The Top 40 Singles of 2004

By: Stylus Staff

Posted 12/06/2004 - 09:36:43 AM by beercan:
 Liz Phair? LIZ PHAIR? When's the last time you guys had a CAT scan? At least your rated the Libertines slightly higher. Good move. Now at least some of your readers will come back.
Posted 12/06/2004 - 10:01:38 AM by IanMathers:
 Careful with the invective, beercan; you might strain something.
Posted 12/06/2004 - 10:18:40 AM by DomPassantino:
 The Libertines make music? I thought they were just the world's worst soap opera.
Posted 12/06/2004 - 10:24:30 AM by MyNameIsKenny:
 For the record, I liked "Why Can't I." I did. The chorus wasn't any good, but the verses were great. "Extraordinary" is so fucking bad I still can't believe how so fucking bad it is. How many votes did it have to get to get on the list?
Posted 12/06/2004 - 10:38:43 AM by Sotoalf:
 I''m glad I wasn't alone in thinking that "Can't Stand Me Now" is just beautiful: those call-and-response vocals, the guitar intro, the harmonica.... And a slap on the back to Anthony, for defending a single (and, by extension, an album) too many people are too hung up on the past about to even finish listening to it.
Posted 12/06/2004 - 10:58:25 AM by Bombastico:
 Hell yes on the Caparezza. I heard that in Italy this summer and damn! Thanks for telling me what the title was--now maybe I can find a copy.
Posted 12/06/2004 - 11:46:59 AM by NickSouthall:
 Who is Liz Phair? I dislike The Libertines.
Posted 12/06/2004 - 01:02:11 PM by MacGee:
 beercan, beercan, beercan. What were you thinking? CAT scans are about as 'now' as an album by The Alan Parsons Project. Get with the project, baby: MRI is where its at. You dig?
Posted 12/06/2004 - 05:30:00 PM by badhaircut:
 Ugh. I haven't even heard half of these so far.
Posted 12/06/2004 - 07:08:50 PM by edwardo:
 I had an MRI last year - all was normal! Liz Phair is OK! Believe me, I'm neurologically sound! ("Why Can't I" was better, though).
Posted 12/06/2004 - 07:25:31 PM by ddrake:
 It is my fault Fox n Wolf aren't any higher; I apologize for not voting for them. That said, "Move Ya Body" is a bit too low (although, when the single came out I thought I was gonna be the ONLY one voting for it on this list!) ;)
Posted 12/06/2004 - 08:33:15 PM by IanMathers:
 Nah, I love Nina Sky (and so do others), although the first time through I voted for "Oye Mi Canto" instead. Can't say I ever got into Fox N' Wolf, though.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 02:48:16 AM by IanMathers:
 Day 2 and holy shit, I cannot believe "Goodies" is so low. Ah well. They can't all be winners.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 03:47:32 AM by ddrake:
 Man, people really liked that Estelle song. It must be a british thing.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 04:38:46 AM by DomPassantino:
 Americans didn't "get" Mel and Kim either. Fules.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 06:54:50 AM by RavingLunatic:
 So far, way too much hip-hop for my tastes. I'll tune into MTV or some popular music award show if I want that kind of garbage.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 07:24:25 AM by Sotoalf:
 Gee, RavingLunatic, sorry to disappoint you. I didn't think there was still people in 2004 who dislike hip-hop. You believe white boys with guitars are the only viable music makers?
Posted 12/07/2004 - 07:37:23 AM by gragy10:
 Broadly agree so far- nice to see Who Could Win A Rabbit make an appearance. Though 2 Morrissey singles seems.....quaint
Posted 12/07/2004 - 07:40:12 AM by AUnterberger:
 #29 seems about right for "Goodies," actually.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 08:37:37 AM by JoshLove:
 I actually really liked the Estelle, David. Of the 6-7 songs I hadn't heard before we voted, it was far and away my favorite and the only one I put in my top 20.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 12:52:31 PM by ddrake:
 Yeah the two Morrissey songs thing is weird too. Will two Kanye songs make it? Doubtful.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 01:37:16 PM by Slumberlord:
 The two Morrissey songs should have been switched, "First of the Gang to Die" was one of the only songs I hadn't heard prior to voting that really impressed me. IBEH isn't nearly as good.
Posted 12/07/2004 - 03:24:41 PM by IanMathers:
 Andrew, them's fightin' words.
Posted 12/08/2004 - 12:03:28 AM by rollie_p:
 I fucking hate that Estelle song. It's so polished and boring to me. Same with "Modern Times". Where ever this shit is coming from, I'm not quite feeling the 'made-for-TV' approach. On the other hand, the Fox & Wolf song is fucking genius and should be much higher up. Same for Jason Forrest.
Posted 12/08/2004 - 02:39:16 AM by ddrake:
 Oof, that Streets song is painfully high. I'm sorry I voted for it (at 20, people, relax).
Posted 12/08/2004 - 05:14:17 AM by DomPassantino:
 My God MIA looks like Tracey Emin in that photo.
Posted 12/08/2004 - 06:37:22 AM by Havalina:
 Haven't heard loads of these! I'd agree that First Of The Gang To Die is definitely a better song than Irish Blood English Heart. Also Can't Stand Me Now is a great song by a less-than-great band. Nice to see The Streets, Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire on there. And I'd say we already do have two Kanye West singles, if we're counting Slow Jamz. Through The Wire was better than either though :)
Posted 12/08/2004 - 09:32:31 AM by gragy10:
 If there's gonna be 2 kanye songs then slow jamz is a definite but jesus walks?... I thought overblown arrangement pomposity and graceless lyrical observations was only a sign of genius for rock bands. And fuck a multi demographic video strategy too. Not the biggest Streets fan in the world and haven't seen the top 10, but Fit But You Know It over Blinded By The Lights would be a bit of a disappointment too
Posted 12/08/2004 - 04:12:31 PM by callheraction:
 god i hate ratatat, but 17 years and ephiliophunk are some of the most bomb joints of the year. i think they should have just been a singles act and not went out with an entire album. alot of bands put out mediocre records that would have made amazing eps. futureheads, i'm looking at you.
Posted 12/08/2004 - 06:12:02 PM by IanMathers:
 I'm genuinely intrigued - what would you keep for a perfect Futureheads EP?
Posted 12/08/2004 - 07:07:53 PM by brandon1025:
 I am sorry to see that so many of us fail to give the Animal Collective the credit they deserve. "Who could win a Rabbit" should be in the top 5, hands down, with a bullet, etc. I am also sorta pleasantly suprised to see "Float On" so high... I thought that song would have lost most of its indie cred by now, as I hear it thumping through the soccer mom's van next to me at the stoplight...
Posted 12/08/2004 - 11:08:37 PM by Hexagon:
 Fit But You Know It is indeed utterly ace. But his best single? Clearly not. Weak Become Heroes.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:27:51 AM by J.Timmermann:
 Oh no!! Not Franz Ferdinand!!!!!
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:33:06 AM by Hexagon:
 I'm assuming Stand Up Tall is in the top five. Or at least, it better be.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:47:57 AM by ddrake:
 "The Rat" in the fucking top ten and no placement for "Lean Back"? And I don't think I need to say anything for everyone to realize how displeased I am that Franz Ferdinand is supposed to have released the single of the year.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:51:51 AM by ddrake:
 And to prove I'm not a rock-hater, I think "Float On" is better than "Take Me Out" and "The Rat."
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:52:02 AM by AUnterberger:
 Oh no!! Not Franz Ferdinand!!!!!

Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:54:19 AM by AUnterberger:
 It took me until this list to really realize that "Take Me Out" absolutely deserves to be #1 on this list, whether or not it was necessarily my favorite (and it almost is, too).
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:59:39 AM by ddrake:
 Yeah totally andrew. I mean, it even used real instruments. sorry folks i'm just being bitter. i know you're not ALL rockists.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 01:00:45 AM by ddrake:
Posted 12/09/2004 - 01:29:31 AM by MFgill:
 I'm very glad Annie & The Knife made the top ten. Also, Undo & Vicknoise should not be slept on if you are into schaeffel/house/etc.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 01:45:50 AM by J.Timmermann:
 Earth to Andrew: I like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, too!
Posted 12/09/2004 - 01:47:18 AM by Hexagon:
 Shocking. Bland little paint-by-numbers indie guitar minor classic that no one will remember in six months.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 02:03:14 AM by MattChesnut:
 Andrew, you and I both know the true number one is "White Tee". Additionally, "The Rat" is Tito compared to "Little House of Savages."
Posted 12/09/2004 - 02:04:28 AM by Klenches:
 "Love Machine" is infinitely more awesome than "The Show," "Dry Your Eyes" and "Could Well Be In" are better than "Fit But You Know It," "Dream" is better than "Stand Up Tall," "Your Cover's Blown" has been overlooked instead of "I'm A Cuckoo" (although I guess the Avalanches remix makes up for it), I enjoy "Free" more than "1980", "Comfortably Numb" is a lot more fun than that "Take Your Mama", "1, 2 Step" rules over "Goodies," And "I Have Forgiven Jesus" is best Moz has done in awhile... I could go on forever, if only "Heartbeat" had been released as a single
Posted 12/09/2004 - 02:21:30 AM by AUnterberger:
 "1, 2 Step" is not better than "Goodies". It's only be a month or so and I can't even listen to the song on the radio anymore.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 02:40:47 AM by ddrake:
 Andrew is OTM (for once) about Goodies >>> 12step
Posted 12/09/2004 - 04:51:55 AM by furiousgeorge:
 im saddened by the fact that ted leo and the pharmacists - me and mia isnt there
Posted 12/09/2004 - 05:00:46 AM by gragy10:
 Ok - I've failed to 'get' any of the top 3 so far but fuck it; Ghostface is at #4 and that makes any other bitching points irrelevant
Posted 12/09/2004 - 09:09:15 AM by AlexMacpherson:
 Klenches forgot to mention that "Tush" is like way better than "Run". The indie I haven't heard of aside, I was LOVING that list right up until No 1. "Take Me Out" ahead of "Toxic" and "Yeah" is mind-boggling.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 09:11:10 AM by DomPassantino:
 Yes, but "Run" is the most homoerotic single in, like, ever.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 09:56:42 AM by JoshLove:
 I actually gave you a shout-out in that Ghostface blurb, Dom, but Todd edited it out. Originally it read : "Then Jada takes his shirt off and goes in (I see you snicker, Dom!), and kills it too, methodical and calculated and pragmatic (and ashthmatic) where Ghost was all reaction."
Posted 12/09/2004 - 09:59:58 AM by JoshLove:
 And David, I definitely agree with you that "Take Me Out" and "The Rat" are both too high, but "Lean Back" was mad corny, the remix was pretty hot I'll admit, but the original was one of the most lukewarm summer jams evah.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 10:31:41 AM by Sotoalf:
 I voted for "Michael" rather than "Take Me Out." The former seems more striking from every angle; it's got a better get-out-of-bed guitar hook, fantastic call-and-response harmonies, and a subject all too rarely written explored in rock except as subtext (straight guy with the momentary hots for a sexy boy).
Posted 12/09/2004 - 11:33:47 AM by markovse:
 Enough with Kanye West. Completely overrated, and how on earth did Masta Killa not get on this list? About three tracks from No Said Date are greatly superior to most of the hip-hop listed. Also, can't believe the Black Keys got no representation.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 11:48:27 AM by IanMathers:
 Jeeze, I would have thought it was obvious that "Take Me Out" took first because lots of us voted for it, albeit not necessarily near the top. Many of us may have had stronger feelings for other singles, but the ones we "agree on" (for lack of a better term) wind up near the top. The run from 10-7 did make me think our top ten might have been flawless, though, until I scrolled down and saw Usher. Oh, and the other "Yeah" is boring as hell, too.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 11:59:23 AM by danielboroughs:
 YOU guys did a great number here but for me Girls Aloud falls flat and you fucked the whold top ten streak up with TOXIC! That bitch should just stick to fucking her husband doing lines in her studio, while perfecting her lip-synching technique. Sorry, but Spears when is she going to switch over to porn. Hey nice props to Drop it like its Hot and deffy droppin' the Walkmen on there and Dizzee....Fuck I'm just repeating what you cats just posted. Nice stuff cheers lovely stylus cheers!
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:02:06 PM by danielboroughs:
 yo i forgot to say you also blew it with placing Usher in on there. Fuck that song but love those dance moves. He's like the son of Michael Jackson who came out straight and black...and stayed black. He's always a sunny spot on the dancefloor.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:14:34 PM by IanMathers:
 Also, although "Goodies" in infinitely superior, I actually like "1, 2 Step". And it's been over a month. Maybe it's a Jazze Pha thing?
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:34:45 PM by dysphonic:
 respect respect respect to franz ferdinand!! but what the hell is britney doing at #2?!!?!? And where are the killers?!!!?
Posted 12/09/2004 - 12:46:08 PM by jlynch:
 Anyone hating on either "Yeah" tracks are utterly mental, and have obviously not been to a club at all this year. Personally, i thought the top 10 was great despite the few token indie tracks, and has given me a lot to check out. I can't say i agree with "Take Me Out" though, a track that gets more underwhelming every time i hear it.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 03:12:56 PM by AUnterberger:
 And where are the killers?!!!?

One of the only truly unfortunate omissions on this list.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 03:27:37 PM by IanMathers:
 Woah. For some bizarre reason, my last post here was transferred to an old Muse review (WTF?). Here it is again: "Well, admittedly, I _haven't_ been to a club all year. Although the ones in this town would never play LCD Soundsystem anyway, so I guess I'm doomed to dislike it. As for the Killers... well, you can't win them all. I personally think "Mr. Brightside" is top 5, but that's life. One important thing: I don't think _any_ of these tracks, indie or not, are "token" selections."
Posted 12/09/2004 - 05:24:56 PM by deamous:
 I might flip #1 and #2 -- and then again, I might not. The other 38 are up for grabs.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 05:38:52 PM by petebromaghim:
 I'll be the positive guy: an excellent list, great mix of radio-friendly and not so much... Despite my usual rocking and manly self, "Neighborhood #1" makes me weepy. And for Ms. Spears, hate her all you want, but if you don't love "toxic," well, a guy like you should wear a warning. Can i get a name of who wrote that song?
Posted 12/09/2004 - 05:43:47 PM by jlynch:
 Ian, you're right. none of these tracks are token. I've heard most of the entire top 40 and don't really not like any of them, except for perhaps the Liz Phair. in fact, i'm actually quite delighted The Rat made the list at all (Top 10 or not), as it was released so long ago. Are you going to post the individual lists? it would be interesting to see where "Take Me Out" placed. it would also help to understand how "Your Cover's Blown" got snubbed by a much much inferior track.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 05:59:46 PM by ddrake:
 Ian's final point very OTM - although I have been (and will continue to) complain about various placings or whatever, this list is definitely infinitely more diverse and less tokenistic than most year-end lists we'll see this year.
Posted 12/09/2004 - 07:02:31 PM by IanMathers:
 Individual lists will be posted tomorrow. Interestingly enough, jlynch, I never even thought about voting for "Your Cover's Blown", since it was the lead track of an EP and (rightly or wrongly) I don't consider EPs singles. They aren't eligible for the charts, for example. But come on - do you really not love "I'm A Cuckoo"?
Posted 12/09/2004 - 10:06:46 PM by WBSwygart:
 Erm, the 'Books' EP got to #20 in the UK when it was released...
Posted 12/09/2004 - 10:09:12 PM by WBSwygart:
 But yes, at the same time, it does feel very odd voting for a song that's not the 'main' track on a single - in the case of 'Books', that would have been 'Wrapped Up In Books'. Which wouldn't have quite been the same.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 12:30:10 AM by IanMathers:
 Oops, my bad. Guess I should have said I never think of them as being chart eligible.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 02:51:24 AM by ddrake:
 I'm surprised there were so few votes for "Rubberband Man."
Posted 12/10/2004 - 04:40:10 AM by deadbody:
 Stylus staff is pretty consistent with its terrible taste in music. Great job, guys.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 06:18:10 AM by NickSouthall:
 Deadbody is pretty consistent in not actually liking music at all.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 06:31:16 AM by ddrake:
 deadbody, why don't you post your own top 10?
Posted 12/10/2004 - 09:41:29 AM by hutlock:
 I appear to be the only Stylus person who voted for "Your Cover's Blown" actually, which shocked me. And yes, EPs are singles -- Extended Play Singles, in fact. That's where the "EP" name comes from. Granted, the EP has a different context now than it did then, but still...
Posted 12/10/2004 - 09:49:55 AM by Slumberlord:
 Am I the only one who thinks "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" is a better song than "99 Problems"? I can't believe no one else voted for it.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 11:26:13 AM by hot_doorknobs:
 ddrake OTM about "rubberband man". anyone heard the jose gonzales vesion of "heartbeats"? reimagined as a nick drakian guy and guitar thing. it holds up pretty well in my opinion.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 06:51:18 PM by IanMathers:
 I kept meaning to post this, but I'll mention it now: That picture for #7 makes it look like she's going to eat your soul. So creepy.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 08:57:56 PM by wmurch3:
 I cried tears of joy when The Walkmen played "The Rat" during their last Grand Rapids show. Seriously.
Posted 12/10/2004 - 10:25:40 PM by snowface:
Posted 12/11/2004 - 02:14:50 AM by KyleMcConaghy:
 wmurch3, I share your sentiment for live Walkmen. The two Walkmen shows I have seen were both some of the best concerts I have ever attended. Their staple closer, “Rue the Day”, probably had more cathartic effect on me than any other musical moment experienced during my short life.
Posted 12/14/2004 - 03:09:42 PM by MyNameIsKenny:
 Twista consumes dollars for sustenance!
Posted 12/16/2004 - 01:12:36 PM by camlindsay:
 Umm...did you guys completely miss out on Bloc Party or what? They released four singles, all of which were more than worthy of your list. Kudos for picking The Knife, though it should of been Top 20. And Annie should have been Top 5.