This year marks a momentous milestone in New Zealand music history, as we celebrate 50 years since the good ship Tiri set sail and Radio Hauraki began broadcasting.

These days, things are a little less swashbuckling than they once were but Hauraki continues the pirates' fine tradition of celebrating great music.

The past 50 years have seen a lot of great music hit the airwaves - but which year is the greatest of them all?

That's the question Hauraki is putting to the public, launching a battle to find The Greatest Year of Music.


To have your say, listen to Hauraki from next Monday and vote for your favourite.

In the meantime, check out the arguments from these Hauraki hosts.

Jeremy Wells: 1996

I'm probably the only person in the world who thinks that 1996 was the greatest year in music, because in a lot of ways it wasn't.

1991, for example, was way more important mainly due to the release of great grunge albums like Nirvana's Nevermind, Pearl Jam's Ten and the Smazza Pazza's amazing debut Gish.

But I was 20 years old in 1996, so the albums I thrashed that year seemed to have had a much bigger effect on my life.

Tool's Aenema, Rage Against the Machine's Evil Empire, and oddly New Zealand's own Bressa Creating Cake's self-titled debut are all albums that immediately take me exactly back to how I felt in those formative years. So yes, 1996 was a great year for music.

Matt Heath: 2005

Matt Heath argues 2005 is the best year, as The White Stripes chimed in with the funky-as Blue Orchid.
Matt Heath argues 2005 is the best year, as The White Stripes chimed in with the funky-as Blue Orchid.

5 had so many great tracks. Bright Eyes with the bittersweet song of the century, First Day of My Life; Gorillaz had the amazing Feel Good Inc; The White Stripes chimed in with the funky-as Blue Orchid.

The jam block finally came of age on Little Sister by QOTSA, Railroad Man from The Eels made everyone who heard it cry and, of course, 2005 bought us the best Now That's What I Call Music ever number 19.

But most life-changing of all for me was Deja Voodoo's seminal album, Brown Sabbath, with the smash hits Beers, Today Tomorrow Timaru, P, Jack The Ripper, 250 Flat Firemen and More Beers. 2005 - what a year.

Angelina Grey: 1992

I had a hectic time trying to choose my favourite year in music. The Golden Year of Grunge, 1991, nearly took it out. But then I realised Freddie Mercury died in 91, which was balls, so I decided to go for 1992.

That year we still had all the singles being released from the incredible albums the year before, plus a bunch of excellent new tunes for The Cure, INXS, Faith No More, and even Push Push making things hectic.

It was the height of the Chilis, after releasing Blood Sugar Sex Magik and U2 decided to have some fun, ditching cowboy hats for leather pants and taking a whole bunch of TVs and a belly dancer on tour for Zoo TV.

Guns N' Roses were just wrapping up their Use Your Illusion tour and and then Rage Against the Machine released their debut album. There was quality, new music streaming from all angles and my Walkman could barely keep up.

Granted, there was a bit of a weird moment when Kriss Kross wore their pants backwards for a while, but luckily it didn't last long. Apart from the fluoro colours of XTC clothing still lurking around, 1992 was pretty flippin' rad.