41EA4MJE5NLBob Rivers – Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire – 2000

It’s Christmas time again and we’ll start off our annual Christmas song list with a few spoofs. Some people find them lame but this one is so well done it’s hard not to like. It’s a great, slow, Nat King Cole-style and it takes on David Seville’s classic Christmas song. It’s pretty good.

220px-Linkin_park_hybrid_theoryLinkin Park – Runaway – 2000

Linkin Park was the hottest thing in rock music in 2000 and 2001. Hybrid Theory officially only had four singles but I swear I heard 90% of this album on the radio. “Runaway” was not an official single but it did chart – peaking at #37 on the Mainstream Rock chart. I still know almost every word of this song somehow…

3 Doors Down – “Not Enough” – (2000)

The Better Life was a huge success. It had four huge singles, three of which were #1s on the rock chart and one was a top three single on the Hot 100. This was not a single, but it did receive airplay (at least where I live) on rock radio. It’s really not that bad either, and right in line with the rest of the album. Give it a go if you don’t know it.

Aaron Lewis & Fred Durst – “Outside” – (2000)

Fred Durst was a big deal in 1999 and 2000. Limp Bizkit was huge and they did this little (okay it was huge) tour called “The Family Values Tour” with Korn, Orgy, Primus, Ja Rule, Method Man & Redman, DMX, Filter, The Crystal Method, and a little known band called Staind. That was the 1999 lineup and it was huge. “Outside” (which would later become a hit for Staind – a band led by Aaron Lewis and promoted and produced by Durst) was first performed live and acoustically in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1999 by Aaron Lewis featuring backing vocals by Durst. Some of the lyrics were made up on the spot. Radio stations started playing the acoustic version and it ended up at #56 on the Hot 100 in 2001. Later that year, Staind released Break the Cycle – which was a monumental album (in popularity). This song, for me, marked a transition from the bubblegum pop of 1999/2000 and the more rock-oriented days of 2001 and on.

Ricky Martin & Christina Aguilera – “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely” – (2000)

Here’s a big dose of the year 2000. Two of the biggest names of 1999 teamed up for a top 20 hit in 2000. It was a #1 elsewhere and on three other American Billboard charts (Hot Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs, Tropical Songs). This lost the Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Grammy to “Lady Marmalade” – also featuring Aguilera. Ricky Martin also recorded a Spanish single. Remember when Christina Aguilera used to try and cash in on her Latin heritage? Anyway, this song (and video) is a good slice of nostalgia. Enjoy.

‘N Sync – “This I Promise You” – (2000)

This top five ‘N Sync hit was written by 80s pop star Richard Marx. The boy band of all boy bands released their version first, with Marx releasing twice thereafter. This was the group’s final single from No Strings Attached – and the final ‘N Sync single from the boy band era (sorry, Celebrity was a day late and dollar short – even just barely). This was a #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, which is unusual because adults didn’t necessarily care for music like this back when it was popular (they still don’t – but the people who liked this in 2000 are now adults… which is scary).

Godsmack – “Going Down” – (1997)

Why do rock bands always have stupid names? I liked Godsmack back when it was really cool to like Godsmack, but as I look back, all I think is “Man, what a stupid name for a band… way to try and be hard.” They have some pretty decent rock songs, but I don’t count this among them. So why is it here and why do I have it? Wel, 1: this week is kind of a burn until I can get to Christmas music on Friday and 2: this song was featured on the very popular Mission: Impossible II soundtrack. Originally, it was released on the band’s independent debut album All Wound Up. It would later come out on their 2000 album Awake.

#2 – Coldplay – “Yellow” – (2000)

Yes, Coldplay has two songs in the top 10 on this list. Why? Because they’re one of the biggest bands to come out of the 2000s and they’ve scored big hit after massive big hit. I didn’t like this song when it first came out because I thought Chris Martin looked like a goober for walking down that beach in the rain. Most Coldplay songs take a little while to grow on me, but I now realize that the Parachutes songs are some of their best. This was Coldplay’s first big single and it gave us a peek at what everything to come would be like.

#6 – OutKast – “B.O.B.” – (2000)

This was the first OutKast song I ever head (sheltered, I know) and I didn’t care for it immediately. But boy has it grown on me. Andre 3000’s vocals are insane (and so are Big Boi’s). “B.O.B” stands for “Bombs Over Baghdad” which, at the time, was probably referencing earlier bombings of Iraq but were quite the forbearer of bad news. Anyway, the video: it’s full of weird colors and Big Boi wearing a Cincinnati Reds jersey. But what’s really great here (aside from the killer vocals) is the mixture of the drum & bass nature of the music with rap and gospel-esque vocals. The best OutKast song ever in my opinion.

#7 – Rage Against the Machine – “Renegades of Funk” – (2000)

I love this song. It’s a cover of a 1983 single by Afrika Bambaataa – but this version has Tom Morello killing it and a sweet bass line. And the vocals are awesome – as is normally the case with Rage songs. Eventually there will be a “Top Rock Songs of the 00s” countdown and this would have been #1 on that list, so keep that in mind whenever that list comes about. Wikipedia lists the genre of this song as “Funk Metal” which sounds awesome and I couldn’t name another song that would fall under that category.

#11 – Eve 6 – “Here’s to the Night” – (2000)

If you had any sort of graduation during the 2000s, then chances are this song either made you depressed or happy or both. This is a bittersweet song about moving on written in a happy time in world history. It’s one of the band’s signature songs. I’m not going to say much about it, but it’s really good.

#13 – soulDecision feat. Thrust – “Faded” – (2000)

Whoa! A boy band at #13? Are you serious? Yes. This is one of my favorite songs from the 1999/2000 era. I know every word. This is my example of “a song I like slipping past the criteria of greatness.” But greatness is subjective. I think this song is catchier than just about anything else ever. It’s a song everyone has forgotten about and overlooks from back in the day when boy bands ruled. It was a #1 in Canada and hit #66 on the Hot 100. Just consider everyone lucky I didn’t put this in the top 10.

#16 – U2 – “Beautiful Day” – (2000)

Man, I remember when this song came out. It was everywhere. Want a taste of 1999/2000 British culture? Watch the video. The video wouldn’t go away back in 2000 and 2001. I think it probably aired on VH1 at least eight times a day. I’ve always been a come and go U2 fan and I loathed this song when it was fresh but love it now. It’s one of their biggest hits and the sound is more reminiscent of The Joshua Tree than any of that weird crap they did in the 90s. It won three Grammys and was a #1 in just about every European country where Bono is actually closest to the god that he thinks he is. It’s some of their best work.

#20 – Nelly – “Country Grammar (Hot Shit)” – (2000)

“Hmmmm… I’m going down down baby…” This was Nelly’s first single and it’s always remained one of his best. It wasn’t his biggest hit – it peaked at #7 on the Hot 100 (he’s has #1s since). The lyrical structure of the song almost resembles a clapping song – a weird thing for a rapper to burst onto the scene with. “Shimmy shimmy cocoa what. Listen to it pound. Light it up and take a puff, pass it to me now.”

#24 – Matchbox Twenty – “Mad Season” – (2000)

Hey, it’s Rob Thomas again! To me, this is like the “Real World” of the 2000s. This album (which shares its name with the song) had bigger hits – two of them if I’m remember correctly – but I think this is the finest single from the album – and the most “Matchbox Twenty.” They are all signature songs of the band, but there’s something about this one I just like more – maybe it’s that it sounds more like something from Yourself or Someone Like You.

#31 – 3 Doors Down – “Kryptonite” – (2000)

Depending on what kind of radio you listened to from February 2000 through mid-to-late 2001, 3 Doors Down mined this album for every single it could. Sure, I heard some of the tracks on the radio that weren’t technically released as singles – but my point is I heard about ¾ of this album on the radio. Which is ridiculous. But this song stands above all others (from this album or others of theirs). 3 Doors Down has always reminded me of a harder version of Matchbox Twenty… sort of the “poor man’s version.” This song was a huge smash and still lingers around from time to time over the air. It hit #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Modern Rock, Mainstream Rock, and Mainstream Top 40 charts. This is the band’s defining song, whether they like it or not.

#32 – BBMak – “Back Here” – (2000)

Remember this one? A pop hit from the 1999/2000 New Millennium era. BBMak was a mega-one-hit-wonder. It was three dudes from Great Britain who played their own instruments and looked good enough (and strangely, all the same) to make girls of the era squeal (that equals success in the TRL generation). The video got airplay on TRL (I distinctly remember it). The group disbanded a few years after this, their first hit. It remains a good song – especially to those of us who where the target audience for such music when it was released.

#37 – Shaggy feat. Rayvon – “Angel” – (2000)

Released as a single in the early part of 2001, “Angel” – based on the clothing worn in the music video – very easily could have come out in the late-1990s. It was Shaggy’s second #1 single. Unfortunately, we have not heard from Shaggy since. This song samples a Juice Newton song (“Angel of the Morning” – more or less where the chorus comes from here) as well as the bass line from Steve Miller’s “The Joker.” Unlike his previous #1, this song is much nicer and more acceptable to most people.

#39 – Barenaked Ladies – “Too Little Too Late” – (2000)

I was sitting here trying to remember why I picked this song over BNL’s other huge single from 2000’s Maroon – and then I turned it on and the music answered my question instantly. This song was sung entirely by Stephen Page – who is no longer with the band (and perhaps why they didn’t perform it at the BNL concert I was at last week). All I know is that this is one of the best bands in the world. They are super talented and their songs are super witty, catchy and well-written. Yes, being funny and have a distinct personality goes a long way to be a good band. This was a top 20 hit on the A/C chart, but still one of their better-known songs.

#44 – Everclear – “Wonderful” – (2000)

I saw Everclear in concert last year and was super excited about it. Then their entire performance was marred by technical issues that Art kept leaving the microphone to try and solve. It was bad. Thankfully, we have wonderful (see what I did there?) studio recordings like this to enjoy. This is one of my favorite songs by the band. It’s a song sung from a child’s perspective who is seeing his parents break go through a divorce. The music is pure 90s alt rock. They don’t write ’em like this anymore.

#46 – Robbie Williams – “Rock DJ” – (2000)

Well this has been a fairly British week, with Muse, Oasis and now Robbie Williams. Honestly, I’m not sure how this song snuck so far up the list. It should’ve probably been in the 80s but oh well – here we are. This was released in the summer of 2000, which ostensibly makes it a 90s tune (but not quite). This was a huge hit in Europe and hit #1 all over the world. It was the 4th biggest song in the U.K. for 2000. It didn’t make it onto the Hot 100, but then again, Robbie has never been America’s taste. The song is incredibly catchy and samples a number of other, previously successful songs. The video has some controversy surrounding it, having been banned or heavily edited in almost every world market because it is “explicit” – he strips down completely then peels his skin off. It is kind of horrific – especially when he starts ripping his muscles off and throwing them at people, who proceed to eat it. Whatever – it was a big track.

#48 – Madonna – “Music” – (2000)

Well this was about the end of the era where Madonna was making music that I really gave a crap about. It was a #1 hit everywhere – the U.S., the U.K., and all over Europe and Australia. The video, for whatever reason, features Ali G. The song is electropop and was a big hit on the dance chart. Madonna has leaned that way since – toward club music, that is – and hasn’t had near the success – as this crossed over quite successfully onto pop radio where her later hits stayed mostly in the clubs. I want to say “everyone’s career has to flame out sometime” but she is the queen of comebacks. So we’ll see.

#54 – Bon Jovi – “It’s My Life” – (2000)

The 1990s were dark days for Bon Jovi. Jon tried to maintain the big hair years through non-big hair years. For whatever reason, they were able to re-capture the magic in 2000 with this song – which was pretty big, even if it only charted at #33 in the U.S. (it was a big Adult Contemporary hit, too). In some ways, the song is like an updated version of “Livin’ on a Prayer” – same theme, Richie uses the talk box, Tommy and Gina are both mentioned again. It really is like an updated Bon Jovi for the new Millennium

#59 – Jay-Z – “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” – (2000)

While the Eminem song from yesterday was a favorite of pop radio and TRL, hip-hop like this song wasn’t as easy to come by (not that it was hard). It wasn’t being spoon fed to us by MTV like it should’ve been, because it’s awesome. Uncredited on the chorus is Pharrell whose “I’m a hustla baby – I just want you to know” is not only a highlight of this song but a highlight in hip-hop vocals in the past 20 years. This is one of the catchiest Jay-Z songs ever and it has that early-2000s beat and corresponding video that makes it perfect to listen to outside on a sunny day (preferably on a beach or at a party).