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We all love music, and a good song can be so much more than a tune to listen to – it can bring back memories, raise a smile and even make you shed a few tears. Which is why the amazing unlimited music downloads available on the Nokia Asha 302 is something worth shouting about. So to celebrate unlimited tunes here at Nokia Connects, I’ve put together a top 10 list of tracks that capture the last decade for me – will they do the same for you?

Before I get into my top 10, though, I want to challenge you to come up with your own list of songs that bring back those fond memories and capture the last decade for you (that’s from 2002 – 2012, so nothing released before then!) Send me your suggestions on Twitter or just drop them in the comment box below…

But without further ado, here are my top 10 songs of the decade (in no particular order):

1. Beyoncé, ‘Crazy in Love’ (2003)

In the nine years since the release of her debut single, Beyoncé Knowles has shot to fame and become a worldwide superstar – but ‘Crazy in Love‘ is where it all started. The single featured a guest appearance of rapper and boyfriend Jay-Z (later to become her husband) and topped the charts in both the US and the UK with its catchy tune and upbeat feel. It was named as NME’s number one track of the decade.

2. Coldplay, ‘Fix You’ (2005)

Lead singer Chris Martin says that ‘Fix You‘ is ‘probably the most important song we’ve ever written’, and its melancholy vocals and haunting organ music has lead to it being nominated for several awards, including Best Song Musically and Lyrically. The inspiration behind the song is believed to be partly due to the death of Martin’s father-in-law, Bruce Paltrow:

‘My father-in-law Bruce Paltrow bought this big keyboard just before he died. No one had ever plugged it in. I plugged it in, and there was this incredible sound I’d never heard before. All these songs poured out from this one sound. Something has to inspire you, and something else takes over. It’s very cloudy.’

‘Fix You’ was also played live to a motionless crowd at the Steve Jobs memorial/celebration-of-life event at Apple headquarters on October 19, 2011

3. The Killers, ‘Mr Brightside’ (2002)

This song never fails to conjure up fond memories of hanging out with my friends during the summer of 2002 – so it’s no surprise that ‘Mr Brightside‘ was named as the most listened-to track by with over 7.6 million ‘scrobbles’. The song is a tortuous depiction of a jealous man who suspects his girlfriend was cheating on him, and was allegedly inspired by an unfaithful ex-girlfriend of frontman Brandon Flowers. Either way, it’s a great song and paints a perfect portrait of the angst of love.

4. Red Hot Chilli Peppers, ‘By the Way’ (2002)

By the Way‘ is really the song that put the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the musical map for me. I remember listening to it on the radio and thinking ‘this song is cooool man!’ (because I was young then, and that’s how I used to speak). Guitarist John Frusciante was the main musical genius behind the song, and he has said that writing ‘By the Way’ was ‘one of the happiest times’ of his life. Awww, bless!

5. Lady Gaga, ‘Just Dance’ (2008)

This was the track that brought in the career of pop diva Lady Gaga and propelled her to international stardom. Gaga allegedly wrote ‘Just Dance‘ in ten minutes as a ‘happy record’ – but despite its humble beginnings, the song achieved commercial success, topping charts in the United States, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as reaching the top ten in many other countries. it is also one of the best-selling singles of all time with over 7.7 million copies sold.

Lady Gaga

via lady2gaga

6. The White Stripes, ‘Seven Nation Army’ (2003)

Seven Nation Army‘ is one of those songs that captures a whole generation, and it became the unofficial anthem for Italy’s World Cup win of 2006 and of the Euro 2008 (I remember my Italian father running out into the street with a bottle of champagne singing this song – not something our English neighbours appreciated!) Jack White said he was both surprised and flattered the Italian team took on the song:

‘I am honored that the Italians have adopted this song as their own… Nothing is more beautiful than when people embrace a melody and allow it to enter the pantheon of folk music. As a songwriter it is something impossible to plan. Especially in modern times. I love that most people who are chanting it have no idea where it came from. That’s folk music.’

7. Rihanna, ‘Umbrella’ (2007)

Originally written for Britney Spears, whose label rejected the record, ‘Umbrella‘ became the first real hit for young Barbadian singer Rihanna (bet Britney is kicking herself for that one!) The song topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States and proved addictively catchy with its ‘ella, ella’ refrain.

8. Kings of Leon, ‘Use Somebody’ (2008)

Winning a Grammy Award for Record of the Year, ‘Use Somebody‘ became the mainstream breakthrough in the US for Kings of Leon (they later topped the charts worldwide with the acclaimed ‘Sex on Fire‘). NME also named it as ‘easily the best 80s power ballad of 2008’

9. OutKast, ‘Hey Ya!’ (2003)

Another feel-good classic – this song had us all jumping and shaking to the lyrics of ‘shake it like a Polaroid picture’ which makes ‘Hey Ya!‘ one of my all-time favourite songs for dancing along to (preferably when no one else is watching). It was also named as number five in NME’s 100 tracks of the decade.

10. Amy Winehouse, ‘Back to Black’ (2007)

And from a very upbeat song to a very downbeat one. ‘Back to Black‘ is the type of record you want to listen to when you’re on your own and feeling sentimental, and the song is a lament for a broken heart. Amy Winehouse‘s story is even sadder than that of her songs, and the 27-year-old singer died of  suspected alcohol poisoning in 2011. This song will forever be a tribute to her, and to her wasted talent.

So what do you think of my ten records of the decade? Agree with my choices? Think you can do better? Then let me know @Nokia_Connects or in the comments below!