2004 vs 2014: THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN

01:08

Happy New Year, everyone! I know that 2014 is pretty much old news, but given that for 23 Sundays of it I wrote a little feature you may have seen me tweet about a couple of times where I compared the top five best selling singles from ten years ago to the top five from today, I thought it deserved a good send off. And here is where 2004 and/or 2014 come to die.

THE RULES
I shall compare the top 5 best selling songs from 2004 with the top 5 best selling songs from 2014, ranking each out of 10.
This shall then be added up to determine once and for all whether the British public as a whole had better taste in music in 2004 or 2014.
I shall link to my original reviews of the songs if they do exist (remember, I only started doing these posts in mid-July, even though it may feel like I've been doing them since 1993) BUT and this is a CRUCIAL difference from my usual approach: given that we have had some time to live and get comfortable with these songs, I WILL allow myself to revise my original score. This is normally banned for statistical reasons.

SO LET'S GO.

THE TOP 5 BEST SELLING SONGS OF 2004

5. USHER FT LUDACRIS & LIL JON - YEAH




Original Review: This never hit 10 Years Ago vs Today in the traditional sense but I did give it a prominent position in my ten favourite top 5 songs from 2004 list.
Updated Review: Universally appealing 10/10 club bangers are fewer and further between than the world deserves. However, remember this: no one can ever take this song away from us. This should be a staple on every getting-ready playlist. As I type this sentence I'm wearing oversized penguin pyjamas and sipping a cup of lukewarm tea and suddenly I'm feeling extremely ready to hit the floor. (Plus, this contains possibly the best lyric of all time, "Watch out, my outfit's ridiculous, in the club looking so conspicious").
Verdict: An extremely thorough 10/10.

4. ERIC PRYDZ - CALL ON ME



Original Review: It feels like I have spent most of my twenties so far writing some variation of "I have no idea what to say about Eric Prydz this week" but you can find the very first time back here.
Updated Review: This song only did so well because of the ridiculous lunging in the music video. There, I said it. This song is just not good. If this came on at 2.20am in a club and you were tired you would leave. And if you're saying you wouldn't leave, a) you're lying, and b) it's probably because you spent so much time watching this video over and over again when it came out that you now associate it with a very certain kind of happy memory. *Pointed look*.
Verdict: An utterly disinterested 4/10. The worst kind of number one; it's not even bad enough for me to slag it off properly. 

3. DJ CASPER - CHA CHA SLIDE



Original Review: Perhaps for the best, this is the first time that this has ended up on my 2004 radar.
Updated Review: If you look back through the top 5 best selling songs of all the years, as I often do, you will find that very often they look like they've been picked by whoever the DJ was at the worst wedding you've ever been to. One of the greatest modern mysteries is how precisely nobody loves a song with a lyrically prescribed dance routine, yet still this apparently has sold enough copies to the third biggest selling single of 2004. Some Girls by Rachel Stevens was only the 40th biggest seller of 2004. Think about that.
Verdict: If this came on at a party I would leave within ten minutes. However, if someone I fancied was there, I would probably put up with it. Scientifically then this song deserves a 2/10.

2. EAMON - F**K IT (I DON'T WANT YOU BACK)


Original Review: Luckily for some (me) this song became number one before Ten Years Ago vs Today was even a twinkle in my eye. (Fun fact: when I first thought of the idea I thought I'd only do it once. Coming up to six months now, eh?)
Updated Review: You know those rumours that in the 80s Coke changed their recipe and invented 'New Coke' just so everyone would want old Coke back and it would overall drive up sales? That's kind of like this single along with Frankee's magnum opus 'F.U.R.B'. I am all for a bitter break-up anthem - there's little I love more than a bitter break-up anthem - but I'm sorry Eamon, this song is not good. "I can't sweat that cos I loved a hoe" isn't even the worst lyric. I mean it. Not even the worst. However, they say that the best revenge against an ex is success so Eamon can rest easy knowing he had the second biggest selling single of 2004 and Frankee only managed the tenth. (The least surprising 'interesting fact' ever: Frankee and Eamon never actually met).
Verdict: Melodically this isn't completely diabolical so I'll allow it a 3.

1. BAND AID 20 - DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS?




Original Review: Tis the season so is fairly recent: you can find the review here.
Updated Review: Top selling single of 2004; Band Aid 30 was merely the thirtieth top selling single of 2014. Perhaps I am biased as this is the Band Aid I grew up with and a Band Aid that entered my life in a time that I was young and for the first time really started caring about charity and starting to get it and starting to understand that maybe if we all did a little we could make a big difference, but to me, this is my best Band Aid. Well done Justin Hawkins, Sugababes, Dizzee Rascal, Rachel Stevens et. al. I am putting you all to bed for now but will be sure to wheel this out for next Christmas. 
Verdict: Unfortunately a song's gotta inspire re-p-p-p-p-eat to hit 8/10 but this surely deserves a good 7.

THE TOP 5 BEST SELLING SONGS OF 2014

5. ED SHEERAN - THINKING OUT LOUD



Original review: Once upon a time I for the first time told the tragic tale of when I swiped left to Ed Sheeran by accident and his music then became good in order to punish me. 
Updated review: It may have been another year-end top 5 for the unimaginative wedding DJs among us, but this doesn't stop this song being simply lovely. My favourite thing about this song is the title. I like the idea of sitting next to Ed Sheeran on the bus and then he randomly starts spouting loads of crap about still loving you when he's seventy and then being like "oh, sorry, just thinking out loud." Like it's a bit casual, informal, effortless. Not even trying to be nice or romantic or anything. Just when he's thinking about you, those are just the things that he thinks. It's that simple. 
Verdict: A YES, I pretend a bit to be cynical but my lockscreen is my grandparents' wedding photo 9/10.

4. MR PROBZ - WAVES (ROBIN SCHULZ REMIX)



Original review: This song came out before I started doing 10 Years Ago Vs Today (yes! Such a time existed!)
Updated review: I'm surprised this song did quite so well as to me it didn't seem to be absolutely everywhere, and I listened to a lot of Capital FM at the time it was out. Still, I suppose I didn't go on some kind of basic girls' holiday this year where I imagine this probably would have been played a lot. I quite like this. Do I want to repeat? Not particularly. But I do enjoy the 'mellow' feel and the remix totally works (the acoustic version of this on Christmas Day Top of the Pops did more to numb my mind than three large glasses of Baileys). Looking forward to seeing it on IBIZA CHILL compilations for many years to come.
Verdict: A 'this is slightly above average, but let's not get excited' 6/10.

3. JOHN LEGEND- ALL OF ME




Original review: I wasn't doing these posts when this originally came out, but I did review it when it got back into the top 5 following John Legend's performance on X Factor.
Updated review: Believe it or not, this song was never actually number one, so it's done quite well to be the third biggest selling song of the year. I used to think this song was really basic. Well, let's be honest, it's pretty basic, but hear me out. I started liking this song a lot more when I began following Chrissy Teigen (John's wife) on Twitter and realised that she was actually really clever and funny. I don't know why but I always assumed that this song was written about someone boring. The fact it was actually written about someone who wasn't just pretty but was actually funny and interesting is inspiring. 
Verdict: I'm gonna give it a 7/10. I know, I know it's all very 'by numbers' but it's still nice and good for John and Chrissy and everything. Doesn't reach the magical 8 as I'm afraid No Replay Value.

2. CLEAN BANDIT FT JESS GLYNNE - RATHER BE 



Original Review: This was gone by the time I'd originally started 10 Years Ago vs Today, but I did review it in my top ten top 5 hits of 2014. And when I say 'review it', I wrote four paragraphs about my journey of self-discovery through the year and basically tagged on "really like this song" at the end.
Updated Review: This song is honestly perfect. It's different. It's happy. It's inspiring. It makes me want to dance. It makes me do Scary Person Grin when it comes on and I'm on the bus. It makes me have life epiphanies in nightclubs. I can't fault it. I really can't.
Verdict: A truly thorough 10. I'm gonna give it a few months or so just to check that it's not all 2014-euphoria clouding my judgement, but I'm pretty sure this might be one for my Favourite Songs Of All Time playlist. This playlist currently only has eleven songs on it so this is a Big Deal.

1. PHARRELL WILLIAMS - HAPPY



Original Review: Doesn't exist as pretty embarrassingly for 2014 the biggest selling song was actually originally released in 2013.
Updated Review: Despite the fact we've probably heard this song this year more times than we've brushed our teeth (and I'm being serious. Think about it. You brush your teeth like, 730 times in a year. Do you really think you've heard Happy less than 730 times?) it STILL inspires an emotional response. It seems to be the done thing to slate this song because everyone's so sick of it and I must admit in the summer I was yammering along with the rest of them but with the benefit of a season or two only hearing this maybe four times a day as opposed to eighty seven I can say: this song is actually quite amazing.
HOWEVER I would like to add that this is NOT an appropriate song for a nightclub as it's difficult to dance properly to it because all it inspires is clapping and maybe the odd shimmy. Look, basically, what I'm saying is it's not appropriate to get low to Happy and I don't want any song on my dancefloor I can't get low to. I propose a moratorium.
Verdict: I'm gonna give it an 8. We can't deny it's got that replay value.


ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN COMMENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2004 with such highlights as the greats EAMON and the CHA CHA SLIDE has achieved a fairly pathetic.... twenty six points out of fifty!
2014 with actually a pretty solid selection has achieved an impressive........forty points out of fifty!!!

2014 IS OUR WINNER!!!!!!!!

CONCLUSION: In 2014 the British public had empirically better music taste than in 2004. This has been proved above. Therefore, when people say "music isn't as good as it used to be" they are lying. Thank you and good night and happy new year. 

All the information for 10 Years Ago vs Today comes from the Official Charts website.

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