2008, for me, began in a totally different way to how it ended.
Sober, in a (shit) relationship, living in a different part of Bristol.
I spent NYE 2008 pissed out of my head, single and wondering what the fuck had happened over the previous 12 months.
It was a whirlwind. An absolute whirlwind. I learnt many a painful lesson in 2008, it was a year that shaped me, nearly broke me and provided me with so many stories and memories to look back on.
If you haven’t quite realised yet, I enjoy a trip down memory lane. In fact, I spend a lot of my time walking aimlessly down that lane. It’s probably not healthy, what is it they say? Look forward, never back. But I can’t help it. It’s not that I want to change my past, regrets are futile. You’ll just end up with a one-way ticket to self-loathing.
I found the 2008 Top 10 a hard list to compile. It’s not just that there were some great tracks out that year. It’s that so many songs hold so many memories for me. And that’s why the songs I choose for this series aren’t always my favourites, it’s just that they’re memorable.
10. Girls Aloud – The Promise
Oh it’s glorious. Utterly glorious.
9. Kid Cudi vs Crookers – Day ‘n’ Night
This song reminds me of Christmas Eve.
Why? I (don’t) hear you cry.
Well, I went out. I got shitfaced. And I stumbled home at 8am on Christmas Day morning welcomed by the sight of the Christmas presents I hadn’t yet wrapped. I was due to be picked up at 10:30am by my family for our Christmas dinner.
Yeah, my Mum was not impressed by my behaviour that Christmas. I can’t look at the photos of those festivities without remembering the shame I felt.
8. DJ NG feat Baby Katy – Tell Me.
This song wasn’t that well known at the time. Baby Katy is actually Katy B, as she’s now known as.
It reminds me of being dumped by someone I was seriously into at the time. The words spoke to me at the time so when I hear it now, I remember how I felt throughout the summer of 2008. And to be honest, it was pretty shitty.
7. Leona Lewis – Run
I know, I know. It’s not the original version and how dare Leona Lewis cover such an iconic song and there’s me choosing not to use the Snow Patrol one. Travesty, I hear you cry.
However, I love, love, love this version. The memories of it for me are tinged with sadness. It was released at the time I’d just discovered my Mum had cancer. A really tough time. Whenever I hear it, I can remember the fear I felt. I’m the sort of person who will put things to the back of my mind when I’m going through a tumultuous period. It’s my way of coping. So when I hear this, although I remember the sadness and the worry, I’d often feel when alone, I also remember how I just carried on as normal. Probably using going out and drinking as my escapism.
6. Adele – Cold Shoulder
My favourite Adele track. When this song was released I was in such a happy place. It was spring 2008 and life was good. It was fun. And I felt free. All feelings that don’t quite go with the meaning behind this song. It’s funny that in time the lyrics of the song became more meaningful than the significance of the period in my life.
5. Neyo – Closer
Imagine a fuck up. A fuck up of epic proportions. You might have said something you shouldn’t have said, not done something you were meant to have done or slept with someone you really shouldn’t have slept with.
The latter is what I did and this song reminds me of that epic fuck up.
A fuck up I repeated again. And again. Oh and again.
4. Britney Spears – Womanizer
Poor old Brit came in for an absolute shower of criticism around the time this song was released. Her performance of Womanizer on The X Factor was condemned. In fact, all performances of the song were hailed as a disaster. But I’m a die hard Britney fan. She’ll never do wrong in my eyes. And I’ll defend her to the end.
It’s a tune. The video is one of her best. She’s a legend. End of.
3. Coldplay – Viva La Vida
My all time favourite Coldplay song. When I saw them perform this live in 2016 I cried. And I’m not a crier. I’m blaming the beer.
For me, this song came at an interesting time. The lyrics were so indicative of how I was feeling back then. One minute on top of the world. The next as though the rug had been pulled out from underneath my feet.
2. Kanye West – Flashing Lights
His best song of all time.
It’s the one rap track I can confidently rap along to without fear of fucking up. Which, for me, is a great achievement.
It’s also, in my opinion, a song that’s ahead of its time. With lyrics such as “she don’t believe in shooting stars, but she believe in shoes and cars” it sums up the Insta-perfect life so many young people strive for these days.
It ain’t what I know or what I can do, it’s what I’ve got and what I can show off.
PS. The video is pretty dark.
1. Sam Sparro – Black and Gold
Whenever I hear this song, I just think “2008”.
I listened to it, flat out.
I was literally loving life around the time it came out. I’d just moved into a house share, having left my then boyfriend. I was loving my job. I had a new confidence and I’d wake up every morning wanting to pinch myself that life had turned out this way.
Everything was brilliant.
It didn’t last though. Nothing ever does.
Let’s now hand it over to Mel. She’s going to provide us with a comprehensive musical snapshot of her 2008. Like me, music association is huge for her.
2008 was pretty sweet. I celebrated my one year anniversary with Dave, started my third year of university and moved into an awesome student house we affectionately referred to as the Salmon House. The happy memories we made in that house far outweighed its frankly remarkable levels of damp and black mould.
I’m someone who has always strongly associated certain songs with different periods in my life, so I was really excited to be a part of this project.
So, let’s take a musical journey back in time, to 2008. These are the songs that made my year.
5 Years Time, by Noah and the Whale
For his birthday I took Dave to Get Loaded in the Park to see two of his favourite bands, The Hives and Gogol Bordello, play back to back on the same stage.
For me though, the best part was lying on the grass in each other’s arms, with the sun shining and this song playing.
That’s Not My Name, by The Ting Tings
This song was everywhere, but I remember discovering it when it was used in a BBC Radio 1 advert. I still love it and listen to it in my car.
Love Lockdown, by Kanye West
I’ll be honest, I completely forgot about this little gem until I heard it on the radio the other day. Straight away I remembered driving around in my little blue Rover Metro, delivering pizzas and blaring this song.
Beautiful, by Akon
I shared a slow dance with Dave to this song during a drunken night out at Porthouse in Winchester. Romantic!
Disturbia, by Rihanna
Classic Rihanna is the best Rihanna.
Dream, by Priscilla Ahn
This one is a bit of a cheat as I didn’t actually hear it in 2008, but since then it’s become one of my favourite songs. I walked down the aisle to it in 2014 and it still gives me goosebumps when I hear it.
Let It Rock, by Kevin Rudolf
I still listen to this song sometimes if I’m trying to get myself feeling motivated. Bangin’.
Grounds for Divorce, by Elbow
The kind of song you just can’t help but sing along to.
Infinity 2008, by Guru Josh Project
Another song I used to blast while delivering pizzas. I actually quite enjoyed driving around listening to music, though in the end not enough to make the crap money and ever-present hunger for pizza worth it.
Ultimately though, no song takes me back to 2008 quite like…….
……Low, by Flo Rida
Many a night was spent at the Student Union attempting to get ‘low low low low low low low low’ while juggling a Midori and lemonade and a shot of apple Sourz. Good times.
Oh, and it may have been my ring tone at some point, but I’d rather not talk about that.
A 2008 Mel. I do love a good tongue selfie.
And me. Well, they do say a photo speaks a thousand words.