10 Years Ago Vs Today


Top 5 10 Years Ago - 14th August 2004


In 2002 I was twelve years old and lucky enough to have Sky TV in my bedroom. I would spend all day at the weekend - seriously, all day - flicking through all the music channels, right from MTV Hits to VH1 to The Box to Kerrang to all the way back again (I still tend to do this whenever I'm at my parents' house). One day whilst carrying out this normal routine I was struck by a sudden "Uh-huh, life's like this." I watched, captivated, this entire BRILLIANT song which summed up EVERYTHING I HAD EVER FELT (Why you gotta go and make things so complicated?!?!) and at the end, still transfixed, carefully noted down the name of the singer - Avril Lavigne (read in my head to rhyme with La Minge). I was gonna need that CD.

And get that CD I did. Avril Lavigne was brilliant then when I was dealing with my pre-teen angst - I even, and I've never told anyone this before but here you go, JOTTED DOWN SOME OF MY OWN SONG LYRICS I intended to sell to Avril Lavigne one day - and she is still quite good now.

And My Happy Ending is arguably the best Avril Lavigne song. It's let down by a few clunky lyrics which I thought were brilliant in 2004 when this came out - "It's not like we're dead", "such a breakable thread", "they tell you I'm difficult well SO ARE THEY" and lest we forget, the classically cringeworthy ending/pretending rhyming pair. But that's just me being picky and I needed to justify not giving this a 10. This is a real, raw breakup song with flashes of properly grown-up brilliance and the bitter "It's nice to know that you were there, thanks for acting like you cared" resonates even more in my twenties than in my difficult 'falling in love with boys on the bus' years.

SCORE: 9/10. I would have given this a 10 really, but I've decided to be quite picky with my 10s and only give them to songs where I really wouldn't change a thing.


So everyone loved bitter break up anthems in August 2004. It's a shame this charted a place higher than My Happy Ending, because it clearly isn't as good, but we are all well aware we cannot trust the British public, as proven by the fact "Three Lions" by Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds is the 26th best selling song of all time.

Anastacia is sick and tired of always being sick and tired in this mid-tempo anger jam charting the dying, miserable end of a relationship and even her delivery of the lyrics sounds a little bored and fed up. It's a good song, the "sick and tired" bit sticks, but I like my angry break-up songs to be a just a little bit more shouty although that's probably just because I'm a bit old-fashioned. No re-p-p-p-eat I'm afraid.

SCORE: 7/10.


So although we had two exciting new entries in this top 5 back in 2004, the top 3 remained identical which is a shame as I have really run out of anything to say about this intensely average "house" anthem. It's not even bad enough to slag it off properly. So now each week this remains in the top 5 I will think about other songs about 'Lola' and what we would rate them out of 10 if THEY were in the top 5 this week.

BARRY MANILOW - COPACABANA: This charted at #42(!) in 1978. A song to tell a story if there ever was one, this describes Lola (she was a showgirl with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there) and her madness once her lover 'Tony' is shot in the late 40s. In the 70s she is still dancing at the Copacabana and a complete crazy bitch. I'm just gonna type out all the lyrics to this verse as they are the best:

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl
But that was 30 years ago when they used to have a show
Now it's a disco, but not for Lola
Still in the dress she used to wear and faded feathers in her hair
She sits there so refined and drinks herself half blind
She lost her youth and she lost her Tony and now she's lost her mind.

This song is brilliant. I chose it as my first Lola song as weirdly when I was a child I was completely obsessed with this song and used to try and cha cha around the house singing it (despite the fact by this point the song was already 20 years old).

Head back 3 weeks to see my initial review of Lola's Theme (NOT Copacabana)

SCORE: Unfortunately Barry Manilow's magnum opus was not in the top 5 in 2004 so I had better rate Lola's Theme instead, still a 6/10.


As this song still won't go away, in our search for 'content' and 'something to say' we must delve into the murky waters of the Dry Your Eyes YouTube comments. I warn you, this comes with a huge trigger warning for eye rolling.

I have removed names to protect identities of those emotional souls involved. But honestly, Christ. Can you imagine being in a pub full of men when this song came on over the (presumably tinny) overhead speakers? Can you just IMAGINE the way your heart would SINK, when every man there, including I don't know your BOYFRIEND who you were THERE WITH started singing along? Who was in that pub that evening? Shall we consult lists of minor UK earthquakes that have taken place over the past ten years, so we can consider the possibility that the plates beneath the earth's surface began to move, caused by presumably scores of pub guests cringing so hard they formed a mild pressure vacuum? 

SCORE: 4/10


Well, Thunderbirds Are Go is one thing (note: has this film completely disappeared from popular culture or what? When was the last time you heard anyone talk about it?) but it's good to have 3am back. However.

Another break up song for the 2004 top 5 this week. FOUR break up songs in ONE top 5 is surely too much to be a coincidence so I decided to do a bit of research to  who may have been buying these songs. Here's a few couples who broke up in 2004 so may have been sobbing into their personal CD players:

  • Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck - a bad break up's one thing, but I can't imagine how much it hurts when you have a portmanteau involved. 
  • Nick Carter and Paris Hilton - both involved in two of the greatest songs of all time, but sadly for Nick, The Call was already behind him yet Paris had Stars Are Blind yet to come.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal and Kirsten Dunst - just goes to show that if you're young, attractive and extremely rich you can spend nights in listening to My Happy Ending on repeat just like the rest of us.

I just hope for all of these celebrities' sakes it was Busted and Avril Lavigne they were listening to and not The Streets.

SCORE: 8/10.

Top 5 Today - 17th August 2004

5. ELLA HENDERSON - GHOST (Up from number 6)

So it's a shame that streaming means these now essentially archaic songs keep knocking about and stopping new entries charting higher, but hey, at least it's not George Ezra. 

Going to the river to pray location of the week

St Peter's Church, Minsterworth, is on the banks of the River Severn. Whilst you're there, why not learn some self-defence and/or hire a marquee?

SCORE: 9/10


Now everyone. I'm very sorry because I'm unsure if this makes me a bad 2014 pop fan, but I just don't 'get' Kiesza. The first time I heard Hideaway I needed to turn it off as the shrieking was irritating my ears. After many many months of hearing it everywhere I go I am beginning to come round to the fact the "ooh ahh" bit is pretty catchy, but listening to Giant in my Heart all I can think is that this sounds exactly like Hideaway but just not as good. I find Kiesza's voice abrasive and the 'deep house' thing that is all popular at the moment just doesn't do it for me. On the plus side, this video is brilliant and includes wigs, drinking wine from the bottle and hitting someone over the head with a stapler. The 'typical Friday night' joke tells itself.

SCORE: 4/10. 


Now, I haven't checked, but I'd be willing to bet money on that this has to be one of the highest charting songs of all time to explicitly namecheck Mephistopheles in the lyrics. In case you're unfamiliar with German folklore, Faust made a pact with Mephistopheles to sell his soul in exchange for power and success. I pose a question for my readers to discuss in their weekly book club meetings in which this blog is mentioned: Out of all of the artists mentioned in this blog today, which do you think is most likely to have made a pact with Mephistopheles? I will leave that with you.

SCORE: 7/10

2. MAGIC! - RUDE (Non-mover)

Screenshot of the week from Magic!'s video for Rude that shows female love interest's father was right to disapprove of possible marriage

I initially thought this song was alright and rated it a 7/10, if you remember correctly. However, I cannot emphasise how much this song is the opposite of a grower. Each time I listen to it I find it that little bit more irritating. And let's have a quick look at the above screenshot: imagine being in bed with a man and him insisting on playing you the guitar whilst wearing THAT t-shirt? I bet you anything he's playing Sweet Home Alabama and expecting her to swoon. I BET YOU ANYTHING.

SCORE: 7/10. 

1. NICO & VINZ - AM I WRONG (Non-mover)

Although the following YouTube comment is undoubtedly, basic:

It did make me feel a bit nostalgic, as sometimes I really don't know how I would have managed my Year 9 SATs without constantly replaying in my head Gotta Get Thru This by Daniel Bedingfield.

(Oh, and the song's still great and I'm glad it's at the top for a second week).

SCORE: 9/10 


Top 5 10 Years Ago: 34/50
Top 5 Today: 36/50

I think today's top 5 is the best overall top 5 we've had so far, so well done, current British public! Tune in next week to see if rose-tinted nostalgia or the excitement of now will become triumphant.

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