PJ TWENTY QUID RATE: Part One (2003-2007): The Winner!


For the last twenty years, the very best in British & Irish pop music has been shortlisted, argued over in a pub, and an eventual best song of the year crowned and awarded a crisp twenty-pound note. That's right - the Popjustice £20 Music Prize. Founded by @Popjustice himself; it was initially conceived as a reaction to the Mercury Prize - awarded to a British or Irish album of the year and typically given out on the same night as the PJ £20 Quid.

Over the years, the nominations have included PJ faves like Girls Aloud, Dua Lipa, Little Mix, Sugababes and Jessie Ware. There's also been the occasional head-scratcher of a nominee, with Ed Sheeran appearing on the list in recent years and Jessie J also making an appearance.

What better way to celebrate the best of the best, than to rate each nominated song against each other and see what comes out on top? For Part 1 of the rate, we're going back to the very beginning, and ranking the nominees from 2003-2007. Subsequent parts of the rate will cover 2008-2012, 2013-2017 and, lastly, 2018-2022. So what are the songs being rated this time:


Abs - Stop Sign
Amy Studt - Misfit
Busted - What I Go to School For
Daniel Bedingfield - If You’re Not the One
Girls Aloud - No Good Advice
Ladytron - Seventeen
Lisa Scott-Lee - Lately
Mis-teeq - Scandalous
Richard X vs Liberty X - Being Nobody
S Club Juniors - New Direction
S Club - Say Goodbye
Sugababes - Round Round


Busted - Crashed the Wedding
Emma Bunton - Maybe
Girls Aloud - The Show
Jamelia - Superstar
Javine - Surrender (Your Love)
Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
McFly - 5 Colours in Her Hair
Rachel Stevens - Some Girls
Rachel Stevens - Sweet Dreams My LA Ex
Shaznay Lewis - Never Felt Like This Before
Sugababes - Hole in the Head
Will Young - Leave Right Now


Basement Jaxx - Oh My Gosh
Charlotte Church - Crazy Chick
Girls Aloud - Wake Me Up
Goldfrapp - Ooh La La
Kaiser Chiefs - Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Mylo - In My Arms
Rachel Stevens - Negotiate With Love
Robbie Williams - Radio
Shapeshifters - Lola’s Theme
The 411 - Dumb
Uniting Nations - Out of Touch
Verbalicious - Don’t Play Nice


Delays - Valentine
Girls Aloud - Biology
Goldfrapp - Number One
Gorillaz - Dare
Hot Chip - Over and Over
Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch
Lily Allen - Smile
Matt Willis - Up All Night
Muse - Supermassive Black Hole
Rachel Stevens - I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)
Sugababes - Push the Button
Will Young - Who Am I


Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Bodyrox - Yeah Yeah (feat. Luciana)
Booty Luv - Shine
Calvin Harris - Acceptable in the 80s
Girls Aloud - Something Kinda Ooooh
Jamelia - Beware of the Dog
Kate Nash - Foundations
Mark Ronson - Stop Me (feat. Daniel Merriweather)
Robbie Williams - She’s Madonna
Roisin Murphy - Overpowered
Siobhan Donaghy - Don’t Give It Up
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Catch You

As with any rate, the rules are simple:
  • Give each of the above songs a score, on a rating from 0 - 10.
  • Ideally, please keep your scores to multiples of 0.5.
  • You can give one song, the ultimate favourite, your 11.
  • Commentary on all songs is welcomed and encouraged!
  • Voting will close on April 4thApril 11th.

Spotify playlist:

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A couple years ago I happened to be in London during the judging of the 20 Quid Prize, and Peter posted that he was looking for participants. I couldn’t believe it - definitely a rare opportunity for someone from the US. I wrote him a heartfelt personal email detailing my time on here and how it has influenced my life and work, and saying I couldn’t believe the coincidence that I, an American, was actually going to be in London for it. I finished by saying it would be such an honor to take part.

He never responded, which I really should have seen coming.