Celebrating its milestone 30th birthday, SPIN put together a list of the ‘300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985-2014)’ recently. We thought it would be fun to further narrow the list down to just the dance/electronic music inclusions, and investigate what the last three decades have had to offer, in the esteemed minds of SPIN’s readers and writers.

The list features 35 total dance/electronic albums (by our estimation), though there are certainly arguments to be made for or against several others. Sidestepping the wormhole discussion of order/rankings (i.e. “You put Orbital where?” “In what world does M.I.A. beat out Portishead, LCD, Chemicals and Aphex Twin?”), the list’s quite comprehensive, boasting basically any electronic record a late ’90s indie music nerd might have in our collection, including Bjork, Boards of Canada, Basement Jaxx and the Chemicals, all the trip-hop classics, Frankie Knuckles, a gang of Aphex Twin, a Moby album we forgot existed (and honestly don’t care to revisit), and The Avalanches.

SPIN’s list also includes electronic-leaning pop offerings by Robyn and M83, surprising (but welcome) appearances by Oneohtrix Point Never and DJ Rashad, Disclosure (really?), Burial (yes!), two albums each by dance punk heroes LCD Soundsystem and M.I.A., and of course, two seminal albums by Daft Punk.

Check out our list-within-a-list, culled from SPIN’s ‘300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years (1985-2014),’ and if you’d like to go through the collection in full (and you should), do that here.

  1. Various Artists, Total 4 (Kompakt, 2002)
  2. Frankie Knuckles, Beyond the Mix (Virgin, 1991)
  3. The Field, From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt, 2007)
  4. Caribou, Swim (Merge, 2010)
  5. M83, Saturdays = Youth (Mute, 2008)
  6. Basement Jaxx, Rooty (Astralwerks, 2001)
  7. Air, Moon Safari (Astralwerks, 1998)
  8. Oneohtrix Point Never, Replica (Mexican Summer, 2011)
  9. M.I.A., Arular (XL, 2005)
  10. DJ Rashad, Double Cup (Hyperdub, 2013)
  11. Portishead, Third (Island, 2008)
  12. Orbital, In Sides (FFRR, 1996)
  13. Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (R&S, 1992)
  14. Moby, Everything Is Wrong (Elektra, 1995)
  15. The Avalanches, Since I Left You (Sire, 2000)
  16. LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening (DFA/Virgin, 2010)
  17. Four Tet, Rounds (Domino, 2003)
  18. Disclosure, Settle (Cherrytree/Interscope, 2013)
  19. Massive Attack, Mezzanine (Virgin, 1998)
  20. Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2 (Sire, 1994)
  21. The Knife, Silent Shout (Brille/Rabid/Mute, 2006)
  22. Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children (Warp, 1998)
  23. Daft Punk, Homework (Virgin, 1997)
  24. Tricky, Maxinquaye (Island, 1995)
  25. Aphex Twin, Richard D. James Album (Sire, 1996)
  26. Björk, Post (Elektra, 1995)
  27. Robyn, Body Talk (Cherrytree/Konichiwa, 2010)
  28. The Chemical Brothers, Dig Your Own Hole (Astralwerks, 1997)
  29. Portishead, Dummy (Go! Discs, 1994)
  30. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (Capitol/DFA, 2007)
  31. M.I.A. Kala (XL/Interscope, 2007)
  32. Burial, Untrue (Hyperdub, 2007)
  33. Björk, Homogenic (Elektra, 1997)
  34. DJ Shadow, Endtroducing… (Mo Wax, 1996)
  35. Daft Punk, Discovery (Virgin, 2001)
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