Billboard – the media outlet responsible for collating the US charts – has just published a series of decade-end charts.
The Hot 100 isn’t too surprising given we’re all pretty aware of the decade’s most ubiquitous tunes, but Billboard‘s top 50 rocks songs of the decade paints a dire image of rock music’s place in contemporary society.
For starters, Imagine Dragons occupy the gold, silver and bronze positions with their tracks ‘Believer’, ‘Thunder’ and ‘Radioactive’. The top ten also includes three songs by Twenty One Pilots – the uppermost being ‘Heathens’, the duo’s contribution to the Suicide Squad soundtrack.
Check out ‘Believer’ by Imagine Dragons
The top ten is rounded out by a number of acts whose inclusion suggests qualification in the rock category depends on the occasional presence of guitars. There’s Panic! At the Disco, The Lumineers, Walk the Moon and Portugal. The Man.
It doesn’t get much better from there. Lorde’s ‘Royals’ lands at number 15, perhaps because it has too much personality to fit in the pop category? But the fact the Kiwi pop star is surrounded by AWOLNATION, Bastille, and more songs by Imagine Dragons indicates personality isn’t a prerequisite for appearing in the list.
Two Foo Fighters songs make the top 20 – ‘Rope’ and ‘Walk’ – while the Black Keys’ ‘Tighten Up’ sits at 19. The rest of the top 50 doesn’t offer much that rocks in any conventional sense. Elle King’s ‘Ex’s & Oh’s’ (#27) isn’t awful; Foster the People’s ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ makes it to number 41 and nu metal survivors Disturbed hold 49th place with their cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sound of Silence’.