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Albums of 2021 Guidance

Hey. Welcome to the invitation-only Friends of Record Culture Albums of 2021. If you’re reading this, it’s because we’ve hand-selected you to be part of this year’s quest to find the definitive 50 Albums of 2021. We're delighted that you want to take part and are excited to see the final results.

But, before you run amok, it will serve you well to read the guidance below. Some is guidance, some are straight-up rules. It'll save us both a lot of difficulty later on if you remember these before getting started.

You'll find the link to the form below, under the Completing Your Form section.


It is important to note that this is not an open invite. This is an invitation only exercise, specifically aimed at established customers, supporters and other people we have chosen to take part for their music know-how. Please do not share the link around.

Submissions Guidelines [IMPORTANT]

1. Your Top 20 is what we really want. But the minimum requirement for your entry to count is a Top 10

2. A Top 20 is perfect. But a solid Top 10 is preferred to a half-arsed Top 20. I.e. if you really feel like you’re just “making the numbers up”, 10 is better than 20.

3. It's either a Top 10 or a Top 20. Any number in between is an invalid entry.

4. IMPORTANT. Please note the below requirements for any entry that you include:

a. An album must have been released between December 11th 2020 - December 3rd 2021. Please double check before submitting if you’re not sure
b. Albums must be new music. No reissues, best-ofs, live albums or compilations allowed
c. No EP’s or singles allowed
d. So-called “mini albums” (at least 7 tracks) are allowed


You'll be pleased to know you don’t need to do anything whatsoever regarding how we score this thing. But you might be interested to know how it works all the same. Points are awarded for each position, as follows:


Bonus Points

Additional points are awarded for recurring entries.

For example, Album X appears in someone’s Top 5. That same album then appears in someone else’s Top 5. For this, the album receives 2 bonus points. It will subsequently receive 2 bonus points every time it appears in another person’s Top 5.

If Album X appears in someone’s Top 10 and then that same album appears in someone else’s Top 10, the album receives 1 bonus point. It will subsequently receive 1 bonus point every time it appears in another person’s Top 10.

Lost Points

If someone includes an album in their Top 20 that no other participant nominates by the end of the voting, the points for that nomination are halved. For example, Person A submits Album X as their 1st favourite album. By default, the album receives 40 points. When all votes are counted, no one else has submitted Album X in their Top 20. Album X loses half its points, reducing to a total of 20 points.

This is to counterbalance what would be an inflamed appearance of that album as a favourite of the Friends of Record Culture. Continuing the example, Album X is nominated just once - as above - and receives a total of 40 points. A different album, Album Y, is nominated a total of 5 times across the board by 5 different people, in positions 8, 12, 15, 18, 20. It accumulates a total of 38 points. With the frequency of nomination for Album Y, it is fair to assume it is objectively the more popular album as a group. Therefore reducing points on single nomination albums reduces that imbalance.

Completing Your Form

Head to this link to start completing your entry:

To complete the online form, you just need to add the ARTIST and ALBUM TITLE in the empty fields. You’ll find a space under each listing where you can enter a small piece of text regarding the album if you wish. We'll try to use some of these during the run-down if we can.

Some guidance for completing your list:

1. Have a good think about it. There’s no rush.

2. Please ensure both the Artist and Title are correct and in full. If we can’t easily decipher who or what it is our end, it might very well be scrapped.

Click on the submit link when you’re done. Note that once it’s submitted, that’s it. If you decide you made a terrible mistake, drop us an e-mail and we’ll see what we can do.


The deadline for submissions is Sunday, December 5th. Due to getting the final results ready we cannot allow any stray from that. We plan to run the results feature on December 16th or 17th.

Thank you

That's it! Thanks for taking part and supporting what we're doing. Go ahead and get submitting and have fun!