2009 was the year that Lily Allen returned to music after a couple of years of basically just being gobby in the papers, it was the year that saw Jay-Z make a spectacular comeback with some killer collaborations, and the year that Sugababes basically imploded. And so continues our list of the 50 best singles of the year.
OH IT’S GETTING VERY VERY TENSE ISN’T IT. (…)
20. Sugababes – ‘About A Girl’
November, Peak #8
“RedOne. Sugababes” announced new member Jade Ewen, and Sugababes Version 4 was officially off to a great start. ‘About A Girl’, like ‘Get Sexy’, sounded a far cry from the likes of ‘Push The Button’ and ‘About You Now’, but with its thumping production and its 90s europop middle-8 it was an absolute tune nonetheless.
19. Pixie Lott – ‘Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)’
June, Peak #1
Perhaps one of the most surprising chart-toppers of the year, ‘Mama Do’ signalled the arrival of Essex girl Pixie Lott, with its catchy pop hook and lyrics relatable to teenage girls the nation over. Not the most dazzling number one single of the year by any means, but certainly a pleasant surprise.
18. Lady Gaga – ‘Bad Romance’
November, Peak #1
Loathed by some, loved by many; Lady Gaga has been the most notorious newcomer of 2009. ‘Bad Romance’ signalled in the deluxe edition of her squillion-selling debut album, with what looks like one of the most expensive videos of the year to accompany it and a typically outrageous performance on ‘The X Factor’.
17. Miley Cyrus – ‘Party In The USA’
October, Peak #11
Let the snobs roll their eyes – Miley hit the bullseye with ‘Party In The USA’, a smooth contemporary pop anthem penned by Dr Luke (Avril’s ‘Girlfriend’, Katy’s ‘I Kissed A Girl’, Britney’s ‘Circus’) that thanks to criminally low promotion just failed to crack the UK Top 10. It gives shout-outs to Britney and Jay-Z, for crying out loud!
16. The Saturdays – ‘Work’
June, Peak #22
Live performances have sort of exposed The Saturdays as slightly under-par vocally, but on record you can’t deny a few of their tunes are pretty impressive. ‘Work’ remains their best effort to date, despite its relatively poor chart performance, thanks to its buckets of attitude and killer chorus.
15. 30 Seconds To Mars – ‘Kings and Queens’
December, Peak #28
Apparently Fearne Cotton’s favourite track of the year, ‘Kings and Queens’ is only the third UK single for 30 Seconds To Mars, the calling card for new album ‘This Is War’ and a recent regular on the Radio 1 A-List. ‘Kings and Queens’ is anthemic in a way that deserves full-on hands in the air, top of the voice attention, and hopefully there won’t be another billion-year wait before they achieve it again.
14. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys – ‘Empire State of Mind’
October, Peak #2
Perhaps the best “love song about a location” of 2009, ‘Empire State of Mind’ was so appealing it charged to the top end of the charts ages before its official release as a single. Thanks to some killer vocal work from Alicia Keys and a great arrangement from Mr Z, this deserved its superb commercial performance and is one of the best singles from the careers of either artist.
13. Alexandra Burke feat. Flo Rida – ‘Bad Boys’
October, Peak #1
From its siren-heavy, Flo Rida-induced introduction it’s clear that Burke will be no Leona. “Alexandra girl” effortlessly makes ‘Bad Boys’ an irresistible pop/R’n’B gem and Flo Rida’s rap, including the declaration that with even the alphabet Alexandra “only sings the crooked letters”, is one of 2009’s most surprising guest appearances. What on Earth is in store for Joe McElderry?!
12. Lily Allen – ‘The Fear’
February, Peak #1
Lily made a spectacular return to pop in 2009 with one of the year’s best albums and this surprisingly successful single. With its dark sound and cynical lyrics, ‘The Fear’ charged to the top of the charts in February and remained there for quite some time, proof that behind the gobby tabloid favourite is a bloody good popstar.
11. Pixie Lott – ‘Cry Me Out’
December, Peak #12
We’ve said many times that Pixie Lott is like a good old fashioned popstar, and in true good old fashioned popstar fashion she followed up two upbeat singles with a sweeping winter ballad. The video for ‘Cry Me Out’ was admittedly horrendous (where was the snow and candles and big winter coat?!) but the song itself is brilliant, and houses that brilliant opening line “I got your emails, you just don’t get females…”.
So what do you reckon has made our Top 10?