Top 25 Greatest EPs of All Time

As voted by UG community.

Ultimate Guitar

This week's traditional Wednesday Question saw the lovely people of UG community discussing the matter of finest EPs ever released.

We received a healthy chunk of over 400 comments and plenty of votes, all of which were summed up into a nice little Top 25 rundown.

Before kicking things off, we'll note that honorable mentions include Hüsker Dü and "Metal Circus," Burzum's "Aske," Slayer's "Haunting the Chapel," Eminem and "Slim Shady EP," Brutal Truth's "Kill Trend Suicide," Mother Love Bone and "Shine," Gorguts' latest release "Pleiades' Dust," The Mars Volta and "Tremulant," One Day as a Lion's self-titled EP, as well as Queensrÿche's self-titled EP.

With all that stuff out of the way, let's proceed to the list. The goods await below.

25. Slowdive - Slowdive

Kicking things off with one of the finest shoegaze acts of all time, you folks voted Slowdive's self-titled EP to get this thing on the move. Released in 1990, about a year since the band's formation, the EP marked the very first Slowdive effort ever.

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24. Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

Marking the sole EP release in Between the Buried and Me opus thus far, "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues" was released back in 2011, marking the band's first collaboration with Metal Blade Records and the first part of a conceptual suite that continued with 2012's full-length album "The Parallax II: Future Sequence."

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23. Mayhem - Deathcrush

This one's just a cult black metal album - Mayhem and "Deathcrush." Released in August 1987 as the band's first EP, the effort featured the lineup of Maniac, Euronymous, Necrobutcher, Manheim, and Messiah.

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22. Twelve Foot Ninja - Smoke Bomb

Up next, you folks gave props to Twelve Foot Ninja's second EP, 2010's "Smoke Bomb."

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21. Mogwai - My Father My King

Described as "two parts serenity and one part death metal," Mogwai's "My Father My King" is up next. Entirely instrumental, the Steve Albini-produced piece is based on a Jewish prayer called Avinu Malkeinu.

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20. Jeff Buckley ‎- Live at Sin-É

At No. 20, you folks voted Jeff Buckley's first commercial recording - 1993's "Live at Sin-é." The effort captures Mr. Buckley jamming on his trusty Fender Telecaster at the Sin-é coffeehouse in his neighborhood - the East Village in New York.

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19. Black Flag - Nervous Breakdown

It was this EP that marked the release of very first Black Flag music. The year was 1979, and the effort went by the name of "Nervous Breakdown."

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18. Pearl Jam - Merkinball

In 1995, with three studio albums already under their belt, Pearl Jam joined forces with legendary Neil Young to release a two-song EP titled "Merkin Ball." The effort comes as a companion to Young's 1995 album "Mirror Ball," with songs from the two efforts complementing each other.

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17. My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise

UG user Bubu7 noted: "After many other minor EPs this was the first taste of what was to come in their full-length efforts. I think they still play all of these songs live, it's the only EP that they still consider this much and the reason is clear: every song sounds like first-class album material, nothing is worth of being called a B-side, pop melodies and cutting noise finally find the perfect balance."

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16. Muse - Muscle Museum

Just so we're clear - there's the "Muscle Museum" single and there's the "Muscle Museum" EP, which made the list. Released in early 1999, the effort marked the band's second EP. It was limited to 999 hand-numbered copies.

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15. Mudhoney - Superfuzz Bigmuff

Up next is the EP that marked the arrival of Mudhoney - "Superfuzz Bigmuff." Unveiled in 1988, the effort was named by two of the pedals the band was using during recording process: Univox Super-Fuzz and the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff.

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14. Fugazi - Fugazi

As the first-ever recorded Fugazi effort, the band's self-titled EP featured a collection of seven tunes clocking in at around 23 minutes. Unlike every other Fugazi release that followed, this one features no guitar contributions from Guy Picciotto. It is also known as "7 Songs."

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13. Periphery - Clear

Periphery are this week's Lucky 13 thanks to their 2014 EP "Clear." Guitarist Jake Bowen commented about the record: "'Clear' is an experiment to explore all of the different writing styles in the band. It's rare when you have a band where every member is capable of writing and producing music. With each member controlling their own track, this recording enabled us to go down any path we chose in terms of style and sound. Every track also contains a melodic theme established in Clear's intro track 'Overture,' this common thread links all of the songs together, even though they all sound wildly different."

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12. Limp Bizkit - The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1)

Very raw, very honest, Limp Bizkit and 2005's "The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1)" are up next.

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11. Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings

Hailed by some of you folks as the finest live EP ever, "Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings" brings Radiohead a step away from the Top 10.

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10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada

According to Rate Your Music, this is the greatest EP of all time. According to UG community, it's in the Top 10. Canadian post-rock giants Godspeed You! Black Emperor and "Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada."

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9. Dream Theater - A Change of Seasons

Clocking in at 57:30, Dream Theater's "A Change of Seasons" 1995 EP is nearly two times longer than Slayer's full-length album "Reign in Blood" (28:58). That's prog for ya, although half of the record are covers...

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8. Pixies - Come on Pilgrim

Consisting of eight Pixies tracks taken from the group's 1987 demo tape, "Come on Pilgrim" is the first more serious Pixies effort the world received. About a year later, they shook the world some more with full-length debut album "Surfer Rosa."

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7. Aphex Twin - Come to Daddy

UG's very own N-D pointed out: "Maybe, one of the best electronic EPs ever - besides the title track (aka 'Pappy Mix'), it contains of maybe the best Aphex's tracks which are exclusive to this release."

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6. Meshuggah - I

Nothing like a 21-minute one-song EP from Meshuggah to spice things up. The one and only "I" up next at No. 6.

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5. The Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton - Irony Is a Dead Scene

After original The Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Dimitri Minakakis left, but before Greg Puciato arrived to the gang, the boys have released an EP titled "Irony Is a Dead Scene," featuring none-other than legendary Mike Patton.

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4. Nirvana - Hormoaning

Between 1991's "Nevermind" and 1993's "In Utero," which sold over 45 million copies together, Nirvana released a funny little EP called "Hormoaning" in 1992.

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3. Nine Inch Nails - Broken

The bronze medal this week comes as a nod to an outstanding achievement: Nine Inch Nails' "Broken" features the first, and thus far only song ever to mention "fist fuck" and win a Grammy - "Wish."

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2. Tool - Opiate

The silver medal goes Tool's major-label debut and the record that introduced them to the world in many ways - 1992's "Opiate."

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1. Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies

It is not a common case that an EP release contains some of the given artist's finest music, but that's the exact case with Alice in Chains' monumental 1994 EP "Jar of Flies." A gold medal for the boys this week!

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97 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bedside Shred
    Never heard of Slowdive before this. I'm in love.
    And guys I know you'll kill me for sooo long comment, but I'll post the rest of the top - from #36 and lower (positions from 26 to 35 are in the "honorable mentions" section). Again, I hope that it'll help someone to discover more great music): Sonic Youth - Kill Yr. Idols N.W.A. - 100 Miles and Runnin' Plini - Sweet Nothings Primus - Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People Soundgarden - Screaming Life Arctic Monkeys - Who the Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys? ISIS - The Mosquito Control Neurosis - Sovereign Anathema - Pentecost III Minor Threat - Minor Threat The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour Godflesh - Messiah Boards Of Canada - In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country Pg.99 [aka pageninetynine] - Document #7 Cocteau Twins - Tiny Dynamite R.E.M. - Chronic Town Napalm Death - Greed Killing Slint - Slint Cradle of Filth - Vempire or Dark Faerytales in Phallustein Massive Attack - Ritual Spirit Royal Blood - Out of the Black Incubus - Enjoy Incubus Burial - Kindred Impaled Nazarene - Motörpenis Down - Down IV Russian Circles - Russian Circles Ugly Kid Joe - As Ugly As They Wanna Be At the Drive-In - Vaya Moonsorrow - Tulimyrsky Suffocation - Despise the Sun Marilyn Manson - Smells Like Children Mastodon - Lifesblood AFI - All Hallow's Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia Tame Impala - Tame Impala Sodom - In the Sign of Evil Fleshgod Apocalypse - Mafia Kreator - Flag of Hate Swans - Young God Sepultura - Bestial Devastation Silverchair - Tomorrow Parkway Drive - Don't Close Your Eyes Celtic Frost - Emperor's Return Oceansize - Music for Nurses Cannibal Corpse - Hammer Smashed Face EP Coldplay - The Blue Room Baroness - First [and "Second" too] The Flaming Lips - Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell The Locust - Safety Second, Body Last Joy Division - An Ideal for Living Dying Fetus - Grotesque Impalement Suicidal Tendencies - Feel Like Shit...Deja-Vu Haken - Restoration The Fall of Troy - Phantom on the Horizon Helloween - Helloween Newsted - Heavy Metal Music Blink-182 - Dogs Eating Dogs LCD Soundsystem - 45:33 Iron & Wine - The Sea & the Rhythm Saosin - Translating the Name Protest the Hero - A Calculated Use of Sound Ensiferum - Dragonheads The Devil Wears Prada - Zombie Metallica - Beyond Magnetic Buzzcocks - Spiral Scratch Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Yeah Yeah Yeahs TV on the Radio - Young Liars Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant Mutemath - Reset Cephalic Carnage - Halls of Amenti Joe Satriani - Dreaming #11 Senses Fail - From The Depths of Dreams Intervals - In Time Guns N' Roses - Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide John Frusciante - Foreglow [as well as "DC EP" and "Letur-Lefr"] MGMT - Time to Pretend The Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the Queen Sylosis - The Supreme Oppressor Rhapsody - Rain of a Thousand Flames Kataklysm - The Mystical Gate of Reincarnation Dorje - Catalyst Sianvar - Sianvar Mercyful Fate - Mercyful Fate Voivod - Post Society Def Leppard - The Def Leppard E.P. NOFX - Surfer [+ "The Decline"] Breaking Benjamin - So Cold FIDLAR - Shit We Recorded in Our Bedroom Torche - Songs for Singles Mindless Self Indulgence - Despierta Los Niños Shihad - Devolve Iron Maiden - The Soundhouse Tapes Glassjaw - Our Color Green (The Singles) Death From Above 1979 - Heads Up Angra - Freedom Call AC/DC - '74 Jailbreak
    Shihad were mentioned?! That blows my mind. There's a great cover of Black Sabbath's The Wizard on that EP.
    Haha that was me. Didn't expect to see them mentioned again after that though. Damn good band that I wish more people knew. Really love their cover of The Wizard. I had hoped they were going to play it when they opened for Sabbath a few years back sadly they didn't.
    Bedside Shred
    Y'know I was initially gonna vote for Mercyful Fate's s/t EP but ultimately went with KONGH because Sole Creation honestly surpasses it, as much as I obsess over MF. Sole Creation is a mighty work though and y'all mafakas need to check em out:
    + Here are some EPs I would like to add by myself (forgot to mention them in the WQ): Amenra - Afterlife Electric Wizard - Supercoven Cult Of Luna - Vertikal II Ulver - A Quick Fix of Melancholy Emperor - Reverence Godsmack - The Other Side Misfits - Beware Agalloch - The White EP Deathspell Omega - Kénôse Poison The Well - Distance Only Makes the Heart Grow Fonder Chimaira - This Present Darkness Kayo Dot - Stained Glass Empyrium - Auszüge aus Weiland Bethlehem - Reflektionen aufs Sterben King Crimson - VROOOM Waltari - Back to Persepolis Blut Aus Nord - "Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity" (Soundtracks for Scientists of Occult Synchretism)
    Oh, one more cool EP: Sunn O))) - Oracle Just quotation: "Pretty hilarious that Sunn's longest full-length release (bonus CD reissues notwithstanding) is being categorized as an EP, but what can one do."
    Definitely check out their album Souvlaki! That album together with MBV's Loveless are considered as absolute shoegaze classics. It's one of my top 5 all time favorites. I adore that album. Work of beauty.
    Dude yeah, Slowdive is the shit. They're coming out with a new album soon that I'm pretty excited for. I'm actually really surprised they made this list.
    Not my cup of tea. They even make Coldplay seem exciting.
    Bedside Shred
    I'd rather listen to the grass grow than listen to Coldplay.
    Sorry people. That was a brutal, needless insult to Slowdive by me. Forgive me.
    I don't know if artists were allowed to have more than one entry this time (that rule is wildly inconsistent), but after listening to a few of these, Alice in Chains should be here twice with Jar of Flies AND Sap.
    I'm actually kind of pleasantly surprised with this list for the most part
    Proud to say I hsbe quite a few of these (although Pixies Come on Pilgrim is bundled with Surfa Rosa for me) Also Limp Bizkit's Unquestionable Truth is awesome. People complain about Limp Bizkit's (more accurately Fred Durst) lyrics to be terrible and here's something with some substance and people are still complaining.
    Great to see Twelve Foot Ninja getting some love. Such a great, underrated band. Nice for Periphery too. Clear was great.
    I'd put Submarine or Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys on here
    "Who the Fuck" is so overlooked. No Buses is my favorite song they've ever put out. It's such a simple, but perfectly accurate representation of that whole mid-2000's wave of British indie rock.
    INSULIN · Jul 02, 2016 03:47 AM
    Counting only EPs containing non-album tracks, The Beatles' "Long Tall Sally" (1964) and "Magical Mystery Tour (1967, double EP-set) are among the finest examples of EPs I can think of.
    Awesome to see Irony Is a Dead Scene get some recognition here. Those 4 songs (well, one and a cover) are some of the best stuff that DEP ever recorded. It's too bad that they never made any more music with Mike Patton.
    Limp Bizkit over My Bloody Valentine, Fugazi, Between the Buried and Me and BLACK FLAG?
    Limp Bizkit over MBV, Fugazi, Black Flag, Mudhoney AND Slowdive. I do feel like gouging my eyes out and burning my eye sockets to a crisp, I must say.
    The fact that Limp Bizkit is in this at all. Anything in the honorable mentions could've and should've easily replaced that terrible attempt at emulating RATM.
    Missed this poll, what a pity! Would have suggested Genesis' "Spot the Pigeon" (1977), which is one of my favourite EPs.
    This is all crap music. Wheres the black metal? Wheres the blues? Its all just pop-rock. Me and my mom and my boyfriends mom and his mom and the dog and his dog and my mom and all of my dads all think so too
    Modest Mouse - Everywhere And His Nasty Parlor Tricks gets my vote. Pretty good list UG, good hustle *taps bum*
    sarahgomez412 · Jul 02, 2016 08:53 PM
    Just few forgot ones that easily should have made the list: Alice In Chains - Sap Bullet For My Valentine - Hand of Blood Blink 182 - Dogs Eating Dogs
    I stumbled across Jar of Flies the other day for a couple of Rands at our local music store. I've never listened to it before but after I had, wow what an album/ep.
    It's good to see Deathcrush on here, even though it isn't that good compared to their later stuff (especially the De Mysteriis rehearsal with Dead), it does have some pretty solid riffs, but the lyrics are, well, meh. But I am missing Aske/Hvis Lyset Tar Oss by Burzum, otherwise a good list.
    I was making my way down the list saying to myself... How is jar of flies not on this list??? OH ok good!
    How the hell can a 2 song record be considered an EP (#18)? Isn't that clearly a single?
    Kept scrolling down for Jar of Flies... excitement to confusion... confusion to anger... then.