Its a shame the album in the title of this post didn’t make the list. So many great albums before I was born; but, the rules of the meme are that it must be during the years of my life.
1968 White Light/White Heat (The Velvet Underground)
1969 In the Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson)
1970 Bitches Brew (Miles Davis)
This was a hard one. Runners up are John Barleycorn Must Die (Traffic), Loaded (Velvet Underground), The Madcap Laughs (Syd Barrett), Sex Machine (James Brown).
1971 What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye)
This was another year of truly outstanding music. Most of these albums are just a razor’s edge from the top. But James Jamerson’s bass work on What’s Going On is a true classic in the instrument. Runners up are Frigile (Yes), Hunky Dory (David Bowie), Led Zeppelin IV (Led Zeppelin), The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic), Master of Reality (Black Sabbath).
1972 Songs in the Key of Life (Stevie Wonder)
Closely followed by #1 Record (Big Star).
1973 Tales from Topographic Oceans (Yes)
1974 Bad Company (Bad Company)
1975 A Night at the Opera (Queen)
Runner up of Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
1976 The Modern Lovers (The Modern Lovers)
Yet another great year for albums. Runners up include Blondie (Blondie), Ramones (Ramones), Jaco Pastorius (Jaco Pastorius), A Day at the Races (Queen)
1977 Sin After Sin (Judas Priest) - favorite, not best
1978 Van Halen (Van Halen)
1979 Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young)
1980 Blizzard of Oz (Ozzy Osbourne)
The year Metal matured. So many to choose from: Back In Black (AC/DC), British Steel (Judas Priest), Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath), Iron Maiden (Iron Maiden), Women and Children First (Van Halen), and Permanent Waves (Rush). Non-metal excellent albums were Peter Gabriel (Peter Gabriel) and One for the Road (The Kinks).
1981 Diary of a Madman (Ozzy Osbourne)
Shoutout to Discipline (King Crimson); but, you can’t top this Ozzy album.
1982 Violent Femmes (Violent Femmes)
1983 Murmer (R.E.M.)
My favorite song must be “Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog” from Confusion Is Sex (Sonic Youth). Crue, of course, was close.
1984 Ride the Lightning (Metallica)
This is the pinnacle of heavy metal in my opinion. Some other classics this year include Defenders of the Faith (Judas Priest), Fried (Julian Cope), I Often Dream of Trains (Robyn Hitchcock), Last in Line (Dio), Purple Rain (Prince) and Zen Arcade (Husker Du).
1985 Telephone Free Landslide Victory (Camper Van Beethoven)
1986 Skylarking (XTC)
1987 Appetite for Destruction (Guns & Roses)
1988 Fisherman’s Blues (Waterboys)
Another difficult decision. Life’s Too Good (Sugarcubes), The Trinity Session (Cowboy Junkies), Substance (Joy Division) and Kings of Metal (Manowar) nearly made it to the top.
1989 On Fire (Galaxy 500)
1990 Extricate (The Fall)
1991 Peggy Suicide (Julian Cope)
1992 Rage Against the Machine (Rage Against the Machine)
1993 Pablo Honey (Radiohead)
1994 Mellow Gold (Beck)
1995 Garbage (Garbage)
What a sexy voice and attitude!
1996 Sublime (Sublime)
I've heard women say the same thing about his voice.
1997 My Own Prison (Creed)
1998 Devil Without A Cause (Kid Rock)
1999 Californication (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
2000 Mer de Noms (A Perfect Circle)
2001 Lateralus (Tool)
2002 Audioslave (Audioslave)
This is one of my favorite albums. A Hundred Days Off (Underworld) is also pretty high up there.
2003 Singles 93-03 (Chemical Brothers)
2004 American Idiot (Green Day)
2005 Wolfmother (Wolfmother)
2006 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Bruce Springsteen)
2007 Back to Black (Amy Winehouse)
2008 It ain’t over yet
There you go. So many good albums passed over.
Update: Per Mike's comment, Songs in the Key of Life came out in '76. So Stevie Wonder gets the top spot in '76 and '72 goes to Big Star.