• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'

Foreign and Finance Ministers Carl Bildt and Anders Borg held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss how Sweden was being affected by a "less secure" world, and how it would foot the bill for a growing influx of refugees. READ  

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire
Photo: Fanni Olin Dahl/TT

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire

The Slussen tunnel in Stockholm began billowing out black smoke on Wednesday afternoon. Police believe that the fire was connected to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. READ  

Elections 2014
Parties duel as refugee costs rocket
Photos: TT

Parties duel as refugee costs rocket

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and opposition leader Stefan Löfven clashed on Wednesday after the Migration Board asked for more money to handle Sweden's influx of refugees. READ  

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages
The Sami in northern Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have. READ  

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

More and more Swedish boys are born with deformed penises, and researchers are uncertain exactly what's behind the increase. READ  

The Local List
What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet
Photos: Shutterstock/Imagebank Sweden

What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet

The Local Sweden has been asking readers to squeeze their view of Sweden into just 140 characters or less. Here's what you came up with up for #SwedeninaTweet. READ  

Getinge Floods
Swedish floods hit day two as rain continues
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Swedish floods hit day two as rain continues

UPDATED: The flood in southern Sweden showed no signs of abating on Wednesday, with forecasters predicting that the rains are unlikely to stop any time soon. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Politics
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
National
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Education
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
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

675
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