Sunday, May 08, 2011

Noughtie: The 100 Most Important Songs of the Decade (Part 6)

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

To view part 3, click here.
To view part 4, click here.
To view part 5, click here.

So we're half way through. I hope you've enjoyed the list so far, as you can see there is a fair balance of genres and the years the songs have come out in the list. I hope you agree with some and disagree with others, each person believes different songs are more important than others and there's nothing wrong with that. If you want to make your opinion known on this list by all means do it constructively in the comments section below. To recap, here's from #100 to #51:

#100: “Rebellion (Lies)” - Arcade Fire
#99: “Shut Me Up” - Mindless Self Indulgence
#98: “Grounds for Divorce” – Elbow
#97: “The Kill” - 30 Seconds to Mars
#96: “Bodies” - Drowning Pool
#95: “Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)” - Florence and the Machine
#94: “Sing” - Travis
#93: “99 Problems” - Jay-Z
#92: “Wires” - Athlete
#91: “Slither” - Velvet Revolver
#90: “Feel Good Inc.” - Gorillaz
#89: “Warriors Dance” - The Prodigy
#88: “Filthy/Gorgeous” - Scissor Sisters
#87: “Uprising” - Muse
#86: “Last Nite” - The Strokes
#85: “Empire” - Kasabian
#84: “Famous Last Words” - My Chemical Romance
#83: “Gives You Hell” - The All-American Rejects
#82: “B.Y.O.B.” - System of a Down
#81: “Time is Running Out” - Muse
#80: “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” - Kaiser Chiefs
#79: “Duality” - Slipknot
#78: “Bohemian Like You” - The Dandy Warhols
#77: “Dry Your Eyes” - The Streets
#76: “Monster” - The Automatic
#75: “The Shock of the Lightning” - Oasis
#74: “Danger! High Voltage” - Electric Six
#73: “Break Stuff” - Limp Bizkit
#72: “Tribute” - Tenacious D
#71: “Bonkers” - Dizzee Rascal
#70: “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” - Jet
#69: “Cochise” - Audioslave
#68: “Feeling This” - Blink-182
#67: “Sugar, We're Goin Down” - Fall Out Boy
#66: “Foundations” - Kate Nash
#65: “Kings and Queens” - 30 Seconds to Mars
#64: “We Are All Made of Stars” - Moby
#63: “Gay Bar” - Electric Six
#62: “Fat Lip” - Sum 41
#61: “Time to Pretend” - MGMT
#60: “Standing in the Way of Control” - The Gossip
#59: “That's Not My Name” - The Ting Tings
#58: “Clint Eastwood” - Gorillaz
#57: “Butterfly” - Crazy Town
#56: “Teenage Dirtbag” - Wheatus
#55: “For Lovers” - Wolfman feat. Pete Doherty
#54: “Paper Planes” - MIA
#53: “Crazy” - Gnarls Barkley
#52: “Brianstorm” - Arctic Monkeys
#51: "Dance Wiv Me" - Dizzee Rascal

Without further delay, here's #50...

#50. "Wake Me Up Before September Ends" - Green Day
Released: 13/6/05
Album: American Idiot

Chart Positions: UK - #8, US - #6 (#2 in Hot Mainstream Tracks Chart) Best Elsewhere - Canada - #1

We start off the Top 50 important songs of the decade with this song. No accolades, no appearances in the media. But you can't deny the power of this song, the success of the track, and most importantly, how memorable it is. This was the fourth single off "American Idiot" would you believe. It's had more success worldwide on this listing than any other track so far, and more than a lot of the songs to come. It got to #2 in the WORLD charts. I didn't even know there was a world chart. Unless I've missed something none of the 50 songs preceding this track has appeared on the world chart! Anyway, another thing that makes this song so memorable is the video, and while I'm not considering the music videos as part of the places on the list, the video is a must watch if you haven't seen it before. It didn't appear as one of my Top 20, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good one, and it was certainly memorable.

#49. "Ruby" - Kaiser Chiefs
Released: 5/2/07
Album: Yours Truly, Angry Mob

Accolades: #13 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2007
Appearances: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (video game), Project Gotham Racing 4 (video game), SingStar Vol 2 (video game), Lego Rock Band (video game), PES 2010 (video game), Demons (TV series)
Chart Positions: UK - #1, US - #14 (in Alternative Songs Chart) Best Elsewhere - Czech R epublic, Europe and Ireland - #1

The Kaiser Chiefs highest selling single so far creeps in to the Top 50. It may be the highest selling single but it's not the song of theirs I consider most important, we'll get to that later on.
But "Ruby" is the song that got the Americans attention for the band. It was the song that really got the band global attention. It got featured on a lot of media, it got a lot of airplay in the states. You could argue globally, this is the most important song the band has done so far. But I still think the "other", as this list is biased slightly in favour of Britain, is more important. Regardless, "Ruby" was a huge hit, the band's first ever #1 in the UK, and a great song, albeit slightly lacking creativity at the same time.

#48. "Don't Upset the Rhythm" - The Noisettes
Released: 23/3/09
Album: Wild Young Hearts

Appearances: Mazda 2 (car advertisement)
Chart Positions: UK - #2, US - #4 (in Hot Dance Songs Chart) Best Elsewhere - Ireland - #8

I'm surprised thing song has no accolades or more major apperances of note, it was a huge song and a highlight in a very lackluster year in 2009. The Noisettes have taken the batton of the hottest new UK band in my opinion. I saw them in 2006 when they were just starting to get attention, they were the support band for Muse and they were decent. Then I heard "Don't Give Up" on FIFA  08 and it was one of the highlights of the soundtrack. It's still my favourite track. Then all of a sudden they just boomed. This song is their biggest hit so far yet I don't think this will be the end of them, I think they have that great hybrid of pop, funk and rock that will appeal to many different people. I see them as one of the potential highlights of THIS decade. Let's hope they prove me right!

#47. "Complicated" - Avril Lavigne
Released: 14/5/02
Album: Let Go

Accolades: Nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards, #8 in Rolling Stone Magazine's Top Singles of the Decade, #197 in Blender's Top 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born, #83 in Billboard Magazine's Top 100 Singles of the Decade, Single of the Year at the Juno Awards, Song of the Year at the Radio Music Awards, International Hit of the Year at the Ivor Novello Awards,
Appearances: Uptown Girls (movie trailer), Karaoke Revolution (video game), Buzz! The Music Quiz (video game),
Chart Positions: UK - #3, US - #2 (#1 in Mainstream Top 40 Chart) Best Elsewhere - Australia, Canada, Europe, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand and Norway - #1

This song is going to get a lot of negative feedback I'm sure.
"She's not even rock!" "She sucks!" "I can't believe you would consider this an important song!"
I can understand your disappointment don't get me wrong. I also think song sucks but... it IS rock. It's bubblegum rock, it's pop punk, and yes, it's shit. But this song was immensely popular at the time, by people who like pop music AND people who like rock music. Hell, the song was constantly played on Kerrang! So like it or lump it, this song deserves a place in this listing, genre AND importance wise.
So why is it important? I hate to say it, but at the time, Avril was a big deal. She represented the alternative to huge pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, in genre and appearance, to young girls. Some people don't seek music out, and for those people who only listen to the radio and TV, someone like Avril getting so much airplay provided a lot of people the alternative. She was compared to Natalie Imbruglia in her style, yet younger and quirkier (some could argue annoying, I know) and at the time, you could understand that. Afterwards Avril started moving away from her rock elements and just went all pinky pop, but at this time, she was an alternative pop artist, that had her own style, her own band, and a decent amount of respect by people who are divided in music. And look how successful the track was! #1 in so many countries! So I hope that makes sense. I'm not asking you to agree with me, but if you understand the logic, then that's all I ask.

#46. "Chop Suey!" - System of a Down
Released: 20/11/01
Album: Toxicity

Accolades: #3 in Triple J's Hottest of 2001
Appearances: Rock Band 2 (video game,), Rock Band Unplugged (video games)
Listings: Top 100 Favourite Songs of the Decade
Chart Positions: UK - #17, US - #76 (#7 in Alternative Songs Chart) Best Elsewhere - Australia - #14

So we go from Avril Lavigne to System of a Down. So what do they have in common? This unfortunately. Don't thank me for sending you that link.
But seriously, you can't talk about heavy metal in the decade without mentioning this track. It's just not possible. This song is one of the biggest metal songs of all time, not just the decade. System of a Down play a genre of music that isn't always accessable, is sometimes patronised, and is always got critics. Yet they get away with it because their songs are just so damn catchy. And this song is the epitome of that. It's such a heavy fucking track, yet look at it's chart positions. Look at the fact that if you ask so many metal fans if they like System of a Down, or even Chop Suey, how many of them say yes. They're just a universally popular band in the genre. And they're good guys too, they talk a lot of sense in their lyrics (although you can't hear half the lyrics in this song) and seem quite humble as well. If you ever want to get someone into metal, get them to listen to this track. Because it's a metal classic, it's beyond dispute.

#45. "Fire" - Kasabian
Released: 1/6/09
Album: West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Appearances: Premier League (football league theme)
Listings: Top 100 Favourite Songs of the Decade
Chart Positions: UK - #3, Best Elsewhere - Belgium - #3

Fire is what I think is the beginning of a major interest in Kasabian, worldwide. The band have always had moderate success here in Britain but they're starting to expand their sound across the world, and Fire is their highest charting single. I think when they bring out their next album, it'll be their biggest yet, I don't think we've seen the best of them. "Fire" is just a great sounding track, and it's obviously well thought of, being the official choice of theme for the Premier League, the most followed football league in the world. I am surprised this song hasn't got any major accolades however. I hope Kasabian can break America soon, it's long overdue.

#44. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" - Green Day
Released: 29/9/04
Album: American Idiot

Accolades: #1 in Rolling Stone's Readers Choice Single of the Decade, #65 in Rolling Stone's Top 100 Songs of the Decade, Winner of Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards,
Chart Positions: UK - #5, US - #2 (#1 in Mainstream Rock Tracks), Best Elsewhere - Argentina - #1

Yes, that's the second Green Day track from the incredibly successful "American Idiot" album. It'd be safe to say for me that if I did a Top 10/20 Most Important Albums of the Decade list, this would be #1. The album was huge, the singles were huge, the album was ridiculously successful, it was THE biggest critical and commercial successful album of the decade. It's an album that will be compared to many greats from the nineties as well.
And this track is arguably more popular than the self titled album track. "Boulevard" was the track describing the main character of the album, Jesus of Suburbia, and his low and depressed stage. This was opposite of "Holiday" another single off the album, where Jesus of Suburbia is on a major high. The lyrics, the mood, Billy Joe's "aah, aaaah" vocals, everything was perfect. This song, for all intents and purposes, describes a lot of teenagers feelings today, for good or for bad. But regardless of the "emo" aspect of the song, it's a great track, and an extremely important song in the decade.

#43. "All My Life" - Foo Fighters
Released: 7/9/02
Album: One by One

Accolades: Winner of Best Hard Rock Performance at the Grammy Awards, #94 in Q Magazine's 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks,
Appearances: Rock Band (video game), Rock Revolution (video game)
Chart Positions: UK - #5, US - #43 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Norway - #13

The Foo Fighters are one of those bands that everyone loves and virtually no one dislikes. Dave Grohl is just one of the most genuine and humble rock stars of all time. And "All My Life", despite it not being the biggest Foo's song of the decade, was the song that made people think, this band have finally made it. Before this track, the Foo Fighters were always seen as the remnants of Nirvana, but never being a better band, never being a bigger band. Always the underlings. Yet this song really tested the waters, it really made people take the band seriously. And it's a fantastic track as well, the strumming throughout the song, the bum-bum bum-bum-bum guitar, it's a very simple yet effective part of the song. You straight away know what song is coming on when you hear that. It's a fantastic song, a decently successful one too at that. But there is more to come from this band on this listing.

#42. "Bring Me to Life" - Evanescence
Released: 22/4/03
Album: Fallen

Accolades: Winner of Best Hard Rock Performance at the Grammy Awards, #73 in Billboard's Best of Rock Songs of the 2000s
Appearances: Daredevil (movie)
Chart Positions: UK - #1, US - #5 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Australia, Europe and  Italy - #1

It's funny how circumstance can affect a song. Chances are, if things went to the original plan, we wouldn't have considered Evanescence anything more than a standard metal band with a female lead singer. But the initial surge of interest around the year 2002 for this band, and the decision for the makers of the movie Daredevil to consider this track the main song in their feature film, made the band release this as the first single off the album. "Going Under", a song that is appreciated more by the Evanescence and metal faithful than this track ever was, was going to be the song to be released first. And now Evanescence have a #1 hit on their hands, in multiple countries. They became the blueprint for a lot of female metal singers to follow for the rest of the decade. Amy Lee had become a sex symbol. The internal problems of the band became gossip news. I don't want to rain on Evanescence's parade for this song, it is a decent song actually, I like it, but as I said, it's funny how it's such an important song now, when it easily couldn't have been.

#41. "Shut Up and Let Me Go" - The Ting Tings
Released: 21/7/08
Album: We Started Nothing

Accolades: #27 in Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of 2008
Appearances: iPod (mobile phone advertisement), 90210 (TV series), Gossip Girl (TV series), The House Bunny (movie), Lifetime Movie Network (network channel), Final Score (TV series)
Chart Positions: UK - #6, US - #55 (#1 in Hot Dance Club Play Charts), Best Elsewhere - Mexico - #1

This song may not have charted as well as its predecessor, but this song has since topped it for popularity. It's the beat, it's the easy to hear and sing lyrics, it's the fact that it's much more accessible than "That's Not My Name" is. The Ting Tings have a habbit of making these really catchy songs that work between rock and pop, and find a very good amount of success globally as well. This song has been used on many different programs, most iconically on the iPad advertisements. If the duo keep making songs like this, like it or lump it, but this band won't be going anywhere soon.

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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