Sunday, March 20, 2011

Noughtie: My 100 Favourite Songs of the Decade (Part 8)

To view part 1, click here.
To view part 2, click
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.

Welcome to Part 8 of 10, we are entering the section of the listing that if I were to rate songs based on how much I like them, they’d all probably be ****3/4 or ***** star tracks. But I’m not going to rate songs, it seems a bit too forward for my liking, I’d rather rate albums as full pieces of work than individual songs. Anyway, let’s get under way. 

#30. “The Fight Song” – Marilyn Manson
Released: 2/2/01
Album: Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)
Marilyn Manson had a shite decade overall. But the few sparks in a declining career were and are evident. Holy Wood was a decent album but the best thing about it was the fantastic singles released off it. The same apply to The Golden Age of Grotesque. So the two albums combined, the singles off it, actually make Marilyn Manson reach the three single cap in this listing, starting off with this metal anthem. And it is just that, a metal anthem. The Fight Song was a huge metal hit in the underground metal scene and is still (albeit a lot more rarely now) played in clubs today. The “Fight! Fight!” chant in the chorus is too catchy for it not to be. The lyrics are also brilliant too, with the stand out line being “The death of one is a tragedy/the death of a million is just a statistic”. The Fight Song was easily one Marilyn Manson’s best songs, not just in this decade but his entire music career. It’s a cracker of a song.

#29. “Grounds for Divorce” – Elbow
Released: 10/3/08
Album: The Seldom Seen Kid
Listings: Best Riffs
Elbow are a band that I’ll admit, seemed to have drifted past me somehow. They’ve been active for some time, but I hadn’t heard their music until the past few years. But it seems I’m not the only one, Elbow just blew up in recent years in terms of popularity. I’m sure there are a billion Elbow fans that will insist they heard their music back in the start of the decade and I’m sure most of them didn’t. It happens all the time. Anyway, “Grounds for Divorce” is definitely the highlight track for me. “One Day Like This” will get all the plaudits, all the attention, all the requests for it to be used on all programs, but for me, “Grounds for Divorce” is the Elbow sound I want to hear more. Guy Garvey’s soft and poetic voice works well for both styles of song, but that guitar… the build up to that guitar… it’s just magical. It’s just an amazing sound when you hear that guitar go, I want more songs like this. “Grounds for Divorce” is a track that I want to hear played as often as “One Day Like This” actually IS played. It’s a shame it won’t be.

#28. “How I Could Just Kill a Man” – Rage Against the Machine
Released: 20/2/01
Album: Renegades
It’s odd to think of Rage Against the Machine actually releasing material in this decade but it’s true. They released two singles from their cover versions album, “Renegades” with both of them being fantastic renditions of the original songs, so good that they both make the list. The first is their version of “How I Could Just Kill a Man”; the original by was by Cypress Hill (which is also quite good, as someone who isn’t a big fan), in which Rage add more metal to the already hard edged hip hop group from California. The blend of rap and metal, a combination in which Zach de la Rocha is pretty much a king of now, plays perfectly in this track. The lyrics are also very interesting, although they have caused controversy for obvious reasons. “How I Could Just Kill a Man” was an awesome song, it’s just weird to think of Rage releasing songs in this decade, but it did happen.

#27. “Blue Orchid” – The White Stripes
Released: 30/5/05
Album: Get Behind Me Satan
I love “Blue Orchid”. I put in “Seven Nation Army” into the Best Riffs listing but this was very close to replacing it. I love that bass-rich guitar riff, it sounds fantastic. I don’t know what it is about a strong bass, or at least a strong bass-rich riff, it just sounds so gorgeous. Jack White’s brilliant guitars and Meg’s vintage simple yet effective drumming makes this song just simply ooze greatness. There’s nothing more to be said really, apart from that I think this is The White Stripes’ best effort to date.

#26. “Hurt” – Johnny Cash
Released: 8/3/03
Album: American IV: The Man Comes Around
Listings: Best Videos
I’m telling you straight now, this is the hardest song to place in this list. It’s also featured in the unbiased list, and it was featured in the “Best Videos” list too. It’s so fucking hard to place this song in any listing of any type. The reason is very straightforward. It’s too good to rank. It’s too good to place. It’s too heart wrenching to think about placing it in something as trivial in comparison, like a music listing. But I’ve placed it here at #26.
I can’t always listen to this song. Sometimes I’d rather not, and skip it. The same rule does apply to the Nine Inch Nails original, but more emphatic in this version. It’s hard, really hard, listening to this song, without feeling the goosebumps, without feeling an urge to shed a tear. The man passed away and this was his goodbye gift. He still sung as beautifully in this song as he did 40 years before. He is just quite simply one of the most important men in the history of music, no, in the history of the twentieth century.

#25. “Lucid Dreams” – Franz Ferdinand
Released: 18/8/08
Album: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand’s third and final entry into my Top 100 is one of the most odd entries. It’s one minute, forty-nine seconds longer than the second longest track in the listing (which is #9 in this entire listing. For your information, the shortest song is actually “Pin” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which is ranked #38, which clocks in at exactly two minutes) which I suppose is some form of record any way. This eight-minute masterpiece isn’t as well received, as I believe it should be, it’s one of Franz Ferdinand’s rare variances from their comfort zone, deciding to mix their sound with that of the early 1980’s new wave/electronica genres. I just love the song from start to finish, I love the music, I love the lyrics, I love the fact that it takes eight minutes of your time to listen to it. I love listening to it too, every note, every beat, everything. It’s a musical mastepiece. I truly believe that. It’s a shame not many other people, even other Franz Ferdinand fans, like it as much as I do.

#24. “Rock Star” – N.E.R.D.
Released: 8/10/02
Album: In Search Of… (Reissue)
I’d like to make it clear that this is the single version of the song because if you didn’t know, there are two version of this song. The first release of “In Search Of…” was pretty much an RnB album, but the Reissue had real instruments and man, naturally, it made things so much better. No more than this track, man the simple yet effective drums and bass make this song so much better. There’s nothing fancy about the instruments but it does make a fantastic racket, a great great sound that works so well with Pharell’s vocals. I just absolutely love this song and am not afraid to admit that.

#23. “Right Now” – KoRn
Released: 7/10/03
Album: Take a Look in the Mirror
"That's a song about waking up and wanting to kill everybody." – Jonathan Davis
Thanks Jonathan, it’s one of my favourite themes too. The subject of the song, and also, the music video aside, this song is brilliant. KoRn know how to work those guitars, and this is one of the best songs that brings that crunching industrial guitar to the fore. And regardless of the subject matter, the “Shut up, shut up, shut up or I’ll fuck you up” hook is just so good, it just makes you want to trash your house (and NOT kill people, stay safe kids) and shout at the top of your lungs. KoRn just have that ability to make great sounding industrial metal in a unique and particular way, it’s just a shame Jonathan’s lyrics are quite silly sometimes.

#22. “Sonne” – Rammstein
Released: 12/2/01
Album: Mutter
Another great metal anthem from the decade. Those industrial guitars, a common theme you will see in the buildup to the #1 spot as it’s my favourite genre, are just iconic now. Rammstein know how to make those guitars make a damn good noise, and Sonne is just a phenomenal track from a brilliant album. Of course a lot of people remember the video, loosely based on the Snow White story (but warped of course) but I prefer to remember this song for its great opening riff and a certain dance called the Menheneott dance. I’d post the video but I’m not sure if certain people would be too pleased… we’ll see!

#21. “Fever for the Flava” – Hot Action Cop
Released: 4/3/03
Album: Hot Action Cop
Mmmmmmm. If you’ve never heard this track before and like yourself a bit of the funk/rap hybrid of say the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bloodhound Gang then listen to this. It’s a fantastic song, and the lyrics and video are just full to the brim of innuendo it’s funnily stupid. I heard this song way back in 2003 whilst watching MTV2 and in honesty; I hadn’t seen the song on television since. Yet when I saw it that once I did my research on the band and got their album. Thankfully I did because if I didn’t I probably would have forgotten about this band (that being said my good friend Michele does also like them). Just give it a listen; if you like your funk/rap and like or tolerate the lyrics then you’ll like this song.

That’s it for today; we’re about to hit the Top 20.  A lot of these songs are in the metal genre because on the whole I prefer my metal to my alternative rock. It’s just that it’s getting very difficult to find decent metal bands nowadays. Fuck knows why. Anyway, I hope to see you back here tomorrow evening. Take care.

To view part 9, click here.
To view part 10, click here.

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