Infographic: The Best Record Labels (2004-2011)
Every year, a handful of albums seem to crop up on everybody’s year-end list. But who are the labels behind those beloved albums? Do the same labels dominate year after year or is that crown getting passed around? We scoured six best-of-the-year lists (Paste, Rolling Stone, Spin, NME, Consquence of Sound and Metacritic) and determined which label reigned from 2004 to 2011.
Aside from Sony’s back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005, a different label came out on top each year. The emergence of indie labels in recent years was apparent in the overall winners, though. While Sony (Adele, Bruce Springsteen) edged out its former subsidiary Def Jam (Kanye West, The Roots) among major labels, that was only good enough to earn the world’s largest record company fourth place overall. Looking at the whole time period, Sub Pop (The Shins, Fleet Foxes) had the most releases on Best Album lists, followed by Merge (The Arcade Fire, Spoon) and 4ad (Bon Iver, The National). Matador (Belle & Sebastian, The New Pornographers) rounded out the Top Five.
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