16 Number One Songs From Our First 16 Years : All Songs Considered All Songs Considered is celebrating its Sweet 16 this month, so to mark the occasion on this week's show we're counting down our favorite songs from each of the past 16 years.

16 Number One Songs From Our First 16 Years

16 Number One Songs From Our First 16 Years

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Clockwise from upper left: Cover art for Björk's Vespertine, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Moby's Play, Kanye West's Late Registration, Sleigh Bells' Treats and Regina Spektor's Begin To Hope Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Sixteen years ago All Songs Considered started as NPR's first online-only program. This month we're celebrating its sweet 16 birthday, and to mark the occasion on this week's episode we're counting down our favorite songs from each of the past 16 years. Hearing some of these cuts is a real trip down memory lane, from the dreamy synth sound of Moby's "Porcelain," and Björk's polyrhythmic "Hidden Place," to The Postal Service, Grizzly Bear and Kanye West's brilliant and playful earworm "Gold Digger."

If you've had a memorable moment with All Songs Considered, share your story in the comments section below. We love hearing from our listeners. And if you want to share your own list of number one songs from each of the past 16 years, well pass that along, too!

16 Number One Songs From Our First 16 Years

Cover art for Moby's Play. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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2000: "Porcelain"

  • from Play
  • by Moby

Moby's "Porcelain," from the 1999 album Play was one of the songs Bob Boilen played frequently between news stories back when he was directing All Things Considered. Fans of the news program often wrote in asking for more info about the songs they heard on air, including "Porcelain," so Bob started All Songs Considered in January of 2000, initially as an online music show to play full versions of those songs.

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2001: "Hidden Place"

  • from Vespertine
  • by Bjork

When All Songs Considered entered its second year, co-host and producer Robin Hilton was brought on, just as the show was starting to explore more new and interesting music outside of the short clips played between news stories on the radio. Björk's Vespertine album was one of the show's earliest discoveries.

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2002: "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart"

  • from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
  • by Wilco

Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was a landmark album in 2002. The previous year the band's label, Reprise, refused to release it, the band regained ownership of the songs, then streamed them for free on the Wilco website. It was unheard of at the time. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot went on to become many critics' picks for Album Of The Year, and remains Wilco's best-selling release.

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2003: "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight"

  • from Give Up
  • by The Postal Service

The Postal Service's bedroom electronic album Give Up felt like an appropriate shift toward a moodier, more introspective post-9/11 sound. "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" was an anthem for anyone ready to hide under the covers.

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2004: "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"

  • from Funeral
  • by Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire's incredible debut album, Funeral, was one of the first of the young century to feature a bigger, bolder, and often euphoric sound, with sprawling stage productions, and helped lead to many more exuberant bands in the years that followed.

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2005: "Gold Digger"

  • from Late Registration
  • by Kanye West

Kanye West's sophomore album Late Registration was the second in his planned series of education-themed albums and featured this wildly playful ear worm produced by Jon Brion, with guest vocals by Jamie Foxx. "Gold Digger" was a huge hit and became the fastest-selling download at a time when fans were still getting accustomed to paying for legal downloads.

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2006: "Fidelity"

  • from Begin to Hope
  • by Regina Spektor

We first discovered Regina Spektor in 2003 when she sent in her music in hopes of being featured on our now defunct Open Mic series. She went on to become one of our most beloved artists.

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2007: "Bodysnatchers"

  • from In Rainbows
  • by Radiohead

After breaking from its longtime label, EMI, Radiohead was on its own when it surprised everyone by self-releasing this brilliant album, and allowing fans to pay whatever they wanted for a download of it. It was one of the best records the band has ever made.

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2008: "Skinny Love"

  • from
  • by

If you listened to All Songs Considered back in 2008 you probably know how obsessed we were with this record. Bon Iver's Justin Vernon holed up in a cabin in a snowy woods and self-recorded the gorgeous, shimmering and deeply personal For Emma, Forever Ago. We still can't get enough of it.

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2009: "Two Weeks"

  • from Veckatimest
  • by Grizzly Bear

Every time we hear the opening piano line to this one, it immediately takes us back to 2009. Veckatimest was a meticulously crafted work of art, inspired as much by ethereal, ambient rock as it was by doo-wop.

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Cover for Treats

2010: "A/B Machines"

  • from Treats
  • by Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells made us stop dead in our tracks when we first heard the Brooklyn duo's explosive, frenetic and unforgettable sound. The album Treats, with this song "A/B Machines," struck the right chord as we entered the new century's second — and much louder — decade.

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Cover for 21

2011: "Someone Like You"

  • from 21
  • by Adele

Adele was supposed to play NPR Music's day party at South by Southwest in 2008, but couldn't get a visa. She made up for it a few years later by performing this heartbreaking hit and others at the Tiny Desk.

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Cover for An Awesome Wave

2012: "Tessellate"

  • from An Awesome Wave
  • by Alt-J

Alt-J is Bob Boilen's favorite band of the 21st century. The group's debut full-length, An Awesome Wave, was strange and utterly transfixing. It went on to win the Mercury Prize.

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Cover for Overgrown

2013: "Retrograde"

  • from Overgrown
  • by James Blake

One of Robin Hilton's all-time favorite songs of any year, James Blakes' "Retrograde" was inspired by the lilting melodic voice of Sam Cooke. In astronomy, retrograde refers to two celestial bodies moving in opposite directions, an idea Blake cleverly references in the chorus of the song with rising vocals over a falling synth line.

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Cover for Sylvan Esso

2014: "Coffee"

  • from Sylvan Esso
  • by Sylvan Esso

This song pretty much owned our 2014. "Coffee" is also indicative of a lot of music produced in recent years, with spare electronics and incredible textures, set against the beauty and more organic sound of singer Amelia Meath's voice.

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Cover for To Pimp A Butterfly

2015: "King Kunta"

  • from To Pimp A Butterfly
  • by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar's dense, multi-layered masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly is not only a brilliantly produced record, it's also an important one that digs deep into race and identity, religion, the trappings of fame and more. It will be cited, studied and deconstructed for decades.

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