Thursday, 10 December 2009

Another year older...a little bit stronger

30. Shakira - Whenever, Wherever - 2002

A huge star across the world since the mid 1990's singing in Spanish, Colombian singer Shakira finally launched in the UK in 2002 with her first English album Laundry Service, although it still included a handful of Spanish language tracks. The fantastic Whenever, Wherever was the first taste of the album and the memorable video instantly became a hit making it seem like the song was a shoe-in for #1. Except she released it on the same week as Will Young's Evergreen, the biggest selling single of the decade. Nevertheless it's probably one of the defining #2 singles of the noughties and certainly one of Shakira's most popular singles. I still hear it daily on the radio!!! A fantastic pan-pipe dominated ode to distance in love with the quirky lyrics that we have come to love from the superstar. 'lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don't confuse them with mountains' was my favourite line!!!

29. Delta Goodrem - A Year Ago Today - 2003

The second Delta Goodrem album track to make an appearance, this song actually had a video filmed for it when Delta was 15 with her voice sounding incredibly different and a lot more high pitched. The ballad was revamped for the Innocent Eyes album and instantly became a favourite of mine, not least because I bought the album the same week as she was diagnosed with cancer, making this song seem all the more poignant and emotional. I think the lyrics are something that everybody can relate to. A moving ballad that becomes very uplifting in the last minute. I personally think this would have been a fantastic single but many fans criminally saw it as 'filler' so that wouldn't have happened. Beautiful song.

28. Delerium feat Sarah McLachlan - Silence - 2000

Yet ANOTHER dance song from 2000, the peak of commercial dance, Canadian dance act Delerium teamed up with hugely underrated (in the UK at least) and hugely influential singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan for a bizarre monk's convent sounding song called Silence. A series of remixes were produced including an epic 10 minute Tiesto remix and the UK radio edit, my favourite version, which was done by Airscape. Turning an odd church like song into a defining dance anthem is no mean feat, but this really was the classiest dance song of 2000. Absolutely breathtaking and a deserved UK top three hit!!!

27. Madonna - Hung Up - 2005

After the commercial flop of 2003's American Life era, the queen of pop Madonna returned to dance music, but instead of the funk/house influences of 2000's Music and the chillout influences of Ray Of Light, she went full on trance/techno with the Confessions On A Dancefloor era. First single Hung Up sampled Abba's Gimme Gimme Gimme and was an absolute club stormer, easily her best single since 1998. Adding a pulsating dance beat to the classic, she used the sample brilliantly and layered a fantastic new chorus over the top. Easily my favourite Madonna single of the decade, pop perfection.

26. Delta Goodrem - Born To Try - 2003

The first 3 months of 2003, as I've said, were generally terrible. I genuinely thought that music had died. However, in April 2003 I heard a song that literally took me over - a beautiful piano ballad by somebody with an incredible voice. I found that the song was by a girl called Delta Goodrem who played Nina Tucker in Neighbours. I was astonished - from that point onwards I started watching Neighbours just to see this girl. It wasn't long until she became my favourite singer, and the sole saviour of 2003 musically. Her vocals on this song, considering she was 16 when she recorded it, are sensational, particularly after the key change. The song was a surprise top 3 hit in the UK and launched her as a successful artist for the next couple of years...I only wish that the success had continued...The song was rumoured to be in contention for the X Factor winner's single last year but it never happened...if only Simon had chosen it over The Climb this year instead :(

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