American music critic, Greil Marcus, released a book this year called The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, in which he carves out an alternate conception of rock music. Whereas the conventional narrative dictates a lineage of snowball inspiration, with protagonists from Muddy Waters to The Beatles, Sex Pistols to Kraftwerk, Marcus entrusts his synopsis to the constitutions of just ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008. It’s a refreshing move that, if anything, underscores the incommensurable value of ‘the song’.
This list presents the Radius team’s one hundred favourite songs of 2014. You’ll find that the tracks that made the cut produce a manifold listening experience. From it, as Marcus shows with his book, you can pick up a few things about the surrounding culture as a thing in itself. Many of these songs are singles, some are fierce openers and others may even be gems buried in less impactful side-B’s. Independently of the albums on which they find themselves, these songs are self-standing achievements, and we celebrate that here.
– Zia Haffejee, Music Editor
Click through to see the list —>