Which decade is Tops for Pops? – the results.

4th place – The 2000s. (27 points)

Last year: 5th place, 26 points.
Two years ago: 4th place, 27 points.

10: Goodies – Ciara featuring Petey Pablo. 3rd place, 3 points.
9: Galvanise – Chemical Brothers. 2nd place, 4 points.
8: Only U – Ashanti. 3rd place, 3 points.
7: Angel Eyes – Raghav. 3rd place, 3 points.
6: Black & White Town – Doves. 2nd place, 4 points, most popular.
5: Almost Here – Brian McFadden & Delta Goodrem. 5th place, 1 point, least popular.
4: Soldier – Destiny’s Child. 4th place, 2 points.
3: Like Toy Soldiers – Eminem. 2nd place, 4 points.
2: Wooden Heart – Elvis Presley. 5th place, 1 point.
1: Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own – U2. 4th place, 2 points.

Time and again when totting up the voting, I see the same divide: while first, second and third places are shared between the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, it always seems to be the two most recent decades which are left scrapping for fourth and fifth places. And so it is with the final scores, as the 1990s and 2000s occupy the back positions for the third year running.

At least the 2000s had their brief moment of glory this year, as respectably consistent placings for Ciara, The Chemical Brothers, Ashanti, Raghav and the Doves combined to put the decade in the lead for one day only. However, this good early start was swiftly demolished by a catastrophic run in the top five, with two fourth places and two fifth places sending the Noughties into an irreversible free-fall.

This time round, I think that the present decade has been sorely hard done by. A couple of glaring horrors (Brian McFadden, Destiny’s Child) and a pointless re-issue (Elvis Presley) aside, this was as strong a Top Ten as we could reasonably have wished for. Bold, tough, futuristic R&B from Ciara and Ashanti, which simply couldn’t have been conceived of ten years earlier. Solid, above-par offerings from “proper music” stalwarts (Doves, U2). Interesting blends of Western and Eastern styles from Raghav and the Chemical Brothers. Eminem back on form with the arresting “Like Toy Soldiers”, which at least forces you to form an opinion on it. Come on, this was hardly a shonky selection! Compared with the strained, over-sexualised fakery of most of last year’s Top Ten, we’re practically living in a Golden Age!

Nevertheless, you have spoken decisively. This modern pop, she is not for you; and even when you do show an interest, it rarely converts to passion. (This is the only decade which failed to score a first place on any of the ten days.)

There’s little point in pretending that this isn’t generational, either. Of course most of you will always opt for the music of your own youth, with all of its accumulated personal resonances. So next year, I’m going to do what I can to draft in some bona fide Young People, to see whether they draw the same conclusions.

We said we’d never let this happen to us, didn’t we? Yeah, whatever.

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