1999 Poll Results

By theajaysharma

Well, here it is, one last monument to a dead century - the 1999 Excellent Indie-UK Mailer poll results. The fourth annual Excellent poll featured more responses than ever before, thanks to the continued growth of the list and the success of the web site. A big shout out, then, to Ajay our web-slinging list administrator. Thanks to everyone for participating in 1999 and we'll see you all again next millennium.


Top 40 Albums of 1999
Rank Artist Album Points
1 Blur 13 532
2 Suede Head Music 389
3 Chemical Brothers Surrender 385
4 Travis The Man Who 346
5 Flaming Lips Soft Bulletin 344
6 Beck Midnite Vultures 337
7 Underworld Beaucoup Fish 325
8 Super Furry Animals Gurrilla 315
9 Charlatans Us and Us Only 279
10 Mogwai Come On Die Young 241
11 Manic Street Preachers This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours 210
12 Moby Play 208
13 Nine Inch Nails The Fragile 197
14 Shack HMS Fable 155
15 Gus Gus This is Normal 151
16 Boo Radleys Kingsize 150
17 James Millionaires 149
18 Stereophonics Performance and Coctails 145
19 Olivia Tremor Control Black Foliage... 144
20 Dot Allison Afterglow 137
21 Beta Band Beta Band 130
22 Gene Revelations 128
23 Supergrass Supergrass 125
24 Longpigs Mobile Home 124
25 Orbital Middle Of Nowhere 123
26 Ultrasound Everything Picture 122
27 Auteurs How I Learned... 120
28 Pavement Terror Twilight 118
29 Gomez Liquid Skin 117
30 Gay Dad Leisure Noise 116
31 Fountains of Wayne Utopia Parkway 114
32 Looper Up A Tree 113
33 Echo & the Bunnymen What Are You Going. 107
34 Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs 101
35 Godspeed You Black Emperor Slow Riot For... 100
36 Black Box Recorder England Made Me 99
37 Basement Jaxx Remedy 98
38 Beth Orton Central Reservation 97
39 Mojave 3 Out Of Tune 96
40 Wilco Summerteeth 95

While the sense on the list has been that 1999 was a big year for American music, there were actually many more North American albums in our 1998 Top 40 albums than in 1999. However, some high profile American releases did show very well, with 5 of the top 13 as voted this year coming from the states. In addition, the Flaming Lips' "Soft Bulletin" tied 1998's "X/O" by Elliott Smith for the highest placement to date by an American artist.

Two albums from 1998 reappeared on the 1999 list due to delayed U.S. releases. Hardest hit was the Boo Radleys "Kingsize", which was #9 last year (as an import only) and #16 on this year's list. As best we can tell, if "Kingsize" had benefited from a single release year, it would probably have landed around #2 or #3 in that year. Taking a similar, but much smaller hit was Mojave 3's "Out of Time" which was #24 last year and #39 this year for the same reason.

This year, over 250 albums received votes. A number of titles were notable by their absence from our Top 40, including albums by the likes of Catatonia, Ben Folds Five, Kula Shaker, Mansun and Bernard Butler, all of whom have been well represented in past years. Finally, Belle & Sebastian's "Tigermilk" would have placed in the Top 40 albums, but it really belongs in the Reissues category, where it landed at number one.

Top 10 Other Releases of 1999
(Reissues, Soundtracks, Compilations, etc.)
Rank Artist Album
1 Belle And Sebastian Tigermilk
2 Stone Roses Stone Roses
3 Blur Anniversary Box
4 Beatles Yellow Submarine
5 Air Premiers Symptomes
6 Cocteau Twins BBC Sessions
7 Joy Division Preston 28 February 1980
8 Robbie Williams The Ego Has Landed
9 Soundtrack Splendor
10 Prodigy Dirtchamber Sessions Vol. I
Top 30 Songs of 1999
Rank Artist Song
1 Blur Tender
2 Super Furry Animals Northern Lites
3 Blur Coffee And TV
4 Suede She's In Fashion
5 Charlatans Forever
6 Chemical Brothers Let Forever Be
7 Mogwai Christmas Steps
8 Flaming Lips Race For The Prize
9 Gene You'll Never Walk Again
10 Chemical Brothers Hey Boy, Hey Girl
11 Beck Debra
12 Beck Sexxlaws
13 Travis Why Does It Always Rain On Me
14 Chemical Brothers Out Of Control
15 Travis Writing To Reach You
16 Underworld Push Upstairs
17 3 Colours Red Beautiful Day
18 Ultrasound Floodlit World
19 Travis Driftwood
20 Beulah If We Can Land A Man...
21 James Just Like Fred Astaire
22 Godspeed You Black Emperor Moya
23 Gus Gus Starlovers
24 UNKLE Be There
25 Robbie Williams Millennium
26 Travis ...Baby One More Time
27 Underworld Jumbo
28 Blur No Distance Left to Run
29 Suede Can't Get Enough
30 Apples In Stereo Benefits of Lying

Please be advised that we voided the votes cast for a certain song by the Backstreet Boys. Yes, really. Also, of the three versions of "...Baby One More Time", (that I'm aware of) apparently Travis' is superior to the Fountains of Wayne and Britney Spears versions. So now you know. Speaking of covers, Dr. Evil's take on "Just the Two of Us" also missed the top 30, but just barely.

A new record was set as nine different Suede songs receive at least one vote. Loads of tracks by Travis, Blur, Shack, and the Super Furry Animals received votes.

Top 15 Bands
Rank Artist Last Years Spot
1 Radiohead 1
2 Blur 4
3 Belle & Sebastian 10
4 Suede 6
5 Super Furry Animals new
6 Oasis 9
7 Pulp 7
8 Mogwai 7
9 Charlatans 5
10 Travis new
11 Spiritualzied 2
12 Manic Street Preachers 12
13 Gene new
14 James erm... new
15 Primal Scream erm.. new
The Charlatans slide continues, from #1 in 1997 through #5 in 1998 and now #9 for 99. Radiohead continues to control the known universe. And, the Super Furries have entered the top 15... Welsh gangsta style.
Top 5 North American Bands
Rank Artist
1 Beck
2 Mercury Rev
3 Flaming Lips
4 R.E.M
5 Fountains of Wayne / Pavement (tie)
Indie Boy of the Millennium
Graham Coxon
After years as the bridesmaid, Graham shoves aside the other pretty boys with names like Tim, Damon, and Robbie to grab the prize.
Indie Girl of the Millennium
Sarah Cracknell and Shirley Manson - TIE
Also in the running were Dominique Durand, Bjork, Rachel Goswell, and Superfurryanimals Karen.
Best Movie
American Beauty
Over twenty movies received votes, although we're not entirely sure if the Columbine high school kids home videos actually count as a "movie". The Blair Witch Project and Being John Malkovich also did quite well, while other indie geek favorites like South Park, The Matrix, and Dogma ended up lost in the shuffle of a very good year for films.
Best TV Show
The Simpsons
We made the category a bit more specific this year by indicating that we were looking for shows generally available on U.S. cable systems and currently in production. The South Park craze blew over a bit from last year and hey, remember when everyone use to watch The X-Files?
Indie Universe Event of 1999
Andy Bell joining Oasis
You loved it, you hated it, and, as per usual, some of you simply couldn't be bothered. Second place went to the (related?) death of Creation Records story. The Coachella Festival was clearly the live music event of the year in 1999 and caused more than a few pasty indie kids to get horrid sunburns.
Best Concert
Last year's 2nd place finisher wins best live act for 1999, edging out the Super Furry Animals, Saint Etienne and Underworld.
Most Disappointing Album
Blur - 13
What else is new, the same album places as both favorite and most disappointing. We probably could have made a Top 10 for this category in 1999, but in fierce competition, Blur edged out equally merit(less) offerings from Suede, Gene and Catatonia.
Biggest Loss
The Verve
Coincidentally enough, The Verve followed by the Boo Radleys. (See below) Also receiving votes were Creation Records, 4AD Records, Guigsy and Bonehead, Linda McCartney, Mark Sandman, Pavement, "MP3 pages shut down by The Man", and, revealing a heretofore unknown indie credibility, Sweetness himself, Walter Payton.
Best Lyric
"The radio is playing all the usual, and what's a wonderwall anyway?" -- Travis -- Writing to Reach You
Kudos to those clever younguns in Travis. Several different lyrics from Super Furry Animals, Blur, Suede, and (ironically, methinks) Robbie Williams were each mentioned. Robbie also wins the "Free Willy" award for 1999 for the line "my breath smells of a thousand fags" which conjures up a slightly different mental picture here in the states. However, the correct answer for best lyric was pretty much anything off of Fountains of Wayne's "Utopia Parkway". Two points off for each of you who got this wrong.
Best Website
We basically asked this one just to find more links for the site that we should have, but it's clear that for those desperate few who have still not made Excellent Online their homepage, nme.com is essential browsing. OK, I'll admit it, I go there everyday as well.
Millennium Song
Pulp - Disco 2000
A real landslide victory for such an openended category. Your erstwhile reporter personally checked out the utility of ringing in the millennium to Jarvis' and company's ditty, and have to say it was a champagne-soaked success. Make a note to yourself for the next millennium. Other songs frequently noted were John Lennon's "Imagine" and Ride's "Leave Them All Behind".
Millennium Concert
Blur live (variously in Chicago, New York, and Birmingham) Other repeat offenders were the 1996 Organic concert (Orb, Orbtial, Chemical Brothers and Underworld all on one stage), the 1992 Rollercoaster tour, as well as various Oasis, Pulp and Radiohead appearances.
Band of the 1960's
Like it was even close.
Band of the 1970's
David Bowie
Not a band per se... but it was kind of a slow decade.
Band of the 1980's
Another landslide, as The Cure and New Order tried unsuccessfully to put up resistance.
Band of the 1990's
One of the closest contests, with The Verve, Blur and Oasis also in the running.
Prediction - Band of the 00's
No clear winner here, with several votes each for the Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Animal House, Travis, and sentiments to the effect of "they don't exist yet."
Top 20 Albums of the 1990's
Rank Artist Title
1 Radiohead The Bends
2 Radiohead OK Computer
3 Oasis Morning Glory
4 My Bloody Valentine Loveless
5 Verve A Northern Soul
6 Blur Parklife
7 Ride Nowhere
8 Oasis Definitely Maybe
9 Belle And Sebastian If You're Feeling Sinister
10 Verve A Storm in Heaven
11 Pulp Different Class
12 Verve Urban Hymns
13 Nirvana Nevermind
14 Primal Scream Screamadelica
15 Blur Modern Life is Rubbish
16 Suede Dog Man Star
17 Adorable Against Perfection
18 Boo Radleys Giant Steps
19 Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen...
20 Suede Suede
Over 250 albums received votes, including pretty much every album by Blur, Radiohead, Spiritualized, Suede, Ride, Pulp, Oasis, The Charlatans, Saint Etienne, Lush and Morrissey. The Verve was the only band to get all of their albums in the top 20. And one quick point of order, people - "The Stone Roses" did not come out during the 1990's.
Excellent List Hall of Fame Inductees
Waltzed in with miles to spare. Now watch them get back together again on us in a year or two.
Boo Radleys
In the closest ever race for the Hall of Fame, the Boos (quite deservedly) receive the 2nd 1999 slot.
Ajay's campaign for Adorable and my campaign for Lush each came up a smidgen short. I'd say they're the leading candidates for 2000, but Oasis and Blur will probably both break up and that will be that. Plenty of votes were also cast for Slowdive, The Jam and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

poll compiled by Stuart Reid, Excellent Admin