve ever heard in my life.

  37. Lax Danja House

    How many people have honestly listened to Sgt. Pepper’s once in the past 5 years?

  38. Artnchicken

    @Hamm Beerger: Blue (hopefully). Good to see Pinkerton on the list (#253) too.

  39. revmatty

    @Maura Johnston: I’m no fan of Sufjan or Floyd, but if it gets rid of the constant Zepplin-AC/DC-all Southern Rock – Foghat – etc then I’d be happy.

    I actually do like some things that are ‘classic rock’, but can’t stand the vast majority of it.

    Agreed on Toys In the Attic.

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