Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice since 1971. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics.[3][4] It was named in acknowledgement of the defunct magazine Jazz & Pop, and adopted the ratings system used in that publication's annual critics poll.[77]

Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.[2][2] Throughout the years, other minor lists have been elicited from poll respondents for releases such as extended plays,[7] music videos,[8] album re-issues,[9] and compilation albums—all of which have since been discontinued.[2] The Pazz & Jop albums poll utilizes a points system in formulating list rankings.[11] Participating critics assign a number value, ranging from five to thirty, to each of the albums on their top ten list, with all ten albums totaling one-hundred points.[11] Singles lists, however, have always been unweighted.[11]


In 1971, English rock band The Who topped the first Pazz & Jop albums poll with Who's Next,[2] while English singer Ian Dury and his band the Blockheads topped the first singles poll with "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick" (1979).[2] Bob Dylan and Kanye West have topped the albums poll the most number of times, with four number-one albums each. West, in addition, won the singles poll of 2005. Music critic Robert Christgau oversaw the Pazz & Jop poll for more than thirty years; he also wrote an accompanying essay that discussed the poll's contents.[2][2] Christgau's tenure as Pazz & Jop overseer came to an abrupt end when he was controversially fired from The Village Voice after a company buy-out in August 2006.[2] In response to his dismissal, several prominent critics publicly announced that they would no longer be turning in their lists for the poll; Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker described Christgau's firing as "a slap in the face to so many of us [critics] in so many ways."[16] Regardless, The Village Voice has continued to run the feature, with Rob Harvilla succeeding Christgau as music editor and overseer of the poll. Christgau's annual Pazz & Jop overview essay was discontinued and substituted with multiple retrospective articles of the year's music written by a selection of critics.[2]

In 2016, the poll's name was changed from Pazz & Jop to the Village Voice Music Critics Poll by the new owners of the newspaper.[78] Christgau, who has continued to vote in the poll since his departure from the newspaper, expressed dismay at the name change.[78] When the 2016 results were announced in January 2017, the poll had reverted to its Pazz & Jop name.[79]

Number one releases


American musician Bob Dylan has topped the Pazz & Jop albums poll four times.
1971Who, TheThe WhoWho's NextN/A540[2]
1974Mitchell, JoniJoni MitchellCourt and Spark14186[2]
1975Dylan, BobBob Dylan and Band, TheThe BandThe Basement Tapes23285[2]
1976Wonder, StevieStevie WonderSongs in the Key of Life25292[2]
1977The Sex PistolsNever Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols32412[2]
1978Costello, ElvisElvis Costello and Attractions, thethe AttractionsThis Year's Model58783[2]
1979Parker, GrahamGraham ParkerSqueezing Out Sparks63767[2]
1980Clash, TheThe ClashLondon Calling891,347[2]
1981Clash, TheThe ClashSandinista!67862[2]
1982Costello, ElvisElvis Costello and Attractions, thethe AttractionsImperial Bedroom871,061[2]
1983Jackson, MichaelMichael JacksonThriller1001,305[2]
1984Springsteen, BruceBruce SpringsteenBorn in the U.S.A.1361,757[2]
1985Talking HeadsLittle Creatures991,078[2]
1986Simon, PaulPaul SimonGraceland961,131[2]
1987PrinceSign o' the Times1181,491[2]
1988Public EnemyIt Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back791,011[2]
1989De La Soul3 Feet High and Rising891,050[2]
1990Young, NeilNeil Young and Crazy HorseRagged Glory1041,282[2]
1992Arrested Development3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of...971,050[2]
1993Phair, LizLiz PhairExile in Guyville1081,383[2]
1994HoleLive Through This1211,552[2]
1995Harvey, PJPJ HarveyTo Bring You My Love1201,492[2]
1997Dylan, BobBob DylanTime Out of Mind1351,655[2]
1998Williams, LucindaLucinda WilliamsCar Wheels on a Gravel Road1672,129[2]
2001Dylan, BobBob DylanLove and Theft2353,010[3]
2002WilcoYankee Hotel Foxtrot2012,328[3]
2003OutkastSpeakerboxxx/The Love Below3053,554[3]
2004West, KanyeKanye WestThe College Dropout2452,826[3]
2005West, KanyeKanye WestLate Registration2272,525[3]
2006Dylan, BobBob DylanModern Times951,123[3]
2007LCD SoundsystemSound of Silver1411,662[3]
2008TV on the RadioDear Science1541,744[3]
2009Animal CollectiveMerriweather Post Pavilion1541,794[3]
2010West, KanyeKanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy2663,250[3]
2012Ocean, FrankFrank OceanChannel Orange1701,952[3]
2013West, KanyeKanye WestYeezus1601,991[3]
2014D'Angelo and the VanguardBlack Messiah1632,008[3]
2015Lamar, KendrickKendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly2102,639[3]
2016Bowie, DavidDavid BowieBlackstar2092,367[3]


Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003) by American hip hop duo Outkast garnered the most total points of any number-one album in the history of the poll.
American hip-hop artist Kanye West has topped the Pazz & Jop albums poll four times out of seven albums.
1979Dury, IanIan Dury and Blockheads, thethe Blockheads"Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick"/"Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3"29[2]
1980Blow, KurtisKurtis Blow"The Breaks"40[2]
1981Anderson, LaurieLaurie Anderson"O Superman"/"Walk the Dog"56[2]
Rolling Stones, TheThe Rolling Stones"Start Me Up"
1982Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five"The Message"156[2]
1983Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson"Billie Jean"75[2]
1984Prince"When Doves Cry"/"17 Days"111[2]
1985Artists United Against Apartheid"Sun City"101[2]
1986Run–D.M.C."Walk This Way"78[2]
1987Prince"Sign o' the Times"54[2]
1988Chapman, TracyTracy Chapman"Fast Car"55[2]
1989Public Enemy"Fight the Power"75[2]
1990Deee-Lite"Groove Is in the Heart"/"What Is Love?"74[2]
1991Nirvana"Smells Like Teen Spirit"116[2]
1992Arrested Development"Tennessee"100[2]
1993Breeders, TheThe Breeders"Cannonball"78[2]
1995Coolio featuring L.V."Gangsta's Paradise"81[2]
1996Quad City DJ's"C'mon N' Ride It (The Train)"34[2]
1998Fatboy Slim"The Rockafeller Skank"110[2]
1999TLC"No Scrubs"109[2]
2000Outkast"Ms. Jackson"124[3]
2001Elliott, MissyMissy Elliott"Get Ur Freak On"176[3]
2002Elliott, MissyMissy Elliott"Work It"212[3]
2003Outkast"Hey Ya!"322[3]
2004Franz Ferdinand"Take Me Out"145[3]
2005West, KanyeKanye West featuring Foxx, JamieJamie Foxx"Gold Digger"145[3]
2006Gnarls Barkley"Crazy"151[3]
2007Winehouse, AmyAmy Winehouse"Rehab"97[3]
2008M.I.A."Paper Planes"107[3]
2009Jay-Z featuring Keys, AliciaAlicia Keys"Empire State of Mind"89[3]
2010Green, Cee LoCee Lo Green"Fuck You"187[3]
2011Adele"Rolling in the Deep"116[3]
2012Jepsen, Carly RaeCarly Rae Jepsen"Call Me Maybe"94[3]
2013Daft Punk featuring Williams, PharrellPharrell Williams"Get Lucky"117[3]
2014Future Islands"Seasons (Waiting on You)"75[3]
2015Drake"Hotline Bling"76[3]

Defunct categories

Compilation albums

1995Various artistsMacro Dub Infection: Volume One28[2]
1996Bukem, LTJLTJ BukemLogical Progression11[2]

Album re-issues

1986Neville Brothers, TheThe Neville BrothersTreacherous: A History of the Neville Brothers (1955–1985)43[2]
1987Carr, JamesJames CarrAt the Dark End of the Street35[2]
1988Berry, ChuckChuck BerryThe Chess Box35[2]
1989Waters, MuddyMuddy WatersThe Chess Box65[2]
1990Johnson, RobertRobert JohnsonThe Complete Recordings108[2]
1991Brown, JamesJames BrownStar Time84[2]
1992Marley, BobBob MarleySongs of Freedom51[2]
1993Beach Boys, TheThe Beach BoysGood Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys42[2]
1994Armstrong, LouisLouis ArmstrongPortrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1923–1934)34[2]
1995Velvet Underground, TheThe Velvet UndergroundPeel Slowly and See57[2]
1996Ra, SunSun RaThe Singles25[2]
1997Various artistsAnthology of American Folk Music100[2]
1998Various artistsNuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968111[2]
1999Os MutantesEverything Is Possible: The Best of Os Mutantes31[2]
Various artistsLoud, Fast and Out of Control: The Wild Sounds of '50s Rock

Extended plays

English musician Ian Dury performed "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick", which topped the first singles poll in 1979.
1981Specials, TheThe SpecialsGhost Town44[2]
1982Burnett, T-BoneT-Bone BurnettTrap Door75[2]
1983Los Lobos...And a Time to Dance54[2]
1984Keene, TommyTommy KeenePlaces That Are Gone32[2]
1985Chilton, AlexAlex ChiltonFeudalist Tarts32[2]
1986Chilton, AlexAlex ChiltonNo Sex27[2]
1988Springsteen, BruceBruce SpringsteenChimes of Freedom13[2]
1989Williams, LucindaLucinda WilliamsPassionate Kisses17[2]
1990Mekons, TheThe MekonsF.U.N. '9027[2]
1991PavementPerfect Sound Forever26[2]
1992PavementWatery, Domestic23[2]
1993Luscious JacksonIn Search of Manny31[2]
1994Pizzicato FiveFive by Five15[2]

Music videos

American rapper Missy Elliott is the only artist with two consecutive Pazz & Jop number-one singles: "Get Ur Freak On" and "Work It".
YearArtistMusic videoDirector(s)MentionsRef.
1983Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson"Beat It"Giraldi, BobBob Giraldi63[2]
1984Art of Noise"Close (To the Edit)"Rybczyński, ZbigniewZbigniew Rybczyński35[2]
1985Artists United Against Apartheid"Sun City"Demme, JonathanJonathan Demme, Godley & Creme68[2]
1986Gabriel, PeterPeter Gabriel"Sledgehammer"Johnson, Stephen R.Stephen R. Johnson87[2]
1987Squeeze"Hourglass"Edmondson, AdeAde Edmondson12[2]
1990Deee-Lite"Groove Is in the Heart"Nakano, HiroyukiHiroyuki Nakano35[2]
Madonna"Justify My Love"Mondino, Jean-BaptisteJean-Baptiste Mondino
1991Nirvana"Smells Like Teen Spirit"Bayer, SamuelSamuel Bayer59[2]
1992Nirvana"In Bloom"Kerslake, KevinKevin Kerslake23[2]
1993Nirvana"Heart-Shaped Box"Corbijn, AntonAnton Corbijn34[2]
1994Beastie Boys"Sabotage"Jonze, SpikeSpike Jonze66[2]
1995Björk"It's Oh So Quiet"Jonze, SpikeSpike Jonze33[2]