NPR logo The Decade's 50 Most Important Recordings

The Decade's 50 Most Important Recordings

Over the past few months, contributors to NPR Music have been combing their collections, reading listener nominations and putting together a list of the Decade's 50 Most Important Recordings. Not our favorites, but the music that made an impact.

Here's the full alphabetical list:

John Adams: On The Transmigration Of Souls
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
Arcade Fire: Funeral
The Bad Plus: These Are The Vistas
Beyonce: Dangerously In Love
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
Burial: Untrue
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: S/T
Kelly Clarkson: Breakaway
Coldplay: A Rush Of Blood To The Head
Danger Mouse: The Grey Album
Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism
The Decemberists: The Crane Wife
Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP
The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
Osvaldo Golijov: La Pasion Segun San Marcos (Saint Mark's Passion)
Green Day: American Idiot
Iron And Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days
Jay-Z: The Blueprint
Norah Jones: Come Away With Me
Juanes: Fijate Bien
LCD Soundsystem: Sound Of Silver
Lil' Wayne: Tha Carter III
Little Brother: The Listening
Yo-Yo Ma: Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet
Mastodon: Leviathan
M.I.A.: Kala
Jason Moran: Black Stars
OutKast: Stankonia
Brad Paisley: 5th Gear
Panda Bear: Person Pitch
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: Raising Sand
The Postal Service: Give Up
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Radiohead: Kid A
Shakira: Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1
Sigur Ros: ( )
Britney Spears: In The Zone
Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
The Strokes: Is This It
The Swell Season: Once Soundtrack
Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate: In The Heart of the Moon
TV On The Radio: Return To Cookie Mountain
Various: Garden State Soundtrack
Various: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack
Kanye West: The College Dropout
The White Stripes: White Blood Cells
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Amy Winehouse: Back To Black

We decided to make the list alphabetical, not numbered. We saw no way to compare a passion for classical music with a Radiohead opus, or pianist Jason Moran with Danger Mouse's The Grey Album. We make these lists not to exclude certain recordings, but to turn people on to music that we feel stands out the most in an unimaginably crowded field. We also make these lists so you can tell us about the music you are passionate about. Post your comments here so others can chime-in.

None of the many people who helped put this list together agreed on all the selections. We all had our favorites and, of course, many never made it into the final 50. Regardless, there's a ton of amazing music to spend time with, and probably some things you never heard of just waiting to be discovered.

You can hear the songs here and listen to a discussion of some of these choices on the current All Songs Considered

We hope you enjoy going through the list as much as we did putting it together.