List

NME‘s 150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years

By Tom Breihan / October 12, 2011 - 2:51 pm

NME‘s website is just now marking its 15th anniversary, a sure sign that, if nothing else, the British music magazine figured out that the internet meant something before most people did. To celebrate, they’ve published their list of the 150 best songs of the last 15 years.

The list is heavy on the Brit-rock that NME understandably favors, and the weird time-frame (1996 to 2011) means there’s a wide breadth of stuff to choose from. Radiohead figures heavily on the list, with five songs placing and “Paranoid Android” appearing in the top spot. And it’s fun to see a few of the past NME faves who didn’t quite pan out, like the Coral and Mystery Jets, showing up. (The Vines, sadly, have apparently been erased from history.)

As with any list of this type, there’s plenty to quibble with. No way does Coldplay’s “Clocks” deserve to be all the way down at #148. I can’t believe that anyone, even a British person, would call “Empire State Of Mind” the best rap song of the past 15 years. And the placement of Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” directly above LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” feels like NME‘s attempt to make fun of all of us. Still, it’s hard to complain about much of what made it into the top 20, and the list is long enough that it gives some shine to a few underappreciated classics: Wu-Tang Clan’s “Gravel Pit”! Hole’s “Celebrity Skin”! The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”! (Whatever, that song is great. Stop hating.) Check the full list below, and let us know what you thought of it in the comments section.

150 Manic Street Preachers – “Australia”
149 Crystal Castles – “Crimewave”
148 Coldplay – “Clocks”
147 Morrissey – “First Of The Gang To Die”
146 Laura Marling – “My Manic And I”
145 Fever Ray – “If I Had A Heart”
144 The Killers – “Human”
143 Oasis – “The Hindu Times”
142 Foals – “Hummer”
141 Gorillaz – “Clint Eastwood”
140 Arctic Monkeys – “A Certain Romance”
139 Coldplay – “Yellow”
138 Bat For Lashes – “What’s A Girl To Do?”
137 Doves – “There Goes The Fear”
136 Kelis – “Milkshake”
135 Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone”
134 Antony & The Johnsons – “Hope There’s Someone”
133 The Strokes – “Under Cover Of Darkness”
132 Daft Punk – “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”
131 Radiohead – “Pyramid Song”
130 Belle And Sebastian – “The Boy With The Arab Strap”
129 The Strokes – “Reptilia”
128 Hercules And Love Affair – “Blind”
127 En Vogue – “Don’t Let Go (Love)”
126 Hole – “Celebrity Skin”
125 Klaxons – “Atlantis To Interzone”
124 Supergrass – “Pumping On Your Stereo”
123 Glasvegas – “Daddy’s Gone”
122 Mercury Rev – “Goddess On A Highway”
121 Santogold -“LES Artistes”
120 Pulp – “This Is Hardcore”
119 Aaliyah & Timbaland – “We Need A Resolution”
118 LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”
117 Blink-182 – “What’s My Age Again?”
116 Wu-Tang Clan – “Gravel Pit”
115 Kings Of Leon – “Charmer”
114 Primal Scream – “Accelerator”
113 At The Drive-In – “One Armed Scissor”
112 Cee Lo Green – “Fuck You”
111 The Spice Girls – “Wannabe”
110 Sebastien Tellier – “La Ritournelle”
109 Ultrasound – “Stay Young”
108 Kasabian – “Club Foot”
107 Radiohead – “No Surprises”
106 Radiohead – “Let Down”
105 Cornershop – “Brimful Of Asha (Fatboy Slim Remix)”
104 Lily Allen – “Smile”
103 Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
102 Art Brut – “Formed A Band”
101 The Horrors – “Sea Within A Sea”
100 Mystery Jets – “Two Doors Down”
99 MGMT – “Kids”
98 The Cribs – “Men’s Needs”
97 Klaxons – “Golden Skans”
96 The Horrors – “Sheena Is A Parasite”
95 The Knife – “Heartbeats”
94 CSS – “Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above”
93 Radiohead – “Reckoner”
92 Peter Bjorn & John – “Young Folks”
91 Animal Collective – “My Girls”
90 Yeasayer – “O.N.E.”
89 The Futureheads – “Hounds Of Love”
88 Jeff Buckley – “Everybody Here Wants You”
87 The Streets – “Dry Your Eyes”
86 The Rapture – “House Of Jealous Lovers”
85 The Coral – “Dreaming Of You”
84 The Hives – “Hate To Say I Told You So”
83 Kylie Minogue – “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”
82 Queens Of The Stone Age – “Feel Good Hit Of The Summer”
81 Outkast – “Ms. Jackson”
80 Eminem – “The Real Slim Shady”
79 Blur – “Song 2”
78 The Verve – “The Drugs Don’t Work”
77 Oasis – “D’You Know What I Mean?”
76 Beck – “Where It’s At”
75 Manic Street Preachers – “A Design For Life”
74 Muse – “Supermassive Black Hole”
73 Blur – “Out Of Time”
72 The Big Pink – “Dominos”
71 The Libertines – “Don’t Look Back Into The Sun”
70 M.I.A. – “XXXO”
69 Kanye West – “Jesus Walks”
68 Liars – “Scarecrows On A Killer Slant”
67 Ian Brown – “F.E.A.R.”
66 Super Furry Animals – “The Man Don’t Give A Fuck”
65 Kasabian – “Fire”
64 La Roux – “In For The Kill”
63 Rihanna – “Umbrella”
62 Vampire Weekend – “A-Punk”
61 Arcade Fire – “Keep The Car Running”
60 The Drums – “Let’s Go Surfing”
59 Dizzee Rascal – “Bonkers”
58 Destiny’s Child – “Say My Name”
57 Eminem – “Lose Yourself”
56 The Killers – “All These Things That I’ve Done”
55 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps”
54 Battles – “Atlas”
53 Kanye West – “Monster”
52 The Prodigy – “Firestarter”
51 Sugababes – “Overload”
50 The Chemical Brothers – “Hey Boy Hey Girl”
49 Best Coast – “Boyfriend”
48 Foo Fighters – “Everlong”
47 Friendly Fires – “Paris”
46 TV On The Radio – “Wolf Like Me”
45 Primal Scream – “Swastika Eyes”
44 Muse – “Nights Of Cydonia”
43 Mumford And Sons – “Little Lion Man”
42 Aphex Twin – “Come To Daddy”
41 Elbow – “One Day Like This”
40 LCD Soundsystem – “Losing My Edge”
39 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Zero”
38 Kings Of Leon – “The Bucket”
37 Coldplay – “The Scientist”
36 The Strokes – “Hard To Explain”
35 Johnny Cash – “Hurt”
34 Gossip – “Standing In The Way Of Control”
33 Florence & The Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”
32 Gnarls Barkley – “Crazy”
31 The Walkmen – “The Rat”
30 Robyn – “With Every Heartbeat”
29 Crystal Castles – “Alice Practice”
28 the xx – “Islands”
27 Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
26 The Libertines – “Can’t Stand Me Now”
25 Dizzee Rascal – “Fix Up, Look Sharp”
24 Jay-Z – “99 Problems”
23 The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”
22 Arcade Fire – “Wake Up”
21 Daft Punk – “Around The World”
20 Bloc Party – “Banquet”
19 Justice Vs. Simian – “We Are Your Friends”
18 Queens Of The Stone Age – “No One Knows”
17 Missy Elliott – “Get Ur Freak On”
16 Beyoncé – “Crazy In Love”
15 M.I.A. – “Paper Planes”
14 Foals – “Spanish Sahara”
13 Jay-Z & Alica Keys – “Empire State Of Mind”
12 MGMT – “Time To Pretend”
11 Arctic Monkeys – “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor”
10 The Libertines – “Time For Heroes”
09 The Verve – “Bitter Sweet Symphony”
08 Amy Winehouse – “Rehab”
07 Hot Chip – “Over And Over”
06 The White Stripes – “Fell In Love With A Girl”
05 The Killers – “Mr. Brightside”
04 The Strokes – “Last Nite”
03 OutKast – “Hey Ya!”
02 Arcade Fire – “Rebellion (Lies)”
01 Radiohead – “Paranoid Android”

NME has essays and videos for all the songs on the list. There’s also a Spotify playlist of the whole thing.