Top Ten Ambient Music Albums

The Top Ten

1 Substrata - Biosphere

This is great stuff. There is just something magical about it that I can't explain. One of if not, the most beautiful album in ambient music. - Slipperyjack40

This album is breathtaking. Total nirvana is achieved through tracks like Antennaria and Kobresia. - PositronWildhawk

2 Evening Star - Fripp & Eno
3 Endless Falls - Loscil

Start with the first track which shares the name, and bliss. - PositronWildhawk

4 Eingya - Helios

It sounds like the Wii menu. - SammySpore

5 Ashra - New Age of Earth

This album is beautiful! There is a lot of New Age influence here, that makes it all the better. From the warm first half of the album, to the cold and melancholic second half that is Nightdust, is all amazing. Go check it out, and also check out Ashra. - Slipperyjack40

More like progressive electronic than ambient. - SammySpore

Not a new age album! Emerging from the Krautrock scene of the early 70s, this ambient album is space music at it's best. Part electronic, part acoustic, warm and sad at the same time and immensely enjoyable.

6 Triple Point - Loscil

How you could not be soothed by any of this, I don't know. - PositronWildhawk

7 Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 - Aphex Twin

This is the best by far. Every song was constructed very well. Selected Ambient Works 85-92 isn't ambient and has no business being on this list. This is real ambient music. - Slipperyjack40

8 Microgravity - Biosphere

Especially the track "Microgravity", which is beautiful. - PositronWildhawk

9 Ambient 1: Music for Airports - Brian Eno

23? Really? One of the most important ambient albums ever and you put it on 23? Should be at least number 2 or 3.

This is one of the best ambient albums I ever heard. If you haven't heard it, you really should. My favorite ambient album is Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume 2. Music for Airports isn't far behind it. I love it's welcoming feel. - Slipperyjack40

I am greatly disturbed that this album wasn't already on this list. It's one of the most significant and influential albums of the genre. It came out in 1978, and it's still just as mind blowing. - Mard

10 The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid - Stars of the Lid

Amazing ambient group from my hometown released this beautiful 2001 recording, with some elements of post-rock and some field recordings thrown in. A modern classic of its genre. - Mard

The Contenders

11 Submers - Loscil
12 Ambient 4: On Land - Brian Eno
13 Tim Hecker - Virgins
14 The Plateaux of Mirror - Harold Budd & Brian Eno

This really is a great album. Its arguably better than Music for Airports. It was put together and mixed very well. It might be Eno's most solid album. Music for Airports beats it by just a little bit though because I like its welcoming atmosphere better. This is also amazing. - Slipperyjack40

Did NOT invent ambient music; he merely gave it a name! Artists were creating minimalist and ambient music nearly a decade earlier. Listen to Zeit by Tangerine dream (1972) for Dark spacey ambient long before Eno's masterworks.

Brian Eno invented ambient music. At least 5 of his albums should be in the top 20. This album in particular is amazing. - SammySpore

Without Brian Eno none of these other albums would have ever been made. Godfather of ambient and rarely surpassed.

15 By the Throat - Ben Frost
16 Chill Out - The KLF

It's all in the name!

17 An Empty Bliss Beyond This World - The Caretaker
18 Plume - Loscil
19 Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks - Brian Eno
20 Gas 0095 - Gas
21 Selected Ambient Works 85-92 - Aphex Twin

This album is great, though it isn't exactly ambient. - Slipperyjack40

22 And Their Refinement of the Decline - Stars of the Lid

The name says it all. It creates this beautiful atmosphere that just makes you wonder how heaven will feel nicer. Amazing ambient work that will never age. - Slipperyjack40

23 As the Snow Fell - Iambic2
24 Ravedeath, 1972 - Tim Hecker
25 Replica - Oneohtrix Point Never
26 The Endless River - Pink Floyd
27 God Save the Queen / Under Heavy Manners - Robert Fripp
28 Let the Power Fall - Robert Fripp
29 Rubycon - Tangerine Dream
30 Under These Stars, We'll Sleep Again - Iambic2
31 No Pussyfooting - Fripp & Eno
32 Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
33 Architexture of Silence - Alpha Wave Movement
34 The Gates of Paradise - Robert Fripp
35 Dropsonde - Biosphere
36 Electric Sea - Buckethead
37 Ghosts I-IV - Nine Inch Nails

Best

38 The Disintegration Loops - William Basinski
39 Insomnia - Biosphere
40 Reachy Prints - Plaid
41 Necronomicon - Nox Arcana
42 The Slip - Nine Inch Nails
43 Electric Tears - Buckethead
44 Stealth - SleepResearch_Facility
45 Stalker - Robert Rich & B. Lustmord
46 World of Sleepers - Carbon Based Lifeforms
47 Love Knows Where - Hakobune
48 Haunt Me - Tim Hecker
49 Phaedra - Tangerine Dream
50 Pop - Gas
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