Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Ranking the Hottest 100s - #97

Going through the Hottest 100 position by position sees the strongest group of tracks thus far at #97, having voted for more than a third of these artists previously (yet none of the songs listed here). It also sees some example of artists that have a sizable fanbase, but for which I am much more hit and miss.

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. U2 - "Electrical Storm" (2002)
21. Ini Kamoze  - "Here Comes The Hot Stepper" (1994)
20. The Darkness  - "Growing On Me" (2003)
19.  AC/DC   - "Hail Caesar" (1996)
18.  Arkarna - "Futures Overrated" (1997)
17. Japanese Wallpaper featuring Jesse Davidson   - "Between Friends" (2014)
16. Josh Pyke  - "Forever Song" (2007)
15. Even  - "Black Umbrella" (1998)
14. Parkway Drive - "Sleepwalker" (2010)
13. Queens of the Stone Age  - "My God Is the Sun" (2013)
12.  Klinger  - "Ben Lee" (2000)
11. Offspring  - "The Kids Aren't Alright" (1999)
10.  Pearl Jam  - "Worldwide Suicide"   (2006)
9. Kate Bush  - "Rubberband Girl" (1993)
8. Foo Fighters   - "Arlandria" (2011)
7.  Regina Spektor - "Laughing With" (2009)
6. Superheist  - "Step Back" (2001)
5. Pop! - "Tingly" (1995)
4. Gyroscope - "Safe Forever" (2004)
3. Jack White  - "I'm Shakin'" (2012)
2. Cog - "Are You Interested?" (2008)
1. Karnivool - "Themata" (2005)

When your musical tastes run toward an alternative/rock bent, the artists to have placed at #97 check a number of essential boxes. How is it then that I didn't vote for any of these songs? In some cases it's clear (I voted for other eligible songs from that artist that year, and I'd still vote for "If I had a Tail" (2013), "Sixteen Saltine" (2012) and "Bird of Feather" (2008) today). In the case of Superheist, Gyroscope and Karnivool, it's that I completely overlooked them - either not being familiar enough with the song in question or forgetting about it come voting. So why "Themata" at number 1? Simple answer is "I like it more" - it's a song that gets more repeat listens on my iPod compared to "Are You Interested?" and "I'm Shaking". It's also been a highlight when seeing Karnivool like, more so than "Are You Interested" with Cog, and is the song I most associate with Karnivool (whereas for Cog, that song would be "My Enemy").

In amongst all of the rock at the top of that list, I've listed Pop!'s "Tingly". Featuring vocals from Frente's Angie Hart, apparently its release was controversial, as it was made without Frente's record label's permission. As much criticism as Richard Kingsmill received, he deserves praise for identifying and championing this. Chalk this up as another example of a forgotten track that earned its place within the Hottest 100 (and should have been several spots higher).

This would (to date, but it seems close enough to a sure thing) the last appearance of Pearl Jam within the Hottest 100. I'm not quite sure I agree with this... "Mind Your Manners" deserved consideration in 2013, yet no Pearl Jam song was included on the voting list. I guess that avoids a situation where artists get in more on legacy popularity rather than song quality (my opinion, of course), but Pearl Jam are still making interesting music.

There's something not fair about the fact that "The kids aren't alright" placing at #97. For mine, it is the best track on Americana yet it was "Pretty Fly (for a white guy)" that grabbed the masses attention (going 4  times platinum, and placing at #1 in 1998). This didn't seem right to me at the time (I found "Pretty Fly" to have a short shelf life), and time has only exacerbated that.

1 comment:

  1. Man this is quite an impressive undertaking. You're going to through and ran all the Rankings for each year for each number. Perhaps only you could have the knowledge to do this. I look forward to reading it even if I'll have to look up so many songs just to know what you are talking about. :-)