The extremely-dedicated crew over at Double J counted down their top 50 debut singles over the weekend, with an impressive and thoughtful collection emerging.
The radio station broadcasted their countdown yesterday (Saturday, 18th September). These were “the songs that defined careers, started movements, disrupted genres,” according to the radio station’s website.
“The best debut singles don’t just offer us more great music for our playlists, they excite and energise us. They give us a thrill that, at its best, feels positively life-affirming.”
The team wanted to relay that this particular collection of songs “is all about artists who had a huge impact with their first songs.
“In most cases those are ‘official’ releases, though we also want to reflect those artists who break through before they’ve had a chance to officially release that debut single.”
The 50 songs they chose are incredibly diverse. Melbourne indie-rocker Courtney Barnett‘s debut sits amongst first works from RnB/pop legend Alicia Keys and Mike Skinner’s The Streets‘ project.
Flight Facilities‘ stunning debut ‘Crave You’ featuring Giselle sits comfortably amongst Rihanna‘s pulsing ‘Pon De Replay. Divinyls‘ ‘Boys In Town’ levels with Wu-Tang Clan‘s historic ‘Protect Ya Neck’.
The list is carefully considered, and could be considered controversial, but that’s the beauty of a list like this – it’s collaborative and totally subjective.
The top five tracks are massive ones – and contextually, are all justified.
Sex Pistols‘ ‘Anarchy In The UK’ clocked in at number five, with Richard Kingsmill touting the band “public enemy number one, but their job was done,” with the release of the iconic song of resistance.
Radiohead‘s ‘Creep’ came in fourth, with Stephen Goodhew saying this particular track “serves as an important reminder that sometimes the biggest hits don’t arrive with a bang, nor do they always fit the mould we might expect.”
‘Royals’ from Aotearoa queen Lorde came in third, with Claire Bracken reminding us all that “16-year-old Ella Yelich-O’Connor promised back in 2021 that one day she’d rule,” and rule she has.
It’s hard to look past a single as defining as Kate Bush‘s ‘Wuthering Heights’, which is why its place as number two on the list is no surprise. Dylan Lewis recalls a bit of the song’s history, relaying that the record company were hesitant of her vision. “Thank goodness they listened to her,” he wrote.
And finally, it’s hard to consider a more defining debut than this one – Rage Against The Machine‘s ‘Killing In The Name Of’.
Arguably THE anthem of resistance, Dan Condon writes “the world would be a better place if ‘Killing In The Name’ had lost relevance in the 30 years since its release. It hasn’t.”
Check out the full list via the Double J website.
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