With the 2021 Hottest 100 set to take place on January 22nd, 2022, we here at Tone Deaf have decided to take a stroll down memory lane, recapping the countdowns of yesteryear in the lead-up to the latest edition of musical democracy. Today, we’re taking a look back at the Hottest 100 of 1998.

Taking place in January of 1999, the triple j Hottest of 1998 was the fifth annual countdown held by the station which limited votes to songs released in the last year.

After a year which saw The Whitlams give the top-placing glory to Australia for the second year in a row, many listeners were wondering if history could repeat for a third time.

With popular tracks by the likes of Ben Lee and Custard having dominated the airwaves throughout 1998, it was looking like Australia could indeed take out yet another countdown.

However, the top spot was instead snared by California punks The Offspring, whose track ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ was released on November 9th, 1998 – the shortest amount of time between a song being released and topping a countdown to date.

Check out The Offspring’s ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’

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The countdown was also notable for a number of other interesting milestones, including being one of the few polls to feature both the original and cover version of a track. In this case, Jebediah charted at #7 with their song ‘Harpoon’, while Something For Kate’s cover of the track snuck into the poll at #85.

This feat would go on to occur twice more, with Scissor Sisters covering Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’ in 2004, and San Cisco covering Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ in 2013.

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Likewise, 1998 was notable for being one of only two instances to date in which an artist scored three back-to-back songs. In this case, it was Quan Yeomans, who appeared with Regurgitator at #26 and #27, while his stint as a member of Happyland saw him place at #28 with ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am?’.

So far, only one other artist has achieved this feat, with Dave Grohl placing thrice in a row in 2002 thanks to his work with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.

Also worth noting is the fact that Stardust managed to hit #73 with ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. The only single released by the band, they remain the only group whose entire discography is represented throughout the Hottest 100.

Check out Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’:

At the end of the day, triple j’s Hottest 100 for 1998 featured songs by 70 different artists from a total of 7 countries, including 44 from the USA, 42 from Australia and 8 from England.

The clear winner in this year’s countdown was undoubtedly Quan Yeomans, who managed to appear six times, including four times with Regurgitator and twice with Happyland. Meanwhile, the likes of Garbage, Grinspoon, Jebediah, The Living End, Pearl Jam, and The Whitlams all appeared three times.

A number of other artists all appeared twice, including Ben Folds Five, Chef, Custard, Foo Fighters, Frenzal Rhomb, Green Day, Happyland, Hole, Marcy Playground, Metallica, The Offspring, Powderfinger, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Superjesus, and You Am I, while Cerys Matthews appeared with both Space and Catatonia.

Also, if you’re keen on some of the more obscure facts, the shortest track to appear in the countdown was Frenzal Rhomb’s ‘Mum Changed The Locks’ at 1:43, while the longest was Fatboy Slim’s ‘The Rockafeller Skank’ at 6:53.

Check out the full list of songs in the triple j Hottest 100 for 1998 below. If you’re keen to learn more, head over to the Hottest 100 Database, and check out the Hottest 100 songs that didn’t make the Hottest 100.

triple j’s Hottest 100 of 1998

Image of the CD artwork for triple j's Hottest 100 of 1998

#1. ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ – The Offspring
#2. ‘Cigarettes Will Kill You’ – Ben Lee
#3. ‘Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us)’ – Custard
#4. ‘Celebrity Skin’ – Hole
#5. ‘Got The Life’ – Korn
#6. ‘! (The Song Formerly Known As)’ – Regurgitator
#7. ‘Harpoon’ – Jebediah
#8. ‘The Day You Come’ – Powderfinger
#9. ‘Heavy Heart’ – You Am I
#10. ‘Save The Day’ – The Living End

#11. ‘Sweetest Thing’ – U2
#12. ‘Brick’ – Ben Folds Five
#13. ‘Doctor Worm’ – They Might Be Giants
#14. ‘Josie’ – Blink-182
#15. ‘Second Solution’ – The Living End
#16. ‘Addicted To Bass’ – Josh Abrahams
#17. ‘Tainted Love (Live)’ – The Living End
#18. ‘Just Ace’ – Grinspoon
#19. ‘Bubblegoose (feat. Stan, Kyle, Kenny & Cartman)’ – Wyclef Jean
#20. ‘Simultaneous’ – Chef

#21. ‘Sex And Candy’ – Marcy Playground
#22. ‘Black Friday’ – Grinspoon
#23. ‘Teardrop’ – Massive Attack
#24. ‘Music Is Crap’ – Custard
#25. ‘Intergalactic’ – Beastie Boys
#26. ‘Polyester Girl’ – Regurgitator
#27. ‘I Like Your Old Remix Better Than Your New Remix’ – Regurgitator
#28. ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am?’ – Happyland
#29. ‘Everybody Here Wants You’ – Jeff Buckley
#30. ‘Never There’ – Cake

#31. ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ – Paul McDermott
#32. ‘Black Bugs’ – Regurgitator
#33. ‘Sweater’ – Eskimo Joe
#34. ‘One Week’ – Barenaked Ladies
#35. ‘Flagpole Sitta’ – Harvey Danger
#36. ‘Whatareya?’ – TISM
#37. ‘Buy Now Pay Later (Charlie No. 2)’ – The Whitlams
#38. ‘The Impression That I Get’ – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
#39. ‘Somebody Kill Me’ – Adam Sandler
#40. ‘Song For The Dumped’ – Ben Folds Five

#41. ‘Pure Morning’ – Placebo
#42. ‘Teflon’ – Jebediah
#43. ‘Melbourne’ – The Whitlams
#44. ‘The Dope Show’ – Marilyn Manson
#45. ‘Ava Adore’ – The Smashing Pumpkins
#46. ‘Don’t Wanna Be Left Out’ – Powderfinger
#47. ‘Do The Evolution’ – Pearl Jam
#48. ‘Road Rage’ – Catatonia
#49. ‘Malibu’ – Hole
#50. ‘It’s Like That (Drop The Break Radio Edit)’ – Run-D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins

#51. ‘Given To Fly’ – Pearl Jam
#52. ‘The Grouch’ – Green Day
#53. ‘Father Of Mine’ – Everclear
#54. ‘Mum Changed The Locks’ – Frenzal Rhomb
#55. ‘No Surprises’ – Radiohead
#56. ‘Charlie No. 3’ – The Whitlams
#57. ‘I Think I’m Paranoid’ – Garbage
#58. ‘I Don’t Like It’ – Pauline Pantsdown
#59. ‘History Repeating (feat. Miss Shirley Bassey)’ – Propellerheads
#60. ‘Untouchable Face’ – Ani DiFranco

#61. ‘Cry’ – The Mavis’s
#62. ‘Gone Away’ – The Offspring
#63. ‘The Rockafeller Skank’ – Fatboy Slim
#64. ‘Come On Spring’ – Antenna
#65. ‘Rumble’ – You Am I
#66. ‘No Shelter’ – Rage Against The Machine
#67. ‘The Unforgiven II’ – Metallica
#68. ‘Every Day Should Be A Holiday’ – The Dandy Warhols
#69. ‘Cinnamon Lip’ – Pollyanna
#70. ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ – Manic Street Preachers

#71. ‘Hello!’ – Happyland
#72. ‘Mr Charisma’ – Frenzal Rhomb
#73. ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ – Stardust
#74. ‘My Hero’ – Foo Fighters
#75. ‘Dragula’ – Rob Zombie
#76. ‘Saint Joe On The School Bus’ – Marcy Playground
#77. ‘Fuel’ – Metallica
#78. ‘Shimmer’ – Fuel
#79. ‘Don’t Go Away’ – Grinspoon
#80. ‘Bad Old Man’ – Babybird

#81. ‘Drinking In L.A.’ – Bran Van 3000
#82. ‘El President (feat. Thom Yorke)’ – Drugstore
#83. ‘Now And Then’ – The Superjesus
#84. ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ – Green Day
#85. ‘Harpoon’ – Something For Kate
#86. ‘Mama’s Trippin” – Ben Harper
#87. ‘Push It’ – Garbage
#88. ‘Wishlist’ – Pearl Jam
#89. ‘Special’ – Garbage
#90. ‘No Substitute’ – Chef

#91. ‘Benedict’ – Jebediah
#92. ‘The Ballad Of Tom Jones’ – Space
#93. ‘Untitled’ – Silverchair
#94. ‘Perfect’ – The Smashing Pumpkins
#95. ‘Tropicalia’ – Beck
#96. ‘Redneck Wonderland’ – Midnight Oil
#97. ‘Black Umbrella’ – Even
#98. ‘Baker Street’ – Foo Fighters
#99. ‘Saturation’ – The Superjesus
#100. ‘Sich Öffnen’ – Not From There

Quick Facts:

Artists: 70
Most Successful Artists: Quan Yeomans (with Regurgitator and Happyland) (6 tracks)
Number Of Countries: 7
Top Three Countries: USA (44 tracks), Australia (42 tracks), England (8 tracks)
Shortest Song: ‘Mum Changed The Locks’ – Frenzal Rhomb (1:43)
Longest Song: ‘The Rockafeller Skank’ – Fatboy Slim (6:53)

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