We recently featured our Top 50 Artists of 2011 and received a ton of feedback from you (Dancing Astronaut readers). People disagreed, people agreed, but we can all agree that it stirs some valuable conversations that needed to be had. This time around we tackle a different project, as we try to rank the Top 50 Tracks of 2011. Let us start by saying that this was no easy feat. There were thousands of tracks that were released within the last year, and narrowing down the list to just 50 was an excruciating process. As always, we aim to be as accurate as possible, below are our criteria and our biases.
What does ‘biggest’ mean exactly?
In this case ‘top’ is defined by two points:
1) How big the song was in the world of EDM. Was it played a ton by big name artists? Was it a festival anthem?
2) How high it charted on Beatport, Billboard, or any other accredited source. This is directly related to box office sales and radio play.
1. The track must have been released in 2011. We are fully aware that Nicky Romero’s remix of “Flash” was big as was Steve Angello, AN21, and Max Vangeli’s remix of “The Island.” Unfortunately these songs are disqualified because they were released in 2010.
2. It must have been featured or talked about in some fashion on Dancing Astronaut.
3. Bootlegs and other non-official releases are automatically disqualified. It must have been a release that could have been sold (note: we italicized ‘could’ because artists give away tracks for free that could have been sold – these tracks still qualify).
1. Dancing Astronaut Bias – (You may remember this one.) If the artist has been featured on Dancing Astronaut a ton, it probably means we like him/her a lot or they’ve made a big splash in the world of EDM to warrant a post. The mere fact that we have developed a connection with them will obviously aid in their ranking. If you don’t like it – tough luck.
2. Geographical Bias – We are a US based media outlet. Tracks that were big here may not have necessarily been as big in Europe, Asia, or Antarctica.
3. Relevancy Bias – This overlaps with Dancing Astronaut bias, but let’s be clear here: we post a certain type of music more than others (think: commerical house music). We love all forms of EDM, but we try and feature artists and tracks that are relevant now and will be in the future. Those of you that have followed us for a while will get exactly what we mean, however, if you just started being an astronaut – there are certain tracks you can expect to be posted on our website and certain tracks you can expect to be left off. One day we will cover the entire spectrum of EDM, and year by year we aim to get better at doing this.
4. Recency Bias – We never want to be victim to this bias, but newer tracks are going to be fresher in our minds. We tried our level best to incorporate tracks from months ago, but just in case our list was swayed towards releases post EDC – we wanted to cover our asses.
5. Recency Bias (2) – How can we have two recency biases? Well, tracks that have been released really recently also suffer. How can you tell how ‘big’ a tune is really going to be if it doesn’t have the time to develop into the anthem that it should have been? Tracks like Third Party’s “Otherside” remix fall into this unfortunate category.
6. EDM Bias – There are certain tracks that border on the fine line between EDM and pop. Tracks like “Give Me Everything,” “We Found Love,” and “Party Rock Anthem” were definitely marquee hits throughout the entire year. You could even make a case for them being the biggest overall tracks of the entire year. However, how relevant were they in EDM sets? Even if that line isn’t always black and white we have to omit a few tracks that don’t quite fall 100% into the EDM category.
How did we did know which track to credit – the original or a remix?
When you think of the track “Pressure” in your head – do you think of Alesso or do you think of Starkillers, Alex Kenji, and Nadia Ali? There are certain instances where remixes deserve to be credited over the original mix because it was without a doubt the bigger track of the year. In the event that both the original mix and a remix were equally as ‘big’ we always default towards the original mix. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer – we just operated in this fashion.
We hope you enjoy what we have deemed to be the biggest 50 tracks of the year. Obviously there were some snubs that were left off. All of us at Dancing Astronaut were thoroughly impressed with the knowledge from our fan base from our artists list. Needless to say, we expected nothing less from you guys.
We will release our tracks ranked from 41-50 shortly. Stay Tuned!