Thursday, 31 December 2015

Ranking the Hottest 100s - #94

Some of the most prolific Hottest 100 artists have placed at #94. Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Spiderbait, U2, The White Stripes, You Am I all have 10 or more Hottest 100 entries (and The Wombats have a good chance to join this group after the 2015 countdown).

Songs in red are those that made my shortlist, at the time. Songs in blue are those where I voted for that artist, but for a different song, in that particular countdown. Songs in green are those where I have voted for that artist in other annual Hottest 100s. My voting goes back to 1998.

22. Inner Circle - "Sweat (a la la la long)" (1993)
21. Spiderbait - "Arse huggin' pants" (2002)
20. U2 - "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" (2001)
19. Bliss N Eso - "House of Dreams" (2013)
18. Xavier Rudd - "Time to Smile" (2010)
17. Smashing Pumpkins - "Perfect" (1998)
16. Clare Bowditch & The Feeding Set - "On This Side" (2005)
15. White Stripes - "In The Cold, Cold Night" (2003)
14. The Vines - "Ride" (2004)
13. The Wombats - "Our Perfect Disease" (2011)
12. Turnstyle - "Spray Water On The Stereo" (1999)
11. Rebecca's Empire - "Way Of All Things" (1997)
10. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant - "Gallows Pole" (1994)
9. Gotye - "Learnalilgivnanlovin" (2006) 
8. Bliss N Eso - "Woodstock 2008" (2008)
7.  Sticky Fingers - "Liquorlip Loaded Gun" (2014)
6. Depeche Mode - "I Feel Loved" (2001)
5. Radiohead - "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" (2007)
4. The Gaslight Anthem - "45" (2012)
3.  Pearl Jam - "Mankind" (1996)
2. Regina Spektor - "Blue Lips" (2009)
1. You Am I - "Jewels and Bullets" (1995)

To put these positional rankings together, the easy temptation is there to go simply based on favourite artist. If that were the case, "Mankind" would be placed first here, ahead of "In the Cold, Cold Night" and "Jigsaw Falling in to Place". Trying to place them as songs though, I've opted for You Am I's classic "Jewels and Bullets". As part of an advertising campaign for the Hottest 100 a few years back, this song was singled out in an advertising campaign about how democracy doesn't work. The question is a valid one how did The Vaughns' "Who Farted" (#54 in 1995) receive more votes than You Am I? Even given that this was the third song of You Am I to place in 1995 (behind #24 "Purple Sneakers" and #84 "Cathy's Clown"), in a time where voting was done via  0055 number, "Jewels and Bullets" is placed far too low.

While there were extenuating circumstances that may explain "Jewels and Bullets" placing so low, the same cannot be said for "Jigsaw Falling Into Place". A band with a history of polling well in the hottest 100, whose In Rainbows album placed second in both the Triple J album poll (and in Richard Kingsmill's list), to have one song in the countdown, and at #94 at that? Not something that I anticipated.

"Blue Lips" is the third song from Regina Spektor to have placed in the 90s range, which has served to remind me on how talented she is. If her songs from 2009 had switched places (#97 "Laughing With") she would be placed at #1 here.
"Mankind" is one of those overlooked Pearl Jam songs - not released as a single, not featured on the greatest hits Rearviewmirror, featured on the neglected fourth album No Code. Per Setlist FM, it's not amongst the 100 most played Pearl Jam songs, and has been performed live barely half a dozen times in the last ten years. "Who You Are" probably should have been in the Hottest 100 ahead of "Mankind", but it's nice to see album tracks place every now and then, and "Mankind" is still a quality song.

While I quite like the fact that The White Stripes'  Elephant contains five songs to place in the 2003 countdown (#3 "Seven Nation Army", #14 "Hardest Button to Button", #89 "Girl U Have No Faith In Medicine", #93 "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself") I've always found the inclusion of "In the Cold, Cold Night" ahead of "Black Math" or "The Air Near My Fingers" to be odd.

As for "Sweat (a la la la long)"... I'm not a fan, never was, and am surprised in hindsight that this was a Triple J song.


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