Review of the year: Most Played Songs of 2012

2012 has been another prolific year in the music industry, with tracks from all around the world hitting the coveted #1 spot and entertaining us through the radio waves every day.

2012 has been another prolific year in the music industry, with tracks from all around the world hitting the coveted #1 spot and entertaining us through the radio waves every day. However, there have been 6 songs in particular that have been played to exhaustion, with the first notes of their introduction resulting in a nationwide sigh when they are heard on the radio.

In January, who would have thought that the most successful song of the year would have come from South-Korea?

1. Psy – Gangnam Style

Without a mention of his name or even the song title, you know exactly who I’m talking about. Of course, it is 34-year-old Psy, whose song ‘Gangnam Style’ has inspired us all at our Christmas parties to take up that horse-like dance craze that has become a universal phenomenon. Just last week on December 21st, Gangnam Style became the first video ever to hit 1 billion views on YouTube, but why? Despite being immensely catchy, with the phrase ‘Opa Gangnam Style’ sparking a dance-uprising whenever it is heard, we have absolutely no idea what it means! Even Psy himself in an interview said “It doesn’t have any meaning actually. I’m just saying Gangnam Style, Gangnam Style.” Nevertheless, 1 billion of us worldwide have sat and watched that video; plus, people are still buying it! After reaching the UK Number One spot in September, it still hasn’t left the Top 10, even eighteen weeks after its release.

2. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know

Gotye may not have a renowned dance routine or even a particularly catchy dance beat, but is still responsible for undoubtedly one of the most successful songs of 2012. If asked if you had heard of Wouter De Backer, I’m quite confident you would have no clue who he was, but once hearing the xylophone introduction of his universally popular song, his identity would soon become clear. After its release in January, Gotye spent 5 weeks at #1 and a sensational 18 weeks in the Top 10. His success was worldwide, particularly in his homeland of Belgium, where it became the most downloaded song of all time.

3. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

Carly Rae JepsenWe have Justin Bieber to thank for this one. After hearing the song and tweeting about it, the power of Bieber was truly reflected as the song began to spread. By April, the song reached the UK #1 spot where it remained for four weeks. With an incredibly memorable chorus, you will find the lyrics haunting you all day. Whether you like the song or not (although I imagine most people fall into the first category), you will have found yourself humming to its upbeat and cheery tune at some point. Just like Psy, Carly Rae Jepsen has inspired us all to take up a dance routine, although inadvertently, to sing and dance along holding our thumb and little finger in the typical telephone manner as the title ‘Call Me Maybe’ is sung and repeated.

4. Fun. – We Are Young

Spending 14 weeks in the UK Top 10, this indie power ballad deserves its place on this list. After its release in April, there came a time when you couldn’t go a day without hearing ‘We Are Young’ playing somewhere. It has been said by many critics that the success of the song was propelled by hit US TV show ‘Glee’, where it was first brought to attention commercially. As the success of the band has spread, this debut #1 single and the accompanying debut album ‘Some Nights’ have both been nominated for the a notorious Grammy Award.

5. Maroon 5 – Payphone

Following on from the success of their hit single ‘Moves Like Jagger’ in 2011, Maroon 5 returned in 2012 with yet another ultimate track that remains stamped in your memory. Unlike the other tracks on this list, whose musical introductions immediately gain your attention, ‘Payphone’ is even more overt, pumping out its initial lyrics through your stereo, instantaneously launching your vocal participation!

6. Emeli Sandé – Read All About It (Pt III)

In this ultimate sporting year for Britain, this song quickly became the unofficial soundtrack to everything Olympics-themed. Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony and even BBC Sports Personality of the Year – Emeli Sandé was everywhere. Part One of the song, a collaboration with rapper Professor Green, was already a successful hit in 2011; Emeli reintroduced her part of the song as a solo track in 2012 and was clearly a favourite of director Danny Boyle, as well as the BBC who quickly pressed the ‘Play’ button on the track whenever a musical interlude was required on any Olympics coverage.

Words are continuously being coined and added to the English Dictionary and so it seems only suitable that the term ‘earworm’ was created in 2012. As stated in the Oxford Dictionary, an earworm is ‘a catchy song or tune that runs continually through someone’s mind’; a term that can easily sit alongside these 6 most heard songs of the year. No matter how irritating they may become after a sustained period of time, it is without doubt, however, that these six songs deserve their success as the year’s greatest earworms.