Our journey back in time, through the NME tracks of the year lists since NME.COM’s birth back in 1996, brings us now to 2002.
Twas a good year, if not a vintage one. The Strokes and The White Stripes had kicked in the door for another wave of guitar heroes, and they brought a mixed bag in their wake. Here’s the original Top 50 from 2002.
1. Doves – There Goes The Fear
2. Yeah Yeah Yeah – Yeah Yeah Yeah EP
3. The Hives – Hate To Say I Told You So
4. The Coral – Dreaming Of You
5. Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows
6. The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl
7. Sugababes – Freak Like Me
8. Lcd Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
9. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Whatever Happened To My Rock ‘N’ Roll
10. The Vines – Get Free
11. The Rapture – House Of Jealous Lovers
12. The Libertines – What A Waster
13. The Datsuns – In Love
14. Eminem – Without Me
15. The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??
16. The Streets – Let’s Push Things Forward
17. Nelly – Hot In Here
18. Fischerspooner – Emerge
19. The Strokes – Someday
20. The 80’s Mathbox B-Line Disaster – Celebrate Your Mother
21. Missy Elliott – Work It
22. The Polyphonic Spree – Soldier Girl
23. Wild Willy Childish And The Buff Medways – Troubled Mind
24. The Thrills – Santa Cruz
25. Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
26. Ms Dynamite – Dy-Na-Mi-Tee
27. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Spread Your Love
28. The Coral – Goodbye
29. Tweet – Oops (Oh My)
30. The Vines – Highly Evolved
31. Ash – Envy
32. Cornershop – Lessons Learned From Rocky 1 To III
33. Idlewild – American English
34. The Streets – Don’t Mug Yourself
35. Massive Attack – I Against I
36. The Libertines – Up The Bracket
37. The Kills – Black Rooster Ep
38. The Beatings – Jailhouse
39. Truth Hurts – Addictive
40. Aaliyah – More Than A Woman
41. Ms Dynamite – It Takes More
42. The Streets – Weak Become Heroes
43. Coldplay – In My Place
44. Idlewild – You Held The World In Your Arms
45. The Bellrays – Fire On The Moon
46. Doves – Pounding
47. James Yorkston & The Athletes – The Long Term
48. Pulp – Bad Cover Versions
49. Aqualung – Strange And Beautiful
50. The Soundtrack Of Our Lives – Sister Surround
Yeah Yeah Yeahs had cut their teeth supporting both Strokes and Stripes, and hit our Tracks Of ’02 list running with a Number Two entry for their eponymous debut EP, while midway through the year some band called The Libertines unleashed a single entitled ‘What A Waster’. Other exciting developments came courtesy of The Rapture (who brokethrough with ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ even though they’d been around a while) and The Hives.
Then you had The Vines and the Datsuns – two noisemongers whose star burned bright but brief. Did either of them age well? Probably not, but I’ve always got time for a bit of this.
Doves, The Thrills, Ash, and The Coral, meanwhile, merrily ploughed familiar furrows that pre-dated this (shudder while you say it) new rock revolution, and Eminem and Missy carried on doing their thing.
So, how does the list stand up now? It’s bizarre to see the Libs only hit Numbers 12 and 36 for their tracks – I have a sneaking suspicion they’d be a little higher these days. That aside, it’s a pretty sturdy top ten – most of those tracks still get aired in clubs today.
What do you think were the best tracks of 2002? Does the Top 50 list still hold true today? And did you ever buy into this?