My Favorite Songs From 2003

It was a year of turmoil for yours truly. And unlike the other difficult year of my single life (1998), this one wasn’t helped along by music. In fact, I started drifting away from newer rock and tried to gain some appreciation for pop. I stress the word “some”.

I doubt I will ever be a full pop music convert, but that year opened my mind up to it a lot more. It all started when my cat died in February. It was a tough day because this cat, Soldier, was like a dog. He really was. He came when you called, and he was very affectionate. Amazing cat. A Maine Coon. Highly recommend that breed. Anyway, that day made me reflect on my life. I was four-and-a-half years into a relationship with a woman… and I didn’t feel like she was the one. I assumed she was at that point, but I didn’t feel it. Meanwhile, at work, there was an amazing woman way out of my league. And in April I discovered that this beautiful colleague of mine got another job. In five weeks I would never see her again. I upped the intensity of evaluating my life. After a few days, I made a decision. I broke up with my girlfriend. And she really didn’t seem to mind greatly. She felt the same way. After a couple of weeks I then asked out the woman at work, feeling I had given the breakup enough time. That woman would become my wife and have my kids, so everything happens for a reason.

So in 2003 my life was upended. I looked hard for another job, because I wanted to move closer to my girlfriend. I got a job downtown that started in July, and got a place in North York. So within five months: cat died, long-term relationship ended (and she got the dog), got a new girlfriend, got a new job, moved to a new city. Stress!

Anyway, my future wife liked more upbeat, modern stuff and knew nothing about rock. Or the history of music at all. She didn’t know the Beatles (!), let alone Zeppelin. My commutes shifted to the subway (so bye-bye new rock music).

This was the year of SARS and the big concert in Toronto with the Stones, AC/DC, Rush, The Guess Who and Justin Timberlake. Michael Jackson got arrested and charged with child molestation. Napster relaunches as a legal pay service, and the iTunes store opened as well, each deciding that 99 cents for a song was the right price (should be 25 cents – so that everyone can afford to own 1000 songs and not just the rich or middle class) , which sets the pricing precedent for the future. And today it’s commonplace, accepted by all.

Anyway, all of these things are what shaped my musical tastes for 2003. Many of these songs I would discover and enjoy later, plus there are even a couple that I discovered while putting this piece together.

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been tossing these up in a numerical order. We can agree that on some days, certain songs kick more ass than other songs – yet other days they do not. It depends on mood and situation. A song ranked 14th today could rank 1st tomorrow if it comes on the radio at the right moment. Instead, I group them rather than present a hard-and-fast order:

Not Bad
…with some inter-group splitting.

First, videos of the best from that year…

26 Great Songs from 2003

Diamonds on the Inside – Ben Harper

Behind Blue Eyes – Limp Bizkit

Love Is Only A Feeling  – The Darkness

24’s  – T.I.

Forever and Always – Shania Twain

From hip-hop to country, because that’s how I roll 🙃

Hey Ya  – OutKast

Faint  – Linkin Park

Give Up The Grudge  – Gob

Stacy’s Mom  – Fountains of Wayne

So Far Away  – Staind

Someday – Nickelback

Jesus Walks  – Kanye West

Crazy In Love  – Beyoncé

Hit That – The Offspring

I Hate Everything About You  – Three Days Grace

Where Is The Love?  – The Black Eyed Peas

The Boys Of Summer – The Ataris

The First Cut Is the Deepest – Sheryl Crow

Don’t Walk Away Eileen – Sam Roberts

Brother Down – Sam Roberts

Where Have All the Good People Gone – Sam Roberts

This Canadian artist made a huge splash in ’03 (obviously, as you can see here). If you haven’t heard him before, give these three videos a watch/listen.

Butterflies And Hurricanes  – Muse

Somewhere I Belong  – Linkin Park

Calling All Angels  – Train

Numb  – Linkin Park

The Hardest Button To Button  – The White Stripes

8 Truly Awesome Songs from 2003

It’s My Life – No Doubt

Seven Nation Army  – The White Stripes

Let’s Get It Started  – The Black Eyed Peas

One Thing  – Finger Eleven

Mad World – Michael Andrews (feat. Gary Jules)

Are You Gonna Be My Girl  – Jet

My Immortal  – Evanescence

Bring Me To Life  – Evanescence

Follow me/my playlists on Spotify here.

The above songs are put together on a YouTube playlist for your listening enjoyment, here.

Here is the complete list of the best songs from 2003…

Awesome – 1Bring Me To Life Evanescence
Awesome – 1My Immortal Evanescence
Awesome – 1Are You Gonna Be My Girl Jet
Awesome – 3Mad WorldMichael Andrews (feat. Gary Jules)
Awesome – 3One Thing Finger Eleven
Awesome – 3Let’s Get It Started The Black Eyed Peas
Awesome – 3Seven Nation Army The White Stripes
Awesome – 3It’s My LifeNo Doubt
Great – 9The Hardest Button To Button The White Stripes
Great – 9Numb Linkin Park
Great – 9Calling All Angels Train
Great – 9Somewhere I Belong Linkin Park
Great – 9Butterflies And Hurricanes Muse
Great – 9Where Have All the Good People GoneSam Roberts
Great – 9Brother DownSam Roberts
Great – 9Don’t Walk Away EileenSam Roberts
Great – 9The First Cut Is the DeepestSheryl Crow
Great – 9The Boys Of SummerThe Ataris
Great – 9Where Is The Love? The Black Eyed Peas
Great – 9I Hate Everything About You Three Days Grace
Great – 9Hit ThatThe Offspring
Great – 22Diamonds on the InsideBen Harper
Great – 22Crazy In Love Beyoncé
Great – 22Jesus Walks Kanye West
Great – 22SomedayNickelback
Great – 22So Far Away Staind
Great – 22Stacy’s Mom Fountains of Wayne
Great – 22Give Up The Grudge Gob
Great – 22Faint Linkin Park
Great – 22Hey Ya OutKast
Great – 22Forever and AlwaysShania Twain
Great – 2224’s T.I.
Great – 22Love Is Only A Feeling The Darkness
Great – 22Behind Blue EyesLimp Bizkit
Solid – 34P.I.M.P.50 Cent
Solid – 34Baby Boy Beyoncé
Solid – 34Naughty Girl Beyoncé
Solid – 34Down blink-182
Solid – 34Feeling This blink-182
Solid – 34I Miss You blink-182
Solid – 34Jerk It Out Caesars
Solid – 34Serenity Godsmack
Solid – 34Breaking The Habit Linkin Park
Solid – 34In My Head Queens of the Stone Age
Solid – 34Bad Day R.E.M.
Solid – 34Fall Back Down Rancid
Solid – 3412:51 The Strokes
Solid – 34Black Math The White Stripes
Solid – 48F Me PumpsAmy Winehouse
Solid – 48Show Me How To Live Audioslave
Solid – 48Meant To Live Switchfoot
Solid – 48Reptilia The Strokes
Solid – 48Not Ready To Go The Trews
Solid – 48Headstrong Trapt
Solid – 48In Da Club 50 Cent
Solid – 48Me, Myself And I Beyoncé
Solid – 48I Stand Alone Godsmack
Solid – 48Taylor Jack Johnson
Solid – 48Dirt Off Your Shoulder Jay-Z
Solid – 48Look What You’ve Done Jet
Solid – 48California Waiting Kings of Leon
Solid – 48Talihina Sky Kings of Leon
Solid – 48Time Is Running Out Muse
Solid – 48Away From MePuddle of Mudd
Solid – 48Fine AgainSeether
Not Bad – 65Figured You OutNickelback
Not Bad – 65Thugz Mansion2Pac
Not Bad – 65Creatures (For a While) 311
Not Bad – 65Stronger Than Me Amy Winehouse
Not Bad – 65Toxic Britney Spears
Not Bad – 65I Drove All NightCeline Dion
Not Bad – 65White Flag Dido
Not Bad – 65Through The Wire Kanye West
Not Bad – 65Turn Me On Kevin Lyttle
Not Bad – 65In a World Called CatastropheMatthew Good Band
Not Bad – 65Apocalypse Please Muse
Not Bad – 65The Way You Move OutKast
Not Bad – 65Changes Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne
Not Bad – 65Go to Sleep Radiohead
Not Bad – 6545 Shinedown
Not Bad – 65LegalSnow
Not Bad – 65Zoe Jane Staind
Not Bad – 65Hey Mama The Black Eyed Peas
Not Bad – 65Thoia ThoingR. Kelly
Not Bad – 84Go With the FlowQueens of the Stone Age
Not Bad – 84Send the Pain BelowChevelle
Not Bad – 84BOB Weird Al Yankovic
Not Bad – 84Beyond The Gray Sky 311
Not Bad – 84All Of This blink-182
Not Bad – 84Breathe Blu Cantrell
Not Bad – 84The New Year Death Cab for Cutie
Not Bad – 84Tiny Vessels Death Cab for Cutie
Not Bad – 84Life For Rent Dido
Not Bad – 84Worker’s Song Dropkick Murphys
Not Bad – 84Fields of AthenryDropkick Murphys
Not Bad – 84Everybody’s Fool Evanescence
Not Bad – 84Bye Bye BoyfriendFefe Dobson
Not Bad – 84Hackensack Fountains of Wayne
Not Bad – 84I Don’t Want To Be Gavin DeGraw
Not Bad – 84Collide Howie Day
Not Bad – 84Cookie Jar Jack Johnson
Not Bad – 84Daughters John Mayer
Not Bad – 84Everybody’s Changing Keane
Not Bad – 84Molly’s Chambers Kings of Leon
Not Bad – 84Why Can’t I? Liz Phair
Not Bad – 84Hysteria Muse
Not Bad – 84Savior Skillet
Not Bad – 84Dare You To Move Switchfoot
Not Bad – 84Gone Switchfoot
Not Bad – 84I Believe In a Thing Called LoveThe Darkness

2000     2001     2002     2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s          2000s


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