Sunday, 18 January 2015

Triple J's Hottest 100 - #Tay4Hottest100

The #Tay4Hottest100 campaign seems to be gaining momentum, and publicity, enough that it is amongst the favourites on Sportsbet. I'm not particularly convinced that Sportsbet is on the money; it'll rank closer to 100 than to top spot (if indeed Triple J don't declare votes for "Shake it Off" ineligible).

With the momentum and publicity, comes the inevitable backlash. For mine, I'd prefer it to be included if it does get enough votes, rather than discounting them, and opening a can of worms over how truly the countdown relfects votes received. Realistically, while it has no place in the Hottest 100, if the campaign does succeed, "Shake it Off" wouldn't be the first song of dubious quality (and/or fit with the station) to make the countdown, and it won't be the last.

In that vein, let's have a look back throughout the Hottest 100 history at other songs which raised an eyebrow or two (some perhaps more in hindsight than at the time), be it over inclusion in the list, or, it's actual ranking.

1993 - East 17 - "Deep" (#78)
Leaving aside the pop genre, while I recall East 17 being huge at the time, "Deep" always seemed like an afterthought compared to "It's Alright", "West End Girls" and "House of Love". Looking at Wikipedia, I'm actually kind of surprised that it went Gold. Surely there were better songs to choose - let's say The Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm" or Kyuss with "Green Machine".

1994 - Counting Crows - "Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)" (#47)
1994 may have seen Pale manipulate their way in to the Hottest 100 (after eventually tracking it down, I'd say it warrants inclusion), but it's three songs from Counting Crows that looks odd in hindsight. In particular, "Einstein on the Beach" placing ahead of "Mr Jones". Given how popular it has become in subsequent years, Jeff Buckley's cover of "Hallelujah" seems like the obvious miss, though, for mine, Pearl Jam's "Corduroy" is the most conspicuous miss.

1995 - Live - "I Alone" (#34)
I don't have any real issue with Live making the Hottest 100 in 1995 (particularly with "Lightning Crashes" (at #22) and "All Over You" (#71), but "I Alone", not only featured in the 1994 count, but it placed at #27. 1995 was a bit of an odd year, with Alanis Morissette making it three times despite no airplay on Triple J (no qualms about "You Oughta Know" being present, however), songs that really don't fit my picture of the Triple J sound in Shaggy's "Boombastic" and TLC's "Waterfalls" and N-Trance's "Stayin' Alive", and what some deem the worst song to ever make the Hottest 100 with Hecate's "By Myself".  Radiohead "Fake Plastic Trees", "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave and the Badseeds or PJ Harvey's "Down by the Water" would have been better options.

1996 - Mullen/Clayton - "Mission Impossible" (#68)
Yeah the film was huge. Yeah U2 were huge in the 90s. But really? "How Bizarre" would be the fashionable WTF? song, but "Mission Impossible" really doesn't hold up. Might just be me. I would defend "How Bizarre" though - it did have a big, broad appeal at the time, even if it had a short shelf life. At the very least, it's not taking up a top 10 spot like "Smooth Criminal" and "Teenage Dirtbag" would do in later years. I would have liked to see "Thirty-three" by The Smashing Pumpkins or Blur's "Charmless Man" included.

1997 - Luscious Jackson - "Naked Eye" (#99)
As with "I Alone", "Naked Eye" had already placed in the Hottest 100 - good song, but it didn't need to be listed twice. Pauline Pantsdown's "Backdoor Man" may have benefited from the injunction that still keeps it off radio, hence avoiding further over saturation. Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" is a perfect example of a song that everyone liked, then was co-opted and played to death, then everyone hated. Maybe not a top five song, but given the time capsule nature of the hottest 100, I wouldn't have an issue if it was placed towards the lower end. "Everlong" and "Around the World" are the obvious misses from the '97 countdown.

1998 - Adam Sandler - "Somebody Kill Me" (#39)
1998 featured an abundance of novelty songs (and arguably the worst #1 ranked song). "Pretty Fly" was so on the nose that during the countdown, listeners were asking if they could retract their votes, however it was a 4xPlatinum song, from a band with a prominent hottest 100 history ("Self Esteem", "Come out and Play" in 1994, "Smash it Up" in 1995, "I Choose" in 1997, "Gone Away" also in 1998) so it was always likely to place (though sixty or so places higher than it should have). Looking at it sixteen years later, "Somebody Kill Me" didn't need to make the list, and it's ranking is more egregious than The Offspring's. The Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "Zoot Suit Riot" should have been there. That, or "Touch, Peel and Stand" by Days of the New (only song I voted for that year that didn't make the list).

1999 - The Tenants - "You Shit Me to Tears" (#3)
It's good to see unearthed artists do well, but I'd have preferred Rhubarb's "Exerciser" place that close to the top spot than The Tenants. Honourable mention to Public Image Ltd's "The Order of Death" - inclusion on the Blair Witch Project's soundtrack made it eligible I guess. Cake's "Sheep go to Heaven" or Shihad's "My Mind's Sedate" belonged on the countdown.

2000 - Machine Gun Fellatio - "Mutha Fukka on a Motorcycle" (#67)
Yet another song to place in consecutive years. "Teenage Dirtbag" - while it cops crap, it was still voted in to the Hottest 100 of the last twenty years; it's another song that was too overplayed. I could also point the finger at Limp Bizkit with "Take A Look Around", but at the end of 2000 when voting was open they were at peak popularity. The backlash was starting to kick in though (fast tracked by the death of a teenage in the moshpit at the Sydney Big Day Out) at the time of the countdown. For what it's worth my memory of the 2001 Big Day Out had a scary big moshpit for Limp Bizit at the Gold Coast festival. Similarly the inclusion of Madonna was an odd one, though this isn't the first time she made the list ("Into the Groove" with the 1990 All time countdown, "Beautiful Stranger" in 1999). "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" is the obvious song to have missed out here, given it was included on the Hottest 100 CD for some inexplicable reason. "Pulse" by Superheist is another miss.

2001 - Crazy Town - "Butterfly" (#81)
Maybe it's just me and the people I was listening to the countdown with in 2001 - none of us were fans of this song, and it never really seemed "Triple J". Throw in "Smooth Criminal" to the list of hugely overplayed songs that peaked when hottest 100 voting was occurring. I would have liked to have seen Slipknot's "Left Behind" make the list, but it wasn't included on the voting list. "New Slang" would be the obvious omission.

2002 - Jamiroquai - "You Give Me Something" (#50)
Yet another example of songs making it over consecutive years (there were far too many of these around 1999-2002). The Androids' "Do it with Madonna" is also very poppy, but it did have the advantages of being Australian and links to Hottest 100 alumni in The Superjesus. Wouldn't have been much of a chance at the time, but "Crave" by The Butterfly Effect would have been a worthy addition to the countdown. 2002 is also notable as it saw Salmon Hater make the countdown, due to the enocouragement of Wil Anderson and Adamn Spencer. "Not totally evil, but you've got to start somewhere".

2003 - Benny Benassi - "Satisfaction" (#80)
Probably more personal preference than anything else... I'm not a big fan of this song, the trend towards more EDM in the Triple J playlist. There's also no way that "Are you going to be my girl?" deserved number one ahead of "Seven Nation Army". Most of the votes for "Clocks" would have been for the original (rather than the Röyksopp remix - I recall a bit of shock at that) but at least it improved its placement from #69 to #5. There's also no way in hindsight that Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" should not have placed, and placed highly.

2004 - Your Wedding Night - "Lachlan" (#60)
Ten years later, does anyone really remember this? The first time I remember hearing it was while listening to the countdown on Australia Day 2005, and thinking, "I'm probably not the target market for this". At the time, I'd have included Probot's "Shake Your Blood" (which would have been a plausible given that to this day Dave Grohl does well on Triple J).

2005 - Bernard Fanning - "Songbird" (#14)
"Wish You Well" was a bit of a shocker at #1 (most people that Triple J spoke to on the air were thinking Wolfmother or Gorillaz), but at least it was expected to poll well. "Songbird", while not a bad song, just never quite sat with me as belonging in the top twenty. "Shark Fin Blues" should have placed.

2006 - Foo Fighters- "Everlong" (#61)
Snow Patrol placing in the the top ten was purely the result of Grey's Anatomy, but they did have previous Hottest 100 pedigree. But the song that I'm most meh about is the Fooies acoustic version of "Everlong"... it's inclusion always seemed more the result of Foo Fighters popularity, and the popularity of the song from The Colour & The Shape, rather than the Skin and Bones live version. I'd defend the inclusion of Panic at the Disco and My Chemical Romance - while there's been a backlash, both bands were very popular on Super Request at the time. I would liked to have seen Peeping Tom's "Mojo" however.

2007 - Operator Please - "Get What You Want" (#77)
People seemed resigned to "Just a song about ping pong" making the list, but was a double placement needed by Operator Please? They must have been more popular than I remember... Yet The Vasco Era missed out with "When it first showed up"? Knights of Cydonia may have been originally released in August 2006, but it was early 2007 when it started getting attention from Triple J, in particular having a big run on JTV (I really miss that show).

2008 - Muscles - "Icecream (acoustic)" (#45)
The original made the countdown in 2007, was a live version necessary the very next year? There was also probably too much Aussie hiphop and too much Kings of Leon (unlike the results, I'd prefer "Crawl" and "Closer" to "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody"), but I can't say it was unexpected. Had The Presets' "My People" been eligible (#18 in 2007), it is about the only song that could have beaten "Sex on Fire". The Drones (again) should have featured with "The Minotaur" or Eddy Current Suppression Ring with "Which way to go".

2009 - Jet - "She's a Genius" (#77)
My impression was that everyone seemed over Jet at this stage, yet here they were again in the hottest 100. "Wheels" probably had no business being there given it's lack of play on Triple J, but Foo Fighters. "Daniel" by Bat For Lashes or "Hold, Hold, Fire" by Calling All Cars deserved to be there.

2010 - Muse - "Neutron Star Collision" (#100)
It's not that it's from Twilight, it's just that it's boring. At least it was done with early, being the first song played. "We No Speak Americano" also seemed to surprise some people with its inclusion, but I was more surprised that it was at #43 rather than in the top twenty (thought it was more popular than that). Funeral Party's "New York City Moves to the Sound of L.A." should have been ranked in my opinion, but it was likely never close.

2011 - Calvin Harris - "Feel so close" (#11)
Yeah he's made the hottest 100 a number of times, but to me his presence on Triple J always seemed more the result of association with Dizzee Rascal. While it's high placement was predictable, to me it is a perfect example of how the Triple J playlist has changed (or more that I'd moved in to my 30s). 2011 also saw a lot of dubstep feature, which give or take the merits of the genre, I wasn't expecting so much of it. "Still Life" by The Horrors or "Two Against One" by Danger Mouse are what I would have opted for instead.

2012 - Avicci - "Silhouettes" (#68)
Avicci seems to be on the radio every time I'm listening to something that's not Triple J, yet, this song aside, I've never really heard Avicci played on Triple J. Why this track and nothing else just seemed odd. Icona Pop's "I love it" is another one that never sounded Triple J, though it was getting big just as the voting was occurring (and likely wouldn't make the countdown if it was redone today). The same would likely occur for Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis, particularly with the overplayed backlash around #1 "Thrift Shop".Based on the warmest 100, Japandroids' "The House That Heaven Built" was unlucky to miss out.

2013 - Fat Boy Slim - "Eat Sleep Rave Repeat" (#51)
I thought the days of Fat Boy Slim getting played on Triple J were long passed before this came along. In a more positive surprise, it was good to see  that Bring Me the Horizon made the list twice, showing that heavier music wasn't dead and buried. While I thought it was obvious (and all but confirmed once "Play with Fire" was announced at #95), "Riptide" making it to #1 seemed a shocker to many (leading to the inevitable cries of sexism).

1 comment:

  1. My God you know music. I don't even remember half of these people. Love the personal stuff like you being at Big Days Out in the past.