I’m marking each of the singles out of 10. Marks will vary according to my mood and circumstances as well as by the quality of the record. No consistency is intended and none should be assumed – take them as seriously as you like. If you’re registered and logged in, you can give your OWN mark out of 10 to each record, and the aggregate shows up on the FT Readers Top 100 view.

Baby jumps:   1955   1960   1965   1970   1975   1980   1985   1990   1995   2000


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  1. 91
    Steve Mannion on 19 Jan 2014 #

    I added the grey circle (tho will look square on older browsers) thinking it might subtly encourage more avatar usage ha. I don’t mind if we have them or don’t personally although they can be quite useful for poster ID and I am always happy to see little DJ Alan and Sukrat’s Joan of Arc party face).

  2. 92


  3. 93
    admin on 20 Jan 2014 #

    we should add a link to gravatar.com in the ‘add your comment’ bit when people are logged in (and show the current one too obv)

  4. 94
    Billy Hicks on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Regarding the low rating of the most of the 1990s hits, this for me has always been fairly worrying as it feels like the closer we get to my musical golden era the further away most regular commentators are getting from theirs. While I can see Tom’s ratings remaining fair, the Popular in a few years time when every song is getting a 1 or 2 at most from most readers doesn’t sound very pleasant to me.

    Looking at the last couple of years I can see two easy 10s for me in the year 2012, and some strong 8 or 9s at least in 2013. But I fear, for the most part, I might be alone there.

  5. 95
    mapman132 on 20 Jan 2014 #

    #94 If it makes you feel better, I’m 41 years old and think some of the best music ever to grace the top of the UK or US charts has been in the past three years. There will probably be a 10 from me in 2012, and would be a strong 10 in 2011 except that I keep forgetting it only peaked at UK#2 (its close cousin was a UK#1 and will probably get a 9 from me).

    And I don’t think I’m alone as said songs may not be loved by everyone, but I have yet to meet anyone who actively hates them….of course, these may not correspond to your 9’s and 10’s!

  6. 96
    Andrew Farrell on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Better for rapping over, for a start.

  7. 97
    Ed on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Enitharmon @82: I don’t think “music gets better with each succeeding decade” is exactly what the progressive view of pop means.

    It’s more that music changes with each succeeding decade (year, month…), and the changes are a big part of what makes pop exciting and fun.

    So The Beatles were fantastic in the 60s, but sounding like The Beatles in the 80s or 90s wasn’t. Were M.A.R.R.S. and The Prodigy better than The Beatles and the Stones? I am not sure. But I think it’s possible to endorse progress as a state of continual change without necessarily seeing it as a process of continual improvement.

  8. 98
    Tom on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Also the ‘progressive’ view Ed outlines means that the vocabulary of pop is continuously expanding. This is one important part of the discussion we started on the “Wannabe” thread. The progressive view says “pop is constantly changing, hurrah”, but implicit in that turns out to be a sense that pop has to shed its skin and move on – its previous versions become obsolete (i.e. pop works according to the same logic as technology, not surprising since technology changes are a massive, massive part of pop change). The ‘post-progressive’ view – also enabled by technological change – says hold on, WHY does this old stuff have to become obsolete? Why can’t it all still be in play?

  9. 99
    Tom on 20 Jan 2014 #

    (That said the initial comment that Rosie brings up from time to time was part hype, part hope and part trolling. I doubt, at this late stage, that any year is going to top ’79 in terms of the average Number One scores. That being the metric for “better” I implicitly set with the structure of this project, I need to honour my own judgements.)

  10. 100
    Ed on 20 Jan 2014 #

    I can see that the post-progressive view is one possible approach to pop.

    I would feel happier about it, though, if the new music that is apparently consistent with that view didn’t sound like the sort of thing I would crawl over broken glass to avoid: http://www.tinymixtapes.com/features/the-trouble-with-contemporary-music-criticism?page=show

    (HT to Tom for that post, which he discusses at Blue Lines Revisited.)

  11. 101
    Tom on 20 Jan 2014 #

    Yes, I like the analysis of the problem in that post – the solution (let’s listen to vaporwave!) rather less, though I do enjoy that James Ferraro album that got talked up in the Wire a couple of years ago, and a lot of the Ghost Box stuff.

    I think the current charts – including the critical lists – are firmly in the post-progressive mode, though: the bad stuff as well as the good. We’ll get there eventually, I hope! The Retromania argument is right in that the big shift has been a disruption in the technology of distribution rather than (as in previous shifts) changes in the technology of production – but I think (obviously) the analysis of the resulting landscape is too pessimistic.

  12. 102

    Back to site glitches: aren’t the recent comments all showing in the wrong labelled spaces at the moment?

    Update: oops no they aren’t, but I think the leading should be tweaked above and below the labels, so that they more obviously adhere to above than below.

    (It’s kind of obvious which goes where once you read them but it still threw me at a quick glance)

  13. 103
    admin on 21 Jan 2014 #

    we’ve moved the post title underneath the comment, and steve will be styling it to make that more obvious in due course

  14. 104
    Tommy Mack on 21 Jan 2014 #

    I think it may still prove confusing.

  15. 105
    Tom on 29 Apr 2014 #

    Cornershop clinging onto the Top 50 here, but comfortably (AFAICS) the favourite 90s single so far.

  16. 106
    Cumbrian on 29 Apr 2014 #

    Killer “only” 0.11 (or 8 places) behind. That could be quite close or it could be quite far away dependent on the number of people who have voted on either/both. How many 10s would Killer need to move past Cornershop? Or how many 1s would Cornershop need to slip behind?

  17. 107
    flahr on 29 Apr 2014 #

    #101: When you say the current charts seem to hold to a post-progressive view: surely ANY chart could be described by “some of it sounds like new stuff, some of it sounds like old stuff”? I can’t see much distinction b/w “why can’t this old stuff still be in play?”, “retro”, “revivalism”, and plain old “influence” (except perhaps as judgements of quality).

    (I read the linked article – always nice to be reminded that merely not being S**** R******* is no defence against writing like S**** R*******)

  18. 108
    Conrad on 2 Jun 2014 #

    I’m expecting the number 1 position to be seriously troubled when we get to the summer of 2003 but not before

  19. 109
    Cumbrian on 2 Jun 2014 #

    I’m not expecting anything to trouble the number 1 position unless a bunch of people go into the I Feel Love thread and start marking a load of 1s next to it to bring it down to earth. I also think that the closer we get to the present, the less consensus around what is good we’re going to get, which is why I don’t think anything is going to trouble IFL unless there is some down-weighting going on.

  20. 110
    Andrew Farrell on 2 Jun 2014 #

    Woe be with the man who underestimates Tomcraft…

  21. 111
    Alan on 19 Oct 2014 #

    As of 19th Oct 2014, Tom has just posted the May 99 Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way”. The reader top 100 songs per year are…
    1956 1
    1957 0
    1958 3
    1959 0
    1960 3
    1961 3
    1962 2
    1963 2
    1964 7
    1965 6
    1966 8
    1967 1
    1968 1
    1969 3
    1970 1
    1971 5
    1972 1
    1973 2
    1974 1
    1975 4
    1976 1
    1977 4
    1978 3
    1979 4
    1980 4
    1981 5
    1982 2
    1983 1
    1984 2
    1985 1
    1986 3
    1987 3
    1988 2
    1989 3
    1990 2
    1991 1
    1992 1
    1993 0
    1994 0
    1995 1
    1996 0
    1997 1
    1998 1
    1999 1

    which ranks the top 10 (or so because of ties) years as

    rank/year/count of reader top 100 singles
    1 1966 8
    2 1964 7
    3 1965 6
    4 1971 5
    4 1981 5
    6 1975 4
    6 1977 4
    6 1979 4
    6 1980 4
    10 1958 3
    10 1960 3
    10 1961 3
    10 1969 3
    10 1978 3
    10 1986 3
    10 1987 3
    10 1989 3

  22. 112
    Patrick Mexico on 11 Dec 2014 #

    The “Ave v Std Dev*” graphs now look identical to a map of the West Country.

    My sympathies are with those who live on Lizard Point.

    * My sympathies are with those who watched that episode of Corrie.

  23. 113
    Tom on 26 Feb 2015 #

    We are now out of the 90s enough that the Popular readers 90s ‘canon’ feels fairly fixed, viz: “Nothing Compares 2 U”, “Brimful Of Asha”, “Killer”, “Baby One More Time”, “Gangsta’s Paradise”, “3AM Eternal”, “Your Woman”… and “Dub Be Good To Me” is just propping up the bottom at the moment. Any changes likely to be slow.

    Though speaking of slow changes, the gap between “I Feel Love” and what’s below it – which used not to be “Grapevine” – is gradually narrowing.

  24. 114
    Tom on 1 Mar 2015 #

    At last! The Spotify 8+ playlist – those tracks that I gave 8+ to – has been updated. http://open.spotify.com/user/freakytrigger/playlist/2vyeAG3bflk5omhE7cQWoA – with the 80s, 90s and 00s (so far) tracks, and the 50s and 60s stragglers that weren’t on Spotify when we first did it.

    The only things it’s now lacking are The Beatles (inevitably) and “3AM Eternal”

  25. 115
    Tom on 23 Apr 2015 #

    Spiller inside the reader Top 20 (after 1 day) – 14 and a half years between it and the next most recent Top 20 song.

  26. 116
    Andrew Farrell on 23 Apr 2015 #

    Fixed now – thanks for the heads-up.

  27. 117
    Auntie Beryl on 24 Apr 2015 #

    I’ve been putting together playlists of the hits of 1990 and subsequent years on Spotify of late (don’t judge me) and how I miss the following labels: Champion, Ten, KLF Communications, Circa, Debut.

    Spotify hasn’t everything.

  28. 118
    Steve Mannion on 24 Apr 2015 #

    How generous are you being with the definition of ‘hit’ Beryl? I put together playlists for the 80s last December covering anything available (and making a note of all the songs that weren’t) that made the top 75 – linked at http://freakytrigger.co.uk/popular/2010/10/popular-the-80s/#1520588

    Have been trying to find the time to do the same for the 90s but please link yours either here or perhaps on http://freakytrigger.co.uk/popular/2015/01/popular-the-90s/

  29. 119
    weej on 10 Jan 2016 #

    Presentation: 8.5
    Instrumentation: 4.0
    Vocals: 5.0
    Originality: 9.0
    Lasting appeal: 10.0

    Overall: 7.3

  30. 120
    CriticSez on 3 Feb 2016 #

    #119 WEEJ, I’m surprised you liked my rating system, but I didn’t say you could use it for yourself.

    By the way, what song did you rate? Personally, I only give very high scores under strict criteria.

    I forgive you now. You can use my rating system as much as you like, but take care with ratings. Read what I said at the “Here In My Heart” entry.

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