HMV's Poll of Polls

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Colour photograph of Arcade Fire performing live in 2007.
Canadian band Arcade Fire are the only act to have topped the Poll of Polls more than once.

HMV's Poll of Polls was an annual list of albums compiled by British music retailer HMV from 1998 to 2012. The listing was created each December by collating year-end polls from approximately 30 music magazines, newspapers and guides to determine the most critically acclaimed albums of the year.[1] An album's placing in the list was determined by the number of different polls in which it was included. In the event of two records featuring in the same number of polls, the album with the highest combined placings was given the higher position on the Poll of Polls.[2] In 2011, Let England Shake by PJ Harvey was named the best album of the year after receiving 21 nominations[3] – the following year, Channel Orange by Frank Ocean topped the poll with 22 nominations.[4]

The Poll of Polls was introduced by HMV in 1998, with Hello Nasty by American hip hop group Beastie Boys topping the first chart.[5] Thereafter, the poll was aggregated using listings from more than 60 sources, including magazines such as NME and Q, newspapers such as The Guardian and the Daily Mirror, and music blogs, including Gorilla vs. Bear and Stereogum.[6] Subsequent polls were topped by acts such as Daft Punk, Queens of the Stone Age and Kanye West.[7] The only act to top the listing more than once was Canadian band Arcade Fire, who were number one in both 2005 and 2010 with Funeral and The Suburbs respectively.[8]

Commentators observed a disparity between the albums that placed highly in the Poll of Polls and those that were the year's biggest-selling. Speaking about the 2008 chart, singer-songwriter Christopher Rees noted that "when records are so popular in mainstream charts, they lose favour with the critics. The quirkier the sound, the cooler it becomes in their opinion."[9] Similarly, Jonathan Owen of The Independent contrasted the albums that had been featured in 2011's Poll of Polls against those that had sold the most that year in the UK. Although Let England Shake had topped HMV's listing, Owen remarked that "hardly anyone would agree", as Harvey's album had, at the time, sold only 130,000 copies, compared with 3.5 million copies of the year's best-seller, 21 by Adele.[1]

Albums released through independent (indie) record labels often performed well in the poll. In discussion of the 2008 chart, John Rostron of Cardiff's The Point remarked that he had "seen a rise in the quality of independent music and of bands signed to small record labels".[9] The following year, eight of Top 10 albums had been released by indie labels, which HMV claimed underlined "the current strength of Indie music and the vitality of the music scene in general".[10] Three years later, 34 of the 50 albums in the chart were released on independent labels, with six featuring in the Top 10.[6] Speaking in 2009, HMV's Rock & Pop Manager John Hirst stated that it was "encouraging to see indie labels doing so well", and that it reflected on "the vibrant state of [music] right now".[2]

Number-one albums

Colour photograph of Beastie Boys performing live in 2007.
American hip hop group Beastie Boys were the inaugural winners of HMV's Poll of Polls in 1998.
Colour photograph of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx sitting on a sofa.
British duo Basement Jaxx topped the poll in 1999 with Remedy, and came third with Rooty in 2001.
Black-and-white photograph of Queens of the Stone Age performing live in 2007.
Queens of the Stone Age were number one in 2002 with Songs for the Deaf, and number five in 2000 with Rated R.
Colour photograph of Kanye West performing live in 2008.
American hip-hop artist Kanye West topped the Poll of Polls with his 2004 debut album The College Dropout, and came third with Late Registration in 2005.
Colour photograph of LCD Soundsystem performing live in 2010.
American band LCD Soundsystem were number one on the chart with Sound of Silver in 2007, and number three in 2010 with This is Happening.
Year Artist Album Top five albums Ref.
1998 Beastie Boys Hello Nasty [5]
1999 Basement Jaxx Remedy [11]
2000 Eminem Marshall Mathers LP, TheThe Marshall Mathers LP [12]
2001 Daft Punk Discovery [13]
2002 Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf [14]
2003 Outkast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below [15]
2004 West, KanyeKanye West College Dropout, TheThe College Dropout [16]
2005 Arcade Fire Funeral [17]
2006 Newsom, JoannaJoanna Newsom Ys [18]
2007 LCD Soundsystem Sound of Silver [19]
2008 Elbow Seldom Seen Kid, TheThe Seldom Seen Kid [20]
2009 Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion [2]
2010 Arcade Fire Suburbs, TheThe Suburbs [21]
2011 Harvey, PJPJ Harvey Let England Shake [22]
2012 Ocean, FrankFrank Ocean Channel Orange [23]

Year-end polls used

HMV's Poll of Polls used year-end, best-of charts from 30 major UK music magazines, national newspapers, websites and guides.[4] Since its inception in 1998, the chart was collated using data from:[25]

Magazines
Newspapers
Websites and other organisations

See also

  • Metacritic – a reviews website that also aggregates an annual list of albums from year-end polls

Notes

  1. ^ a b Owen, Jonathan (18 December 2011). "Music critics snub the public's taste in Poll of Polls". The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 240904920. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Animal Collective album tops 2009 music critics' poll". London: BBC News. 28 December 2009. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "PJ shakes music 2011". brand-m. 4 January 2011. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Jones, Rhian (18 December 2012). "Frank Ocean tops HMV's Poll of Polls". Music Week. London: United Business. ISSN 0265-1548. OCLC 60620772. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Old British favourites ousted". London: BBC News. 29 December 1998. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "HMV's Poll of Polls reveals Frank Ocean's Channel Orange as music critics' Album of the Year 2012". Scotland: allmediascotland. 17 December 2012. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Stokes, Niall, ed. (29 December 2012). "Animal Collective top HMV's annual Poll of Polls". Hot Press. Ireland. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Arcade Fire the hottest rockers". The Sun. London: News International. 27 December 2010. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Bunney, Sarah (30 December 2008). "Top Fifty Albums of the Year, 2008". Western Mail. Cardiff: Trinity Mirror. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Animal Collective top hmv's annual poll of polls for 2009". UK: HMV. 28 December 2009. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Jaxx album is poll hit". London: BBC News. 29 December 1999. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Eminem '2000's best album'". London: BBC News. 27 December 2000. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Daft Punk top 2001 poll". London: BBC News. 30 December 2000. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Stone Age hits at No1.". Daily Mirror. London: Trinity Mirror. 20 December 2012. OCLC 223228477. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "OutKast album named year's best". London: BBC News. 6 January 2004. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Rapper West 'overall poll winner'". London: BBC News. 28 December 2004. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "Arcade Fire UK critics' choice". Music News. 3 January 2006. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  18. ^ "Joanna Newsom Tops 2006 Poll of Polls". Scotland: allmediascotland. 1 January 2007. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  19. ^ Kharas, Kev (21 December 2007). "Poll pot: HMV compiles lists, finds winner". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Elbow wins critics' album of the year". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media. 29 December 2008. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 613316876. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  21. ^ Dutta, Kunal (26 December 2010). "Critics name the year's best albums – but are they right?". The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 240904920. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Kemp, Stuart (19 December 2011). "P J Harvey's 'Let England Shake' Is U.K. Pollsters Album of 2011". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Prometheus Global. ISSN 0018-3660. OCLC 496116458. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  23. ^ Kelsey, Rick (17 December 2012). "Frank Ocean wins album of year in critics poll of poll". London: Newsbeat. Archived from the original on 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "HMV's Poll of Polls Reveals PJ Harvey's 'Let England Shake' as Music Critics' Album of the Year". Scotland: allmediascotland. 18 December 2011. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  25. ^ The polls used by HMV can be sourced from BBC News,[11] Hot Press[7] and allmediascotland.[6][24]
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