Friday 30 December 2005

if you could see it then you'd understand...

Right. Here are the Earworms of the Year (2005) as voted for by you.

This list has been lovingly and exhaustively compiled by me through a combination of your email votes and from the lists provided by the 30 Earworm Guest Editors who have appeared on this blog over the last few months....

It's probably not a very surprising list, truth be told.... but thank you very much for voting and thanks again to all of the Guest Editors. If I can get enough interest from potential contributors, I will be keeping the "Earworms of the Week" feature alive into 2006.

Happy New Year all!

(by the way, I've included a few of your comments about each one... I love the way that you sometimes seem so ambivalent about the whole thing. That's the beauty of an earworm!)


20. Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

"It makes me want to dance around my house with the stereo up"
"This my friend is the good s**t"

This is the one song I have heard on the radio this year that really made me sit up and pay attention (well, I was in the shower at the time, but it definitely made me pay attention). It's just absurdly catchy. The album is out in January, and we're all expecting great things. The best number one single this year by a mile.

19. Tony Christie - (Is This The Way To) Amarillo?

"If you say you haven't had this song in your head this year, you're lying"

Anyone at all familiar with "Phoenix Nights" knew about the earworm potential of this song. As soon as it was released as a single in aid of Comic Relief, we were all doomed. They could play this in a graveyard and everyone would get up and sing along.

All together now! "Sha-la-la la-la-la (oi!) Sha-la-la la-la-la (oi!) Sha-la-la la-la-la... and Marie who waits for me"

Please make it stop now.

18. Stereophonics - Dakota

"... and then I found out it was by the bloody Stereophonics."

I didn't think they had it in them, to be honest. A great song - it's almost as a shame that it had to be by them. Apparently the rest of the album is the same old pub rock shite, but this song is widescreen genius.

17. Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure

"It's that vocal hook - 'what happens when you lose everything? / You just start again, START ALL OVER AGAIN'...."

An arty, new wave band with geordie accents and a singer with an appalling brush-over. Brilliant. I was tipped off about Maximo Park before I went to Glastonbury, only to opt to watch Athlete instead... something I have been regretting more or less since the moment I got home and discovered this song.

16. The Eagles - Hotel California

"This is my all time stranded on a desert island song if I could only hear one song, song. It's melancholy, it's sexy, it's lonely"

Quite how this creeps onto the list we'll never really know, but that's the beauty of Earworms, eh? It's a classic innit? And now I've started thinking about it, it's crept into my bloody head too. Grrr.

15. Simon & Garfunkel - America

"It's a romantic song, but there's more than a smidgen of 2000s US/British paranoia about it too"

Another slightly odd entry in our list, but worth it just for the lyric about the bow tie.

14. U2 - Vertigo

"I'm stumped by this one. I don't love the song, and I haven't heard it play in a long time. But there it was"
"Get exposed to it enough and you find out you have it whether you want it or not, like nasty STDs or a cold"

To be honest, I still haven't quite forgiven them for playing this song twice during their recent Stadium tour. Nor can I forget that absurd $40 membership / ticketing scheme. You think that they'd be rich enough to actually be able to afford to send me the silver key-ring and membership card that they owe me, eh? It's a good song though, and it was the first song I ever downloaded from iTunes too.

13. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

"I grew up with this one and it's got the catchiest tune with a classic hook - you know when the cue's coming up and you're ready to get up and belt into the microphone along with Annie Lennox... seriously dodgy lyrics though."

Well - it *is* catchy.

12. Hard Fi - Hard To Beat

"It's ridiculously catchy, the beat begs you to move, and you can't help but sing along"
"A euphoric, rolling, uplifting, song that manages to sound rocking and a bit housey all at the same time"
"For pure energy and that feel good factor, this song is hard to beat..."

Undoubtedly one of the bands of 2005, and this was their breakthrough hit. Interestingly a number of Americans voted for this one -- does this herald another British earworm invasion?

11. Snoop Dogg ft Pharrell Williams - Drop It Like It's Hot

"purely for the cheesy entertainment value really"

How funny was Snoop at Live 8?

It's probably just as well Mary Whitehouse is dead... I can't quite see her seeing the funny side of the gangly rapper asking the assembled gazillions "What's my motherfuc*ing name?"

That Pharrell knows his way around a tune though, doesn't he?

10. Kanye West - Gold Digger

"When will I stop singing this one? Maybe when I realise I'm just a 24 year old white boy from Kent!"

Nobody does an "Uh!" quite like Kanye.

9. Coldplay - Fix You

"I liken this song to cats. I'm allergic to them, avoid them and never pet them - but they always single me out in a room full of cat-lovers."
"Gotta have that sad, slit your wrists song, and this is it"
"The music sounds in a state of exhausted, hopeful melancholia"

Not my favourite song on "X&Y" by some distance, but it looks like the one that will be their signature track for a while. I'm in the video for this, you know....

8. Kelly Clarkson - Since You've Been Gone

"I really do love Kelly... I have surely listened to this a million times"
"It may be a guilty pleasure, but it's a damn fine pop song"

The best thing to come out of any of those American Idol / X-Factor type reality TV shows? Mind you, that's not really saying all that much is it? What's the competition? Chico?

7. Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl

"Insanely, insanely catchy"
"...there's every reason to believe that Gwen Stefani *does* defecate bananas"
"Curse you, Gwen Stefani, and your ear wormy music that wriggles its way into my brain until I grudgingly have to admit that I kind of sort of maybe dig it a little all the while protesting how annoying and white bread it is."
"I don't like it, but it gets stuck in my head"
"That I have spent a nanosecond humming this song makes me want to curl up in shame and die"

Apparently she's pregnant. Does this mean there's a chance she might disappear for a while? Annoyingly this is on my iPod as C. bought it and ripped it for her iPod. Everytime I listen in 'shuffle' mode it's like I'm playing russian roulette with this as the bullet. Mind you - she's also put Ricky Martin on too. This or "La Vida Loca"? Oooh. Decisions, decisions....

6. Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To?

"Being at least three different song ideas Gaffa taped together with a cheeky nod and a wink, it knowingly points at Society's patronage of pop music to get a whiff of credibility. Eh, Kate?"

Yes it's knowing, but it's also brilliant.

5. Gorillaz - Feelgood Inc.

"The earworm with the most nonsensical lyrics. Mostly the sound of laughter rings in my ears"
"This song makes me dance alone in my bedroom"
"I can't decide if this is genius, or silly cartoon nonsense"

Gorillaz probably polled the most votes for an individual band in this poll, but they were split across two songs. This one is my favourite, although I have to agree with bytheseashore when he says of Damon Albarn: "I'm a massive Blur fan and can think of few artists who could go on to front a second successful band but, y'know, he comes across as a bit of a self-absorbed tit as a person doesn't he? A bit like the indie Robbie Williams"

4. Crazy Frog - Axel F

You bastards.

3. Gorillaz - DARE

"An utterly, utterly catchy tune"
"this track returned Shaun Ryder to the top of the English charts, so it gets my vote"
"I'm not sure I'd like this so much without Shaun Ryder's slurring contribution"
"I think anyone who's heard this song has had it stuck in their head at one point or another"

Shaun Ryder! Who would have thought it possible? And yes - the title does apparently come from Ryder's inability to corrrectly pronounce the word "there".

2. Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot

"I think the Kaiser Chiefs might have sold their souls to the devil for this one"

I can't help but think that the Kaisers won't be able to pull the same trick off twice when it comes to their next album. Their winning combination of Madness and Britpop is at its absolute peak here, but I can't see them coming up with anything remotely as good as this ever again. I'll be happy to be proved wrong, but they just feel like one trick ponies to me.

Great record though. I tell thee.

1. Coldplay - Speed of Sound


You lovely people. You've made me very happy.

[full details of the scoring system can be provided upon request... but you'd have to be very bored to care that much!]

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