Thursday, February 10, 2005


There's a comment thread at Troppo Armadillo asking for lists of the best pop/rock songs of the last twenty years. While various people struggle to determine what constitutes 'best', I find myself wondering what constitutes 'pop/rock'. How exactly do you compare songs from different genres when they serve completely different emotive purposes? How do you compare chilling to Tricky's 'Aftermath' and bouncing up and down to 28 Days' 'Say what?'

I decided that my list would be my favourite songs that embody what pop music is supposed to be; bright, broadly appealing, melodic, flawlessly crafted, light-hearted and above all fun. If The Beatles helped to define what a pop song is supposed to be, then these are the songs that carried on their legacy.

Dumb Things - Paul Kelly, 1987
Minority - Green Day, 2000
She's Electric - Oasis, 1995
Get Off - Dandy Warhols, 2002
If I Could Talk I'd Tell You - The Lemonheads, 1996
Cosmic Girl - Jamiroquai, 1997
If I Can't Change Your Mind - Sugar, 1992
Alright - Supergrass, 1995
Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet, 2003
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) - The Offspring, 1998

There were other, more obscure songs I could have included ('Pass It On' by The Coral, 'On Days Like Yours' by Ben & Jason, or even 'Chicken Payback' by The Bees, which is either the greatest stupid pop song ever, or the stupidest great pop song ever). But part of being the best in pop is making it to a mass audience. I think we can all agree that people who try to prove their indier-than-thou cred by filling their Top Ten Best Pop Songs lists with forgotten tracks by obscure artists are wankers. They should be beaten over the head with old Rick Astley albums until they forget the words to every Jesus and Mary Chain song they know.


Post a Comment

<< Home