Best Music of 2012

Browse, Sample, Buy

Best and Bestsellers

Past Best of Lists

Selection Criteria

  • The 2012 best-of lists were voted on by the Amazon music and MP3 teams, which includes not only the editors, but everyone else behind the scenes, too. It was a very democratic process. These are strictly our favorite albums; sales information did not factor into our choices at all.
  • Customer favorites are ranked according to customer orders through November. Only songs and albums made commercially available in the United States for the first time 2012 are eligible.
  • Likewise, titles included in best-of lists must have been available for listening by Amazon music team members by November 24, which, we know, will inevitably exclude some notable titles. All due apologies to folks who had late releases we would've liked to have gotten to know before our voting deadline.

Digital-only Favorites

Digital Favorites
Some of our favorite music of the year so far is only available on MP3, but we'd love to share it with you anyway. Dig into these digital-only favorites.

Digital-only gems

Best Soundtrack of 2012


Best Opera and Classical Vocal of 2012

Sir Simon Rattle

Best Comedy of 2012

Hannibal Buress

Best Classical of 2012

Jeremy Denk

The Best Albums of 2012

Of Monsters and Men
Fun On their debut album, My Head is an Animal, Of Monsters and Men came from out of nowhere (actually, they're from Iceland) and won our hearts with their catchy melodies and exquisite production. Our CD customers made Bonnie Raitt's Slipstream our top selling 2012 release, while our MP3 customers preferred Some Nights by Fun. Which albums did we all agree are great? Find out here:
  • Amazon Picks: the 100 Best Albums of 2012: CDs | MP3s

  • Customer Favorites: 100 Best-selling Albums of 2012: CDs | MP3s

The Best Songs of 2012

Delta Spirit
Carly Rae Jepson
When it came to songs, our staff picked Delta Spirit's driving rock 'n' roll heartbreaker "California" as the best song of 2012, while our customers flocked to Carly Rae Jepsen's unstoppable hit "Call Me Maybe" (we actually loved it too--it came in at #16 on our list). Besides those two, we also loved songs by The Lumineers and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, while customers preferred Gotye and fun. Discover more of the year's best and bestselling songs.

Outstanding 2012 Albums You Might Have Missed

Damien JuradoOpposum We listen to a lot of music, and there are a lot of amazing, overlooked albums that we feel passionate about that just could't make our year-end list. And while we can't shine a spotlight on all of our favorite hidden gems of 2012, we have managed to put together a list of outstanding 2012 albums you might have missed (CDs | MP3s). To help you explore, we've assembled a playlist featuring a favorite song from each. Hit preview all and dig for more when you've found a new favorite.
  • Discover 100 outstanding albums you might have missed: CDs | MP3s

Best Music of the Year: Genre Highlights

Alternative & Indie
Joe Bonamassa
Alfie Boe
  • Artist: Alfie Boe
  • Album: Original Cast Recording - Once: A New Musical MP3 | CD
  • Song: Bring It On: The Musical - Original Broadway Cast - "We're Not Done"
Yo Gabba Gabba
Children's Music
Christian Music
Jason Aldean
Dance & Electronic
The Lumineers
Anthony Brown & group therAPy
2 Chainz
  • Artist: 2 Chainz
  • Album: Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid: M.A.A.D City MP3 | CD
  • Song: Kanye West - "Mercy"
Robert Glasper
Juan Magan
Metal and Hard Rock
Michael Brant Demaria
New Age
Lana Del Rey
Frank Ocean
Imagine Dragons
Jake Shimabukuro
World Music