The rules - as always. Two tracks per artist maximum, no covers, re-releases only if 2008 was the first time I'd heard it. The final rule is crucial because if it weren't in effect Champion by Kanye West would have been in the top 5 due to having been released as a single/video this year, but is DQ'ed because I heard it right at the end of last year and whacked it in at #27 before realising how much I liked it. So it goes...
Before we begin this year - trimmed to 50 to avoid the sort of half-interesting slops that filled 51-100 in the countdown last time around - a quick look at the previous top 5's.
1. Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
2. Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure
3. Goldfrapp - Ooh La La
4. The Killers - Somebody Told Me
5. Bloc Party - Helicopter
1. The Young Knives - Here Comes The Rumor Mill
2. Giant Drag - This Isn’t It
3. Silvia Night - Congratulations
4. Lily Allen - LDN
5. Joey Negro - Make A Move On Me
1. The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!
2. New Young Pony Club - Ice Cream
3. The Teenagers - Homecoming
4. Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent
5. Jack Penate - Spit At Stars
And now, the most prestigious prize in all of music.
50. Kanye West - Paranoid
He got divorced, discovered weird vocal effects and lost his mind.
49. Hercules in NY - Nightlight
No video, so just make up a song in your head along the same theme. Or sing Flashlight by Parliament and change the words.
48. The Galvatrons - When We Were Kids
47. Glasvegas - Go Square Go
Continually feted as the "next big thing" though I'm not entirely sure why. They've got a few good tunes, but singing depressing lyrics in an accent once removed from the Proclaimers doth not a U2 make. Move to Vegas, become Mormons, grow ludicrous facial hair (yes, even the girl) and then come and talk to me.
46. Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody
45. Goldfrapp - Cologne Cerrone Houdini
Non-disco Goldfrapp = James Bond theme orchestra action and slink but alas far less excitement than the Frapp we know.
44. The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name
Best listened to when off chops. I swear I heard this last year, but it's not in that countdown so here it is in this one.
43. Black Francis - Seven Fingers
No matter what he does we're all still waiting for something approaching the best of the Pixies. Don't hold your breath fans.
42. Florence And The Machine - Girl With One Eye
Senseless brutality from the knife crime capital of the western world.
41. Elbow - One Day Like This
Like a power ballad without power
40. REM - Accelerate
REM in "album not so bad, but still not as good as they used to be" shocker.
39. Goldfrapp - Happiness
38. Jaguar Love - The Man With The Plastic Suns
Shouty and lacking a real video.
37. The Killers - Human
The chorus is a bit bleh, but otherwise not so bad. Certainly better than that soul/soldier fiasco from a few years back.
36. Foxboro Hot Tubs - Mother Mary
Shhh, it's really Green Day in disguise. Oh, what do you mean everyone already knew? Fuck the internet. Sadly for them it's better than anything they've released under their real name for years.
35. The Gaslight Anthem - Old White Lincoln
The "even more convincing than The Killers" heirs to Springsteen's legacy
34. Little Jackie - 28 Butts
Album tracks = shaky mobile phone footage on Youtube.
33. The Anomalies - Bamboo Beats
32. British Sea Power - Canvey Island
31. Ida Maria - Stella
Prostitute spends a night with God. It doesn't end how you think.
30. Sportsday Megaphone - I Think It's Love
29. TV On The Radio - Halfway Home
Briefly thinks it's the Ramones. Could be a bad thing, especially when sung by a black man with the most impressive facial hair since Peter Russell Clarke, but they pull it off. Anecdote corner - I used to get the radio on my TV when I was a kid and it freaked me the fuck out. So did Peter Russell Clarke. Spooky!
28. Heloise and the Savoire Faire - Downtown
She used to be Peaches bodyguard you know. I wouldn't fuck with her if this picture is anything to go by.
27. Duran Duran - Zoom In
Yes, they're still around and not as bad as you remembered. Frighteningly enough an ABC track almost nudged into the 50 as well. Welcome back gents, but really why bother making a video when you're Duran Duran - who's playing it?
26. Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat
If they ever do anything remotely approaching I Predict A Riot again I'll eat somebody else's hat, but this is at least better than everything on the second album. Catchy, stupid and somehow managing to get itself played on Triple M. Pity nobody's listening.
25. Eli 'Paperboy' Reed and the True Loves - Stake Your Claim
In a fair world would be making Buble style money. In the real world doesn't even have his own video.
24. Supergrass - Diamond Hoo Ha Man
23. The Hold Steady - Sequestered In Memphis
Last year's winners come in again with their first of two entries from an album referred to as "not bad, but not quite as good as the last one" by noted musical reviewer.. me. P.S - The essential tracks begin here.
22. The Shortwave Set - No Social
The song which gives us the helpful but mystifying advice that "a dog dressed in clothes is still a dog". Remember that.
21. Flight Of The Conchords - Ladies Of The World
Novelty tracks that are like real songs are a good thing.
20. Ian Carey Project - Get Shaky
This year's token "heard whilst smashed and loved" club track.
19. Neon Neon - Michael Douglas
Surprisingly little to do with the man himself. More interested in his eyewear.
18. Little Jackie - The World Should Revolve Around Me
The former Imani Coppola (remember "Legend of a Cowgirl"? No, me neither) returns with two entries in her new persona as a female rap type female.
17. Ben Folds - The Bitch Went Nuts
Perfect timing for Christmas season. Always bring a date who does a truckload of coke and yells "fuck Dick Cheney". Another reason why you shouldn't bring Germaine Greer as your date this year. Other than the fact that she looks like a hrose.
16. LMFAO - Yes
Has homemade written all over it.
15. Esser - Headlock
Proof that domestic violence is ok as long as it's happening to a man.
14. The Hold Steady - Constructive Summer
This year's album lacked anything killer on a par with the best tracks off their last one, but there was still worthy contenders dotted throughout.
13. British Sea Power - No Lucifer
The song that should have had people chanting "Easy! Easy!" across the world. Don't bother reading the lyrics in the clip, it'll just make you think less of the track.
12. Black Kids - Look At Me (When I Rock Witchoo)
In a word.. stomping
11. Elbow - The Fix
The best horse racing scandal related moment since the Fine Cotton affair. No painted horses and dodgy New Zealand trainers here - it's all silky smooth and classy like a movie from the 1950's.
10. REM - Supernatural Superserious
Yeah, they're still around. I'm as suprised as you. And with this track they dominated - even more shocking.
9. Flight Of The Conchords - Inner City Pressure
Best novelty song since Silvia Night's "Congratulations" from the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. Eschews novelty song stupidity for cleverness and - brace yourself - comedy.
8. Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
I still maintain that their first album was their best, but the days of Red Morning Light seem a million years away. Potentially the first time that a number 1 chart song has ever made my top 10.
7. The Hollows - Why
Frankly depressed singer in rap-esque whinge mode. Score.
6. Heloise and the Savoir Faire - Canadian Changs
Lost one place for rhyming gorilla and chinchilla. No real video, so enjoy gawking at some random French women dancing in their apartment instead.
5. Fryars - Olive Eyes
The most sinister thing EVER RELEASED. I feel like it should be sung by that perve who locked his family in the basement.
4. Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream
Fittingly, in a year where a Duran Duran song can crack the top 50 comes the greatest song they never wrote. Warning! Video clip contains two people pissfarting around!
3. MGMT - Electric Feel
(Embedding disabled by request of tightarsed record company - click for video)
I'm sure I heard this last year, and even had it in the countdown but the records say no so here it is again. Cue buzz band of the year hijinks and me actually stopping dead in the middle of a game of indoor soccer when I heard it on the radio for the first time.
2. Neon Neon - Luxury Pool
Unbelievably there is no clip of this song on YouTube. No video (it's an album track), no live performances. Nothing. Deserves more on the standout track of the album of the year, Stainless Style. The concept? Strap yourself in - it's about the life of John DeLorean, the creator of the DMC-12 motorcar (the one from Back To The Future) and his shambolic life up to and including trying to sell a truckload of coke to keep his company afloat. Quality.
1. Lethal Bizzle - The Come Up
I don't know why I like it so much, but I do. The first time that twee indie pop has been dislodged from the top of the chart, and it's by a stomping East London grime track. Shits all over anything that Kanye West or any of the popular 'urban' artists are delivering. Unlikely to ever be heard on the radio here - unless somebody gives me the keys to their station and a free reign to cause chaos.
Anything I missed? Bad luck I'm not adding it, but I'd be happy to hear about it.