10 Best Albums Of The 2000s

Your votes have been counted. Now we can reveal the top 10 albums from the 2000s - but who made it to the top spot?

Ultimate Guitar

The 2000s was a big turning point in music, most notably for the online revolution and file sharing.

For some it was a tedious era of auto-tuned vocals and indie-driven pop, but thanks to the rock n' roll spirit and traditional recording techniques, great rock and metal was alive and well.

The other major point is that we've all lived through it. It's one thing knowing and respecting the catalogues of the 60s and 70s, but we can't quite connect to those decades in the same way. But the 2000s? That was OUR decade.

On Wednesday we asked you to nominate and vote for your favorite albums of the 2000s. Thousands of you took part, and now the results are in.

Who released the best album of the 2000s? Read on to find out.

10. Gorillaz "Gorillaz" (2001)

Odd that music with a strong hip-hop influence would sneak into a UG top 10, but it earned the votes and therefore its place. Gorillaz and their iconic cartoon branding pushed the concept of what a band could be to the very limits, and producers will learn plenty from this album's flawless engineering and far-reaching influences.

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9. Them Crooked Vultures "Them Crooked Vultures" (2009)

It seemed too good to be true: two of modern rock's biggest names and a member of Led Zeppelin recording an album with some of the best hooks in rock history. It certainly didn't sound like a side project - Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones ended up with a record to rival any from their careers.

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8. Muse "Origin Of Symmetry" (2001)

Before this album, Muse just seemed like another group of Radiohead wannabes. Perfectly good, a little too emotional, but with no serious future ahead of them. Then this album landed, as if from outer space. From the bombastic driven bass in "New Born" to the Morricone-inspired operatic finale "Megalomania", Muse earned a place in the leagues of great British rock bands.

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7. Audioslave "Audioslave" (2002)

Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame united with the Rage Against The Machine backing band. It sounded as you might expect, with wan-shaped riffs, funky grooves and Cornell's crooning vocal signature. Critics derided the band name for being among the most boring of all time, but in the end their music filled a RATM-shaped hole in many rocker's hearts.

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6. Mastodon "Crack the Skye" (2009)

In a world where most metal is often recorded with cold, sterile precision, Mastodon's live but pin-sharp recordings stood above the crowd as a template for decent modern metal. But better than that, this album's ambitious concept and awesome songwriting made it one of the best metal releases in recent memory.

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5. The White Stripes "Elephant" (2003)

Jack White had proven his blues-writing credentials to the indie crowd, but it was "Elephant" and its run of hit singles that brought his brilliance to mainstream acclaim. Oh, and drummer Meg. Well done Meg.

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4. Red Hot Chili Peppers "Stadium Arcadium" (2006)

This album became guitarist John Frusciante's swansong; he quit the band soon after, ending the most successful era of the RHCP's career. Curiously, it was supposed to be released as three separate albums, each six months apart, but was instead released as one double album.

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3. Queens Of The Stone Age "Songs For The Deaf" (2002)

Prior album "Rated R" could have easily appeared in this top 10, but this darker, heavier release is the one that sticks in mind years later. This clip is of the recent BBC Radio 1 Masterpieces series which plays the album in full and includes plenty of exclusive backstory on the making of the record from the people involved - definitely check it out.

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2. System Of A Down "Toxicity"

Media originally called it nu-metal, but the truth is System Of A Down weren't the kind of band you could just fit into a slot like that. In reality, their brand of metal balanced on a knife edge between anger and sheer insanity, with the politics and teenage angst to match.

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1. Tool "Lateralus"

What can be said about an album that transcends everything we know about musical ability, mathematics, beauty and our place in the universe? Inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio, "Lateralus" hides a secret track listing where every song realigns perfectly. Whatever track order you hear it in, this album will challenge everything you thought about music - and teach you a whole lot more.

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Let it be known: UG readers know their sh-t. That's one of the best lists you've ever voted on.

Meanwhile, tell us about your favorite music from the 2000s, and your life stories as a musician in this era. Will it be a decade to remember in the years to come? Let us know why in the comments.

460 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SaneMan, the fact that you're even commenting about your dislikes shows you do care. And you're trying to brag about your money and awards because you feel insecure about having all the dislike, so it makes you feel superior to everyone else here. Well, if it really didn't bother you, you would have just never said anything about it in the first place. I'm not even a psychology major and I know this.
    I agree, everyone who doesn't share your tastes in music is obviously lacking in intelligence. Please tell me more of your all-knowing ways, that I might be a superior being too.
    The fact that Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory or Meteora didn't make the list is criminal
    I'm sorry that you have a sad enough existence to feel it necessary to pretend you're a famous athlete on a guitar tab site. Get a job and a new hobby. Also, your personal info in your profile just says "I have a lot of money." That's creative. And overcompensating for something....
    Dude, it's alright to give your opinions here, just don't hate on people just because they like some artist that you don't. If people like bands that I dislike, I don't call them idiots, I just give my opinion of the band.
    Somehow, participation "trophies" you "win" in grade school don't mean much in the real world...
    Also i'm not mad, but i am shocked that no foo fighters albums made the cut. UG loves the goddamn foos.
    How can you say you have a life and yet be on this page watching as your posts get down voted?
    because you said they make you laugh i know for an almost fact you are crying at home refreshing the page hoping that number goes down
    kill it
    Some good albums. I would have included: Deftones - White Pony At the drive-in - Relationship of command
    totally didn't of Relationship of Command until you mentioned it. That album is amazing, i can listen to all the way through a million and never get tired of it.
    Stadium Arcadium!!!!
    Cali was waaaaay better. wrong decade though. Stadium was a few A sides and a bunch of C sides.
    I definitely agree with you, however I think the first half of By The Way is absolutely phenomenal.
    SO happy to see Stadium Arcadium on the list! Hoped for it as I read the article headline. And also the most liked comment haha Respectable list, putting Tool on 1st.
    I think you're the first person I've seen to have three comments get 100 dislikes in one article. So if you have this awesome life with all this money and awards, why are you spending time on a site about guitar tabs and music news anyway? I thought you had better things to do?
    Audioslave? Seriously? If you take songs from their three albums you could piece together one good album.
    I love every song on that album. It was great IMO. and yeah, this is definitely one of the best lists I've seen on here.
    ZOSO <(")
    Well then you're welcome because i down-voted all 3 of your comments hope it brightens your day.
    I agree most people on here are morons..i mean obviously you can tell by looking at the bands these people chose.
    I'm surprised rihanna or 'one direction' wasn't on there.
    Me too. It was a very bad list. There was no Oasis or Converge or Foo Fighters.
    Wait... You're whining about RHCP and complaining about the lack of OASIS??? You sir, are a very good troll. Had me convinced for a while there.
    I used to hate you and your comments, but the lack of Foo Fighters is disturbing, and I will give you your one (AND ONLY ) like on this entire page.
    Chase González
    Tool definitely deserves #1 with Lateralus.
    Definitely Tool's best album ever. Imma bit worried about some of the other choices, Demon Days was Gorillaz' best album imo, and Absolution was better than Origin of Symmetry. Other than that, far better than expected.
    The Mars Volta deserve it more than Tool. My argument is useless on here though, Tool is a beloved band amongst all the drunk college jocks. I've heard way more creative stuff from other bands that starve to death.
    Are you high? Since when is Tool for jocks? I have been listening to them since opiate... Orabout 20 yrs and they have never been jock related.... By the way... Mars Volta are good but they are no Tool and never will be.
    Yeah, jocks love Tool and the Deftones. I'm not saying Tool is a bad band just that they peaked with Aenima. Lateralus had its moments and 10,000 Days sounded like B-sides from Lateralus. I used to think Tool was amazing back in High school. Mars Volta, while just about as pretentious as Tool, make better music, have more personality, and are more fun to watch live. And not that this actually matters but they have musicians that are better technicality-wise.
    You're an idiot. Jocks haven't liked Tool or the Deftones since 2000. No jock would listen to either these days
    the world would be a better place if a wider range of people listened to tool and deftones. cough frats cough
    wrong, theyre definitely still around blasting deftone's back to school, their god-awful cover of simple man (not that the original's any better), and tool's "epic masterpiece rosetta stoned brah"
    Im a fan of both bands but I agree that the Volta really are pretentious as hell. Good but pretentious what with all their 'soundscape' moments. I appreciate a good atmospheric buildup but it doesn't always work out for them
    I know right? I love their songs but just get sick of holding the fast forward button down for oh i dont know....10 minutes.
    You fast forward through the band your claiming should be #1?
    Not saying they should be number one (At the drive-in's "relationship of command" should, which has the same singer and guitarist as Mars Volta), just that they're better than Tool. And yeah I fast-forward through all of their ambient soundscape parts that drone on for LONG periods at a time.
    Oh, I wasnt being sarcastic with the "fast-forward" comment. I really do love The Mars Volta. The atmospheric build ups are cool for the first couple of minutes but get annoying when they're placed in the middle of songs. When they are playing the music parts TMV are unstoppable in every aspect. I just wish At the Drive-In still existed as they did in 2000. It's like TMV without the pretentiousness and better songs.
    Ignore the troll, obviously has never listened to Tool in his life.
    yeah dude ive definitely listened to tool before, probably a lot more than you ever have. I guess I grew out of them. They're amazing if youre still in middle-high school.
    IS being a troll a badge of honour now? - If not, then why are you trolling so hard for attention?
    Not trolling this time. Just giving my opinion on an overrated band. Even their fans are obnoxious. Always talking about how good Danny Carey is as a drummer. When you ask what makes him so amazing their response is always "Brah, his drumset is HUGE." Newsflash a good drummer doesn't need all of those drums! and of course every Tool fan will write me off by saying "He just doesn't get it"
    If you consider Tool to be in middle-high school territory then whatever you listen to must put you firmly down in the nursery stage.
    Don't hate on Tool just because you were raped in the locker room while Undertow was playing in the background.
    Funny you say that because isn't there a song on there about being raped?? And someone said jocks don't listen to Tool, you sound like one to me.
    The lack of Blackwater Park disturbs me.
    Was just listening to that for the first time in ages yesterday. I forgot just how ****ing heavy that album is. Funeral Portrait blows me away every time.
    i personally think American Idiot should be on there...
    I agree. I think maybe because I was only around 14 or 15 when it came out, but it really changed the music I listened to and opened me up to many different "UG-friendly" artists. However, I still listen to American Idiot from time to time.
    Errr Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights, The Strokes - Is This It, Radiohead - Amnesiac, Ryan Adams - Heartbraker, RHCP - By The Way, Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Spiritualized - Let It Come Down are real contenders for me. I guess just too Indie for this site.
    Top 3 are deserving, rest of the list not so much. Where the **** are Radiohead and A Perfect Circle?
    1.Tool - Lateralus 2.Radiohead - Kid A 3.QOTSA - Songs for the Deaf 4.SOAD - Toxicity 5.Tool - 10,000 Days 6.Radiohead - In Rainbows 7.A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth Step 8.Opeth - Blackwater Park 9.A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms 10.Deftones - White Pony
    So Maynard has contributed to 4 of the 10 best albums of the entire decade in your opinion? Lateralus, sure. Giving those bands that much praise is a bit too much.
    Lets all just take a second and be grateful for full album uploads on YouTube.
    This list misses "De-loused in the comatorium" by The Mars Volta and "Fear of a Blank Planet" by Porcupine Three. Anyway, I agree with the numeber one.
    Finally some Porcupine Tree in the house, I see two others later. Defintely Fear of a Blank Planet, what mortal can resist the Alex Lifeson guitar solo on Anesthetize. I think anyone who listens to that will think it belongs on the list, and you will have just found your new favorite band.
    Really good list. I think Machine Head's "The Blackening" deserves a spot though. It's a quinetessential groove metal album of the last decade.
    Lol at all the Radiohead fanboys...get over it I missed Opeth (Blackwater Park), Gojira (From Mars to Sirius), Ziltoid the Omniscient, The Formation of Damnation
    -tells Radiohead fanboys to get over it, and immediatly afterwards complains about bands that should had been on the list- Clap... Clap... Clap... Clap...
    No bad albums, but far from the best in my opinion... except for Lateralus, Songs for the Deaf and Crack the Skye, those hands down deserved to be on the list. Should have had more metal on it though.
    A top ten list of best albums in a whole decade already has 3 metal albums on it and you think there should be even more? Seriously, other music exists out there.
    So you think your better than others because of your possessions, good luck with that...
    Tool is overrated. WAY overrated.
    Does Tool deserve to take the #1 spot on this list? No. Is Tool overrated? No, if anything, outside the rock community they are basicly unknown, so I would reckon they are in fact a bit underrated by the general public, and wildly overrated by their diehard fans...
    I swear Opeth's blackwater park had a more votes than them crooked vultures or audioslave. Are these polls rigged‽‽ Is UG staff in Florida‽‽‽