No maybe: Oasis are definitely No 1

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NOEL Gallagher famously claimed they were "more important to the youth of today than God" and yesterday Oasis secured their position at the top of the rock firmament when they took the top two places in a poll of the top 50 best-ever British albums.

Definitely Maybe, their 1994 debut, topped the poll, followed by the hugely successful (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, their second album. Another two albums by the band were in the top 25 in the poll, compiled by record-store chain HMV and music magazine Q .

Radiohead's 1997 album OK Computer was third in the poll, followed by The Beatles' Revolver and the self-titled debut CD by The Stone Roses.

The rock-dominated chart also features records by The Clash, Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, The Smiths and Queen.

More recent artists to make the cut include Keane at numbers eight and 13 and Arctic Monkeys. Only one woman, Amy Winehouse, made the list.

Paul Rees, the editor of Q magazine, said: "It's clear that, having polled three times more votes than any other act, Oasis are undoubtedly the nation's most-loved band.

"Similarly, it's evident just who music fans believe the classic and most enduring British acts of each era to be.

"And, by that measure, the likes of Keane, Arctic Monkeys, Muse and Amy Winehouse have emerged in recent years to be seen as genuinely classic artists in the eyes of the people that matter most – those who buy music.

"In a list that features the likes of Radiohead's OK Computer and The Beatles' Revolver this list is a testament to the popularity of Oasis and their music."

Rudy Osorio, HMV's head of music, added: "Most album polls of recent years have tended to see the likes of The Beatles, Radiohead and Stone Roses vie for the top five spots.

"However, as our perspective changes, it looks like many more of us are starting to recognise the iconic appeal of Oasis and the brilliance of Definitely Maybe as an era-defining album."

THE TOP 50

1. Definitely Maybe – Oasis

2. (What's The Story) Morning Glory? – Oasis

3. OK Computer – Radiohead

4. Revolver – The Beatles

5. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

6. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

7. London Calling – The Clash

8. Under The Iron Sea – Keane

9. Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd

10. Urban Hymns – The Verve

11. The Bends – Radiohead

12. Abbey Road – The Beatles

13. Hopes And Fears – Keane

14. Don't Believe The Truth – Oasis

15. Violator – Depeche Mode

16. The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths

17. A Night At The Opera – Queen

18. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not – Arctic Monkeys

19. The White Album – The Beatles

20. Never Mind The B******s – Sex Pistols

21. Rubber Soul – The Beatles

22. Be Here Now – Oasis

23. Absolution – Muse

24. Rio – Duran Duran

25. Parklife – Blur

26. A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay

27. The Holy Bible – Manic Street Preachers

28. Origin Of Symmetry – Muse

29. Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin

30. The Wall –Pink Floyd

31. Up The Bracket – The Libertines

32. X&Y – Coldplay

33. Who's Next – The Who

34. Black Holes And Revelations – Muse

35. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

36. Songs Of Faith And Devotion – Depeche Mode

37. Word Gets Around – Stereophonics

38. The Fat Of The Land – Prodigy

39. Different Class – Pulp

40. In Rainbows – Radiohead

41. Hunky Dory – David Bowie

42. Favourite Worst Nightmare – Arctic Monkeys

43. Everything Must Go – Manic Street Preachers

44. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

45. Behaviour – Pet Shop Boys

46. The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars – David Bowie

47. Parachutes – Coldplay

48. Exile On Main Street – Rolling Stones

49. Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division

50. Let It Bleed – Rolling Stones

'THE POINT OF A LIST LIKE THIS IS TO STIMULATE DEBATE'

ABOUT the only surprise about this list is that Keane are in the Top 10.

Although people might be a bit sceptical, I'm almost glad to see them because this is otherwise the same album list as always – though I'm glad The Beatles are not at the top of a "best ever" list yet again.

But Keane don't strike me as a band that will be regarded with any great excitement in ten years' time.

Either readers are prepared to go back to accepted "classics" again and again, or they have no imagination.

I don't think people approach a list of greatest albums thinking about the gender of the artist, so I don't think there's any conspiracy to ensure there's only one female artist in the top 50.

But the fact that Amy Winehouse is the only woman suggests it's because she is in readers' minds, because she's in the news and her album is recent.

I'm surprised Led Zeppelin are not higher in the list, especially because they are so prominent right now because of their reunion.

It would have been nice to see a bit more imagination, to cast the net a bit wider. In fact, this list seems utterly useless. But anything that slightly revises accepted thought is good. The point of a list like this is to stimulate debate, but only if it challenges what's gone before it. This isn't going to challenge anyone – it is a really, really dull list.

My top album would be one of several by David Bowie, but if I had to choose, Aladdin Sane; or Kate Bush's The Kick Inside.

&#149 Fiona Shepherd is chief pop critic of The Scotsman.