300. The Who, 'The Who By Numbers' (1975) Polydor.
Following their ‘Tommy’ soundtrack, ‘The Who By Numbers’ was anything but, featuring the likes of ‘Squeeze Box’ and ‘Dreaming From the Waist’.
299. The Go-Betweens, '16 Lovers Lane' (1988) Beggars Banquet.
The final release before the band’s original split, ‘16 Lovers Lane’ contained the group’s biggest hit in ‘Streets Of Your Town’.
298. Malcolm McLaren, 'Duck Rock' (1983) Charisma.
Former Sex Pistols manager McClaren’s ‘Duck Rock’ LP fused hip-hop and world music to create a far more enlightening stew than the corny hoedown of 'Buffalo Girls' suggested.
297. Can, 'Ege Bamyasi' (1972) United Artists.
The krautrock experimentalist’s critically acclaimed LP has found fans as diverse as Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus and Kanye West – who sampled ‘Sing Swan Song’ on his ‘Graduation’ album.
296. David Bowie, 'Let's Dance' (1983) EMI.
Co-produced by Nile Rodgers, Bowie’s disco-infused 'sell-out' record was a dancefloor-filling smash that saw music’s biggest chameleon transform into a new-romantic funk god.
295. Snoop Dogg, 'Doggystyle' (1993) Death Row.
Following appearances on Dre’s ‘The Chronic’, his ‘Doggystyle’ debut set the rapper up as a hard-chuffing, gin-glugging superstar in his own right.
294. Klaxons, 'Myths Of The Near Future' (2007) Polydor.
Leading the nu-rave charge, Klaxon’s Mercury Prize-winning first album was a technicolour slice of drug-addled, oddball genius that they’re still yet to surpass.
293. Aztec Camera, 'High Land, Hard Rain' (1983) Sire.
The Scots’ debut preceded more commercially successful albums ‘Love’ and ‘Knife’, but set the group up as a worthy addition to the pop end of the new-wave spectrum.
292. The Cribs, 'The New Fellas' (2005) Wichita.
The Jarmans’ scenester-berating second effort saw them upscale from their charmingly lo-fi debut, perfectly mixing DIY spirit with genuine indie disco hits.
291. The Byrds, 'Younger Than Yesterday' (1967) Columbia.
Indulging the band’s increasingly psychedelic leanings, ‘Younger Than Yesterday’ saw bassist Chris Hillman come into his own to steer The Byrds into acidic new waters.
290. The Bluetones, 'Expecting To Fly' (1996) Superior Quality Recordings.
Featuring ‘Bluetonic’ and ‘Cut Some Rug’, the Londoners’ luxurious Britpop debut even managed to knock Oasis’ ‘What’s The Story (Morning Glory)’ off Number One.
289. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, 'The Modern Lovers' (1976) Beserkley.
Indebted to the Velvet Underground and responsible for influencing more bands than you can name, ‘The Modern Lovers’ is the sound of effortless US rock’n’roll.
288. Stevie Wonder, 'Music Of My Mind' (1972) Tamla.
Drawing on a more synthesizer-heavy sound, Stevie’s 14th studio album – recorded when he was just 21 – marked his soulful maturity and lit the fuse on the disco inferno.
287. Slayer, 'Reign In Blood' (1986) Def Jam.
On ‘Reign In Blood’ these Cali maniacs played thrash faster and gnarlier than it had ever been heard before. Songs about insanity and Nazi scientist Joseph Mengele only up the ante.
286. Screaming Trees, 'Dust' (1996) Sony.
Is Screaming Trees’ swansong the most psychedelic album in all grunge? ‘Dying Days’ and ‘Gospel Plow’ see their craggy rock decorated with sitar and mellotron, frontman Mark Lanegan a brooding, almost spiritual presence.
285. Marvin Gaye, 'Midnight Love' (1982) Columbia.
Inspired by funk, reggae and the machine music of Kraftwerk, Gaye’s first post-Motown album was NME’s Album Of The Year and spawned the huge hit ‘Sexual Healing’.
284. Fugazi, '13 Songs' (1989) Dischord.
Former members of Minor Threat and Rites Of Spring unite in the greatest DIY hardcore band the world has ever seen. ‘13 Songs’ collects their first two EPs in one righteous collection.
283. Roxy Music, 'Roxy Music' (1972) Island.
Art-school bands are often guilty of privileging pretension over concision, but ‘Roxy Music’ is avant-garde pop wholly deserving of the phrase; smart, imaginative, revolutionary.
282. Teenage Fanclub, 'Grand Prix' (1995) Creation.
These jangly Glaswegians worship at the altar of melodic giants from The Beach Boys to Big Star. But on ‘Grand Prix’ they made an album to rank alongside their heroes.
281. Elvis Costello, 'My Aim Is True' (1977) Stiff.
Reggae, country, torch song, ’50s dancehall and Tin Pan Alley songcraft combined on the raucous, ramshackle debut from what looked like a snarly post-punk Buddy Holly.
280. Aphex Twin, 'Drukqs' (2001) Warp.
Richard D James’ last album (ever?) was a sprawling double, a demented battery of drill’n’bass and Erik Satie piano that pushed the listener to the brink of glorious exhaustion.
279. Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, 'Trout Mask Replica' (1969) Reprise.
Beefheart’s third is one of the most challenging but rewarding albums in all rock’n’roll. Once described as “like a piece of the Somme, put in an art gallery”.
278. The Slits, 'Cut' (1979) Island.
London punk ragamuffins get together with UK reggae producer Dennis Bovell for an album of dub invention and anarchic mischief. “Do a runner!” they caterwaul on ‘Shoplifting’.
277. 'The Sundays, 'Reading, Writing And Arithmetic' (1990) Rough Trade.
Inspired by The Smiths and the Cocteau Twins, The Sundays’ Rough Trade debut is a gem of old-school indie that pushes Harriet Wheeler’s shyly beautiful voice centre-stage.
276. Echo & The Bunnymen, 'Ocean Rain' (1984) Korova.
Head Bunnyman Ian McCulloch reckoned the blustery, neo-psychedelic ‘Ocean Rain’ was “the greatest album ever”. We’d rate it a bit lower, but still, good effort.
275. The Who, 'Quadrophenia' (1973) Polydor.
Rock opera alert! The Who’s sixth followed young Jimmy, a scooter-riding mod, as he wrestled with his shattered personality to a soundtrack of monumental hard rock.
274. REM, 'Green' (1988) Warner Bros.
Hitherto folksy and cryptic, REM’s major-label debut saw them step boldly out of the indie ghetto. Loud, rocky, often explicitly political (‘Stand’, ‘Orange Crush’).
273. Kanye West, 'The College Dropout' (2004) Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam.
Yeezy’s debut shunned gangsta cliche in favour of philosophical ruminations on prejudice, materialism and religion.
272. Coldplay, 'Parachutes' (2000) Parlophone/EMI.
Radiohead had gone weird with ‘Kid A’, but here was a group quite happy to pilfer their audience.
271. The Velvet Underground, 'Loaded' (1970) Cotillion.
By the time it hit shelves, a dissatisfied Lou had quit the band. But ‘Loaded’ catches the Velvets on the sunny side, ‘Sweet Jane’ proving they could do joyous and playful when the mood took them.
270. The Kinks, 'The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society' (1968) Pye.
Ray Davies’ roving muse alights at a picturesque village in the English countryside; cue a wistful song cycle lamenting new technologies and the waning of British tradition.
269. The Horrors, 'Skying' (2011) XL.
Faris' lot embarked on a soaring Big Music epic that wraps up krautrock, shoegaze and Simple Minds in its cool embrace.
268. Todd Rundgren, 'Todd' (1974) Bearsville/Rhino.
Prog-rock prodigy follows his self-recorded ‘A Wizard, A True Star’ with another wild trip into the progressive outer limits. It’s frequently beautiful, though: see ‘A Dream Goes On Forever’.
267. Dr Feelgood, 'Stupidity' (1976) United Artists.
Blasting out of early ’70s Canvey Island, Dr Feelgood’s rowdy pub-rock – especially Wilko Johnson’s choppy guitar style – set the blueprint for punk. ‘Stupidity’ captures them live, and dangerous.
266. Coldplay, 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' (2002) Parlophone/EMI.
If Coldplay were stressing about following ‘Parachutes’, they weren’t showing it. ‘In My Place’ and ‘Clocks’ were among the standouts on a record NME described as “an album of outstanding natural beauty”.
265. Hole, 'Celebrity Skin' (1998) DGC/Geffen.
Grunge widow Courtney Love gets a makeover – and the results are fabulous. ‘Malibu’ and ‘Awful’ still rock, hard, but with a new streamlined sound steeped in power pop and Fleetwood Mac.
264. The Beatles, 'Please Please Me' (1963) Parlophone.
Anand Wilder, Yeasayer: “My mom and I bought all The Beatles’ albums in chronological order in the ’80s. I have distinct memories of using cutlery to drum along on my high chair at dinner.”
263. Laura Marling, 'I Speak Because I Can' (2010) Virgin.
Her second opus, following debut album ‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’, ‘I Speak Because I Can’ marked the maturing of Laura Marling into one of Britain’s best and most respected young songwriters.
262. Boogie Down Productions, 'Criminal Minded' (1987) B-Boy.
Packed with vérité snapshops of gun crime and turf war, ‘Criminal Minded’ comes on like a blueprint for East Coast gangsta rap. It also introduced one of rap’s all-time greatest rhymers, the mighty KRS-One.
261. Bob Marley & The Wailers, 'Live!' (1975) Island/Tuff Gong.
Recorded using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, ‘Live!’ captures a transcendent performance at London’s Lyceum Ballroom at the tail end of the Natty Dread tour.
260. The Specials, 'The Specials' (1979) 2-Tone.
Jerry Dammers and his 2-Tone crew spin tales of poverty, teen pregnancy and beer that tastes “like piss” as Jamaican ska takes root among the concrete high-rises of post-punk Britain.
259. Public Enemy, 'Yo! Bum Rush The Show' (1987) Def Jam/Columbia.
Mark Stoermer, The Killers: “I think I was 10 years old when I started to get into hip-hop. I just liked the cover, but I got really into it, and I bought every Public Enemy album after that for the next four years. There was something about the beat and they used 79 guitar samples and cool synths.”
258. Nick Drake, 'Five Leaves Left' (1969) Island.
Drake always sounded like a man not long for this world – but on his debut album his maudlin songs are brought vividly to life with orchestration from Fairport Convention, Pentangle and arranger Robert Kirby.
257. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, 'The Boatman’s Call' (1997) Mute/Reprise.
Romance and religion are Cave’s meat and drink, but he seldom tackled them with the sort of dark poetry he brought to bear on ‘The Boatman’s Call’, the Bad Seeds’ attack softened into something both grandiose and intimate.
25. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 'This Year’s Model' (1978) Radar.
Defining UK new wave, Costello's second found him at his most amphetamine-fuelled and lyrically savage, ravaging pop culture, romance, fashion and politics on 'No Action', 'Pump It Up' and '(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea'.
255. Metronomy, 'The English Riviera' (2011) Because Music.
Pure escapism that was seized on not just by those of us who had grown up on the English Riviera, Metronomy here gave us a shimmering pop classic that put the sound of sunshine in our ears and the logo of the Torbay tourist board in the hippest record collections on the planet.
254. The Smiths, 'Meat Is Murder' (1985) Rough Trade.
From the “belligerent ghouls” of ‘The Headmaster Ritual’ to the abattoir shrieks of the title track, ‘Meat Is Murder’ is The Smiths at their darkest and most confrontational.
253. Pussy Galore, 'Exile On Main Street' (1986) Shove.
Noise-rock brats led by one Jon Spencer have an audacious idea: a full-album cover of The Stones’ critically adored 1972 LP. Results: hardly faithful; rocks like a motherfucker.
252. Grimes, 'Visions' (2012) Arbutus.
Somewhere between Mariah Carey, Enya and Skinny Puppy, we find Canadian electro nymph Claire Boucher. But is ‘Visions’ a glimpse of electronic pop’s bright future – or something else entirely?
251. Beach Boys, 'Surf’s Up' (1971) Brother/Reprise.
Uneven in places, but ‘Surf’s Up’ features some of Brian Wilson’s finest moments: the baroque, Van Dyke Parks-assisted title track and the peculiar ‘A Day In The Life Of A Tree’.
250. Weezer, 'Weezer' (1994) DGC.
The album that for better or worse, gave us emo, the ‘Blue Album’ was an enthralling tangle of surf pop hooks, garage shouting and teen-geek balladry that almost made Buddy Holly cool again.
249. Prodigy, 'The Fat Of The Land' (1997) XL.
Featuring crossover hits ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, The Prodigy’s third album was a commercial smash and their ticket to techno's top table. On Blogs: NME staff choose their favourite Top 10 records of all time.
248. Eminem, 'The Slim Shady LP' (1999) Aftermath/Interscope.
Theo Hutchcraft: ''It blew my mind wide open. I lived in such a tiny town in North Yorkshire, and it made me want to escape. I still listen to it to this day. I could talk about him all night.”
247. Glasvegas, 'Glasvegas' (2008) Columbia.
Following the success of emotive anthem ‘Daddy’s Gone’, Glasvegas’ eponymous debut set the Scots up as heart-on-sleeve, gut punch sonic storytellers.
246. Nirvana, 'MTV Unplugged In New York' (1994) DGC.
A low-key but sublime live album released shortly after Kurt Cobain’s death, ‘Unplugged’ has, in many ways, become as celebrated a release as any of the band’s original LPs.
245. Super Furry Animals, 'Fuzzy Logic' (1996) Creation.
The pill-popping, unicorn-riding, Howard Marks-adoring valley boys' first LP provided an eclectic and technicolour insight into the mind of a pop one-off: a psychedelic blast of the weird and truly wonderful.
244. Wild Beasts, 'Smother' (2011) Domino.
Wild Beasts’ third took the experimental idiosyncrasies of predecessor ‘Two Dancers’ and stripped them back to the barest, most intimate bones.
243. Joni Mitchell, 'The Hissing Of Summer Lawns' (1975) Asylum.
Mixing elements of folk, jazz, classical and rock, Mitchell drew on evocative tales and visual lyrics to paint a Grammy-nominated picture.
242. Michael Jackson, 'Off The Wall' (1979) Epic.
Wall-to-wall disco gold from the peak of Jacko's 'definitely still black' 70s phase, 'Off The Wall' set Michael up to become the world's biggest funk pop superstar.
241. Madonna, 'Ray Of Light' (1998) Maverick.
Madge’s post-‘Evita’ dance reinvention was to prove one of her most acclaimed yet, with the album selling over three million copies in 18 days.
240. Ian Dury, 'New Boots and Panties!!' (1977) Stiff.
Saucy! Before teaming up with backing band The Blockheads, pub rock king Ian Dury put out this – a quintessentially English look at everyday British life.
239. Dizzee Rascal, 'Boy In Da Corner' (2003) XL.
A Mercury Prize-winner and one of the first records to bring grime to the mainstream, Dizzee’s debut put him at the forefront of the noughties' tough-talking British street talent, fixing up, sounding sharp.
238. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 'Show Your Bones' (2006) Polydor.
The follow up to their art-punk debut, ‘Show Your Bones’ found the NYC trio treading a more funky, emotive, and almost restrained path between 'Gold Lion' and 'Cheated Hearts'.
237. The xx, 'The xx' (2009) Young Turks.
The xx's debut arrived as a minimalist gem, taking beats reserved for the club, slowing them down and pushing space between to create something bewitching and unique.
236. Suicide, 'Suicide' (1977) Red Star.
Initially polarizing but later elevated to cult status, Alan Vega and co’s first effort bridged the gap between 50s rock’n’roll and new wave.
235. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, 'Murder Ballads' (1996) Mute.
With guest appearances from Kylie and PJ Harvey, ‘Murder Ballads’’ crimes of passion pushed Caves’ lyrical dexterity into darker places than ever before.
234. Pet Shop Boys, 'Behaviour' (1990) Parlophone.
Inspired by Depeche Mode and produced in Germany, ‘Behaviour’ saw the Pet Shop Boys eschew their usual playfulness for a more reflective approach.
233. Babyshambles, 'Down In Albion' (2005) Rough Trade.
Pete’s first post-Libertines LP proved he could more than cut it without Carl, dishing up two of his finest moments in ‘Albion’ and ‘Fuck Forever’.
232. Leonard Cohen, 'Songs Of Leonard Cohen' (1967) Columbia.
Full of ''half-crazy'' women and erotic anguish, the first musical foray from this published poet and author became an essential ’60s cult artifact thanks to its stark depictions of anger, lust and romance.
231. Dr Dre, 'The Chronic' (1992) Death Row Records.
The debut album from the seminal NWA lynchpin, ‘The Chronic’ included early hit ‘Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang’ and was credited for birthing the G-funk sub-genre.
230. David Bowie, 'Aladdin Sane' (1973) RCA.
Anna Calvi: “I was eight when I bought it. It’s just got incredible songs, and it has a lot of depth to it. It’s a really intelligent record. I still listen to it a lot – it’s one of my favourites even now.”
229. Public Image Ltd., 'Metal Box' (1979) Virgin.
Scratchy, serrated avant-garde noise mongering on guitars made of aluminium, PIL's second saw Lydon spark post-punk as effortlessly as he'd kicked off its precursor.
228. Pavement, 'Brighten The Corners' (1997) Matador.
More concise slacker clatter after the sprawling 'Wowee Zowee!', 'Brighten…' gave us such memorable Pavement nuggets as 'Shady Lane' and 'Stereo'.
227. John Lennon, 'Imagine' (1971) Apple.
Far more than the mawkish-but-you-love-it title track, 'Jealous Guy', 'Gimme Some Truth' and 'Oh My Love' made 'Imagine' Lennon's lushest solo record, albeit doused in dark soul-searching and sly snipes at Paul.
226. The Doors, 'The Doors' (1967) Elektra.
'Light My Fire'. 'The End'. 'Break On Through (To The Other Side)'. Psychedelic blues got no better.
225. T Rex, 'Electric Warrior' (1971) Reprise/Fly.
Goodbye strumbling cosmic folk wizard, hello mirror-shoes, spangly faces and 'Get It On', a massive glam sex-stomp like Godzilla eating Starlight Express.
224. Echo And The Bunnymen, 'Heaven Up Here' (1981) Korova.
Like Joy Division's 'Closer' if the drugs worked, the Bunnymen's second album was steeped in doomy grandeur but kept one cheek in the sunlight.
223. Arcade Fire, 'Neon Bible' (2007) Merge.
Tacky religious glitz, futile wars, ecological disaster and economic struggle; on album two Arcade Fire's world expanded as wide as their sonics.
222. Fever Ray, 'Fever Ray' (2009) Rabid.
This is a record that takes the ice-cool rave warrior mindset of The Knife's 'Silent Shout' down a notch, to create something softer and more personal. Eerily minimal music that only gods of Scandinavian electronica are capable of.
221. Marianne Faithfull, 'Broken English' (1979) Island.
Faithfull's drug-fucked croak matched the traumas and vulnerabilities of a moving, inventive and foul-mouthed punk-pop album soaked in years of homelessness, infidelity and addiction.
220. The National, 'Alligator' (2005) Beggars Banquet.
Americana's musical Black Books came into their own with the weary urbane poetry of their fourth album, songs of taut melancholy building to the screaming rampage of 'Mr November', the drunker they get.
219. The Jam, 'All Mod Cons' (1978) Polydor.
Their new British vision expanding to take in Kinks covers ('David Watts') and NF attacks ('Down In The Tube Station At Midnight'), The Jam really hit their new wave stride.
218. The Horrors, 'Primary Colours' (2009) XL.
Hiring Portishead's Geoff Barrow as producer, The Horrors' churning goth punk began aping MBV and Spiritualized to critical acclaim.
217. Iggy Pop, 'Lust For Life' (1977) RCA.
Iggy's own Berlin adventure peaked with this cracking Bowie collaboration that, despite a superhuman heroin intake, spawned 'The Passenger' and the (i)Trainspotting(i) bugle call title track.
216. New Order, 'Power, Corruption And Lies' (1983) Factory.
In the wake of 'Blue Monday', New Order cranked up the synths and lit up the nervous system of the monster we call 'dance'.
215. Massive Attack, 'Mezzanine' (1998) Circa/Virgin.
Ubiquitous on pub jukeboxes in gritty TV dramas, the nocturnal and nightmarish atmospheres of Massive Attack's third album stepped out of trip-hop into esoteric electronica, preparing the ground for Burial.
214. Air, 'Moon Safari' (1998) Virgin.
Chillwave? Daft Punk? 21st Century robo disco? The source is here, in 'Sexy Boy' and 'Kelly Watch The Stars' from the fresh princes of Versailles' celebrated debut.
213. Funkadelic, 'One Nation Under A Groove' (1978) Warner.
George Clinton’s funk mothership beam into the disco age with this melting pot of hard rock, psych and, yes, funk primed for maximum dancefloor communion.
212. Kings Of Leon, 'Youth And Young Manhood' (2003) RCA.
In which four hirsute hicks from Tennessee applied The Strokes' itchy energy to down-home trucker tales of murder, sex and drugs brewed in bathtubs, and lit a stadium-sized fuse.
211. Grace Jones, 'Nightclubbing' (1981) Island.
A glimpse into the sordid disco depravities behind the velvet rope at Studio 54, 'Nightclubbing' and its standout smash 'Pull Up To The Bumper' shunted new wave, reggae and disco firmly into the seductive neon ’80s with a single arse/car metaphor.
210. The Magnetic Fields, '69 Love Songs' (1999) Merge.
Stephin Merritt's awe-inspiring magnum opus of eclectic wonder rarely dipped over three hours of genre-hopping melodic brilliance, from baroque ballads to industrial electro-pop. Romantic, audacious, breathtaking.
209. Kate Bush, 'The Kick Inside' (1978) EMI.
Bronte, sexuality, man-children and religious mysticism combined on Kate Bush's astoundingly accomplished debut album, recorded when she was cartwheeling mistily through her 18th year.
208. Chic, 'Risqué' (1979) Atlantic.
When the world expected a third album called 'Will You Just Chuffing Well Dance, Already!', Nile Rodgers adorned his 'Good Times' calling card with reflective love paeans that nonetheless further stoked the disco inferno.
207. Janis Joplin, 'Pearl' (1971) Columbia.
Polished and posthumous, Joplin's final album remains an unfinished but fitting epitaph to one of the ’60s most tragic, wild and distinctive psych-blues-folk voices, as outspoken, ballsy and damaged as her final years.
206. Pavement, 'Slanted And Enchanted' (1992) Matador.
Part Fall, part Lemonheads and part midnight stagger to the garage for Doritos and Rizlas, Pavement's inspired debut invented US slacker pop and oozed hazy heartbreak on 'Here'.
205. b>NWA, 'Straight Outta Compton' (1988) Ruthless/Priority/EMI.
The hammer clicks back on gangsta rap - '…Compton' was the fierce and confrontational bark of LA's socially-chained black youth and, sentiment-wise, not exactly hug-a-copper.
204. Michael Jackson, 'Bad' (1987) Epic.
Jacko's transformation from drive-in dreamboat to bad boy biker spewed pure pop gold – 'Man In The Mirror', 'Bad', 'Dirty Diana' - from its exhaust pipe.
203. Beach House, 'Teen Dream' (2010) Sub Pop.
Whether wrapped in wintry twilight torch songs or snowboarding melodic glaciers, Beach House's third album epitomized the new decade's dream pop delirium.
202. Tricky, 'Maxinquaye' (1995) Island.
A murky benchmark, Tricky's first foray out of the Massive Attack fold added dank danger to Bristol's trip-hop scene, and made his nefarious name.