Billboard’s “Top Rock Songs of the Decade” is Depressing

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The decade ends tonight when the clock strikes midnight.

It was an interesting and intriguing one for Philadelphia sports, wasn’t it? We saw the Eagles win their first Super Bowl. Villanova claimed a pair of national titles. The Sixers took us through the adventure known as “The Process.” The Phillies rebuilt and the Flyers did whatever they did.

One thing that was not very good this decade was mainstream music, and I had to share this Billboard list of the top-10 “rock” songs of the decade, which is depressing and borderline offensive:

Couple of thoughts:

  1. Imagine Dragons absolutely stink. They make Nickelback sound like Zeppelin.
  2. The Panic at the Disco and Lumineers songs are not even close to being rock. “Ho Hey” is hippie Mumford shit.
  3. 21 Pilots are whatever. At least “Ride” has a bit of a Reggae vibe, like Rebelution or Slightly Stoopid or something like that.
  4. Portugal the man is the only group on the list remotely resembling rock, and even that’s a stretch.

A lot of great music was made this decade, but you won’t find it on that list. If that’s the stuff people really listened to from 2010 to 2019 then may God have mercy on our souls.

But on a serious note, Happy New Year to everybody. Wishing all y’all happiness and health in 2020.


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  • sigh December 31, 2019 at 11:03 am

    This is a sad, sad list. I would never expect the type of “rock” that I listen to, to get on this list but I still have to laugh at this list.

  • Real Ity Check December 31, 2019 at 11:10 am

    Pretty much that entire depressing list is reflective of what happens when media conglomerates control every aspect of the music industry. There’s still a lot of great rock bands/songs out there, but if they don’t have the right corporate backing, it’s almost impossible to breakthrough to the masses. Which sucks for the artists but is kind of cool for fans, who still get to rock out in smaller GA venues rather than arenas and stadiums.

  • Addicted to bl@ck lesbo porn December 31, 2019 at 11:11 am

    What collection of trash music.

  • Uncle Leo December 31, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Do you think you’re cool for shitting on Imagine Dragons? Do you also think Carson Daly is a tool too? Love the bandwagon hate on things “not cool”.

  • The 4 for 4 strut December 31, 2019 at 11:49 am

    No cuz today is killing me

  • Philly78 December 31, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Everything you said is exactly right, but it’s simply a problem with how Billboard categorizes those bands. The numbers are the numbers. But there was an endless amount of great new rock music this decade. Just to name a few bands: Rival Sons, The Struts, Dorothy, The Revivalists, The Black Keys, The Glorious Sons, Badflower, etc. And bands like Weezer, Green Day and Pearl Jam are still going strong. It doesn’t matter what Billboard says.

  • Jann Wenner December 31, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Kinker, give us your list. You’re a rock fan, I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are. There is a LOT of rock music not represented that Billboard could acknowledge…How Imagine Dragons has three songs but not a single one from Foo Fighters or Shinedown baffles me. 21 Pilots? Not rock.

    • Kevin Kinkead December 31, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      The early decade Alice in Chains singles were great. Black Keys made some straightforward and chart-friendly songs that rocked. Greta Van Fleet, Weezer, even liked the STP stuff. Seems like Billboard just has a wonky way of organizing their music, because it seems like this is categorized incorrectly.

      • Shart Shartveit December 31, 2019 at 4:15 pm

        Go listen to A Giant Dog. And Ex Hex. Two best rock bands out there today.

  • Josh from Pottstown December 31, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    As a rocker myself I know this list is complete garbage. Riiiiiighhhttttt??

    • Gavin from Middle Class December 31, 2019 at 1:04 pm

      How any of our cover songs isn’t on this list is beyond me. I blame our old, talentless drummer. Total beef stew

  • Dick Clark stroke impressions December 31, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    No love for the local bands like Cold War Kids , Full Blown Aids, Jizz Mopers, And Bill Conlin and the lumpy lap.

    • since you brought it up December 31, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      why not War on Drugs?

      • Jann Wenner December 31, 2019 at 2:45 pm

        I dig War on Drugs, another GREAT local guy is Dave Hause. That guy is putting out some great music. Also the Menzingers even though the are from Wilkes Barre they are still somewhat local.

  • fire angelo December 31, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Fred Bear – The Original….Ted Nugent…..old guy still has it!

  • Boss Jockette December 31, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    The music died sometime in ’89 forward. It lost its soul, its beat, its everything. WFIL became Christian talk. WIBG /WZZD, presently WNTP, became Christian talk, teachings and music; now it is a station that airs only syndicated News Talk shows. WOGL is nothing but the same 200 oldies until November, when they start playing nonstop Christmas tunes, and B101 is the same, except they start the Christmas Hit Parade around Halloween. Other stations have more or less the same fare. Then you have your hip-hop and R&B stations, and others which seem to play only Luther Vandross most of the time. Then there’s Sirius/XM, but many can’t afford it. As a result, I have gotten away from mainstream radio, in favor of YouTube, which is loaded with all kinds of music from all over the world, plus cartoons, TV movies, vintage commercials, old-time radio, and vintage TV stuff, too. Best of all, most of the content is free. Do check it out.

    • The boognish December 31, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      88.5 isn’t bad most of the time. They’ll go off the beaten track, though it depends who is DJ’ing. Princeton station 103.3 goes way off kilter if you want obscure and different. I remember them playing Nirvana way before the videos and hubbub took over.

      • Drifter in the Dark December 31, 2019 at 7:20 pm

        Chocolate and Cheese is one of the best albums of all time.

  • Boss Jockette December 31, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    More. We have gone full circle from vinyl to tapes, then CDs, and now back to vinyl. Vinyl was like Rice Krispies. Snap, Crackle, Pop. CDs have excellent fidelity, but there maybe was 1-4 tunes you liked, and the rest filler. Tapes got stuck in the player sometimes. People have a personal relationship with vinyl that they don’t with the other formats. So we also went from tinny AM to FM, but in the process, the music deteriorated; go figure.

  • Let's see your list Kevvy December 31, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    None of these songs are rock. Rock has attitude. These songs have about as much edge as this (allegedly) irreverent blog site.

  • HonkyD December 31, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    There are a lot of great rock bands making music right now: Oh Sees, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, Ty Segall, Tame Impala, The Raconteurs, I could go and on. Plenty of great new music if you know where to look. But for a long, long time — I’m talking decades — the best music has NOT been top of the pops. At best rarely. Fuck the mainstream, find a good sherpa to the rock roads less traveled and you will find many great fellow travelers along the way.

  • The boognish December 31, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    GodWeenSatan, Pure Guava, The Mollusk, Quebec. I once passed Dean Ween on the street on New Hope, and turned around and he was gone.

  • me January 1, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Imagine Dragons make Nickleback look like Zeppelin. I’m not a huge Dragons fan but they are worlds better than Nickleback.

    Glad to see Kevin’s crappy takes extend beyond sports.

    • Philly78 January 2, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Nickleback is at least a rock band.

  • Abby Writes January 3, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Billboard’s list compilers are in the wrong profession. They are obligated to know music genres and, obviously, they do not. They missed the boat in every which way. Fire them all. This list does not contain rock music’s best songs nor does it contain songs that are “rock music”. This list is wrongly titled.

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