WE’RE HALF-WAY THROUGH. Too. Much. Excitement. Yesterday we ploughed through our countdown of the best 50 tunes of 2010 (here’s numbers 50-41, here’s 40-31) and today we continue at pace into the Top 30.
Remember if you passionately disagree you can vote in our readers’ poll to decide your best and worst ‘pop things’ of 2010.
And again, a reminder that these are just our opinions, and the rankings are not based on official sales.
30. Rihanna – ‘Only Girl (In The World)’
October, Peak #1
On its first week of release, this new cut from Rihanna’s ‘Loud’ LP became the 2nd-fastest selling non-charity single of the year. Unfortunately the fastest-selling non-charity single of the year – ‘Promise This’ – was out on the same week, and ‘Only Girl’ had to snuggle in at No2 instead. Fortunately however RiRi was able to rise to the top spot the following week, and even stayed there long enough to stop Take That’s comeback single taking the top spot.
29. Take That – The Flood
November, Peak #2
The blokeband returned with Robbie Williams in tow, and on the back of Gary and Robbie’s not-great duet ‘Shame’ came ‘The Flood’, an almighty Gary Barlow classic with a stormer of a chorus and some typically uplifting lyrics. Not only one but two performances on ‘The X Factor’ failed to get the track to No1, but considering the album has sold 1.5 million copies in a month we’re gonna say c’est la vie.
28. Nicole – Poison
December, Peak #3
Nicole’s first stab at a solo career resulted in a couple of flop singles and an album that never even got released; but second time around, on the back of a well-recieved guest stint on ‘The X Factor’ judging panel and one of the best guest performances the show has ever seen, RedOne powertune ‘Poison’ charged into the Top 3 and guaranteed the former Pussycat Doll a better crack of the solo whip.
27. Alexandra Burke feat. Pitbull – ‘All Night Long’
May, Peak #4
Easily the best track on the ‘Overcome’ album, ‘All Night Long’ was given an obligatory make-over by rent-a-rapper Pitbull; and although it didn’t quite manage to match the glory of the original album cut, it certainly helped Burkey top the disappointing No8 peak of ‘Broken Heels’ and was accompanied by a GaGa-esque house party video with CRAYOLA GLASSES. To date this is probably our favourite single of hers. Yes, even better than ‘Bad Boys’. Just.
26. B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars – ‘Nothin On You’
May, Peak #1
Two of 2010′s hottest finds made their UK breakthroughs together with ‘Nothin On You’, a lovely reassurance to The One that she is the only girl ‘he’ has eyes for. The track waltzed to number one with an exceedingly healthy 85,000 first-week sales, and gave guest vocalist Mars his first stepping stone to independent superstardom. Look out for both B.o.B and Bruno later on in our countdown.
25. Emma’s Imagination – ‘Focus’
October, Peak #7
For a show that had 90+% fewer viewers than ‘The X Factor’, the contestants of ‘Must Be The Music’ did remarkably well chart-wise. Champ Emma’s Imagination was rightfully one of the biggest sellers, scoring two Top 10 hits within weeks of each-other. ‘Focus’ managed to match the chart peak of also-rans Pepper & Piano’s ‘You Took My Heart’, with its haunting acoustic sound and lovely soft vocals from Emma. And good news! There’s an album out in early January thanks to a record deal from a certain Mr Barlow.
24. Marina and the Diamonds – ‘Hollywood’
February, Peak #12
Marina Diamondis had a pretty cool year, managing a Top 5 album and a string of radio-friendly pop singles that even readers of NME were allowed to like. ‘Hollywood’, her breakout single, was a perfect introduction with its kooky vocals and lyrics that stayed just on the right side of cliché. Co-incidentally ‘I Am Not A Robot’ was a contender for a very high position on our run-down, but having technically been first released in 2009 we had to exclude it.
23. The Script – ‘For The First Time’
September, Peak #4
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Script’s breed of pop-rock is always a dead cert to tug on the heartstrings, and with an epic video to accompany it, ‘For The First Time’ guaranteed them a massive comeback with a single still hot on the radio and an album that’s spent only two weeks outside the Top 20 (and even those were spent at #21) since its release fourteen weeks ago. It’s good to have them back.
22. Example – ‘Kickstarts’
June, Peak #3
Following the examples set by Tinchy, Chipmunk and Dizzee in 2009, Example made the urban-to-pop crossover in 2010 with fantastic results. Album ‘Won’t Go Quietly’ was a fantastic collection of hip-pop tunes, with ‘Kickstarts’ the obvious highlight. Sounding brilliant on the radio and brilliant in a club, it gave him his most successful single to date when it was released back in June.
21. Charlotte Church – ‘Back To Scratch’
October, did not chart
Charlotte Church grew up for her return to music, with an album of Radio 2-style love songs that were a far cry from the ‘Crazy Chick’/'Call My Name’ days of yore. Singles-wise, it couldn’t really have gone any worse – both ‘Back To Scratch’ and ‘Logical World’ failed to register at all on the UK Singles Charts, but the album at least managed to show its head at #23. Don’t be fooled though – ‘Back To Scratch’ especially is a mature and strangely uptempo ode to heartbreak with some real emotional resonance. Shame about the odd video.
30 down, 20 to go. Tomorrow we enter our Top 20 with two of the year’s biggest No1 singles and two under-rated singles that charted outside the Top 40…