This opening is effectively a disclaimer. These are my Top 50 Singles, I didn’t get any outside opinions, as I really couldn’t be bothered to spend time putting a poll together. Also, the shortlist was put together in a couple of hours, so I may have made a big mistakes in leaving a couple of great singles out. But I’m pretty pleased with the 50, and I could reorder them tomorrow, and they’d probably come out in a different order – so keep that in mind. Right, on with the countdown.
50. Chris Brown ft. Benni Benassi – Beautiful People.
I’d like to state for the record, that I thoroughly despise Chris Brown, especially as a person. He’s nicked one of my favourite all-time tracks, ‘I’m Not Alone’, and used it in one of his ‘own’ songs. And the obvious reason, of being a woman-beater. But to be fair to him, this is a belter (all puns intended). Even Calvin admitted he loved it, despite Brown earlier taking parts of his track – apparently they’re ‘best mates’ now?
49. Katy B – Broken Record.
There’s been a lot of hype around Katy B this year, and for good reason too. NNE, The Guardian and lots of other critics loved her album. Which, if I’m honest, I found strange. I mean, I liked the album, not loved, just liked. But I thought it would have been an album critics would’ve slated? Anyway, ‘Katy On A Mission’ is by far her most recognised, and my favourite, track – but it was released in 2010. So, this is my second choice, and it’s a very good second choice. I could’ve also picked ‘Lights On’ or ‘Easy Please Me’, which shows the multi-genred singer’s consistency to produce great singles.
48. Jai Paul – BTSTU.
Released: 21st April 2011/Charted: #139
This track went absolutely massive in late 2010/early 2011, with seemingly every Radio 1 DJ expressing their love for it. Zane Lowe had it as his ‘Hottest Track In The World’, and I’m pretty sure Fearne Cotton had it as her ‘Record Of The Week’ too. Annie Mac also include it on her ‘Annie Mac Presents 2011’ compilation album. And perhaps most impresively of all, Drake and Beyonce have sampled it on their own tracks.
47. The Vaccines – Norgaard.
Released: 19th August 2011/ Charted: #84
The surprisingly short single release (1:39) off their brilliant album, ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines’, features, in my view, one of the best hooks of the year: “Her mind’s made up/ She don’t wanna go steady/ She’s only 17/ So she’s probably not ready.” It’s not the most intellectually challenging hook – but since when did that matter. I see it as a great song to sing, especially when drunk.
46. Fenech-Soler – Stop And Stare.
Released: 15th April 2011/ Charted: ?
It’s been a right up-and-down year for the amazingly talented Fenech-Soler. In March, Ben Duffy, was diagnosed with testicular cancer – which luckily, he fully recovered from. But it did result in the cancellation of their planned 9 date UK tour – but obviously on the wider scale of the things, it didn’t really matter. All proceeds of ‘Stop And Stare’ were donated to ‘The Teenage Cancer Trust’ – which I think is just amazingly thoughtful. The band would have been forgiven for slowing down, but they came back in the summer, and remarkably played at 23 festivals, including V Festival and Glasto.
45. Kasabian – Re-Wired.
Released: 20th October 2011/Charted: #96
Re-Wired is the second single off of Kasabian’s album ‘Velociraptor!’ Obviously, the decline in guitar/band based music has meant it didn’t achieve anywhere near what their previous albums did, which is an actual shame. But chart positions aren’t everything, and to be honest, it was just great to see Kasabian back. Especially in this track, as it beautifully features Noel Fielding on a bike.
44. James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream.
Released: 3rd March 2011/ Charted: #136
It was always going to be tough for James Blake to follow up ‘Limit To Your Love’ – which drew in large amounts of people, and it seemed to split people down the middle. Some loved, some hated. Well, I loved it – and the album, which is one of the best from 2011. It didn’t have the success it deserved, probably as it was available on the album before the single release date, but it just didn’t get the same hype that his previous single had rightly got.
Released: 21st February 2011/Charted: #76
‘Mirrorwriting’ is Jamie Woon’s debut album received a great reception, and it backed up the 4th place in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 poll. It’s so obvious he’s talented, and Lady Luck has always been my favourite from him. If you haven’t heard or listened to Jamie, then please buy ‘Mirrorwriting’ – you really cannot go wrong.
Released: (digitally) 16th April 2011/Charted: #28
This, I’m sure would have been a contender for number one. But it was released the day/day after of it’s first ever radio play, and only digitally. This meant there was very little promo time, and they were limited in how many people could buy it. But it’s Arctic Monkeys, anything they do is right in my view. It was the lead single to their ‘Suck It And See’ album, which again for me, doesn’t do what the Arctic Monkeys do best. But as I said, it’s the Arctic Monkeys, they can’t be bad – ever.
Released: 7th March 2011/ Charted: # ?
Much like James Blake, how Aloe Blacc could ever match the success of ‘I Need A Dollar’, I don’t know. But this track gives it a fairly good go at matching it musically anyway. It’s one of the many great songs off Aloe’s album ‘Good Things’ – a much recommended album to buy.
Released: 17th June 2011/Charted: #51
Similarly to Kasabian, we saw a return from the brilliant Hard-Fi in 2011, with their album ‘Killer Sounds’. I was lucky enough to catch them at V Festival where they put in a great set on a small little stage. But I can’t help imagining the size of stage they would’ve been on off the back of their debut album ‘Stars Of CCTV’ though. However, the sinlge is great and so is the album, so check out both if you haven’t already!
Released: 19th August 2011/Charted: #1
This is the first UK Charting #1 in my Top 50, but if this was a year ago, an Olly Murs song would’ve been no-where near my Top 50. But his 2011 campaign has converted me some-what. I find him so lovable, so hard to dislike now. Even Example realised how nice he was this summer at V Festival, after hating him for so long. Also, the way he added to Rizzle Kicks’ budding success in summer was a great touch.
Released: 28th October 2011/Charted: #4
Got to admit, didn’t know anything about this track, or where it came from. All I know is, it’s such a great summer anthem. Just a shame it’s been released in late October really. But I really look forward to what the Swedish house producer has to offer next!
Released: 8th May 2011/Charted: #13
I’ve been a big fan of Yasmin ever since she was announced as a support act for Example on one of his earlier tours – and there’s no doubt of her immense talent! If she doesn’t have a very successful 2012, I’d be very surprised!
Released: 29th April 2011/Charted: #21
Truly brilliant track this. But what more could you expect from Chase & Status and Delilah. Time is just one of the great collaboration on one of the biggest album of the year, ‘No More Idols’! Oh, and it’s not the only time (this time there was not pun intended) Chase & Status or Delilah feature on this Top 50!
Released: 22nd July 2011/Charted: #50
Originally released on Magnetic Man’s self-titled album, Anthemic was then released as a single, but this time incorporating P Money. It’s really worked a treat, possibly an unexpected successful collaboration. It still keeps the, funnily enough, anthemic sound from the Magnetic Man trio, but also then added a grime edge to it – which worked brilliantly.
Released: 12th September 2011/Charted: #2
Like ‘Don’t Sit Down…’, ‘Paradise’ didn’t get the immediate chart success, as it was available for free when pre-ordering Coldplay’s newest album, ‘Mylo Xlyoto’. But since is chart eligible date, it’s had great success, and is currently riding high in the iTunes charts still – when I last looked it was above Little Mix. Thank God. It is a really addictive track, which has to be one of my favourite Coldplay tracks, just after ‘Fix You’.
Released: 5th August 2011/Charted: #1
The track which took Dubstep to number 1. It’s a massive song, and not just in terms of it being a great single – it’s effectively a landmark for Dubstep, in a year which has seen it take of massively. Partly down to Nero. Number 1 album and single really showed doubters that Dubstep can be properly commercially successful.
Released: 22nd April 2011/Charted: #8
A Nero double here. I imagine if I reordered some time in the near future, I would’ve placed ‘Guilt’ and ‘Promises’ a bit higher, but ah well. 32 and 33 isn’t too bad really. ‘Guilt’ is, well, just massive. There’s not really a better way to describe it. Nero at their best for me! (They will also feature as the producers of a single later on, ant guesses?)
Released: 11th November/Charted: #5
This single is the first entry from the immensely talented Ed Sheeran! (Read here about his ground-braking 2011: https://willackrillmusic.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/who-does-2011-belong-to-ed-sheeran/) It may seem low, but he has 2 other singles in my Top 50 so, it’s not too bad. This one will probably be remembered for it’s video. Staring Rupert Grint as a weird stalker of Ed Sheeran. It’s just an instant classic!
Released: 27th November 2011/Charted: #21
Emeli is by far one of the most talented singers in the world. That’s a big statement I know. But watch her this year, and you’ll be agreeing very soon! Her album will put so many other artists to shame early next year. But for now, we have to make do with ‘Heaven’, and her latest single, ‘Daddy’. I was unsure which to put in here, but went for ‘Daddy’ as it shows her amazing consistency. (Again, she’ll be back on this list, as a featured artists this time.)
Released: 5th April 2011/Charted: # ?
A single release from Wiley’s 7th (yes, 7th!) album. And he kept the standards we expect from one of the most influencial grime artists -if not raised them! Great beat, and ever greater lyrics. Oh, and the video’s great. Just generally great really.
Released: 20th July 2011/Charted: #28
The lead single from the massive ‘Watch The Throne’ collaboration album. And surprisingly, the single was massive as well. Jay and Kanye at, if not their best, very close to it! Get ready for more collabing between these two in 2012! (https://willackrillmusic.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/jay-z-and-kanye-to-release-solo-albums-oh-and-a-second-watch-the-throne-all-in-2012/)
Released: 6th September/Charted: #17
An amazing debut single from the beautifully talented Delilah. Obviously known from her collab with Chase & Status with ‘Time’ featured at Number 36 earlier. This time it’s her track which enters the Top 50. It really is a stunningly soulful track from her! Much like Emeli Sande, watch out for her in 2012! (again, not the last time you’ll see Delilah in this post!)
Released: 23rd May 2011/Charted: # ?
One of the hottest producers out there right now, already with a brilliant, and critically acclaimed studio album out! If you haven;t bought it, I now urge you to! Wildfire was released as a single, and luckily it also happens to be my favourite from the self-titled album.
Released: 4th December 2011/Charted: #19
Another showcase of the diversity of British music in 2011. I can’t really think of anything similar to ‘Still Speedin” really. Which again shows the originality, which can often be ignored when pummelled with X-Factor finalists. Wish it charted higher to be fair, 19’s great, but it deserved more!
Released: 16th December/Charted: #18 (so far!)
This is the first of two individual entries from the hottest duo in music right now. Their rise of success has been failry sudden. In the last 6 months, it’s really taken off for them, and right so! I’ve met them, and they are so down to earth, and exactly how they seem in the cheeky, yet great, videos and songs – and Mama Do The Hump epitomizes that!
Released: 8th July 2011/Charted: # 86
A fairly unknown track, unless you’re big fans of these artists. But it’s a track all of you should learn about! Premièred on Mistajam’s show a while back in summer, it showcases UK at it’s finest. Ed was still fairly unknown at this point, so it was even more underground than you might have thought.
Released: 22nd July 2011/Charted: #16
The debut single release from the versatile and massively talented Maverick Sabre. A release which drew large amounts of new fans in, especially the Chris Moyles Breakfast Show Team, who’ve had him on the show a couple of times – most recently to perform a cover of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ – which was stunningly beautiful. Again, another one to expect big things from!
Released: 11th December/Charted: #49
The first of 4 entries from Wretch 32 in my Top 50! In my view, despite the shunning from the MOBO Awards, he’s had a massively successful year. Forgiveness has the added brilliance of Etta Bond! (who’s singed to Labrinth’s record – so you know she’s good!)
Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #3
Some of you may be surprised to see this single at 20, amybe it should be higher? But I see it as released in 2010, on the ‘Loose Change’ EP – so to me, it’s already been there for ages. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, and it’s the song that got Ed to where he is now, so it’s obviously important!
Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #52
True Tiger deserve all the accolade they will rightly get in 2012! I’m certain things will really take off for them, and I really hope I’m right! This track sees them collaborate with Pro Green and Mverick Sabre again, after the success of Pro’s single, ‘Jungle’. It was performed live on Radio 1 from the Olympic Stadium – and I think they boys managed to get a cheeky 100m race in too! The video’s also worth watching, showing a mad mass of pigeons chasing someone. Yeah, it really does.
Released: 19th August 2011/Charted: #2
This was the last song I saw performed at V Festival in the summer, so I have a real connection to this song. It was the perfect set from the Scottish producer, and ‘Feel So Close’ was the perfect way to round off an amazing weekend. Calvin is featured again in the Top 50 again, so keep looking!
Released: 28th August 2011/Charted: #1
This is the first entry from Example – an artist who has had an incredible 2011, with a number 1 album, and two number 1 singles – ‘Stay Awake’ being one of them! It’s produced by the immensely talented Nero, so you couldn’t really have a better combination. Another track which was a real highlight of the summer just gone!
Released: 18th December 2011/Charted: (charts on 25th I think?)
The third inclusion of the supremely talented vocalist. ‘Love You So’ is my personal favourite of her ever growing collection of tracks, and I’m really looking forward to see what her album in the new year will be like! (I bet it’s probably pretty good?!)
Released: 3rd July 2011/Charted: #1
Probably helped by it’s inclusion in the Lucozade adverts, DJ Fresh’s track, ‘Louder’ went down an absolute storm! Played all over radios, watched all over TV, played everywhere by DJs! It was definitely another massive summer track!
Released: 10th June 2011/Charted: #8
This was their second single, but their first to get properly noticed. I remember not being to sure of the newly produced version of ‘Down With…’, (yes, there is an older version…) but it really grew on me, and I was so glad they were finally, and deservedly, noticed for their talent – especially after Fearne Cotton had it as her ‘Record Of The Week’.
Released: 4th December 2011/Charter: #30
My favourite album track (until it was then released as a single off the back of the ‘Playing IN The Shadows’ album obviously). The EP features some amazing remixes of ‘Midnight Run’ by the way – especially courtesy of Example’s bassist, Sheldrake! The production from Feed Me (who’s on the Deadmau5 label!) is unbelievable too!
12. Calvin Harris ft. Kelis – Bounce.
Released: 12th June 2011/Charted: #2
This is the second time Calvin has featured in the Top 50. It’s also the second no.2 hit he’s had this year. Both times I think he was beaten by Example, with his two number 1 singles. But despite that, ‘Bounce’ was heard everywhere over summer, a properly addictive track!
Released: 13th September 2011/Charted: #6 (US Billboard)
An unbelievable record from my two favourite Hip-Hop artists of all time. The beat is just indescribably good! Apparently Jay and Kayne performed it about 8 times in 1 set – got to say, I really wouldn’t mind that, at all! My favourite off the ‘Watch The Throne’ album by a mile!
NOW WE’RE GETTING INTO IT! TOP 10:
Released: 23rd October 2011/Charted: #2
Labrinth is without doubt, on of the biggest producers out there, so it’s no surprise that the beat he created to his single, ‘Earthquake’ was unreal! Tinie also showed us that he will never forget his roots and the people who helped him – obviously Lab produced and collabed with Tinie on his debut album. Labrinth’s going to be huge in the upcoming year, I’m sure of it! It was the highest selling number 2 single of the year, losing out only to…
Released: 23rd October 2011/Charted: #1
…to this single. The incredibly emotional ‘Read All About It’. Which features the chillingly talented vocals of Emeli Sande, whilst Professor Green spills his heart out on one of the deepest records he’s ever made! Rightly his first massive number 1 hit – and rightfully in the top 10 on here too! (It was also the first track I reviewed, ever!)
Released: 28th August 2011/Charted: #4
Despite charting one place lower than ‘The A Team’, it sold more copies in it’s first week, and helped promote the number 1 smash album, ‘+’. This sing has so many different versions, and it was great to finally see it get some rightful accolade. My favourite Sheeran song? Well, maybe. But definitely my favourite Sheeran single.
Released: 14th August 2011/Charted: #1
This is Wretch 32’s second entry into this Top 50. And it was his first number 1, at the third attempt, he’d finally done it! Helped by the little known Josh Kumra. Little known, but hopefully not for much longer – his beautiful soulful voice really added to the single! (Expect to see Wretch again in the next few tracks…)
Released: 4th November 2011/Charted: #18 (Official Single Version)
Right, this is technically a remix. Technically. I wanted to include ‘I Need’ in the Top 20 or so, but I though the New Machines remix deserved a Top 10 place, so there you go! This is by a long way, one of the best remixes of the year! It’s hard to improve an already beaut of a track, but these guys managed it! (Look out for a New Machines feature on the ‘Soundhall‘ blog soon!)
NOW FOR THE TOP 5!
5. Flux Pavilion and Doctor P – Superbad.
Released: 9th December 2011 /Charted: #61
As I’m writing about this track, I can’t help but listen to it on repeat, and just sing it to myself. It’s the most addictive track I have ever heard! I mean, the lyrics are simple, but that’s good – as I can actually remember them. But the beat created by these two amazing producers is incredible! Can’t wait to see what they come up with in 2012!
Released: 16th January 2011/Charted: #5
This was Wretch’s first big hit. Right back in January, before touring with Example, a tour of his own, and many massive festival performances. At all of these, ‘Traktor’ was live! Famously featured on Jamal Edward’s Google Chrome advert as well! The beat, incredible. L’s vocals, incredible. Wretch’s lyrics, incredible. It was the start of a roll which saw him rise and rise in popularity!
RIGHT, FINALLY, THE TOP 3!
Released: 5th June 2011/Charted: #1
Example’s anthem. Everyone knows or has heard this track somewhere. Whether on radio, TV, or at the typically ravey end to an Example set! It’s by far one of the biggest tracks of the year, and was a proper contender for my number 1! It really was the start of the fame for Elliot Gleave, but it wasn’t a sudden rise to fame – he’d worked for this, and got the number 1 album spot, which he considered more important – correctly so!
2. Wretch 32 ft. Example – Unorthodox.
Released: 17th April 2011/Charted: #2
Yeah, so that wasn’t the last time Example features on the Top 50. His epically catchy chorus on Wretch’s second single – the follow up to ‘Traktor’ enhanced the brilliance! Sampling the ‘Fools Gold’ track from the Stone Roses was such a good idea, and it really didn’t harm the orginal in my view – Ian Brown even said he liked Wretch’s version!
SO, NUMBER 1?
Released: 15th July 2011/Charted: #39
The perfect combination between underground and commercial. The Chase & Status production, in my view, at it’s best, and also Tinie at his hardest too! I didn’t really want a number 1 track, which already would have massive attention being my number 1 as well, and this was my favourite track off ‘No More Idols’. Also, no joke here, it was the highlight of my life, seeing this track performed live TWICE with Tinie Tempah there as well! A full deserved winner in my view!
WELL, YEAH, THAT’S THAT THEN…
Well 2011 has been a mentally good year for music, especially for the UK scene – partly down to Jamal Edwards and SBTV. We’ve seen rises from great arists this year, and small rises from even newer artists, who will have stunning 2012’s. Click here to read further about the biggest stars of 2011!