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The Best Albums of 2021

“Best-of” lists are generally subjective at best, but with Discogs’ data, interesting music trends surface in the numbers. By looking at how many Discogs users have added albums to their Wantlists and Collections throughout the year, it’s easy to see which artists and genres were the most popular in 2021.

So which types of music did the Discogs Community collect and covet this past year?

Indie rock legends Weezer and Dinosaur Jr. both released new albums this year that were well-received by fans. Two Weezer albums (Van Weezer and OK Human) and Dinosaur Jr.’s Sweep It Into Space ended up in over 20,000 Collections and Wantlists in 2021.

English groups Shame and Dry Cleaning each landed on the list with their fresh takes on the classic post-punk sound. London band Black Midi also made waves throughout the Community with their latest album Cavalcade.

Metal giants Iron Maiden, Cannibal Corpse, and Gojira all gave us releases that the Community couldn’t get enough of. Genre-hopping hardcore band Turnstile was also on the tip of many tongues. Their latest effort, Glow On, was the best-selling record in September 2021, the month after its release. Over 4,000 Discogs users currently have the album in their Collection.

Hip-hop had a great year as well. Madlib’s Sound Ancestors and the latest collaboration between Czarface and MF Doom were highly collected and desired by Discogs users.

Last, but most certainly not least, pop albums shined throughout 2021. The top 10 is full of female pop artists that took the year by storm. Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Lorde, Halsey, and Taylor Swift all claimed high-ranking spots with the most collected and wanted albums of 2021.

About the data: In order to prepare this list in time for a year-end review, the Wantlist and Collection data reflects January 1, 2021, through November 30, 2021. 

Best Albums of 2021


Weezer - Van Weezer album cover

No. 50. Weezer – Van Weezer

Crush Music, Atlantic

Pink Floyd - Live At Knebworth 1990 album cover

No. 49. Pink Floyd – Live At Knebworth 1990

Pink Floyd Records

Shame - Drunk Tank Pink album cover

No. 47. Shame – Drunk Tank Pink

Dead Oceans

Bicep - Isles album cover

No. 46. Bicep – Isles

Ninja Tune

Prince - Welcome 2 America album cover

No. 42. Prince – Welcome 2 America

NPG Records, Legacy, The Prince Estate

Squid - Bright Green Field album cover

No. 40. Squid – Bright Green Field

Warp Records

Helloween - Helloween album cover

No. 37. Helloween – Helloween

Nuclear Blast

Black Midi - Cavalcade album cover

No. 35. Black Midi – Cavalcade

Rough Trade

Arlo Parks - Collapsed In Sunbeams album cover

No. 34. Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams

Transgressive Records, Beatnik

Weezer - OK Human album cover

No. 33. Weezer – OK Human

Atlantic, Crush Music

John Mayer - Sob Rock album cover

No. 32. John Mayer – Sob Rock

Columbia, Sony Music

Cannibal Corpse - Violence Unimagined album cover

No. 31. Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined

Metal Blade Records

Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee album cover

No. 30. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee

Dead Oceans

Kacey Musgraves - Star-Crossed album cover

No. 28. Kacey Musgraves – Star-Crossed

Interscope Records, MCA Nashville

Turnstile - Glow On album cover

No. 27. Turnstile – Glow On

Roadrunner Records

Steven Wilson - The Future Bites album cover

No. 26. Steven Wilson – The Future Bites

Caroline International

Mogwai - As The Love Continues album cover

No. 24. Mogwai – As The Love Continues

Rock Action Records

Dee Gees / Foo Fighters - Hail Satin album cover

No. 23. Dee Gees / Foo Fighters – Hail Satin

Roswell Records, RCA, Sony Music

Royal Blood - Typhoons album cover

No. 22. Royal Blood – Typhoons

Warner Records

Madlib - Sound Ancestors album cover

No. 21. Madlib – Sound Ancestors

Madlib Invazion

Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend album cover

No. 20. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend

Dirty Hit

Adele - 30 album cover

No. 18. Adele – 30

Columbia, Sony Music

Radiohead - Kid A Mnesia album cover

No. 16. Radiohead – Kid A Mnesia

XL Recordings

Lana Del Rey - Blue Banisters album cover

No. 15. Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters

Polydor, Interscope Records

Gojira - Fortitude album cover

No. 12. Gojira – Fortitude

Roadrunner Records

The Black Keys - Delta Kream album cover

No. 11. The Black Keys – Delta Kream

Easy Eye Sound, Nonesuch

ABBA - Voyage album cover

No. 8. ABBA – Voyage

Polar

Lorde - Solar Power album cover

No. 5. Lorde – Solar Power

Crush Music, Universal Music New Zealand

Iron Maiden - Senjutsu album cover

No. 4. Iron Maiden – Senjutsu

Parlophone

Olivia Rodrigo - Sour album cover

No. 3. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour

Geffen Records

Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever album cover

No. 2. Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

Interscope Records, Darkroom

Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club album cover

No. 1. Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club

Polydor, Interscope Records

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