Counting down in two's now - these ten songs in one way or another have absolutely defined the noughties for me. Incredibly, three of these songs were all out at the same time - I hadn't quite realised quite how brilliant late 2007 was until now!!!
10. Take That - Rule The World - 2007
Patience was a brilliant comeback single from Take That - an instant classic. Shine the same for different reasons. Then came third single I'd Wait For Life - which wasn't so great. However like many acts, Take That released a repackaged version of their album a year after the original release featuring three new tracks. One of the new tracks was Rule The World, written specially for the film Stardust. I rarely use the word epic but it can be used in this case. Easily, by a mile, the best song of their career - and one of the greatest original pop songs of the decade, if not of all time. It quickly became a favourite of mine and I still can't stop listening to it two years on, despite how horrendously over exposed it's been in the past 25 months. Unfortunately, it was released on the same week as Leona Lewis' equally decade defining song Bleeding Love and therefore only peaked at #2, albeit for 4 weeks, although it is easily the band's biggest selling single since fellow classic, 1995's Back For Good. It's hard to see how the band can ever better this song, but I would have said the same after Patience and Shine, or even after Back For Good. One of the greatest boybands of the 1990's genuinely are even more popular, and deservedly so, second time around. They put counterparts Westlife to absolute shame. Rule The World will go down as an all time classic - a brilliant melody, breathtaking production, amazing lead vocals from Gary and Howard on the chorus, and brilliant harmonies from Jason and Mark towards the end. Who would have thought that a band would come out with their best single almost 20 years into their career, particularly not one who had broken the hearts of millions of girls after splitting up in 1996!!!
9. Alcazar - Stay The Night - 2009
I'd never been a particular fan of Alcazar's UK hit singles Sexual Guarantee and Crying At The Discotheque but their Melodifestivalen songs, Not A Sinner Nor A Saint and Alcastar were much more to my taste, particularly the latter. I heard that they were returning to Melodifestivalen in 2009 and was looking forward to it but hardly incredibly excited. As always I watched the first semi final online, in which they performed, and the song was the easy standout. An emphatic energetic pop song, far better than anything they'd done before. A colourful, joyful song sung by three of the nicest people. You could tell that it meant everything for them to be there. I went to see the Melodifestivalen final live in Stockholm and was by this point incredibly excited to see them, the song having quickly become a favourite of mine. They exceeded my expectations with a perfect performance which brought great energy after a lacklustre performance from fellow former UK chart star Emilia. The reception in the arena was absolutely amazing - every single person must have loved them. I've been even more addicted to the song ever since - unfortunately they only came 5th in Melodifestivalen but THIS is the best Eurovision related song I have ever heard, and reminds me why I follow the contest. Pop gold.