Monday, 16 November 2015

Ranking the Hottest 100s

Hottest 100 Day is one of my favourite days of the year. The radio up loud, drink in hand, and often complaining bitterly about how the awesome songs that I voted for never made the list. The other complaint that goes hand in hand with the Hottest 100 is about how "it used to be so much better", followed by the inevitable counter-argument that "East17 or Madonna or Adam Sandler or whoever else have featured so it's always been like that".

I've decided to put this to the test. Rather than focusing just on the pointy end of the list, or by looking at my favourites from the countdown, I'll compare each song within its placing.  That is, for example, ranking all of the songs that placed at #100, all of the songs that places at #99. By looking at every song that has featured in the Hottest 100, I'll get a feel for how much (if at all) the quality has changed over time, using a few different models to compare the lists.

Pre-commencement predictions:
1997 is often highlighted as a predominant year, due to the way songs from that year have featured in the all time countdowns. I expect it to do well in my analysis, though it would do slightly better had songs like "Around the World" and "Everlong" made the annual list.
I'd also expect 2002 to do well by my reckoning, due to the presence of so many songs by Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters. The same applies for 2003 with The White Stripes.

On the flipside, I'd anticipate that 1993 is a lot lower than it possibly should be... there is a lot of pop in that list which doesn't run to my taste. The rise of EDM and hiphop in later years will also likely push more recent years downwards (my biases being toward alternative/rock).

Links to each positions (along with my #1 ranked song at each position below):

100.  Everything Everything - "Cough Cough"
99.    The Butterly Effect - "Always"
98.    JayZ & Kanye West - "In Paris"
97.    Karnivool - "Themata"
96.    Local H  - "Bound For The Floor"

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