Seeing that my top 20 90s songs list was so popular, I decided it warranted a follow up. The only downside is, we are now entering, in my opinion, the worst decade for pop music post 1976.
I have lived in three decades since birth, and the noughties were, by far, the saddest and loneliest time of my life. If I were to write a memoir of my high school days I’d title it ‘Wasted Years’, after the Iron Maiden track. And alongside the horrors of high school, popular music just didn’t help at all.
But who could blame it for being such a bleak time for musicians? Unlike the peacefulness of the 90s, the noughties were a time of fear, war, terrorism, poverty, disease, Islamophobia, and the biggest economic depression since the 20s. That is why, I think, so much music sucked so badly. No matter how positive artists tried to be, they just couldn’t bring the public paranoia down.
And that’s why I have only been able to find 10 songs for this playlist. 10 very catchy songs which will stick in my head forever, but never have the same replay value as my favourite 90s hits. So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Noughties songs that aren’t crap.
10.Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne
I know this is a very middle of the road Pop Punk anthem about a boy being dumped by a girl, gets bullied and eventually triumphs over those who made him feel bad. But, I can still remember hearing this at the only high school disco I attended, and it was one of the first songs I learnt to play on the drums. Here’s to the first idea I ever had of Punk music.
9.Last Summer by Lostprophets
Now before you ask, yes I know all about Ian Watkins, (you’ve probably read what I makeof his incarceration already) and I claimed to never have been a fan of Lostprophets. But, as I also mentioned, my older brother was a keen fan of theirs, and this has to be their only song worth listening to more than once. It also gave me a feeling of hope, reminding me that high school doesn’t last forever and I’d eventually be saying goodbye. I did spend my last summer at school listening to very different music, but this is where it all began. (Also look out for Steel Panther in the video).
8.Gay Bar by Electric Six
Probably the most offensive song to make it into the charts, but it still brings out lots of good laughs each time I see the video. Oddly, this was one of the first CDs I ever bought as well.
7.It Wasn't Me by Shaggy
By far, the most quotable song of the noughties. One very catchy hip-hop piece from a rapper who always made me want to watch Scooby Doo.
6.Love Is Only A Feeling by The Darkness
The heaviest band to enter the mainstream charts. I’m not going to talk about the Rage Against The Machine number one, because that was a re-release. The Darkness were the premier cock rock band of the noughties. Camp, flamboyant hair metal is one good place to go if you just can’t work out why relationships never come your way when you’re the outsider in a boys’ school.
5.Cable Car/How To Save A Life by The Fray
Like the 90s list, we have a band whom I just can’t make up my mind on. The Fray released two very memorable pieces of heartwarming indie rock before disappearing into obscurity. Both of these had a pretty big effect on me – especially when ‘How To Save A Life’ was used in an episode of Scrubs when a patient died after a long battle to save him. Cable Car also reflected my everyday routine of seeing the same people and whether or not I could call them my friends or just people I knew as I just couldn’t read them at all. Wherever these guys are now, I do hope they’ve still got the intensity of these two hits.
4.Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day
Green Day, the band that made me aware of Punk music, before I started to properly follow it. American Idiot was one of the most talked about albums of that decade, and with this track, and video, we have the Pop Punk pioneers at their most political.
3.What Would You Do by City High
This has to be the most underrated Hip Hop track of that decade. I think people forgot about it because it came out right at the start of 2000. But I can still recall how catchy I found the chorus, and listening to the uncensored version made it all the more important to me. Hip Hop started as a very conscious and political genre of music, and here we have the most socially aware track to enter the charts in recent decades. An anthem that discusses rape, teenage pregnancy and child poverty, and gives hope to young women faced with such dilemmas. Thank you City High. You gave us the most feminist rap anthem to reach the Top 5.
2.One More Time by Daft Punk
Hands down, the most original Dance music group of recent history. Not only did Daft Punk introduce me to Electronic Dance music, but they also got me into Anime. One More Time was released just after the Pokemon explosion, and this video showed me the way into Japan’s greatest cultural export. Interestingly, the whole album this came from was made into an anime film which you can check out in its entirety below. Keep up the good work Daft Punk. You were the only thing to write home about in Tron Legacy.
And the Number 1 best noughties song is...
1.Wherever You Will Go by The Calling
I’m pretty sure these guys qualify as a One Hit Wonder, but I don’t think they had much of a career to warrant an episode of One Hit Wonderland. Nevertheless, this was one of the best selling rock songs of the decade. And on a personal level, The Calling were the first band I fell in love with and wanted to hear everything they put out. This song got me into music. After buying their first album I started buying more CDs and eventually built up my first attempt at a record collection. Here’s to the guys who started it all for me. This song and the book High Fidelity made me into an audiophile and I congratulate them generously. Wherever you have gone, The Calling, you’ll always be worth a listen for me.