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Liz Phair, PJ Harvey, and the Breeders top the 20th (or 21st) Annual Music Critics’ Poll

Photo by Chris Buck
Photo by Chris Buck

The 1993 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll


1.Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville (Matador)1383(108)
2.Nirvana: In Utero (DGC)1106(91)
3.PJ Harvey: Rid of Me (Island)708(63)
4.The Breeders: Last Splash (4AD/Elektra)607(59)
5.Pet Shop Boys: Very (EMI)538(34)
6.Dr. Dre: The Chronic (Interscope)524(47)*
7.Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Spinning Around the Sun (Elektra)427(39)
8.De La Soul: Buhloone Mindstate (Tommy Boy)396(35)
9.U2: Zooropa (Island)390(41)
10.Digable Planets: Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) (Pendulum)358(43)
11.Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream (Virgin)330(32)
12.P.M. Dawn: The Bliss Album . . . ? (Gee Street)325(29)
13.Paul Westerberg: 14 Songs (Sire/Reprise)299(36)
14.Pearl Jam: Vs. (Epic Associated)298(32)
15.Bettie Serveert: Palomine (Matador)289(26)*
16.Urge Overkill: Saturation (Geffen)275(29)
17.The Afghan Whigs: Gentlemen (Elektra)260(24)
18.American Music Club: Mercury (Reprise)255(24)
19.Tony Toni Toné: Sons of Soul (Wing)254(23)
20.Yo La Tengo: Painful (Matador)243(24)
21.A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders (Jive)231(20)
22.Willie Nelson: Across the Borderline (Columbia)215(20)
23.Bob Dylan: World Gone Wrong (Columbia)209(24)
24.Stereolab: Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements (Elektra)204(19)
25.Jane Siberry: When I Was a Boy (Reprise)193(17)
26.Dwight Yoakam: This Time (Reprise)192(26)
27.Me’Shell NdegéOcello: Plantation Lullabies (Maverick/Sire/Reprise)188(19)
28.Uncle Tupelo: Anodyne (Sire/Reprise)186(18)
29.Cypress Hill: Black Sunday (Ruffhouse/Columbia)184(18)
30.Terence Trent D’Arby: Symphony or Damn (Columbia)182(21)
31.Sade: Love Deluxe (Epic)181(19)*
32.Arthur Alexander: Lonely Just Like Me (Elektra Nonesuch/American Explorer Series)178(17)
33.Aimee Mann: Whatever (Imago)175(18)
34.Cassandra Wilson: Blue Light ‘Til Dawn (Blue Note)170(15)
35.PJ Harvey: 4-Track Demos (Island)169(16)
36.Rosanne Cash: The Wheel (Columbia)167(15)
37.Belly: Star (Sire/Reprise)165(16)
38.John Hiatt: Perfectly Good Guitar (A&M)162(15)
Shaver: Tramp on Your Street (Zoo/Praxis International)162(15)
40.Dinosaur Jr.: Where You Been (Sire/Warner Bros.)157(19)

This poll compiles ballots from 308 critics, who divided 100 points among 10 1993 albums. Points determined placement, with total mentions (indicated in parentheses) used for tie-breaking. Maximum per album: 30. Minimum: 5.

*Includes 1992 votes: Dr. Dre 10 (1), Bettie Serveert 40 (4), Sade 91 (10).


1.The Breeders: “Cannonball” (4AD/Elektra)78
2.Digable Planets: “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” (Pendulum)50
Nirvana: “Heart-Shaped Box” (DGC)50
4.Dr. Dre: “Nuthin’ but a `G’ Thang” (Interscope)44
5.Salt-n-Pepa: “Shoop” (Next Plateau)32
6.Radiohead: “Creep” (Capitol)29
Soul Asylum: “Runaway Train” (Columbia)29
8.The Juliana Hatfield 3: “My Sister” (Mammoth/Atlantic)27
9.Urge Overkill: “Sister Havana” (Geffen)26
10.Ice Cube: “It Was a Good Day”/”Check Yo Self” (Priority)23
Tony Toni Toné: “If I Had No Loot” (Wing)23
12.US3: “Cantaloop” (Blue Note)22
13.Janet Jackson: “That’s the Way Love Goes” (Virgin)20
Naughty by Nature: “Hip Hop Hooray” (Tommy Boy)20
Shaggy: “Oh Carolina” (Virgin)20
16.Cypress Hill: “Insane in the Brain” (Ruffhouse/Columbia)19
Porno for Pyros: “Pets” (Warner Bros.)19
18.Robin S: “Show Me Love” (Big Beat/Atlantic)18
19.Belly: “Feed the Tree” (Sire/Reprise)17
R.E.M.: “Man on the Moon” (Warner Bros.)17
21.Gin Blossoms: “Hey Jealousy” (A&M)15
Pet Shop Boys: “Go West” (EMI)15
RuPaul: “Supermodel” (Tommy Boy)15*
24.Tag Team: “Whoomp! There It Is” (Life)13
Janet Jackson: “If” (Virgin)13
Snow: “Informer” (EastWest)13
R.E.M.: “Everybody Hurts” (Warner Bros.)13

*Includes 1992 votes: 5.


1.Luscious Jackson: In Search of Manny (Grand Royal)31
2.Sugar: Beaster (Rykodisc)24
3.Moby: Move (Elektra)20
4.Heavenly: P.U.N.K. Girl (K)16
5.Jeff Buckley: Live at Siné (Columbia)11
Freedy Johnston: Unlucky (Bar/None)11
7.En Vogue: Runaway Love (Atlantic)10
8.The Shams: Sedusia (Matador)8
Versus: Let’s Electrify (Remora)8
10.Babes in Toyland: Painkillers (Reprise)7


1.The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations (Capitol)42
2.Elvis Costello: 2½ Years (Rykodisc)34
Otis Redding: Otis! (Rhino)34
4.Ornette Coleman: Beauty Is a Rare Thing: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (Atlantic)33
5.Richard Thompson: The History of Richard Thompson: Watching the Dark (Hannibal)30
6.Tougher Than Tough: The Story of Jamaican Music (Mango)29
7.Janis Joplin: Janis (Columbia/Legacy)25
8.Prince: The Hits/The B-Sides (Paisley Park/Warner Bros.)23
9.Moby Grape: Vintage (Columbia/Legacy)19
10.John Prine: The John Prine Anthology: Great Days (Rhino)16


1.Nirvana: “Heart-Shaped Box” (Anton Corbijn)34
2.Bjork: “Human Behavior” (Michelle Gondry)32
3.R.E.M.: “Everybody Hurts” (Jake Scott)28
4.The Breeders: “Cannonball” (Kim Gordon and Spike Jonze)21
U2: “Numb” (Kevin Godley)21
6.R.E.M.: “Man on the Moon” (Peter Care)19
7.Soul Asylum: “Runaway Train” (Tony Kaye)18
8.Beavis and Butt-head Featuring Cher: “I Got You Babe” (Tamra Davis)15
Blind Melon: “No Rain” (Sam Bayer)15
10.Aerosmith: “Crying” (Marty Callner)12

Village Voice, Mar. 1, 1994

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