Tuesday, August 16, 2022

McQ's Best Of 2001 Mix Collection

McQ's #1 Album of 2001
Hello once again dear friends and music lovers.  

We're closing in on Labor Day weekend, which means it's time for a new McQ's Best Of... retrospective mix collection! 

This year's look backwards returns us to all the great music of 2001, and what a music year it was!  

Dance music had a transformative year with the arrival of Daft Punk's Discovery and several fantastic downtempo releases. 

Alt-Rock produced tons of alternatingly substantial or fun, throwaway hits.  

Female R&B singers, lead by the likes of Alicia Keys, Aaliyah, Macy Gray, and Mary J. Blige, killed it in 2001, matched blow-for-blow by their hip-hop counterparts. 

Garage rock, led by breakout albums from The Strokes and The White Stripes, became the flavor of the moment and marked a clear historical transition point for when Indie overtook Alt-Rock as the dominate rock flavor of the era.

And for the first and only time to date, a straight-up metal release, Tool's Lateralus, claimed the title of McQ's #1 album of the year.

As with last year's 1980 retrospective, clicking on the name of our first Best of the Best mix here will take you to our not-so-brief write-up touching on many of the year's top highlights, but all the mixes in this year's collection can be accessed here! So dig into however you like. 

And now, onto the music!


Two ways to explore the very best of 2001 are offered for you this year.  You can get lost in this expansive four-hour mix that highlights 50 of our favorite 2001 albums as well as a few standalone singles, or save some time and go with the much leaner Volume 1B, which pairs it down to just McQ's top 21 albums/songs over a single-CD length.  Just know that the additional 33 songs that appear on the Volume 1A do not reappear on our later genre-themed mixes.

Volume 1B - Best Of The Best (The Tight 90)

As said above, a tighter single CD cutdown of the top albums profiled in Volume 1A, with a swap in representative cuts for Missy Elliott.   

Volume 2 - Indie Instigators

It's sometime tough determining where indie-rock starts and alt-rock ends in this late 90s/early 2000s era, but for 2001 purposes, we went with this principle: if the song rocked in a grunge-y, metallic, hyper-angsty or studio-slick way, it went on Volume 6 - Alt Rock Ragers. If the song emphasized quirkiness, lush arrangements, experimentation, tweeness or ragged, DIY garage-y production, it went here.

Volume 3 - Masters Of Dis And Maidens Of Yen

With Jay-Z and Nas at each other's throats over the airwaves, and a simultaneous surge in high-end romantic female-fronted R&B, 2001 was a banner year for hip-hop and neo-soul, and many of the year's highlights, both strutting and yearning, are included here.

Volume 4 - Musique Internationale

France's Noir Desir and The Gotan Project, Spain's Astrud and Manu Chao, and Senegal's Baaba Maal,  lead the way in this look at some of 2001's most impressive foreign-language efforts.

Volume 5 - Clubby Dubby

While Daft Punk, Roykssop, Kylie Minogue, Fennesz and Basement Jaxx were definitely the year's standout electronic artists, it was a loaded field in 2001, as this broad-ranging club and downtempo mix makes clear.

Volume 6 - Alt-Rock Ragers

The angry dissonance of the late nineties was definitely fading, but it hadn't died off entirely yet, and many of the year's top hard-rocking highlights are included here in my favorite themed mix of this 2001 collection.

Volume 7 - Spartan Songsters

To close out our 2001-themed mixes, we check out some of the year's finest singer-songwriter and alt-country works, lead by exceptional efforts from Bob Dylan, Nick Lowe, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Gillian Welch, Rufus Wainwright, and Ryan Adams.

Volume 8 - The Next 100

For those that want to keep on listening, the next 100 2001 songs that were under consideration for our themed mixes are included here. 

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