• Sweden edition
 
Top ten Swedish songs of the decade
Håkan Hellström tells Gothenburg not to worry

Top ten Swedish songs of the decade

Published: 18 Dec 2009 12:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Dec 2009 12:04 GMT+01:00

One of very first phrases I learned in Swedish informed me in no uncertain terms that taste is like the buttocks - divided (Smaken är som baken - delad).

Here then, in no particular order, is a predictably divisive list of the top ten songs of the decade by Swedish artists. Listen with extreme prejudice.

Listen on Spotify: Top ten Swedish songs of the 2000s

bob hund - Tinnitus i hjärtat

Arguably the best Swedish band of the past twenty years, bob hund laid low for much of the 2000s before making a delectable return to form in 2009 with the album Folkmusik för folk som inte kan bete sig som folk. Though a calmer affair than much of their nineties output, it retains all the band's trademark lyrical dexterity, effortless riffery and musical singularity. Flagship single Tinnitus i hjärtat has all the above and more besides.

The Plan - Mon amour

Out of the ashes of legendary Gothenburg band Broder Daniel rose the occasional phoenix. One such creature was bassist Theodor Jensen who soared to unheralded heights as the man with The Plan. Pacy debut single Mon Amour warmed up many a dancefloor in 2001 with its desperate and repeated cries of merde as it railed against the insufficiencies of love. The song is what the French might term a tour de force.

Håkan Hellström - Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg

Another of the Broder Daniel brigade, it's hard to describe the enormity of this former drummer's solo breakthrough back in 2000. Clad in a sailor's uniform, he took to the stage with rare abandon: the critics lapped it up, teenage girls fainted, teenage boys, well... they fainted too. Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg gets the nod here not only because it's still one of his very best songs but also because it was the one that made him an overnight superstar.

The Hives - Hate to say I told you so

The Hives were such a breath of fresh air when they stepped out of their home town of Fagersta and onto the global arena. While they clearly knew their musical history, they didn't take themselves too seriously, and in Howlin' Pelle they had themselves one of the generation's great entertainers. And the songs weren't half bad either, as proven by this corker first released at the dawn of the decade.

Love Is All - Busy Doing Nothing

Propelled forwards by Slits-inspired front woman Josephine Olausson, Love Is All back up their lead singer's punky vocals with all the right noises. Though not considered one of Sweden's bigger bands domestically, this Gothenburg group has built up a loyal fan base in the United States and beyond. They're tight, loud and eclectic, and as a live band they're absolutely electric.

The Tough Alliance - Koka-Kola Veins

The hits just kept on coming from Gothenburg, as homespun labels pumped out a steady stream of idiosyncratic innovators. The Tough Alliance divided opinion with the thuggish imagery of their baseball-wielding live shows but most were won over by the forward-looking dance music built on a foundation of past greats.

Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks

Three evergreen figures on the Stockholm gig circuit, Peter Bjorn and John struck international gold with a song prefaced by the catchiest bit of whistling this side of The Dock of The Bay. They couldn't have done it alone though: a good song was made great with the vocal assistance of former voice of The Concretes, Victoria Bergman.

José González/The Knife - Heartbeats

Brother and sister Dreijer, aka The Knife, wrote this finely crafted song, later recorded by Jose González. The Knife's version set dancefloors alight in Sweden but canny González had the last laugh as a million coloured balls tumbled down a hill to the accompaniment of his dulcet tones in a TV ad seen worldwide. Each version is engaging, infectious and worthy of a top ten place. Let's call it a draw and stick them both in...

Bear Quartet - Put Me Back Together

Luleå in the far north of Sweden is home to one of the country's finest indie pop bands. In fact, at one point it seemed everything good in Swedish music was drifting down from colder latitudes, and the Bear Quartet were as prolific as they were consistently excellent songwriters. The output slowed down somewhat in the latter half of the 2000s as singer Mattias Alkberg sidled off on a series of solo ventures that were also marked by the stamp of quality. Below is the video for Ask Me Don't Axe Me, another song from the same album, 2004's Angry Brigade.

Robyn - With Every Heartbeat

Having shot to fame for her part in the soundtrack of Lukas Moodysson's fantastic coming of age drama Fucking Åmål, there seemed a danger that Robyn might be destined for a career of capable but ultimately uninspiring production line pop. When her label hinted that this was in fact the path mapped out for her, the artist took a brave stance and cut the safety net, establishing Konichiwa Records and never looking back. If there were ever doubts about the move, they were swiftly dispelled in 2007 when this collaboration with production wizard Kleerup earned her the top spot in the UK charts.

Listen on Spotify: Top ten Swedish songs of the 2000s

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

15:59 December 18, 2009 by wotist
Both versions of "Heartbeats" are pretty good, albeit very different beasts as you say. The Knife wrote and released the original though (2002 album 'Deep Cuts'). In that context, I don't think that they mind Gonzales Tv Ad success with his cover (2003 Album 'Veneer') it as they're getting paid every time it's aired :)
17:12 December 18, 2009 by The Local
@wotist - With the passing of time comes loss of memory. Thanks for the reminder about whose heart beat first. I recall telling people in Ireland who loved the González version that it was a cover version. How quickly we forget. Article updated now.

Paul O'Mahony
08:59 December 19, 2009 by Britswedeguy
I would have had The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Randy, Sator, The Lost Patrol Band, Division of Laura Lee, Henry Fiat's Open Sore and The Vicious in there,
06:00 December 21, 2009 by RaycerX
Surely something by Kent or the Sounds should have made this list.
08:59 December 21, 2009 by Osokin
This list is ok, but it does not represent the swedish taste, as said poster above, where is Kent ?
13:13 December 21, 2009 by CortneyElin
Great list, Paul, but I think you are still gonna catch some hell from a few people for not posting any Basshunter! *;)
12:34 December 22, 2009 by l33tshane
Umm, cardigans - for what its worth?

or, i need some fine wine.

call yourselves swedes...
10:10 December 23, 2009 by Lemon1987
you forgot the band Totalitär with the song övertid,överflod mot för tidig
10:45 December 23, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
@Ososkin: This list definitely represents Swedish taste. Almost every song on here made it to the Swedish top lists.
15:15 January 6, 2010 by Pink Pippi
Nice list! What about Sister Surround, by The Soundtrack of Our Lives? It was a kinda big hit over here in Toronto, Canada.
09:23 January 13, 2010 by stupr
Am I the only one that counts 11 tracks here........"Top Ten"?
15:45 January 13, 2010 by J Jack
@133shane, umm, for what it's worth, the Cardigans didn't release anything in the last ten years.
13:59 January 14, 2010 by AshRegister
Where's "Once I Was a Serene Teenaged Child" or at least something by Frida Hyvönen? Or "You Can't Hurry Love" by The Concretes?
18:24 March 18, 2010 by Zero
here's a much better list of Swedish songs:

http://old-wizard.com/top-10-swedish-songs-of-all-time
Today's headlines
Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Israeli ambassador Isaac Bachman. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

UPDATED: Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador from Stockholm, after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

National
Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe
The ship was rescued on Thursday. Photo: Swedish Coast Guard

Stockholm 'sinking' oil spill ship safe

After fears a ship carrying around 52 tonnes of oil could sink in Stockholm's archipelago, Sweden's Coast Guard said the vessel had been towed to safety. READ  

National
Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal
A scene from a video of the attack published by Dagens Nyheter

Dog attack policewoman acquitted on appeal

A policewoman accused of letting her dog attack a drunk man while she repeatedly hit him with a baton, has had her conviction overturned by a court in Stockholm. READ  

Entertainment
What's On: October 31st - November 7th
Uma Thurman will soon be on her way to Stockholm. Photo: TT

What's On: October 31st - November 7th

Halloween fun and an international film festival are the big events hitting Stockholm this week. We cast our eye over the capital and the rest of the country for the best activities to check out this week. READ  

International
Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark
Gottrid Svartholm Warg. File photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede found guilty in Denmark

Sweden's Pirate Bay Founder Gottrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking crimes in a Danish court on Thursday. READ  

National
Malmö loses out as rare toads move in
The European green toad. Photo: H. Krisp (WikiCommons)

Malmö loses out as rare toads move in

After a rare species of toad moved into southern Sweden's Malmö, builders have had to tone down massive expansion plans in the area. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

970
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN