October. The clocks fall back, the leaves on trees have shrivelled, no longer a zesty green nor a dappled anthology of bonfire. Summer memories are fading. It's cold and grey and everything just plain sucks. There's mulch on the pavements, an acrid shiver in the air and daylight fizzles away before you're even home – it's not the most hospitable of months. However, there are some saving graces: Halloween, for one. There's also the grand relief at knowing November, in all it's moustachioed, firework spritz glory, is almost upon us.

This time last October, we definitely had two major reasons to look forward to October. The first, Tame Impala's Lonerism, which spent the final months of 2012 sat atop 'Best Of' lists, and has instantly gone down in history as a modern classic, cementing the Aussie psych-rockers in the annals of time forever. The second vital reason goes by the name Kendrick Lamar. Undoubtedly one of the most talented rappers this side of the '90s, Lamar wowed the world with his sophomore LP good kid, m.A.A.d city. His streak is showing no signs of slowing down – c'mon, who even second guessed him on 'Control'?

October 2008 was less kind. A month filled with duds, donkeys and defecations by t.A.T.u, Right Said Fred, I Am Ghost, Lordi, Snow Patrol, Keane and Oasis ensured the bitterest winter since the last ice age. We had glowier beacons from of Montreal and ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, but nothing like 2012's titan haul. Arguably the best LP dropped was from noise-pop legends Deerhoof. Their ninth studio record, Offend Maggie, spawned tracks like 'Chandelier Searchlight' and 'Fresh Born' (which the San Fran band encouraged fans to record via sheet music put online way before the true version was released). Not their ultimate album, but lauded enough that October '08 wasn't a total write-off.

2003 saw trip-pop non-starter Jem unveil her one-hit, 'They' (bet you'd forgotten about that), via debut EP It All Starts Here.... Undeniably catchy, that Swingle Singers sample will lay eggs in your mind like an alien invader, and when the time is right... BAM, the hook's in your head once more. Belle & Sebastian, The Shins, Basement Jaxx and a 17-year-old Dizzee Rascal also delivered mentionable efforts, with the latter winning the Mercury Prize for his grime/dance LP Boy In Da Corner, becoming the first rapper ever to do so. It's still regarded as not only one of the best rap records or UK records to date, but one of the best ever, holding the number 62 spot on Metacritic's list of every album ever. 62 doesn't sound amazingly high, but considering it's placed above Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Outkast, The Strokes' Is This It? and Arcade Fire, it's definitely regarded as 'classic'.

Two decades ago, there was a veritable windfall of high-calibre records shot into the ether. Eazy-E's Dre diss EP, George Clinton, Pearl Jam, The Afghan Whigs, Yo La Tengo and Swervedriver all had critics a-flutter with fantastic sounds (the less said about Shaquille O'Neal's debut, Shaq Diesel, the better), but perhaps one record released that dark and stormy October was Mazzy Star's second album, So That I Might See, widely regarded as a dream-pop foundation. Though they've spewed another LP at us – Seasons Of Your Day – it's unlikely they'll ever clone career highlight and '90s alt. anthem 'Fade Into You', with Hope Sandoval's glorious coo, the hazy wooze of melting slide guitar and Midwest keys.

Released back at the start of 1973's October, Elton John's seminal rock'n'roll record Goodbye Yellow Brick Road set the standard for pop for decades after its release. With singles such as the original 'Candle In The Wind' and 'Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting', it's hard to argue John's place in rock history – he's at times the purveyor of rip-roarin' pop stompers, at times he's a maudlin balladeer crooning with grace and tact like no other. He's a pivotal, energising figure in musical history – and this is the glammy, hammy album that's widely regarded as his best.