Friday, July 01, 2011

Noughtie: The 100 Most Important Songs of the Decade (Part 9)

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.

To view part 7, click here.

To view part 8, click here. 

20 songs to go. Here are what I consider are the 20 most important songs of the decade, from #20 to #11. Enjoy.

#20. "When You Were Young" - The Killers
Released: 18/09/06
Album: Sam's Town
Accolades: Nominated for Best Rock Song at the Grammys, #4 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2006, #37 in XFM's 100 Greatest Songs of All Time, Nominated for Best Track at the Shockwaves NME Awards
Appearances: Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (video game), SingStar Amped (video game), Rock Band (video game)
Chart Positions: UK - #2, US - #14 (#1 in Modern Rock Tracks Chart), Best Elsewhere - Australia and New Zealand - #10

After the amazing success of "Hot Fuss", The Killers surely knew that the next album had to have an impact for them to maintain their major success in the UK, and further stamp their feet in their homeland of the US. "When You Were Young", the lead single off the second album, did exactly that. Sure it's not as catchy and dancy as "Somebody Told Me", and it's not as indie rock as "Mr. Brightside", but there was something nice and fresh about "When You Were Young". The band mention a huge Bruce Springsteen inspiration going into the studio for "Sam's Town" and you can definitely feel it in this track. It was remarkably successful, it's still their highest charting song here in the UK, despite there being just one more song by the band that I think tops it. You'll see that song further into the Top 20.

#19. "The Scientist" - Coldplay
Released: 4/11/02
Album: A Rush of Blood to the Head
Chart Positions: UK - #10, US - #18 (in Modern Rock Tracks Chart), Best Elsewhere - Poland - #1

No accolades, no appearances. In fact at the time, it wasn't that huge in sales either. Yet I don't think that many songs by Coldplay have had the long term impact this song has. "The Scientist" has longevity that emphasises what this list is about. This list is about many things, it's about chart successs and sales, it's about accolades. It's about how often the song appears in other media. But most importantly, these are the songs that I'm predicting will still be played in 10, 20, 30 years time from now. And I'm telling you, this song will be played for many years to come. "The Scientist" isn't an energetic song, it isn't a foot tapper. But the melody, the piano, the memorable chorus, the video, everything about it is iconic. This is arguably THE Coldplay song of the decade. I say arguably, as I think there is one more song by the band that has more importance. You'll see that song soon.

#18. "Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
Released: 12/1/04
Album: Franz Ferdinand
Accolades: #1 in Village Voice Pazz and Jop's Best of 2004, #1 Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004, #100 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of All Time, #41 in Q Magazine's 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, #34 in Q Magazine's Best Songs by British Bands, #6 in Q Magazine's 100 Greatest Indie Anthems, #16 in NME's 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever, #7 in MTV2's Greatest Indie Anthems Ever, #44 in Pitchfork Media's Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s, #327 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Appearances: Sony PSP (handheld consone advertisement), NHL 2005 (video game), Madden NFL 2005 (video game), Sports Tonight (sports TV show), Guitar Hero (video game), Guitar Hero Smash Hits (video game), SingStar Party (video game), SingStar Pop (video game), Just Dance 2 (video game), Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 (video game), Rock Band (video game), Hancock (movie trailer), PBS Kids GO! (childrens education advertisment), Meet the Fockers (movie trailer)
Chart Positions: UK - #3, US - #6 (#3 in Modern Rock Tracks Chart), Best Elsewhere - Canada - #7

Finally! A song with LOADS of accolades and appearances! I haven't had a song with this many entries in both sections for a while, I was starting to lose faith! Seriously though, it's hard to deny how much of an impact this song made. An arguement can be made that this song started the Art Rock revival (Radiohead aside of course), with bands like Art Brut, Bloc Party and Athlete rising afterwards. And the song was so damn catchy as well. Franz Ferdinand won't beat this track in terms of impact, although on a personal level I prefer other tracks. The best thing about "Take Me Out" was that it pretty much at the time came out of nowhere. It got a small amount of airplay before it gor released, and then all of a sudden it just got more and more popular as the week went on. It ended up getting to #3, but I reckon it would have gone straight to #1 if they promoted it earlier. Regardless, this song is a classic now I'd say.

#17. "Viva la Vida" - Coldplay
Released: 25/5/08
Album: Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Accolades: Winner of the Song of the Year at the Grammys, Nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammys, #9 in Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of 2008, #2 in Rolling Stone's Readers Best Songs of 2008, #5 in Blender's Top 144 Songs of 2008, #8 in Village Voice Pazz and Jop's Best of 2008
Appearances: iPod (portable media advertisment), iTunes (digital media advertisment), Medium (TV series), 90210 (TV series), Moving in America (radio show), A Favorita (TV series), The Simpsons (TV series),
Chart Positions: UK - #1, US - #1 (#3 in Modern Rock Tracks Chart), Best Elsewhere - Czech Republic and Slovakia - #1

This song got to #1 in America. It's the first British song that got to #1 in America since 1996, when the Spice Girls got there with "Wannabe". That on its own is a remarkable achievement, and Coldplay should be damn proud of that.
I touched on this on my Most Important Artists of the Decade listing, where I said Coldplay got closer and closer to the #1 spot in the UK and the US, but they kept failing. When this song came out, I don't know why, but it just felt right. Man, I don't really like this band but I can see why this song was so successful. It just sounds so pure, it's the buildup of all the Coldplay songs built into one track. The classical music, Chris Martin's vocals, the chanting, the song manages to be beautiful and catchy at the same time, and it's hard for a song to do that. So all in all, I'm happy we got another band to break America officially, regardless if I like them or not.

#16. "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes
Released: 7/3/03
Album: Elephant
Accolades: Winner of the Best Rock Song at the Grammys, #6 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Songs of the Decade, #8 in Q Magazine's 100 Best Guitar Tracks, #5 in NME's 50 Greatest Tracks of the Decade, #75 in VH1's Greatest Hard Rock Songs, #21 in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time, #20 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of All Time, #30 in Pitchfork Media's Top 500 Songs of the 2000s, #2 in Observer Music Monthly's 75 Songs of the Decade, #2 in Channel V Australia's Top 1000 Songs of the 2000s, #1 in Consequence of Sound's Top Rock Tracks of the 2000s, #1 in WFNX Radio's Top Rock Tracks of the 2000s, #286 in Rolling Stone's Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, #1 in Rhapsody's Top 100 Tracks of the Decade
Appearances: Democracy Now! (news program)
Listings: Best Riffs, Best Videos, Top 100 Songs of the Decade
Chart Positions: UK - #7, US - #76 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Germany - #4

Wow. So far in this listing no song has got THAT many accolades. Even though I've only put one appearance down, it's important to note that this song was a HUGE anthem in the FIFA World Cup in 2006. Loads of different fans from many different countries world wide sung the tune to this in the crouds, it was amazing. It's also important to note that on a personal note, this song has featured in FOUR of my categories now, which are my favourite riffs, my favourite music videos, my personal top 100, and now, the unbiased top 100. No other song has done that on this website. In fact, just in case you wanted to know, this song is the last song that is featured both on the biased and unbiased listings.
So why is this song so well received? It's just a simple guitar riff that is played over and over again. The truth is that I have no idea really, it's just so fricking catchy, the lyrics are quite smart, that guitar riff is just beautiful despite it being so simple, and while I try not to use music videos as reason for each entry, the music video is just as simple a concept as the guitar riff, but equally as effective. It's just quite simply, a piece of genius this song. I honestly don't think The White Stripes will top this effort popularity wise. It's just perfect.

#15. "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock
Released: 5/4/08
Album: Rock 'n' Roll Jesus
Appearances: WWE Backlash 2008 (wrestling pay-per-view)
Chart Positions: UK - #1, US - #23 (#4 in Hot Country Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Australia, Austria, Europe, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland - #1

Getting to #1 in 6 different countries is impressive on any scale and Kid Rock did just that with this huge summer hit. If you listened to music much in the summer of 2008 then you simply couldn't get rid of this song, if you like it or not. With it's riff that was borrowed from "Sweet Home Alabama", and its general warm lyrics about having a good time in the summer (Kid Rock manages not to be so crude in this track) it was just universally popular with a lot of people. It wasn't musically his finest piece, hell I don't think he even put much effort into the track but that's probably the key, Kid Rock just got everything right with this song, he didn't need to overload it. It's just a nice summer song.

#14. "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" - The Darkness
Released: 17/3/03
Album: Permission to Land
Accolades: #47 in Q Magazine's 101 Greatest Guitar Tracks, #493 in Blenders Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born, #276 in Pitchfork's 500 Top Tracks of the 2000s, #94 in VH1's Best Hard Rock Songs
Appearances: Karaoke Revolution Volume 2 (video game), Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades (video game), The Bill (TV series), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (movie), SingStar (video game)
Chart Positions: UK - #2, US - #35 (in Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart), Best Elsewhere - Ireland - #5

Regardless of how badly The Darkness fell from their hill back halfway through the decade, this song was a huge hit. It was the pinnacle of success, it was the song that if you would choose if you had to describe the band with a single track. The ridiculous falsetto, the awfully cheesy video, the leotards, the Queen-esque guitar solos, the lyrics about cheesy love, everything. It's what The Darkness was. And it was only denied the #1 spot by the huge RnB hit "Where is the Love?" by the Black Eyed Peas. The Darkness really set the bar with this track, unfortunately for them it was a bar they were never able to reach again (unless an amazing comeback proves me otherwise). Either way, the song is still definitely well thought of by many people.

#13. "All the Small Things" - Blink-182
Released: 18/1/00
Album: Enema of the State
Appearances: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series), Charlie's Angels (movie), Clockstoppers (movie), Rock Band (video game), Guitar Hero 5 (video game), Guitar Hero: On Tour (video game), Rock Revolution (video game)
Listings: Best Videos
Chart Positions: UK - #2, US - #6 (#1 in Alternative Songs Chart), Best Elsewhere - Austria - #4
Well this song is a classic. It really is. The reason why it's not higher is because I need to spread 10 years evenly. This song is just oozing of pop punk. It'll forever be known for its video, where the band take the piss out of boybands to fantastic comical effect. But the song itself, in its simplicity, is just a charming teenage boy's track. And there's nothing wrong with that. When I think about how I made this listing, I thought about predicting what songs will be played from the decade in 10, 20, 30 years time. And this song fits into that category. No dispute. This song is a classic, it will never go away. And kudos to Blink-182 for that.

#12. "Somebody Told Me" - The Killers
Released: 15/3/04
Album: Hot Fuss
Accolades: #9 in XFM's Top 100 Songs of the Decade, #4 in Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004, #60 in Absolute Radio's 100 Best Songs of the Decade, #41 in NME's 100 Greatest Tracks of the Decade, Nominated for Best Rock Track at the Grammys, Nominated for Best Alternative/Rock Dance Track at the International Dance Music Awards
Appearances: Rocky Balboa (movie), Rock Revolution (video game), DJ Hero (video game)
Chart Positions: UK - #3, US - #51 (#3 in Hot Modern Rracks Chart), Best Elsewhere - Poland - #1

Another song that you pretty much call a classic now. The Killers started their very successful career with this indie belter. "Somebody Told Me" got very high for a debut rock song, and it still pretty much remains the song to beat for the band in terms of impact. They've had hit after hit after hit, yet they've not shook this song away as being THE song to represent The Killers. "Human", "When You Were Young" and "Mr Brightside", all great tracks, but in my eyes are inferior in importance in comparison to this song. Look at those accolades, this song is rated highly by the NME, Triple J, Absolute Radio and XFM, four highly reputable music critics.

#11. "Valerie" - The Zutons / Mark Ronson
Released: 19/6/06 / 15/10/07
Album: Tired of Hanging Around / Version
Accolades: Nominated for Best British Single at the BRIT Awards
Appearances: 2006 FIFA World Cup (football coverage), 27 Dreses (movie)
Chart Positions: UK - #9, Best Elsewhere - Ireland - #32 / UK - #2, Best Elsewhere - Holland - #1

Yeah this song only got to #1 in one country, but what you may not have known is that this song got to #1 in Holland, then they released an acoustic version, and they both versions the iTunes #1 and #2 spots. That was the Mark Ronson version by the way.
But before that, The Zutons released the original version. Now the original was a surprise hit, it was the second single off the album and it more than matched the first single ("Why Don't You Give Me Your Love". It's by far their biggest hit.
But... let's be honest, it's the Mark Ronson version that made this song just marginally miss a place in my Top 10. It was just huge. He really made the song his own. Amy Winehouse's vocals were perfect for the song, and the chirpy music was just splendid. I bet The Zutons love AND hate Mark Ronson for completely picking their song to pieces and remodelling it in his image. But it was an incredible cover version, and the amazing this is that it was only released ay ear later. It wasn't an old track rehashed, it was a recent song that got reworked, and the quality between the two is ridiculously obvious. Mark Ronson solidified his reputation immensely after this song.

Top 10 time tomorrow. We're almost there. It may have took a long time for us to get here, but I've enjoyed it and I hope you have. What song will be in the Top 10? Make your predictions in the comment section below. Have a good night.

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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