You know what makes me happy? Really really happy? Discovering weird and wacky Dutch traditions that I never knew existed! It’s like finding an uneaten bar of chocolate at the back of your cupboard just waiting to be devoured or a crisp 20 euro bill in the pocket of your jeans from last summer. The joy of the find! Score!

At a Sinterklaas borrel a few weeks ago the Top 2000 popped up in conversation, later, at a meeting with Dutch colleagues it somehow worked its way into the conversation, and then again, casually mentioned in passing by a friend. Of course, by the third encounter my brain started ticking, my fingers started googling, and I couldn’t help but ask every Dutchie around.

The Top 2000 is a real gem on the Complete SDPL list; a bizarre cultural phenomena embraced by millions of Dutchies. No idea what I am talking of? Let’s review!

  • every year the Dutch vote for their all-time favourite songs in a contest-of-sorts called the “Top 2000″
  • Dutchies cast their votes online at the beginning of December
  • the tradition first started in 1999 by Dutch radio station Radio 2
  • the broadcast was planned to be a one-time event, but was carried over due to its overwhelming popularity
  • in 2002, Radio 2 added Top 2000 television programme featuring the top songs, interviews and performances
  • in 2003, Top 2000 in concert (broadcasted on New Year’s Eve) was added to the  empire, featuring Dutch artists performing songs from the list

Now here’s where things get even more fun:

  • it is estimated that well over half of the Dutch population tune in to the Top 2000 every year Yes, you read that correctly! We are talking over 9 million Dutchies with ears-perked!
  • various online “movements” take place to try to bump songs out of certain positions or get new songs into the top listings
  • numerous Facebook pages, discussion forums and websites announce impromptu campaigns and “calls-to-action” to attempt to influence the ratings
Bohemian Rhapsody

The Dutch cannot get enough of Queen!

Some more fascinating facts:

  • the first year’s top three songs were: Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), Hotel California (Eagles), and Deep Purple (Child in Time)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody has held the #1 position for 12 of the 14 years
  • the Dutch song Avond by Boudewijn de Groot briefly bumped Bohemia Rhapsody off its pedestal in 2005
  • Hotel California (most often in 2nd place) took the victory position once, in 2010
  • This year (2015) saw a new song taking over the top position: John Lennon’s Imagine!

On December 25th the Top 2000 kicks off, blasting tunes across the Netherlands until the New Year. While other cultures eagerly anticipate unpacking their stockings and/or devouring their Christmas turkey and trimmings, the Dutch yearly welcome the commencement of 7 days of pure unadulterated radio pleasure. We will definitely add this to our list of the weird & wacky Dutch New Year’s traditions!

It has been rumoured that the whole tradition may have actually arisen as a cheap  efficient way to save costs during the holiday season (oh you Dutchies are sooo predictable!) Instead of paying radio DJ’s holiday pay for working on Christmas, why not just load up a set of 2000 songs to play and skip those pesky fees! 😉

Regardless of its original motivations, the Top 2000 is a unique Dutch oddity that looks like it’s here to stay! Now, who was it that said ‘video killed the radio star’? I suppose they weren’t anywhere near the Netherlands in December!

2015 top spots:

1. John Lennon
Imagine
2. Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Eagles
Hotel California
4. Claudia de Breij
Mag ik dan bij jou
5. Led Zeppelin
Stairway to Heaven
6.Billy JoelPiano Man 7.Boudewijn de Groot
Avond
8. Deep Purple
Child in Time
9. Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here
10.Coldplay
Fix You

48 Responses

  1. bjorn schuurmans

    This is a great tradition, although you should write about Serious Request by 3fm. I think it is becoming a bigger tradition for a far more better cause.

    Reply
    • vandercoelen

      I think Bjorn is right The holiday Christmas spirit starts with 3FM serious request and is then gracefully taken over by the Top 2000.

      Reply
    • Bas

      Indeed, Serious Request is the real holiday tradition for me and something that really lives all over the country. I don’t care about a yearly recurring list of the same 2000 songs.

      Reply
      • Ragna

        HORRIBLE! Both the different-year-the-same-music top2000 and the mass hysteria invoking look-at-me-being-popular-I’m-a-dj-you-know+same-shitty-music serious request.
        So there.
        *off to find something long forgotten in het closet*

    • Whamsterdam

      Actually the tradition pre-dates form 1968, when the offshore radio station Radio Veronica started the yearly ‘Top 100 aller tijden’.

      Reply
      • Tim

        And the top songs in the list have been around for as long as I remember, which is from around 1980 to now!

    • Bob Shields

      Happy New Year everyone……..It is a great tradition. Strangely, when I left the Netherlands in 1982, the majority of the top ten tunes then, were virtually the same as the top ten now.

      Reply
    • Bert Sw

      Yes!
      And those three dj’s work non-profit.
      Without solid food.
      Now THAT’S efficiency.

      Reply
  2. Ronny

    As a typical frugal Dutchie, I love to find things at the back of cupboards. It’s all cyclical, put a shirt away and hey, it’s back in fashion 10 years later! Doesn’t work so well with pindasaus though… I’ve just been talking to my friend from Leuven and now I’ve even recycled a song in my head… Is er leven op Pluto anyway? Merry Christmas one and all! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Fred van Kempen

    The song is “Child in Time” by the band Deep Purple.

    Other than that…. all very true, most people I know seem to like it a lot, like I do myself! 🙂

    The studio where all this is done is actually very close to where I live, it’s in the hall of the Museum voor Beeld & Geluid at the Media Park in Hilversum, aka “the big Rubic’s Cube” building. Its open to visitors, so you can see those DJ’s in action 😛

    So…. turn on the radio, tune in on the Top2000 and listen to The Buggles playing that song… wasn’t it 1979-1980 or thereabouts?

    Reply
  4. Rob.

    Colleen,

    Since you are now a honoree Dutch Citizen, what is the top 3 you voted for?

    🙂

    Rob.

    Reply
    • liannaparker

      Can I vote too please?
      Let’s all vote and make our own Topwhatever number ….
      Vrolijke kerst feest.

      Reply
  5. Leontien

    I’m a great Top2000 fan myself, and I’m really glad it turned up on SDPL! I’m going to listen to it from the US this year and I’m positive that it will help against the homesickness.

    I do feel like I have to make a comment about your well-meant statement that “Instead of paying radio DJ’s holiday pay for working on Christmas, why not just load up a set of 2000 songs to play and skip those pesky fees!”. The show is actually hosted by some of the best radio DJs in the Netherlands, and they really make it all the more special by talking about a great number of those songs and sharing the memories and feelings that people entered along with their votes.

    Reply
  6. Lianna Parker

    The Buggles said that radio killed the video star.
    Every other year or so my brother sends me the Top2000 book. This phenomenon, called Top2000, was unknown to me until we had my sister, brother and their kids staying here: on Christmas Day they fiddled with their laptops an tablets so that on Christmas Day Dutch time they were able to stream Radio2.
    It is amazingly popular and this year I voted in the hope that Stairway to Heaven or Bohemian Rapsody will not finish nr. 1
    Top2000, guaranteed good and varied music until midnight 31 December; I love it!
    No, there is no life on Pluto; in fact, Pluto is not a planet anymore.
    Ik heb ook getwijfeld over België and could easily live in Antwerp or Gent.
    Happy Christmas!

    Reply
  7. Hannelore

    We even turn it into a contest: who’s quickest in guessing artist AND title!

    Reply
    • Jesper

      Haha brilliant, we do the same before the alcohol takes over on New Years Eve

      Reply
  8. Kees de Groot

    I think this has more to do with a general urge to list everything at the end of the year. Although the Top2000 is the biggest, radio 10 just finished their Top4000 (yes, that number is correct), but apart from music listings people like to sum up the year in some kind of list and rankings. Don’t know if this is typical Dutch or not.

    The nice thing about this Top2000 is that I know a lot people who listen to this, but I don’t know a single person listening to radio 2 outside this event.

    Reply
  9. bert

    B.T.W. the top2000 is a sequel to the ‘top 100 allertijden’ from the 1980s.

    Reply
    • Bianca

      Actually, there already was a top1000 in the ’80s. My brothers and I would stay up nights and record every song in the top1000 on a casette tape.

      Reply
  10. Rolando Van Velden

    Anyone who really has a heart for music, know that the top 2000 is a joke. For instance the mediocre dutch band Blof is in the list 16 times. Diana Ross & the Supremes is not even once in the list and the Band’s the night they drove old dixie down either.

    Reply
    • Desirée Boom

      If you so disagree, make sure that you and music puritans like you get up and start voting.
      I myself am quite peeved that Katy Perry with her ‘Roar’ made the list, but on the other hand I love that Caro Emerald is in it. I, at 30, feel that there should be more classics in the list, while my parents, at 54, are a lot more open minded. They don’t mind Katy Perry on the list (and don’t get me wrong, I do like her music. Just not in the Top 2000). But they are right: if you want to make a radio event for the whole nation, make people vote and don’t bitch about the quality of songs on the list. There are still many great classics on there, but I suppose there’s not much harm in having a new influx if that means younger generations listen to the Top 2000 and get to know the really good music.

      Reply
    • Blackfoot

      There’s a big difference between the ‘best’ song and the ‘most popular’ song. You can’t expect the general public to be able to recognize great musical masterpieces. How else could you explain Jan Smit?

      Reply
  11. Ed

    Bjorn is right, you should write about serious request, then you’ll see we are not cheap. just before Christmas, new tradition started 10 years ago..

    Reply
  12. Ralph

    Though the article is very true for most Dutch people, I really am not into it hahaha.
    The list lacks any kind of innnovation in terms of new songs in the top whatever, it seems to me that the people voting are the same ones as the first time it started (hence the very old and sometimes outdated tracks).

    I love this part “various online “movements” take place to try to bump songs out of certain positions or get new songs into the top listings” thats so shamelessly true hahahaha

    Reply
    • Desirée Boom

      [quote]The list lacks any kind of innnovation in terms of new songs in the top whatever, it seems to me that the people voting are the same ones as the first time it started (hence the very old and sometimes outdated tracks). [/quote]
      Not true this year! Take a look at this list of songs released between 2010 end 2013 that are in the Top2000 this year:
      1860 ● – Kensington Home Again 2013
      1828 ● – The Script If You Could See Me Now 2013
      1787 ● – one direction story of my life 2013
      1716 ● – Matt Simons With You 2013
      1673 ● – The Lumineers Ho Hey 2013
      1663 ● – Justin Timberlake Mirrors 2013
      1654 ● – Katy Perry Roar 2013
      1574 ● – Fun. We Are Young 2013
      1520 ● – Michael Prins Close to you 2013
      1470 ● – Stromae Papaoutai 2013
      1464 ● – Coldplay Atlas 2013
      1441 ● – Rihanna Stay 2013
      1353 ● – Bastille Pompeii 2013
      1352 ● – Ilse de lange Blue bittersweet 2013
      1314 ● – Stromae Formidable 2013
      1253 ● – Avicii Hey Brother 2013
      1245 ● – Mr. Probz Waves 2013
      1243 ● – armin van buuren. this is what it feels like 2013
      1206 ● – Lorde Royals 2013
      1171 ● – Niels Geusebroek Take Your Time Girl 2013
      1103 ● – Avicii Wake Me Up 2013
      1052 ● – Imagine Dragons On top of the world 2013
      1017 ● – Emeli Sandé Read All About It pt.III 2013
      819 ● – Maaike Ouboter Dat ik je mis 2013
      634 ● – John Legend All of me 2013
      587 ● – Pharrel Williams Happy 2013
      571 ● – Robin Thicke Blurred Lines 2013
      398 ● – anouk Birds 2013
      357 ● – Daft Punk Get lucky 2013
      33 ● – Racoon Oceaan 2013
      1949 ● – Train Bruises 2012
      1852 ▲13 John Mayer Shadow Days 2012
      1794 ▼-733 Train Drive By 2012
      1756 ▼-1172 Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe 2012
      1728 ● – pink try 2012
      1608 ● – Nick & Simon Ze Lijkt Net Niet Op Jou 2012
      1599 ● – Coldplay Hurts Like Heaven 2012
      1593 ▼-22 The New Shining Can’t Make Up My Mind 2012
      1554 ● – Ilse DeLange Winter Of Love 2012
      1531 ▼-817 Train 50 Ways To Say Goodbye 2012
      1528 ▼-114 Gavin DeGraw Soldier 2012
      1498 ● – The Script Six Degrees of Separation 2012
      1455 ▼-513 Bløf Later Als Ik Groter Ben 2012
      1448 ▼-959 Trijntje Oosterhuis Knocked Out 2012
      1442 ● – Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé Beneath Your Beautiful 2012
      1425 ▼-281 Acda en De Munnik Voetstuk Staan 2012
      1416 ● – Sandra van Nieuwland Keep Your Head Up 2012
      1388 ● – Ilse DeLange We Are One 2012
      1330 ● – The Script & will.i.am Hall Of Fame 2012
      1311 ▼-835 PSY Gangnam Style 2012
      1283 ● – Bruno Mars Locked Out of Heaven 2012
      1263 ▼-121 Michael Kiwanuka Home Again 2012
      1261 ● – Ed Sheeran Give Me Love 2012
      1235 ▼-505 Will And The People Lion In The Morning Sun 2012
      1223 ▲603 Alicia Keys Girl On Fire 2012
      1176 ▼-237 Bruce Springsteen We Take Care Of Our Own 2012
      1169 ▼-199 Emeli Sandé Next To Me 2012
      1141 ● – Mumford & Sons Lover Of The Light 2012
      1124 ● – Racoon Freedom 2012
      1068 ▼-343 Ed Sheeran Lego House 2012
      983 ● – Tom Odell Another Love 2012
      974 ▼-492 Robbie Williams Candy 2012
      942 ▲87 Keane Silenced By The Night 2012
      908 ▲540 Fun. Some Nights 2012
      881 ▼-397 Loreen Euphoria 2012
      853 ▲693 Handsome Poets Sky On Fire 2012
      852 ▲724 Bløf Zo Stil 2012
      848 ▼-494 Ilse DeLange Hurricane 2012
      719 ▲699 Of Monsters and Men Little Talks 2012
      618 ▼-170 De Dijk De Blues Verlaat Je Nooit 2012
      590 ● – Pink & Nate Ruess just give me a reason 2012
      559 ● – Rihanna Diamonds 2012
      498 ▼-193 Jason Mraz I Won’t Give Up 2012
      399 ▲301 Keane Sovereign Light Cafe 2012
      281 ▼-72 Racoon Liverpool Rain 2012
      214 ● – Mumford & Sons I Will Wait 2012
      130 ▼-51 Triggerfinger I Follow Rivers 2012
      89 ▲262 Passenger Let Her Go 2012
      61 ▲51 Adele Skyfall 2012
      1945 ▼-325 Jessie J Price Tag 2011
      1861 ▼-167 The Script If You Ever Come Back 2011
      1845 ▼-148 Crystal Fighters Plage 2011
      1806 ▼-177 Snow Patrol This Isn’t Everything You Are 2011
      1750 ▼-567 Guus Meeuwis Als Ze Danst 2011
      1733 ▼-395 James Morrison Slave To The Music 2011
      1579 ▼-223 Gavin DeGraw Not Over You 2011
      1508 ▼-652 Alexis Jordan Happiness 2011
      1467 ▼-240 Bruno Mars The Lazy Song 2011
      1349 ▼-834 Gers Pardoel Ik Neem Je Mee 2011
      1346 ▼-787 Glennis Grace Afscheid 2011
      1328 ▼-584 Amy Winehouse Our Day Will Come 2011
      1318 ▼-598 Guus Meeuwis & Gers Pardoel Nergens Zonder Jou 2011
      1299 ▼-236 Bløf Hou Vol Hou Vast 2011
      1276 ▲65 Bruno Mars Marry You 2011
      1229 ▲280 Jonathan Jeremiah Happiness 2011
      1177 ▼-161 Racoon Took A Hit 2011
      1146 ▼-389 Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera Moves Like Jagger 2011
      1087 ▲95 Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros Home 2011
      1072 ▲3 Bløf Meer Kan Het Niet Zijn 2011
      797 ● – Coldplay Charlie Brown 2011
      682 ▼-270 Birdy Skinny Love 2011
      611 ▼-334 Adele Rumour Has It 2011
      599 ▼-13 Elbow Lippy Kids 2011
      560 ▼-247 Birdy People Help The People 2011
      477 ▼-39 De Dijk Kan Ik Iets Voor Je Doen? 2011
      472 ▲1093 Claudia de Breij Mag Ik Dan Bij Jou 2011
      465 ▼-94 Lana Del Rey Video Games 2011
      434 ● – Coldplay Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall 2011
      425 ▼-257 Adele Turning Tables 2011
      388 ▼-198 Ed Sheeran The A Team 2011
      371 ▲114 Daniel Lohues Prachtig Mooie Dag 2011
      291 ▼-79 Racoon No Mercy 2011
      213 ▼-77 Ben Howard Keep Your Head Up 2011
      151 ▲5 Racoon Don’t Give Up The Fight 2011
      149 ▼-23 Coldplay Paradise 2011
      103 ▼-66 Adele Set Fire To The Rain 2011
      63 ▼-38 Gotye Somebody That I Used To Know 2011
      25 ▼-17 Adele Someone Like You 2011
      1824 ▼-237 Take That The Flood 2010
      1807 ▼-167 Acda en De Munnik Eva 2010
      1675 ▼-574 Lady Gaga Alejandro 2010
      1600 ▼-165 Caro Emerald Stuck 2010
      1584 ▼-361 The Baseballs Umbrella 2010
      1544 ▼-466 Train Hey Soul Sister 2010
      1522 ▼-143 Ilse DeLange Next To Me 2010
      1337 ▼-252 Ilse DeLange Beautiful Distraction 2010
      1255 ▼-124 3JS Geloven In Het Leven 2010
      1202 ▲415 John Mayer Perfectly Lonely 2010
      1195 ▼-119 Laura Jansen Use Somebody 2010
      1162 ▼-381 Ellen Ten Damme & 3JS Wat Is Dromen 2010
      1089 ▲661 Beyoncé Halo 2010
      986 ▼-122 John Mayer & Taylor Swift Half Of My Heart 2010
      955 ▼-228 Lady Antebellum Need You Now 2010
      916 ▲27 Caro Emerald That Man 2010
      898 ▼-130 Bruno Mars Grenade 2010
      893 ▼-88 The Script For The First Time 2010
      725 ▲106 John Mayer Heartbreak Warfare 2010
      75 ▼-62 Adele Rolling In The Deep

      Reply
  13. Aag Meeuwen

    Not 3,3 millions voters have participated but 3,3 million votes have been casted, by an unknown number of people. You can cast up to 20 votes per e-mail adres so the actual number of voters will be somewhere between 160.000 and 400.000, I guess. It would be interested to see what really are the Dutch favourite tunes but I suppose you could could only find out by doing a survey in june and ask people to name them spontaneously. It would be a quite different list, and much more interesting I’m sure.
    Love your blog, by the way.

    Reply
  14. Jeannette

    Hi, I have been following your blog for a while now, and as my family and I cherish the Top2000, I feel I have to respond.
    We are Dutchies living in Canada, and thus have to deal with the weird and wacky traditions of your own folk. There is no such thing as the Top2000 here, and I do not think it would be possible, because Canadians do not have such a rich pop music history. The true uniqueness of the Top2000 lies in the diversity of countries represented. There is English and American music obviously, but also French and German and Dutch and even a bit of Spanish and Greek.
    Then, there are the different music eras. The oldest song is from 1936 (Billie Holiday – Summertime). Everything is mixed together and a strange and unexpected musical concoction comes out of it. We once heard Jacques Brel followed by hardrock!
    There are also the supporting media events like the extensive website with entertaining intro-games (very nice to play with the whole family, a great way of training your kids to get to know their classics) or the live connection with the studio. And of course there is the televised Top2000 a gogo. Can you fathom such a program on Canadian television? I wish I could, but with the not-so weird and not-so wacky music traditions here, I doubt it. Instead, the radio churns out more of the same, which is the ubiquitous American boom-boom (the Quebec quality channel Espace Musique excluded).

    Last but not least, I quote:

    “It has been rumoured that the whole tradition may have actually arisen as a cheap efficient way to save costs during the holiday season (oh you Dutchies are sooo predictable!) Instead of paying radio DJ’s holiday pay for working on Christmas, why not just load up a set of 2000 songs to play and skip those pesky fees!”

    Well, compared to what I was used to in Holland, I was surprised to learn the expression on this side of the ocean: “let’s go Dutch”, meaning that everyone pays for themselves. I was unfamiliar with the expression and with the habit. As a matter of fact, I don’t know of any restaurant in Holland even offering the possibility of having separate bills, but this may have changed? We have been away for more than six years already (of which most years were spent in the States), and the number of times our dinners were paid for by friends, can be counted on one hand.
    Compared to Americans, Canadians are even more frugal.
    More than once have I read comments of yours on the so-called Dutch penny pinching attitude, but I wish to disagree on that with you, especially since you are Canadian.
    Apart from that quibble, I read your blog with great pleasure, and often laugh because of the funny examples you describe (Dutch prince for example, very good).

    Wishing you a joyful and memorable 2014 in the Lage Landen.

    Reply
    • rob

      The Dutch way of paying is a wrong interpertation of the habbit with dates. A men should pay for a woman with a date however in some cases Dutch woman want to show that they are independed and are offended if a men pay’s for them.

      However the Americans and other people thought Dutch men allways let the woman pays for themselves.

      Reply
  15. Richard

    The only reason the song “Avond ” made it to the nr. 1 position in 2005 was because of a promotion by Radio 2 itself, encouraging people to vote for this song. In 2007 the local newspaper ‘Dagblad van het Noorden’ tried to do the same thing for a song by the singer Ede Staal (from the province of Groningen), but Radio 2 decided to boycot this song and removed it from the top 2000. Apprarently, they didn’t want a song in a Regional language to make the top 2000.

    Reply
    • Regional language fan

      That’s nonsense. There are several songs in regional languages, just check out Rowwen Hèze, Gé Reinders (both Limburgish), Skik (Nedersaksisch (Drents)), Twarres, De Kast (both Fries), there’s Oh oh Den Haag in the dialect of The Hague – there are even one or two songs in the dialect of Keulen/Köln/Cologne!

      Reply
  16. Invader_Stu

    It feels like a tradition that Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody has to be at number one. I didn’t watch it this year and it felt weird to not end the year rocking out to some Queen.

    Reply
  17. andreinternational

    The first New Year’s I spent here in 2007 I couldn’t figure out why they were showing Bohemian Rhapsody on TV as we counted down to midnight. Now after 6 years in Netherlands I’m a loyal voter and follower of the Top 2000. A great way to spend the holidays, listening with friends and laughing at some of the more outlandish songs.

    Reply
  18. Eric van der Horst

    So why is “Avond” by Boudewijn de Groot the highest listed Dutch language song in the Top 2000?

    It might have to do with the very first line of the song, which is very Dutch indeed:

    “Nu hoef je nooit je jas meer aan te trekken en te hopen dat je licht het doet.”

    “Now, you never have to put on your coat anymore, hoping your lights will work.”

    Probably only to Dutch people, this is a crystal clear reference to CYCLING. You had a great night, but now it is time to face the fact; you have to cycle home in the dark and it is very likely that at least one of the lights on your bike (front or rear) won’t work, just because they never do. What will it be this time; a failing dynamo? Problems with the wiring or are the batteries flat?

    In this song, this problem is a thing of the past, because the lovers are now together and don’t need to cycle home in the dark on their own anymore; they can just stay inside together!

    A study into cycling in Dutch popular culture can be found on my blog http://thecyclingdutchman.blogspot.co.uk/2013_02_01_archive.html

    Additions welcome!

    Reply
    • Lianna Parker

      Very subtle and elegant lyrics.
      Thanks Eric!

      Reply
    • Marco

      You know most voters are Radio 2 listeners, and they are from a specific age group. Their musical haydays were around the seventies and in this period he became famous. So both the singer and the lyrics are about nostalgia.
      And to add to this, the year this song became number 1, it was the result of a target campaign by radio DJ’s to improve the rating of this song.
      To be fair, it is a great song…

      Reply
  19. pindasaus

    dont get this tradition at all, every year you have the smae song, its not exciting, just plain boring to me. it also has nothing to do with the passing year music or in new music whatsoever, to me is just seem like a need to say: yes the year has changed but things are still the same, we can go and eat our bitter ballen now…….

    Reply
  20. Marco

    About Top2000 targeted campaigns:
    An interesting thing happened in 2012 when a facebook campaign was started to get the song ‘Angel of Death’ by Slayer (for those who don’t know, that’s pretty brutal death-metal) in the Top 2000. There was a big row about this, because when your a radio DJ you can plug songs, but when you’re a metal fan you apparently cannot.
    In the end the Top 2000 accepted the entry and Radio 2 played Slayer in the night of 30-31 dec 2012:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp3JaLkI8Ww

    Reply
  21. mannetjevdr

    Correction: not 3,3 million people voted, but 3,3 million votes were casted. This is a smart little marketing trick by Radio 2, they always state how many votes were casted, not how many people actually voted. Every voter can vote on a total of 15 songs (in the early years it used to be 10). So divide that 3,3 million by 15 and you’ll know how many people actually voted.

    Reply
  22. Mirjam

    Well, it’s all about nostalgia. To be honest: after nr. 500 or so, I’m done with it. With one exeption: Voor Haar by Frans Halsema, a song from 1976. (This year at 115 🙂 ) Such beautifull lyrics… It’s just ridiculous: you can play it on Spotify, you can play the cd, casette, record.. But It’s nice to hear why others voted for that song. It’s all about sharing a feeling I guess… I do love the stories people are sharing on the radio and on social media.
    Oh, and by the way: I just hate Bløf!! 😉

    Reply
  23. Amalia

    A well chosen SDPL topic. Well done. The Top 2000 has always been compiled democratically. By people over 40, that is. Younger generations never voted because it’s on Radio 2, a radio station targeting the older audience, resulting in a song list stocked with mainstream rock ballads and some soul and blues, entered by their moms and dads. Once the radio DJs started changing the rules, the list included more recent pop songs. Ultimately, you get a collection respresenting the average Dutch people’s taste in music, not necessarily a good one. Ah, the Dutchness of it all.
    The real charm, and this is the selling point, lies in the TV shows dedicated to the Top 2000, showcasing song trivia, finger-on-the-buzzer music trivia games and short documentaries and artist interviews telling the story behind the iconic songs.
    Although I embrace democracy, the song list is a saddening bore.
    In case you’re wondering, I am over 40.

    Reply
    • Robbert Michel (@RobbertMichel)

      I don’t agree, it’s always my 20-something colleagues who are actively voting for it, often trying to get colleagues to join in the voting, no matter at which customer I’m working that day.
      Maybe this is due to the voting over the internet, and the fact that Radio 2 is the common workplace radio throughout the country (when it’s not sky or 538).

      Reply
  24. Robbert Michel (@RobbertMichel)

    Don’t forget the most important benefit. This is the only week in the year that you can have the radio on one channel, and not have the same song repeated at at least 5 times a day.

    Reply
  25. Lúthien

    You forgot to mention that the station that came up with the top-2000 plays those same songs all year around, but just not in any particular order. This is a brilliant cover-up for both being a penny-pincher (because they only have to buy a couple of “the best of” cd sets) AND being worried that unfamiliar songs might make your audience feel uncomfortable (which boils down to the same thing). Prior to the top-2000, this station used to be a lot more varied.

    This musical Spam didn’t sit well with Real music lovers, who aren’t afraid to be surprised now and then: for them there has been an alternative by broadcaster VPRO called the Atoomjukebox. The program was made by Martijn Stoffer and Roel Bentz van den Bergh. There is still a blog online with playlists, including links to some of the shows: atoomjukebox.blogspot.nl

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  26. israbelle

    “Bohemian Rhapsody, Hotel California, Deep Purple”
    “The Dutch cannot get enough of Queen!”
    “Top 2000 songs”
    Well, there ya go. I’m Dutch, according to this.

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