2001 - Songs of the Year (2022)

2001. The year of a space odyssey. Apparently. But it is worth remembering that 2001 was now twenty years ago. People born in that year have finished high school, can vote and drink (at least in Australia) and are adults. It was two decades ago. And I am guessing that, like me, some of you are now feeling rather old…

2001 promised us this! Where is my giant space wheel?! (Image by Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay)

Unfortunately, 2001 is also remembered for a tragedy in the USA, and that seems to be the first thing search engines want to tell you about. Well, apart from that sentence, I am not going to dwell on it. This is a look at my favourite songs from the year 2001.

Now, I sort of dropped the ball with this one. I went through my music collection and listened and got a list of songs, listened again, got my 20 and here they are. So I forgot to do an honourable mentions list, to talk about music of the year, all of that. Sorry. This is just a list of 20 songs that I really like from 2001.

Now, as usual, it's a rather eclectic list, and not many will like everything I have here. It's a mix of cover versions and originals, with all manner of music. The genre mix is rather wide. So, the rules are the usual ones – one song per artist, I like the songs, no songs released as live tracks only, released as a single or on an album in 2001 first. Two songs here were classified as released in 2002, but the host albums came out in 2001.

Okay. The list!

''59' by Brian Setzer '68 Comeback Special

A song looking back with a touch of nostalgia at 1959 by the lead singer of The Stray Cats. Not quite the rockabilly he is renowned for, more done in the style of early rock and roll, and it is the best song off Ignition, which is a pretty damn awesome album of itself, and yet one that slipped by everyone.

'Amazing' by Alex Lloyd

I have a horrible feeling that this is going to be another strike against me from the serious music critics association. I don't care. This is a really sweet love song that does not cross the line into saccharine. I just really like this song.

'Angel' by Shaggy

Look, I don't know why I like this song. It is a musical style I generally don't listen to, but maybe it's the fact the lyrics are not asinine and the sample used is a good one that suits the song well. And it just feels like a song of joy. (This was mentioned in passing in a list of songs of 2000, but I trusted a website and the CD I have says 2001.)

'Chop Suey!' by System Of A Down

The opening builds and builds and then we get the staccato lyrics and it is intense and it is awesome! This is a driving along with the stereo at full blast song. I guess the title comes from the fact it is a mish-mash of musical styles. Don't care. This is one of the best songs of the noughties.

'Drops Of Jupiter' by Train

Leave me alone! I like way too much of Train's music for it to be healthy, and it all started with this song. I just like it, I can't explain it, let's move on.

'Fall Down' by Jebediah

I think I've seen Jebediah live, but I am not a hundred percent sure. Anyway, I really like this song, with its weird musical combinations and some interesting lyrics, the few of them that are there. Just a great rocking song.

'Freedom' by Paul McCartney

Driving Rain is actually a good album even though I believe it is one of Macca's poorest selling, but this song, with its marching beat and simple musicianship, stands out to me. It is like a protest song, ready for a huge crowd to join in. It was apparently written in response to the September 11 attacks, and was a last minute addition to the album and yet it is great.

'Get The Party Started' by P!nk

I actually like a fair bit of P!nk's stuff. She has a voice that invites you to sing along and I have even watched a couple of her shows on DVD and they look amazing. This is such a great piece of pop-rock and, yes, I think it could help get the party started.

'I'm A Believer' by Smash Mouth

And leave me alone again. I like this cover. Mind you, it comes from one of the very few animated films I was forced to watch by my kids that I can handle which does help. They just do a good version of the song, not losing any of the charm of the original.

'Imitation Of Life' by R.E.M.

I've been a bit of a REM fan since the 90s and Out Of Time so I was late to the party. Still, songs like this showed me why so many people were still talking about them more than twenty years after they formed. It's got a really good guitar sound to it and the (really intelligent) lyrics are fun to sing along with.

'Mad World' by Gary Jules

Yes, I do actually prefer the Tears For Fears original, but when I first heard this track on the Donnie Darko soundtrack album, I was stunned. It was different and I really liked it. Then Curt Smith of Tears For Fears and his daughter Diva did their awesome version and I went back to this one as well, and it still stands as a great cover. Slowing it down into an almost dirge worked. Stunning.

'Outta My Head' by Spiderbait

One of Australia's best live acts, this rocking track just pounds along on Kram's drumming and is just great, one of the many awesome songs the band have released over the years. Not much more to say – love it.

'Over The Hills And Far Away' by Nightwish

Note: the video version is much shorter than the album version…
The original was by Gary Moore from one of his best albums, Wild Frontier. Nightwish took it and turned it into one of their symphonic rock masterpieces. I went through a period where I preferred this version, but I've gone back to Moore. Still, Nightwish do an amazing cover. I love their music. I also have a live version of this track (End Of An Era is the album) and it is even more awesome!

'Party 'Til You Puke' by Andrew WK

This is just a stupid party anthem, but – damn! – I love it. It's silly, over the top with a hard rock sound to it and I just enjoy putting it on and pretending I'm in my early 30s again. I was actually told off for playing this for one of my classes (the word "puke"…) but the kids didn't care – they also loved it.

'Renegades Of Funk' by Rage Against The Machine

This is one of those songs that have come to be considered a classic and for many years I could not understand why. When it first came out, I was not a huge fan. But fast forward ten years and the 2010s and suddenly I got it. I heard it on the radio out of any context and that was it – I was hooked. It is a song that makes you want to move. So good.

'Smooth Criminal' by Alien Ant Farm

Another song that will get me kicked out of serious music likers… Look, they took a really good Michael Jackson pop song and turned it into am decent rock song. They do a good version, and this actually comes from a place, I think, of reverence for Jackson. I've mentioned it before and got some odd feedback, so… I guess I'll get it again.

'Victory' by Bond

Modern classical music (or classical crossover) by the all-female string quartet Bond with this wonderful piece. I used it for a promo video for a sporting club back in the day and it fits so well. Now, my CD says "2001" as the release year but I have read it was released in 2000. I'm going by my CD, but if I am wrong with the year, I apologise. Still, I did not include it in my songs of 2000 list.

'Where The Blacktop Ends' by Keith Urban

And our mandatory country song (as these tracks are called by one of my regular readers). This is a bit of fun Australian country (country-rock?) about going off the sealed road and it just has that sense of journey and travel that country songs are so good at portraying (in general). I just like this track.

'Where's Your Head At?' By Basement Jaxx

I admit, I was first attracted to this song by the bizarre video clip with the human-faced monkeys. But then I listened to the actual song and just really got into it. I still like it, and it is a great workout song. Nice mix of musical styles here.

'Will You Love Me Tomorrow?' by Me First And The Gimme Gimmes

And why not turn a sweet song about confusion over where some-one stands in a relationship into a straight-on rocker? I am a huge fan of the way Me First And The Gimme Gimmes does this, and this is one of their best versions of classic songs.

And there you have my favourite 20 songs from 2001, looked through the lens of 20 years later. Some songs I liked at the time did not make the list, and some of these songs have grown on me over time. But, at the moment, these are the ones from 2001 that I like the most. I hope you found something to enjoy as well!

Happy listening!

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