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Top 100 Songs of 2012 – Part 1

Philip Lickley looks back on 2012 and picks his top 100 songs of the year….

Top 100 songs of 2012 – Part 1

As we reach for a glass of bubbly and celebrate the arrival of 2013, it’s time for me to take a look back at the last twelve months of music and give you what I feel have been the best 100 pieces of music over 2012. I started with all the singles I reviewed over the year at All Noise then whittled them down to the best 420, and then cut them down to my favourite 250 and then began the difficult process of picking the best 100 of those.

It’s been a difficult process and lots of great tracks have gone by the way in the culling process and having to put a couple in that I’d forgotten about but still loved from my earlier look-back six months ago, but here are my favourite songs of the year, starting with the first 25 of my top 100.

100. Honey Ryder – Worlds Away
Released: 26th October 2012

One of many great singles this year, but this is their strongest. Very emotive, beautifully sung and a great mix of pop, indie and country.

99. Morten Harket – Scared of Heights
Released: 27th March 2012

The former Aha lead man released this uptempo tune back in March and showed that he still has it even in 2012.

98. Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait
Released: 9th September 2012

An adaption of an earlier b-side, it takes a few listens to catch on but when it does it succeeds.

97. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Look Around
Released: 3rd February 2012

Before they spent the rest of the year releasing special b-sides, this final cut from their latest album is back to the classic RHCP sound.


96. Amy Macdonald – Slow It Down
Released: 20th April 2012

The Scottish singer-songwriter returned with this familiar sound but a great song all the same.

95. Mika feat. Pharrell Williams – Celebrate
Released: 28th September 2012

Mika returned with this great slice of pop in his familiar joyous mould, with a fun guest appearance from NERD’s Pharrell.

94. Andy Grammer – Fine By Me
Released: 29th June

A lesser known release this year but no less enjoyable with a catchy and simple chorus, and a sunny feel.

93. Stooshe – Black Heart
Released: 15th June 2012

The second single from Stooshe was far more enjoyable than their slightly crass debut and the retro sound really works for them.

92. B.o.B – So Good
Released: 5th April 2012

A summery spring release from BoB with more cultured lyrics than you’d expect from your typical rap track.

91. The Vaccines – Teenage Icon
Released: 31st August 2012

Another short and sweet track from the masters of the memorable indie chorus.

90. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Third Swan
Released: 30th March 2012

A low key and sad sounding tune but no less a great song from 2012.

89. Jason Mraz – 93 Million Miles
Released: 26th March 2012

Another beautiful single from Jason Mraz with a simple tune but great lyrics.

88. Maximo Park – Write This Down
Released: 12th June 2012

Geordie rockers Maximo Park released a new album this year and though it wasn’t their strongest had some good singles from it, with this being the best one.

87. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Released: 29th August 2012

A great video for a catchy song of attitude with a chorus that kicks up the pace from the slower verse.

86. Meat Loaf feat, Trace Adkins, and Lil Jon – Stand In The Storm
Released: 27th February 2012

An album track from his ‘Hell In A Handbasket’ release this year, this is Meat Loaf at his OTT best. His single release of ‘California Dreamin’’ was also good this year.

85. Amanda Mair – Sense
Released: 9th April 2012

A low-key indie tune but one with a great musical backing and beautifully sung chorus.

84. Cover Drive – Sparks
Released: 31st May 2012

The verses may not be the best of their catalogue and there’s a little too much autotune but the crackling retro effect and the sad chorus make this into a better track than you’d expect.

83. Will Young – Losing Myself
Released: 16th March 2012

Proving the best material comes when the singers are away from the shackles of the talent shows, here is a great track from Young.

82. Taio Cruz feat. Flo Rida – Hangover
Released: 2nd March 2012

The lyrics may not be that subtle or intelligent but the production values and guitar work make it.

81. Train – Drive By
Released: 10th January 2012

The return of Train this year was kicked off with this great, memorable track that got everyone singing along in the first month of the year.

80. Dappy feat. Brian May – Rockstar
Released: 23rd February 2012

It was an unlikely pairing earlier in the year but this is rather grown up for Dappy and by far the best of his single releases so far.

79. Florence + The Machine – No Light, No Light
Released: 13th January 2012

I’m not a big fan of Florence but this single won me over with her powerful voice and ear for a great song.

78. Lionel Richie feat. Jennifer Nettles – Hello (Tuskegee Verson)
Released: 5th March 2012

The original version – and its video – may have descended into parody legend, but this adaptation from 2012 works brilliantly as a duet.

77. Green Day – Kill The DJ
Released: 1st August 2012

The chorus may not be particularly subtle but it’s back to their classic sound and very singable.

76. Scissor Sisters – Back Come Home
Released: 22nd July 2012

The best song off their patchy new album, this is immediately catchy and sees the band playing to their strengths.

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