Three of the biggest man-made inventions are undoubtedly the glorious pint, the humble Scotch egg and the rip-roaring rout of rollicking rock ‘n roll. Luckily, 2014 has tasted all in abundance.

Picking the ear-tickling highlights of 2014 is an almost impossible task bent on opinion and the fear of absentees. Yet space and our deliverance of alt, indie, hip-hop, dance, iconic rock, punk, folk, blues, metal, jazz, reggae, ska – pseudo, psychedelic and transient in every category – has squeezed our choice down to a small but exceptional few. We narrowed the criteria for 2014’s best down to one requirement: they all had to be endorphin-guzzling, ear hair rumblers.

Fortunately, the globe has delivered sonic delights in buckets. Music has never been in a healthier state. This year rocked and there has been no better place to be than Planet Ear.

It’s worth an honorary tipping of the titfer here to Loud Minority and Saigon Sound System for putting live music in Southeast Asia on the map.

And now, without further ado, here are our 2014 highlights:

Alabama3, W.O.M.B.L.E. Vol 2
alt-J, This Is All Yours
Angus & Julia Stone, Angus & Julia Stone
Band of Skulls, Himalayan
Ben Howard, I Forget Where We Were
Benjamin Booker, Benjamin Booker
Black Infinity, The Illuminati of Love and Death I and II
Blood Red Shoes, Blood Red Shoes
Bombay Bicycle Club, So Long, See You Tomorrow
Broken Bells, After The Disco
Brody Dalle, Diploid Love
Death From Above 1979, The Physical World
The Horrors, Luminous
Jack White, Lazaretto
Jamie T, Carry On The Grudge
John Butler Trio, Flesh & Blood
Julian Casablancas + The Voidz, Tyranny
Kasabian, 48:13
Kim Churchill, Silence/Win
Matthew & The Atlas, Other Rivers
Milky Chance, Sadnecessary
Nick Mulvey, First Mind
Parque Courts, Sunbathing Animal
Red House Glory, Living A Lie
Royal Blood, Royal Blood
Skaters, Manhattan
Sticky Fingers, Land of Pleasure
War Against Drugs, Lost In The Dream
Wolfmother, New Crown
Young The Giant, Mind Over Matter
#1 Dads, About Face