The A to X of the 2010s

1 January 2020, 21:00 | Updated: 1 January 2020, 21:01

As the curtain falls on the decade, Radio X looks back at ten years of great music, incredible artists and world-shattering events.

  1. A IS FOR ARCTIC MONKEYS

    The Monkeys opened the 2010s coming off the back of their Humbug album - co-produced by Queen Of The Stone Age's Josh Homme, it was the first step in the evolution of the bands' sound. It may have lost them some fans, but 2011's follow-up Suck It And See opened up a whole new world for the group. However, it was 2013's AM that made sure Arctic Monkeys remained in the top tier of Britain's best bands of the decade. Fom the sly opening of Do I Wanna know, to the ponderous Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?, it gained praise across the board and made Alex Turner one of our most cherished songwriters.

  2. A IS ALSO FOR ALEXA

    The 2010s saw the rise of the Smart Speaker - now you didn't have to leave the comfort of your armchair to hear music, watch telly, switch on the radio or buy something. You just had to yell at the device in the corner of your room and let the magic happen.

  3. B IS FOR BOWIE

    It's hard to comprehend the outpouring of feeling that emerged after the news broke that David Bowie had died. He'd been the architect of British pop music in the 1970s, with his influence reaching from glam teenagers to disaffected punks to lovers of electronica. If he'd never made a record after 1983's Let's Dance, he would have remained a legend, but he continued to innovate and search for new ways to create art. Ill health forced him to retire from public performing in 2004, meaning his last two albums emerged out of nowhere: 2013's The Next Day surprised the world, while Blackstar was written and recorded while Bowie was dying of cancer. It was released a mere two days before the star died, changing the way fans listened to the album immediately.

  4. B IS ALSO FOR BLOSSOMS

    Let's not forget some of the newer artists that came through the ranks in the 2010s... Stockport's Blossoms have produced some thrilling guitar pop in the past few years.

  5. B IS ALSO FOR BREXIT

    And let us also not forget some of the other big events of the decade - while Brexit lives to roll on into a whole new decade, the referendum in 2016 has prompted much comment, argument and even the odd bit of satire.

  6. C IS FOR CONTROVERSY

    The 2010s didn’t pass with incident in politics, music, social media and beyond. How about the News of the World closing due to phone hacking allegations? Or the Cambridge Analytica revelations that rocked Facebook and other platforms? Meanwhile, prankster Banksy stunned the art world when one of his works self-destructed as soon as someone had paid an enormous amount of money for it at auction.

  7. C IS ALSO FOR CHESTER AND CORNELL

    2016 saw dozens of much-loved celebrities leave us, but 2017 was equally as cruel. Both Soundgarden legend Chris Cornell and Linkin Park star Chester Bennington take their own lives, putting the issue of mental health on the media's agenda

    Linkin Park Gets Inducted Into Guitar Center's Historic RockWalk
    Linkin Park Gets Inducted Into Guitar Center's Historic RockWalk. Picture: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty
  8. D IS FOR DAFT PUNK

    Putting aside the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, the 2010s seemed set to pass without anything new from the French duo, but no! On 19 April 2013, Get Lucky dropped. It not only featured Daft Punk, but Chic legend Nile Rodgers was on guitar and N*E*R*D star Pharrell Williams on vocals. It truly was the sound of the summer... and every summer after that.

  9. D IS ALSO FOR DRESS

    Remember this dress? It drove everyone bonkers in 2015 when people couldn't decide if it was black and blue... or white and gold. It all started as a Facebook query over the colour of a wedding dress, but quickly spiralled into a viral sensation on Tumblr. Turns out it's actually black and blue, but scientists are still arguing over why some people see the opposite colour.

  10. E IS FOR ENVIRONMENT

    As the decade drew to a close, Coldplay announced they wouldn’t tour their new album Everyday Life until they found a carbon neutral way to do it. Thanks to activists and figureheads as diverse as broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, climate change was on the agenda. Extinction Rebellion became the movement that took to the streets to make politicians sit up and notice.

    Extinction Rebellion Climate Protests
    Extinction Rebellion Climate Protests. Picture: Leon Neal/Getty Images
  11. E IS ALSO FOR ELECTIONS

    Donald J. Trump became President Of The United States in 2016 and Britain seemed to be heading to the polls every five minutes (or so it seemed). The UK began the 2010s with Gordon Brown at the head of a Labour government and ended it with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, but along the way we'd had David Cameron's coalition with Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats and Teresa May in power.

    President Trump Holds "Merry Christmas" Campaign Rally In Michigan
    President Trump Holds "Merry Christmas" Campaign Rally In Michigan. Picture: Scott Olson/Getty Images
  12. F IS FOR FOO FIGHTERS

    Dave Grohl and his band of rockers released three albums in the 2010s: Wasting Light (2011), the TV series soundtrack Sonic Highways and the acclaimed Concrete And Gold in 2017. Alongside this, Big Dave broke his leg at a show in Sweden in June 2015, forcing the band to cancel their Glastonbury appearance - they returned to headline in 2017. The decade also saw Grohl consolidate his position as the Nicest Man In Rock - the St Cecilia EP was released as a free download in tribute to those killed in the Bataclan terrorist attack of November 2015,.

  13. F IS ALSO FOR FIFTY SHADES AND FRIDAY

    How quickly we forget some of the trends that come and grow across a decade. Remember Fifty Shades Of Grey, the upmarket slice of "erotica" that got everyone hot and bothered and slightly into BDSM (bondage and discipline) in 2015? Or how about Rebecca Black's Friday, a pretty inoffensive pop song that became a viral sensation, gaining over a million "dislikes" on YouTube? Here's a reminder for you.

  14. G IS FOR GOTYE

    Belgian-born Melbourne-based musician Wally Backer aka Gotye had one of the biggest hits of the 2010s with this no-punches-pulled dissection of a failed relationship that obviously hit a nerve with dumped lovers across the world.

    There were some other great One Hit Wonders in the 2010s: Milky Chance and Stolen Dance, Icona Pop with Charlie XCX and I Don't Care, Elle King's Ex's & Oh's, and Foster the People's Pumped Up Kicks. And how could we forget....

  15. G IS ALSO FOR GANGNAM STYLE

    In the 2010s, the One Hit Wonder could now be amplified via YouTube and social media. South Korean singer Psy had a mammoth hit with his frenetic track, giving the world their first taste of K-Pop. Let's not also overlook Harlem Shake by Bauuer, Duck Sauce's Barbra Streisand and Ylvis's The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) - even though you may want to forget them.

  16. H IS FOR HOZIER

    Andrew Hozier-Byrne's soulful song was a massive hit in 2014 and received its first play in the UK on Radio X. The accompanying album went six times platinum in his native Ireland.

  17. H IS ALSO FOR HARAMBE

    This was the decade that news really began to unfold in front of our eyes now that every person had their own broadcast-quality video camera in their pocket. The tragic story of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla that was shot dead when a young child fell into his enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo was captured on camera and flashed immediately around the world, causing much comment of the role and responsibility of zoos and quickly becoming a bad taste meme that went everywhere in 2016.

  18. I IS FOR IN CONVERSATION

    Noel Gallagher, Muse, Johnny Marr and Richard Ashcroft joined Radio X for a series of very special evenings in which these musical legends were interviewed onstage in front of an audience by the Most Trusted Man In Music, John Kennedy. These intimate shows were one of the many special events put on by Radio X in the 2010s.

  19. I IS ALSO FOR ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE

    In 2014, another great meme rocketed around the world: the Ice Bucket Challenge. The idea was that you poured a bucket of icy water over your head, then nominated someone else to do the same. It was all in aid of the condition ALS, also known as motor neuron disease, and quickly caught on. Liam Gallagher did it. Lady Gaga, The Rock and Will Smith all did it. Russell Brand nominated Prime Minister David Cameron, who made a donation but didn't chuck some water over himself. Pete Frates, the man who did much to popularise the challenge, died in December 2019 from the disease.

  20. J IS FOR JURASSIC WORLD

    22 years after the first film was released, the genetically-cloned dinosaurs came roaring back to the big screen in a new trilogy. The sequel grossed over $2.9 billion, with the second instalment Fallen Kingdom arriving in 2018 and the third still to come in 2021.

  21. J IS ALSO FOR JOBS

    2010 began with a new innovation for Apple: the iPad was the new must-have gadget when it was released on 3 April that year. But it was to be the last major product to be issued in the lifetime of the company's founder Steve Jobs: he died from cancer on 5 October 2011.

  22. K IS FOR KASABIAN

    Leicester's finest released three albums in the 2010s - Velociraptor! (2011), 48:13 (2014) and For Crying Out Loud (2017) - headlined Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, T In The Park and more, and became the official band of their hometown when Leicester City won the Premier League. Tom, Serge and co played two nights at the local King Power Stadium in May 2016.

  23. L IS FOR LIAM

    The 2010s didn't start well for Liam Gallagher. Oasis had imploded acrimoniously in 2009 mid-tour, but Liam sprang into the new decade by announcing the formation of his own band, Beady Eye featuring his former bandmates Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock. Despite releasing two albums, Different Gear Still Speeding (2011) and B.E. (2013), the project didn't last and the younger Gallagher admitted that fell into a bit of a slump. Thankfully, in 2016, Liam stormed back with a solo career. The launch of his album As You Were was overshadowed by the terror attacks on Manchester in May that year, but the Burnage legend drew the city together by appearing at the One Love tribute show in Old Trafford. His second album, Why Me? Why Not. crashed into the charts at No 1 in September 2019. He's on top form as the decade ends.

  24. L IS ALSO FOR LEO

    Pity Leonardo di Caprio. Despite nominations for What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf Of Wall Street, it wasn't until 2016's survival drama The Revenant that the actor triumphed at the Ocsars. Cheers Leo!

    via GIPHY
  25. M IS FOR MUMFORD AND SONS

    Their debut Sigh No More appeared at the end of the last decade, but the 2010s were theirs for the taking. They headlined Glastonbury in 2013, off the back of their second album Babel, a UK and US number 1. With two more albums Wilder Mind (2015) and Delta (2018), Marcus Mumford and co reinvented their arena show to reach an even bigger audience.

  26. M IS ALSO FOR #METOO AND MARRIAGE

    On the one hand, the 2010s saw many leaps forward in equality, such as same-sex marriage being legalised in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014. On the other, the 2010s uncovered widespread sexual harassment and assault in all walks of life, with the #MeToo hashtag gaining momentum following the Harvey Weinstein scandal. A number of high-profile stars revealed their own horrendous experiences, including Uma Thurmann and Jennifer Lawrence.

  27. N IS FOR NOEL

    While Liam was making a noise with Beady Eye, Noel Gallagher went quietly about his business founding the High Flying Birds. The end of Oasis freed the band's main songwriter and his debut solo album was a delight. The follow-ups, Chasing Yesterday (2015) and Who Built The Moon? (2017) saw Gallagher experiment further and he ended the decade as the elder statesman of British rock.

  28. N IS ALSO FOR NETFLIX

    One of the big media success stories of the 2010s is Netflix. Once a DVD mail-order rental company, in 2010, the company expanded to streaming services, taking advantage of increases in broadband speed. By the end of the decade, the company had 148 million subscribers worldwide, and was producing its own films and series. It just goes to show how entertainment has changed in ten years.

  29. O IS FOR OCCUPY

    The 2010s were a decade of protest. September 2011 saw the rise of Occupy Wall Street, which saw demonstrations against social and economic inequality in the heart of New York's financial district. One of the main musical voices behind the protests was Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. "I know in my heart, all hell can’t stop us now," he sang at one of the protests.

  30. O IS ALSO FOR OSCAR MIX UP

    At the 2017 Academy Awards, veteran actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were presenting the much-coveted Best Picture gong. Beatty announced musical La La Land had triumphed. and as the stars filed up on stage to collect their statue, it was suddenly announced that this was wrong - it was actually Moonlight that had won. Beatty had been looking at the wrong envelope.

  31. P IS FOR PORTUGAL THE MAN

    Feel It Still was one of the 2010's biggest hits - released in March 2017, it was championed by Radio X from the off and became a hit as far afield as the US, Australia, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany and more.

  32. P IS ALSO PLANKING AND POKÉMON GO

    Other viral sensations in the 2010s included the odd phenomenon of "planking" - having your photo taken lying down in a face down position somewhere unusual or odd - and Pokémon Go, a virtual reality game that had people trying to "catch 'em all" in real places.... which often resulted in trouble.

  33. Q IS FOR QUEEN

    Freddie Mercury is no longer with us, bassist John Deacon is retired... but Brian May and Roger Taylor have carried the flag for Queen with singer Adam Lambert and the film Bohemian Rhapsody became one of the biggest films of 2018, won Rami Malek an Oscar and ushered in a new era of rock biopics. Gallileo!

  34. R IS FOR ROYAL BLOOD

    Right from their debut album in 2014, Radio X has loved Royal Blood. We had them in session before they were even signed and they’ve since headlined festivals and their own sell-out tours across the world. They're back in 2020, so get ready.

  35. S IS FOR STEREOPHONICS

    It was a busy decade for Kelly Jones and his crew, plus the 2016 release of David Brent - Life On The Road movie starring Ricky Gervais reminded everyone of the 'Phonics excellent cover of Handbags And Gladrags, the theme tune to The Office.

  36. S IS ALSO FOR SELFIE

    Not only did the selfie become a "thing", you could also buy a selfie stick to help you better take a photo of yourself, your friends and your surroundings. Celebrity selfies boomed - in fact, Paris Hilton claimed she invented the whole phenomenon. However, a man called Robert Cornelius took a photo of himself in 1839, so she's way off there.

  37. T IS FOR "THE" BANDS

    Let's have a big hand for the "The"s of the 2010s: The Black Keys, The xx, The Amazons, The 1975, The Vaccines... and The Maccabees, who we said goodbye to in 2017.

  38. T IS ALSO FOR TELLY

    From Killing Eve and Peaky Blinders to Stranger Things and Game Of Thrones, the decade has seen a whole host of incredible, compelling and entertaining dramas to keep you in box sets for years.

  39. U IS FOR UNDERWORLD (SLIGHT RETURN)

    It took 21 years for Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle to cook up a sequel to their classic Trainspotting, and when T2 arrived, reviews were mixed. But it had a remixed version of the original's theme tune Born Slippy by British techo act Underworld for good measure.

  40. U IS ALSO FOR UNWANTED U2

    In September 2014, iTunes users were surprised - and many were infuriated - when the new U2 album, Songs Of Innocence appeared without warning on their iPhones and other Apple devices. Apple had to issue instructions on how to remove it, while Bono offered an apology when he realised people like to be asked about things like this. "I had this beautiful idea and we kind of got carried away with ourselves," he blushed.

  41. V IS FOR VIOLA BEACH

    One of the saddest stories of the 2010s was the short career of Viola Beach. The young band from Warrington - Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin - were all killed, along with their manager Craig Tarry, when their car fell off a bridge while returning from a gig in Sweden in February 2016. The band's debut album was released posthumously and Chris Martin later gave them the chance to "headline" Glastonbury during Coldplay's set by covering their song Boys That Sing.

  42. W IS FOR WINEHOUSE

    We lost a lot of great musicians in the 2010s, including the enormously talented Amy Winehouse, who died on 23 July 2011 aged just 27. Asif Kapadia's excellent 2015 documentary Amy tells her rise and tragic fall.

  43. W IS ALSO FOR WORLD CUP

    Who can forget the tension, drama and ultimate defeat as Gareth Southgate's lads got as far as the semi-finals at Russia 2018, only to get knocked out by Croatia? See you for Euro 2020!

  44. X IS FOR RADIO X

    Radio X burst onto the airwaves on 21 September 2015 with the first Chris Moyles Show... And we can now exclusive reveal that the most-played song on Radio X since we launched is...

    Catfish And The Bottlemen - 7

    Congratulations to Van McCann and the boys and here's to the next ten years!