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There is nothing rock about Billboard’s Top Charting Rock Songs of the Decade

on December 30, 2019, 1:03pm

We strive to be objective as music journalists, so believe us when we say this: the Billboard list of the Top 50 Rock Songs of the Decade objectively blows.

For a chart that measured airplay, streams, and sales across the last ten years, Imagine Dragons claimed the top three spots. In a truly jaw-dropping act of categorization, alternative hip-hop duo Twenty One Pilots also landed a trio of slots in the Top 10.

Two of the remaining placements are claimed by bands with punctuation scattered throughout their names, Panic! at the Disco and Portugal. the Man. The rest belong to one-hit wonder Walk the Moon, as well as The Lumineers, whose stylings lean a bit closer to folk. Check out the list below.

(Read: The Top 100 Albums of the 2010s)

Look beyond the Top 10, and you’ll find a couple of guitar veterans like Foo Fighters (#16 and #19), The Black Keys (#18), Muse (#30), Bush (#43), and Linkin Park (#48). However, you’ll also run into Lorde, fun., Hozier, and Bastille. As a website that has to wrestle with genre labels, we know that sometimes you end up forcing a square peg into a round hole, or an octo-peg into a zigzag. But Billboard seems awfully timid about labeling commercial pop acts as just that.

At the end of the day, many rock fans will find the list disappointing for other reasons. Imagine Dragons has eight (!) songs in the Top 50. Hit hunters like Fall Out Boy, X Ambassadors, and Panic! at the Disco also all make multiple appearances. Rock & Roll used to be the most dangerous music in the world, the kind of thing that sent parents into irrational tizzies. However, for the last decade, it appears the charts have been dominated by a strain of rock music that wouldn’t bother the most uptight middle school principal.

Thankfully, things aren’t entirely bleak as we approach a new decade. Heavy metal looks poised to have a major impact on the next ten years, as we recently learned it’s the fastest growing music genre across the globe. Foo Fighters are also expected to release a new album in 2020.

Be sure to check out our own ranking of the Top 25 Rock Songs of the 2010s.

Billboard Top 50 Rock Songs of the Decade:
01. Imagine Dragons – “Believer”
02. Imagine Dragons – “Thunder”
03. Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive”
04. Panic! at the Disco – “High Hopes”
05. The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”
06. Twenty One Pilots – “Heathens”
07. Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”
08. Portugal. the Man – “Feel It Still”
09. Twenty One Pilots – “Ride”
10. Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”
11. Bastille – “Pompeii”
12. Hozier – “Take Me to Church”
13. Imagine Dragons – “Natural
14. AWOLNATION – “Sail”
15. Lorde – “Royals”
16. Foo Fighters – “Rope”
17. Fall Out Boy – “Centuries”
18. The Black Keys – “Tighten Up”
19. Foo Fighters – “Walk”
20. Imagine Dragons – “It’s Time”
21. Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes”
22. Rise Against – “Savior”
23. Imagine Dragons – “Demons”
24. Stone Sour – “Say You’ll Haunt Me”
25. X Ambassadors – “Unsteady”
26. lovelytheband – “Broken”
27. Elle King – “Ex’s and Oh’s”
28. fun. – “Some Nights”
29. The Dirty Heads feat. Rome – “Lay Me Down”
30. MUSE – “Uprising”
31. Lorde – “Team”
32. Passenger – “Let Her Go”
33. X Ambassadors – “Renegades”
34. Vance Joy – “Riptide”
35. The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
36. Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
37. Coldplay – “A Sky Full of Stars”
38. Of Monsters and Men – “Little Talks”
39. American Authors – “Best Day of My Life”
40. Neon Trees – “Animal”
41. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
42. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons With Logic & Ty Dolla $ign – “Sucker For Pain”
43. Bush – “The Sound of Winter”
44. Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”
45. Mumford and Sons – “Little Lion Man”
46. Panic! At the Disco – Hey Look Ma, I Made It”
47. Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
48. Linkin Park – “Waiting For the End”
49. Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence”
50. The Lumineers – Ophelia”

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