Hottest 100 fever is finally dissipating. The countdown has been unveiled and Triple J listeners are looking forward to another year of great tunes, and some particularly ardent fans might even be formulating their shortlists for next year’s voting period.
While reigning Hottest 100 king Chet Faker was the name on everybody’s lips in the days following the countdown broadcast, the only artist on people’s minds leading up to the big day was Taylor Swift, thanks to a popular social media campaign that sought to vote the singer into the countdown.
Opinions were formulated almost immediately after the campaign was launched by viral news site BuzzFeed, with many arguing that since Swift’s music had never actually been played on the youth network, she was therefore ineligible for a place in the Hottest 100.
However, it appears that a track that was never on rotation at Triple J did in fact make it into the countdown. Not only did it score a place in the world’s largest music poll, but the track, arguably one of the biggest of 2014, actually managed to place in the top 10.
According to records kept by J Play, who keep track of every song played on Triple J, Sia’s mega-hit ‘Chandelier’, which came in ninth place in the Hottest 100, did not receive airplay on Triple J until the Hottest 100 broadcast was actually aired on 26th January.
The ‘Happy Accidents Vocal Remix’ of the track was apparently played during a House Party set in early October, but according to J Play, the original complete version of the song (the version that made the Hottest 100) was not played on Triple J during 2014.
The stats seem to be corroborated by the Triple J Plays Twitter account, which does not list ‘Chandelier’ as having ever been played on the station. However, ample airplay was given to other singles featured on Sia’s 2014 album, 1000 Forms of Fear, including ‘Burn The Pages’ and ‘Elastic Heart’.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “I definitely heard ‘Chandelier’ played on Triple J”, and in a way you’re right. While ‘Chandelier’ has definitely been played on the J, it was in the form of a sterling Like A Version cover courtesy of former Unearthed High finalist Montaigne.
When asked for a comment Station Manager Chris Scaddan told Tone Deaf, “‘Chandelier’ was never on rotation, but was played on triple j House Party and Mix Up programs and won the 2014 J Award for best music video, so was included in the Hottest 100 voting list.”
“triple j has been playing Sia for more than 15 years, since she was a young artist in Adelaide,” Scaddan added. “We played 4-5 songs from her 1000 Forms Of Fear album on triple j in 2014.” While many longtime listeners will be aware of the station’s prolonged support for Sia, an interesting question remains.
Considering Triple J’s vigorous support for Sia, why wasn’t ‘Chandelier’, the lead single from 1000 Forms of Fear, put into rotation on Triple J? After all, the track was obviously popular enough with listeners to be voted into the top 10 of the Hottest 100.
While the reasons for its exclusion from rotation remain unclear, given Triple J’s stance on Taylor Swift, could ‘Chandelier’ have been left off because it was already receiving ample support from commercial radio stations, as well as television and online outlets?
After ‘Shake It Off’ was not included in the Hottest 100 (had it been included, it would’ve come in 12th), Triple J explained their decision to omit the track with a mock website dubbed TripleJFeed, which mimicked the layout of BuzzFeed.
As well as a reluctance to set a potentially dangerous precedent that would see each year’s vote trolled en masse, the site listed several other reasons why Swift was left off the list, including the fact that the station did not play ‘Shake It Off’ even once.
Considering all the controversy surrounding why Triple J didn’t play ‘Shake It Off’ (after all, no rotation means it has no place in the countdown), you have to love the irony that a song which didn’t get played on Triple J ended up making the Hottest 100’s top 10 anyway.