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100 TRACKS OF THE DECADE

 

We've already shared our Albums Of The Decade. Now it's time to list the 100 best tracks of the noughties, as compiled by a jury made up of NME critics.

Disagree with our choices? You can vote your own favourite tracks to the top in our Tracks Of The Decade Readers' List - and let us know what you think by piling into the debate over on the NME office blog.

NME's 100 Tracks Of The Decade was written by Tim Chester, Jamie Fullerton, Luke Lewis, David Moynihan, Hamish MacBain, James McMahon, Emily Mackay, Ash Dosanjh, Ben Patashnik, Alan Woodhouse, Martin Robinson, Matt Wilkinson.

 
 
 
 

Effortlessly arty and deliciously fun, at the same time

Some songs seem custom-built for a 1am slot in indie discos. This is possibly the most surefire winner any DJ can have in his repertoire, because all the boys can pose and finger-point for the first 55 seconds and then the girls take over. It’s what Franz always wanted, and by criminy they succeeded.
Effectively split in two – you get the singalong at the beginning and then the foot-stomping hip-shaking...

 
 
 

Eight minutes of hipster-baiting excellence

It’s testament to the then-razor-sharp nous of James Murphy that ‘Losing My Edge’ is still just as relevant today as ever. Not just lyrically, although the diatribe remains funny as fuck, but the crisp NYC beats, which seem to be hardwired to our hips. In a good way. Murphy and co would go on to bigger and better things later in the decade but this introduction to what would later be discovered as his sound...

 
 
 

In the beginning, there was a song…

…And it was a really very good one. On the surface, this heads-down rocker seemed like an unspectacular introduction to what would become The Band That Changed Everything Maybe, but its innate exuberance and the sheer joyfulness of knowing just how fun it is to dance like a robot from 1984 elevated ‘…Dancefloor’ well above the sum of its parts. Its cause was helped no end by a charmingly retro

 
 
 

Dance behemoths Justice and Simian Mobile Disco lock horns

French electro bomp and sleaze meets otherwise-unspectacular UK indie, unites two hitherto alien tribes and becomes massive hit in the process. That stuttering vocal which seemed to suggest there was an exclamation mark after every single word or so (“We! Are! Your Friends!”) stapled to rubbery, irresistible synths was basically dancefloor catnip, borne out by the fact it’s still played at almost every...

 
 
 

Early proof they could do more than disco punk

There were certainly more attention-grabbing tunes on YYYs’ stunning debut, but ‘Y Control’, with its relentlessness and irrepressible energy was a real gem buried at the end. With Karen O’s supernatural squawk and hyperactive guitars pinging and pinballing every which way from start to finish it’s actually something quite rare: a tune that will make you want to bounce on tip-toes around your bedroom...

 
 
 

An entire Bible-worth of hyperbole can’t quite capture its glory

From the smallest of acorns come the most statuesque natural beauties: so ‘Wake Up’ grows from an inelegantly struck guitar chord into something practically religious in its fervour and scale. If you’ve ever been in a crowd of any size, from an intimate congregation to some vast festival mass, when this hymn to life takes flight you’ll know just how good it feels to open your lungs. Yes, we know there are...

 
 
 

A proper epic, and the band's finest moment

The near seven-minute mournful masterpiece remains one of the most cherished UK tracks of the decade, by one of our best bands of the era, being one of those tunes that is both sad and uplifting at the same time. NME writers loved it enough to vote it the song of 2002. Nuff said. AW

 
 
 

Saddle up for a six-minute space-rock spazz-out

Giddy up! Muse haters tend to portray the band as pompous and humourless, like a modern-day Genesis. This track explodes that idea, for the simple reason that it's so damn fun. How can you not love a track that bolts defiant, us-against-the-world hollering ("No-one's gonna take us alive!") to a fantastical imaginative backdrop of galloping Martian cowboys. To...

 
 
 

Another gem from the album of the decade

'Last Nite' was the internal soundtrack of every early noughties UK student who didn't have a sports sweatshirt with a ridiculous nickname they'd made up for themselves written on the back of it. The most frivolous and fun moment of The Strokes' entire back catalogue to date, never before had a song that sounded as if it was recorded through a plaster wall felt...

 
 
 

Jack White's most frenetic blues-rock racket

Jack White's reverential plundering of the rock canon has resulted in some criticism – but 'Fell In Love With A Girl', from his and Meg's breakthrough classic 'White Blood Cells', was a garage-rock classic that could hold its own against any two-and-a-half-minutes of noise featuring at least a guitar and a drumkit. Fast, frenetic and as feral as a wild tiger, it quickly became an indie club staple, the kind you...

 
 
 
 
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