Top 10 Music of the Decade

There are plenty of Top 10 lists of pop or metal or trance or other styles of music. Yet the Noughties is the decade of most change in the history of music. There are plenty of other milestones throughout the course of music history but there is one enormous difference in the decade just gone.

Our top 10 list therefore is not an attempt to compare classical music milestones versus hip hop, or to say that Britney Spears has been the most influential musician on the planet (although planet-wide searches would seem to suggest just that as Britney topped search engine lists from many countries in various years throughout the decade).  However, “planet-wide” is a clue to our focus:

For the first time ever it has been possible for a significant event in music to be available to virtually every country on the planet. This means every fan now has the chance to be connected to musicians to whatever degree they like.

The importance of this fact is revealed in the way Google search top 10 lists will now include manga from Japan alongside a Spanish social network platform. Goodbye president of the United States or British royalty.

Web 2.0 imageNo longer can the traditional newspapers and magazines determine our topics of conversation, nor how wide or deep we follow our interests. Therefore our Top 10 Music of the Decade is as much about context (aka access) as about content.

1. Web 2.0
Without the astonishing array of software and platforms now available, most of the list below would not exist.

Apple iTunes image2. iTunes and Podcasts
Apple not only destroyed the music distribution cartels and marketing-led charts, it provided an enormous doorway into niche interests that had previously been in back corners of just a few music retailers. With anywhere up to 80% market share of digital downloads, depending on country, no-one comes close to Apple in modern music distribution.

But as well as obscure blues or folk or world music, Podcasts enabled millions of fans to access millions of ‘broadcasters’ from ABC or the BBC through to Stephen Fry or “How Stuff Works”. Never before has such a range of high-quality music and special-interest broadcasts been available from one platform and at zero or minimal cost.

Apple iPod image3. iPod
Sony was a great pioneer of portable music with the Walkman but the sheer simplicity and elegance of the iPod, coupled with Dolby quality sound and access-anywhere distribution, lifted the device head and shoulders above the competition.

Last.FM image4. Last.FM
While most other music-streaming services encountered problems (Pandora blocked outside the USA, imeem shut down, Spotify’s failures), Last.FM has stayed at the forefront with a hard-to-beat mix of excellent music, startlingly accurate analysis of music styles and recommendations, plus great social-network features.

YouTube Profile image5. YouTube
With millions of views on millions of video clips every day, plus a huge percentage of those views being of music-related clips, YouTube has overtaken and greatly extended the place previously occupied by MTV.

MySpace Music image6. MySpace
Although no longer the main source for unsigned music and fan information, MySpace is still one of the important channels.

Twitter on iPhone image7. Twitter
There have been a number of social and political scoops via Twitter but for music the Rage Against The Machine campaign (#RATM and #ratm4xmas) resulted in the first singles chart No.1 ever that was exclusively due to digital downloads. Although the concept was announced via Facebook, the Twitter campaign made RATM a trending topic, helping encourage over 500,000 people to download the song Killing In The Name. The RATM campaign was able to outsell 19 million X Factor fans.

Sony Ericsson W850 Walkman image8. Mobile Phone
The iPhone astounded and outsold most individual models of the entrenched and complacent mobile phone companies, as well as delivering one great benefit – most mobiles are now very capable portable music devices. What Apple, iTunes, iPod and the iPhone created has been adopted by every major mobile technology company. Users have Apple to thank for that particular music revolution.

Peer-to-Peer image9. Peer-to-Peer
Although the fundamental question of whether an owner of a song or movie should be allowed to share it with friends is still being debated, the online sharing and download technologies were advanced enormously during the development of peer-to-peer. It is likely that most P2P will be replaced by streaming platforms in the near future, but no review of the Noughties is complete without a Top 10 rank for peer-to-peer.

Wikipedia Ying Yang image10. Blogs and Wikipedia
There are a few print magazines that cover specific genres of music but keen fans now use blogs and other online sources for information, everything from detailed histories and biographies on Wikipedia through to instant updates via Twitter.

Facebook Top Status Trends of 2009 – Parochial? Moi?

The conclusions in our previous post relating to Facebook (see below) have been supported by the platform itself. In releasing their Top Status Trends of 2009, Facebook confirm the generic and parochial nature of its content.

As you can see from their chart, Facebook is overloaded with its “applications” which in most cases are self-play games that users try to get their friends to join. The No.2 concern of Facebookers is self-woe in various forms, courtesy of the F**K My Life tag, with No.3 continuing a more specific self-concern.

We’re still not cheerful even at No.4 with its obsession over Celebrity Deaths and self-focus continues at No.5 with Family. Facebookers manage something other than self at Numbers 6 and 7 and then it’s back to self-concern with No.8 Health Care.

Facebook top status trends 2009

While it may seem harsh to say most Facebookers are concerned with self and family, No.9 is the self-referencing FB and No.11 is also a focus on self in relation to milestones. No.13 is undoubedtly my-Yard and No.15 is as explicit as can be – “I”.

Conclusion: Facebook is the place to be if your interests are yourself.

Reference:

Why YouTube is more important than Facebook

MTV Top Women of the Year 2009

Lady GaGa 2009

Lady GaGa in a Ziggy moment

With sales of singles and albums topping most lists around the world, Lady GaGa had a tremendous 2009. MTV has put together its list of the “Top Women of 2009” and there is a surprising range.

As expected, music is to the forefront yet there are many styles represented. The addition of Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame is intriguing as she is one of the less-celebrity-minded young film stars, often criticised for her moody, even gothic image.

Taylor Swift mixes cute and glamour with ease

Taylor Swift mixes cute and glamour with ease

The year belongs to Lady GaGa for music and style and attitude as she conquered the charts and our hearts and minds. Style icon? You bet! Perhaps no surprise, though, that Adam Lambert of American Idol named Lady GaGa as his personal Woman of the Year. Lambert declared, “Everyone knows that I get all obsessed over her.”

Lady Gaga’s album The Fame was responsible for hit singles but also proved to be a thematic triumph. In our view very few people since the Ziggy days of David Bowie have made such an impact in terms of futuristic style.

Here, then, is the MTV list of the Top Women of 2009:

Kristen Stewart is more the rebel

Kristen Stewart is more the rebel

1. Lady Gaga

2. Taylor Swift

3. Rihanna

4. Beyoncé

5. Miley Cyrus

6. Britney Spears

7. Kristen Stewart

8. Susan Boyle

9. The Kardashians

The last two names emphasise a few other aspects of modern culture, none more than reality tv. But Susan Boyle also shows that popularity and talent can span the globe. Some say The Beatles had a struggle to conquer America. Susan certainly didn’t.

Girl Power – The Top 10 World Concert Tours of 2009

The Top 10 World Concert Tours of 2009 reveal, again, that the girls are on top in music, taking 4 slots to just one by the guys.

Will Lady GaGa hit the top 10 tours in 2010

Will Lady GaGa hit the top 10 tours in 2010

It seems the public prefer the music and vocal talents of modern songstresses, not to mention their entertaining stage shows. In contrast the constant marketing and self-promotion by metrosexual males appears to be falling on deaf ears.

The numbers are impressive too, with hundreds of millions of dollars supporting the claim that the public ignore most critics and their constant bellowing about male musical puppets. The ranks and numbers for the girls are:

2. Madonna :: 2.18 million seats grossing $222m
5. Pink :: 1.55 million seats grossing $102.8m
7. Britney Spears :: 1.09 million seats grossing $94.8m
9. Tina Turner :: 0.8 million seats grossing $86.3m

The bands filling the other top 10 slots were U2 (No.1), Bruce Springsteen (No.3), AC/DC (No.4) and Coldplay (No.10). Classical star Andre Rieu was at No.6 and the joint Billy Joel & Elton John tour made it to No.8.

That’s right, not one solo male star in the top 10 for world tours between Dec 2008 and November 2009. Girls are doing it for themselves – and the public love it.

Films of the Decade – Social Aggregation unravels Top 10 lists

The web is a marvelous tool for research and information gathering. It is also, now, a way to collect and compare. If you have a passion for music, say, or film, you no longer need to buy dozens of newspapers or magazines to see an overview of Top 10 lists.

There Will Be BloodOne rather clever example of list comparison was undertaken by Gawker.com to compile a summary of the Best Films of the Decade. Hundreds of films were collated from dozens of sources, including industry magazines, international newspapers and lifestyle websites and magazines.

The results of the survey reveal some surprises, not least that the critics failed to agree. Other highlights:

  • Pixar was the most successful studio
  • Lord of the Rings impressed mightily
  • Harry Potter failed to feature
  • comedy failed to impress
  • few films gained more than a half dozen mentions

The aggregated results list of the Top 30 Films of the Decade:

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Lord of the Rings trilogy

appeared on 12 lists
There Will Be Blood

11 lists
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ::
Lord of the Rings trilogy

10 lists
No Country For Old Men

8 lists
Momento

7 lists
Brokeback Mountain :: The Dark Knight

6 lists
Almost Famous :: Catch Me If You Can :: Children of Men :: Pan’s Labyrinth :: Wall-E

No Country For Old Men5 lists
City of God :: The Departed :: Finding Nemo ::
The Incredibles

4 lists
Cache :: Gladiator :: Kill Bill :: The Lives of Others ::
Lost in Translation :: Royal Tennenbaums

3 lists
The 40 Year Old Virgin :: Amelie :: Anchorman ::
The Bourne series :: Mullholland Drive :: Sideways ::
Slumdog Millionaire :: The White Ribbon ::
You Can Count on Me

Top Pop Artists 2008 – Girls Steal the Show

Girls on Top ... in music

Girls stole the show for the Top Pop Artists of 2008 by taking 4 of the top 5 slots.

1. Rihanna – solo and collaborations
2. Chris Brown – especially with Jordin Sparks
3. Leona Lewis – the most beautiful voice
4. Katy Perry – sassy, sexy, classy talent
5. Jordin Sparks – heartfelt and smooth diva

Some may argue that Brown is only there because of his duet with Jordin, and that is probably correct. So maybe the girls took four-and-a-half of the top 5 slots!

For us, all of the girls are making MUSIC rather than the boys who seem locked in their big-production, multi-million-budget, metro-sexual, copycat toons.

Just look at the ENERGY of Rihanna, the RANGE of Leona Lewis, the breathless CATCHYNESS of Katy Perry and the MUSICALITY of Jordin. Can’t find 5 boys to equal those.