I’m posting this one a little earlier in the morning than usual because my schedule is off due to a long weekend and various social activities and I expect to be in bed until early afternoon today.
The year is now 2003. The Age of Crunk is in full swing, and we have 11 number-one-jams to choose from. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was this year’s carryover, but as it won the 2002 poll by a decisive margin, it has been retired from this year’s running.
I promise, things do start to get better around 2006 or so. IMO, 2001-2005 really does represent the low point in this series because of the effect that the death of the singles market and the rise of hip-hop/dance music had on the top spot. All those of you who complained about the songs we had to choose from in the '70s, I’m still waiting on that apology.
As much as I love to rag on the UK charts for how schizophrenic and ahistorical their sales-only format leads them to, there are a few UK #1s I’d have voted for over “Hey Ya!”, which was my choice this year; in particular, Evanescences’ “Bring Me To Life”, the Black Eyed Peas’ “Where Is The Love?” (and let it be said this is the only time I will ever endorse a Black Eyed Peas song), Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne’s “Changes” (if only because it’s the closest Black Sabbath has ever come to a #1), and even Gareth Gates’ cover of “Spirit In the Sky” (because that song rocks no matter who’s singing it).
Exactly what I was going to say. Andre 3000 exudes such joy in that video, and such awareness of the 60s, 70s, 80s…and the future (Outkast is partly in that line of African American futurist-outer space artists that goes from Sun Ra through George Clinton and now into Janelle Monae).
Out of curiosity, I checked out music-snob/hipster-website-everybody-loves-to-hate Pitchfork’s picks for top ten singles of 2003. A few of the numbers ones listed here made it, showing a pretty good showing for mainstream #1s:
#1 was, as here, Outkast’s "Hey Ya" #2 “Crazy in Love” - Beyonce #3 “Cry Me a River” - Justin Timberlake #4 “House of Jealous Lovers” - The Rapture #5 “Move Your Feet” - Junior Senior #6 “Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)” - !!! #7 “I Luv U” - Dizzee Rascal #8 “Milkshake” - Kelis #9 “In Da Club” - 50 Cent #10 “The Seed 2.0” - The Roots
Which reminds me, I’m surprised “Milkshake” didn’t make #1. Loved that song. Still would’ve voted for Outkast, though.
Another very solid year for singles. There is little here I wouldn’t listen to today, and a few of these songs I still hear quite regularly at parties.
I picked “Crazy in Love” in a very tight decision over “Hey Ya!” (Sorry, I’ve run out of similes to describe how tight it was.) When “Hey Ya!” was new, I absolutely hated it, but then various people convinced me that it was really a good song.
Overall this was a pretty bleak period for top 40 radio. There are five songs on this list I’ve never even heard of. None of them are particularly good, but Clay Aiken’s stands out for being particularly terrible. “This is the Night” finishes dead-ass last.
Hmm, I sometimes think I focus more on the phenomenon of Beyonce more than the songs. I think Single Ladies has a pure, catchy pop hook, but find it hard to hum a lot of them. Crazy in Love has a catchy chorus for sure, but I remember it more as Beyonce’s arrival as a solo artist more than as a song, if that makes sense…
Nope, I just now played the videos of both of them on Youtube. AFAIK, I’ve never heard them before. Certainly don’t remember hearing them, not even to dislike them. I guess I just stopped listening to the radio around then.