More top music:

We're releasing our film Top 10 lists tomorrow, but before we leave music entirely, here's a list of other CDs that meant a lot to me this last year, regardless of their release date.

Badfinger: The Very Best Of Badfinger: Holy crap, how did it take this long to get a Badfinger collection? I mean, I knew the music, but until you hear it all lined up, one great song after the other, it's hard to appreciate just how great this band is. Is there a better pop song than "Baby Blue," with its instant hooks and sad undertones? This blew me away. I vote Badfinger the number one band of 2005, although I don't think a reunion tour is too likely.

The Animals: Retrospective: Holy crap, is this a great band! It's kind of like with Badfinger: Until you hear the collected singles, it's easy to underrate them. They start off a blues band that could give the Stones a run and end up somewhere else entirely. (Well, specifically California, offering a Brit take on the whole West Coast psychedelic scene.) I vote The Animals the number two band of 2005.

Various Artists: Whole Lot Of Rainbows: Soft Pop Nuggets: I just bought this yesterday, so maybe it's a bit soon, but I love this collection. It's import only and it basically bends the whole Nuggets concept–the '60s garage rock collection from the '70s that was later expanded into three different box sets– to the breaking point, but it's impossible not to love. These are all soft rock songs from the late-'60s that try to capture the spirit of the age. If the very first wave of garage rock was inspired by LSD and the next, much bigger wave was inspired by musicians inspired by musicians who had taken LSD, this comes from the moment when apparently everyone at least thought they'd taken LSD. Or at least wanted to cash in on the acid-drenched spirit of the age. In AM-radio arrangements, seasoned, usually middle-aged, session pros sing about love-ins and going places where the streets are lined with mushrooms. The Everly Brothers, The Tokens, The Association, and Jan & Dean both make appearances, but it's dominated by immortals like Salt, The Munx, and Uncle Sound. Biz-freaking-are. It's also available under the name Come To The Sunshine. Highly recommended. (I know this scene had a little bit of a revival a couple of years ago, particularly the work of producer Curt Boettcher. I'm sorry to be behind the times.)

The Police: Synchronicity: I grew up loving The Police. Then Sting ruined them for me. Now I think I'm ready to admit them back on my iTunes. I'm still ignoring Sting, however. Incidentally, Noel Murray likes to point out that this has the worst lyrics of any classic album. Discuss.

The Grateful Dead: American Beauty: I used to believe that The Grateful Dead did more harm than good, but this album… You can't deny it. And how many alt-country bands owe their existence to this album (and Workingman's Dead)? At least Ryan Adams 'fessed up with Cold Roses this year.