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A look back at the decade in music
By -- Sun Media




Perhaps Prince said it best. At any rate, he said it first.

"Two thousand zero zero, party over, oops, out of time," His Purpleness predicted in his '80s single, 1999.

A decade later -- and 27 years after The Artist Formerly Known as Relevant cut the song -- we can see with 20/20 hindsight that Prince had this decade's number.

For the dinosaurs in the music business, 2000 was indeed the beginning of the end. The year when everything started to change. The year when CDs started to lose their lustre -- and their stranglehold on the market -- as increasingly techno-savvy consumers began to evolve and embrace the brave new world of file-sharing and downloading.


Check out Darryl's top 10 albums from each year, as well as a look back on those who packed it in, and the stars who left us.

Granted, the digital revolution wasn't the only story of the decade.

We celebrated new stars named Kanye, Taylor and Rihanna; we mourned lost icons; we watched the teen-pop boom morph into the Idol inundation; we endured reunions by everyone from NKOTB to Zep; we seethed as ticket prices skyrocketed. We even got an album out of Axl Rose.

But the numbers that truly rocked the decade were the 1s and 0s of digital files. And it was all thanks to a dude named Shawn Fanning and a program called Napster.

The former developed and launched the latter in, yes, 1999 so music lovers could share mp3 files online. And share they did; at Napster's peak, more than 26 million global users were swapping songs by everyone from Madonna to Metallica. Not surprisingly, since they weren't getting paid, neither party took kindly to the practice.

Metallica in particular, led by reserved drummer Lars Ulrich, went ballistic, launching a lawsuit that eventually helped close the service.


Tell us what your faves of the decade are!

But the Pandora's box Fanning opened could not be shut. File-sharing services sprouted like weeds on Napster's grave, emerging faster than lawyers could stamp them out. Eventually, the industry began to realize it couldn't beat downloaders -- and set out to join them. And profit from them. Not all bands were working for the clampdown; Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails saw the future and released music online like buskers, allowing consumers to pay what they wanted.

Net result: A world where you can now stream, download and burn -- legally or not -- virtually any piece of music ever recorded, at the click of a button. And thanks to the cornucopia of iGizmos and SmartGadgets that let us program our own soundtracks and play them 24/7, music is a more personal experience than ever before. All due to file-sharing.

Ironic, huh?

Has it made the music better? Of course not. The poor quality of mp3s hasn't made it sound better either. And it certainly hasn't helped record stores, which are now on the endangered species list. What the digital revolution has done, however, is level the playing field.

Now, every artist with an Internet connection can access the ears and wallets of everyone in the world. And fans can get their fix straight from the source.

So the real party might just be beginning. Take that, Prince.

TOP 10 MUSIC: FAVOURITE DVDs

2000 - The Filth and the Fury / Sex Pistols

2001 - Jazz / Ken Burns

2002 - I am Trying to Break Your Heart / Wilco

2003 - How the West Was Won / Led Zeppelin

2004 - Some Kind of Monster / Metallica

2005 - No Direction Home / Bob Dylan

2006 - Trapped in the Closet / R. Kelly

2007 - Runnin' Down a Dream / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

2008 - Shine a Light / The Rolling Stones

2009 - Flight 666 / Iron Maiden

TOP 10 MUSIC: COOLEST BOX SETS

2000 - Suitcase / Guided by Voices

2001 - The Complete Fun House Sessions / The Stooges

2002 - XTC / Coat of Many Cupboards

2003 - Chrome, Smoke & BBQ / ZZ Top

2004 - With the Lights Out / Nirvana

2005 - Pure Genius / Ray Charles

2006 - A Piano / Tori Amos

2007 - Heavy Metal / Various Artists

2008 - Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collectors Edition / Neil Young

2009 - Archives Vol. 1 / Neil Young

TOP 10 MUSIC: COMEBACKS

2000 - Presidents of the United States of America

2001 - Leonard Cohen

2002 - Phish

2003 - Iggy & The Stooges

2004 - New York Dolls; Pixies

2005 - Cream

2006 - Alice in Chains

2007 - Led Zeppelin; The Police

2008 - Stone Temple Pilots

2009 - Mott the Hoople

TOP 10 MUSIC: LONGEST WAITS

38 years - Brian Wilson / Smile (2004)

35 years - Os Mutantes / Haih or Amortecedor (2009)

34 years - The Stooges / The Weirdness (2007)

32 years - The New York Dolls / Someday it Will Please us to Remember Even This (2006)

28 years - Eagles / Long Road Out of Eden (2007)

24 years - The Who / Endless Wire (2006)

20 years - Neil Young / Archives Vol. 1 (2009)

19 years - Mission of Burma / ONoffON (2004)

17 years - Guns N' Roses / Chinese Democracy (2008)

12 years - KISS / Sonic Boom (2009)

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