Welcome to the tracks that rocked our world over the past year. Disagree with our choices? You can vote your own favourites to the top, over on the Tracks Of 2009 Reader Poll.
You'll also find our 50 albums of the year here.
Plus, to read all-new reviews of the 50 best albums and tracks of the year, plus all the trends that defined the year, pick up the new issue of NME, on sale from Wednesday December 9.
Here's hoping the UK takes a hint or two from our transatlantic brethren in 2010 and heeds their sombre solicitations
Despite the title - and lyrics such as "you are the bearer of a womb without love" - this track won them a following in the US, and deservedly so.
Can the Jarmans still compete now they can tie their shoelaces properly?
‘Cheat On Me’ showed that yes they can, sharing the same skies with the scrappy glories of the past, yet proving the addition of Marr was no hollow gimmick.
Florence Welch's enchanting pop songs were irresistible this year
In ‘Drumming Song’, she created possibly one of the most intensely passionate and physically aching love songs we’ve ever heard.
Given that their first album was as frothy as luxury bubble bath, it was inevitable The Maccabees would darken the tone on their second
What wasn’t inevitable, however, was that the results would be this good.
A cast-iron affirmation of both his confidence and skill
Turning a familiar playground taunt into something irresistibly catchy, this was a welcome return from the King Of New York.
This year’s anthem for a lazy summer
This beautiful track saw the Brooklyn boys reimagining The Beach Boys’ classic pop for a colder century.
Has there been a more consistent singles band than Friendly Fires?
This dancefloor bomb was a perfect example of their ability to write cheeky, brilliant hooks, drenched in euphoria.
Thundering drums, big fat horns, harmonies and one almighty “WOOOO!”
They’re now using this track to single-handedly teach trainee rock tykes around the world how to hand-on-heart sing.
The Manics return to relevance with their best tune in aeons
Richey Edwards begged questions of adultery, James Dean Bradfield made his guitar sound like a siren and they stuck in a maddeningly catchy chorus - perfect.
Elly’s voice never embodied heartbreak more sharply
As she cast off unhealthy love and walked away through a pinball-machine of sound, she held her quiff high.