The Briefing > December 19, 2012

Singles Of The Year: more than 45, if you want them

This year’s Top 45 Singles Of The Year list was really hard to put together.

Firstly, the standard was extraordinarily high. Yes we know some twat is probably going “WELL IT CAN’T HAVE BEEN THAT HIGH IF ‘STARSHIPS’ WAS ON THE LIST!!!!LOL” but most of you will get the idea. There was no room for amazing stuff by people like Foxes, Will Young, Usher, Otto Knows, Scissor Sisters, Calvin Harris and more. Too much good pop – not a disaster, but annoying when it comes to list.

Secondly, in 2012 it was more difficult than ever before to stick to a list of singles, because the idea of what a single is (and isn’t) continues to evolve.

The Top 40 Singles chart, for instance, allows album tracks and songs that aren’t singles. There are songs in the Top 40 that don’t have videos, or single artwork, and haven’t been nominated as singles by artists or labels. But at the same time the Top 40 won’t include songs that have artwork and videos if they’re given away free. Some publications, like NME or whoever, ditched the whole singles concept many years ago, deciding to review ‘tracks’ instead, but for the time being we still feel that there’s something important and exciting about the single as an artform, so we ploughed ahead with a Singles Of The Year list for 2012.

As for what could and couldn’t qualify, our rules were pretty much the same as last year: to qualify for our Top 45, something should have been available to buy in the UK for the first time in 2012. (Which explains, for instance, why Icona Pop’s ‘I Love It’ couldn’t make the list, and we got very angry with our stupid rules when it turned out we couldn’t include Ciara’s incredible ‘Livin’ It Up’.) We bent the rules twice to our knowledge: for David Guetta and Sia’s ‘Titanium’ (which was actually first available to buy right at the end of 2011, but wasn’t on our 2011 list and only really became a hit in 2012), and Sky Ferreira’s ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ which did have its own video but didn’t really exist as a single in its own right. We don’t know why we made an exception for Sky.

Anyway, a few of your have been asking about our longlist, so here’s a Spotify list of stuff which didn’t make the Top 45 because there wasn’t room, or because it didn’t quite deserve to be there but was still great, or wasn’t available in the UK, or was from an EP, or fell through the cracks for some other reason. Of course this still can’t be a complete list because Spotify doesn’t  have everything, so decent songs from people like Cinnamon Girl, Sky Ferreira, Alison Valentine, Parade, The Veronicas, Paije Richardson and Ricki Lee aren’t featured.

But here you go anyway.

All in all, not bad. If there’s anything you think we’ve missed not due to the rules but simply because we are idiots, let us know using this form.