Music Blog

From guest writer Gary Bales, editor of BBC Radio 6 Music

Hello there.

Since the launch of 6 Music on March 11th, 2002, our brilliant presenters have played nigh on a million records into your ears (seriously....based on an average of 240 tracks a day we are nearly at a million... maybe even over. Amazing, eh?), and many of those tracks were new at the time. So as we say farewell to 6 Music's 10-year anniversary celebrations, we here at the station thought it was high time we looked back at all the brilliant new music we have played on air during our eventful life so far.

One day in the office, in the autumn of last year, a few of us were talking about our favourite records released during the 10 years we've been on air. As with any musical conversation in 6 Music towers, a polite debate swiftly turned into a passionate argument and lo, the idea of 6 Music's Greatest Hits was born.

Starting today, 6 Music is officially asking, "What is the greatest song released during our lifetime?" Between the 6 Music presenters and staff in the office, after spending the last three months or so sifting through the thousands of songs released in the last 10 years, we somehow came up with a shortlist of 100 tracks we think truly are 6 Music's Greatest Hits, all of which were released between March 2002 and the end of 2012.

And in the spirit of transparency, I'm not going to lie - the whole process was a nightmare. A fun nightmare, but a nightmare all the same. I had a full-on terror dream one night where I was attacked by flying Regina Spektor records.

Trying to be unbiased when faced with songs you personally treasure is agonising. There are a ton of tunes I would have loved to have included in this list but couldn't, and the same goes for all of us here. We didn't have any particular criteria when shortlisting aside from gut feeling and the comfortable knowledge that the list would never truly be finished - if we were asked to do it all again today no doubt at least ten of the songs on the list would change - but it is what it is, and in actual fact I think it looks and sounds pretty strong.

If an alien came down, ended up having a tour of 6 Music and via a clever translation machine asked us, "Inferior Earthlings... What is this thing called alternative music and what is the most excellent example of it from the last ten solar cycles", we would happily give them this list.

I digress - this is where you come in, dear listener, to the world's finest alternative music station. We want you to vote for the track you believe to be the pinnacle of musical achievement during our lifetime from our list of 100.

Now many of you upon viewing will no doubt be throwing rotten fruit at your computer screens because nothing from the new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album made it onto the list. Totally fair enough. But maybe, just maybe, your favourite song IS on there, looking at you with puppy dog eyes, wistfully pleading for your vote...

Go to the voting page now to see the list of 100 tracks in full and cast your vote, and click on the links to Spotify, Deezer and YouTube where you can listen to special playlists featuring every track included in the list.

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or use the Twitter hashtag #6MusicGreatest. We genuinely can't wait to find out what you think about the list, good or bad.

Voting closes Friday 25 January, and be sure to keep Friday 1 February free as we'll be counting down the 100 songs in the order you voted for them across the day, starting in Shaun Keaveny's Breakfast show at 7am GMT, and concluding with Steve Lamacq from 4-7pm GMT.

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by Gary

    on 25 Jan 2013 18:12

    I agree with jamessy and fatpie1664.The Strokes have many tracks better than Juicebox.The Fall are a glaring omission for a station that likes to think it's continuing the spirit of John Peel.

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by TonyC

    on 25 Jan 2013 17:47

    I thought that the last decade had been better than this list suggests. As #9, a lot of the wrong songs from the right artists.
    I vaguely recall the Radio 1 10th birthday (in 1977) selecting the 100 greatest songs of all time - was not 10cc's "I'm not in love" thought to be the best song ever? Some of that top 100 have stood the test of time, but many are almost forgotten.

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by Tim

    on 25 Jan 2013 16:20

    They've picked a lot of the right artists, but for too many of them not picked their best songs.
    Personally I would've included The Kooks, Jamie T, The Horrors, Tinie Tempah? All of those stand out more than many on the list.

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by fatpie1664

    on 24 Jan 2013 14:02

    It’s all a bit too predictable & whilst I appreciate it’s catering for the masses, the list looks like something XFM would have come up with.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by jamessy

    on 23 Jan 2013 23:06

    The song choices for some of the artist's could have been a lot better, Amy Winehouse and The White Stripes for example. Both have had a lot better songs that deserve to be in that list.

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by Bangladesh Music Network

    on 21 Jan 2013 21:18

    what a nice list. i think you can add more best musician.

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by gpwebster101

    on 20 Jan 2013 19:54

    btw I voted for mclusky "that man will not hang"

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by Jamsey99

    on 19 Jan 2013 21:48

    Its a great list and I wouldn't expect to like them all but I do think no I am Kloot is a massive omission. To see the awful Coldplay in there and no Kloot is a real shocker

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by EatingFansAlive

    on 19 Jan 2013 21:08

    I hate La Roux! That twit can't even sing! I voted for Muse! I want that twit La Roux music off the radio!

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by gpwebster101

    on 18 Jan 2013 21:40

    I can't believe there are no other comments either and I can't believe "Joy Division Oven Gloves" by Half Man Half Biscuit isn't on the list! Otherwise the list about 95% brilliant

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