All-Time Music Charts

VinylSurrender lists the best music of all-time from 1950 to the present day, compiling charts of the most popular tracks and releases throughout this period.

Each track has it's own statistics page with standard information such as album, artist, year of release, genre, mood, etc, as well as specific chart positions.

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Album Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens (2015)
To say that I love this album, already, would be an understatement. The proof is in the pudding, and if you play an album by listening to the first two, three, or more tracks, several times over and over again, that's testament to how good it is or can be. It does get a little thin as it draws on because it's not the most varied recording in the world, but the surface beauty is enough to draw you in and hopefully entice you into exploring what's there over the long-term. And yes, over the long-term (4-5 months after its release) it gets even more involved and beautiful and THE must-have recording for this year and the rest of your life. The saddest thing about this album is understanding how alone you are in contemplating its beauty - a wider message disseminated by Sufjan Stevens that somehow feels like a private message between you and God. I'm so pleased that SJ got back to his simplistic roots on this. I'm also very pleased to see a 'Christian' album make such headway in the music industry, i.e. the same Christianity that usually doesn't come across very well because of its lack of bite and repetitiveness. Here SJ nails it on the head by lightly touching on religion as an integral part of the message about life, how we feel on earth and ultimately, on our feelings about death. It's so subtle, yet so powerful, without thrusting its message down our throats. "Fourth of July" is the point that breaks me on this album - I'm not even listening intently to what Stevens is saying but it's the point where I need to get up and get some space, to clear my emotions and make sure no-one knows how emotional it's really made me feel. A seriously phenomenal record that, over the long-term, has no weak or skip points. (Richard)  
Album Currents by Tame Impala (2015)
Soft, easy-going and pretty at a glance - not something I was expecting to write about this album, but these guys are going for the pop-music jugular instead of going down the rather risky, take it or leave it, psychedelic-rock revival route, and that's something to be praised if it works, but ultimately disappointing when it comes across as so understated and pleasant, and you don't even get a sniff of a riff until about half-way through the first track, and the next track 'Nangs' is one minute 48 seconds of orchestrated interlude, although nothing wrong with that. If you were expecting this album to be crunchingly brilliant and immediately striking you're going to have to be patient and let it wash over your head, or just accept that it doesn't create any major waves and is probably aimed at carefree markets. It's pretty obvious that this isn't the magnum opus that was fervently expected, as the guitar work is too mellow and it doesn't have the punch or bite to kick itself out of the heap of other 2015 releases. Tracks 4 and 5 are lovingly combined listening experiences but still not intense enough to stimulate further listens, although the single ''Cause I'm A Man Woman' is worth repeat plays and probably the strongest track. Before getting carried away and completely slagging off a decent record - it's not a bad album, just one that would probably take better hold if it had Bryan Ferry on vocals and some Barry White crooning accompaniment to fully bring its knicker-tugging potential to the fore, on this smooth and rather seductive release. 'Currents' should have been Tame Impala's ultimate pop-rock record, as you can't help feeling that when these guys steer away from the expectations of the mainstream masses, they're back at their studio playing real guitars and thrashing out attitude, like their image suggests, instead of tinkling with the keyboard and sounding like they're more interested in getting laid. They've let their hair grow and their attitudes fester, but their musical output is curtailed by loved-up vocals, skittery percussion and synthy effects, which isn't a bad thing if you're into it, just not gritty or amazing enough. (Richard)  
Album On Your Own Love Again by Jessica Pratt (2015)
An enchanting album of nine fully fleshed out tracks that are as endearing as the last. 2015 has seen no shortage of female soloist albums, and yet another album in this vein is prone to slip under the radar, especially after being blessed with so many soft, sweet, often experimental, really lovely releases from Courtney Barnett, Jenny Hval, Waxahatchee - the list goes on, it's easy to become apathetic about a non-stellar sounding Jessica Pratt release - not even her name sounds enticing, and yet... there's something here, a word on the street, a flutter of interest that's followed by a dabble, a test, a download... and two full album listens later, a beautiful four-track live performance on KEXP Seattle, more searches and experiments on this amazing artist and suddenly Jessica Pratt is firmly noted as a serious artist for 2015 and beyond. She's slightly weird and understated, which helps her to stand out with that accentuated accent and stresses on words like 'time' sounding more like 'tame', the guitar accompaniment heralding back to 70's folk records, her dark make-up and slightly shrivvled looks, and other oddities like the doo-doo da-doo-doo references to 'Hungry Like The Wolf' by Duran Duran - is it intentional, unintentional, I've no idea, but the otherworldly-ness is the charming aspect of this beguiling release, as well as the ocassional off-key changes in pitch and tempo; in some ways like everything you've heard a zillion times before but like nothing else either and demonstrative of its songwriting class. /// Some references have been made to Joni Mitchell, but that's probably down to Mitchell being the widest reference and catch-all of 70's female folk music not because Pratt really sounds like her. There are similarities to contemporary artists like Anais Mitchell and her quaint, weird homely style, ever-so-slightly sad and reflective but utterly lovely. Released at the end of January 2015, the album may have been overlooked but certainly not forgotten, and it's still one of the most utterly charming and otherworldly albums of 2015. You'll listen to it, be enticed, come back to it and fall in love with it. It's as wonderfully intimate and betwixing as Sufjan Steven's mammoth 'Carrie & Lowell', although the second half of the album after 'Moon Dude' isn't quite as strong as the first half, but nonetheless, a brilliant nine track, 30 minute listen. (Richard)  
Album The Sovereign Self by Trembling Bells (2015)
The thing that motivates you into listening to an album for the first time such as a nice cover or a good review is pretty irrelevant due to the original notion often being superficial, but the motivation to come back for a second or third listen is very important. The reason for doing that doesn't matter a great deal, only the fact that you did it, especially when you think of the millions of audio sources, downloads, streaming services, YouTube channels, etc, etc, there's no need to repeat something that you don't really like when there are so many other options around. We've moved on from the analogue days of picking a couple of records from the rack and 'committing' ourselves to the listening experience for better or worse, perhaps like 'Kid A' by Radiohead, which is pretty horrible on first listen but after repeat plays starts to reveal its inner wonders. These days we don't have time for all that farting around. Fortunately 'The Sovereign Self' is immediately accessible in a medieval/archaic chamber-pop sort of way and I just wish more bands would make intensified and psychedelic folk-prog-rock like this. It's a gratifying listen from yet another northern hemisphere band (Scottish actually), reminiscent of the creepy sound of Espers in places but less eerie, and also jokey/jovial in one or two places. /// Most of the tracks are long, starting off with the excellent ''Tween the Womb and the Tomb', with female vocals and deep and dirging instrumentation, haunting and chanting their way into a progressive build-up - it's the fundamental sound of the album - the deep, dark, rumblingly morbid, serious musical output of the UK's Trembling Bells. Perhaps a Grace Slick rendition of 'White Rabbit' should spring forth, sat atop a giant psychotropic mushroom, swaying and warbling with the wind, but on track 2 the sound lightens up considerably with the slightly out of context and lighter sounding male vocals, dispersing the more intense moments with lightness and variety. But it's where things get back to the organ-intense grinding and prog-jamming vibes that the music really comes into its own, with track 3 taking us back into that psychedelic territory on the terrifically named 'Killing Time In London Fields', but once again we're back into that softer, male (female-backed) upbeat vocal territory of track 4, slightly reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris and perhaps a rendition of 'Sara' or 'One More Cup of Coffee' (for the road). It's mostly great, but the tracks are sometimes a little too long, averaging at 6 minutes at an intense 48 minutes' worth over 8 tracks, but thankfully nothing as drawn out as Bob Dylan's 'Joey' at a tortuous 11 minutes. If you enjoyed this album you probably belong at Woodstock '69 with your nipples exposed to the elements. The track 'I Is Someone Else' leads this accomplished and diverse listen to its conclusion, an album that harks back to the sounds of the psychedelic 60s/70s period. (Richard)  
Album Frozen Niagra Falls by Prurient (2015)
Running semi-naked through the woods, chased by a knife-wielding mad-man, frothing at the mouth, eyes bulging, tightly gripping - the BLADE! - hovering, slashing, a millimetre from our sweaty flesh and then it rips... into our shirts, slashing again and again until we fall, slowly at first, but ever faster and faster downwards into the black void, spinning, with its intensely dark imagery, vividly portrayed on the mammoth 10:17 opener 'Myth of Building Bridges', quite brilliant it is, threatening to engulf us in our own fear but never demonic enough to condemn our souls forever. Purient manages to unleash his own fears, hatred, anxiety, come-down hellish emotions into something clear and easily discernible, but without getting hot-headed and too eager to please. An album as shiny, scary and lean as a glistening alien skull, dripping liquid sweat, capable of unnaturally enticing its victims into evincing about-turns and reversing into the nearest cubicle. Anyone that can make the sound of an eviscerated unnatural life-form seem exhilarating should be highly commended, but first things first... can you get through an entire album of this stuff? Yes, easily, it's an hour well spent, but will a second CD be so easy to get through (tracks 9-16 or 2.01 to 2.08)? No, it's a galaxy too far away, especially the 'Frozen Niagra Falls (portion one)' and '(portion two)' tracks, which are pretty much screeching noises, much like an unfiltered transmission from "the commercial spacecraft Nostromo on its return trip to Earth", volume turned up high. For all that, it's a very good release and defies listening conventions to the extreme - the full ten minutes of track ONE are absolutely fascinating, making you want to dig deeper and deeper into its sound, but there's only so much you can take of the demonic vocals and brain-cell expanding effects on some of the tracks, it's such a divergent listen though, and very refreshing, piercing and wildly different, plus it's got an extra CD if you really love it that much - a clean, pure sound, with smatterings of crowd-talk babbling and distant laughter in places, you never know what you're in for or what's going to come next and, after giving this album several months, to listen to it, mull over it and then come back to it again and again, I conclude its amazing-ness. Perhaps not for everyone, in a nails screeching down a blackboard sort of way, but very engrossing and fascinating for everything else. (Richard)  
Album Apocalypse, girl by Jenny Hval (2015)
I never imagined in a million years this album would even attempt to be as good as this, but after that shock, is it ambient spoken word or poetry? That's the fundamentals of track no.1, 'Kingsize' at 2:25 minutes, with its spoken references to the USA and large dicks, but you certainly know you're in for an interesting listen. Track 2 is more conventional and has some beautiful singing and piano, but is slightly more intriguing than enjoyable. What's the "soft dick" repeated for, and "we don't have to fuck, just lie here" referring to? Perhaps reflecting the importance of soft dick instead of rampant sex? There's no obvious "dicks" on track 3, but a "c*nt" later on, but whereas the lyrics get less easy to understand, the musical beauty enhances, and any initial misgivings I had about listening to this recording are quickly dispelled and I can tell by even as a cursory listen that it's going to be a worthy effort. On track 3, 'The Battle Is Over' it starts to get warm, focused and fabulous, as though the stress and pointlessness of mundane realities can actually seep away through your pores, out of your eyes or your orifices, relieving the pressures of life through the narrative and instrumentation. But can an album like this keep your interest over ten whole tracks and persist? Yes, like waves washing over the shore with this is 'Heaven' and the lovely 'Why This?'. Relaxed but not completely still, with a soft, warm drumbeat to offset the high-pitched vocals, perfectly. It's absolutely lovely. // Some comparisons to Bjork have been made, and I can see that, but whereas Bjork has an off-key, almost clipped (annoying) quality to her vocals, Jenny Hval's voice is better and reaches those top notes with ease, if not entirely un-screechingly in places. That's something to do with the liberated Scandinavian (as opposed to Icelandic) expression maybe, with the instrumental dynamics being comparable but not the vocal range, nor the crescendo or pantomime Bjork theatrics, but instead being much more restrained. All in all, a super-surprising listening experience, reminding me that it's always worth taking a risk when it comes to listening to music instead of sticking to what we know, and to venture out and find something new, to try it out, experiment, be awed, surprised. Yes, sometimes you get bored and disappointed by parting with your time, money and actual self, but sometimes you come across new and fresh, and worthwhile experiences. My only concern is track 10 at 10:00 minutes, which should anchor the album beautifully, and does to an extent, but is far too ambient and mysterious with its wallowing rhythms and distant whale-sounds, subtle violin screeches... two minutes... perhaps an attack of bees, some crashing branches, a splintering window maybe, potentially squalling out a rendition of 'The Black Angel's Death Song' by the Velvet Underground, but after all nothing more than ten minutes of ambient noodling to unnecessarily pad out an amazing album. (Richard)  
Album Music Has The Right To Children by Boards of Canada (1998)
MHTRTC is a classic electronic album, but although it's held dear in many of our hearts there's still an unexplainable and unknown quality to it when you consider it's such a major electronic achievement. One of the album's most notable qualities is the way it splits itself into interlude-track from the start, with the tracks having a crunchy, meaty beat and the interludes consisting of little more than vocal ditties and tunettes thrown in to offset the more conventional electronica, in a hip-hop album sort of way, giving the listener some reprieve. Things change though at the half-way point where the interludes start to run more freely with the three continuous tracks 'Kaini Industries', 'Bocuma' and 'Roygbiv', each running very short but distinct tunes in themselves. But besides being one of the most atmospheric and beautiful electronic albums out there, beauty in itself doesn't justify a great or classic album, but instead a combination of many things such as the frequent surprises, little tunes and feel-good moments surreptitiously hidden away, plus the frequent chattering of children's voices popping up all over the place with expressions like "I l-o-v-e you...", "Yeah, that's right... (giggles)" plus cheerful renderings and an overall feel-good factor that emits happiness and hope. If you look at the album cover on its own though, with its shimmery blue and family photo faces erased and nondescript, the eerie and potentially disconcerting instrumentals, MHTRTC has all the ingredients for a dark and sombre experience, but somehow turns itself on its head by being an extremely uplifting and positive experience, an album that is wondrously content and very reassured, but most importantly thoroughly enjoyable and effortless all the way through. The weakest point is track 7 'Turquoise Hexagon Sun' which meanders rather pointlessly, but it's followed by three cleverly engineered interludes, then back onto heftier tracks like 'Aquarius', 'Pete Standing Alone' and arguably one of the most beautiful lead-out sequences on record. A thoroughly captivating listen with many little surprises, that appears to be rather gloom-tinged on the surface but in reality has a very positive outlook. (Richard)  
Album Danger In The Club by Palma Violets (2015)
Palma Violets haven't matured one iota and their music still sounds brashly under-produced and uncaringly chucked together in a hap-hazard manner, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable when it sounds like they've had such a good time making this record, which is pretty enjoyable in a sloppy half-arsed and can't play our instruments sort of way, a bit like The Clash. They mostly sound like they couldn't give a monkey's arse, just like the The Damned or Doctor & The Medics in an exuberant Rocky Horror Show moment, which is all the better for it on 'Hollywood (I got it)', 'Danger In The Club' and the semi-intense 'Matador', but it depends on what sort of mood you're in, and whether you're up for The Ramones in a less than serious but sometimes brilliant sort of way, including all the good bits and rubbish bits, in this mostly accomplished but rather sloppy recording. Palma Violets were raved about a few years ago as the saviours of British pop/rock, and let's face it, they haven't really delivered on that and are certainly not on a par with peers like Parquet Courts in terms of penetrational and punky intensity, but instead sound more like a budget-orientated version of The Vaccines with a splash of The Clash and maybe a bit of The Libertines and some other, good but couldn't give a shit half-arsed indie/rock/pop bands thrown in. There's even some strange wimbo-way Adam-and-the-anting ranting/rapping stuff going on here and there, which is mighty deranged in a Haysi Fantayzee fashion, but I still like it, but would have preferred a condensed best of 10 tunes instead of this sprawling 17 tracks' worth, which is far too long, far too silly and not at all digestible in a single sitting, if ever. (Richard)  
Album Painted Shut by Hop Along (2015)
A good and consistent indie album with an off-the-cuff style, sweet-yet-raspy vocals, tight guitar work and really good band inter-communication. The sort of album that lets you tune-in and rock out for 40 minutes, but which doesn't have any stand-out moments either. Recommended if you enjoy low appeal, tightly put together indie rock. My only criticism is the omnipresent, unrelenting vocals that completely own this record, instead of laying off and giving the musicianship some time to breath. Its rudimentary appeal and lack of extraordinary qualities is quite refreshing in a guzzle-it-down cheap white wine kind of way. (Richard)  
Album Colours of The Night by Peter Broderick (2015)
Take a look at that album cover, listen to the first few bars of the opening track 'Red Earth' and you just know you're in for a harsh, sparse and bleak listen, even something deep and profound, feeling your way through the dense undergrowth at night while getting progressively lost. In reality, after the subdued and rather beautiful first track you'll hardly get a scratch, as the rest of the album is more reminiscent of a slightly uncomfortable trek through the nettles at the bottom of the garden. Forget the cover and the initial impressions entirely; this is a pleasant, chirpy-happy sort of album in a David Byrne 'Marching Through The Wilderness' sort of way, with some lovely songs about normal to-ings and fro-ings. No search parties required and not what I was expecting (or hoping for) at all. (Richard)