Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Noughtie: The 100 Most Important Songs of the Decade (Part 7)

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.

To view part 6, click here.

Here's the beginning of my official Top 40, from #40 to #31!

#40. "I Predict a Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs
Released: 1/11/04
Album: Employment

Accolades: #36 in NME's 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever
Chart Positions: UK - #9, US - #34 (in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Ireland - #25

For a song with no appearances in the media and one major accolade it's ridiculous that this song hasn't gone more. This song is just simply one of the biggest anthems of the decade. It's a proper lads song, it's one of those songs that you can just shout the lyrics to at the top of your voice. It sounds great, it's got awesome lyrics and it's quite simply one of the most important songs of the decade. If it wasn't for this song or the popularity of it, the band wouldn't have been the same.

#39. "Fell in Love With a Girl" - The White Stripes
Released: 23/4/02
Album: White Blood Cells

Accolades: Rolling Stone's 40 Songs That Changed Rock History Chart
Appearances: Rock Band (video game)
Chart Positions: UK - #21, US - #121 (#12 in Modern Rock Tracks Chart)

Another song that makes you wonder how it hasn't got any more accolades or appearances to its name. But this isn't a list just about accolades and appearances, it's about other things. It's about airplay, it's about how often the song was played at the time, and more importantly, going in to the future. And "Fell in Love" is one of those songs that just stand out so well in the decade as a quick little ditty of greatness. It's a song that sounds so raw yet it has such fantastic charm it's unbelievable. How often can you describe something as raw and charming in the same sentence? Well this song does both. Naturally the video is the appeal to a certain extent, such a simple idea of getting band playing in lego form made such cool viewing. But the song itself, while probably wouldn't have been commercially as successful without the video, can stand on its own two feet against other songs and win many climatic battles as one of the most important songs of the decade. This song won't leave our radio stations and music channels anytime soon, trust me.

#38. "Last Resort" - Papa Roach
Released: 23/4/00
Album: Infest

Appearances: The One (movie), Training Day (movie), Pay it Forward (movie), Smallville (TV series), Cold Case (TV series), Rock Revolution (video game), Rock Band (video game), Tap Tap Revenge 2 (iPhone game), G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (movie)
Chart Positions: UK - #3, US - #57 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Germany - #4

Wow I never knew this song got to #3 in the UK. For a song of its genre, of its lyrical theme, you wouldn't have imagined it getting this high up our pop and RnB orientated charts. You can easily make a case for this song to being on of the first true modern "emo" songs, although it was in the badly reputable "nu-metal" genre at the time. "Cut myself into pieces, this is my last resort" is arguably one of the most well known lines in any song of the decade. The video, while very simple in its broadcast, is very iconic, showing poor little kids being depressed in their homes, and then apparently enjoying a Papa Roach gig. Papa Roach have had a decent career, their lifespan is longer and more respected than Limp Bizkit's and they haven't "sold out", something a lot of people Linkin Park have done. But this song will never be beat for popularity, and most importantly, it's significance and impact on the world of music.

#37. "Dare" - Gorillaz
Released: 29/8/05
Album: Demon Days

Chart Positions: UK - #1, US - #87 (#8 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Belgium - #3

For a song with no appearances, no major accolades, this song gets a TONNE of airplay. Surely this song is one of the most played songs of the decade, in clubs, radio stations and music stations? This song was much more prominent on its release than "Feel Good Inc" was, although the former was a bigger hit in the US. "Dare" was just a fantastic blend of alternative rock, brit pop, techno and dance music. This song pretty much sums up the Gorillaz in one sweep in terms of what their music sounds like. It's still the bands only #1 hit in the UK so far, and you could argue it was universally accepted by all music fans of all diversions. It's a true quality track that lives up as arguably the bands most popular time in their career so far.

#36. "Supermassive Black Hole" - Muse
Released: 19/6/06
Album: Black Holes and Revelations

Appearances: Twilight (movie), Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (video game), FIFA 07 (video game), Supernatural (TV series), Doctor Who (TV series)
Chart Positions: UK - #4, US - #6 (in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Denmark - #7

It's quite hard to choose one single by Muse as their most important, their most groundbreaking, their most popular, their best song in the decade. My punt is "Supermassive Black Hole". It's arguably their first worldwide hit, with it hitting the Danish, Finnish, European, Irish, Italian Top 20's.  When "Time is Running Out" came out, America still paid very little attention to the band. When "Uprising" came out they were all over Muse. Yet this was the middle ground, this was when America started to notice this cool British band, yet Europe embraced them. It's still their biggest hit in this country. It's also, in a biased way, one of their coolest songs, the riff is fricking awesome. So that's my justification for it being the highest Muse entry in this listing.

#35. "The Pretender" - Foo Fighters
Released: 21/8/07
Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

Accolades: #47 in Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of 2007, Nominated for Best Rock Song at the Grammy Awards, Nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards, #5 in Triple J's Hottest 100 Songs
Appearances: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (video game), Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades (video game), Rock Band (video game), Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (video game), Californication (TV series), CSI: Miami (TV series)
Chart Positions: UK - #8, US - #37 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Norway - #3

This was a huge song. For a hard rock track it got very high in many charts and it topped the US Alternative Songs Chart for longer than any other song in the year 2007. It was #1 for 18 weeks. Not only is it a big song chart wise but look at those appearances and accolades, despite it not winning, I don't think any song so far on this chart has been nominated for two Grammy awards. The Foo's always pull big about of the bag and have done so now consistently for a good 12 years, they're just this big and fantastic band that has universal praise. I just have an infinite amount of respect for this band and this song was easily one of their biggest of the decade, there is one more song by the band that I think is more important however... stay tuned to see it and how high it gets on this chart!

#34. "Use Somebody" - Kings of Leon
Released: 8/12/08
Album: Only by the Night

Accolades: Winner of Record of the Year Award at the Grammy's, Winner of Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Award at the Grammy's, Winner of Best Rock Song Award at the Grammy's, Nominated for Song of the Year Award at the Grammy's
Chart Positions: UK - #2, US - #4 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Belgium - #1

What was the bigger song? "Use Somebody"? Or "Sex on Fire"? They were both HUGE hits, and both are responsible for the Kings of Leon being on top of the rock world right now. For me, "Sex on Fire" is the bigger song, you'll find out how much bigger in this listing later on.
"Use Somebody" was the song that finally brought the band's breakthrough in America. It was a beautiful ballad, and was proof that the band's sound was changing, for better or for worse. It was definitely a more mainstream sound that's for sure. But the transition of Kings of Leon, including their beards, is a fascinating story, it's one of the most interesting stories of the decade artist wise. I remember, and I'm sure many of you do too, a time when Kings of Leon were just random Americans singing country and garage rock hybrid songs on MTV2. Now look at them, you couldn't have imagined this song being any wheren near as big as it was six or seven years ago. It's fascinating, and kudos to them for that.

#33. "Oh My God" - Kaiser Chiefs / Mark Ronson
Released: 17/5/04 / 16/7/07
Album: Employment / Version

Appearances: Driver: Parallel Lines (video game)
Chart Positions: UK - #6, Best Elsewhere - Ireland - #27 / UK - #8, Best Elsewhere - Ireland - #21
I was debating whether or not to put this original song in, the very well received Mark Ronson cover version. So I thought I'd put both as one entry as they're both important and successful. Also, it's the same song.
Now I'm effectively cheating as this is the fourth and final Kaiser's song on the list, when I said in the beginning that I'd be setting a cap of three songs per artist. But if we're getting THAT picky, consider it Mark Ronson's entry.
"Oh My God" is still arguably the Kaiser's most important song, it's got one of the greatest, catchiest and simplest choruses in the decade. The song, while being released the second time, did very well in the charts and shows you how far the band had came. In 2004, this song got to #66, yet in its re-release it jumped 60 places. The Kaiser Chiefs, as explained in other entries, are just a great, humble band that are just so happy making music and enjoying the fame they are getting. "Oh My God" was their little baby that started it all off, and it's arguably their finest moment. The Mark Ronson cover version was great, the band also appeared in the video and it was just a really cool jazz version of the song. Mark Ronson did a great job of covering many songs, and this one is one of the bigger and more important songs. I don't think you can go through this decade of music without mentioning Mark Ronson.

#32. "Hurt" - Johnny Cash
Released: 8/3/03
Album: American IV: The Man Comes Around
Accolades: Winner of Single of the Year Award by the Country Music Association, #1 in Rate Your Music's Top Singles of the 2000s, #1 in UpVenue's Top 10 Best Music Covers, #60 in Triple J's Hottest 100 Songs of All Time, #15 in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Songs of the Decade, #2 in CMT's Songs of the Decade
Listings: Best Videos, Top 100 Songs of the Decade
Chart Positions: UK - #39, US - #33 (in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Norway - #8

No song in the world, even the original Nine Inch Nails version, gives me the goosebumps, the feeling, the emotion that this song gives me. I could probably babble on for paragraphs about how this song makes me feel, I've already talked about it twice on thie site before, on the Best Videos page, and on the Favourite 100 Songs page.
It's not hard to explain why this song was important. No, the song didn't chart well, but some songs on this list have a legacy no sales records can touch. Johnny Cash, country rock 'n' roll legend, took a song from an industrial metal artist from 1994 and turned it into this heart wrenching, tear dropping, dark yet elevating masterpiece. It's hard to imagine a better way to end your long 50 year career than this way. Most rock stars (I know he's a country star but I always see him as a rock star too, he's far cooler than other people who call themselves "rock stars") die in their prime, or just after their prime. But was there a prime with Cash? Was there a sparkling moment in his career? You could argue it was the Folsom City Blues era, yet "Hurt" is arguably more prominent than any of his original songs, I think "Ring of Fire" is the only song that touches the song for popularity and "I Walk the Line" for importance. This was a man around half a century in his career. And look at the song. It's just so amazing, so real, his iconic vocal chords trembling through the guitar and piano. It's just an iconic moment in the decade, and in music history in my personal opinion, it's the hardest song to place in this list that's for sure, but I've put it here at #32.

#31. "Run" - Snow Patrol
Released: 26/1/04
Album: Final Straw
Appearances: The Chumscrubber (movie), Rescue Me (TV series), The Guardian (movie trailer), Doctor Who Confidential (TV series), Cold Case (TV series), Jericho (TV series), Life As We Know It (TV series), Wide Sargasso Sea (TV series), One Tree Hill (TV series), Empire Falls (TV series), Mad Dogs (TV series)
Accolades: #874 in The Rock FM's The Rock 1000 Songs
Chart Positions: UK - #5, US - #15 (in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Netherlands - #22

Someone like myself, who doesn't hasn't (until now) done a great deal of research on Snow Patrol, never knew that "Run" was on their third album. Third time lucky I guess, as this was a mega hit. It was also the second single off that album too, so the song's quality shines very well. More evidence is the fact that Leona Lewis chose to cover this song, and got it even more mainstream attention, so much in fact that it this original version re-entered the charts as a result four years later. Snow Patrol would later have more chart success than this track, yet when I, as someone who isn't a fan of the band, think of one song by them, this comes to the front straight away. I'm sure a lot of people feel exactly the same.

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.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with a lot of your list but Johnny Cash should be much much higher. Hurt was just such an impactful song and seriously will be remembered forever and I think its been done a bit of an injustice being put here. However, good job on the rest and keep it up!!