The following is a list of albums that Pitchfork gave a 10 during the album’s initial release — you might say they’re pitchfork-perfect.
The highest possible score any album can receive from Pitchfork is a 10 and as of this post, there have only been twelve albums that that have achieved this rare perfect rating since Pitchfork launched in 1995 as pitchforkmedia.com. Take a look at Pitchfork’s perfect tens:
|2020||Fiona Apple||Fetch the Bolt Cutters||Review|
|2010||Kanye West||My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy||Review|
|2002||…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead||Source Tags & Codes||Review|
|2002||Wilco||Yankee Hotel Foxtrot||Review|
|1999||Bonnie 'Prince' Billy||I See a Darkness||Review|
|1999||The Flaming Lips||The Soft Bulletin||Review*|
|1998||Bob Dylan||Bob Dylan Live 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert||Review|
|1996||Walt Mink||El Producto||Review|
The keyword here to pay attention to is “initial release” as this list of Pitchfork perfect tens is actually much longer if were were to include the more than 100 albums were honored with a 10 on re-release.
Twelve Perfect Albums… or Seven?
At some point, Pitchfork may have updated their scoring process and audited their perfect scores for albums prior to 2000.
At some point, save for Radiohead’s Ok Computer and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s I See a Darkness, Pitchfork deleted their reviews for albums that received perfect scores pre-2000. Those that no longer met the site’s criteria: The Flaming Lips’ 1999 release of The Soft Bulletin, Bob Dylan’s “Royal Albert Hall” live album (1999), Amon Tobin’s Bricolage (1997) 12 Rods’ Gay? (1996), and Walt Mink’s El Producto (1996) all had their accomplishments deleted from the site.
When possible, we’ve linked to the reviews that have been cached at archive.org or were referenced elsewhere — thanks Internet!
The music review site hasn’t replaced them with updated reviews nor given a reason why they deleted those album reviews. This seems to be a practice the music review site does from time to time. Without that information, this effectively reduces the list of Pitchfork perfect albums by nearly half leaving us with seven truly Pitchfork-perfect albums that received a ten on their first release.