OK, so here's the long-awaited finale! Before you get all your complaints and comments ready...which is certainly what these types of lists are made for...make sure to check out the other 125 songs on the list. Your favorite song may have made the list in an earlier spot, or perhaps missed it altogether. Regardless, do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes here before you read what's below. Or just have at it. Your call. We stand by our earlier claim that we could put together a better 150 track list than NME. You be the judge.
25. Notorious B.I.G. "Hypnotize" - B.I.G. died too soon, but left us will a love for rap that flourished over the 15 years since.
24. Franz Ferdinand "Take Me Out" - Franz peaked too soon, but is still pumping out quality.
23. Amy Winehouse "Rehab" - I'm really upset she didn't go to Rehab, after all.
22. The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony" - Best use of a sample on this list, and it wasn't for a rap song.
21. Adele "Rolling in the Deep" - And the winner of ALL the 2012 Grammys is...
20. Dr. Dre feat. Eminem "Forgot About Dre" - For the record: we never actually forgot about you, Dre.
19. Fiona Apple "Criminal" - The video was, and still is, a little pedo…but made sense.
18. Juvenile "Ha" - The song that put NOLA on the board as more than a fad. Say "thank you" Lil' Wayne.
17. Interpol "PDA" - Perfect collection of items you want in a song from this period: lyrics, strong chorus (that wasn't too chorusy), and an epic ending.
16. Coldplay "Yellow" - The first few notes should remind you how magical Coldplay songs can make you feel.
15. Rage Against the Machine "Testify" - If Rage wasn't around, you'd have to invent them. Occupy should raise some funds to have them make a new anti-establishment anthem.
14. Jay-Z "99 Problems" - No, Jay, a b*tch definitely is not one of your problems. But diapers may be one pretty soon.
13. Outkast "Hey Ya!" - Would not have been out of place in 1964…it's a timeless track.
12. Daft Punk "One More Time" - The dance song that set the tone for the last decade of dance songs.
11. Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" - They made sure the music world knew their name by the end of the Grammys.
10. Eminem "Lose Yourself" - The story of his life really - one of the best, non corny, songs about going for your dreams….and generally just saying "f*ck it, I'm going in"
9. Kanye West "Jesus Walks" - Still amazed labels didn't sign him after this one.
8. Radiohead "Paranoid Android" - It's long, and it took a second to digest everything from the lyrics to the sound, because there is nothing in their catalog like this track, before or since. Played like a short concerto.
7. Gnarls Barkley "Crazy" - What hasn't already been said about this song? One of the few songs I've heard that floored me.
6. Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind" - Actual New Yorkers were proud of this song. Have to like the pride Jay shows for his city. Made Sinatra take a back seat.
5. LCD Soundsystem "All My Friends" - Some people could put this at the top. The best written song on this list. Murphy (and possibly Alex Turner) is the best song writer during this list's time period.
4. Radiohead "How to Disappear Completely" - The dreariest, most depressively amazing song written in our era.
3. The Shins "New Slang" - Pretty much awesome in every way; managing to be slightly sunny, while displaying immense apathy for life in general, and even some jealousy for people with (perceptibly) better lives.
2. The Strokes "Last Nite" - The perfect indie pop rock track.
1. Radiohead "Pyramid Song" - The first 8 bars.
Most Impressive Country: Britain - Must we elaborate?
Most Outstanding Soundtrack - Garden State
Most Popular Genre: Indie Rock - the last six years especially as music festivals like Coachella, Pitchfork and ACL Fest have become something like a career-building ground for these artists.
Most Important Genre (last 15 years): Hip-Hop/Rap - Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye West, Outkast, Dr. Dre, and T.I. all had multiple songs on the list.
Most Overlooked Genre: R&B - Maxwell, Mary J. Blige and Jill Scott missed out, while Sade, Beyonce, Rihanna and Usher got in...R&B just doesn't translate as well across generations and airwaves. One of the reasons why even Rihanna and Usher are sounding more like electronic and pop artist than ever these days.
Most Offended Genre: Country - We'd apologize, but we're not sure what tracks to apologize for. "Breathe" by Faith Hill? Eh. Then we're finding ourselves adding more pop songs like "Smooth" by Santana feat. Rob Thomas. Songs that just don't mean anything beyond the fact that at some point they were on top of the Billboard chart and had no significant contribution to the musical path that followed over the last decade. No thank you.
Most Influential Artist: Jay-Z - On the list 8 times as an artist and over a half dozen unrecorded assists through proteges Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Rihanna and Jay Electronica
Most Potent Artist: Radiohead - 3 in the top 10; 2 more in the Top 100
Most Missed Artist: Wilco - how did this happen? Simple. They're too damn good at making great albums instead of mega popular tracks. Something bands like Kings of Leon could learn plenty from.
Most Annoying Artist: Herbie Hancock - he didn't have a track make the list, but he once stole a Best Album Grammy from Kanye West for doing Joni Mitchell cover songs. He then had the audacity to say it was an historic win for "Jazz" as if to say Joni Mitchell was a legendary jazz artist. Herbie should've been knocked down a couple of notches for that statement instead of rewarded. He's a legendary jazz musician, but he should know full and well that doing Joni Mitchell covers does not sit alongside the likes of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and Getz/Gilberto.
[The following post originally posted on HuffingtonPost.com]
It's not just Santa coming to town, but an epic transformation in commerce. The holiday season gives us a glimpse into the future of shopping behavior, and we're not too far from online shopping becoming the modus operandi of American consumers. Strip malls may never be the same.
According to comScore, e-commerce spending is up 15 percent for the first 39 days of the 2011 holiday season. The nearly $25 billion spent online in that period should not be viewed simply as an indication of lots of holiday cheer. With more online shopping taking place throughout the year, and online consumer confidence tracking with it, the notion of having to go to the store is leaving our collective memories.
Meanwhile, online shopping strategies improve with the proliferation of customer ratings and reviews on brand and retail sites, Facebook fan pages with dynamic shopping apps and mobile device technology aimed at streamlining on-the-go customers.
Etsy, the online destination for all things handmade and vintage, is one of the companies best positioned to benefit from this shift in shopping behavior. The company's remarkable growth under CTO-turned-CEO Chad Dickerson may seem technology-driven, but it's also about consumer buying patterns.
"On Etsy, peak holiday shopping begins with Black Friday and continues through the following weeks. This year our community sold a record amount of goods on Cyber Monday," said Emily Bidwell from Etsy's merchandising team. "Tuesday's sales surpassed that amount, and continue to be strong. In our view it's not about one date on the calendar; it's a time of year when people take advantage of the opportunity to find all their gifts at a value."
And that last word, value, is where it really starts to get interesting. With online retailers being challenged by flash sale sites like Park & Bond, the GQ-Gilt Groupe menswear site, and One Kings Lane, which specializes in housewares, both perceived and real value is on a premium.
Speaking at the Wharton Business School's BizTech event after Black Friday, Edison Ventures' Mike Kopelman said, "the barrier to enter the flash deals business is not high, but the barrier to endure is. "
This may be true, but even if sites like Jack Threads and Fab.com don't have long life spans as businesses, the short-term impact on major retailers and consumer behavior is huge. They are re-writing what value means to consumers, along with companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, which raised another $176 million from private investors recently.
It used to be that Black Friday was a day that consumers knew they'd get the absolute best deal and the most value. That's why the alarms were set and the cars packed with gifts shortly thereafter.
Now there's Green Monday the following week, which happens be called Cyber Week. And Free Shipping Day -- the last day to get a gift delivered before Christmas Eve -- which falls on Dec. 16th this year -- so more price-conscious deals are to be expected. All that said, why worry about being trampled at the entryway to some big box retailer and missing time with the family (or sleep) if that same deal -- if not a better one -- is available the following week or month online?
Perhaps this is a thought one will soon have. But...
"It's not about shopping in person one day, then online another. People are shopping in different channels and expecting the same experience no matter where they are," said Etsy's Bidwell.
Well, OK. So if the Black Friday experience -- at least the fun, shopping-spree experience -- is still desired online, where will consumers go? The main thing that online shopping sites don't provide compared to their brick-and-mortar brethren is a feeling of shared experience and interest. We may all be fighting for that Tickle-Me Elmo or Banana Republic sweater, but at least we're fighting for the same reason.
Lyst.com, a social curation startup that combines features of Twitter with elements of music discovery sites like Last.fm, provides a look at a possible answer. Its members sign up and receive a personalized feed of fashion items relevant to their own tastes. So there you go, reaching for that sweater knowing someone else shares your interest.
"Socially-curated shopping was designed principally to help people discover items for themselves, however, it's now changing the way gifts are bought online as well," said Lyst.com CEO Chris Morton. "Users can now share detailed lists of items they love with friends and family to make sure they get the perfect present as the holiday season approaches."
As the reliance on Black Friday, and brick-and-mortar shopping trips, decreases and the focus on online increases, companies like Etsy, Gilt and Lyst.com stand ready to support your search for unique gifts that come with the backing of a community. But even if it's not them on the front lines, major e-retailers like Walmart and Macy's are certain to adjust to the changing landscape, as well.
Many of these Fortune companies and fashion retailers are already populating their sites with customer conversations in the forms of ratings, reviews, questions, answers and customer stories. The next layer will involve bringing your social networks onto these sites, or vice versa.
Ultimately, you may have to give up that feeling of finding some amazing deal hidden away from the view of others on a Black Friday morning in some back aisle or discounted clothing bin of a big box retailer. In exchange, you'll end up with a lot more time to make your gift purchases backed with the kind of buying confidence that only your friends and family -- Facebook friends and Twitter followers included -- can give you.
Regardless of how it all transpires and what's gained or lost, we should all be pretty excited about the things to come both with the holidays and in the world of commerce.
We've already shared half of our list of the Top 150 tracks of the last 15 years, so make sure to check back here. Some early highlights: 30 of the first 100 songs were hip-hop/rap; 13 others were by women; and Jay-Z leads so far with 5 songs (including one guest appearance) with Kanye West and Outkast trailing with two songs a piece.
1997, our earliest year, leads the list with 10 of the first 100 songs followed by 2000 and 2009 with 9 songs each compared to 8 songs in 2003 and 7 songs in 1998, 2001 and 2006, 6 in 2005 and 2007 and 5 for 2002, 2004 and 2010. 2008 and 1999 bring up the rear with 3 and 2 songs, respectively. Now, we're ready to dive into the Top 50.
50. Beck "Lost Cause" - One of the best songs on heartache ever. The whole album helped me through a break-up.
49. Kanye West "Stronger" - Kanye's "Thriller"; put him over the top across all demographics.
48. Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" - The sweetest track on this list. Her voice is like warm honey in your ear. But not really - you could get an infection like that.
47. Sade "By Your Side" - Cannot go wrong putting this on for your significant other.
46. Missy Elliot "Get Ur Freak On" - Vintage Missy - pop and eclectic.
45. LCD Soundsystem "Daft Punk Is Playing In My House" - The party song for the indie snob set.
44. Beyonce "Single Ladies" - Co-written by a man (The Dream), this is the best of Beyonce's anthems.
43. Jet "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" - Seems like they would've been able to capitalize off this track more.
42. M.I.A. "Paper Planes" - …don't you miss it? This was when M.I.A.'s appeal seemed semi authentic.
41. Dido "Thank You" - Basically the "my life sort of sucks, but not really because I have this amazing man" song.
40. Clipse "Grindin'" - I once saw an old white man nod his head to this - on the beat.
39. Lauryn Hill "Doo Wop (That Thing)" - Put her in the stratosphere - from which she purposefully stepped down from.
38. Linkin Park "One Step Closer" - …"SHUT UP WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!" How many cubicle dwellers used this track to wild out Office Space style on the fax machine?
37. Outkast "Rosa Parks" - Country sh*t + bass + great sing along chorus + "man…this dudes can rap" = awesome.
36. Radiohead "Karma Police" - Probably should be higher (which could be said about most of the their song on any list). A song about basically being a hater, and then realizing it's stupid.
35. Green Day "Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)" - A departure for Green Day - and the song that should have probably tipped everyone for their future pop turn. Excellent "these were great times" track.
34. Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell "Drop It Like It's Hot" - Another Neptunes track; testament to Snoop's incredible ear and staying power. He always makes the right move.
33. The Killers "Mr. Brightside" - Poppy, fun, nostalgic, and thematically straightforward.
32. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z "Umbrella" - "Ella, ella,, eh, eh, eh……" And then the video with the umbrella act.
31. Arcade Fire "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" - The start of who will probably end up as one of the great bands of all time. All the familiar sounds you'll hear: lush instruments, the distinct voice, and real life lyrics.
30. Justin Timberlake "SexyBack" - Another Timbaland production. I guess Sexy needs to bring JustinBack now.
29. Blur "Song 2" - Explosive, short, and to the point. Would've never figured animated gorillas would have been the next step for someone in Blur.
28. Queens of the Stone Age "Better Living Through Chemistry" - A collage of influences (bongos?!) An anti-drug song - not in the "just say no" mode, but in the "people need to just understand what they are doing, even if it's doctor-prescribed" mode.
27. The White Stripes "7 Nation Army" - At the height of their powers; that they were able to generate so much sound, with few instruments was amazing.
26. Eminem feat. Dido "Stan" - The best crazy fan song ever. And Dido's Thank You was good enough to make this song even better than her own.