Friday, March 25, 2011

Noughtie: The 100 Most Important Songs of the Decade (Part 2)

We continue our countdown of the most important music singles of the Naughties from #90 to #81!

To view part 1, click here.

#90. "Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz
Released: 5/4/05
Album: Demon Days
Accolades: #308 in Pitchfork's Best Songs of the 2000s, Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the Grammy Awards, Best Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards (nominated)
Appearances: Torchwood (TV Series), Guitar Hero 5 (video game), Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 3 (video game), Dance Dance Revolution X2 (arcade game), iPod (portable media player advertisement), House MD (TV Series), DJ Hero (video game), SingStar Pop (video game), SingStar Vol. 1 (video game), Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker (movie)
Chart Positions: UK - #2, US - #14 (#1 in Hot Modern Rock Tracks), Best elsewhere - Spain - #1

This was a huge hit. At the time there was high expectation for Gorillaz after the success of their self titled debut album and this follow up single, and more importantly, the follow up album "Demon Days" solidified Damon Albarn's side project as his new priority band, throwing more earth on the Blur grave (although recently Blur are back, but are most definitely not Damon's priority band). "Feel Good Inc." was well received across the board, it sent waves in America and in Spain, and it featured in many video games and in other media. And most importantly, it did a brilliant job in the Grammy Awards. It's a no brainer why this song deserves its place in this list.

#89. "Warriors Dance" - The Prodigy
Released: 11/5/09
Album: Invaders Must Die
Appearances: Colin McRae: Dirt 2 (video game)
Chart Positions: UK - #9, US - #7 (in the Hot Dance Singles), Best elsewhere - Ireland - #44

Man 2009 really sucked. It really fucking sucked. Even as someone who is doing unbiased freelance journalism, this was a shit year. Anyway, mind my language! The Prodigy were a dim light in the end of a very deep dark tunnel in 2009, and "Warriors Dance", was their highlight track, despite it being the second (or arguably third) single off their album. It sounds like a proper nineties Prodigy track, it's really old school in its sound. It also has a very memorable music video with humanoid cigarette packets ending up setting other similar packets on fire. A very odd anti-Smoking video. It's a good song anyway.

#88. "Filthy/Gorgeous" - Scissor Sisters
Released: 3/1/05
Album: Scissor Sisters
Appearances: Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (video game), Kath & Kim (TV Series), It's a Boy Girl Thing (movie), Torchwood (TV Series)
Chart Positions: UK - #5, US - #1 (Dance Club Play Charts), Best elsewhere - Ireland - #13

I hope you're not surprised by this entry. Yes Scissor Sisters in recent years have become a more all round pop group but their debut album is a good dance/pop/alternative effort that got decent airplay on MTV2, and had a great sound. Filthy/Gorgeous is arguably their highlight track, it's just filthy, gorgeous, disgusting, nasty, oh sorry I'm supposed to be reviewing this track! Well it is though. The songs lyrics and my feelings towards it, and many others, are comparible. It's a dirty track but it just sounds fantastic, it's very popular in clubs and for a very good reason. I wish Scissor Sisters would make more songs like this, but they're maturing as a group so I doubt it will happen.

#87. "Uprising" - Muse
Released: 3/8/09
Album: The Resistance
Accolades: Best Single in the Music Producers Guild Awards
Appearances: Knight and Day (movie trailer), V (TV Series advertisement), Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (video game), Sydney Roosters (rugby team entrance music), Calgary Flames (ice hockey entrance music)
Chart Positions: UK - #9, US - #37 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best elsewhere - Poland - #1

You can argue that this is the song that final knocked the American wall down for Muse. They tried and tried and tried to get the attention of the Yanks yet they kept turning their back on the band. They kept getting closer and closer and they finally won them over with this. Is it the guitar riff? Is it the scary teddy bears? Or is it just the persistence? Who knows, but "Uprising" was a very popular song in America, and was #1 in the Alternative Charts for 17 weeks. That's a really long fucking time. That alone warrants them an entry in this list. But the bonus kudos go for the fact that they got to #1 in Poland. That's awesome.

#86. "Last Nite" - The Strokes
Released: 27/11/01
Album: Is This It
Accolades: #66 in Q Magazine's 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, #1 in NME's Great Tracks of the Decade, #9 in NME's Greatest Indie Anthems Ever, #16 in Rolling Stone's Best Songs of the Decade, #478 in Rolling Stone's Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Appearances: Get Him to the Greek (movie advertisement)
Chart Positions: UK - #14, US - #108 (#5 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Australia - #47

I'm sure all the fans of The Strokes are groaning that this song deserves a better place in this list. That's not because it deserves to be higher, but that all Strokes fans groan. Seriously though, maybe they're right. You can't argue, there's fewer songs in the decade that were as well recieved by critics. But I'm trying to balance critics, fans, sales, accolades, appearances, and most importantly, how memorable and important the songs are going into the next decade. And in honesty, this song is an odd anthem. It's not the catchiest of songs, Julian Casablances sounds like he'd rather be at home sulking in the corner. It doesn't really stand out. Then again, these are all qualities in your typical indie track and it's got a huge following. What do you think, does it deserve to be higher? Convince me!

#85. "Empire" - Kasabian
Released: 24/7/06
Album: Empire
Appearances: ITV's FIFA World Cup (sports coverage), Top Gear (TV Series),
Chart Positions: UK - #9, Best elsewhere - Ireland - #32

"Empire" was the song that further solidified Kasabian as an exciting modern indie band in the UK. They had other songs, probably more popular songs, but this really got a lot of airplay, it had a nice riff, it had a good video, it had everything working in its favour to further emphasise them as one of the decade's best bands. I'm quite surprised it didn't get any more accolades as it's played quite often, even today.

#84. "Famous Last Words" - My Chemical Romance
Released: 22/1/07
Album: The Black Parade
Appearances: Guitar Hero II (video game), HBO (cable television network advertisement),
Chart Positions: UK - #8, US - #88 (#4 in Modern Rock Chart), Best Elsewhere - New Zealand - #6

I'm quite surprised that this song hasn't won any major accolades as it was very prominent on its release. Following the surprise #1 hit "The Black Parade", "Famous Last Words" followed My Chemical Romance's success as one of the hottest new metal bands. It got in the Top 10 in the UK, even though once again, it's not the type of song you'd expect to hit the charts hard in a pop and RnB fueled world. Kudos to them. Famous Last Words has a very flashy video with a lot of fire, fire that actually gave the drummer 3 degree burns upon the finishing of the video. But the song itself, is one of their biggest, one that got them the success they now currently have.

#83. "Gives You Hell" - The All-American Rejects
Released: 30/9/08
Album: When the World Comes Down
Appearances: Rock Band (video game), Guitar Hero 5 (video game), Band Hero (video game), Tap Tap Revenge 2 (iPhone game), Missouri Mavericks (hockey team)
Listings: Guilty Pleasures
Chart Positions: UK - #18, US - #4 (#1 in Mainstream Top 40), Best Elsewhere - Australia and Belgium - #3

I hope all aren't surprised by this entry. It was a surprise as this isn't a band that really did mainstream very well. They had a lot of emo fans but no chart success. Then "Gives You Hell" changed that. I even liked it, if I'm honest. It was a catchy little song and man, the Americans loved it. It was everywhere over there, and it did very well here too. I don't think the All-American Rejects will top this, but if they do, their new album that is due out this year, the first single should be the one to attempt it with.

#82. "B.Y.O.B." - System of a Down
Released: 2/8/05
Album: Mezmerize
Accolades: Best Hard Rock Performance at the Grammy Awards, #76 in Total Guitar's Best Riffs Ever, #63 in Digital Dream Doors's 100 Best Metal Riffs, #134 in Y2KROQ's Top 200 Songs of the Century
Listings: Top 100 Favourite Songs of the Decade
Chart Positions: UK - #26, US - #27 (#4 in Mainstream Rock Tracks), Best Elsewhere - Australia - #42

Moving away from the emo sub genres, here's some metal (or shall I pronounce that metol?)! This was easily one of the biggest metal anthems of the decade. It's always satisfying when a metal track does some damage in the mainstream charts. Metal artists must get a good buzz when that happens. "B.Y.O.B." might not have had the same impact "Chop Suey!" did, but it's a song strongly attached with the decade, and considering it won a Grammy, it seems SOAD got a lot of respect from the critics and most certainly, the peers. This song solidified the band's spot as one of the best heavy metal bands of the decade.

#81. "Time is Running Out" - Muse
Released: 8/9/03
Album: Absolution
Appearances: FLYING-DOG (movie soundtrack), Entourage (TV series), Torchwood Declassified (TV series), Running Scared (movie trailer), Turner Classic Movies (movie TV channel), 2008 Olympics on NBC (sports coverage montage), Hollyoaks (TV series)
Chart Positions: UK - #8, US - #9 (in Alternative Songs), Best Elsewhere - Italy - #14

While "Uprising" was the song that finally broke the American mainstream audience, this song is a much more well received track in the alternative audiences, and probably, hardcore Muse fans too. This was the song that got Muse to break the Top 10 in the UK milestone, something that "Plug in Baby" just about failed to do. The video was well received as well, and it's just a genuinely great rock track. I'm not surprised to see it make so many appearances in the media, in fact I'm surprised it's not won any accolades. But regardless, it's definitely one of Muse's most famous songs.

To view part 3, click here. 
To view part 4, click here. 
To view part 5, click here. 
To view part 6, click here. 
To view part 7, click here. 
To view part 8, click here.
To view part 9, click here.
To view part 10, click here.
To view the winner, click here.
To view my methods and explanations, click here. 
To view a full archived stats index of the songs listed, click here.

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