This Sunday, the England Swings show started a two-piece special on the best tracks in 2010 from the United Kingdom : Here's what we played : 

King Blues - Headbutt (Punk and Poetry)
Male Bonding - Year's Not Long (Nothing Hurts)

Kele - Everything You Wanted (The Boxer)
Manic Street Preachers - It's Not War (Just the End Of Love) (Postcards From a Young Man)

Biffy Clyro - Many Of Horror (Only Revolutions)
Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn (Tourist History)

Gorillaz - Broken (Plastic Beach)
Eliza Doolittle - Skinny Genes (Eliza Doolittle)

Stornoway - Zorbing (Beachcomber's Windowsill)
I Blame Coco - Self Machine (The Constant)

Magnetic Man - I Need Air (Magnetic Man)

Plan B - She Said (The Defamation Of Strickland Banks)

Tinie Tempah - Pass Out (The Disc-Overy)

K'naan - Waving Flag

I Am Arrows - Green Grass (Sun Comes Up Again)

Script - For the First Time (Science and Faith)

Patrick Wolf - Time Of My Life

Wanted - All Time Low (The Wanted)

Peter Gabriel - The Book of Love (Scratch My Back)

Tunng - Hustle (And Then We Saw Land)

Chemical Brothers - Swoon (Further)

M.I.A. - It Takes a Muscle (Maya)

RIP Charles Haddon : Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - The Key

RIP Ari Up : Slits - Typical Girl

We also played a brief clip from the top five songs of 2010 according to the Official UK Chart Company. They were : 

5. Owl City - Fireflies
4. Usher - OMG
3. Bruno Mars - Just the Way You Are
2. Matt Cardle - When We Collide
1. Eminem - Love the Way You Lie

We didn't play the "regular" top five this week, but we'll discuss them below : 

5). Ellie Goulding - Your Song (non-mover)
4). Katy B - Lights On (new)
3). Black Eyed Peas - The Time (Dirty Bit) (+1)
2). Rihanna - What's My Name (non-mover)
1). Matt Cardle - When We Collide (non-mover)


Before we get started, a brief word about the end-of-the-year top 5 : 


The UK's chart mirrors the American chart this year closely, with four of the five tunes done by American artists. I admit I liked "Fireflies" and "Just the Way You Are" from the beginning, but Usher's song was only sporadically brilliant (the football chanting went a long way in the tune), and I didn't buy into that reprehensible Eminem song from the first time I heard it. There's no TUNE in that tune, just ugliness. Sorry, England, but you can do better than that. 

This week's chart is not the Christmas chart, although it reflects sales leading up to the holiday, and the holiday itself. It's one of the biggest sales weeks of the year, so there are usually no surprises. 

Ellie Goulding, though, continues to surprise with the tenacity of "Your Song", which hung onto the number five position for a second week. As I've said before, it's pretty and quirky, but I'm not sure it goes the original one better. I'll give it a 7 on the England Swings scale of 1-10. 

Here's another surprise - a brand new song on the week-after-Christmas chart. Katy B scores at number four with "Lights On". Featuring Ms. Dynamite, it's a clubby song about continuing to dance when the DJ at the club is pretty much finished. "I keep on moving with the lights on/C'mon play me one more song" pretty much establishes the whole idea here. It's all right, for sure, but it's not great. Ms. Dynamite is the best thing about it. I'll give it a 6.5.

The Black Eyed Peas aren't finished with us yet, are they? "The Time (Dirty Bit)" slides back up a place to number three. The song is now approaching ubiquitous, but it's lost ground in America, having slid back to number 8 two weeks ago, and that's where it stayed this week. Could it be that the party 'n' fun approach that BEP take is losing it's appeal? The song could resurge in the new year, but even the UK kept it at number 1 for only a week. 

Hey, I just noticed a kinda cool "wind-blowing" effect in the song I didn't hear before. That makes me throw it a little higher on the scale. I give it a 7.

Rihanna and Drake are pegged at number two again this week with "What's My Name", which is the most enduring song that Rihanna's done in recent memory. The tune continues to bounce around in the upper echelons of the American chart as well; it's at number three this week. It's less sterile and artificial than most of Rihanna's recent output, producing a warmer feel than she usually can muster. I give it an 8.

Our X Factor winner stays at number one this week. Matt Cardle's "When We Collide" doesn't approach the original, but it's got enough charm and ambition to it. It's popularized what was a great song, and that's something to be said in its favor. My recommendation? Listen to Matt, but buy Biffy Clyro. I give the Matt version a 6.5.

If I manage to get it together enough this week, I'll throw out my thoughts on the year's best albums later. Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!

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