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2003 Songs Of The Year

Home > Everywhere > Lists | Music | Performing Arts | Quirky | Vintage and Retro
by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published January 31st 2023
Looking back 20 years at some fine music
Doing these years looking back can be mentally awkward. Today I'm looking at 2003, and that was already 20 years ago!

20 years! Where did the time go?
2003, song, music
A 'thing' I made for a calendar cover 'back in the day'

Now, 2003 saw some strong music and some very popular songs released. But a lot of the more popular ones did nothing for me, and many of the more popular ones were actually released in 2002. So, no Evanescence, Kid Rock, Beyonce, et al. Sorry to fans. This was also the first year where the year of release and time the song became popular start to occasionally be not the same.

So, here is a list of 24 different songs. Standard rules: one song per artist, one version of each song, released in 2003, I need to like the song.

Let's go back 20 years!

'A Complicated Song' by 'Weird Al' Yankovic

So, let's start with a comedy song, a parody of Avril Lavigne's 'Complicated' which is just strange and yet still so funny.

'Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime' by Nena & Kim Wilde

80s pop with a modern sheen by two of the great female vocalists of the 1980s. This combination track is just a great piece of music and shows that Kim Wilde has never lost "it" and Nena was more than her one English-language song.

'Are You Gonna Be My Girl?' Jet

Jet are not looked upon fondly nowadays, but this, one of their early songs, is still a really good rock track, in the pub rock style of many Australian bands. And that bass line!

'Big Yellow Taxi' by Counting Crows feat. Vanessa Carlton

The genesis of this cover song is weird. Counting Crows recorded it for a 2002 album, then the studio added Vanessa Carlton to make the song feel better for a movie soundtrack and this version was released in 2003. However, it is still a very fine cover version of a classic song.

'Do It With Madonna' by The Androids

Just a silly song about liking a certain pop goddess more than other pop starlets. And yet it is one that still brings a smile to my face. Yes, it is silly, but it is also fun.

'Forever Young' by Meat Loaf

The Bob Dylan classic given a Meat Loaf make-over, and it works well with his voice. Even towards the end of his career, Meat Loaf could still deliver.

'Franco Un-American' by NOFX'

From the Regaining Unconsciousness EP, this song is one of those pop-punk protest songs that cropped up at the turn of the century, and is one of the better ones as well.

'Hey Ya!' by Outkast

This is such a fun song, one that made an entire class of students ask me what a "Polaroid photo" was. This is actually a surprisingly dark song about how much relationships in the 2000s are not good.

'Hope' by David Campbell

I have seen Campbell live and he is a great entertainer. However, a lot of Campbell's recorded music has left me flat. This song, on the other hand, is a really good one. But it is still hard to reconcile that his father is Jimmy Barnes.

'Innocent Eyes' by Delta Goodrem

I was introduced to this song and Delta's first album by a student in the class I was teaching at the time. She was surprised I liked it, but the piano playing is good, her singing is really strong and the lyrics are amazing.

'JB's Blues' by Jeff Beck

This song appeared recently when I was looking back at Jeff Beck's career, and I stand by it a great track from an under-rated guitarist.

'Lovesong' by Amiel

There are two versions of this the original version with its NSFW lyrics, and the "nice" version that radios played. This song sounds like a standard person with acoustic guitar song, but I think the lyrics are great and the way the song is performed is retro and appeals to me.

'Music Of Love' by Rick Wakeman

Wakeman is one of those artists who is so hard to nail down. He does whatever he wants whenever he wants to. And so, after so much eclectic output, in 2003 he returned to the prog rock stylings of Yes with some added hardness, and the result was a fantastic album.

'My Perfect Friend' by Randy 'Macho Man' Savage

Okay, do I like this song because it is about one of my favourite wrestlers, rapped by another of my favourite wrestlers? That's possible, but it still sends shivers down my back, so here it is.

'Never Be Alone Again' by 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts with Chrissie Hynde

Yes, a Russell Crowe song. This is really good, with a slight country feel to it, made even better by the addition of Chrissie Hynde. People seem down on Crowe's singing; here, he is right on point.

'Numb' by Linkin Park

There were a couple of songs from the Meteora album I could have chosen, but this one has stuck with me, maybe because it was on the radio so much. Still, what a great song.

'Seven Nation Army' by The White Stripes

The song that has come to define The White Stripes, this percussion-based song has already gone down as a modern rock classic. And there is a good reason for that it's great.

'Stacy's Mom' by Fountains Of Wayne

Yeah, this song is silly; yeah, this song is probably politically incorrect. But it is fun and so easy to sing along to.

'Stick Together' by The Superjesus

One of those South Australian bands that I have seen live and whose performance was always top-notch. This song is what convinced me to buy the album it came from, and I was not disappointed.

'The Opera Song (Brave New World)' by Jurgen Vries feat. CMC (Charlotte Church)

This is one of those combinations of classic stylings and modern pop that I tend to gravitate towards. It is just a strange song, recorded back when Charlotte Church was still known for being an angelic little singer, but sounds just as good now.

'True Colours' by Kasey Chambers

An Australian country (slightly?) version of the Cyndi Lauper classic, this song is a very good cover version, with enough changes and different instrumentation to make it stand out.

'We Used To Be Friends' by The Dandy Warhols

The Dandy Warhols have been releasing some interesting songs over the years, and some of their lesser-known ones have appeared in these lists. Well, this is one of their better-known ones and it is a really strong track.

'White Flag' by Dido

Like many people, I was introduced to Dido through Eminem's song 'Stan', but this song, a few years later, was everywhere and deservedly so. So beautiful.

'Why Not?' by Hilary Duff

And this is the standard "guilty pleasure" song of these lists. I was forced to see The Lizzie McGuire Movie through work, and while the film was "meh" to me, this song actually became an ear-worm that I still enjoy.

Twenty-four songs from 2003, two dozen, and I think there is a little something here for everyone. I hope you enjoyed this look back at twenty years ago.


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Why? 2003 was a surprising year for music
Where: Everywhere
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