Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published May 19th 2020
Looking back on a year
After recently looking at the songs from 60 years ago and a great album from 40 years ago I decided to stop depressing myself and look at the songs from only 10 years ago!
In 2010, I was a teacher, and… my memories of the music of the year are not good. My class featured a lot more classic rock than modern music. And, going through my music collection, guess what I discovered? The music… is not good.
There were some really good rock albums released and some good songs, but the songs on the charts were so not good. I was surprised at how few songs I personally own that were released in the year 2010. I have a number of fine albums, but very few singles. This has been the hardest year to collate into a list that I have attempted thus far.
Having said that, there were some fine songs in 2010. But before I go there, two great albums were also released: Slash by Slash
The lead guitarist from Guns N'Roses enlisted the help of a bunch of friends to record a simply awesome album. Little Immaculate White Fox by Pearl
Meat Loaf's daughter Pearl released her debut album in 2010 and it kicked so hard that its foot is probably still sore. This was the most under-rated album I think I have ever heard. The critics loved it, classic rock nerds like me loved it, but it did not make much of a blimp on the charts.
All right, for such an uninspiring year, there were still some honourable mentions: 'ABC News Theme (Pendulum Remix)' by Peter Wall & Tony Ansell; 'Anything' by Pearl; 'Back From Cali' by Slash with Myles Kennedy; 'Barbra Streisand' by Duck Sauce; 'Black Country' by Black Country Communion; 'Bollywood' by Liz Phair (I'm allowed to like a Liz Phair song!); 'California Isn't Big Enough' by Meat Loaf; 'End Of Me' by Apocalyptica feat. Gavin Rossdale; 'F**k You' by Cee-Lo Green; 'F**kin' Perfect' by P!nk; 'Internet Killed The Video Star' by The Limousines; 'Let Me Hear You Scream' by Ozzy Osbourne; 'Queensland' by Evil Eddie; 'Tomorrow Never Knows' by Herbie Hancock; 'White Knuckles' by OK Go. Yeah, not a huge list.
So, this list is 15 songs long, split into 3 groupings. The songs are just in alphabetical order, with no final "best song of the year". There is a very simple reason for this – I couldn't decide which song I liked most! Pearl, Adele, P!nk, and Slash were all in the running and I simply couldn't pick one over the other.
List 1: Original songs.
'Beautiful Dangerous' by Slash with Fergie
Not the first time these two will appear here… This is a great rock song from the guitarist and the Black Eyed Peas singer. The woman is such an awesome rock chick (to use the vernacular) that it makes me wonder just why her solo album was such a wimpy pop collection… Oh yeah. It sold. Pearl's album didn't. I do hate modern music choices… Anyway, this song. Great. It rocks. What more could you want?
'Big Jet Plane' by Angus & Julia Stone
A pleasant song that did surprisingly well on the annual Triple J Hottest 100 countdown. I think it might even have come out on top. Anyway, in stark contrast to the first song on the list, this is actually quite a depressing song with a simple chord structure and lilting vocalisations. It is really decent, and if it did win, I can see that.
'Bring The Light' by Beady Eye
Liam Gallagher's band after Oasis was this one. And this first track was a blinder. It is most definitely kowtowing to the Beatles' influence that Oasis flirted with. And then… the band didn't do a real lot. No matter. I really enjoy this track, and discovered the students I had in 2010 did not. Oh well, their loss. I think it's pretty good.
'Dancing On My Own' by Robyn
Known better today for the slowed cover by Calum Scott in 2016, the original is a slice of Europop, and is a lot more upbeat and very definitely more danceable. I really prefer this version to the later cover. The lyrics were not really changed in Scott's version from female to male, and it is confusing. Anyway, I really don't know why I like this track, but it does make me smile and sing along.
'Los Angeloser' by Meat Loaf
The generally accepted wisdom is that if a Meat Loaf album has no songs supplied by Jim Steinman then it generally doesn't work. I disagree because I like many of his albums, but the album this track comes from – Hang Cool Teddy Bear – even had the critics thinking Steinman was not a necessity. Yes, in the year his daughter made such a huge rock impact, daddy Loaf released a good album, and this is my favourite track from it. The whole album sounds like they had a load of fun making it, and this track is one of the real fun tracks. Yeah, I like it.
'Raise Your Glass' by P!nk
One of the new songs recorded for a greatest hits album, this P!nk track is one that still gets played at the gym, even by me. It has such a great driving beat and is basically a song telling you to just get on with things. And one thing I really like about it – she made a mistake in the recording process, and they kept it in. It just adds to that "I don't care" vibe. The cynic in me wonders if the mistake was calculated, but I like to think better than that of the songs I like.
'Rolling In The Deep' by Adele
For most of us int the world, the whole "Adele can really sing" thing started with this. Her voice is stunning. There is no need for autotune, no need for over-orchestration to dominate her voice, just let her sing and she will do it with power, passion and what feels like real emotion. I am a sucker for a great voice – Adele has a great voice. So glorious.
'Whore' by Pearl
The stand-out track from the album by Pearl, this song has the hallmarks of a song by her father, and she can well and truly handle it. It has power, it is over the top and it sounds like she is enjoying singing it. There is not much more I can say about this song – it is just that good. Mind you, I do think this is the first time I have ever had a parent/child on the same list. And it was a songs of the year list, not a themed list? What a strange year 2010 was musically.
Edit: It has come to my attention this may have been a cover of the band Pearl's partner was in. She was certainly performing it live before the album. But my research is inconclusive. Sorry.
List 2: Comedy song.
'I Just Had Sex' by The Lonely Island feat. Akon
I shouldn't like this. It's silly and it's puerile and it is so far beneath me. But I laugh every time I hear it, and the video clip with the cameos also makes me laugh even harder. What video? you may ask. Well… this song is really Not Safe For Work, so there is a link right about here, but, I say it again, it is not safe for work. No, really. What's the song about? Look at the title. Yeah… that's it.
List 3: Cover songs.
'England Rocks' by Joe Elliott's Down 'N' Outz
The album My ReGeneration was another criminally underrated album from 2010. Why are the albums I like the ones ignored by the general populace? It was a covers album, sure, but this is Joe Elliott from Def Leppard with members of Mott the Hoople! How could this not be loved? I got the shorter 10-track version; there is a 13-track one I could not get in Australia at the time. Maybe I should go looking for it… Anyway, this is a great song.
Interesting factoid: Most people know this by an altered cover – the old 'Cleveland Rocks', the song transported across the Atlantic.
'Heroes' by Peter Gabriel
A cover of the David Bowie track from Peter Gabriel's covers album. He expected those whose tracks he covered to follow suit and cover others in the circle of coverage. It didn't quite work out, but Gabriel's album is still really good. This is a stripped down, piano-led version of the song, sounding desperate in a different way to the frankly awesome original. The whole album is not too bad, but this is my highlight.
'Nutbush City Limits' by Pearl
That Loaf family again! Pearl's take on the Ike and Tina Turner classic is gruntier and it suits Pearl's voice so well. I'm not sure we could do the Madison (as it was called in Australia at least) to it, but this is not the point of this song. This is to be rocked out to. Pearl is magnificent. Pity I haven't been able to find her other two albums in Australia, and importing them is cost-prohibitive. But 2010 was the year of Pearl Aday.
'Paradise City' by Slash feat. Fergie & Cypress Hill
Told you Slash and Fergie would be back! And this song has come up before because I really like it. Is it as good as the original? Probably not, but I can still really get into it. Look, I know it's sales, but seriously – Fergie needs to release a rock album. With Slash on guitar. Even Cypress Hill can't ruin this track. I do like this song. A lot.
'The Time (Dirty Bit)' by The Black Eyed Peas
Whether this is a cover or not is contentious, but considering how much of 'I've Had The Time Of My Life' is used, around the "original" verses, I'm counting it. Look, this is one of those songs I think I am in the minority when it comes to liking it, and it is certainly a guilty pleasure song for me, but I enjoy it. It is another decent work-out song as well. And Fergie again?
'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet' by Bachman & Turner
And we finish with a re-recording of the Bachman-Turner Overdrive classic from their 2010 comeback album (minus Mr Overdrive… I think?) Forged In Rock. Randy Bachman and Fred Turner deliver the classic from their back catalogue in a way that is different, though not so much that it is unrecognisable (unfortunately, the only video I could find is a live one where it sounds more like the original). Okay, not as good as the original, but still good. Really good. And a fine way to finish this list.
So, there you have it, the 15 songs I think represent 2010 in music. A very rock-centric mix, but so much of the charting music was derivative rap, soul-less r&b or trite hip-hop. I like what I like, and this is what I like. A lot of the Meat Loaf family. Clearly.
So, I hope you at least enjoyed these few selections from an otherwise disappointing year in music.