Top of The Pops 2000s Special: Songs To Learn and Sing Readers’ Top 50 Chart

by George_East on March 28, 2013

This is a little late, but with Ray North’s posting of #631 Gary Jules’ cover of Tears For Fears, Mad World, during our second covers’ week, we reached our 100th Song To Learn and Sing from the 00s.   It became the 4th decade to reach this milestone, after the 1980s (which reached the milestone in 495 songs), the 1970s (517 songs) and the 1960s (605 songs).

The 00s are, I think, hard to define as a decade.  It was the era in which the download first became a format by which music was purchased.  This has led to albums becoming of less importance particularly for younger consumers of music. Conversely it has revived the single (or single track at least) following its precipitous decline in the 1990s as vinyl went out of fashion.  Intriguingly it was towards the end of the 00s, that the backlash against downloads saw the beginnings of a strong vinyl revival, at least amongst a hardcore of music fans, who like the physicality of vinyl, its history and the potential for cover art to be part of the package.

Some of main musical markers of the decade were the alt-country/Americana movement spurred by the release of Ryan Adams’ superb debut album, Heartbreaker, in 2000; the reinvention of cool art rock with the The Strokes’debut Is This It? in 2001, in which guitar, haircuts and even names began to matter again; the folk rock movement at the end of the decade marked by Midlake’s Tales of  Van Occupanther in 2006 and especially the stunning pastoral beauty of the Fleet Foxes’ eponymous debut.  The musician of the decade was almost certainly Jack White who was so prolific that he managed to be a member of three different bands during the decade, and release some of its greatest albums in (White Blood Cells, Elephant, Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers of The Lonely).

On this side of the Atlantic we saw the emergence of some distinctively British guitar bands.  The Dickens and Music Hall influenced Libertines showed their London guitar roots by having their first album produced by The Clash’s Mick Jones.  Further north, Sheffield’s rich musical heritage saw the Arctic Monkeys become the first great band to break through the viral effects of cyberspace, singing songs based firmly in the experience of growing up and going out in their corner of Yorkshire.  Amy Winehouse, the finest female voice of the era and car crash waiting to happen burnt briefly but exceptionally brightly.    In Dizzee Rascal and Mike Skinner from the Streets, this side of the Atlantic also produced equally distinctively British urban artists.

Unlike some other decades (in particular the 1960s and 1970s) there have not been any years in the decade which have proven to be way more popular than the rest.  There are still no Songs To Learn and Sing Golden Years (a year which has had 20 songs) from the decade. However, the years towards the end of the decade have been the most popular:  2008 (16), 2009 (15), 2004 (13), 2001 (12), 2007 (10), 2005 (9), 2002 (8), 2006 (7), 2003 (6), 2000 (5).   In terms of artists with more than one song, Drive-By Truckers have had 4 songs, followed by The White Stripes and Elbow on 3 songs and Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Jeffrey Lewis, Ryan Adams, The Czars, The Libertines and The Strokes on 2.    Jack White in various guises has had 5 entries (3 with The White Stripes, 1 with The Raconteurs and 1 with the Dead Weather).

These readers are your top 50 from the decade (with the position in the Top 20 when 50 songs from the decade was reached in brackets).  Good to see that Allthatsleft are continuing to show John Grant some love….

  1. #130: 2004, The Czars, Little Pink House (1);
  2. #152: 2006, Midlake, Roscoe (3);
  3. #450: 2008, Seth Lakeman, Race To Be King;
  4. #160: 2006, Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (4);
  5. #237: 2007, Amy Winehouse, You Know I’m No Good (2);
  6. #482: 2009, Wild Beasts, All The King’s Men;
  7. #170: 2009, Bill Callahan, Rococo Zephyr (5);
  8. #159: 2002, Johnny Cash, Hurt (10);
  9. #34: 2008, Okkervil River, On Tour With Zykos (7);
  10. #248: 2005, Jeffrey Lewis, Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror (20);
  11. #436: 2008, The Raconteurs, Carolina Drama;
  12. #588: 2005, Elbow, Leaders of the Free World;
  13. #280: 2001, Ryan Adams, New York New York (12);
  14. #293: 2004, Richmond Fontaine, Post To Wire;
  15. #489: 2001, The Cure, Cut Here;
  16. #326: 2000, The White Stripes, Jolene;
  17. #59: 2008, Fleet Foxes, Mykonos (16);
  18. #143: 2001, The Strokes, Hard To Explain (6);
  19. #514: 2009, The Leisure Society, Come To Your Senses;
  20. #166: 2008, Drive-By Truckers, A Ghost To Most (8);
  21. #341: 2004, Drive-By Truckers, Carl Perkins’ Cadillac;
  22. #45: 2003, The White Stripes, Seven Nation Army (17);
  23. #338: 2001, Gillian Welch, Elvis Presley Blues;
  24. #470: 2009, Local Natives, World News;
  25. #176: 2009, Noah and The Whale, Stranger (9);
  26. #275: 2001, Drive-By Truckers, Ronnie and Neil (18);
  27. #67: 2004, The Streets, Blinded By The Lights (13);
  28. #501: 2009, Deadmau5 feat. Kaskade, I Remember;
  29. #232: 2005, Arctic Monkeys, I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor;
  30. #109: 2002, The Flaming Lips, Do You Realize?? (11);
  31. #20: 2001, Kylie Minogue, Can’t Get You Out of My Head;
  32. #182: 2000, Wilco, Jesus Etc (15);
  33. #559: 2009, The Duke & The King, The Morning That I Get To Hell;
  34. #568: 2008, Waylon Jennings, Outlaw Shit;
  35. #531: 2004, The Czars, Paint The Moon;
  36. #537: 2004, Britney Spears, Toxic;
  37. #196: 2000, Ryan Adams, Come Pick Me Up;
  38. #352: 2003, Kings of Leon, Molly’s Chambers;
  39. #448: 2002, Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man, Tom The Model;
  40. #281: 2001, The Strokes, New York City Cops
  41. #570: 2007, LCD Soundsystem, North American Scum;
  42. #303: 2008, The Peth, Let’s Go Fucking Mental;
  43. #125: 2009, Lily Allen, Fuck You (14);
  44. #323: 2007, Jeffrey Lewis, Banned From The Roxy;
  45. #40: 2007, Wild Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire, Christmas 1979;
  46. #78: 2009, The Dead Weather, Treat Me Like Your Mother;
  47. #596: 2001, Steve Earle, The Devil’s Right Hand;
  48. #520: 2009, Dizzee Rascal, Bonkers;
  49. #472: 2001, Sparklehorse, Eyepennies;
  50. #86: 2003, Elbow, Station Approach


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth March 29, 2013 at 8:46 am

Why have you put an extra “l” in Lily Allen’s name?

Is it (a) because that’s ATL policy in respect of people who call their daughter “Ethel” or (b) as a form of celebration of that amazing video (which I hadn’t seen before)?


Ray_North March 29, 2013 at 9:18 am

I think that’s almost certainly my fault Mike. I have an uncanny ability to write and say things how I think they should be, rather than how they actually are. Only the other week I told George that my favourite Dylan album was Blood on the Rocks – now, deep down I know that it’s Blood on the Tracks, I have been armed with this rather simple fact for the last thirty years, but still, I misnamed an entire album. I do it in Court all the time – drives judges mad, I can tell you!


Ray_North March 29, 2013 at 9:34 am

oh, hold on, wait a second – I’ve just fessed up to something of which I am entirely innocent – my original Lily Allen post, included the correct spelling of Lily – it was indeed King of the Pedant’s George who has added an ‘l’.
I take back my confession and admission and change my plea to one of Not Guilty!


George_East March 29, 2013 at 9:36 am

Nope. You were guilty. I’ve just edited it after Mike pointed out the misspelling.


George_East March 29, 2013 at 9:34 am

Yeah. It’ll be because the mistake is in the original post (which I’ve just corrected). The list is a cut and paste exercise. Having said that I’m not too ashamed if there is the odd mistake in 1000 words. I’ll correct this post too but it is fiddly to do on a phone so I’ll do it later .


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