A few days ago, we kicked off the 2000s decade and now we’re onto the second installment: the top 200 best songs of 2001 in English, Spanish, and other neighboring languages. To do this, we’ve prepared two Spotify playlists, one in Romance languages and another in Saxon languages (mainly in English), accompanied by two lists featuring 5 songs each, where we’ve picked our favorites from all of them.
This detail is important because we thought that dedicating a single article to discuss 200 top songs of 2001 could be a bit overwhelming, both for us as writers and for those who read and listen to our selections. That being said, our intention is for you to enjoy both options—the musical and the informative. After all, the 21st century began as a strange mix of genres that didn’t seem to settle on any one in particular.
During this time, for example, hard rock and rap were still reigning, but we’ll see that starting from 2005, the decline in hits would become quite serious, in favor of other sounds much more related to indie, and later to trap and the disco pop music of Sia, Lady Gaga, or David Guetta (who had actually been working around for years). If you’re a fan of rap metal, for instance, you’ll enjoy this year quite a bit, but you have to seize the moment, as the 2001 music hits was starting to sound a bit less fresh than the mid and late 90s. We don’t know if the fact that it was the year of the Twin Towers attacks had anything to do with all of this.
Top songs of 2001 in English and Other Anglo-Saxon Languages
Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, among the most listened to songs of 2001 in English was Blink-182’s “Stay Together For The Kids.” As is often the case when a group succeeds, there were soon jealous detractors criticizing everything they did. Thankfully, true fans don’t change their minds as often as they change social media platforms.
Christina Aguilera, the ultimate diva, along with Pink, Lil’ Kim, and Mya, joined forces for a version of “Lady Marmalade” that left us all speechless. The same way Destiny’s Child did with “Survivor” or Jenny from the Block did with “Love Don’t Cost A Thing.” What happened this year? Why such a level of diva behavior?
Other groups were just confirming their success, such as Incubus, Hoobastank, Nickelback, Travis, P.O.D., or the rappers Ja Rule, DMX, or Jay-Z. Special mention goes to System Of A Down, who after several years in the music scene released the album “Toxicity” and shook the world with songs like “Chop Suey!”
And then there were cases like The Shins, who were starting to make their mark in music, one they would never leave (and hopefully they won’t).
There are many songs we could have chosen, but we hope you enjoy this selection of songs from the year 2001 in English.
“Fallin'” by Alicia Keys
“Fallin'” was the single through which we got to know Alicia, here in Spain and around the world, and the success it achieved was tremendous. With that blend of R&B, soul, jazz, and lyrics about a complicated love, the kind that’s addictive even when we know it’s bad for us, Alicia makes us empathize and conveys all the emotions she feels while singing the song.
So much so that she received six Grammy nominations and ended up winning five, including Best R&B Song. Alicia’s career has continued to mature and refine, too bad that here it seems more interesting whether she wears makeup or goes makeup-free than her music.
“Someday” by The Strokes
The rock band led by vocalist Julian Casablancas (yes, he has Hispanic roots, and his second name is Fernando) became known in 2001 when the guys released their first EP (with 3 songs), and record labels were practically fighting over them. Such was the talent they displayed and the desire for rock’s return that everyone had…
“Someday” talks about those bygone days, the promises we made when we were young, and how as we grow older, everything changes, and we must learn to leave certain things behind. Essentially, it’s about growing up, but with the guitar solo by Albert Hammond, Jr.
“Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz
We could say a thousand things about Gorillaz, but their originality left us all surprised, it’s a fact, I have no evidence, but I also have no doubts. The group, formed by four fictional members, was born this year with their eponymous debut album, accompanying their songs with animated music videos. No wonder they achieved triple platinum status in the UK.
If you watch the music video for “Clint Eastwood,” it’s like a mini-movie in which a rapper ghost emerges from the band’s drummer and proceeds to sow chaos while the guys sing. In the end, the ghost returns to where it came from, and everything remains as if nothing happened—It’s all in your head.
“New Born” by Muse
Muse was formed in the mid-90s, although it wasn’t until 1999 that they released their first album, with their distinctive style. They turn every concert into a show, mix whatever styles come their way, and their lyrics are sometimes mysterious, featuring existential questions. This is due to Matt, the vocalist, who’s a bit of a conspiracy theorist, that lad.
“New Born” is part of their second album, “Origin Of Symmetry,” and in the song, you can sense a certain bitterness from someone who’s seen too much and been disappointed too many times. Eventually, you become disillusioned with everything, grow apart from people, and miss out on other opportunities.
“One More Time” by Daft Punk
This French duo decided not to show their faces and hide them behind modern masks. They’re big names in the house music scene gave one of the best dance hits of 2001 with “One More Time”, a club anthem indeed.
They began their career in the 90s and recently announced their farewell with a YouTube video titled “Epilogue” after a 20-year career filled with hits.
Among them is “One More Time,” featuring the voice of Romanthony modified by Auto-Tune (that thing most singers abuse nowadays…), which was playing in clubs worldwide for quite some time. The video could easily be a chapter of a manga series where a group is giving a concert unaware of the danger lurking.
Top songs of 2001 in Spanish and Other Romance Languages
The musical scene of the year 2001 in Spain was dominated by Antonio Orozco, who with his single “Devuélveme La Vida” managed to enter all our hearts with that emotionally charged raspy voice. The Quijano brothers, after “La Lola,” hit it big with “La Taberna Del Buda,” whose eponymous single had us all humming along, “and there’s a dean as well, a lawyer as well, and a policeman surrounded by thieves.”
One of those Top songs of 2001 that succeeded and that might have slightly exhausted us, because it played absolutely everywhere, was Diego Torres’ “Color Esperanza.” It’s true that it conveyed good vibes and optimism from the very first note, but there’s just no limit, right?
There were those bands that continued their journey, like Dover with “King George,” true to their style at the time, and a total hit. Or, for the more sentimental, our dear Enrique Iglesias, who kept conquering (we’re not sure if with his voice or some other talent we’re unaware of) after the famous “Rhythm Divine,” with his new song “Héroe.”
It was the year of “La Lista De La Compra” by La Cabra Mecánica; “Carolina” by M-Clan; “Me Gustas Tú” by Manu Chao; “Te Aviso Te Anuncio” by Shakira; and how can we ignore “Yo Quiero Bailar” by Sonia and Selena (the quintessential summer song with all its ingredients).
And besides these and many more, the year 2001 was marked by the following Spanish songs from 2001 that we’ve highlighted and hope you’ll enjoy.
“Vicios y Virtudes” by Violadores del Verso
This group of rappers from Zaragoza led by Kase O is perhaps the best among all Spanish rap groups, a reference point, and alongside SFDK, the only rap group to achieve a gold record. Their artistic consecration came in 1999 with the debut album “Genios,” and from then on, their success only grew. One of the keys to this success is undoubtedly their honesty, speaking fearlessly about any topic and expressing their opinions freely.
“Vicios Y Virtudes” speaks a bit about this, about how speaking without mincing words can have negative consequences, about prejudices, and about being true to oneself and one’s principles, no matter what others say.
“El Aire de la Calle” by Los Delinqüentes
The duo from Jerez, Miguel Benítez and Marcos del Ojo, met Diego Pozo when he gave them guitar lessons, and together they formed Los Delinqüentes. They released their first album in 1999 and we’ve talked about them in the cheerful songs post. These guys were known for their peculiar way of speaking, fun lyrics, and the mix of flamenco rhythms with pop, rock, or blues—a style they called “garrapatero.”
“El Aire De La Calle” is an optimistic song about someone who’s content with what they have and seizes every moment. How sad to know that Miguel passed away at only 21, with so much life ahead of him.
“Años 80” by Los Piratas
This group from Galicia, from which Iván Ferreiro emerged, came into our lives in the 90s. Although they disbanded in 2004, they left us a great musical legacy and are considered major figures in Spanish pop and rock music. They drew inspiration from bands like Radiohead, Oasis, or Los Planetas.
The iconic song “Años 80,” which, like many others, we’ve sung at the top of our lungs, evokes other times thanks to a phone call that transports us to that era. However, for Los Piratas, it’s a call that brings back somewhat painful memories, so it’s better to move on. I’m done…
“Nunca el Tiempo es Perdido” by Manolo García
We’ve dedicated an entire post to Manolo García, where we declared our absolute love and admiration for the former member of El Último De La Fila. In 1998, Manolo made his solo debut with the album “Arena En Los Bolsillos,” and his success, charisma, and talent were so immense that he stole our hearts, where they’ve remained ever since.
In 2001, his second solo album, “Nunca El Tiempo Es Perdido,” arrived, and its first single was the eponymous song. With a touch of light bitterness but also optimism, the song conveys that all time is useful, important, even when we spend time trying to forget or longing for something or someone.
“Vino Tinto” by Estopa
The brothers from Cornellá, possibly the most beloved siblings in Spain, brought Catalan rumba beyond our borders with their catchy and fun songs. We got to know them with “La Raja De Tu Falda,” a timeless song that regardless of when we listen to it, continues to convey good vibes and a playful spirit. And thus, the phenomenon of Estopa was born, and it hasn’t stopped (and hopefully it never will).
“Vino Tinto” is about the suffering caused by a love that makes life difficult, the beginnings when you understand nothing, when it plays hard to get, even though deep down, it’s head over heels.
(Madrid, 1988). Azahara P. Navas has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Complutense University of Madrid and currently works as a language translator with knowledge of English, French, German and Greek.