16 Taylor Swift — 'Shake It Off'
Naturally this sticks out like a sore thumb on '1989' but it is, and will always be, a fantastic ridicubanger.
15 Jessie Ware — 'Tough Love'
This got to Number 34 in the UK. Are you happy, 'the UK'? Are you pleased with yourselves? Sleep well at night, do you? Go about your business with a clear conscience? Look yourselves in the mirror without recoiling at the moral inadequacy that pours from your dark, dead eyes? You make us sick.
14 Lorde — 'Yellow Flicker Beat'
By this point in the list we're firmly into 'everything could at one point have been considered Single Of The Year' territory. But it's bad news for Lorde, and it's bad news for Indiana, as you will see below.
13 Indiana — 'Solo Dancing'
This one — which changes gear halfway through and really becomes something of a thunderer near the end — would make a pretty good companion to the Elliphant track. But the 'songs that kick off just when you're in danger of losing interest' entries don't end here. Keep reading! Oh please, for the love of God, keep reading.
12 Taylor Swift — 'Blank Space'
Consider this an entry for 'Blank Space', but also consider this a blank space where 'Style' should have been. (Except if she'd released 'Style' it would have been about 11 places higher on the list.)
11 Robyn feat Royksopp — 'Do It Again'
We've put this as 'Robyn feat Royksopp'. In factual terms it's Royksopp feat Robyn, but who are they trying to kid.
10 Ariana Grande feat The Weeknd — 'Love Me Harder'
A mini masterpiece.
9 Katy B — 'Crying For No Reason'
So basically if you play this, then the Indiana single, then the Elliphant single, you'll have just listened to the three best change-gear-in-an-exciting-way songs of 2014. Strange isn't it that Katy B turned in a sparkly electropop song? Still, we've learned by now that you don't question these gifts when they come your way.
8 Becky Hill — 'Losing'
Nearly every song in our Top 10 of the year sounds like someone, or many people, have gone hell for leather trying to make something amazing. This Top 10 represents tears, tantrums and burst bloodvessels. The only exception is this song, which sounds like it was as much fun to record as it is to listen to. Again, no fucker bought it, due to general incompetence on the part of the world at large. And by the world at large we specifically mean Radio 1.
7 GRL — 'Ugly Heart'
Girlband single of the year.
6 Troye Sivan — 'Happy Little Pill'
This didn't need to be amazing. Most YouTubers could shit in a yellow bucket and go Top 10 on iTunes. But Troye Sivan hit the target on an epic scale with 'Happy Little Pill'.
5 Rita Ora — 'I Will Never Let You Down'
Rita Ora is one of those popstars who is precisely as good as the song they're singing. For three minutes and twenty one seconds in March, Rita Ora was the best popstar in the world.
4 La Roux — 'Uptight Downtown'
One of the best singles of the year from one of the best albums of the year. Once again, this song's existence didn't seem to make much of an impression on the general public. But how could it, if they didn't know it existed? Another slow clap, please, for Radio 1. In some respects 2014 really sucked the big one.
3 Charli XCX — 'Boom Clap'
The word "boom" three times, each one accompanied by a drum beat. The word "clap", accompanied by a clap. Has any other song this year promised so much in its first three seconds, then somehow managed to fulfil every wild expectation? (Shit video though — oh well.)
2 Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars — 'Uptown Funk'
If you have come here from a leading social network you'll probably have noticed that we used the 'Uptown Funk' artwork as the image that accompanied the link. You might also have noticed that throughout this article we've dropped a few hints that 'Uptown Funk' would be the single of the year: the "don't believe us just watch" in the intro, the little pointing Bruno Mars cutouts that help you navigate the pages, the larger-than-the-rest 'Uptown Funk' artwork in the image at the top of the first page. Everything was pointing to 'Uptown Funk' being the single of the year. Why did we do this? Well, firstly, it seems somehow appropriate that 'Uptown Funk' should appear sooner than expected. But more importantly, the song we've actually chosen as single of the year is so obvious that we had to try and find a way to make its appearance a surprise. This countdown needed drama! It needed suspense! It needed excitement! Three elements 'Uptown Funk' has in some abundance. But not in as much abundance as…
1 Sia — 'Chandelier'
Just under a year ago we named Sia our Pop Entity Of 2013. We couldn't say at the time, but we'd already heard 'Chandelier'. Just the once, but once was enough to know that, whatever else 2014 threw our way, 'Chandelier' would end the year as one of the Top 3 singles. 'Chandelier' is a sonically epic, melodically daring and lyrically inventive (if unintelligible) single that exists on its own terms and sounds completely unique. There are plenty of pop songwriters in the world, making plenty of great songs, but nobody understands the form quite like Sia and none of them, in 2014, has been able to convert their talent into an artist project with this instinctive, perverse charm. Single of the year, and then some.
Here's the Top 45 in a Spotify playlist.
(Taylor Swift isn't in it, obviously. And neither is Rashelle.)
But there's more!
There were LOADS of other songs we wanted to include in our list. Looking at them now, we're already having second thoughts about how the Top 45 panned out. But it's too late now, we're not dicking around with it any more. So here, in alphabetical order, are some of the songs that could have made (but didn't make) the list.
5 Seconds Of Summer — 'She Looks So Perfect'
AG Cook feat Hannah Diamond — ‘Keri Baby'
Alicia Keys — ‘It’s On Again'
Ariana Grande feat Zedd — ‘Break Free'
Azealia Banks — ‘Chasing Time'
Becky G — ‘Shower'
Bingo Players — ‘Knock You Out'
Calvin Harris feat Ellie Goulding — ‘Outside'
Cash Cash feat Bebe Rexha — ‘Take Me Home'
Charli XCX — ‘Break The Rules'
Cher Lloyd — ‘Sirens'
Cheryl — ‘I Don’t Care'
CHVRCHES — ‘Get Away'
Clean Bandit — ‘Rather Be’
David Guetta feat Sam Martin — ‘Dangerous'
Deadmau5 feat Colleen D’Agostino — 'Seeya'
Dotter — ‘My Flower'
Duck Sauce — ‘NRG'
Duke Dumont feat Jax Jones — ‘I Got U'
Ed Sheeran — ‘Sing’
Ella Eyre — ‘Come Back'
Eric Prydz — ‘Liberate'
FKA Twigs — 'Two Weeks'
Florrie — ‘Little White Lies'
Fuse ODG — ‘TINA'
Fuse ODG feat Sean Paul — ‘Dangerous Love'
Grimes feat Blood Diamonds — ‘Go'
Icona Pop — 'Get Lost'
Indiana — ‘Heart On Fire’
Isac Elliot — ‘Baby I'
Julie Bergan — ‘Younger’
Jungle — ‘Busy Earnin''
Katy B — ‘5am'
Kiesza — ‘Hideaway'
Klingande — ‘Jubel'
Knife Party — ‘404'
Knife Party — ‘Begin Again'
Lana Del Rey — ‘West Coast'
Le Youth feat Dominique Young Unique — ‘Dance With Me'
Lenny Kravitz — ‘The Chamber'
Lights — ‘Up We Go'
Lily Allen — ‘Air Balloon'
Lily Allen — 'URL Badman'
Little Mix — ‘Salute'
Little Mix — ‘Word Up'
Madeon — ‘Imperium'
Madonna — ‘Living For Love'
Marina & The Diamonds — ‘Froot'
Marina & The Diamonds — ‘Happy'
McBusted — ‘Air Guitar'
MNEK — 'Wrote A Song About You'
Molly Beanland — ‘Real Life'
Monsieur Adi — ‘Lucky Ones’
Montgomery — ‘War Cry'
Mr Probz feat Robin Shulz — ‘Waves’
Nick Gardner — ‘Lose You'
Nick Jonas — ‘Jealous'
Nicki Minaj — ‘Anaconda'
Nico & Vinz — ‘Am I Wrong’
Nicole Scherzinger — ‘Your Love’
Oliver $ feat Jimi Jules — ‘Pushing On'
One Direction — ‘Steal My Girl'
Pharrell — ‘Marilyn Monroe'
Redlight — '9TS (90s Baby)'
Redlight — ‘Gold Teeth'
Route 94 feat Jess Glynne — ‘My Love’
Ryn Weaver — ‘Octahate'
Salt AShes — ‘Somebody'
Say Lou Lou & Lindstrøm — ‘Games For Girls'
Shamir — ‘On The Regular'
Shift K3Y — ‘Touch'
Sigma — ‘Nobody To Love'
Slam Dunk'd — ‘No Price'
Take That — ‘These Days'
The Knocks — ‘Classic'
The Magician feat Years & Years — ‘Sunlight'
The Saturdays — ‘What Are You Waiting For'
The Ting Tings — ‘Wrong Club’
The Vamps — ‘Wild Heart'
The Veronicas — ‘You Ruin Me'
Tove Lo — 'Not On Drugs' (this one deffo should have been in the Top 45, apols everyone)
Tove Styrke — ‘Borderline’
Tove Styrke — ‘Even If I’m Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You'
Verite — ‘Weekend'
Here's the Top 45 AND all the other stuff in a Spotify playlist.
(There are a few things missing from this one too unfortunately, but that's life.)
(And thanks to Rory Horne for knocking together the Spotify playlists!)