In the last twelve months we’ve sent photographers all over the world to capture the year’s most exciting music moments. They’ve shot incredible covers, gone on the road with the planet’s biggest bands and found themselves up close and personal with music’s most eccentric stars. Here’s the cream of the crop, the best photos from the NME archives from 2012. Enjoy…

Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Come and have a go at Plan B, if you think you’re hard enough. Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Photo: Tom Oxley/NME

Breton are a band with flare. Photo: Tom Oxley/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Biffy in white on the Isle Of Wight. Shocking socks though. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Pieter M van Hattem/NME

Jesus lives for Willis Earl Beale in Chicago. Photo: Pieter M van Hattem/NME

Photo: Ed Miles/NME

The 2 Bears hit the net. Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Photo: Matt Salacuse/NME

Alice Glass has a headache. Photo: Matt Salacuse/NME

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Jake Bugg takes America, but sticks to coke. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Enter Shikari’s Rou asks the Russian crowd to put their hands up if they like crowd surfing. Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Sometimes Howler just need a shoulder to lean on – at T In The Park. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Group hug! The Stone Roses celebrate at the end of their triumphant reunion show at Heaton Park. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Aaron Farley/NME

Deap Vally channel Thelma and Louise. Photo: Aaron Farley/NME

Photo: Aaron Farley/NME

Odd Future’s Leftbrain goes a bit Jackson Pollock. Photo: Aaron Farley/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Ryan Jarman knows that if you’re going to wear jeans that ripped, you’ll need leggings. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Tom Roelofs/NME

Iceage believe they can fly at Incubate. Photo: Tom Roelofs/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Gabriel Bruce always look sharp, even in bed. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Palma Violets are one of the exciting new bands to come out of the UK in ages. Here’s a picture of one of their early gigs in their recording space in Lambeth. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Photo: Pieter M van Hattem/NME

The Killers’ album ‘Battle Born’ received mixed reviews, which perhaps explains why they look a bit grumpy at their trip into the desert. Photo: Pieter M van Hattem/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Odd Future’s stardom was slightly eclipsed this year by Frank Ocean’s astonishing success with his debut solo album but they still played some great festival shows. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Look at Bath-based band The Family Rain having a hoot on a bike. Fans of AC/DC, The White Stripes should check them out. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on in this moshpit at a Vaccines gig. Is that Justin’s limb in the middle of the crowd? Answers on a postcard. Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Kasabian’s Tom Meighan spots his mum at the top of the ferris wheel and gives her a wave. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Tom Martin/NME

The crowd don’t seem thrilled by Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s screamy performance, curious cane and snowy hair but we can assure you: they’re very good. Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

The guy from Milk Music attempts to do the Alt-J triangle symbol and fails miserably. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Katy B had a relatively quiet year compared to 2011 but here she is, plying her awesome wares. Here’s to next year’s album. Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Photo: Pamela Littky/NME

Biffy Clyro are absolute chillhounds. Just look at them kicking back in their sandals. Photo: Pamela Littky/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Believe it or not Bombay Bicycle Club dance in a Michael Jackson appreciation band in their spare time. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Joey Maloney/NME

The prize for best tattoos of the year goes to Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett of Death Grips. Photo: Joey Maloney/NME

Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Nah, that’s not Kate Moss doing one of her singing outings – but Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince do have a notable onstage chemistry. Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Little Richard might’ve been the first man ever to do a stage dive, but Pond’s Nick Albrook was the first to do a back-flip crowd surf. Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Photo: Tom Roelofs/NME

Iceage frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt also formed VAR, one of the countless new acts we championed this year. Photo: Tom Roelofs/NME

Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Welcome back, Delphic. ‘Collections’, the band’s second album, is scheduled to be released on 28 January 2013. Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Photo: Jenn Five/NME

New Yorkers Sleigh Bells. Their album ‘Reign Of Terror’ was one of the most sonically visceral releases of 2012. Photo: Jenn Five/NME

Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

Gallows’ Frank Carter came back with a new band, Pure Love – but his live presence was just as magnetic as ever. Photo: Dan Dennison/NME

Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Pulled Apart By Horses. No-one who saw them live this year will forget the experience in a hurry. Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Photo: Jess Baumung/NME

The xx. Their live shows were as intense, absorbing, and low on chuckles as ever. Photo: Jess Baumung/NME

Photo: Ed Miles/NME

The Vaccines came of age in 2012, with a turbo-charged second album, and appearances at seemingly every festival under the sun. Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Vaccines fans: never knowingly not ‘up for it’. Photo: Ed Miles/NME

Photo: Ben Rowland/NME

Synth-pop duo Light Asylum: one of the hundreds of new acts we introduced in the pages of Radar this year. Photo: Ben Rowland/NME

Photo: Tom Martin/NME

The Prodigy. Still going. Still showing bands half their age how it’s done. Photo: Tom Martin/NME

Photo: Emilie Bailey/NME

Celebrating like God – Noel Gallagher collects his Godlike Genius award at the NME Awards. Photo: Emilie Bailey/NME