We at Tone Deaf recently shared an image to our Facebook page that garnered quite a bit of interest from you readers. The image was of a poster at a bus station, advertising triple j’s Hottest 100, including the phone number where listeners could call to vote and a list of eligible songs.
Many readers commented on the feeling of nostalgia the image gave them, which warmed our hearts because that was kind of the point. In addition to being an interest bit of trivia about the pre-internet Hottest 100, it was a reminder of simpler times and indeed, a simpler Hottest 100.
The triple j Hottest 100 started off as a reaction to similar countdowns by baby boomer publications like Rolling Stone. As far as the j was concerned, a list of the best songs of all time or of the year is best determined by listeners and not a secret society of music critics.
In the words of Dewey Finn, “That is so punk rock.” But in recent years, the countdown has become politicised and some would even argue compromised by outside stakeholders looking to pervert the world’s biggest fan-voted music poll and even profit off of it.
We all remember the controversy stirred by BuzzFeed‘s infamous #Taylor4Hottest100 campaign, but that’s not even the most insidious example of outsiders messing with the Hottest 100 – betting companies are making the countdown more of a focus with each year that passes.
Meanwhile, you’ve got countless self-described ‘Hottest 100 geeks’ compiling data from social media to give you purportedly accurate predictions of what the countdown will look like. They’re fascinating and they’re great talking points, but they’re also counterintuitive to the spirit of the Hottest 100.
Well, Patrick Avenell has had enough. You may remember Patrick as the Hottest 100 ‘enthusiast’ who gave us the first list of Hottest 100 predictions of the 2015 campaign. He’s now unveiled a new countdown, which he’s dubbed the ‘Model Triple J Hottest 100‘.“When I first fell in love with the Hottest 100… the surprise factor was a huge part of the appeal.”
What’s the difference between this and all the other lists we’ve recently seen? Well, for starters, Patrick’s list isn’t meant to be accurate. It doesn’t take into account social media traffic or triple j airplay, it’s just a list of what he reckons the Hottest 100 might look like.
“My countdown is not meant to spoil the Hottest 100!” Patrick writes. “I actually hope I’m wrong — very wrong — so that the countdown is a surprise for me and for everyone else as well.”
“When I first fell in love with the Hottest 100 (and it’s been a loving, caring relationship that has lasted longer than any interpersonal one!), the surprise factor was a huge part of the appeal.”
“Until the advent of betting markets and Warmest 100s and Spotify playlists and sharing on social media and Buzzfeed campaigns — that is, before the build-up of the Hottest 100 industrial complex — it really was a guessing game as to which songs would end up where.”
“I remember a music-loving friend having never heard of The Whitlams, let alone having heard ‘No Aphrodisiac’, when Gough himself announced his namesakes had overcome favourites Blur and Chumbawamba to the big prize.”
“Although I don’t share my contemporaries’ retrospective cultural cringe for The Offspring’s ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’, a song I still like, I was desperate for ‘Cigarettes Will Kill You’, Ben Lee’s masterpiece of late 90s shoegazing ante-emo whinging, to hit #1.”
“Simply put, a lot of the surprise factor, and with it the fun factor, has evanesced over the past five years, and I lament that change,” Patrick continues.
“There used to be a time when you listened to the Hottest 100 as one last chance to hear all your favourites before the new year brought with it a new release schedule to wash them all away.”
Model Triple J Hottest 100
1. Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ – ‘Lean On’
2. Tame Impala – ‘Let It Happen’
3. Kendrick Lamar – ‘King Kunta’
4. Jarryd James – ‘Do You Remember’
5. The Rubens – ‘Hoops’
6. Marcus Marr & Chet Faker – ‘The Trouble With Us’
7. Courtney Barnett – ‘Pedestrian At Best’
8. Gang of Youths – ‘Magnolia’
9. Tame Impala – ‘The Less I Know The Better’
10. Drake – ‘Hotline Bling’