The Smiths – ‘Meat is Murder’. The band’s 1985 sophomore covers everything from child abuse to stabbings.
Suicide – ‘Suicide’. The New York no wavers caused a few tears with their 1977 LP. It enters our darkest records countdown at Number 44.
Spiritualized – ‘Let It Come Down’. Pain, drugs, and the pain of drugs form the backbone of Jason Pierce’s final effort on a major label.
Slint – ‘Spiderland’. The cover for the post rocker’s second album sees them treading water in the lake of an abandoned quarry, but the material on the disc inside was somewhat less playful.
Kanye West – ‘808s and Heartbreak’. In the days Pre-Twitter (if you can remember such a time), Kanye crafted this despondent effort and left a clue to its lyricism in the title. Find out why it’s in our list in this week’s mag.
The XX – ‘XX’. Sneaking in at Number 50 in our list of darkest records, the Mercury-winning debut from the London band.
Radiohead – ‘OK Computer’. OK so they aren’t exactly renowned for big party choons, but even for Radiohead this was jam-packed with alienation and despair.
Pulp – ‘This Is Hardcore’. On which ‘Help The Aged’ was perhaps just the most memorable of the bunch. Find out where it appears in our dark albums countdown in this week’s NME.
Nico – ‘Desertshore’. Nico’s third album, co-produced by John Cale and Joe Boyd. It takes the fifth spot in our darkest albums countdown in this week’s issue.
Nick Drake – ‘Pink Moon’. Well that’s not a happy face is it? And if sun/cheese/duck/clown thing on the front looks depressed, it only gets gloomier when the needle hits the vinyl.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – ‘Your Funeral… My Trial’. The title and Cave’s face say it all – this was recorded during the songwriter’s drug phase, and it shows.
Leonard Cohen – ‘Songs Of Love And Hate’. Cohen plumbs rare lyrical depths on his 1967 debut; grab this week’s mag for the full story on this landmark gloom album.
Joy Division – ‘Closer’. Released posthumously two months after Ian Curtis’ death, Joy Division’s second album is a textbook of claustrophic paranoia. We take a closer look at the 1980 masterpiece in this week’s mag.
Joni Mitchell – ‘Blue’. Another LP that did very much what it said on the tin, Mitchell’s 1971 classic covers divorce and lost children – beautifully sad stuff.
Husker Du – ‘Candy Apple Gray’. Their major label debut was to be their penultimate album, but the more acoustic LP has stood the test of time as a classic dark album.
Glasvegas – ‘Glasvegas’. With new material surfacing this week, what better time to revist their classic debut? It hits Number 39 in our countdown.
Arab Strap – ‘Elephant Shoe’. At Number 28, Arab Strap, with what this week’s mag calls “nuclear fall-out from the battle of the sexes”.
David Bowie – ‘Heroes’. The title track may have been co-opted by all sorts of nefarious types (not least The X Factor producers), but Bowie’s Berlin-era album remains a melancholy classic.
Coldplay – ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’. Featuring burning cities, wars and dead romance, Coldplay’s second effort wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs.
Billie Holiday – ‘Lady Sings The Blues’. The final album in our preview of the dark albums countdown in this week’s mag is sadness distilled. We’ll let the cover speak for itself.