Thursday, 3 December 2015

Ranking the Hottest 100s - #96

Looking at the songs to have placed at #96, I finally rank a song from the '90s first...

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. Dizzee Rascal - "Flex" (Dave Spoon Reflex) (2008)
21.  Matthew Trapnell - "Ella’s Uncle" (1996)

20. Soggy Bottom Boys - "Man Of Constant Sorrow" (Skeewiff Remix) (2003)
19. Midnight Oil - "Redneck Wonderland" (1998)
18. SAFIA - "Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds" (2014)

17. 10,000 Maniacs - "Candy Everybody Wants" (1993)
16. Kanye West featuring Big Sean and Jay-Z - "Clique" (2012)
15. Ben Lee - "Love Me Like The World Is Ending" (2007)
14. Deadmau5 - "Ghosts N Stuff" (2009)
13. The Strokes - "Machu Picchu" (2011)
12. Silverchair - "Paint Pastel Princess"  (2000)
11. Tumbleweed - "Hang Around" (1995)
10. Spiderbait - "Plastic" (1999)
9. Jónsi - "Go Do" (2010)
8. Blur - "Girls & Boys"(Remix) (1994)
7.  Pennywise - "Authority" (2001)
6. Big Scary - "Luck Now (2013)
5.  Red Riders - "Slide In Next To Me" (2006)
4. The Waifs - "Lies" (2002)

3. After the Fall - "Mirror Mirror" (2004)
2. Little Birdy - "Six Months In A Leaky Boat"(2005)
1. Local H  - "Bound For The Floor" (1997)

"Bound for the Floor" may be post-grunge, and have faded from memory like others from that era (Days of the New with "Touch, Peel and Stand" are another example often used of this). However, for someone whose formative interest in music coincided with the grunge explosion, this is a song that I'm likely to be partial to. Throw in some nostalgia bias from hearing this back in the day, and it was always going to be a strong contender for number one here.

Conversely, the other prominent post-grunge band, Silverchair, has alway been a group where, to paraphrase Regurgitator, I like their old stuff better than their new stuff... when Freakshow was released, I wanted more of Frogstomp, with Neon Ballroom, I wanted Freakshow. And so forth. That's going to place in to where Silverchair is placed across much of this.

Listening again to "Mirror, Mirror" and "Slide in Next to Me" reminds me that the mid 00s had some great Australian rock bands going around. While the 90s are rightly looked upon as a golden age of Australian music, there has been plenty of interesting music released in the intervening years. It's these type of songs that have me half suspecting, five positions in, the mid 00s will compare comfortably well to the late 90s.

"Six Months in a Leaky Boat" was one of two songs (Missy Higgins with "Stuff and Nonsense" - #47) featured on the Neil and Tim Finn tribute album She Will Have Her Way to feature in the 2005 countdown. Another track, from the He Will Have His Way tribute, Boy and Bear's cover of "Fall At Your Feet" would place at #5 in 2010 (and in doing so, tying Spiderbait's version of "Black Betty" (2004) and Bjork "It's Oh So Quiet" (1995) for the highest place cover in the Hottest 100). Why do I bring this up? Aside from showcasing the strength of songwriting by the Finns, Little Birdy's cover is my favourite of the three. Yet placement within the Hottest 100s would show the opposite.

As I write this, I realise that by placing Little Birdy at #2, this is the highest rank I've placed any song with predominently female vocals to date (and The Waifs with "Lies" would be the second highest). I don't believe there's anything nefarious here... I'd anticipate some discrepency due to genre bias rather than gender bias.

The genre bias can be seen here with the songs in the bottow few places. I liked "Man of Constant Sorrow" as it was used in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?", but the Skeewiff remix feels like a poor juxtaposition. While there are some Dizzee Rascal songs I like, "Flex" isn't one I'm particularly high on. As for "Ella's Uncle"... I'm not quite sure what I think of it, nearly twenty years after first hearing it. Sometime I'm convinced it's genius, other times not so much. As of right now, consider it "I don't get it".


1 comment:

  1. You've introduced to many a fine female vocalist. Speaking of that cover by Little Birdy is fantastic!