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. It was named in acknowledgement of the defunct magazine Jazz & Pop, and adopted the ratings system used in that publication's annual critics poll.
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. Throughout the years, other minor lists have been elicited from poll respondents for releases such as extended plays, music videos, album re-issues, and compilation albums—all of which have since been discontinued. The Pazz & Jop albums poll utilizes a points system in formulating list rankings. 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. Singles lists, however, have always been unweighted.
In 1971, English rock band The Who topped the first Pazz & Jop albums poll with Who's Next, while English singer Ian Dury and his band the Blockheads topped the first singles poll with "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick" (1979). 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. 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. 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." 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.
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. Christgau, who has continued to vote in the poll since his departure from the newspaper, expressed dismay at the name change. When the 2016 results were announced in January 2017, the poll had reverted to its Pazz & Jop name.
Number one releases
|1995||Various artists||Macro Dub Infection: Volume One||28|||
|1996||Bukem, LTJLTJ Bukem||Logical Progression||11|||
|1981||Specials, TheThe Specials||Ghost Town||44|||
|1982||Burnett, T-BoneT-Bone Burnett||Trap Door||75|||
|1983||Los Lobos||...And a Time to Dance||54|||
|1984||Keene, TommyTommy Keene||Places That Are Gone||32|||
|1985||Chilton, AlexAlex Chilton||Feudalist Tarts||32|||
|1986||Chilton, AlexAlex Chilton||No Sex||27|||
|1988||Springsteen, BruceBruce Springsteen||Chimes of Freedom||13|||
|1989||Williams, LucindaLucinda Williams||Passionate Kisses||17|||
|1990||Mekons, TheThe Mekons||F.U.N. '90||27|||
|1991||Pavement||Perfect Sound Forever||26|||
|1993||Luscious Jackson||In Search of Manny||31|||
|1994||Pizzicato Five||Five by Five||15|||
|1983||Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson||"Beat It"||Giraldi, BobBob Giraldi||63|||
|1984||Art of Noise||"Close (To the Edit)"||Rybczyński, ZbigniewZbigniew Rybczyński||35|||
|1985||Artists United Against Apartheid||"Sun City"||Demme, JonathanJonathan Demme, Godley & Creme||68|||
|1986||Gabriel, PeterPeter Gabriel||"Sledgehammer"||Johnson, Stephen R.Stephen R. Johnson||87|||
|1987||Squeeze||"Hourglass"||Edmondson, AdeAde Edmondson||12|||
|1990||Deee-Lite||"Groove Is in the Heart"||Nakano, HiroyukiHiroyuki Nakano||35|||
|Madonna||"Justify My Love"||Mondino, Jean-BaptisteJean-Baptiste Mondino|
|1991||Nirvana||"Smells Like Teen Spirit"||Bayer, SamuelSamuel Bayer||59|||
|1992||Nirvana||"In Bloom"||Kerslake, KevinKevin Kerslake||23|||
|1993||Nirvana||"Heart-Shaped Box"||Corbijn, AntonAnton Corbijn||34|||
|1994||Beastie Boys||"Sabotage"||Jonze, SpikeSpike Jonze||66|||
|1995||Björk||"It's Oh So Quiet"||Jonze, SpikeSpike Jonze||33|||