The lists just keep piling up. Today it’s another installment of the series of Dave’s list. It’s the Top 10 Singles of the Decade. Today it’s the first part, tomorrow it’s the second part. Later this week, we’ll be giving you Matt’s feature on 10 Irritating Songs. That’ll also take up two days. Not really sure what the last day will be, maybe I’ll do something, maybe Chris’ll talk about Katie Grace Helow’s new album. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, here’s some Dave. (Now, keep in mind, these are singles, so they had to be released as such. It’s not just tracks, but tracks that were released as singles.)
Top Singles of the Decade
10. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day (2005)
Although I’ve lost any affinity I once had for Green Day, especially their 2004 punk rock opera American Idiot, I have to give them their due: they wrote some pretty catchy tracks. It isn’t my favorite cut off the album but “Wake Me Up When September Ends” had three things going for it. First, its title is clearly a reference to the 9/11 attacks which shaped American culture more than any other event in the 2000s. Second, the music video dealt primarily with a soldier’s life fighting in Iraq—another topic ripped straight from the headlines. Finally, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” became a second national anthem in September 2005 as people in New Orleans were hit with the devastating forces of Hurricane Katrina and Faye. It’s a solid rock ballad with huge cultural relevance to the decade.
9. “Ridin” by Chamillionaire ft. Krayzie Bone (2006)
Chamillionaire’s surprise hit was the closest that “conscious hip-hop” ever got to mainstream appeal in the 2000s, in which hip-hop saw the rise of the ultra-materialistic hip-hop mogul. For a few months in 2006, everyone was singing along to lyrics about racial profiling and police brutality towards black people. It has a driving beat and a guest verse by Krayzie Bone with ball-busting flow. Both musically and culturally, “Ridin” is one of the top singles of the decade.
8. “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” by Five for Fighting (2000)
Before “100 Years” on Jared diamond commercials, Five for Fighting released “Superman (It’s Not Easy)”, which I think is a better song. The piano hook is catchy and the lyrics deal with the important themes of identity, relationships with other people, and how the two interact.
7. “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani (2005)
Although this is the only song by a female artist in the top 10, “Hollaback Girl” is an upbeat, edgy, 80s-retro dance tune that can go toe-to-toe with most of the songs on this list. It achieved enormous popularity upon its release and has an infectious call-and-response chorus.
6. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (2002)
8 Mile had a mediocre performance at the box office but Eminem’s original song from the soundtrack is still played today at most sporting events for its honest and hard-hitting lyrics. The song has special significance to me from my cross country season in 2005, in which all of the members of our team listened to it before our Regional’s race in hopes of qualifying for States. We did, and I still consider this the best pump-up song ever.