Believe it or not, back in the heady days of 2005, I wasn’t Teentoday’s only writer. Consequently, I wasn’t the one who got to write the Best Singles Of 2005 list – a crying shame, as it was a stellar year for pop music. Obviously, I couldn’t let this pass and cobbled up my own list retrospectively instead.
Looking back, I was amazed how many amazing songs there were that didn’t ever make number one (the UK chart peak is listed in brackets). Oh well, they have the last laugh – who’s singing The Crazy Frog now?!
1. Biology – Girls Aloud (4)
Not content with making one stellar pop song, Xenomania decided to make three instead, then squish them all into the same record – just because they can. Countless hooks jostle for breathing space amongst ridiculous dance routines and even more ridiculous lyrics. Best pop song of the noughties? I think we have a winner.
2. Ordinary People – John Legend (27)
Beauty, class and feeling encapsulated into four minutes and forty-one seconds that goes by all too quickly. Subtle but soaring.
3. Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson (5)
Best break-up song, evah?! Slinging drippy-eyed ballads to the wayside, Clarkson sings, shouts and stomps her way to post-Idol brilliance. All together now – ‘I’m so moving on, YEAH YEAAAAAAAAH!’ How was this not number one?!
4. Feel Good Inc – Gorillaz (2)
Despite beginning with a sinister cackle, babbling on about windmills for most of the rest of the song and then sneaking up on you with a brilliant rap section, Feel Good Inc is the very definition of effortless cool. The sound of summer… and autumn… and winter.
5. Cool – Gwen Stefani (11)
Am I being swayed by the gorgeously-shot Sophie Muller video? Oh, who cares! Cool is a marvellous misty-eyed cruise through getting closure, courtesy of some stunning New-Wave synths. Lush.
6. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – The Arctic Monkeys (1)
The Arctic Monkeys basically played the best trick in the book – took a top-quality pop choon, added guitars and Northern accents, and suddenly even lemon-sucking NME editors were hailing their greatness. Obviously, I’d be listing the even more poptastic Sugababes cover if I could.
7. Time To Grow – Lemar (9)
Where would the MOBOs be without him?! Time To Grow is a silky-smooth ballad that could sell the idea of moving on to even the most bitter-faced bunny-boiling harpie. Just gorgeous.
8. Push The Button – Sugababes (1)
Minimalist Dallas-Austin produced electropop, sold with trademark sulky swagger by the Britain’s coolest girl group. Hypnotisingly good.
9. I Said Never Again (But Here We Are) – Rachel Stevens (12)
Rachel Stevens gets guitars! And drums! And some semblance of a personality! The prospect of letting someone in through your back door never sounded so appealing.
10. Dakota – Stereophonics (1)
Any song that mitigates Kelly Jones’ insufferable smugness must indeed be a thing of greatness. Dakota grows in magnitude with each listen, until you’re forced to admit it simply is one of the finest rock anthems of the decade. Even if you still want to slap Kelly Jones round the face.
11. Hung Up – Madonna (1)
Take one Abba sample, add a fluorescent pink leotard and mix in a dance routine so hardcore that most lithe-limbed teenagers would bust a muscle even attempting it. Hung Up is a delicious slice of disco, the kind of which you thought died out with Studio 54. Euphoric.
12. Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire (19)
Astonishingly different and wonderful all at once. If being featured on every soundtrack/advert/epic moment can’t ruin Arcade Fire’s majesty, then you know you’re onto a good thing. [Wake Up is similarly magnificent.]
13. I Predict A Riot – The Kaiser Chiefs (9)
Making our chart courtesy of a sneaky re-release, I Predict A Riot is a little bit cheeky, a little bit naughty and a whole lot of fun. If there was ever a track that made us consider risking our blow-dry for a spot of high-energy moshing, this was it. *Makes unconvincing rawwwwk hand gesture*
14. All About You – McFly (1)
Arguably McFly’s last great moment, this awfully pretty love song straddles the fine line between sweet and saccharine. For the most part, it delivers the perfect amount of ‘awwww’, courtesy of touching lyrics and a stirring orchestral section… until the bizarre mention of kitchen tiles, of course.
15. Switch It On – Will Young (5)
Sounding like early George Michael crossed with a guilty pleasure from an 80s film soundtrack, Switch It On marked young Willard’s first foray into the uptempo. With pounding beats, tap-tastic rhythms and impassioned vocals, we deem it an all-round success. More please.
16. Do You Want To – Franz Ferdinand (4)
We’re confused. We thought we liked pure pop. But suddenly there’s all these indie bands making what, by any other name, we thought were pure pop choons. Except floppy-haired indie types seem to be enjoying them too. This witty hook-laden track is the perfect example and it’s guaranteed to have you playing air guitar within seconds, even on public transport. Madness.
17. Gold Digger – Kanye West (2)
We don’t really like rap music round these parts. Sounds like talking to us. But even we have to admit that, courtesy of a platinum-plated sample from one of the best (Ray Charles), Kanye created a hand-clapping, hip-grinding, booty-shaking hip-hop classic. WE WANT PRE-NUP!
18. Fix You – Coldplay (4)
It’s not cool to like Coldplay, but when they create songs this stunning, who cares? Tear-sheddingly beautiful.
19. Hard To Beat – Hard-Fi (9)
A love song cunningly disguised as a hipster tune. Clever stuff.
20. Crazy Chick – Charlotte Church (2)
Half barnstorming country record, half unhinged Love Machine rip-off, with vocals set to belt from Wales’ favourite fallen angel.
21. Oh My Gosh – Basement Jaxx (8)
Quirky, quality dance music, delivered with charm to spare. Enough to make us consider having a mini rave-up at two in the afternoon and we’ve not even had our first rum n’ coke yet. ‘Forget about sugar, have a spoonful of me!’
Three nearly but not quites…
Ooh La La – Goldfrapp, Ticket Outta Loserville – Son Of Dork, Other Side Of The World – K T Tunstall