AOTY 2023

Ranking the Rate Your Music Top 100 Singles (In Progress)

Even if it's a war zone filled with horrible takes and unfathomable belief in the power of bad prog metal, I have a soft spot for Rate Your Music. I genuinely find a fatalistic place to discover music, even if it'll suck you down a few terrifying rabbit holes. I thought it'd be fun to rank the top 100 singles, just for funsies. The list is pretty indicative of the biases of the site: a heavily Anglocentric rock based list, with a variety of great singles genres like pop and soul severely underrepresented while Radiohead dominates everything. But it's a nice lien between niche and mainstream that certainly reveals something.

This ranking is very subjective, and you'll find I have a bit of shortage when it comes to my love for shoegaze.

Nina Simone - Sinnerman (Parts One & Two)
You know this was #1 for a while and it should've stayed that way because this is one of the most powerful pieces music ever recorded. An immense, unparalleled epic.
The Avalanches - Since I Left You
Since I Left You is the perfect introduction to the breezy, chaotic world of plunderphonics. One of my absolute favorite songs!!
Portishead - Glory Box
It was a toss up here between this and Since I Left You. Depending on mood either of them could swap. But when it comes to trip hop, sultry late nigh music, or Beth Gibbons being a goddess nothing beats this singles wise. The craziest part is this might not even be my favorite song from them. Band's just that good.
Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights
One of the most off the wall insane pop hits ever. Kate Bush owned the moment and subsequently destroyed anyone's falsetto who dared to sing along.
David Bowie - "Heroes" / V-2 Schneider
Those guitars are heroic!!! An anthem for the ages. Iconic and rightfully so.
Kendrick Lamar - Alright
Arguably the most iconic and important hip hop song of the 2010s. If not, it's at leats gotta be in the conversation.
Talking Heads - This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) / Moon Rocks
What makes the Talking Heads work is beneath all the sarcasm and wild antics there's genuine heart and a love for some of the cultures that gets skewered. Nowhere is this more apparent than on this beautiful ode to love. It might just be my favorite song from the band, an instant mood lifter.
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
I used to be an avid Arcade Fire hater. When I wanted to write a character as a loser I would make their favorite band Arcade Fire. And recently sure, these allegations of sucking (in a nd out of music) are not unfounded at all, but for all the shit, they'll always have this. Pure early 2000s indie idealism wrapped in a compelling wintry fatalism that the band never topped. It's a statement that endures amidst all the other antics of a scene and a band on the cusp of losing itself forever.
Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
A psychedelic opus of gospel and noise, one of the only interpolations that actaullys laps, this is Spiritualised opus and long time favorite of my mine.
Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
Everyone love this song for a reason.
Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot / Silver Rocket / Kissability
The ultimate 90s indie anthem from the 80s.
UGK - Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)
The most glorious exercise in 2000s rap excess.
Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime / Seen and Not Seen
Microphones - The Moon
Gotta rep somewhat local bands! Anacrotes's the Microphones reinvented indie and this is probably the most accessible snippet of their nocturnal noisy sadness. A beautiful song deserving of a spot here.
One of the wildest most inventive experimental hip hop sings were! Fuck recency bias it's true.
Television - Marquee Moon
An absolutely insane song!!! Instantly recognizable, complex without being a wonkiest, just peak post punk rule breaking. If any genre was under represented it's post punk that isn't sad.
LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
Alright so I've always been kinda underwhelmed by LCD Soundsystem's albums, but this song. This song is something else. It channels an almost apocalyptic energy, as finding solace in others becomes a nihilistic death drive for our hipster protagonist. All propelled by crunch Steve Reich pianos, we got ourselves of the 2000s finest indie anthems.
Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5
Kendrick is probably the only artist on here who deserved to have this many singles. This is the arguably the bets song of last year and his his third best on here. Just insanity.
Big Thief - Simulation Swarm
Absolutely one of my favorite songs of the last couple years. Is it an absolute all timer? I'm not sure, but it's better than a good chunk of this list.
King Crimson - The Court of the Crimson King
Personally when it comes to King Crimson epics I'm more a Starless typa person, but since that never was a single, this'll do.
Interpol - Obstacle 1
While Interpol shrinks in the eyes of the collective consciousness, they've actually grown on me. This song is waaaayyyyy better than I remember. It's so simple, but it doesn't stop it from being a devastating, emotional update of doom post punk.
Radiohead - Reckoner
I love that they made this fractured orchestral ode a single.
Radiohead - No Surprises
Even if I'm not the most ardent devotee of OK Computer, this song absolutely deviates me every time. More chimes in songs please!!
Radiohead - Idioteque
This is when shit gets real for Radiohead!!
Portishead - The Rip
More like RIP the competition.
Massive Attack - Teardrop
Those freeeeeeezing cold beats!!! Ahhhhhh it's so ominous and ethereal. Peak 90s electronic music. (Though if I would probably scarficie this for Archangel in terms of ominous nighttime electronic shit).
Death Grips - Takyon (Death Yon)
Similar to The Fever there's a lot of other Death Grips or even experimental hip hop songs I would put above this. Still better than the lower half of the list.
Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower
Forget all the Vietnam War movies killing this, this is what the apocalypse sounds like in musical form. The guitar comes in signalling a windstorm to destroy humanity, and Bob Dylan's surreal lyrics are transformed into a fiery stew of doomsday.
DJ Shadow - Midnight In A Perfect World
I'm not sure how I feel about this song as a single. Like it's a fantastic song, but it works so much better surrounded by similar sounds than it does on its own. So it may be ranked lower due to this than a quality dip. There's an art to singles that isn't always just putting the most accessible song on an album out.
The Smiths - This Charming Man
Probably the best song on here that I don't want to hear for a while. I performed this for a school concert, and while it was a legendary moment it meant I listen to this on endless loop, somewhat taking away from this classic. Also support the gays!!!!!
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Pretty good list but your Slowdive, MBV and Space Song takes are an absolute L
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November Playlist