Welcome to our new monthly column, the 405 Retrospective. Each month we'll aim to take a stroll down memory lane and remember some of the great music of the past – with so much music being released every week, we often forget that there's countless artists, records and songs already out there, just waiting to be rediscovered. Here are the best tracks from this time last year, five years ago, a decade, twenty, thirty and fifty years prior that we believe are worth knocking the dust off and whacking into your musical player of preference.

A full 365 days ago we had the likes of Regina Spektor, Beach House and Mercury award winners alt-J hitting out shelves, the latter undertaking a journey that they could never have prepared themselves for. May 2012 also saw the advent of some massive comeback albums – Scissor Sisters, PiL and Tenacious D for example – but the most understated of these was Sigur Rós' Valtarí. The legendary Icelandic post-rockers returned after four long years of side-projects and solo albums, offering up some of their most emotionally wrought sounds since their earliest years, with tracks like 'Varúð' setting hearts ablaze via ingrained, low-key piano motifs. It was definitely a grower, but Valtarí proved itself to be a vital component in the now-trio's back catalogue; in it's wake, we can prepare to receive the intensely apocalyptic Kveikur, due June this year.

In the midst of 2008s financial meltdown and Obama's first presidential campaign, we were handed Death Cab For Cutie's sixth studio record, Narrow Stairs. Rife with references to Californian wildfires and Jack Kerouac, it was feverishly dark, riddled with negativity and far from being the lovelorn, romanticised indie-pop with a touch of melancholia we were used to, we were treated to a full blast of gloom to the face. Considering the tonal change from previous encounters, Narrow Stairs was actually pretty darn great, revealing efforts like 'I Will Possess You Heart' to the world.

Back when Fall Out Boy, Less Than Jake and Alkaline Trio ruled the roost in 2003, Four Tet dropped his seminal work, Rounds. The electronic musician, alias of Kieran Hebden, utilised samples from Tori Amos (which were eventually nixed by her label) and The Entourage Music And Theater Ensemble to craft what would go on to become one of the most admired records of the decade. One of only two singles from the record, 'She Moves She' was home to compressed percussion, trip-hop pads and eastern string riffs. It also featured chaotic, erratic hits of distortion and static, injecting a layer of uncertainty into the otherwise chilled-out cut.

After a fateful show at King Tut's in 1993, Creation Records head honcho Alan McGee stumbled upon Oasis, who would go on to be the meathead-iest group this side of the Atlantic and publicly squabble on the cover of NME for years. Aside from that dire low point in the year, we got cracking records from Run-D.M.C. And Blur, as well as the universally adored Rid Of Me from PJ Harvey, a record which garnered many rare 10/10 ratings and a Mercury nod. The biggest single from the LP, '50ft Queenie', was a barrage of country-flecked grunge riffs and ballsy yells produced by Pixies knob-twiddler Steve Albini; it even succeeded in entering the Top 30 in the UK.

1983 was the year when Prince Of Pop, Michael Jackson, unveiled his iconic dance move, the moonwalk, and his 14-minute horror opus, 'Thriller'. It was the year that My Bloody Valentine were born. It was also the year when Talking Heads unleashed their chart-bothering fifth record, Speaking In Tongues. Eventually, David Byrne & co. would be rewarded for their efforts with many 1980s rundowns pointing at their album as one of the decades best. 'Burning Down The House' was the most prevalent of their singles from the full-length, and the jangly New Wave ditty is still the only Talking Heads track to hit the big time Stateside. Apparently, it was influenced by George Clinton (of Parliament-Funkadelic) chanting 'burn down the house' at a gig attended by by drummer Chris Frantz.

1963, for those who weren't born, is when The Rolling Stones released their first single (a Chuck Berry cover), The Beatles launched their first album (as well as 'Beatlemania'), and country-pop starlet Patsy Cline died at the height of her career in a plane crash. The Godfather Of Soul, James Brown, made his fair share of buzz that year too, with his personally-funded live album Live At The Apollo, recorded at a show from late in the previous year; it's a record that would go on to be interred in the Library Of Congress and attract unanimous praise. Both culturally and historically profound, it's a classic funk record that has impacted music for half a century.