Into the top half of proceedings…

Clash was born in 2004. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, and imminent 100th issue, we’re counting down the top 100 albums that pretty much everything we do is based on. These are our favourites since we’ve been in the game – and they’re all celebrated players.

Previous entries:
100-91
90-81
80-71
70-61
60-51

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50
The White Stripes – ‘Get Behind Me Satan’
(2005, XL)

The penultimate White Stripes album is viewed in retrospect as a moment of transition: the first sidestep by Jack White away from the restrictive minimalism of the duo’s garage rock into the more melodic adventurousness of his solo material. As pianos, bass, marimbas and other exotic instrumentation outnumber electric guitars, we’re blessed with an album of impressive depth and aesthetics, with ‘Take, Take, Take’ the pinnacle of its protean scope. Simon Harper

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49
Moderat – ‘II’
(2013, Monkeytown)

The follow-up to 2009’s eponymous full-length sees the trio bigger and badder than ever. ‘II’ emerges, blinking, as a widescreen number, flooded with new ideas and exciting twists and turns. It is a much more immediate and melodic collection, albeit one that simultaneously pays its respects to post-rock. They’ve proved to be immune to the curse of the “difficult second album”. ‘II’ is an absolute masterpiece of dancefloor work. Felicity Martin

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48
James Blake – ‘Overgrown’
(2013, Polydor)

Still drifting in and out of post-dubstep interpretations and piano acoustics, James Blake stretches an early, minimalist potency and beautiful lip-biting tension on this second album. Wiry and hollowed, but with a slowly flourishing, fuller fortitude – and without remonstration – there’s the courage of conviction to tame the twitchiness and elegance of suspicion around him. Matt Oliver

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47
Madvillain – ‘Madvillainy’
(2004, Stones Throw)

This collaboration between producer Madlib and rapper MF DOOM is defined by its flippancy and attitude to professionalism; slapdash and dilapidated, wholly unconcerned with making sense (or the definition of what sense is). This is not sticking it to establishment and the ways of intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-outro – the message is not to overthink, that the dope will win out, no matter how truncated. Neither artist lets the other one or their expectant audience down. What this album overdoses on in splutter, it compensates in horsepower – always free from claustrophobia as it shambles on through. Matt Oliver

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46
Actress – ‘R.I.P.’
(2012, Honest Jon’s)

Fanatically assembling emotions and mental inductions that range from psychotropic industrialism to claustrophobic astral ascents, we once again faced an Actress audio communion on this third LP. Darren Cunningham’s patient obsession crafted a paranoid, neurotic electronic journey that thrived on momentum, taking us even further towards a mercurial melting point. Matthew Bennett

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45
Modeselektor – ‘Happy Birthday!’
(2007, BPitch Control)

The electronic duo’s mutant strain of music is so infectious it restores your faith in an entire scene, and this second album further delivered on their potential – with just a hint they were holding back even more delights. Whereas ‘Hello Mom!’ of two years earlier was almost entirely instrumental, ‘Happy Birthday!’ kept the Modeselektor furnace roaring with both massive and comedy collaborations. Matthew Bennett

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44
Tame Impala – ‘Lonerism’
(2012, Modular)

Tame Impala’s second LP once again tosses us headfirst into the deep end of the psychedelic whirlpool. And if there were ever a modern day reason to go and tie-dye your entire wardrobe, this would be it. Jinking together the familiar, hallucinogen-fuelled guitar strums and splashed-out lyrics of their debut album, ‘Lonerism’, hits a more dejected nerve. That’s far from a negative, mind, as this is hypno-grooving at its best. Errol Anderson

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43
Connan Mockasin – ‘Forever Dolphin Love’
(2011, Because/Phantasy)

Half-awake and half-asleep, Connan Mockasin seems to drift endlessly between corporeal realms and inner space. A dreamer, a mystic, ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ followed releases in his native New Zealand, and presented a psych-pop wunderkind in full flow. A concept album (of sorts), it re-tooled Syd Barrett’s wide-eyed lysergic approach while retaining his own wandering spirit. A sprawling work of butter-soft textures that fade and melt at the slightest touch, its myriad influences coalesce in that stunning title track: lengthy, sublime, superlative. Robin Murray

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42
Swans – ‘The Seer’
(2012, Mute)

‘The Seer’ is a musical megalith and surprising late-career best from the symphonic, avant-garde titans of trickiness. It’s a dense and dangerous undertaking, a two-hour metaphysical scream into the void constructed from a miasma of musical sources, ranging from delta blues to heavy psych and beyond. It’s potent, prophetic and totally uncompromising: its catharsis so far beyond the cerebral it feels like getting an enema. Rapturous, transcendent and ultimately ecstatic, it's the Götterdämmerung of contemporary rock. Anna Wilson

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41
Bobby Womack – ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’
(2012, XL)

In what turned out to be his swan song album, Bobby Womack invested his entire being into the unlikely collaboration with Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, and proceeded to make up for lost time (it being 20 years since his previous release) by pouring his soul into and unstitching recent wounds for songs that celebrate a life well lived. His vintage soul voice is effortlessly comfortable amid the modern instrumentation, every breath an impassioned grasp on the music he hoped could save him, despite the afflictions that ultimately didn’t. A finer finale he could not have wished for. Simon Harper

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Previous entries:
100-91
90-81
80-71
70-61
60-51

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