Triple J is celebrating 20 years of the Hottest 100 countdown with the ‘Hottest 20’, and with voting now closed, the national youth radio station will be revealing the results of the best songs of the last two decades as voted by listeners this weekend.
Triple J has been plugging the 20th Anniversary countdown on air with selections and themed playlists from Hottest 100’s past, including a pop-up digital station streaming every Hottest 100 charting song ever, and with the final tally of votes now counted, its revealed some rather interesting statistics but Australia’s biggest popular music poll, as Radio Info reports.
After 20 days of voting, Triple J have broken records with more than 940,000 votes cast for eligible songs, released between Jan 1993 to Dec 2012, with over 200,000 of those cast on the last day of voting, making it the biggest single day of votes in Hottest 100 history.
While the final list is still top secret – with no Warmest 100-styled leak in sight – some interesting numbers have emerged from the mass polling. Over 30 songs in the list come from debut albums, 49 songs are from the 90s (between the eligible years of ’93 – ’99) while just over half the list are from the 2000s, with 51 tunes voted in coming from the 12 period of 2000 – 2012.
Those results makes sense when you consider that the 22 – 25 year old demographic submitted the highest number of votes, with 25 year olds submitting the most votes of any age.
But the most interesting statistic is that, according to voters for the 20th Anniversary, 1997 was the greatest year in music, representing the year with the most votes. If you take into account that the most votes came from 25-year-olds, that makes for a lot of 20-somethings with very fond memories of being 10 years old. But the most interesting statistic is that, according to voters for the 20th Anniversary, 1997 was the greatest year in music, representing the year with the most votes.
A look over the Triple J Hottest 100 for 1997 shows that it was indeed a strong year, but also one which ably demonstrates how much listening habits have changed since.
The Whitlams’ No Aphrodisiac’ famously took out the pole position, while Blur’s deathless ‘Song 2’ came in (suitably) at #2, followed by ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawumba (cringe or cheer at your leisure), The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ at #4, and rounding out the Top 5, ‘Back Door Man’ by Pauline Pantsdown – the novelty tune that lampooned then-One Nation leader Pauline Hanson (ask your folks, kids).
1997 was was also a strong year albums-wise; Foo Fighters’ The Colour And The Shape, The Verve’s Urban Hymns, Spiritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, Prodigy’s The Fat Of The Land, Ben Folds Five’s Whatever And Ever, Amen, Björk’s Homogenic, Daft Punk’s debut Homework, and Radiohead’s seminal OK Computer were all released that year.
It was a strong year locally as well, with Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ The Boatman’s Call, Silverchair’s second album Freakshow, Jebediah’s Slightly Odway Grinspoon’s Guide To Better Living, and Hottest 100 favourites, The Whitlams’ Eternal Nightcap (getting the warm and fuzzies, yet?).
Despite the love for 1997, the list is more likely to resemble the 2009 ‘Hottest 100 Of All Time‘ poll, where Triple J gave a major nod back to its roots by letting listeners vote for any song ever, the system they used when the poll first launched, but eventually scrapped in favour of a year-to-year vote after Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ didn’t budge from the #1 position from 1989 to 1991.
Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was crowned the winner of the 2009 Hottest 100 Of All Time, but the poll also stirred controversy for lacking a single female entrant in the list, with a report by The Australian triggering Triple J’s current affairs program Hack to take an internal investigation into the ‘no women’ poll. The list is more likely to resemble the 2009 ‘Hottest 100 Of All Time‘ poll, where Triple J gave a major nod back to its roots by letting listeners vote for any song ever.
It seems that controversy and the Hottest 100 go hand in hand, with this year’s number one winners, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and their ubiquitous thrift hop hit ruffling more than a few feathers. Many speculated that Triple J aired the ‘Hottest 200′ – the list of songs that came in at 101-200 – on air for the first time ever as a response to the backlash over ‘Thrift Shop’s crowning for 2013.
Of course that wasn’t the only incident, with the Warmest 100, a list of scarily accurate predictions put together by a pair of Brisbane IT experts who managed to crack a traceable code of votes submitted through social media.
Following the Hottest 100′s airing, which saw the Warmest 100 accurately predicting all ten songs in the Top 10, including the Top 3 positions with 100% accuracy, representatives from the ABC noted they “may make a few changes to the system to avoid spoiler attempts in the future.”
To which Nick Drewe, co-author of The Warmest 100 list with Tom Knox, later cheekily suggested that the ABC were “certainly welcome to hire us to consult on it if they want.”
As for what the best songs of the last 20 years are, collated from 940,00 votes, all will be revealed this weekend as Triple J announces the rankings in two parts. Numbers 100 to 51 will air on Saturday 8th June, and the Top 50 on Sunday 9th June (full national broadcast times below).
Given the poll’s history includes a few cringeworthy #1 winners, starting with Denis Leary’s ‘Asshole’ in 1993 (when the poll first swapped to its annual format) and The Offspring’s ‘Pretty Fly For A White Guy’ in 1998, don’t be disappointed if a novelty hit is crowned the best song of the last 20 years (our money’s on ‘Macarena’).
Triple J’s 20 Years of Hottest 100 Broadcast Times
#100 to #51
Saturday 8th June
12.00pm – NSW, QLD, ACT, VIC + TAS
11.30am – SA + NT
10.00am – WA
#50 to #1
Sunday 9th June
12pm – NSW, QLD, ACT, VIC + TAS
11.30am – SA + NT
11.00am – WA