IT WAS A YEAR that started out with Lady Gaga scoring the first Number One of the decade, and saw some astonishing musical moments – as well as, it must be said, some pretty poor ones too.
Rather than offer too much distraction, here it is: our simple list of the 10 best (and worst) musical moments of the year.
1. Lady Gaga (featuring Beyoncé) – ‘Telephone’
It’s not often that a singer of the class of Beyoncé Knowles is completely outclassed in the vocal stakes, but such was the case when Knowles lent vocals to what was quite possibly the biggest song of the year.
It had one of the most groundbreaking videos to boot – sparking off a huge trend of people wearing cigarettes as glasses and wearing cans of Diet Coke in their hair. A genuine classic for our times, if you can put up with almost three minutes of superfluous pre-video posturing.
2. Owl City – ‘Fireflies’
Yes, 2010 has been that long. This beepy Marmite style love-it-or-hate-it topped the charts at the end of January, sending its accompanying album Ocean Eyes back into the charts after a largely anonymous launch the previous year.
We know it’s not to everyone’s tastes, so we’ll leave the ‘Best Moments’ or ‘Worst Moments’ distinction up to you.
3. Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP – ‘We No Speak Americano’
It’s one of those songs where you probably know how it goes long before you know what it’s called. In fact, this might be the first time you’ve ever come across its name.
Featuring samples from an Italian 1956 hit – Renato Carosone’s ‘Tu vuo fa l’americano’ – this tune became virally successful, popping up in TV ads, clothes shops everywhere and Your Head.
4. Cee-Lo Green – ‘Forget You’
Speaking of viral tunes, this one became a bigger hit than it may otherwise had become. The original slightly more foul-mouthed version – featuring a somewhat hastily thrown-together promotional video – became a YouTube smash, rescuing the floundering career of onetime Gnarls Barkley vocalist Green.
The sanitised radio version – with a live version earlier – further aided Green’s return to commercial success.
5. Helping Haiti – ‘Everybody Hurts’
Let’s rein things in a little bit. 2010 has been such a jam-packed year on the news front – to think that the biggest parts of the banking bailout, the Four Year Plan, the Budget, and the government falling part only happened in the last couple of months is crazy.
But back in January, shortly after the first of 2010’s three cold snaps left terrible flooding in the West of Ireland, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands and left over a million homeless.
The great and the good of the musical world got together afterwards to put together this fundraising tribute.
6. Adele – Someone Like You
There are occasional songs that manage to both make the listener want to smile, as well as curl up in the foetal position and sulk for a little while.
Though this song itself is about how it’s not always better to have loved and lost – in fact, sometimes it’s just plain rotten – it’s the kind of song that could easily soundtrack any poignant on-screen moment and not do it a disservice.
Expect this song to be enormous when it’s released properly next month.
7. Katy Perry (ft Snoop Dogg) – ‘California Gurls’
Summer seems like a long ago at this stage but way back when – during those times long ago when you could walk on a footpath without risking ending up like THAT guy from the RTÉ News clip (that was 2010 too! See what we mean about it being a long year?).
But, when it was sunny, this song was huge. Like, really huge. Though that may or may not have had something to do with how much the new Mrs Brand was wearing in the video.
8. Matt Cardle – ‘The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)’
We know that the X Factor is almost getting too predictable at this point, with it only being in more recent years that there’s been any hope of keeping the eventual winner off the Christmas Number One spot.
But rather than plump for his winning song (the chorus goes, ‘When we collide we come together; if we don’t we’ll always be apart’ – well, that’s a pretty rudimentary understanding of physics if ever we heard one) we decided to highlight this absolute masterpiece, which showed just why Cardle probably deserved to canter to victory.
9. Rubberbandits – ‘Horse Outside’
But with The X Factor’s stranglehold on Christmas Number One comes the most infectious home-grown hit for years and years.
Yes, it’s a bit crude. Yes, it gets people calling up Liveline in disgust. But regardless of whether you think Horse Outside is funny, you can’t help but admit that it’s fun. And given the state of Ireland at the end of 2010, that might not be something to turn up our noses at.
10. Glee Cast – ‘O Holy Night’
Yes, they’re another act that you either adore or loathe, but like it or not, the cast of Glee have become genuine chart behemoths as well as TV megaüberstars. After episodes air, their showtunes regularly feature in chart Top 10s – they’re just that big.
And, well, it is Christmas after all.