Top 50 of 2004

20 to 11


U2 - Vertigo

Artist link:Link to Top 50 of 20007 Link to Top 50 of 200122 Link to Top 50 of 200128 Link to Top 50 of 200240

How do they do it? When most bands of their vintage have to make do with revivals, reunions and remixes, U2 are still grabbing music by the balls and squeezing hard. Not for them an over-reliance on the nostalgia factor - this track, their 36th single, was so loved by the digital generation that it practically took up permanent residence at the top of the download chart (fitting for a band with their own specially branded iPod). Critics may argue that it's just U2 by numbers (Jangling guitars? Check! Screaming Bono? Check! Deep sounding, but ultimately facile lyrics? Check!) and that they're skirting dangerously close to self-parody, but so what? When you sound this damn good, who cares?

Greg B

No of votes: 15, Score: 93, Highest vote: 1st

U2 - Vertigo


Graham Coxon - Freakin' Out

He used to be the cool one in Blur, you know. Then he went solo and turned into a punk. And became even cooler. Then he started doing interviews and instead of doing the Jo Whiley-embarrassed-teenager-mumbling-down-at-their-pumps bit, decided to become the new Dale Winton - "Ooooooooo fancy! You cheeky monkey!". Lost a few cool points there, I can tell you. Nonetheless, this is a belter, played with the sort of energy that would jumpstart a goodly few Keane records. Now, anyone up to the job of chairing the conciliation talks between him and Blur?

Jason M

No of votes: 15, Score: 96, Highest vote: 1st

Graham Coxon - Freakin' Out


Blink 182 - I Miss You

Artist link:Link to Top 50 of 20008 Link to Top 50 of 200147

Well, haven't we grown up all of a sudden? I suppose when the whole band are fathers and approaching 30 it becomes a bit difficult to pull of the teen-angst schtick. It doesn't explain why Tom DeLonge pronounces 'head' as 'yedd', but he sounds like he means it, so we'll let him off. The song has a nice moody sweep to it that is less harsh than many of their previous singles, quite possibly because the guitar sound is less prominent. Here's hoping they won't go all Paul McCartney on us.

P Shoo

No of votes: 16, Score: 83, Highest vote: 2nd

Blink 182 - I Miss You


The Libertines - Can't Stand Me Now

'Can't Stand Me Now' - track one, album two - showed us the beginning of the end. The Libertines were once the saviours of rock and roll, whose new material, legendary spats and explosive on-stage energy was adored by fans and journalists alike. It was seductive to view the band with affectionate, uncritical eyes like those given to fans of American wrestling - things would work out in the end, even if Pete was about to smack Carl upside the head with a discarded megaphone. Could we really expect the difficult second album to seethe, spit and rock like the first, no matter how good Mick Jones told us it was? We could, though the wit was now slightly wrier and the spite often directed against each other rather than out, against the world. 'Can't Stand Me Now' is the kitchen sink drama of a couple admitting it's over. Their next single - 'What Became Of The Likely Lads' - is the album's last listed offering and completes the sound of the most promising musical partnership in years shrugging their shoulders, recognising the waste but never quite taking personal responsibility. Those campaigning for a better world should pray that The Libertines' records have a little more needle time in 2005. And their arms a little less.

Danny G

No of votes: 16, Score: 93, Highest vote: 1st

The Libertines - Can't Stand Me Now


Keane - Somewhere Only We Know

Artist link:Link to Top 50 of 20047 Link to Top 50 of 200825 Link to Top 50 of 200631

I remember the first time I heard this track on the radio, thinking "ooh, this new Travis song is quite good!" till the DJ told me otherwise (little did I realise that Keane were, at that time, actually supporting Travis on tour, how spooky). And so my interest in Keane began, and for me they've been THE band of 2004. This track just builds into a great song that gets stuck in your head, and the more you listen to it, the more you love it! Even the video that goes with it is quite good, apart from all the little weird aliens, what's all that about?!?

Veronica S

No of votes: 16, Score: 100, Highest vote: 1st

Keane - Somewhere Only We Know


Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For

I love this, I love her, it almost makes me wish I was blonde. I often wonder, what am I waiting for? I put the radio on, I'm raring to go and I'm not waiting anymore, I'm off down the road in a tutu and army boots shouting 'tick tock' at strangers and it's all down to Gwen. I never get sick of hearing this, it creates mischief. If you like the idea of jumping up and down on your bed dressed as Alice in Wonderland then this is the song for you.

Lisa S

No of votes: 16, Score: 103, Highest vote: 1st

Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For


Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme

The scene - The house of some 'Shapeshifters' on the Wednesday of the single's release.
'Brilliant news lads, we're guaranteed No.1! I told you a disco house version of a bootleg song that's done well in the clubs would work'
'Yeah, genius to use a name beginning with S and ending in R as well. Spiller, 'Who do you love now (Stringer)','
'Oh no!'
'We've forgotten to make a video!'
'Bum. Tell you what, grab that singer we got to re-record the vocal 'cos we couldn't afford the original sample and send her down the fair 'round the corner. Give her £50 and let her play on the dodgems and stuff'
'Yeah, that'll work'

Andrew S

No of votes: 17, Score: 92, Highest vote: 1st

Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme


Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mama

Artist link:Link to Top 50 of 20061 Link to Top 50 of 200513 Link to Top 50 of 200421 Link to Top 50 of 200445

'Exuberant' 'Genius', 'the best performers of 2004': just some of the epithets being bandied about with regard to these uber-camp New York popsters. And it is this Elton-esque ditty which best seems to capture the free-fall energy which has surrounded the band for most of the last year. Take Your Mama is a joyous, catchy song, the lyrics of which make sense to someone I'm sure. I am not that person (although I suspect the song may bear more than a passing acquaintance with the theme of coming out), but I find that it makes no difference to my enjoyment of this candy-floss, sweetly subversive piece of pop. It manages that almost unheard of feat of remaining hugely likable despite being played almost non-stop in all clothes/record/butchers shops since time immemorial.* It may even one day impel me to take my frail, elderly mother out on the town for some cheap champagne and a pop at a couple of go-go dancers. But only if she's paying.

*Apparently not to be found playing in the US Supermarket Walmart however, which, although it will happily sell assault rifles won't sell/play the Scissor Sister's 'offensive' eponymous album.


No of votes: 18, Score: 88, Highest vote: 2nd

Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mama


Girls Aloud - Love Machine

Artist link:Link to Top 50 of 200813 Link to Top 50 of 200613 Link to Top 50 of 200718 Link to Top 50 of 200424 Link to Top 50 of 200526 Link to Top 50 of 200347

Unlikely as it sounds, someone on the Girls Aloud songwriting team has a copy of 'The Unutterable' by The Fall - I'm not the only person to spot the similarity between Mark Smith's 'Cyber Insekt' and the rhythm track for 'Love Machine'. The song is a success in it's own right though, padding the basic track out with the usual retro-futuristic electronica and a nice 1920s feel to the vocals. But whilst Girls Aloud may be the most enduring act to come out of Reality Pop TV they're also the most contrived - it's hard to get too fond of their calculated attempts to be knowing and coy. And it's funny that whenever they perform great care is taken to give each Girl a turn on the mike - which just serves to highlight that all their voices sound the same. At least we could tell The Spice Girls' apart!

Harley R

No of votes: 19, Score: 108, Highest vote: 1st

Girls Aloud - Love Machine


Natasha Bedingfield - These Words

Makes you sick doesn't it when your little sister does it better than you... Natasha Bedingfield took the Britpop world by storm in 2004 with one catchy singalong song after another. "These Words" is both irritating and clever. A love song about, err... writing a love song. With her raw, soulful voice, Natasha tells us how trawling through the words of our greatest poets doesn't get her any closer to writing the perfect love song. Still, it comes close to the perfect pop song, just hear it once and you'll be humming it for days.

Karen G

No of votes: 20, Score: 88, Highest vote: 3rd

Natasha Bedingfield - These Words

The next 10


Site designed by Jason "He Plays Music" Mansfield, 2005

Thanks go to the following people for assisting with getting together our comprehensive aide-memoire: Danny G, Paul M, Kat B, Greg B, Jon B, Caz T

A MASSIVE THANKS also to all those who slaved over a hot keyboard to produce the write ups: Danny G, Paul M, Kat B, Andrew S, Isaac H, P Shoo, Jon B, Liza H, Derek K, Harley R, Karen G, Spencer G, Emyr I, Greg B, Claire J, Lisa S, Nelson, Veronica S, Kaz, Talia K, Emi H

Any thoughts, comments on the site are welcomed, just mail me.