Iconic albums turning 20 in 2022

Looking back to some of the key releases of 2002 celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2022

2002 had it all – a host of new pop names (Will Young, Gareth Gates, Blue, Avril Lavigne), some other acts going for an adult market (Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera), a handful of rebirths (Sugababes, David Bowie) and debuts (Libertines, Interpol, The Streets, Norah Jones) and every shade of pop from Latin (Enrique Iglesias) to wonky psychedelia wonder (Flaming Lips) represented. Here’s a handful of some of them...

A Little Deeper – Ms Dynamite

Official Chart peak: 10
UK chart sales: 499,000

The first rap album to win the Mercury Prize.

A New Morning – Suede

Official Chart peak: 24
UK chart sales: 40,000

Even Suede themselves aren’t terribly keen on this album, according to Brett Anderson, but we liked it.

A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 3 million

No difficult second album, this. The eighth biggest-selling album of the 21st century.

Angels With Dirty Faces – Sugababes

Official Chart peak: 2
UK chart sales: 931,000

With bangers Freak Like Me and Round Round, this was a triumphant birth of Babes 2.0.

BRMC – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Official Chart peak: 25
UK chart sales: 228,000

This Californian outfit’s debut had a brace of tracks that are still shorthand for moody rock today.

By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 2.2 million

A chart-topping eighth album from the punk-funk dads.

Come Away With Me – Norah Jones

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 2.6 million

The smoky jazzy blues of Norah’s Grammy-winning debut sold over 27 million copies worldwide - and score four weeks at Number 1 in the UK.

Come With Us – Chemical Brothers

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 217,000

Fourth (and third Number 1) album from Tom and Ed with help from Richard Ashcroft and Beth Orton.

Escape – Enrique Iglesias

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 1.5 million

Hero was enormous, as was this, making Enrique the first Latin act to score the chart double.

Escapology – Robbie Williams

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 2.1 million

Fresh from signing a massive new record deal, Robbie showed no sign of heading to the dumper as his fifth album spent seven weeks at Number 1 in 2002.

Evil Heat – Primal Scream

Official Chart peak: 9
UK chart sales: 58,000

Bobby and chums channel dystopia with another scoop of futuristic boogie rock and roll.

Finisterre – Saint Etienne

Official Chart peak: 55

“The perverse possibilities of the Barbican. You could be invisible here. You can get a notion of floating above the city”

From Now On – Will Young

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 895,000

Will’s debut album containing the biggest-selling single of the decade, Evergreen.

Full Moon – Brandy

Official Chart peak: 9
UK chart sales: 148,000

Brandy went from strength to strength with the banger What About Us? and this, her third long-player.

Geogaddi – Boards Of Canada

Official Chart peak: 21
UK chart sales: 63,000

The mysterious Scottish duo finally got around to following up their legendary debut Music Has The Right To Children.

Heathen – David Bowie

Official Chart peak: 5
UK chart sales: 217,000

The legend’s 23rd album which saw him reunited with producer Tony Visconti.

Heathen Chemistry – Oasis

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 1.15 million

Noel claimed that this was Oasis’ second-best album, better than (What’s The Story) Morning Glory(!).

Highly Evolved – The Vines

Official Chart peak: 3
UK chart sales: 150,000

Garage rock was quite a thing in the early noughties, and came no better than this debut from the Australian trio.

Justified – Justin Timberlake

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 2 million

Recorded while NSYNC were on hiatus, Justin took some songs that Pharrell had apparently written with Michael Jackson in mind and launched his solo career.

Let Go – Avril Lavigne

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 1.8 million

A storming debut selling over 16 million copies, and the launch of a new pop-punk queen.

Nellyville – Nelly

Official Chart peak: 2
UK chart sales: 769,000

With Dilemma and Hot In Herre onboard, Nelly’s second effort became one of the biggest-selling rap albums of all time.

One By One – Foo Fighters

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 901,000

The fourth and biggest album yet for Dave and co., with classics All My Life and Times Like These.

One Love – Blue

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 1.4 million

All Rise for the boys’ debut album (which they’ll be taking on tour in celebration this year, fact fans).

Original Pirate Material – The Streets

Official Chart peak: 10
UK chart sales: 745,000

The birth of a new and exciting voice, Mike Skinner was the poet laureate of working class nightlife.

Phrenology – The Roots

UK chart sales: 81,000

The soul outfit’s commercial breakthrough.

Read My Lips – Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Official Chart peak: 2
UK chart sales: 844,000

Sophie shimmied onto the murderous dancefloor and into the limelight with her effervescent debut.

Release – Pet Shop Boys

Official Chart peak: 7
UK chart sales: 53,000

Midway through making new tracks for a Best of, Chris and Neil instead decided to turn those numbers into an eighth album.

Sea Change – Beck

Official Chart peak: 20
UK chart sales: 90,000

Bad news for Beck splitting up with his girlfriend. Good news for listeners though.

See This Through And Leave – Cooper Temple Clause

Official Chart peak: 27
UK chart sales: 76,000

Ferocious indie-facing Brit rock from a band that should’ve been massive.

Songs For The Deaf – Queens Of The Stone Age

Official Chart peak: 4
UK chart sales: 632,000

Josh Homme brought Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan onboard to create their pulverizing breakout album, includes the monstrous No One Knows.

Stripped – Christina Aguilera

Official Chart peak: 2
UK chart sales: 2 million

Both Dirrty and Beautiful, Christina’s fourth album saw her properly transition into a major star.

The Coral – The Coral

Official Chart peak: 5
UK chart sales: 383,000

Wonky Scouse psychedelic folk, this debut saw the Liverpudlian band cross over into the major league.

The Eminem Show – Eminem

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 1.9 million

Marshall’s fourth album was the most anticipated release of the year and went on to sell over 27 million copies worldwide.

The Last Broadcast – Doves

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 411,000

Their second album, and first chart-topper for the Mancunian trio, featuring the stellar There Goes The Fear.

Thinking It Over – Liberty X

Official Chart peak: 3
UK chart sales: 693,000

Once Hear’Say had been (and gone) the Popstars runners-up had a chance to step into the spotlight with slick pop bangers like Just A Little.

Turn On The Bright Lights – Interpol

UK chart sales: 138,000

The music scene in New York in the early noughties was a-buzz with renewed energy post-Strokes, and Interpol’s debut was worthy of just as many plaudits.

Under Construction – Missy Elliott

Official Chart peak: 23
UK chart sales: 260,000

Missy came to bring the pain hardcore to the brain. Ooh baby what’s your name? Under Construction was banger after banger.

Up! – Shania Twain

Official Chart peak: 1
UK chart sales: 788,000

The follow-up to the squillion-selling Come On Over was released in three versions to appeal to as many people as possible, which was a gamble that appeared to work.

Up The Bracket – Libertines

Official Chart peak: 35
UK chart sales: 318,000

Considered one of the great debut albums, at a time when UK indie was in rude health and nowhere near a landfill.

What My Heart Wants To Say – Gareth Gates

Official Chart peak: 2
UK chart sales: 589,000

He may have played second fiddle to Will Young, but lovely Gareth won over plenty more fans with his debut.

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots – Flaming Lips

Official Chart peak: 13
UK chart sales: 322,000

The Flaming Lips had a slow and slightly wonky path to a commercial breakthrough with this, their tenth album, thanks to the heartbreaking Do You Realize??.