Best tunes of 2001

As a year, 2001 was a pretty big one and one that will cast a shadow over those of us who live in North America (and likely many other parts of the world as well) for many years. The date, September 11, 2001, is one that is etched in our memories and will always dredge up certain emotions. It is like this generation’s JFK or John Lennon moment. Most of us will remember exactly where we were the moment we heard that a plane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I was at work, having just recently started a new job at a call centre. We had finished in class training the week before and that Tuesday was our second day of on the phone training. We didn’t take a single phone call after 9:00 am, everyone was glued to their television sets. My wife, on the other hand, didn’t hear the news until much later because she was in class at the time and only heard people talking about it at the bus stop on the way home. But that night was spent in front of the television, as I’m sure many others did, watching and re-watching footage on all the news channels.

Apart from that catastrophe, 2001 was also the year in which George W. Bush was sworn in as President of the United States, same sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands (the first place in the world it was allowed by law), Microsoft released Windows XP, V.S. Naipaul won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the MIR space station was de-orbited and fell into the Pacific Ocean. And along with the close to 3000 victims of the 9/11 attacks, Joey Ramone, Douglas Adams, Carroll O’Connor, George Harrison, and Ken Kesey all died in 2001.

The year 2001 was also a life changing one for me personally. It was the year my wife moved to Ottawa from Toronto to pursue her master’s degree and I followed her there. It was a big move for us, leaving behind family and friends to pursue education and work, and was only ever meant to be temporary but here we still are 16 years later. We lived in a very tiny apartment and weren’t very well off that first year and I spent a lot of time searching out and listening to new music. For me, 2001 was a vast improvement over 2000, mostly due to the beginnings of the garage rock/indie revival that will likely get a mention or two in the posts in this series. Enjoy.

#25 R.E.M. “Imitation of life” (from Reveal)

#24 Gorillaz “Clint Eastwood” (from Gorillaz)

#23 Matthew Jay “Please don’t send me away” (from Draw)

#22 Weezer “Island in the sun” (from Weezer, aka the Green album)

#21 Embrace “Wonder” (from If you’ve never been)

#20 New Order “Crystal” (from Get ready)

#19 Richard Hawley “Long black train” (from Late night final)

#18 Depeche Mode “Dream on” (from Exciter)

#17 Camera Obscura “Eighties fan” (from Biggest bluest hi-fi)

#16 Lupine Howl “Vaporizer” (from The carnivorous lunar activities of Lupine Howl)

#15 The Cranberries “Analyse” (from Wake up and smell the coffee)

#14 Kings Of Convenience “Winning a battle, losing the war” (from Quiet is the new loud)

#13 Travis “Sing” (from The invisible band)

#12 Elbow “Red” (from Asleep in the back)

#11 The Lowest of the Low “New Westminster taxi squad” (from Nothing short of a bullet)

#10 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club “Love burns” (from B.R.M.C.)

#9 Spiritualized “Stop your crying” (from Let it come down)

#8 Pulp “The night that Minnie Timperley died” (from We love life)

#7 The Shins “New slang” (from Oh, inverted world)

#6 James “Getting away with it (all messed up)” (from Pleased to meet you)

#5 The Strokes “Last nite” (from Is this it?)

#4 Cake “Short skirt/long jacket” (from Comfort eagle)

#3 The White Stripes “Fell in love with a girl” (from White blood cells)

#2 The Charlatans “A man needs to be told” (from Wonderland)

#1 Elbow “Any day now” (from Asleep in the back)