DJ R-O’s Top-20 Songs Of 2014
We made it through 2014! To celebrate, I’ve compiled my favorite tunes of the year into a final top-20. This list is totally subjective (obviously – it’s music), but having been spinning records for over 17 years now, I think I got a pretty good handle on what was hot over the last 12 months. I wasn’t able to play as many club gigs in the past year as I would’ve liked (mainly due to trying to entertain the BLS nation on this site), but I was able to play a number of big corporate gigs and nice weddings (you won’t find too many of the songs requested from those gigs on this list). I plan on releasing a lot more music in the next year as I have about 30 remixed tracks sitting in my computer and I also have a mixtape that has nearly been done for what seems like 18 months (I’ll get around to finishing it in 2015).
Here are my favorite songs released in 2014. The list is pretty electronic heavy because that’s the music that interests me the most at the moment. I feel like the electronic producers are consistently pushing the envelope and developing new sounds, while Rock and Hip-Hop have fallen back in my opinion (check the iTunes Rock chart – I could barely find a song written in the last 5 years in the top-100). A lot of my favorite music is also played locally by my friends (which is just as good, if not better than any of the mainstream artists), but there’s basically too much good stuff to mention there, so I kept this list on more of a worldwide level. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year and enjoys this look back at some of 2014’s best tracks – let me know what I may have missed.
1. Dillon Francis & DJ Snake – Get Low
What a year for DJ Snake and Dillon Francis! It doesn’t get any better than this track, even though it may still be overshadowed by “Turn Down For What”.
2. Diplo – Revolution (feat. Faustix & Imanos and Kai)
Diplo is easily one of the producers of the year, he was everywhere in 2014 – working on many different projects, but his own release was his best in my opinion.
3. Ella Henderson – Ghost
This track dominated the charts in the UK this summer. I love the voice and the song.
4. Avicii – Dreaming Of Me (Samuel Remix)
One of the best remix’s of the year by a relative unknown from the UK.
5. Jack Ü – Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza)
As I stated prior, Diplo is one of my producers of the year and Skrillex would be the other. So what could be better than the two together in a group? Nothing in my book. This song is awesome and I can’t wait for more from Jack Ü.
6. Hoodie Allen – All About It (feat. Ed Sheeran)
I love Hoodie’s sing-song Hip-Hop and the only person with more buzz worldwide than Ed Sheeran is Taylor Swift. The “I play guitar no need to worry about my Drake hand” line by Ed lands this track in the top-10 by itself.
7. Mr. Probz – Waves (Robin Schulz Remix)
I loved this Mr. Probz track from late 2013, but Robin Schulz took it to new heights in 2014 with this Deep House remix.
8. Run The Jewels – Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck) (feat. Zack De La Rocha)
El-P and Killer Mike have made a lot of my favorite hip-hop of the past 2 years. This track featuring Zack De La Rocha has content and a message that has largely been lost in most of today’s popular hip hop.
9. Chromeo – Jealous (I Ain’t With It)
These Canadians never disappoint in bringing the serious electro-funk from the north. Catch these guys tonight at the Epic Eye Heart SF Party in the Marina in San Francisco.
10. RL Grime & What So Not – Tell Me
The Trap movement has not seemed to slow down at all. What a year for the sub-genre of Hip-Hop. This may be the best Trap song of 2014. Love it!
11. Sia – Chandelier
Easily one of the best pop songs of 2014 and all over the Grammy nominations.
12. Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better
A rare actual band with instruments makes an appearance. Loving the out of control feel and piano on this track from the guitarist of Fun Jack Antonoff’s side project.
13. Skrillex (feat. Kill the Noise, Fatman Scoop, Michael Angelakos) – Recess
The whole Recess album is an absolute gem and Skrillex’s live show at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco was easily the best show I saw in person all year. In terms of a sound and lighting combination – I haven’t seen anything that compares.
14. Lindsey Stirling – Shatter Me (feat. Lzzy Hale)
The Dub-Step violist continued to bring the heat in 2014, joining forces with Lzzy Hale from Halestorm for this one.
15. Major Lazer – Aerosol Can (feat. Pharrell Williams)
More Diplo! Happy was obviously a bigger song for Pharrell Williams, but we like this one much better. Major Lazer continues to put out bangers year after year.
16. Ariana Grande – Break Free (feat. Zedd)
One of the few wedding request that makes the list. I also really enjoyed Grande’s “Problem”, she had a massive year in the Pop scene.
17. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence (Datsik Remix)
Lana Del Rey is so talented, but for me her songs often need a pick-me-up in the form of a remix. Such is the case with Datsik’s job on Ultraviolence, which turned into one of the Dub-Step songs of the year.
18. Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang
This Pop collaboration just feels too good to leave off of 2014’s best. Huge fan of Jessie J and the other two aren’t too shabby on this track either.
19. Jasmine Thompson – Cover of Avicii’s “The Days”
I thought Avicii’s The Days/Nights EP was fantastic, but I chose this cover to showcase one of the great up and coming singers in the World today. Jasmine Thompson from the UK is only 14, but look for her to be the next huge female vocal star from England. You’ll want to check out her Youtube channel – she’s unbelievable.
20. Knife Party – Give It Up
Another monster Reggae influenced electronic track from one of the best. I recommend the entire new Knife Party album.
Here’s to more great music on the way in 2015! CHEERS!!!