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.

30If I Had A Heart

A song so full of tension that that even after multiple listens (which it will compel you to) you’re no closer to understanding the extent of its power.

29She Wolf

Featuring a funky bassline and sex robot vocals, ‘She Wolf’ was a nu-pop anthem for the ages penned by the unlikely hand of The Bravery’s Sam Endicott.


Propelled by shuffling drums and characterised by beautiful boy/girl vocals, 'Islands' retains all the starkness that made so many fall for its creators.


A terrifyingly compulsive, buoyantly innocent sugar-rush combining Mario-bleeps and heart-in-mouth desperation, the only sane response to which was bouncing, flailing, and then pressing ‘play’ again.

26Hooting And Howling

A slice of exquisite English eccentricity worthy of Kate Bush herself, even in a renaissance year for the strange and the left of field, these confessions of rowdy revelry and lust still sounded like nothing else out there.

25That Golden Rule

The lead single from ‘Only Revolutions’, 'That Golden Rule' perfectly captured the fast-grunge/orchestral battle scenes formula of new-era Biffy.


The vulnerable girlette of ‘Quicksand’ became an androgynous, adamantium-clad automaton that marched ever onwards up the charts on the back of this bouncy, bubbly wonder.

23Stillness Is The Move

Gives wiry post-punk a liquid, libidinal R&B weave that stems from a genuine fondness for late-’90s black soul.


It might not have been ecstatic enough to sell satellite TV, but The Big Pink’s second single certainly crystallised the decade; the circuit-blowing culmination of new shoe with an ultramodern throbtronic pulse and a filthy smack-rock stench to its trouser.

21Poker Face

As well as being an utter TUNE, Pah-Pah-Pah 'Poker Face' signalled the arrival of an extraordinary star, the best since Ma-Ma-Ma Madonna was good.

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