Pick of the pops
December 20, 2002
Not only did Ms Dynamite officially boast the number one album of 2002, thanks to those people at the Mercury Music Prize, but she also made it into Sounds' top 20 albums of the year list!
No surprise there then, especially as she followed up the success of A Little Deeper by playing Reading University.
Come to think of it, more than a third of our featured bands were on stage in Reading this year, so the least you can do is to make sure they are on your shelves too.
Here, in alphabetical order only, are our picks of the year:
Audioslave - Audioslave
When you combine the talents of Rage against the Machine and Soundgarden you cannot go wrong. The best riff album for years, shades of Led Zep.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Leading the year's American rock invasion with a debut album of dark, psychedelic rock.
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood To The Head
Snatched up the gauntlet thrown down by their debut and ran with it.
Similar slow starter leading to rousing tunes, with The Scientist among a host of stand-out tracks.
The Coral - The Coral
Fresh and witty, with a Mercury shortlist to boot for the Scouse six-piece.
Counting Crows - Hard Candy
Steve Lillywhite-produced fourth studio album and the best since debut August And Everyting After. Emotional heartbreak.
Doves - The Last Broadcast
The Doves have flown a long way since their embryonic days as dance act Sub Sub and tracks such as Pounding help establish them alongside Manchester's finest with this euphoric offering.
Electric Soft Parade - Holes In The Wall
Another one from the Mercury shortlist, this was a phenomenal debut of classic songwriting from Brighton brothers Tom and Alex White.
Fatboy Slim - Big Beach
Live recording from the infamous Brighton Beach party, including classics from X Press 2 and Groove Armada.
Ms Dynamite - A Little Deeper
The Mercury Prize winner, courtesy of a young soulful hip-hop diva from London who flew in the face of the gangsta rappers.
Beth Orton - Daybreaker
Beautiful slow-burner with some clever collaborations, including Ryan Adams and The Chemicals.
The Polyphonic Spree - The Beginning Stages Of
How big is your stage? Big enough to cram on 24 robed Texans belting out uplifting modern gospel, with any luck.
Puressence - Planet Helpless
Rousing atmospherics and harmonies in a moving collection of anthemic
Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf
Proving that rock can still be interesting, exciting and very, very loud with an impressive follow-up to their debut.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way
Much-anticipated follow-up to 1999's Californication sees the hard-line rockers go all tuneful, with By The Way something of a summer anthem.
The Streets - Original Pirate Material
Geezers need excitement, not least Mike Skinner who blew Reading away having produced one of the most talked-about albums of 2002.
Sugababes - Angels With
Edgy pop R&B offering which gloriously marries Gary Numan's Tubeway Army sample with strong songwriting and feelgood tunes.
Supergrass - Life On Other Planets
Back to the raw, unpolished edge of I Should Coco, the Oxford boys enjoy a raucous romp as they come up and see us, make us smile, once again.
Underworld - A Hundred
Underworld have torn up the rule book once again. Packed with big tunes and some real surprises, this is the album you hoped they would make.
White Buffalo - Waiting To Go Home
Features stand-out track Wasted . Should be a massive hit from this three-piece London based band. Hints of Rush and Doves.
Wilco - Yankee, Hotel, Foxtrot
The alt-country masters turn in another superb album but shades of OK Computer rather than Ryan Adams.