Many thanks to all of you who took the time to drop me a line with your personal Top 10 albums of 2016. More than 200 different records were nominated of which 34 received multiple nominations, with #1 and #2 in the list receiving by far the most. Here’s the reverse rundown of what I’ve submitted to the 2016 BAMS on behalf of the readers of The (New) Vinyl Villain:-

10.The Spook School – We Try To Be Hopeful
9. Miaoux Miaoux – School Of Velocity
8. Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space
7. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
6. Belle & Sebastian – Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
5. John Grant – Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
4. Blur – The Magic Whip
3. Lonelady – Hinterland
2. New Order – Music Complete
1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

For what it’s worth, only two of my own Top 10 made the list, which kind of makes me worried that I’m out of touch with the readership but I console myself with the fact that I spend so much time looking backwards for the blog that I’m really unable to keep up much with new music and therefore the number of new albums I buy or listen to is ridiculously limited. Having said that, Mike over at Manic Pop Thrills has put together a mouth-watering list of new albums that are scheduled for release in 2016 and so I expect to be a bit more active on that front in 2016.

I would like to finish by posting a personal Top 10 of 2015 from ISM, a friend and occasional but discerning reader who is always telling me to end what he calls my obsession with 80s jingly-jangly indie-pop. None of his choices made the final list, but I wanted to share with you his cracking descriptions on why he fell for certain records in 2015:-

Hudson Mowhawk – Lantern

Glasgow’s supplier of beats and cutting edge sounds to Kanye West (he’s on his payroll) adds great tunes for his second album.

Four Tet – Morning/Evening

Ssublime, ambitious two 20 minute long pieces with beats, samples and tunes – fought the punk rock wars to get rid of such pretentiousness – and lost!

Mogwai – Music Industry 3, Fitness Industry 1 EP

Remixes and a blistering new tune in Teenage Exorcists.

Craig Armstrong – Far From the Madding Crowd OST

The best soundtracks are written under our noses up in Park Circus, but beware, 50% sublime orchestral tunes and 50% ‘enters room and sits on sofa’ as per most film scores.

Idjut Boys – Versions

Deep, dubby, sub-Fleetwood Mac outtake type bliss! I know, who would have thought it possible or desirable!

Damian Lazarus – One Hour With (Mixmag cover CD November)

The fine art of the DJ dance mix, taking the willing on dizzying musical trip – and leaving the unwilling grumbling ‘WTF is this all about’?!

Four Tet – Pink

Him again, this time with a compilation of magnificent sold out 12″ releases first issued in 2012 and only made available as a download in the UK afterwards (or Japanese import CD – I know, get a life) before being released on a double vinyl album a few weeks ago, SO IT COUNTS for 2015!

Admiral Fallow – Tiny Rewards

Too early to tell how good this is, but who can resist their latest efforts after absorbing their tunes after seeing so many excellent live performances?

Trevor Jackson Presents Science Fiction Dancehall

One more re-release of old stuff allowed surely? – in this case a collection of original spaced-out dub released on the On U Sound label from way back and far ahead of its time.

John Hopkins – Late Night Tales

‘Dance’ mix of tracks with hardly any beats, but instead a collection of tunes and moods forming something a lot bigger than the sum of its parts.


JC adds…..

Seems only fair to recognise his contribution along with what was a very clear winner from all you good good people.

mp3 : Hudson Mohawke – Scud Books
mp3 : Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best

Oh and as part of an effort to get more with it in 2016, I’ll be doing the occasional bonus post on the occasional midday featuring new music that has caught my fancy.  You’ve been warned……..



  1. I had a feeling Courtney would come out on top. She is a special talent and I’m really glad she’s been recognised as such by so many. I hope the expectation of any future material doesn’t backfire. Did think Wolf Alice would be Top 3, and surprised so many connected with the New Order record. It is their best for some time but can’t rate alongside Low-Life or PC&L in my opinion. And hurrah for PSB at 8. MrsRobster will be pleased.

    Don’t worry about feeling out of touch with your audience JC. Only two or three of mine are in there too. Take pride in being different. How dull it would be if we all liked the same things. We’d only need one blog between us instead of the mouthwatering plethora of options we actually have.

  2. I just can’t go that extra step to say New Order’s Music Complete was among the best releases of 2015, even if Plastic is their best song in over 20 years.
    I came late to the Courtney Barnett side, but wow there’s a great album and talent.

  3. None of them on my list, I’m not surprised by that but New Order really? I thought it was a bit lacklustre. Like Echorich I have come lately to CB but I’m liking it quite a bit.

  4. I haven’t bought the New Order album (I’m waiting on it being down to £5 in a few months…probably after The Brits) so can’t offer any comment. It was on a lot of folk’s lists – very rarely in the Top 5 – but its inclusion so often meant it picked up enough ‘votes’ to end up at #2 overall. Courtney Barnett on the other hand topped a few of the lists and from pretty early on was always a likely poll-topper. That’s another album I haven’t bought yet but will be rectifying it come the weekend.

  5. Only one of mine in there too, but, as Robster says, vive la différence! There are two in the top ten that I’ve never even heard of and I’m off to check them out now. It’s what blogging is all about!

  6. New orders album less than £5 in hmv Argyll street. It is a return to form and keeps getting played on a weekly basis.

  7. I was one who voted for new order and having thought that they had basically made the same song for the last 3’lp or so, wasn’t expecting much . Then when I did arrive thought I was over rating it just because it was such a nice surprise. However it has stayed the course and got better and better . Nothing but a fool is up there with their best

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