Many of the Top 10 tracks listed below, appeared earlier as part of I Rock Cleveland’s Top 20 Albums of 2009. There’s “Watching the Planets,” inter-stellar album closer on The Flaming Lips’ Embryonic, and “Sea Within a Sea,” the first single released from The Horrors’ Primary Colours. It was the latter which first announced to the listening public that this band of horror punks from England may not be the flash in the pan we had all assumed they would be. Who knew they listened to kraut-rock, The Smiths, The Psychedelic Furs, and The Stone Roses?

1. VIDEO: Flaming Lips – Watching the Planets (Warner Bros)
2. VIDEO: The Horrors – Sea Within a Sea (Beggars/XL)
3. VIDEO: Japandroids – Boys Are Leaving Town (Polyvinyl)
4. VIDEO: Girls – Hellhole Ratrace (True Panther/Matador)
MP3: Girls – Hellhole Ratrace
5. VIDEO: Ida Maria – I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked (Mercury)
6. VIDEO: Kurt Vile – Freak Train (Matador)
7. MP3: Shrinebuilder – Pyramid of the Moon (Neurot)
8. VIDEO: Dinosaur, Jr – Over It (Jagjaguwar)
9. VIDEO: Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang
10. MP3: Lightning Bolt – Colossus (Load)

The second tier of top tracks well represents the wide variety of rock music covered in these pages this past year. There’s Nadja’s super-stoned, doom metal take on Elliott Smith’s “Needle in the Hay,” and Japanese rock heroes, Boris, and the blazing first single from their recent Southern Lord singles series. On the other side of the spectrum, Ramona Falls, Cleveland’s own, Unsparing Sea, and Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle make the list for their contemporary takes on indie pop.

11. Nadja – Needle in the Hay (The End)
12. MP3: Wizzard Sleeve – Pterodactyl Meltdown (Hozac)
13. Boris – 8 (Southern Lord)
14. MP3: Ramona Falls – Russia (Barsuk)
15. MP3: Unsparing Sea – All I Want
16. VIDEO: Jason Lytle – Yours Truly, The Commuter (Anti)
MP3: Jason Lytle – Yours Truly, The Commuter
17. MP3: Future of the Left – Arming Eritrea (Beggars/Too Pure)
18. VIDEO: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero (Interscope)
19. MP3: Japandroids – Young Hearts Spark Fire (Polyvinyl)
20. MP3: Outrageous Cherry – I Wouldn’t Treat My Enemies the Way You Treat Yourself (Alive)

When I put together this list of Top 50 tracks, I was surprised by the number of covers included. Earlier we had Nadja’s Elliott Smith cover, and here, at number 25, is The Flaming Lips cover of Madonna’s “Borderline.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but The Lips’ freaked out, stretched out, and squeaked out version of the early Madonna hit, would be a huge indicator of what was to come from Wayne Coyne and his merry band of weirdos.

21. MP3: Darlings – If This is Love
22. VIDEO: The Horrors – Who Can Say (Beggars/XL)
23. VIDEO: Yo La Tengo – Here to Fall (Matador)
24. VIDEO: Screaming Females – Bell (Don Giovanni)
MP3: Screaming Females – Bell
25. Flaming Lips – Borderline (Warner Bros)
26. VIDEO: Boston Spaceships – How Wrong You Are (GBV)
MP3: Boston Spaceships – How Wrong You Are
27. MP3: Ganglians – Lost Words (Woodsist)
28. MP3: Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Come Saturday (Slumberland)
29. MP3: Coffinberry – Smashed on Honey
30. MP3: Woods – To Clean (Woodsist)

Despite not cracking I Rock Cleveland’s Top 20 Albums of 2009, Kurt Vile makes a second appearance on this chart with another track from his Matador debut, Childish Prodigy, an album of both thrilling highlights (“Freak Train” and “The Hunchback”) and a bunch of meandering, modern folk. Let’s not focus on the meandering folk, but the big rock riff featured here on “The Hunchback.”

31. MP3: Kurt Vile – The Hunchback (Matador)
32. MP3: Mayyors – Clicks
33. MP3: Other Girls – The Facility (Audio Eagle)
34. VIDEO: Arctic Monkeys – Red Right Hand (Domino)
35. MP3: Zola Jesus – Clay Bodies (Sacred Bones)
36. MP3: Mystery of Two – French Rocking Horse (Exit Stencil)
37. VIDEO: The Dutchess and The Duke – Scorpio (Hardly Art)
38. MP3: We Were Promised Jetpacks – Quiet Little Voices (Fatcat)
39. MP3: Royal Bangs – My Car is Haunted (Audio Eagle)
40. VIDEO: Pissed Jeans – False Jesii Part 2 (Subpop)

Have I mentioned how I listened to a lot of Uncle Bob this past year? Have I mentioned how Matador Records had another incredible year? I did. They did.

41. VIDEO: Boston Spaceships – Rest a Little While (GBV)
42. Jay Reatard – There is no Sun (Matador)
43. VIDEO: AC Newman – The Palace at 4 AM (Matador)
44. MP3: Fucked Up – I Hate Summer (Matador)
45. VIDEO: Yo La Tengo – Avalon or Someone Very Similar (Matador)
46. MP3: Vampire Hands – Safe Word (Modern Radio)
47. MP3: Robert Pollard – When a Man Walks Away (GBV)
48. MP3: Hot Cha Cha – Hookers Deserve a Lifetime Achievement Award (Exit Stencil)
49. VIDEO: Wilco – The Jolly Banker
50. MP3: The Thermals – Now We Can See (Kill Rock Stars)

Technically, the Free Credit Report Band isn’t a band. They’re actors who play a band on tv commercials. And technically, if you read the fine print, the free credit report espoused by the Free Credit Report band isn’t free, but comes free with the enrollment in Free Credit Report’s credit protection program. Yet, here they are at number 51 of our top 50 tracks of the year. Why? Well, to start off, the band who actually writes the jingles for the Free Credit Report band have had an incredible string of hits. Who can forget the Pirate restaurant song? And the living in the parents’ basement jingle, and the bicycle, and the list goes on and on – One hit after another. Plus, ancient, over-sized cell phones, like the one in this video, are always funny.

50+1. VIDEO: Free Credit Report Band – Cell Phone