Released: September 2005

By far the pinnacle of Tellier’s career to date, ‘La Ritournelle’ is also one of the most beautiful love songs of the last decade. “Oh nothing's going to change my love for you / I wanna spend my life with you,” he croons at the outset like only a Frenchman can over twinkling glocks, that immemorial piano riff and of course a funky breakbeat from Tony Allen (of Fela Kuti’s band). Add in some...

 
 
 

Released: June 1998

Put ‘Stay Young’ through a Wiki search and you get plenty of results: the Oasis track sitting among efforts from INXS and Gallagher and Lyle. Sadly, but not surprisingly, though, no mention of Ultrasound, the 90s’ most underrated band. The indie-prog behemoths made one perfect, bloated double album of endlessly ambitious guitar rock before imploding (although they resurfaced a year ago for a reunion that’s...

 
 
 

Released: May 2004

The musical equivalent of clobbering a stranger in the face with a rubber mallet, 'Club Foot' introduced the world to Kasabian with the same level of subtlety that Tom and Serge have been trotting out in the seven years since its release. That the band have become so huge yet this remains their live trump card tells you everything you need to know about the raw power at the heart of the tune. That they managed to...

 
 
 

Released: January 1997

Never before has depicting a monotonous life in a dreary society sounded so compelling. The third and final single from ‘OK Computer’ (and the first to be recorded for the album) remains one of Radiohead’s best-loved songs, its simplistic, almost childlike tune and gloomily observational lyric striking a chord as the millennium approached. Oh, and it’s got a great video too. (AW)

 
 
 

Released: June 1997

Listening back to everything Radiohead have done since 'OK Computer' is weird. Let Down sounds so...simple and unassuming. It's almost Byrdsian in its guitar sounds. But it's weighty, clever, sleek and soulful. How many times do you find yourself saying that about Radiohead in 2011? The best bit arrives at 3:37, when Thom just loses it amid the band's gloriously uplifting crescendo. "You know where you are," he...

 
 
 

Released: February 1998

Cornershop were – still are, actually – an underrated albums band who became defined by the one hit they had that took over the world and, in "Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow", germinated a phrase that should have been as all-encompasing in British culture as "am I bovvered?" The original version was a slowed, stretched guitar meander that only sounded right when delivered – as the band...

 
 
 

Released: July 2006

It’s all in the way she tells it. No-one else could simultaneously sound as world-weary and mischievous as Lily Allen delivering that line about her emotionally-retarded ex "fucking the girl next door…what d’you do that for?". In those ten-and-a-half words alone an exasperated modern female icon was born, bloomed and was shortly after hounded into an early retirement. Lily always said she’d made the...

 
 
 

Released: September 2008

It’s the most downloaded song by a female artist – ever – in the world. So clearly, you all like it. But that doesn’t really matter, does it? Because that single “P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face line will stay nestled in your skull for days on end, even if you hate it. Only the Gaga could make the line “bluffin’ with my muffin” both acceptable and cool. Besides, once you’ve had...

 
 
 

Released: March 2004

If pop is all about the eternal and ever present now now NOW, what more brilliantly ‘this is happening!’ opening statement than having the chorus of your first single feature a man shouting “FORMED A BAND! WE FORMED A BAND!” over and over? Still going strong, we regard Art Brut now with a warm affection, glad that someone’s still fighting the indie fight, old-school style. But when they play this,...

 
 
 

Released: March 2009

This eight-minute epic signalled the point that everything changed for The Horrors. After an underwhelming first album, many had written off the five-piece – until they heard this. The first taster from ‘Primary Colours’ showed the band had been absorbing their impeccable influences and creating something far more satisfying – in this instance an amalgamation of the motorik rhythms of Neu!, the intensity...

 
 
 
 
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