The ultimate 50 best albums of 2016: We crunched every end-of-year poll into one mega list

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The 50 most popular albums of 2016, according to actual maths

It’s now far enough into 2016 that all of the end of year lists are out – including NME‘s own 50 best albums of 2016 – and we’ve crunched 18 of the biggest ones into one ultimate list. The basis for this is pretty simple arithmetic: each #1 album gets 50 points, #2 gets 49, and so on until #50, which receives a single point. To give you some idea of how that adds up, scores of more than 500 are rare and therefore highly respectable, and it’s so close in some cases that even the first and second places are just a single point apart.

So, according to maths, the 50 albums that follow are the 2016 albums you really need to listen to according to the music press as a whole. The lists we crunched come from StereogumSpinClashPasteThe Times, UncutQBillboardCrackNoiseyComplexPitchforkThe GuardianThe 405Mojo, FACTThe Line of Best Fit and, of course, NME.