Best Albums of 2012

Plus other outstanding releases of the year, including several extraordinary re-issues.

By Jeff Schwachter
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 6 | Posted Dec. 26, 2012

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Best Albums of 2012

We’ve reviewed a lot of great albums in this space throughout the year. Here are this writer’s 10 favorite albums — in order — of 2012.

Also featured: outstanding re-issues of the year, plus other notable releases of 2012.


(Click on links to read review capsules)

10. Dr. John - Locked Down


9. Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas


8. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange


7. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp


6. Chromatics - Kill for Love


5. Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth


4. Grizzly Bear - Shields

3. Beach House - Bloom

2. Bob Dylan -Tempest

1. Greg Brown -Hymns to What Is Left


Notable Mentions (More excellent albums from 2012):

Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
Van Morrison - Born to Sing: No Plan B
Hospitality-  s/t
Band of Horses -  Mirage Rock
Mark Knopfler - Privateering
Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
Dwight Yoakam - 3 Pears

Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream
Etta James - The Dreamer
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
Bobby Womack -  The Bravest Man in the Universe
Glen Hansard - Rhythm and Repose
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel
Kendrick Lamar - Good Kidd, M.A.D.D. City
Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill
Tame Impala - Lonerism

The Shins - Port of Morrow
Dr. Dog - Be the Void
Chairlift - Something



Favorite Re-Issues / Box Sets of 2012:


Searching for Sugar Man

• Columbia/Legacy Complete Album Collection Box Sets: Thelonious Monk, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, Charlie Christian, Duke Ellington





• Velvet Underground & Nico - 45th Anniv. Super-Deluxe Set

• David Ruffin - David, Unreleased LP & More

• Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros (Three re-issues from Hellcat Records of the albums the late Clash leader did with his band the Mescaleros)

• Bill WithersThe Complete Sussex and Columbia Masters

Fat BoysPizza Box Set (limited edition Record Store Day set) 



— Jeff Schwachter




CLICK DATES TO READ: AC Weekly's BEST ALBUMS OF 2011, 2010, 2009


 What were your favorite albums or songs from 2012?

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Comments 1 - 6 of 6
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1. Shelly Peters said... on Dec 26, 2012 at 06:17PM

“good list...I'd add new Godspeed, Swans, Johnny Cash 68-disc box set, Iris deMent's (greg brown's wife, right?) new one; it's fantastic as well as Cat Power, Dirty Projectors, David Ruffin”

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2. Shells said... on Dec 26, 2012 at 06:27PM

“Sugar Man was a huge album this year even though the vinyl's been out there for years. Maybe it will Rodriguez a Grammy or Oscar or whatever. Other faves of mine: alabama shakes, taylor swift, Aimme mann”

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3. P Philly said... on Dec 26, 2012 at 06:33PM

“P.O.S., El-P, NAS ...”

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4. Reese Carson said... on Dec 27, 2012 at 10:50AM

“Great list here. But where's Swans? Dirty Projectors? Godspeed?”

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5. Anonymous said... on Dec 31, 2012 at 04:36PM

“Lee Fields”

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6. pedro de paco said... on Jan 2, 2013 at 09:48PM

“anything released on sublime frequencies label?”


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