Listomania: The lists of 2012

Everyone likes a list. The rundown of the top FL articles of 2012 proves it with several lists among the most read stories on FL this year. To bring 2012 to a close here’s FL’s listomania, wrapping up the lists of best albums, top sellers, guilty pleasures, breakups, overrated and underrated – plus a special metal list for anyone who ever needed “moar metal”. And for those that hate lists there’s always FL’s useful guide to list hating

Best Albums of 2012

2012 may not have been a vintage year for music, but it was certainly eclectic, throwing up a diverse set of records that were hard to pin to any one genre or trend. While there were triumphant comebacks from old favourites – The Dirty Three’s first album since 2005’s Cinder and Fiona Apple’s return to the studio after a seven-year absence – 2012 was really all about the newcomers and Tame Impala.

Sixteen of the 50 albums on FL’s Best Albums 2012 are debut albums (17 if you include Jack White’s first solo outing), which certainly bodes well for the future. For the first time ever, we also asked our readers to select their favourite albums of 2012 – and again Tame Impala’s Lonerism won by a landslide, capturing 23.7 percent of the vote on the FL Readers Poll ahead of Jack White (12 percent), Mercury Prize winners Alt-J (9.6 percent) and Frank Ocean (8.7 percent).

Lonerism may’ve topped every critics poll known to man this month, while Frank Ocean, Jack White and Kendrick Lamar captured the critical hivemind like few others in 2012, but did all that acclaim really translate to real-world sales? We asked some of our favourite indie record stores to unveil their best sellers of 2012.

Whenever there’s a list of albums on FL there’s inevitably a complaint that the list “needs moar metal”, so we got Australia’s leading expert on all things heavy, the former host of triple j’s Full Metal Racket from 2001 till 2011 – Andrew Haug – to count down his top metal albums of 2012.

Guilty Peasures of 2012

At the other end of the musical spectrum Caitlin Welsh took a look at the year’s pop pleasures listing legitimately good tracks from Usher, Bieber and Taylor Swift; guilty pleasures from Skrillex and Flo Rida; and unassailable instant classics from Carley Rea Jepsen and PSY.

Best Videos of 2012

Jody MacGregor watched hours upon hours of YouTube to compile the best clips of 2012 – a list that includes new videos from Fiona Apple, Spiritualized, Trash Talk, Ben Folds, Bleeding Knees Club, Hot Chip and more.

Best and Worst Album Art of 2012

FL also kept tabs on the album artwork that we found when we opened the mail each week to put together a list of the best and worst album art of the year. And yes, Ladyhawke’s Anxiety made it onto both the worst cover art list and the best cover art list because art is subjective, man.

Biggest Breakups and Controversies of 2012

While the Mayan prediction that the world would end in 2012 didn’t come true, many bands chose to bow out this year anyway (although half of them will probably be back in five years for a reunion tour). From one-hit wonders, to skivvy-clad superstars and “mysterious” indie collectives here’s FL’s list of the year’s biggest breakups.

There are also plenty of musicians who were probably wishing the apocalypse even if just to distract us all from their blunders and controversies. From Wolfmother’s anti-triple j ranting and Green Day’s on-stage meltdown to Delta Goodrem’s indie plagiarism and Pussy Riot’s arrest – we counted down the biggest controversies of the year

The Biggest Lists of 2012: Most Overrated/Underrated of All-Time

And finally there were the two biggest FL lists of 2012 – the Overrated/Underrated lists. After much deliberation, heated debate and soul-searching we came up with a list of records that, for whatever reason, seem to get a free critical pass and presented the Most Overrated Albums of All Time and then followed that up with a list of forgotten, overlooked and overshadowed gems on the Underrated List.

The 2012 List of Lists

The Best Albums of 2012 – FL Critics Poll

The Best Albums of 2012 – FL Readers Poll

The Best Metal Albums of 2012

The Indie Record Stores Top Sellers of 2012

The Best Interviews of 2012

The Best Videos of 2012

The Biggest News of 2012

The Biggest Controversies of 2012

The Guilty Pop Pleasures of 2012

The Band Breakups of 2012

The Best Cover Art of 2012

The Worst Cover Art of 2012

The Best Photos of 2012

The Most Overrated Albums of All-Time

The Most Underrrated Albums of All-Time

FL’s useful guide to list hating