Best of 2009

Thursday, 3 December 2009
by hannahdonovan
filed under Announcements
Comments: 26

It’s that time of year again… when the data & catalogue peeps, developers and design folk work together to create our annual Best of 2009 web featurette of what you’ve been listening to the most in 2009.

This year, we did things a little differently: to avoid last year’s Coldplay track list overdose, we decided to go for one big artist list (instead of artists/albums/tracks), and expanded the list to the Top 40. Once we finished compiling the list, we decided it was just too good to spill all at once, so we’re publishing it in weekly parts, along with some other juicy features. This week it’s the MJ Special; for next week we’re cooking up something fun with tag data. Also, don’t miss the Best of 2009 Group — we want to know who’s on your personal list too!

We compiled the Top 40 by looking at scrobbles for albums released between 1st October 2008 and 16th November 2009. We took out live albums, greatest hits collections, EP’s and singles before pulling them together into the lean, mean format you’ll see in this year’s Top 40.

We added some extra data this year, notably the month-by-month scrobbles (so you can see how you fit in with the global artist listens) as well as top tracks, event images and attendance data.

So check out part 1 of Best of 2009 with the artists that made it into #40 to #21!

9 December Update:
Ooops! An eagle-eyed commenter spotted some discrepancies with the “listener” numbers we were displaying in the Top 40, which we tracked down to a bug in our data compilation. We’ve now updated the list to show the corrected data for “listeners”, which represents the total number of people on who listened to at least one track by that artist in 2009. (Since the Best of 2009 is ordered by album scrobbles – which weren’t affected by the bug – the order of the list hasn’t changed.) Our apologies to those affected by this error.

In others news, artists #20 to #10 are now live, as well as the Top 1000 by tag.


  1. andrea_25
    3 December, 21:57

    all these things just make me love more

    andrea_25 – 3 December, 21:57
  2. Leo
    3 December, 23:05 is great. Good work guys

    Leo – 3 December, 23:05
  3. Tims
    3 December, 23:07

    Well played hannah, well played.

    Tims – 3 December, 23:07
  4. robotplague
    4 December, 09:38

    Keep doing this and eventually you guys will become something akin to the Billboard Charts. Great work guys, always like seeing what you all come up with.

    robotplague – 4 December, 09:38
  5. Me
    5 December, 17:34

    Hey, guys. Fix MJ’s special link. You should add “http://” in the “href” in order to not catch the link as relative of this page.

    Me – 5 December, 17:34
  6. martind
    5 December, 17:38

    Thx “Me” — fixed :)

    martind – 5 December, 17:38
  7. Niall Smart
    7 December, 06:26

    Why is there such a disparity between the artist pages and the values you show in the chart pages?

    For example, the artist page for “Florence + The Machine” shows 7,267,524 plays and 254,856 listeners, while the chart entry says 3,015,277 plays and 529,021 listeners.

    I understand you’ve excluded “live albums, greatest hits collections, EP’s and singles” and taken only scrobbles between 1st October 2008 and 16th November 2009 – but shouldn’t this cause the #scrobbles in the charts to be less than the artist page?

    Similarly, for “The XX” – the artist page shows only 98,805 listeners (!) while the chart page says 598,274.

    What’s happening here?

    Niall Smart – 7 December, 06:26
  8. Cameron
    7 December, 12:50

    Just a note for anyone making a ‘Albums of 2009’ journal, you can use my Album Of The Year Journal Creator, which makes it easy to see all your plays for albums released this year and does the legwork of creating a journal for you :-)

    Cameron – 7 December, 12:50
  9. Aaron
    7 December, 16:10

    Ok so perhaps I’m thick but… How do I play the chart as a station?

    Aaron – 7 December, 16:10
  10. Manu
    8 December, 02:57

    Thanks for the stats on Mj

    Manu – 8 December, 02:57
  11. Matthew Ogle
    8 December, 18:39

    @Niall Smart:

    D’oh, well spotted — we in fact had a small bug in the code that calculated unique listeners for 2009 for the artists you mentioned. We’re working on corrected data and will post an update here once it’s live.

    Matthew Ogle – 8 December, 18:39
  12. ethan
    9 December, 15:48

    Does control for albums that were released later in the year, and therefore had less time to accrue a significant amount of plays, as opposed to albums released at the beginning of the year, which people have been listening to for a long time?

    ethan – 9 December, 15:48
  13. Lucas
    15 December, 00:49

    Every artist on the Top 40 list has a banner on top of their page, except for Britney Spears. What’s happening, guys?

    Lucas – 15 December, 00:49
  14. Aqualon
    16 December, 13:52

    I’ve clicked through the best of list of German bands and for no band the data from the 2009 charts matches the data shown on the website.

    E.g. Polarkreis 18 at place #173 with the album “The Colour Of Snow” has 813,092 plays on the charts page, but if I click on the album page, there are only 482,747 plays shown.

    So what’s wrong here?

    Aqualon – 16 December, 13:52
  15. Paul
    16 December, 22:06

    Where does The Eels – Hombre Lobo album come in in the top albums of 2009?

    It says 800000 plays on its page – but I cant find it in the list at all – it should be in the 200-150 range

    Paul – 16 December, 22:06
  16. Paul
    16 December, 22:19

    Likewise – where is Ladyhawke’s album?

    3.9 mil plays should put it in the top 50.

    Paul – 16 December, 22:19
  17. Lucas
    16 December, 22:25

    @Paul: “We compiled the Top 40 by looking at scrobbles for albums released between 1st October 2008 and 16th November 2009.” “Ladyhawke” was released on September 22th, unfortunately.

    Lucas – 16 December, 22:25
  18. Paul
    17 December, 00:06

    Ok – must be US/Uk release date conflict.

    I thought it was from Apr 2009 – according to the last fm page

    Paul – 17 December, 00:06
  19. Gabrielle
    18 December, 03:38

    Snow Patrol released “A Hundred Million Suns” on Oct 28 2008, so it should be in the list, right?
    It has 3.650.387 plays and 110.949 listeners of the album and 1.575.134 listeners of the band. I believe that would put them between Metric [35] and The Fray [36], but they’re nowhere to be found in this list.
    What happened? Where are they??? o.O

    Gabrielle – 18 December, 03:38
  20. Paul
    18 December, 07:24

    Heres a suggestion – how about a “Close but no cigar” list that lists any really popular album from the last 18 months that would have made it in the top 50 if it wasn’t for cutoff dates? (Especially as they can be so different from country to country)

    Paul – 18 December, 07:24
  21. mracidfreak
    20 December, 09:03

    2 things to fix:
    the live precantage is wrong.

    the translation of users own username is wrong in the english sentance.

    mracidfreak – 20 December, 09:03
  22. kuba
    20 December, 15:02

    where are Kings of Leon, Coldplay?!

    kuba – 20 December, 15:02
  23. KazieAKAcali
    24 December, 20:32

    Invitaion to all here at last fm, to visit my page and listen to some all new original
    songs, written & produced by KazieAKAcali, of Asap Production’z. Also I wish to extend
    this invitation to the listener’s here to swing by WGCi radio station page,and rate my songs there at WGCi radio. The page is located at: Please take the time and help, a young artist out.

    KazieAKAcali – 24 December, 20:32
  24. charlie
    27 December, 14:01

    The ‘Artist Listening Trend’ graph has the seasons listed under it. They are incorrect for the people in the southern hemisphere – any chance of detecting location so as to display correct information on the page? (or maybe it is just my page that is showing up wrong?)

    charlie – 27 December, 14:01
  25. vivi
    11 January, 08:07

    very useful…

    vivi – 11 January, 08:07
  26. Freddy
    12 January, 02:01

    Charlie, I wish LastFm would display the correct time a song was played.

    Freddy – 12 January, 02:01

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