Dylan tops Billboard critics poll


NEW YORK -- Bob Dylan's "Modern Times" (Columbia) has won the 2006 Billboard Critics' Choice poll, which rounds up top 10 lists from 48 of the magazine's staff and freelance writers. Dylan was mentioned on a leading eight lists, including one No. 1 and three No. 2 finishes.

"Modern Times" earned the artist his first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 since 1976's "Desire." It was also his highest debuting album and his best sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.

An inverse point system -- where 10 points were given to a title listed at No. 1, and one point given to a No. 10 entry -- was used to determine the rankings. Dylan's labelmate labelmate Bruce Springsteen's "We Shall Overcome -- The Seeger Sessions" and Gnarls Barkley's debut album, "St. Elsewhere" (Downtown/Atlantic) finished second and third, respectively.

Upstart U.K. rock group Arctic Monkeys came in fourth this year with its Domino debut, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not." The set garnered six mentions, four of which ranked it as album of the year. And although it was only mentioned on three lists, Tool's "10,000 Days" scored the highest per-vote point average thanks to a pair of No. 1 mentions as well as a No. 3 showing.

Dylan joins recent Critics' Choice winners My Morning Jacket ("Z," 2005) and Franz Ferdinand ("Franz Ferdinand," 2004). For individual critic lists, plus year-end favorites from artists like Jay-Z, Beck and Carrie Underwood, visit Billboard.com's Year in Music 2006 section.

Here are the top 10 albums of 2006 as chosen by our panel of critics:

 1. Bob Dylan, "Modern Times" (Columbia) -- 65 points
 2. Bruce Springsteen, "We Shall Overcome -- The Seeger Sessions" (Columbia) -- 58 points
 3. Gnarls Barkley, "St. Elsewhere" (Downtown/Atlantic) -- 53 points
 4. Arctic Monkeys, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" (Domino) -- 50 points
 5. TV On The Radio, "Return to Cookie Mountain" (Interscope) -- 47 points
 6. Tom Waits, "Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards" (Anti-) -- 39 points
 7. The Hold Steady, "Boys and Girls in America" (Vagrant) -- 38 points
 8. Tie: Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Stadium Arcadium" (Warner Bros.) and Dixie Chicks, "Taking the Long Way" (Open Wide/Columbia) -- 33 points
 9. Tie: Tool, "10,000 Days" (Tool Dissectional/Volcano) and The Beatles, "Love" (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol) -- 27 points
 10. Corinne Bailey Rae, "Corinne Bailey Rae" (Capitol) -- 23 points