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Songs of the Decade

Music, Year-End | By The Top 13 on January 14, 2010

The Lollapalooza Message Board is a place of constant music discussion, discovery, and debate (among other things). With that in mind, dozens of message board members spent many months compiling their favorite songs from the entire decade. They went through each year of the decade with every member nominating two songs for consideration. The entire group then voted on these 80-90 options to select the top 20 songs for that year. After going through each year, board members ended up with a ballot of just over 200 songs to select their final top 100 of the decade. Following plenty of petty bickering and astonishing nerdiness (which we say with the utmost respect), here are the resulting Top 13 Songs of the Decade.

Special thanks to Rosseus, a member of both the Lollapalooza board and The Top 13, who coordinated the entire project, as well as the authors of the commentary accompanying each entry (all of whom are members of the Lollapalooza board).

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Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

1

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

2005

thisismyname Encapsulating a pulsating sound full of heart and power, "Rebellion (Lies)" can fill an entire room, car, or concert hall with a primal energy that anyone can relate to. PulpAffliction A battle cry against dreams, "Rebellion (Lies)" was the pinnacle of sonic and thematic arcs that ran through one of the best albums of the decade.

OutKast - Hey Ya!

2

OutKast - Hey Ya!

2003

PulpAffliction As a rap/r&b/pop/hip hop crossover, it topped every chart (including modern rock) and captured the zeitgeist for an entire year. At it's heart, though, "Hey Ya!" is just the perfect pop song: It's giddily infectious and stuffed to the brim with spectacular nonsense.

Band of Horses - The Funeral

3

Band of Horses - The Funeral

2007

Makebelieve81 "The Funeral" opens with an emotional beauty that captivates listeners and stops them in their tracks. Then as the song builds to chorus you are completely sucked into the arena worthy melodies and power of this song. genghisnyc What begins with a haunting pace and Ben Bridwell's quiet but moving vocals explodes into an epic track that anchors one of the best and most memorable albums of the 2000s.

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy

4

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy

2006

sixtimes You can't talk about "Crazy" without talking about the mythology of the group - the costumes, the goofy name, the record-setting run on the British charts before it had even made a dent in the American consciousness, and Danger Mouse's ridiculous conquering of the record industry after the Grey Album scuffle. But you can't talk about the mythology of the group without talking about how great the song really was - addictive bass line, soaring crescendo after soaring crescendo, and triumphant chorus. What a summer 2006 was.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps

5

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps

2004

PulpAffliction This has to be the sharpest left turn, and one of the biggest surprises from any album from the aughts. Anyone who tells you that after eight tracks of raucous, noisy, yelping art rock they expected the next song to be one of the most gorgeous, sweeping love songs of the decade is lying through their teeth.

Arcade Fire - Wake Up

6

Arcade Fire - Wake Up

2005

scottyh Lyrically poignant, building from a midtempo strum to a soaring finish, "Wake Up" has always been the one song I (and many others) instantly associate with Arcade Fire's style. After essentially launching my love of indie rock when it was released in 2005, it was fitting that the decade closed with me falling in love with this song all over again. recycleonly One of the few times Arcade Fire decided to forget about build-up and chose to explode immediately into one of the most gorgeous anthems the indie world has ever heard.

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army

7

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army

2003

Carligula As with so many White Stripes compositions, Jack White proves that one simple but bad-ass guitar riff is sometimes all it takes to make a great song. Throw in some explosive build-ups and that great song becomes one of the best of the decade.

Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

8

Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

2004

stealyourcarbon "Tunnels" explores the intensity of childhood love and imagination, about running away from parents and life because nobody else understands you. But the genius lies in the warning that while all else is forgetten, we can't forget those that love us. Where The Wild Things Are, anyone? hulksmash Every time I hear this song it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It's beautiful, romantic, and the perfect way to open the album.

Sufjan Stevens - Chicago

9

Sufjan Stevens - Chicago

2005

illiniemags Harmonious and communal with a driving beat, "Chicago" is this generation's definitive road-trip song. An indie staple of the new millennium, it brought indie folk to the masses, myself included. rosseus It's fitting that this song was used in Little Miss Sunshine because it's so cinematic and large in scope - and it centers around road trips. But there's also something much larger in there: The desire to rid yourself of your possessions and surroundings for something larger and more meaningful. Transcendence, what more could we all want from music?

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out

10

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out

2004

fowruok The halting breakdown at 0:55 has to be one of the most thrilling musical moments of the past decade. Coupled with Alex Kapranos' arresting lyrics, which may or may not be about the demise of the band's namesake, we have Franz Ferdinand's signature moment.

Radiohead - Idioteque

11

Radiohead - Idioteque

2000

illiniemags It's dark, urgent, apocalyptic, and created from samples and computers and instruments I couldn't recognize. A strange, hauntingly beautiful warning cry from someone who sees our present before we do - plus it has a good beat and you can dance to it.

Outkast - B.O.B.

12

Outkast - B.O.B.

2000

clouddead After just two picks in the top songs of the 2000s, I was ready to say "/end competition." The rock-centric, jungle-infused beat is almost single handedly responsible for ending my short foray into the world of 90s emo. While other tracks off Stankonia, such as "So Fresh, So Clean" and "Ms. Jackson," were more popular ("B.O.B." never charted), no song is more critically acclaimed.

Modest Mouse - Float On

13

Modest Mouse - Float On

2004

Rosseus How good is this song? Good enough to carry the eternally quirky Modest Mouse into the mainstream, if only for a moment. Perhaps the song's popularity arose behind its message that even when bad things happen, better things are just around the corner to cancel them out. Or it could just be that it's so damn catchy.

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Comments Leave a comment

PulpAffliction ★★

I believe the fact that I nominated the number one song of the decade means I won the competition.

This was a competition, right? ;)

8:07 AM   Jan 14, 2010

stillathreat ★★

I love Arcade Fire as much as the next person, but three songs in the top 13? Seems a little extreme. Still, I like all the songs on this list quite a bit. Nice job, Lollapalooza fans.

8:25 AM   Jan 14, 2010

recycleonly 

I support Arcade Fire's absurd presence but would gladly remove one for some Sigur Rós or "Fireworks."

8:40 AM   Jan 14, 2010

jason ★★

Agreed re: Sigur Ros. Svefn-g-englar or Staralfur should be on here. I have a lot easier time accepting Wake Up and Neighborhood #1 both making the list than I do Rebellion/Lies making it at all.

9:31 AM   Jan 14, 2010

recycleonly 

Totally agreed. I like Rebellion/Lies, but I think it's one of their lesser songs. Starálfur was unfortunately only #88, while my personal favorite, Gobbledigook, was #100.

9:38 AM   Jan 14, 2010

jason ★★

Fail on my part - the songs I listed are from what is technically a 1999 release. So they shoulda been ineligible, though admittedly the release year is disputed. Still, agreed on Sigur Ros (love both Gobbledigook or Saeglopur).

10:33 AM   Jan 14, 2010

recycleonly 

Yeah, the release date was definitely disputed, but throughout the project we went with the US release date, which I believe was 2001 for Agaetis Byrjun.

10:44 AM   Jan 14, 2010

jason ★★

Gotcha, thanks.

11:57 AM   Jan 14, 2010

tloveisready ★★

Hahahahahahaha 3 Arcade Fire tracks in the "top 13 songs of the whole decade"!! That's absurd. Way to take all that time and effort and lay a big steaming turd Lollaboard. Cheers

8:54 AM   Jan 14, 2010

Rosseus 

I would've preferred to not have Tunnels make the list. Beyond that, I think it's hard to argue with any of the other choices. For what it's worth, The Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize??" was next in line.

10:38 AM   Jan 14, 2010

blix 

I have to agree with T-Love. Arcade Fire is good and all, but absurd is right. They're not the effing Beatles.

9:59 PM   Jan 14, 2010

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