2005: The world came together for Live 8

Live 8 marked the 20th anniversary of Live Aid, bringing eleven concerts to cities around the world in support of ending global poverty.

Philadelphia was one of the cities that hosted a Live 8 event in advance of a G8 summit in Scotland, drawing 1 million people to the Ben Franklin Parkway on July 2nd, 2005. Bands included Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Def Leppard, Kanye West, Jazy-Z, Stevie Wonder, Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

Though a media success, the concerts had mixed reviews as catalysts for change. Criticisms included the low diversity in the artist roster and the lack of actual results in affecting poverty rates following the G8 summit.

The world of recorded music in 2005, however, was a success. The year’s mega hits included Sufjan Steven’s Come on! Feel the Illinoise!, My Morning Jacket’s Z, Death Cab for Cutie’s Plans, Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine and The Decemberists’ Picaresque.

Radio favorites like Stand by Dave Matthews, Demon Days by Gorillaz, Late Registration by Kanye West, X&Y by Coldplay and Back to Bedlam by James Blunt produced singles that are still ringing in our ears today.

Cult favorites like Animal Collective’s Feels, The Mars Volta’s Frances the Mute and Sixty Six Steps by Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon gave the year some intriguing depth and curveballs.

And then the debuts: LCD Soundsystem, Brandi Carlile and Amos Lee released well-received first albums this year, foreshadowing the success that would come in following years.

With so much going on, including the first major international benefit concert since the 1985 Live Aid, was 2005 the Greatest Year in Music? Let us know in the comments or across social media with #XPNGreatestYear.


Illinois – Sufjan Stevens
Feels – Animal Collective
Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple
EP – Fiery Furnaces
The Sunlandic Twins – Of Montreal
Takk– Sigur Ros
LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem
Life in Slow Motion – David Gray
Black Sheep Boy – Okkervil River
I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning – Bright Eyes
Late Registration – Kanye West
Demon Days – Gorillaz
Lookaftering – Vashti Bunyan
Twin Cinema – New Pornographers
Songs for Silverman – Ben Folds Five
Brandi Carlile – Brandi Carlile
In Case We Die – Architecture in Helsinki
Transistor Radio – M. Ward
Guero – Beck
Back to Bedlam – James Blunt
Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene
The Forgotten Arm – Aimee Mann
The Weight is a Gift – Nada Surf
Aerial – Kate Bush
Oceans Apart – The Go-Betweens
Bleed Like Me – Garbage
Amos Lee – Amos Lee
Martha Wainwright – Martha Wainwright
Alligator – The National
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The Woods – Sleater-Kinney
Cold Roses – Ryan Adams
Stand Up – Dave Matthews Band
Gimme Fiction – Spoon
In Between Dreams – Jack Johnson
Speak for Yourself – Imogen Heap
Employment – Kaiser Chiefs
Might ReArranger – Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation
Why Should the Fire Die? – Nickel Creek
Lullabies to Paralyze – Queens of the Stoneage
How to Save a Life – The Fray
Blinking Lights and Other Revelations – Eels
Side One – Adrien Belew
PREfection – Cass McCombs
Sixty Six Steps – Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon
Everything in Transit – Jack’s Mannequin
Separation Sunday – The Hold Steady
Here Come the ABCs – They Might Be Giants
Dignity and Shame – Crooked Fingers
Dynamite – Jamiroquai
Back to Me – Kathleen Edwards
Devils & Dust – Bruce Springsteen
Superwolf – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Matt Sweeney
The Sunset Tree – The Mountain Goats
Silent Alarm – Bloc Party
Picaresque – The Decemberists
Frances the Mute – The Mars Volta
X&Y – Coldplay
Suit Yourself – Shelby Lynne
Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs – Andrew Bird
Before the Poison – Marianne Faithfull
You Could Have It So Much Better – Franz Ferdinand
I Am a Bird Now – Antony & the Johnsons
Knuckle Down – Ani DiFranco
– My Morning Jacket
Cripple Crow – Devendra Banhart
Bang Bang Rock & Roll – Art Brut

Category: 00s


Article by: Julie Miller