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NME Single of the Year

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Every December, British music magazine NME compiles a list of what it considers the best single or track of the year. It was started in 1975. The list is usually published in one of the issues sold before Christmas – in 2006 it was published in the issue for December 9. The companion list is NME album of the year

The NME Single of the Year list is compiled by the music reviewers and independent journalists who work for the magazine and for Each picks his or her top 20 singles of the year and hands them in to the editor. An album marked at Number One gets 20 points, Number Two gets 19 points and so on until the 20th, which gets one point. All of the points from the various top 20s are then gathered together and the overall favourites are worked out and ranked for publication in the official list. The single or track with the most points overall is Number One in the list, the one with the second most points is Number Two and so on. There have been, to date, four artists who have won Album and Single of the Year in the same year: Joy Division in 1980, Klaxons in 2007, MGMT in 2008 and Lorde in 2017. Cecil Womack and Bobby Womack also won Single & Album of the Year respectively in 1984.

Singles of the YearEdit

"Pretty Vacant" by the Sex Pistols topped the listing in 1977.
NME named "Eton Rifles" by The Jam as the best single of 1979.
Prince is the only artist to have topped the list more than once, in 1986 and 1987.
The Stone Roses' "She Bangs the Drum" was named the single of the year in 1989.
"Higher Than the Sun" by Primal Scream was voted the greatest single of 1991.
NME voted "Girls & Boys" by Blur as the number-one song of 1994.
MGMT had three songs in NME's top five singles of 2008.
Year Artist Single Top five
1975 Bob Marley & the Wailers "No Woman No Cry"
1976 Thin Lizzy "The Boys Are Back in Town"
1977 Sex Pistols "Pretty Vacant"
1978 Buzzcocks "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)"
1979 The Jam "Eton Rifles"
1980 Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
1981 The Specials "Ghost Town"
1982 Grandmaster Flash "The Message"
1983 Michael Jackson "Billie Jean"
1984 Womack and Womack "Love Wars"
1985 The Jesus & Mary Chain "Never Understand"
1986 Prince "Kiss"
1987 Prince "Sign o' the Times"
1988 Nick Cave "The Mercy Seat"
1989 The Stone Roses "She Bangs the Drum"
1990 Deee-Lite "Groove Is in the Heart"
1991 Primal Scream "Higher Than the Sun"
1992 Suede "The Drowners"
1993 The Breeders "Cannonball"
1994 Blur "Girls & Boys"
1995 Black Grape "Reverend Black Grape"
1996 Underworld "Born Slippy"
1997 The Verve "Bitter Sweet Symphony"
1998 Beastie Boys "Intergalactic"
1999 Aphex Twin "Windowlicker"
2000 Eminem "The Real Slim Shady"
2001 Missy Elliott "Get Ur Freak On"
2002 Doves "There Goes the Fear"
2003 Beyoncé "Crazy in Love"
2004 The Libertines "Can't Stand Me Now"
2005 The Futureheads "Hounds of Love"
2006 Hot Chip "Over and Over"
2007 Klaxons "Golden Skans"
2008 MGMT "Kids"
2009 Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Zero"
2010 Foals "Spanish Sahara"
2011 Lana Del Rey "Video Games"
2012 Palma Violets "Best of Friends"
2013 Daft Punk "Get Lucky"
2014 Future Islands "Seasons (Waiting on You)"
2015 Skepta "Shutdown"
2016 Rihanna "Work"
2017 Lorde "Green Light"
2018 Ariana Grande "No Tears Left to Cry"


  1. ^ "NME's tracks of the year 2017". NME. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.

NME End of year critic lists