Sometimes, anniversaries sneak up on you and take you by surprise. Who’d have thought, for example, that in 2015 Radiohead’s seminal masterpiece ‘Kid A’ would be a stately 15 years old? Here’s 41 other albums from the 21st century celebrating anniversaries this year…
OutKast – ‘Stankonia’ (2000). Also turning 15 in 2015 will be OutKast’s classic ‘Stankonia’. The hip-hop pair’s fourth studio album is still one of their finest and includes the singles ‘Ms Jackson’ and ‘So Fresh, So Clean’. Back when it was originally released, it garnered a 9/10 review in NME.
Linkin Park – ‘Hybrid Theory’ (2000). Not all albums age as gracefully as ‘Stankonia’, mind. Linkin Park’s ‘Hybrid Theory’ was a huge success when it was released 15-years-ago, turning the rap-metal troupe into one of the year’s biggest bands. The band headlined 2014’s Download festival by playing the album in full.
Limp Bizkit – ‘Chocolate Starfish And The Hot-Dog Flavoured Water’ (2000). Joining ‘Hybrid Theory’ in the 15th birthday celebrations this coming year is Limp Bizkit’s gobby ‘Chocolate Starfish…’. It sold a staggering 1.05 million copies in its first week of sale despite one track, ‘Hot Dog’, featuring the word ‘fuck’ on 46 occasions. Cue a million outraged parents…
PJ Harvey – ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’ (2000). PJ Harvey has many, many classic albums under her belt, but her slick and stylish ‘Stories From The City…’ was the first to win her the Mercury Music Prize. She repeated the track with another amazing LP, ‘Let England Shake’, over a decade later.
Coldplay – ‘Parachutes’ (2000). 2000 was the year that launched Coldplay: Chris Martin and co released their debut LP in the first year of the 21st century. Back then, they were a slightly gawky and earnest indie band with the singles ‘Yellow’ and ‘Trouble’ – 15 years later, they’re one of the biggest bands on the planet and mates with the likes of Jay Z and Rihanna.
The White Stripes – ‘De Stijl’ (2000). Jack and Meg’s second studio album stands up as a blues-rock masterpiece with the likes of ‘You’re Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl)’ and ‘Apple Blossom’ still among the Stripes’ finest cuts. Here, they were still underground darlings – one year later, with ‘White Blood Cells’, they’d begin to stalk the mainstream.
Primal Scream – ‘XTRMNTR’ (2000). In 1991, Primal Scream released a genre-defining classic with ‘Screamadelica’. Nine years later, they repeated the trick with the brutal, abrasive attack of ‘XTRMNTR’. The likes of ‘Kill All Hippies’ and ‘Swastika Eyes’, in particular, should be required listening for everyone.
Elastica – ‘The Menace’ (2000). Elastica’s 1995 self-titled debut is one of the great – and criminally underrated – Britpop albums, but their 2000 follow-up ‘The Menace’ is no slouch either. Damon Albarn and Mark E Smith both lent their talents to the LP, which turns 15 this year.
Eminem – ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ (2000). ‘The Slim Shady LP’ made him a star, but it was ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ which really turned Eminem into a parent-scaring, censor-baiting terror. Witty, rude and extremely dark, it’s 15 this year but it still sounds like the rapper’s freshest, fiercest work.
Madonna – ‘Music’ (2000). After 1998’s ‘Ray Of Light’ revitalised Madonna’s career, ‘Music’ helped secure her title as Queen Of Pop for many years to come. Working with stellar producers including William Orbit, it was her first US chart-topper since 1989’s ‘Like A Prayer’ and also scooped her a Grammy.
Oasis – ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’ (2000). Borrowing its title from a quote by the great scientist Isaac Newton, Oasis’s ‘Be Here Now’ follow-up didn’t quite scale their previous heights but still showed a willingness to explore new ground with the likes of ‘Gas Panic’ and ‘Go Let It Out’.
Cat Power – ‘The Covers Record’ (2000). One of the best covers albums of all time, Cat Power took on the likes of The Rolling Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, Lou Reed’s ‘I Found A Reason’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Paths Of Victory’ and made them unmistakeably – and brilliantly – her own.
Doves – ‘Lost Souls’ (2000). Doves’ debut suggested they’d have the chops to rival the likes of 2000’s other indie pretenders such as Coldplay. They might not have ever scaled the same commercial heights, but there’s a freshness and vitality to ‘Lost Souls’ that still comes on strong today.
Deftones – ‘White Pony’ (2000). One of the most innovative and interesting albums of the past 15 years, Deftones’ ‘White Pony’ saw them heralded as experimental explorers as they incorporated strange elements and touches of woozy trip hop and shoegaze into their already blistering sound.
Ryan Adams – ‘Heartbreaker’ (2000). Ryan Adams’ breakout after his years as a cult favourite in Whiskeytown, his solo debut LP was recorded in just 14 days but still timeless 15 years on. His follow-up ‘Gold’, released the following year, was even better.
Green Day – ‘Warning’ (2000). A more mature and optimistic from pop-punks Green Day, shedding off their bratty image with the likes of ‘Waiting’, Minority’ and the title track. Three years later and they’d reinvent themselves as political polemicists with 2004’s ‘American Idiot’.
Dandy Warhols – ’13 Tales From Urban Bohemia’ (2000). The big breakthrough for indie darlings Dandy Warhols, who found mainstream acceptance 15 years ago with their third studio album – and, more pertinently, with mobile phone company Vodafone choosing their anthem ‘Bohemian Like You’ for an advertising campaign.
At The Drive-In – ‘Relationship Of Command’ (2000). One of the greatest swansong albums ever? They’d split a year later, but At The Drive-In’s ‘Relationship Of Command’ is still revered as a work of post-hardcore genius. The band played a series of reunion shows in 2012.
Franz Ferdinand – ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ (2005). It’s a 10th anniversary, too, for Franz Ferdinand’s second LP ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’. A dash more tender than their debut due to the likes of ‘Walking Away’ and ‘Eleanor, Put Your Boots On’, it received a 9/10 review in NME.
The Rolling Stones – ‘A Bigger Bang’ (2005). Franz Ferdinand were still toddlers in musical terms in 2005 compared to this lot: 10 years ago, The Rolling Stones released their 22nd album, ‘A Bigger Bang’. The Stones haven’t released a full album of new, original material since.
Rihanna – ‘Music Of The Sun’ (2005). Here’s one to make you feel old: Rihanna released her debut album 10 years ago. Lead single ‘Pon De Replay’ was the first track to hint at the chart domination she’d enjoy over the next decade.
Kanye West – ‘Late Registration’ (2005). Rihanna was just getting started in 2005, but Kanye West was growing his legacy with his second album ‘Late Registration’. 10 years later and it’s still a classic – check out a tracklisting that includes ‘Gold Digger’ and ‘Touch The Sky’, for starters.
The Rakes – ‘Capture/Release’ (2005). 2005 was a busy year for indie, too. The Rakes channelled their experiences of late nights, boozy mistakes and painful morning-afters with their debut ‘Capture/Release’…
Hard-Fi – ‘Stars Of CCTV’ (2005)… while Hard-Fi were busy causing waves, too, with the social commentary and down-on-your-luck storytelling of their first album ‘Stars Of CCTV’.
Maximo Park – ‘A Certain Trigger’ (2005). Maximo Park were in on the act, too, with frontman Paul Smith introducing himself as a provincial poet on the jagged, smart and stylish ‘A Certain Trigger’. ‘Brilliant songs’ that were ‘energetic and cleverly crafted’, said NME at the time.
Art Brut – ‘Bang Bang Rock N Roll’ (2005). Other smart-as-they-come types releasing debuts in 2005 included the clever-clever Art Brut, with single ‘Formed A Band’ going on to become one of the year’s unlikely anthems.
Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Employment’ (2005). All together now: “Wooooooaaaaaaaaah!” If there was an outstanding achiever from UK guitar music’s class of 2005 it was Leeds chancers Kaiser Chiefs, who seemed to have stockpiled scores of classic singles (‘Oh My God’, ‘I Predict A Riot’, ‘Every Day I Love You Less And Less’) in their bid for indie disco domination.
Bloc Party – ‘Silent Alarm’ (2005). Kaiser Chiefs may have made the biggest dent on the mainstream, but ‘Employment’ was no match for Bloc Party’s mighty ‘Silent Alarm’: an album which was as tender and honest as it was jittery, panicked and urgent. An eerie echo of the global and political uncertainty of 2005.
The Bravery – ‘The Bravery’ (2005). Across the pond, meanwhile, The Bravery made people sit up and take notice with one enormous single, ‘An Honest Mistake’, and… not much else. Don’t worry, The Bravery: you’ll always have 2005.
MIA – ‘Arular’ (2005). One of the year’s finest debuts, ‘Arular’ introduced the world to one of 21st century Britain’s most enthralling, erudite voices: MIA’s mix of political lyrics, revolutionary themes and dancefloor-shaking beats marked her from the get-go as an icon-in-waiting.
The National – ‘Alligator’ (2005). In 2015, The National are cherished by a small army of fans who feel that their poignant, pointed songs on love, loss and the modern condition speak directly to them. 10 years ago, they were more of a cult concern, putting out records like the deep and brooding ‘Alligator’.
Sufjan Stevens – ‘Illinois’ (2005) . The National weren’t the US underground’s only reason to get excited in 2005, either. It’s now 10 years since Sufjan Stevens showed just what a strange, singular talent he was with his oddball concept album ‘Illinois’.
Coldplay – ‘X&Y’ (2005). 2005 saw a bevy of releases from music’s big guns, too. 10 years ago, Coldplay revealed their third album ‘X&Y’ which came with Echo And The Bunnymen-like splendour (‘White Shadows’) and soppy tear-jerkers (‘Fix You’).
Oasis – ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’ (2005). Oasis, meanwhile, released their finest album in years with ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’. Noel’s tunes were as big as ever, particularly the Kinks-aping ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’, but Liam was growing as a songwriter, too, with the dirty stomp of ‘The Meaning Of Soul’ and the more heartfelt ‘Guess God Thinks I’m Abel’.
The White Stripes – ‘Get Behind Me Satan’ (2005). Jack and Meg’s most dramatic, theatrical album yet? On ‘Get Behind Me Satan’ they postured and pranced like Tim Burton’s worst nightmare on the devilish, eerie ‘Blue Orchid’, but still find time for sweet-as-sugar pop with ‘My Doorbell’.
Foo Fighters – ‘In Your Honour’ (2005). Dave Grohl and co were back in 2005, too, with the raucous ‘In Your Honour’. Turning 10 this year, it picked up on Grohl’s experiences with John Kerry’s 2004 Presidential Election Campaign but bought the riffs, too, with the furious ‘Best Of You’ among the standouts.
New Order – ‘Waiting For The Sirens Call’ (2005). 10 years ago, and the waters between Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner were far less choppier. In 2015, things are much more turbulent, but New Order were able to come together on the solid-but-still-stylish ‘Waiting For The Sirens Call’.
Queens Of The Stone Age – ‘Lullabies To Paralyze’ (2005). QOTSA’s first album after bassist Nick Oliveri was fired could have been a meeker affair. But Josh Homme doesn’t do cowered, does he? And here he was coming up with some of his filthiest riffs to date with ‘Little Sister’, ‘In My Head’ and ‘Burn The Witch’.
Antony And The Johnsons – ‘I Am A Bird Now’ (2005). Antony Hegarty would eventually go on to win the Mercury Music Prize for his spectacular LP ‘I Am A Bird Now’. 10 years later, it’s hard to quibble with the judges’ decision, isn’t it?
Gorillaz – ‘Demon Dayz’ (2005). The ultimate proof that Gorillaz was no mere Damon Albarn vanity project, but a living, breathing entity in its own right that didn’t just showcase his talents – it took them to stranger, odder places. A few celeb friends helps, too: witness the turn by Shaun Ryder on ‘DARE’ for proof.
LCD Soundsystem – ‘LCD Soundsystem’ (2005). And we end with the man responsible for releasing one of the finest debut singles of the 21st century. Sadly, ‘Losing My Edge’ wasn’t included on LCD Soundsystem’s debut LP, but there was enough dance-punk goodness in tracks like ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’ to make amends.