The ’00s saw a number of exciting British rock bands emerge. But, some of the more established rock names also made their presence felt in the decade, which is reflected in our top 10 list here.
Multi-instrumentalist and singer Matt Bellamy is the architect behind one of the most powerful sounds in rock, and the band had three successive number one albums in the ’00s as a consequence. Grand in scope, the music of Muse was at its most exhilarating live in the Noughties.
9. Kaiser Chiefs
One of the most popular bands of the decade, both for the quality of their songs and their likeability, Kaiser Chiefs were also notable for their impressive live performances. While songs such as Ruby and I Predict a Riot in particular were difficult not to sing along with.
8. Manic Street Preachers
Carrying on from their success in the 1990s, The Manics saw their single, The Masses Against the Classes, reach the top spot in the UK in 2000. Three other singles – The Love of Richard Nixon, Empty Souls and Your Love Alone Is Not Enough all reached number two. With their albums also doing well, in the Noughties The Manic Street Preachers had arguably established themselves as the greatest rock band to have ever come out of Wales.
A dynamic live band, helped by the charismatic stage presence of frontman Tom Meighan, Kasabian also came up with stunning songs in the Noughties, including Empire and Fire. Having one of the most unique sounds in rock, which guitarist Sergio Pizzorno has called “future rock”, by the end of the ’00s Kasabian were one of Britain’s most popular rock bands, and a ‘must see’ rock act.
6. Arctic Monkeys
Few bands in British rock history have had such a rapid rise to the top as Arctic Monkeys. In the Noughties the group’s first three albums all went to number one in the UK, as did their first two singles. While no debut album by a British act had sold so quickly as Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.
This East Sussex group produced a contender for the decade’s best album in Hopes and Fears, and, in the ’00s, they also achieved the astonishing feat of their first three albums going to number one. Specialising in harmonic rock, and, rather uniquely for a rock band, Keane’s sound in the Noughties revolved around the piano and synth playing of Tim Rice-Oxley, rather than the conventional electric guitar of most of their contemporaries.
A true rock band, with the ability to come up with killer songs on a consistent basis, Stereophonics had a frontman with one of the great rock voices of the ’00s in Kelly Jones. Stereophonics also survived the departure of their drummer Stuart Cable in 2003 to have their first number one single, Dakota, the following year. While all four of the group’s albums in the Noughties reached the top spot.
Still hugely successful well into the first half of the decade, Oasis reached the top of the UK singles chart on four occasions in the early to mid-Noughties, with Go Let It Out, The Hindu Times, Lyla and The Importance of Being Idle. But, the band also only released one album in the decade, so the writing was perhaps on the wall that things were coming to an end for Oasis. Before the decade had ended this turned out to be the case.
Radiohead had four successive number one albums in the decade, as they secured their position in the ’00s as one of Britain’s finest ever rock bands. Radiohead were also at the forefront regarding music downloads, by releasing their 2007 album, In Rainbows, firstly only through their own website as a download, before making it available to buy as a CD. Not known as a band obsessed with money, Radiohead invited fans to pay what they wanted for the downloadable album. In the Noughties, Kid A and Rainbows also became Radiohead’s first number albums in the US.
Emerging in 2000 with the wonderful single Yellow, Coldplay never looked back as they took the first decade of the 21st Century by storm. With the combination of the sensitive singing of Chris Martin and the band’s emotive music, Coldplay struck a chord in the ’00s with music fans around the world, and their 2002 album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, is one of the greatest rock albums of all-time. Subsequent albums in the ’00s, X&Y and Viva la Vida, were number one in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Germany and France, and helped to confirm Coldplay as the best rock band of the decade.