Top Ten Songs from the 2010s that Appeared on a 2020s Studio Album

It's a situation that happens multiple times a year: if your name isn't Taylor Swift or Beyoncé, the promotion phase for your album usually takes a few months. In that timespan, you release singles that are gonna appear on your upcoming record to hype it up. With albums that are scheduled to come out early on, maybe January to March, it's not unusual to have at least some, if not all of the singles released in the previous year. But what if the respective two years mark the turn of one decade and another? What if we have albums that shaped the sound of the new era, but contain songs that will never appear on decade retrospectives later on, because they dropped too soon?

All of this and more is what this list is about: songs from 2020s albums that were already released in the 2010s.
The Top Ten
1 Blinding Lights - The Weeknd

Despite having become the biggest hit of 2020 on a global scale that once it hit its commercial peak shaped the entire era of the early 2020s with its 80s revival, "Blinding Lights" was already released in 2019, unlike its mother album "After Hours" (his best one so far), which arrived in 2020.

2 Salt - Ava Max

"Salt" was one of the first ever released songs under the Ava Max moniker, and it's even older than her breakthrough hit "Sweet But Psycho", having been initially dropped on Soundcloud earlier in 2018. Even if we're only taking its belated official commercial release into account: the single came out in 2019 (where it became the album's second biggest hit, at least in German speaking Europe), while after many delays Max's debut album "Heaven & Hell" dropped in 2020.

3 Future Nostalgia - Dua Lipa

Although the brilliant title track and opening song of Dua Lipa's milestone 2020 album "Future Nostalgia" is rarely considered one of its singles between all the other hits, it was already released for download and streaming in December 2019, indicating what we would later get to know first hand: "Don't Start Now" was merely the tip of the iceberg.

4 Sweet but Psycho - Ava Max

"Sweet But Psycho" was Ava Max's mainstream breakthrough, topping the charts for multiple weeks across pretty much all of Europe after its 2018 release (in the following year, it would climb to number 10 in her home country, the USA). Its mother album however, her debut record "Heaven & Hell", would not see the light of day until 2020 though, over 2 years after the drop of its biggest hit.

5 Don't Start Now - Dua Lipa

"Don't Start Now" marks the beginning of a new era for Dua Lipa. The moment where she evolved from a talented singer who made solid but somewhat anonymous late 2010s pop to the visionary leading figure of female pop of the early 2020s. It's quite a leap. "Future Nostalgia", the era defining album that made this possible, came out early in 2020 - but its lead single already hit the stage in 2019, giving a preview for the retro-futuristic firework that would follow.

6 So Am I - Ava Max

"So Am I" was dropped many months after "Sweet But Psycho", probably because the impact of her blockbuster breakthrough song was still in full effect. Nevertheless, arriving in March 2019, that was still far before her often delayed 2020 debut album "Heaven & Hell" that contained both songs.

7 Torn - Ava Max

The comic book inspired video of her stomping disco anthem "Torn" was one of the career highlights of Ava Max, but the song itself, for reasons unknown, remains arguably the most overlooked single of her debut album "Heaven & Hell". Strange, considering it was even widely released as a physical single. Even more interestingly, said 2-track CD featured "Salt" as a B-Side, which would become her next released single, and despite being the only one without music video, would become the second biggest hit of the album. When did all of this happen? 2019. When did "Heaven & Hell" come out? 2020.

8 Automatic Call - Nina & Lau

German-English synthwave singer Nina released her sophomore album "Synthian" (it might as well be called a collaboration album as all songs except one credit producer LAU as a featured artist) in 2020, but one of its absolute highlights, the smooth, hypnotic midtempo neon-flavored pop track "Automatic Call", was already dropped as a single the previous year.

9 Casino - Katja Krasavice

Katja Krasavice became famous as "the Sex YouTuber" of Germany, where she would openly talk about and embrace the different forms of sexuality. In 2017 to 2018, she decided to record 3 novelty songs for fun, all of which proved to be commercial successes despite being critically panned. But in 2019 something happened: she quit YouTube and focused on becoming a proper music artist. 3 number 1 albums and 4 number 1 singles later we can say it worked. "Casino" is the 4th and best single of her debut album "Bo$$ B---h". Said album saw the light of day early on in 2020 before we knew that a pandemic would shape our lives for the next few years - but its promotion, including the singles, began in 2019, right after quitting YouTube.

10 Say So - Doja Cat
The Contenders
11 Fahrrad - Juli

Why is this on the list?

12 Memories - Maroon 5

It appears on the tracklist on the album Jordi, which released in 2021, 2 years after this. It was a non-single until it got featured on the tracklist.

13 Senza Vedervi - Gío

"Senza Vedervi", an Italian language song by German singer Gío, might take the cake as the longest cross-decade gap between single and album, at least on this list. While the song was dropped as early as 2016 as Gío's debut single, his debut album "Mirrors & Smoke" would not come out until 2021.

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