BRITNEY’S GREATEST HITS

AOL recently ran a AOL Radio listeners-choice list of Britney Spears’s 10 best singles. Music for the masses chosen by the masses has never been my cup of tea, but the surprising No. 1, “Oops!… I Did It Again,” didn’t suck. I can’t say the same for some of the others that made the cut: “Womanizer” and, God help us, “Everytime”!

Since anything barely discerning Britney fans can do, I can do better (at least in my delusion of grandeur), here is my personal Britney Top 10, followed by her 10 best album tracks.

THE SINGLES

  • 10. “(You Drive Me) Crazy” More or less unremarkable, but I needed a No. 10.
  • 9. “Outrageous” R. Kelly couldn’t quite bring out her soul (is there any in there?), but he did produce (and write) one of mid-era Britney’s better songs.
  • 8. “I’m A Slave 4 U” The 2001 VMAs snake dance was Britney’s most indelible TV moment until the 2007 “Gimme More” train wreck.
  • 7. “3” Mother Goose + Menage a trois = Surprisingly sturdy electropop.
  • 6. “…Baby One More Time” Who knew the song — or the career — would hold up so well?
  • 5. “Oops!… I Did It Again” A dated ditty from her Broadway-musical pop era that was nonetheless the earliest evidence that Britney would be more than a one-album wonder.
  • 4. “Circus” “Womanizer” was not a hard hit to follow, but Britney actually went above and beyond the call of her musical duty.
  • 3. “Gimme More” When producer Danja introduces her as “the legendary Britney Spears” near the end, I actually don’t cringe.
  • 2. “Toxic” As addictive as that deadly guy she’s singing about.
  • 1. “Piece Of Me” Britney Against The Media. Britney 1, The Media 0.

THE REST

  • 10. “Kill The Lights” Britney Against The Media: The Rematch. Britney 2, The Media 0.
  • 9. “Toy Soldier” Part 3 of Blackout‘s mid-album 1, 2, 3 knockout punch, following “Get Naked (I Got A Plan)” and “Freakshow.”
  • 8. “Early Mornin'” This is where her collaborators began to get more interesting. With Moby, she perfectly captured that old hangover feeling.
  • 7. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” When I interviewed Britney around the time that Oops!… I Did It Again was released, I told her how much I loved this song. I could tell she wasn’t sure what I was talking about.
  • 6. “Mannequin” I still can’t believe her label chose “If U Seek Amy” over this!
  • 5. “When Your Eyes Say It” Britney’s first — and to date only — listenable ballad.
  • 4. “Perfect Lover” I have nothing against “Why Should I Be Sad?” but Blackout should have gone out with this bang.
  • 3. “The Beat Goes On” From “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” to “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” to “My Prerogative,” Britney would never again record a half-decent remake after this cover of a Sonny & Cher’s ’60s classic, by far the best thing on her debut album.
  • 2. “Shattered Glass” Short (2:53), sweet and kind of stunning. I especially love how it sounds as if it begins mid-song and ends in the middle, too.
  • 1. “Get Naked (I Got A Plan)” I laugh every time I hear her sing, “I’m not ashamed of my beauty, you can see what I’ve got,” but it’s still hands-down Britney’s best song. Ever.
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