The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s

No matter how much we’ve loved our Lesters, Daves and Sheffields, there has always been a gulf between citizens and music critics, between what people listen to and what a comparative handful of writers think we should hear.

It’s a friendly enough war. Both sides end the day with their feet on the coffee table, drink in hand and a record on the turntable. There are no losers in that scenario, but that doesn’t stop the battle from endlessly repeating.

Here’s the thing: Critics are charged with constantly trying to find something new, something to champion. Mainstream music will always find an audience, so a critic feels an imperative to explore the fringes. At the same time, there are millions of people who are perfectly capable of exploring those same fringes, sorting through the crap and putting together a stellar record collection.

That’s what this list is about. Real people. Real collections. It’s comprised of records that Discogs users have either bought or want to buy, and it paints a fascinating picture of popular music post-2010.

The decade’s superstar? That has to be Kendrick Lamar, with three albums in the top 15. The most depressing repeat artist? David Bowie, whose 2016 death is no doubt responsible for his Blackstar landing at No. 2. And Tame Impala, with three albums in the top 30? Well, friends, sometimes real life and music critic life perfectly coincide.

So dig into this list and discover how many records are in your collection — even better, check out every band you’ve never heard of and find some new favorites. You don’t need some kid two years out of college, or a jaded critic with 40 years of reviews under their belt, telling you what’s worthwhile. That’s your job. Have fun.

And shout out to VNYL for offering every LP on our list in one package in their “5G Is Here” campaign. Learn more at VNYL.

The 200 Best Albums Of The 2010s

 

And there you have it: the Discogs 200 Best Albums of the 10s in all its glory. What have we learned here today? The big takeaway is that Rock is by no means dead, despite how many times that tired old trope gets tossed around, but Jazz is on life support.

Around 70-percent of the list is comprised of rock artists, with the next closest genre being Hip Hop at 15-percent. Pop is below 10-percent and Jazz is, well, Jazz is Kamasi Washington all by himself. But at least there is a Jazz album; Country music, wildly popular throughout a large chunk of the US, didn’t even make the list.

That proves something about Discogs users that we’ve always suspected: You have excellent taste, and when you see a Bro-country or Hick Hop record, you make the responsible decision to keep walking. Well done.

Produced in Partnership With VNYL.

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35 Comments
  • Jan 16,2020 at 08:51

    It’s comprised of records that Discogs users have either bought or want to buy.

  • Jan 6,2020 at 15:25

    Important to understand that Discogs groups any release of the same title and/or artist. What you are seeing isn’t the desirability of some singular artist/title but a sum of any number of releases with the same artist/title. Would be a better reflection of actual taste had the data analyst only used first releases and had excluded subsequent and often overhyped releases made just to cash in on popularity; i.e. Colored vinyl, RSD, some Third Man manufactured collectible. Although I wonder how many decades it would take one single person to sell everything on this list. Probably would still have some of these left over after 40+ years.

  • Dec 24,2019 at 09:57

    Guys, read the post. The list is based on the most popular ones and on most purchased and wanted. They did not handpick the list. So, chill tf out. This is based on our collections so blame yourself for not owning better records if that’s your complaint. Honestly, though there’s nothing wrong with this list. Music is subjective so get off your high horse.

  • Dec 21,2019 at 20:51

    Where are Underworld, Orbital, Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp…??? I don’t agree with this list.

  • Dec 19,2019 at 16:24

    Dude, this was straight up a joke, I just LOL’d to this list is embarrassing :’D

    You guys are making pitchfork look good smh

  • Dec 19,2019 at 01:18

    I don’t get the adoration for Tame Impala’s Currents. Let It Happen is a great tune but the rest doesn’t hold a candle to Kevin’s first 2 albums. It’s way too cheesy for my taste. It almost sounds like something N’Sync would do if they tried to cash in on psychedelia.

  • Dec 13,2019 at 15:41

    Hick Hop? Rolling on the floor laughing. Can someone suggest a particular offensive one, not to listen to, but to keep as a culture rot signpost?

  • Dec 11,2019 at 21:33

    Only 4 records from this are in my collection. That can’t are the 200 best… ;)

    I don’t like such lists. Most collected music don’t must be the best music.
    There are so many great and important musicians on the world who make music I don’t like. And a lot of music I like is trash…

    Arguments against general best-lists:
    1. Some music is great art and most people don’t understand the concept.
    2. Many music is only commercial and most people don’t understand this and buy it…
    3. Some music is commercial successful and is hated from some people as commercial music but it’s the authentic art of the artist

    In that way: it’s not possible to list the real best 200 records!

    Please call such lists the real name:
    “Most collected” or “Most selling” or what ever was the algorithm…

  • Dec 6,2019 at 09:36

    The last year of each decade is the 10th year (20th, 30th etc). And the first year is (surprise!!!) the 1st (11th, 21st etc) year!!! The 9th year is the one before the last. Decade ends 31 dec 2020. Please kiss yourself (and your math teachers).

  • Nov 23,2019 at 18:33

    I think discogs should give the details of how the list was calculated. For example, so many points were given for people wanting a record, so many points for people having the record, so many points awarded to editorial decisions. I don’t like the list at all, mainly because, if we want to know the best selling records, then we can simply go to Billboard for that. Discogs.com is a place for record collectors and as such a list of the hottest from discogs community should include record buying trends. That means it should also include that rare “Ethiopian” Jazz record collectors have gone crazy about. Also many records sold and collected on Discogs are international and not in English, but your list has NO album in a language other than English. A bit self centered, don’t you think? The rest of the world also exists. I have also made my list of the best of the decade, but its of songs, since single songs is the correct format in the streaming age. Here are 10 songs to remember:
    1. SOFI TUKKER – Drinkee funky pop female vocals 2016
    2. Empire Of The Sun – DNA Pop Pet Shop Boyish 2013
    3 The Weeknd Gessafelstein – Lost in the fire R+B 2019
    3 The Last Shadow Puppets – Miracle Aligner pop 2016
    4. DJ Snake, George Maple – Talk Dance 2016 Sep-16
    5. PNAU – Chameleon Afro chants Dance 2017 Mar-17
    6. Jimi Jamison – Alive Jim Peterik – Van Zant 2010 Rock 2010
    7. LUIS EDUARDO AUTE- INTEMPERIE Spain 2010 Mar-17
    8. Loredana Errore – Cattiva (feat.Loredana Berte) Italia 2011
    9 Ersoy Bulent Ersoy feat. Tarkan – Bir Ben Bir Allah Biliyor () Turkey 2011
    10. Gianluca Grignani – Natura Umana Italia 2011 Jun-19

    For my full list of the top 300 songs of the decade, inclusive of non-English language songs visit this post:

    https://tormentonetrash.wordpress.com/2019/11/12/the-greatest-songs-of-the-2010s-decade/

  • Nov 19,2019 at 22:24

    I’m going to have to comment on this list out of sheer confusion. I understand how this list was compiled so I’m not going to comment on that, but labeling the list the “200 Best Albums of the 2010’s” is quite misleading – This is just the most collected albums from that time frame. But seriously, Muse(twice??)? Imagine Dragons? The Soundtrack from a lackluster Marvel movie(also appearing twice)? Florence & The Machine? I’m guessing that U2 album appears because it was automatically loaded onto all apple music accounts with a certain version of IOS. The bar is obviously so low, but that is just my opinion.

  • Nov 17,2019 at 00:35

    This may be an accurate representation of Discogs user’s preferences but in no way is close to being a half-decent “best” releases of the 2010s list. Why call it something it ain’t?

  • Nov 16,2019 at 23:48

    Hahaha very funny list

  • Nov 14,2019 at 03:27

    Way too pop. Totally depressing.

  • Nov 12,2019 at 14:07

    This is echo chamber BS. The email offering to let you order all this crap over a long painful And disappointing year ensures it’ll be canonized and you will all be forced to keep hearing it for decades to come. these will be the discs millennials will keep next to their hair band titles to be ‘ironic’ and ‘random’ There are a few albums, but id give it a ratio of 15:1 and they are not the best, great and possibly just good.

    This industry sells identity thru hip vinyl discs and expensive boards painted in the likeness of beatles cover art. If you want to know where this list comes from then dive down a spotify Rabbit hole and you will learn you have all been had by an algorithm. Its a bit larger spectrum of sounds than radio offered but its pretty much the same trap.

  • Nov 9,2019 at 23:28

    I love how f**kin stupid people are! Several comments here of how bad the list are and that he should have chosen this or that record. Since most people today is useless, they don’t even take 1 minute to read before they comment. It says ”That’s what this list is about. Real people. Real collections. It’s comprised of records that Discogs users have either bought or want to buy, and it paints a fascinating picture of popular music post-2010”. So statistics, not an individual’s opinion. Please kill yourself!

  • Nov 4,2019 at 20:23

    No Rosalía “El Mal Querer”? Sure?

  • Oct 31,2019 at 13:54

    This is depressing!

  • Oct 30,2019 at 23:31

    Oh…
    The crashing inevitably of people moaning about what is & what isn’t on this list *despite it clearly stating at the top of the page that it’s a factual representation of what discogs users have bought & have searched for*
    Jesus wept

  • Oct 30,2019 at 19:39

    Apparently people didn’t read the first paragraphs of the article…

  • Oct 30,2019 at 12:14

    It would be interesting to also see the demographics of users

  • Oct 29,2019 at 18:46

    I can’t believe Halcyon Days by Ellie Goulding isn’t here. That album is a masterpiece.

  • Oct 29,2019 at 17:56

    So RAM by Daft Punk is the best album this decade? Ok.

    I can’t understand why you guys included objectively bad music like Coldplay’s bland and awful post-2008 albums or anything by Imagine Dragons or that dreadful Humanz album (The Now Now exists) but eh

  • Oct 29,2019 at 08:49

    To all the people complaining: I agree about the misleading title “The 200 Best …”, but in the introduction they make clear how the list was made: “It’s comprised of records that Discogs users have either bought or want to buy”. So this just reflects the taste of “us”, the buyers, according to the data discogs has access to (of course they don’t know what other albums we have bought outside discogs unless we took the job of adding them to “our collection”).

  • Oct 29,2019 at 08:44

    So this list should be called the most sought after in this time period. Discogs people, expand your music listening!!!

  • Oct 29,2019 at 02:41

    Nothing by Rival Sons. Nothing by The Darkness. Nothing to see.

  • Oct 29,2019 at 02:19

    I love the list but…Really…no Tom Waits-Bad As Me Or Wilco- The Whole Love or Charles Bradley-Changes?

  • Oct 28,2019 at 17:46

    Important to keep in mind that this is not a typical “Top Albums According to Somebody” list. This list is representative of what discogs users have/want in their collection. It’s a by-the-numbers game, using quantitative data.

    …Which is what makes it interesting, in its own way. I think it’s obvious that no reasonable person would place Daft Punk’s Random Access in the number 1 slot, let alone The Guardians of The Galaxy soundtrack into the top 15. Whether they’re good albums or not is beside the point. This is a showcase of what’s popular. Here we can observe that discogs users are apparently relatively mainstream, but also harbor plenty of edgy flirtations with authentic independent music. Fun list.

  • Oct 28,2019 at 17:25

    Description should read “In no particular order”. For real though, if these really were the best albums of the decade I don’t even wanna know what the next 10 years are gonna sound like.

  • Oct 28,2019 at 05:06

    Why? western releases only?

  • Oct 27,2019 at 05:33

    Can’t do anything but respect the list. Definitely a tough task to undertake. Although I feel a lot was missed I’m interested in checking out some of these albums that I’ve not heard yet.

  • Oct 27,2019 at 01:57

    imma keep it real with you chief this list is absolute trash what the hell are you on

  • Oct 27,2019 at 01:18

    “The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s According To Some Random Guy”

    My list would include almost none of these albums — which is to say, this sort of thing is completely subjective, and makes articles like this pointless. Also, WAY too much frigging Ghost (one of the most overrated bands ever).

  • Oct 26,2019 at 16:40

    No Migos ??

  • Oct 26,2019 at 09:00

    You forgot the following:

    Dinosaur Jr. – Give A Glimpse Of What You’re Not
    Unsane – Sterlize/Wreck
    Cherubs – Immaculada High
    Melvins – Hold It In
    Shellac – Dude Incredible
    Yawning Man – The Revolt Against Tired Noises
    Trigger Cut – Buster

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