Welcome to Listmas 2010! Listmas is an annual tradition on Faronheit that dates all the way back to the crazy year known as 2008. In previous incarnations, Listmas has lasted a total of 3 weeks across December, spending a whole lot of time counting down the year’s best EPs, reissues, movies, TV shows, songs and albums. It’s a hefty task, but also a whole lot of fun. With a somewhat odd way the weeks have lined up this year (or maybe it’s just the economy), Listmas has been reduced down to 2 weeks. As such, the focus will be entirely on two lists, each revealed over the course of one week’s time. This week it begins with Faronheit’s Top 50 Songs of 2010. Of all the lists every year, this is the toughest one to crack. The simplest reason as to why is that for every album and EP released this year, there’s at least ten times the number of songs. We’re overwhelmed by songs should we choose to be, but thankfully some stand out as being better than others. Of course other times an entire record is filled to the brim with strong songs and picking a highlight is near (if not) impossible. So it does stand to reason that though this list is supposed to count down the 50 best songs of the year, if an entire record is mindblowing perhaps the artist or a single song from that album won’t be represented on this list. There are a few steadfast rules I keep for my Top 50 Songs list. They are as follows:
-To be eligible for this list, a song must have appeared on an album, EP, or standalone 7″ single with a 2010 release date. If a song originally appeared on a 2009 album/EP or will appear on a 2011 album/EP, it is not eligible to be included on this list.
-If an artist self-releases an album, EP or 7″ and then signs to a label later in the year, the self-released stuff is eligible for this list provided a tracklisting for a forthcoming label effort has no crossover. If there is overlap between a self-released 2010 piece of music and a label-released 2011 piece of music, the label-released (see: more widely available) music automatically disqualifies the original or demo recordings from this list. If an unsigned artist signs to a label but has not revealed details on any forthcoming releases, the original self-released recordings stand and remain eligible for the list. Should a self-released song make the list one year, the same song released on a label the following year becomes ineligible. The only exception is if the original self-released version of a song vastly differs from the professionally recorded, label-released version.
-To help keep this list as diverse as possible, there is a 2 song limit per artist release. Better translated, you won’t see 3 songs from any one album, but if an artist put out an album AND an EP or 7″ this year and there’s 3 AMAZING songs between them, then it’s okay.
All that said and hopefully clarified, writing this year’s list of the Top 50 Songs was a beast and a half. I doubt I’ve had a tougher time coming up with a final list that met with my total satisfaction. So after multiple writes and re-writes, I’m proud to present the first 10 tracks of my Top 50 Songs of 2010. Each day, I’ll be revealing 10 new songs until we reach the Top 10 on Friday. I will also be sure to include free mp3s whenever possible. I hope you enjoy this list, and discover some new music as a result of it. If you’ve got a list of your own, or a song suggestion I might have missed, or just a general argument against the placement of a certain song, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!