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The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 400-301

  • 400. The Fall, 'This Nation's Saving Grace' (1985) Beggars Banquet. Album number nine for the Prestwich punk merchants, ‘This Nation’ sees Mark E Smith at his surly best.

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  • 399. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, 'The Lyre Of Orpheus/Abattoir Blues' (2004) Mute. A blockbuster double album steeped in Greek mythology and gothic rock dirge.

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  • 398. Neil Young With Crazy Horse, 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' (1969) Reprise. Young first collaboration with Crazy Horse is full of energy.

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  • 397. Jay-Z, 'Reasonable Doubt' (1996) Rc-A-Fella/Priority. Before the fame and fortune, ‘Reasonable Doubt’ is Hov at his hungriest, snapping rhymes with ferocity.

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  • 396. Heartbreakers, 'LAMF' (1977) Track. Made up of former New York Dolls and Television members, the fuzz-drenched ‘LAMF’ is one of the greatest ‘super-group’ albums.

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  • 395. The White Stripes, 'De Stijl' (2000) Sympathy For The Record Industry. Jack and Meg made cult names of themselves with the no-fi blues-punk of 'You're Pretty Good Looking…'.

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  • 394. Wire, 'Chairs Missing' (1978) EMI. Abandoning the crunchy sound of their debut, ‘Chairs Missing’ took aim at Brian Eno ambient weirdness.

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  • 393. Prince, 'Dirty Mind' (1980) Warner Bros. Robyn: “It’s one of his first albums, and one that people don’t talk about a lot. For me it’s really special because it’s from before the point where we had a lot of money so it’s still kind of rough and almost punky, about when he started listening to New Wave.”

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  • 392. Edan, 'Beauty and the Beat' (2005) Lewis Recordings The most ruthless, raucous, gloriously off-piste rap record of the ‘00s.

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  • 391. Burial, 'Burial' (2006) Hyperdub. Full of steely 2-step beats, Burial’s 2006 debut remains an enigmatic electronic tour-de-force.

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  • 390. Verve, 'A Northern Soul' (1995) Hut. An intimate follow-up to 1993’s ‘A Storm In Heaven’ that expanded their grand rock magic.

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  • 389. Le Tigre, 'Le Tigre' (1999) Mr Lady. Bikini Kill alumnus Kathleen Hanna creates a memorable electroclash ruckus.

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  • 388. Tim Buckley, 'Happy Sad' (1969) Elektra. A daring venture into jazz at the beginning of a rich experimental period for the English songwriting icon.

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  • 387. The Clash, 'Combat Rock' (1982) CBS Angry at the press after a critical fall from grace, Strummer and co hit back in vitriolic punk fashion.

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  • 386. Gillian Welch, 'Revival' (1996) Almo Sounds. Appalachian guitars and rustic vibes make Welch’s bare, sorrowful debut a gem.

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  • 385. The White Stripes, 'Get Behind Me Satan' (2005) V2. The bluesy garage inferno that earned the duo Top Three chart berths on both sides of the Atlantic.

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  • 384. Elvis Presley, 'Elvis Presley' (1956) RCA Victor. James Allen, Glasvegas: “The woman who used to live upstairs from me had every Elvis LP and every piece of Elvis tat you could get. I thought it was strange that anyone could be that fanatical, but in terms of somebody taking you to a difference place, Elvis does that better than anybody.”

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  • 383. The Long Blondes, 'Someone To Drive You Home' (2006) Rough Trade. Sheffield janglers provide a glossy guitar-pop fantasy alternative to Alex Turner’s grey depiction of life oop t’north.

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  • 382. Simon and Garfunkel, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' (1970) Columbia. Full of poetic storytelling, this was the folk pair at their plaintive best.

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  • 381. David Bowie, 'Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)' (1980) RCA. Carl Barat: “This used to scare the shit out of me when I was about three, strapped into the back seat of our car. I used to get the heebie-jeebies then but I’m getting a bit better now. We had a hire car and my mum told me this song was about scary monsters. It was on repeat and I remember clutching the car door in fright.”

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  • 380. Bloc Party, 'Silent Alarm' (2005) Wichita. From ‘Banquet’ to the stirring ‘She’s Hearing Voices’, one of the debuts of the decade.

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  • 379. Belle & Sebastian, 'The Boy With The Arab Strap' (1998) Jeepster. Scottish indie favourites serve up a host of glistening melodies with bon-homie on their third album.

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  • 378. Wire, 'Pink Flag' (1977) Harvest. British punk harbingers shout, scream and snarl their way to infamy on their exhilarating debut.

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  • 377. Roy Harper, 'Stormcock' (1971) Harvest. One of Johnny Marr’s favourite albums, this is the cult English folkie’s finest work.

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  • 376. Sam Cooke, 'Live At The Harlem Square Club, 1963' (1985) RCA. Fifty years ago in January, R&B artist Sam Cooke performed at the Harlem Square Club in Miami. The recording of that legendary show is now considered one of the greatest live albums ever, a long-buried treasure.

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  • 375. Morrissey, 'Vauxhall and I' (1994) Parlophone. His starkest ever solo material, the Smiths man made a surprise, consummate venture into bombastic rock.

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  • 374. Frank Sinatra, 'In The Wee Small Hours' (1955) Capitol. The Rat Pack crooner confronts loneliness and depression on his ninth album.

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  • 373. Curtis Mayfield, 'There’s No Place Like America Today' (1975) Curtom. The Chicago soul man at his most affectionate and striking.

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  • 372. Big Black, 'Atomizer' (1986) Homestead. A take-no-prisoners noise rock epic typical of frontman Steve Albini’s abrasiveness.

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  • 371. Beck, 'Odelay' (1996) Geffen. A fun, funk frolic that made Beck the bounciest, most Satanically hairdressed 'Loser' on the block.

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  • 370. The Cribs, 'Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever' (2007) Wichita. The sweat-soaked triumph that established the Leeds trio as bona fide indie marvels.

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  • 369. St Vincent, 'Strange Mercy' (2011) 4AD. Equal parts punk, prog and pop, Annie Clark’s 2011 opus was beguiling and brilliant.

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  • 368. Radiohead, 'Hail To The Thief' (2003) Parlophone. A sprawling return to art-rock after the cold electronics of ‘Amnesiac’, albeit with a rootsy twist.

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  • 367. Metronomy, 'Nights Out' (2008) Because Music. An album about drinking and disillusion, this ''half-arsed concept album'' ended up as the electro 'Whatever You Say I Am…'.

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  • 366. Leonard Cohen, 'Songs Of Love and Hate' (1971) Columbia. Bleak and nihilistic it may be, but songs like ‘Dress Rehearsal Rag’ find the Canadian at his most poetic.

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  • 365. Dead Kennedys, 'Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables' (1980) Cherry Red/Alternative Tentacles. San Fran hardcore punkers go for the jugular on breathless debut album.

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  • 364. Bon Iver, 'For Emma, Forever Ago' (2008) 4AD/Jagjaguwar. Recorded in a woodland cabin in a fit of heartbroken despair, Justin Vernon’s debut remains unmatched in terms of arresting emotion.

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  • 363. Black Flag, 'Damaged' (1981) SST. Caustic hardcore punk, with Henry Rollins’ famous howl at its epicentre.

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  • 362. Beastie Boys, 'Hello Nasty' (1998) Capitol Funk-punk eclecticism from the New York emcees that saw them rapping giant robots out of Tokyo.

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  • 361. Faces, 'A Nod Is As Good As A Wink… To A Blind Horse' (1971) Warner Bros. Rod Stewart and Ronnie Woods’ third chronicle on hedonism and life in the fast lane.

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  • 360. The Strokes, 'Room On Fire' (2003) Rough Trade. The NY group’s second album introduced an electronic edge to the good-time vibes of their debut.

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  • 359. The Mothers Of Invention, 'We’re Only In It For The Money' (1968) Verve. Frank Zappa’s surrealist rock opus riffed on the Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s..’ to create a masterstroke of his own.

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  • 358. Robert Wyatt, 'Rock Bottom' (1974) Virgin. After breaking his spine in an accident, Wyatt wrote his sparkling debut across an eight-month hospital stay.

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  • 357. Sugar, 'Copper Blue' (1992) Creation. Husker Du's Bob Mould discovered a post-Nirvana spurt of accessibility and cracked out the breeziest record of the grunge era, making us all dance to the drownings.

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  • 356. Pixies, 'Bossanova' (1990) 4AD. Ditching the Biblical bloodshed, it was all aliens, UFOs and surf-rock on Pixies' sparkling third.

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  • 355. New York Dolls, 'New York Dolls' (1973) Mercury. Scorching punk underpinned by Vietnam war-era notions of dread and despair.

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  • 354. Isaac Hayes, 'Hot Buttered Soul' (1969) Enterprise. A revolution in soul music, Hayes’ second album snubbed three-minute radio-friendly cuts for 12-minute grooves.

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  • 353. Mclusky, 'Mclusky Do Dallas' (2002) Too Pure. A white-knuckle ride through clattering post-punk guitars from the cult Cardiff crew.

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  • 352. The Velvet Underground, 'White Light/White Heat' (1968) Verve. The band’s second LP honed the wasted avant-noisepop of their debut into something more challenging.

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  • 351. The Byrds, 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo' (1968) Columbia. Collaborating with the gifted Gram Parsons, The Byrds’ sixth LP made country and western hip.

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  • 350. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, 'BRMC' (2001) Virgin. The brash guitar scrawl of this debut rejuvenated Mary Chain basement rock for the new century.

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  • 349. Alt-J, 'An Awesome Wave' (2012) Infectious. A worthy Mercury Prize winner, ‘An Awesome Wave’’s minimalist electro-folk defined the dark-'net generation.

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  • 348. Whitney Houston, 'Whitney' (1987) Arista. From ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’ to ‘So Emotional’, a peppy R&B masterclass.

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  • 347. Sonic Youth, 'Dirty' (1992) Geffen. Yannis Philippakis: ''It’s a massive ‘Fuck you!’ to everyone. It was a total cure to things like school and being that age and living in England. You can just destroy stuff to this album.”

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  • 346. New Order, 'Low-Life' (1985) Factory. The moment the former Joy Division members left behind their post-punk roots to truly embrace dance.

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  • 345. Elvis Costello, 'Punch The Clock' (1983) F-Beat. Taking on the brassy gleam of Langer & Winstanley, Costello produced his brightest, most irresistible pop set.

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  • 344. Eels, 'Beautiful Freak' (1996) DreamWorks. Heartache never sounded so sweet as on Eels’ sad, sombre debut.

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  • 343. Bob Dylan, 'John Wesley Harding' (1967) Columbia. After a motorbike accident, Dylan turned in a philosophical eighth album tracing America’s history.

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  • 342. Spiritualized, 'Laser Guided Melodies' (1992) Dedicated. Jason Pierce and co’s woozy, cosmos-sized debut, a sigh in heaven, inspired a space rock boom.

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  • 341. Tom Waits, 'Closing Time' (1973) Asylum. Waits’ debut wowed critics with its bluesy stories of boozing in the city.

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  • 340. Sister Sledge, 'We Are Family' (1979) Cotillion. A swathe of wedding disco mainstays written and produced by Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards.

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  • 339. Pearl Jam, 'Ten' (1991) Epic. Propelled by Eddie 'Kurt 2' Vedder’s famous growl, ‘Ten’ stamped grunge rock's pass to the mainstream.

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  • 338. Notorious BIG, 'Ready To Die' (1994) Bad Boy. The record that made hip-hop fans turn their attention away from Dr Dre and the West Coast and focus, instead, on the bubbling scene in New York City.

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  • 337. Danger Mouse, 'The Grey Album' (2004) Self-released. No album better represents the 21st century's obsession with breaking down genre boundaries.

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  • 336. Neneh Cherry, 'Raw Like Sushi' (1989) Virgin. Blending rap and soul, hit single ‘Buffalo Stance’ helped newcomer Neneh stampede to success.

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  • 335. Queens Of The Stone Age, '…Like Clockwork' (2013) Matador. After six years away, Josh Homme and co made a storming return with help from Elton John, Jake Shears and Dave Grohl.

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  • 334. The Avalanches, 'Since I Left You' (2000) Modular. A wonderland of eccentric, imaginative scratch sampling that’s had fans pleading for a sequel ever since.

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  • 333. Paul McCartney And Wings, 'Band On The Run (1973) Apple. Jet! McCartney proves there’s life after the Beatles in emphatic, big-chorused fashion.

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  • 332. Shack, 'HMS Fable' (1999) London. Oasis’s Scouse peers channelled the spirit of the Beatles and the druggy euphoria of The Velvet Underground.

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  • 331. MC5, 'Kick Out The Jams' (1969) Elektra. Detroit proto-punks revelled in crunching guitar riffs and civil disobedience on debut album.

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  • 330. Portishead, 'Third' (2008) Island. A mesmerising trip-hop adventure, noted for Geoff Barrow’s slick, soulful production.

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  • 329. David Bowie, ' ''Heroes'' ' (1977) RCA. The second in Bowie’s Brian Eno-produced Berlin trilogy melded 'Low''s experimentalism with cloud-scraping pop epics.

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  • 328. The Flaming Lips, 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots' (2002) Warner Bros. Their biggest commercial hit, 'Yoshimi…' found ringleader Wayne Coyne confronting mortality, sumptuous melancholy and alien robot invasions.

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  • 327. Beck, 'Mutations' (1998) Geffen. Obsessed with death, Beck disguised his Grammy-winning sixth album's dark subject matter with upbeat Kinks-like jangles.

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  • 326. Yo La Tengo, 'I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One' (1997) Matador. Proving themselves masters of jangly indie pop, this eighth album included a cover of Beach Boys’ ‘Little Honda’.

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  • 325. Beck, 'Sea Change' (2002) Geffen. Recording with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck toned down the experimentation but kept the vivid colours.

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  • 324. REM, 'Lifes Rich Pageant' (1986) IRS. The college rock kings angled slightly towards the country rock mainstream. Rich indeed.

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  • 323. Miles Davis, 'Bitches Brew' (1970) Columbia. Rebelling against convention with loose, improvised rhythms, this is the jazz hero at his most punk.

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  • 322. LCD Soundsystem, 'This is Happening' (2010) DFA/Virgin. James Murphy’s final outing as electro raconteur LCD Soundsystem, and his most heartfelt.

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  • 321. Doves, 'Lost Souls' (2000) Heavenly. The ‘00s indie trio delivered on their dramatic debut the sort of haunted hooks bands spend entire careers sharpening.

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  • 320. Tom Waits, 'Swordfishtrombones' (1983) Island. 30 years on, Waits’ breakout album is still a junkyard jazz gem.

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  • 319. The Who, 'Who's Next' (1971) Track/Decca. The Londoners’ fifth album was their most intrepid – a daring, thwarted rock opera set to rival 'Tommy'.

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  • 318. Ice T, 'OG Original Gangster' (1991) Sire/Warner Bros. Marking 10 years in the game, ‘OG’ is an East Coast rap classic.

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  • 317. Gram Parsons, 'Grievous Angel' (1974) Reprise. Released after his death, Cecil Connor’s country-crossover swansong was a fitting finale.

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  • 316. Elvis Costello And The Attractions, 'Imperial Bedroom' (1982) F-Beat. Costello at his most elegant and refined, the sumptuous sonics of 'Man Out Of Time', 'You Little Fool' and 'Beyond Belief' had critics calling it a "masterpiece" and "as great as songwriting ever gets".

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  • 315. Big Brother & The Holding Company, 'Cheap Thrills' (1968) Columbia. Janis Joplin’s final album with the acid-rockers saw her leave on a delirious high.

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  • 314. Slint, 'Spiderland' (1991) Touch And Go. Ground-breaking post-rock noise beneath spoken word tales from the brink of madness.

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  • 313. Tom Waits, 'Frank's Wild Years' (1987) Island. Whiskey-stained blues, pointing gravel-throated Californian Waits the way to greatness.

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  • 312. The Cocteau Twins, 'Treasure' (1984) 4AD. The warmest, wooziest of the Scottish trailblazers’ nine albums, ‘Treasure’ was an exercise in atmos-pop perfection.

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  • 311. Super Furry Animals, 'Guerrilla' (1999) Creation. The Welshmen’s third album fine-tuned their abstract indie-pop to psychedelic wonderment.

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  • 310. Steely Dan, 'Countdown To Ecstasy' (1973) ABC. A druggy ballet of Vegas jazz, boogie woogie and experimental guitars, as intoxicating as its title.

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  • 309. Metallica, 'Metallica' (1991) Elektra/Vertigo/Universal. Featuring anthem ‘Enter Sandman’, the LA quartet’s eponymous fifth album packed more twisted metal than a motorway pile-up.

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  • 308. Lemonheads, 'It's A Shame About Ray' (1992) Atlantic. Massachusetts outfit’s mainstream breakthrough, full of slacker-pop guitars and college rock hooks.

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  • 307. Beck, 'Midnite Vultures' (1999) Geffen. A Technicolor pop explosion, pitched somewhere between Prince and ‘Computer World’-era Kraftwerk.

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  • 306. Bob Dylan, 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' (1963) Columbia. Robert Zimmerman spins society’s nuclear anxiety into a paranoid, poignant folk triumph.

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  • 305. Rod Stewart, 'Every Picture Tells A Story' (1971) Mercury. Ballads, blues and barmy barnets – the album with which Stewart entered his defining era.

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  • 304. The Orb, 'UFOrb' (1992) Big Life. A halogen-fuelled ambient techno trip full of wonky synths and sci-fi spookiness.

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  • 303. Charles Mingus, 'Mingus Ah Um' (1959) Columbia. Jazz masterwork that, beneath its gossamer surface, rallied against the US government.

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  • 302. Daft Punk, 'Homework' (1997) Virgin. Mike Skinner: “Daft Punk manage to sound different from everyone else, but at the same time their music can be played in a club. I don’t think anyone has managed to make such minimal dance music as well as Thomas Bangalter.”

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  • 301. Arthur Russell, 'World Of Echo' (1986) Pioneering electronic murmurs that hypnotised NY dance-floors in the mid-’80s and beyond. Continue reading 300 - 201.

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