In fourth place: The 2000s. (27 points)

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The decade of R&B, nu-metal and Reality TV Pop had a rough ride all the way through the contest, being in bottom position on nearly every single day. However, a late surge on Day 10 (courtesy of tATu) proved enough to save it from total defeat. The Noughties provided just one winner (Eminem’s Lose Yourself), and was also responsible for the two most unpopular songs in the entire poll: David Sneddon’s Stop Living The Lie and Blazin’ Squad’s Reminisce.

In just over three years, the Noughties have as yet done little to distinguish themselves. Perhaps they will go down as the decade in which – at least in terms of the singles charts – the forces of slick commercialism, precision marketing and pre-planned, fixed-term shelf lives finally triumphed against the spirit of innovation, experimentation and rebellion which had burst forth in the mid-fifties with the rock & roll revolution, and which had continued via Merseybeat, Motown, Psychedelia, Funk, Reggae, Glam, Prog, Heavy Metal, Punk, New Wave, Disco, 2-Tone, New Romantic, Hip Hop, Electro, Indie, Goth, House, Acid, Madchester, Garage, Techno, Grunge, Britpop, Trance, Drum & Bass, Big Beat and all points West.

Or maybe we’re simply making the same mistake that “serious music lovers” (hem hem) have made all the way down the line – of not recognising Classic Pop when it’s staring us in the face. For let’s not forget that, at the time, the “serious music lovers” all hated Motown, scoffed at Disco, sneered at Abba, laughed at the New Romantics, and would cheerfully have strung Neighbours-era Kylie up from the nearest lamp post. Maybe in ten years time, we’ll have canonised Britney, Justin, Christina and S Club 7, fondly viewing them as belonging to a Golden Era of pop, whilst sorrowfully shaking our heads over whatever shiny new breed of fresh-faced popsters is currently holding sway.

For now though, the grim truth is staring us in the face: the last two decades have been adjudged the worst ever for pop music. However, before we bid the Noughties farewell, let’s take a quick trip through their Best Bits, such as they are.

2000: Stan – Eminem, Pure Shores – All Saints, The Bad Touch – Bloodhound Gang.

2001: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue, Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliott, Don’t Stop Movin’ – S Club 7.

2002: Freak Like Me – Sugababes, There Goes The Fear – Doves, Lazy – X-Press 2 with David Byrne.

2003: Lose Yourself – Eminem, Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake, All The Things She Said – tATu.

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