100 From 1977-2003

[22 August 2003]

By PopMatters Music Critics

The Clash
The Sex Pistols
Public Enemy
New Order
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The original impetus for our 100 best songs 1977 - 2003 feature was VH1’s recent special devoted to the best songs of the last 25 years. True, no list is ever perfect, but PopMatters wanted to broaden things out a bit and include some songs you may not have ever heard on VH1 or MTV. But then we weren’t happy with the 25-year cut-off and felt it was just a little too arbitrary. So, instead, we polled our whole staff on the “best” songs since the ferocious sounds of Johnny Rotten and the boys and Joe Strummer and his gang blasted out of the UK and changed popular music forever.

Granted, there are loads of more songs that rightfully belong here and entire genres like country and dance are barely represented, not to mention fewer hip-hop and R&B songs than those genres’ cultural importance calls for. Nevertheless, PopMatters’ diverse band of merry critics are pleased to bring you their ideas of songs that have influenced whole genres and generations. Indeed, everyone of these songs is a “classic” in some fashion, and therefore deserving an entry into our hallowed list.

Start here to read about all 100 songs.

100 - 91 >

:. The La’s, Beastie Boys, XTC, Oasis, and more.
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90 - 81 >

:. Blur, The Jam, Sleater-Kinney, Metallica and more.
[click for full list]

80 - 71 >

:. Queen, My Bloody Valentine, Elvis Costello, Madonna and more.
[click for full list]

70 - 61 >

:. The Pixies, Bruce Springsteen, Fugazi, Neil Young and more.
[click for full list]

60 - 51 >

:. Guns ‘N Roses, Public Enemy, Dr. Dre, Underworld and more.
[click for full list]

50 - 41 >

:. R.E.M., Blondie, The Verve, Beck and more.
[click for full list]

40 - 31 >

:. Eurythmics, U2, Violent Femmes, The Police, Marvin Gaye and more.
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30 - 21 >

:. N.W.A., Radiohead, The Stone Roses, The Ramones and more.
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20 - 11 >

:. Pavement, Pulp, Sonic Youth, Grandmaster Flash and more.
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10 - 1 >

:. Nirvana, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Michael Jackson and more.
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Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/1977-2003/