Bernard Sumner (left) and Ian Curtis of Joy Division circa 1979 courtesy Getty Images.
Let the fearsome arguments, debates and disagreements begin! Legendary British music magazine NME is turning 60 and it has boldly declared what it deems to be the 100 greatest tracks of its lifetime. Given all the amazing music that’s been produced since 1952, the top 10 is flat-out shocking.
While both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones are represented, neither produced the NME’s best-ever song. They didn’t even make the top 10. The number one honour went to…. Joy Division for their 1980 signature song 'Love Will Tear Us Apart,' followed by the curiously-popular-in-England-only band Pulp for 'Common People.'
Weirdly, both the Beach Boys and the Stone Roses scored two songs in the top 20 and yet Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, U2, the Police, Prince and Adele are conspicuously absent. Here it is:
The top 20 tracks of the NME's lifetime are:
1. Joy Division – 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' 2. Pulp – 'Common People' 3. David Bowie – ‘Heroes' 4. The Beach Boys – 'Good Vibrations' 5. New Order – 'Blue Monday' 6. The Stone Roses – 'She Bangs the Drums' 7. The Smiths – 'There Is a Light That Never Goes Out' 8. The Specials – 'Ghost Town' 9. Dizzee Rascal – 'Fix Up, Look Sharp' 10. Oasis – 'Wonderwall' 11. The Rolling Stones – 'Sympathy for The Devil' 12. The Ronettes – 'Be My Baby' 13. Michael Jackson – 'Billie Jean' 14. Sex Pistols – 'God Save The Queen' 15. The Beatles – 'A Day in The Life' 16. The Cure – 'Boys Don't Cry' 17. Bob Dylan – 'Like a Rolling Stone' 18. The Beach Boys – 'God Only Knows' 19. Madonna – 'Like a Prayer' 20. The Stone Roses – 'I Am The Resurrection'
So, who else is missing from the top 20?
Alas, to see the full list of 100 picks – and presumably, to read more about the selection criteria – you’ll need to pick up a copy of this week's NME, which is on newsstands now or available digitally.