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2001. A year that people will always remember for the events of September 11th, but what about the year in music terms? 2001 was the year that reality-TV talent show “Popstars” launched, setting the trend for the years of manufactured pop that were to follow. Hear’Say, the band formed from that competition, went on to have one of the biggest selling singles of the year with “Pure and Simple”. No, I can’t remember what it sounds like either (thankfully).

The biggest selling single of the year went to Shaggy with “It Wasn’t Me” (video below) while Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head proved annoyingly catchy, spending 4 weeks at number one.

Novelty songs continued to prove popular with the likes of DJ Otzi and Bob The Builder making it to number one, the most notable example being Afroman with “Because I Got High”.

Somehow, that track spent 3 weeks at number one selling over half a million copies in the UK…

With Blur on hiatus, Damon Albarn formed Gorillaz and released debut single “Clint Eastwood” in March, reaching number 4 in the UK charts.

Daft Punk continued to set the benchmark for electronic music with the release of their album “Discovery”, spawning hits “One More Time” and “Aerodynamic” (below).

Back in 2001, despite the dominance of the usual pop acts like S Club 7, Blue and Westlife, alternative rock bands were still managing to make an impact on the charts, with the likes of Feeder and Ash regularly charting inside the top 20.

Ash got my vote for best video of the year with the video for “Burn Baby Burn” featuring the band performing the track surrounded by cheerleaders (and Basketball players).

Elsewhere, The Strokes received universal critical acclaim for their debut album “Is This It”, paving the way for other bands to gain some success commercially. “Last Nite” proved to be the standout track from that album, you can find the video below.

My Vitriol released one of the best albums of the year with their debut “Finelines” before going on hiatus a year later, never to be heard from again until 2007 when they released an EP before quickly disappearing yet again. They’ve never officially split up, but I don’t hold out much hope for a second album. “Always: Your Way” was the pick of the tracks from their debut, see below for the video.

For alternative/rock music 2001 was a pretty good year, with some great albums released from the likes of Ash, Stereophonics, Feeder, Muse, Weezer and many others. Below is a playlist featuring what I think is a selection of the best alternative/rock songs released in 2001. The full tracklist is as follows:

1. Feeder – Buck Rogers
2. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Spread Your Love
3. Guided by Voices – Chasing Heather Crazy
4. Semisonic – Chemistry
5. Stereophonics –Mr. Writer
6. Snow Patrol – One Night is Not Enough
7. Muse – Plug in Baby
8. Ash – Burn Baby Burn
9. Weezer –Hash Pipe
10. Wheatus – A Little Respect
11. Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal
12. Seafood – Cloaking
13. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American
14. The Cooper Temple Clause – Devil Walks In The Sand
15. Travis – Side
16. The White Stripes – Hotel Yorba

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