Class A's and Vengaboys: These are the Real Music Moments of the Century
Someone suggested "when the choir kicks in on The Killers' 'All These Things That I've Done'," but nah.
Image by Stefan Brending via Wikimedia
If someone pulled you aside and asked you, genuinely, to choose your single favourite music moment of the century – ie: of the past 17 years – what would you choose? How would you choose? Trick question: the answer is 'no one can actually do that, it is impossible'.
But that didn't stop this guy from picking the moment the choir kicks in on "All These Things That I've Done" by the Killers, which … are you OK. Going for sincerity doesn't make sense here; there are too many ways music can give you chills or make you cry or do whatever earns songs their prize spot on your most-played lists. We came *this* close to just centring the whole piece on the Killers because of how much scope they offer but, instead, here are a selection of other highlights. Such as...
THIS VERY DRUNK MAN SINGING "GET LOW" ON THE SUBWAY
Look, as far as I'm concerned, the UK and Ireland are joint world champions in the league of Mad Shit Happening on Trains. Let's be totally clear about that. We have won. United, we are the Roger Federer of public transport banter. History has been re-written via Irish football fans chanting "Our Father" at a nun and the Shakespearean drama in four acts that was #BagelGate. Do not step. That said, some things are beyond the realm of possibility for us as a culture. For example: a scenario in which an unspeakably drunk fellow wails iconic 2002 slut drop anthem "Get Low" by Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz to an enthusiastic audience of two while riding the New York subway simply would not have the same clout if it happened en route to Essex. It is an under-appreciated viral video, certainly, but its potential as the single best music moment of the century can be deduced by asking yourself the following questions.
Can it be explained? We will never know why crunk's breakthrough hit came flying out of this large besuited white man's incoherent mouth a smooth 12 years after its release. We will never know where he had been, where in the five boroughs he is going, if he heard "Get Low" just before boarding the train or is just a very passionate fan of Lil Jon's oeuvre. We will never know why he chose to open his performance by dragging out the word "window" for six, wild seconds. We will never understand the forces that shake him from the periods of unconsciousness he drifts in and out of to pipe up with escalating levels of enthusiasms that eventually become so overwhelming he has to spark up a fag. It will remain a mystery for all of eternity; both impressive and unknowable, like God.
Can it be replicated? No, obviously not.
Conclusion: It is the single best music moment of the century. Emma Garland
LOUIS TOMLINSON'S "MEEHEEE" X-FACTOR AUDITION
Don't know if you guys ever watched early days American Idol but it was a thing of beauty. I'm talking the Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard years. When Randy Jackson used to scrunch up his face and tell people from small towns that their belted-out rendition of power ballads were "a little pitchy", he spoke directly to my heart. Where, then, was he the day Louis Tomlinson auditioned as a solo act on X Factor in 2010? WHERE. I don't have the slightest problem with Louis but, man, his Plain White Ts' "Hey There Delilah" audition snippet leaves me in bits, so brutal is his vocal pitching on the "WHAT you do ta meeheeeee" note. Watch it, then watch it again. It's actually stunning. It chucks the notion of vocal muscle memory (the thing singers use to know what the right note "feels" like when they can't hear themselves) out the window with such force that it could knock out someone on the pavement below. Anyway what I'm really saying is that this is one of the best music moments since 2000 because Louis then went onto become a millionaire based off his performance talent. Get a recording of that "meeheeee" in a museum, stat. Tshepo Mokoena
KANYE WEST DANCING TO A-HA "TAKE ON ME"
:) Ryan Bassil
WHEN SARAH HARDING SANG THAT BUM NOTE
We've all been there, haven't we? On GMTV at 8am in a full body fishnet stocking and zippy denim arm flaps, a bit hungover even though we only had three glasses of wine the night before, haircut styled somewhere between 'Can I speak to your manager?' and an electrocuted Little Lord Fauntleroy, shoved right in the middle of grumpy Nadine and sparkly little Cheryl, and then made to belt out a note that goes on for a ten whole seconds. We've all been there. Which is why I really feel for Sarah Harding when she lets out the kind of flat, drawn-out, dead sound that I sometimes make when I'm on my period and the vibration of my own voice is the only thing that soothes my cramps, like a cow giving birth. Oh my god, this video though. It's so fucking funny. Watch it above and tell me it's not the single greatest moment in music history thus far. Daisy Jones.
MADONNA FALLING OVER AT THE 2015 BRIT AWARDS THEN ALSO JUST GETTING UP AND CONTINUING HER PERFORMANCE
This one minute and 19 second clip could, by rights, win an Oscar. It's a thriller. It's a tragedy. It is a redemption tale. It's also the fucking funniest thing I've ever seen – that is, Madonna, in a cape-cum-instrument-of-destruction, looking like she's cosplaying Maleficent at a community centre Halloween fundraiser, stacking it down some steps with the grace of 30 bricks of shit onstage at the literal 2015 BRIT Awards. The century, unfortunately, has seen no greater music moment than the Queen of Pop being nigh-on strangled by an enormous shawl made of what looks like curtain material from a two-star hotel in Blackpool, before scrambling to her feet to give her public the show they deserve, inexplicably surrounded by horned dancers (and like, you don't really notice the ridiculousness of the horns before she falls over, but as soon as that happens the illusion of disbelief snaps and it becomes hysterical). Fight me on it, I'll win. Lauren O'Neill
THE BALLAD OF THE PRINCE-OBSESSED PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER
I don't know if it's fair or even humane to call this video the music moment of the century but it is one of the tragically best ones. As time has passed and Prince has started to fly his little red Corvette into a distant black hole, the clip has, admittedly, lost some of its original charm. But still: have we all, at one moment in our life, not been this middle-aged, balding man – holding onto a moment of intense, cinematic emotion in the most cliche yet life-affirming way possible? Maybe just me, but I would advise doing it if you can. Ryan Bassil
LIAM GALLAGHER BACKSTAGE AT THE 2010 BRIT AWARDS
Not really condoning this as much as I am passing it into the history books for posterity. Ryan Bassil
WHEN "BOOM, BOOM, BOOM BOOM!!!" BY VENGABOYS UNITED A REELING BRITAIN
Brandon Flowers may have soul and a gospel choir confirming such, but if they all piled into a car, pulled up to a pedestrianised road full of wrecked people and started singing about it would everyone start immediately punching the air before being magnetically drawn towards the vehicle and mobbing it as though driven by some ancient, Darwinian impulse? No, only a prime slice of Dutch Eurodance in Brexit Britain can do that. Emma Garland