Posts from 31st December 1999

Dec 99

Tom Ewing’s Top 100 Singles Of The 90s

FT5 comments • 7,769 views

So what happened in the 1990s? Trying to put a lassoo round a decade is difficult and dumb, and never more so than now, when all the critics seem to be talking about ‘fragmentation’. The best way to read ten years’ worth of entrails, I thought, was to come at it sideways, single by single, and hope that some kind of picture built up. Did it? You be the judge.

Why singles, though? Because everyone else was doing albums, because we listen to music one track at a time anyway, because so much of the decade’s most vital music never even surfaced on LP. Album-based rock criticism has its own rhetoric, mostly concerned about whether a record will last and where it stands in relation to the established critical pantheon. I don’t care about whether these records will last – why try to second-guess the future? For me, now, this is the music that mattered.