Think you’re right, seems like AOTY lists have become increasingly popular and artists/labels don’t want to be left out.
Found some more in my collection:
The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet (December 6, 1968)
Wire - Pink Flag (conflicting info between November or December, 1977)
The Beatles - Rubber Soul (December 3, 1965)
The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn! (December 12, 1965)
Misfits - Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood (December 12, 1983)
Autechre - Incunabula (November 29, 1993)
The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed (November 29, 1969)
The Kinks - Village Green (November 22, 1968)
The Kinks - Lola (November 17, 1970)
The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies (November 26, 1971)
I think that’s definitely a factor now. I reckon the original disappearance of the December album in the 90s was to do with the record industry becoming obsessed with trying to peddle compilations in the run up to Christmas.
I’m guessing marketing/PR for new albums is harder in December too
After Pet Sounds this is easily my second best album of the 60s.
Also I seem to recall none of us even knew in advance!
Yeah, pre-launch it was very hush hush. If I remember right, it was delivered to the store late the day before, and the invoice just said something like “unknown album”, and then I opened up the box and was like FUCKING HELL LADS