Readers Poll 2011: Best singles of the year

As 2011 quickly winds to an end, we’re happy to roll out the third of four days’ worth of results from our second-annual Slicing Up Eyeballs Readers Poll, in which nearly 500 of you cast ballots for your favorite new, reissued and freshly compiled music of the year over a four week period in late November and December.

Today we dig into your Top 10 singles and/or tracks of the year. All told, more than 70 different songs received votes — with multiple singles and tracks from the year’s biggest albums, such as All You Need Is Now, Collapse Into Now and Ninth, garnering votes.

So here’s the agenda for the week:

MONDAY: Best compilations, box sets, live albums of 2011
TUESDAY: Best reissues of 2011
TODAY: Best singles/tracks of 2011
THURSDAY: Best new albums of 2011



Best singles of 2011:


10. Social Distortion, “Machine Gun Blues”

BACKSTORY: Lead single off the classic Southern California punk-rock act’s seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, which dropped in January of this year.
HEAR IT: Social Distortion stages 1930s bank heist in new ‘Machine Gun Blues’ video
BUY IT: iTunes


9. Erasure, “When I Start To (Break It All Down)”

BACKSTORY: The veteran synthpop duo released this single in September in advance of the arrival of its 14th studio album, Tomorrow’s World.
HEAR IT: Video: Erasure, ‘When I Start To (Break It All Down),’ off ‘Tomorrow’s World’
BUY IT: iTunes


8. The Japanese Popstars f/ Robert Smith, “Take Forever”

BACKSTORY: Following last year’s indie hit with Crystal Castles (“Not In Love”), The Cure’s Robert Smith lent his voice to another electronic single, and also provided his own remix.
HEAR IT: Stream: Robert Smith’s remix of Japanese Popstars’ ‘Take Forever’ + 3 more
BUY IT: iTunes


7. Jane’s Addiction, “Irresistible Force”

BACKSTORY: After some lineup tumult, the Los Angeles hard-rockers returned with this lead-off single from their fourth studio album, The Great Escape Artist, which arrived earlier this fall.
HEAR IT: Video: Jane’s Addiction, ‘Irresistible Force’
BUY IT: iTunes


6. R.E.M., “Mine Smell Like Honey”

BACKSTORY: The first of three official singles released from the college-rock pioneers’ 15th and, it would be revealed later in the year, final studio album, 2011’s Collapse Into Now.
HEAR IT: Video: R.E.M., ‘Mine Smell Like Honey’
BUY IT: iTunes


5. The Cars, “Sad Song”

BACKSTORY: The first and only single released off one of 2011’s most unlikely comebacks, the Boston-bred New Wave rockers’ Move Like This.
HEAR IT: Video: The Cars, ‘Sad Song’
BUY IT: iTunes


4. Robert Smith, “Small Hours”

BACKSTORY: The Cure frontman turned in another memorable performance in 2011, contributing this epic cover for a John Martyn tribute album released over the summer.
HEAR IT: Download: Robert Smith covers ‘Small Hours’ by John Martyn for tribute CD
BUY IT: iTunes


3. Morrissey, “Glamorous Glue”

BACKSTORY: Moz this year reissued this 1992 single to promote his new Very Best of Morrissey, and backed the release with a pair of previously unreleased Viva Hate outtakes.
COVERAGE: Morrissey will issue 2 ‘Viva Hate’ outtakes on ‘Glamorous Glue’ single
BUY IT: iTunes


2. Peter Murphy, “I Spit Roses”

BACKSTORY: Lead-off single from the former Bauhaus leader’s 2011 solo album Ninth, a song about the re-breakup of that band following its mid-2000s reunion.
HEAR IT: Video: Peter Murphy, ‘I Spit Roses’
BUY IT: iTunes


1. Duran Duran, “All You Need Is Now”

BACKSTORY: Debut single and title track from the veteran New Wave act’s 13th studio album, which was released digitally in late 2010 and then, in a longer CD form, in March of this year.
HEAR IT: Video: Duran Duran’s ‘All You Need Is Now’
BUY IT: iTunes





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  • mark89

    I agree with the most, nice choices

  • Duran Duran at the top! Love it! All You Need Is Now is the perfect combination of today and the past. Cheers!

  • Blue Silver

    Fantastic to see Duran2 on at the top of the list! It was only a matter of time ’til the media finally recognized them for their unique musicianship and style. ..ALL YOU NEED IS NOW = AWESOME ALBUM. ….I’m also glad to see Erasure, The Cars, and Morrissey get recognized, too. This is what the Grammy list should have looked like!!!

  • Nice one. Duran Duran deserve to be at the top, the album is the best thing to come out of mainstream pop in a very long time.

  • A little surpised to not see personal jesus on the list, but other then that great list of song and Duran2 last cd was great, one of their best.



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