AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: The Shortlist

Last week we completed our writers’ lists of their top 10 americana albums ever. Since then we have been busy tallying up the totals to produce a shortlist of 20 albums. Our writers will now choose their top five from the shortlist below. Five points will be awarded for each writer’s first choice, four for their second choice and so on down to one point for their fifth choice. The points will then be added up to produce the AUK writers’ collective top 10 americana albums ever. These will then be revealed in a couple of weeks time. As ever, readers comments are welcome on our omissions, your additions and anything else you wish to say.

The Band – The Band
Laura Cantrell – Not the Tremblin’ Kind
Johnny Cash – American Recordings
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
Gene Clark – No Other
Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Session
Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde
The Flying Burrito Brothers – The Gilded Palace of Sin
Grateful Dead – American Beauty
Emmylou Harris – Roses in the Snow
Jason Isbell – Southeastern
Paul Kelly – Gossip
Joni Mitchell – Blue
Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel
Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter
Wilco – Yankee Foxtrot Hotel
Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc,
Neil Young – After the Goldrush

Americana UK’s Top 10 americana albums of all time countdown begins on Monday 8th March 2021.

About Clint West 317 Articles
From buying my first record aged 10 and attending my first gig at 14, music has been a lifelong obsession. A proud native of Suffolk, I have lived in and around Manchester for the best part of 30 years. My idea of a perfect day would be a new record arriving in the post in the morning, watching Ipswich Town win in the afternoon followed by a gig and a pint with my mates at night,
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Well surely, ‘Dixie Chicken’ by Little Feat should by on the list

Andrew Trott

A glaring omission has to Tom Russell . His last album “October in the railroad earth” was/is a ready made classic. Steve Young’s “Seven Bridges Road” is worthy of your attention too .


Only a couple of vaguely current albums on there. What is this? An old gits’ list?

Elmer Sinnerfriend

The later stuff (tons of it) doesn’t measure up to some of the artists of the past…remember, “who feels it knows it” (Big Youth? not americana)…there are many “old gits” that should have made the list over anything made, say, after 1977. So watcha gonna do? I can list the obvious albums left off but the list is long (“Roadmaster”, “The Amazing Charlatans”, “Satan is Real”,. “Picking Up the Pieces”, “Dreamin’ My Dreams”, “Striking It Rich”, anyone? So many more (sorry, said I wasn’t gonna do that)…perhaps after the pandemic passes we may get some good efforts, pandemics have a way of making folks pay their dues in life…the later artists seem to get away with dropping influencing words in their lyrics-catch phrases and words associated with american country life without any conviction or experience…all boots and no saddle, all hat and no cattle…that alone don’t cut it, ya gotta live it,,,it all usually rings false,hollow and contived…Stay safe.

Jeremy Courtnadge

Lists are pointless. Nobody will agree with it.

Les Smith

As someone who learned he had been into Americana for most of his adult life only on discovering AUK 3 months ago, does having 11 of the selections mean I have some sort of taste, or am I just a really, really old git? (which I am!) Ah, the joy of lists. Cheers

Harry Scott

I’ve got 14 of these, but we know that lists are subjective, but hopefully the effect will be that people explore the ones they don’t already know…


A pretty good list; I have all except Paul Kelly. Sorry, Paul.
I would substitute ‘Pieces of the Sky’ or ‘Elite Hotel’ for ‘Roses in the Snow’ and ‘American Stars and Bars’ for ‘After the Goldrush’ – sacrilege, I know.
I strongly agree with Andrew Trott’s suggestion that Steve Young’s ‘Seven Bridges Road’ should be on the list too.

Mark McCall

A cracking list, a few l don’t know so l’ll need to explore those. Any chance you could expand the list to 21 and squeeze in a Richmond Fontaine, probably ‘Thirteen Cities” ? I’ve really enjoyed reading all the contributions to this series so thanks to all involved.

Pat Chappelle

Well, I have 13 of those, and tracks from a couple of others, so I shouldn’t complain too much, but I have to agree with Teefax, Little Feat should really be there. (Also Gillian Welch, Rhiannon Giddens, Steve Earle…)