Monday, 10 June 2013

Hottest 100 wrap-up, and how I got it horribly wrong

Well Triple J's latest Hottest 100, selecting from songs released in the last 20 years, is done and dusted. You can check out the list here, but upon reflection after the event, it's pretty clear why I could never survive as a professional bookmaker or a clairvoyant.  What I predicted to be in the list was totally off the mark.

I've also publicly declared that a certain Rage Against The Machine song would place highly, not even thinking that it was released in 1992. I incorrectly assumed that, because the song turned up in the first Hottest 100 of the previous year (the 1993 one), that it was eligible. According to Rate Your Music, the self-titled LP was released in November 1992, but the single was issued in 1993, but I'm splitting hairs.

Only two of my 20 songs appeared in the countdown: "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down at #26, and "Prisoner of Society" at #20. I was fairly correct in assuming none of the others would appear. You Am I's "Berlin Chair" was the only song of theirs to appear as I expected. Jebediah appeared twice; neither song I was expecting to be so popular ("Leaving Home" and "Harpoon", both from their first LP).

I really underestimated a lot of the entries in here. If John Butler was going to appear, I thought it would have been something other than "Better Man", like "Zebra" or "Better Than". I massively underestimated the popularity of Silverchair, with their god-awful track (well, ok, it was their first attempt at songwriting, and they were, like, 13 or something when they wrote it) "Tomorrow". It turns out that all the mid-20s people that would have voted for it were the ones who were about 10 when it came out and saved up all their pocket money to buy the CD single!

On Twitter, there were plenty of jokes getting around about the #16 entry...

I actually thought Jeff Buckley's "Last Goodbye" (#3) and "Hallelujah" (#36) would have been in opposite positions. Powderfinger were still popular, with two entries in the top 10, both from their 2000 LP "Odyssey Number Five".

I was dreading an appearance from Mackelmore's "Thrift Shop", but that didn't appear anywhere. It would be easy to suggest that even the staunchest fans of that song are now completely sick of it. I was surprised that Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" didn't appear, and also that "Creep" didn't appear either. It was a foregone conclusion that "Karma Police" and "Paranoid Android" would appear however. 

I had massively underestimated the popularity of Oasis. They landed at Number One with "Wonderwall". When that song was released, I hated it. In fact, I just blanket-hated the band. I now regard "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?" as the best record they've ever done, despite the bad mastering job of the original CD. While I like the album and the majority of it's songs, I still can't see the appeal of "Wonderwall". It has been said to me by someone who lived in Britain in 1995 that "Wonderwall" caught the emotion and the general feeling of the time. Maybe so, but when I asked what that feeling was, they couldn't explain it. It was the only Oasis track to appear in the list, so it was easy to assume that Oasis wouldn't trouble the chart at all. 

Interestingly, the 2minute-2 second powerpop blast of "Song 2" by Blur appeared at number 22. Coincidence? You be the judge. 

There was a heap of variety in the mix and it was fun to be nostalgic for a while, but it still only painted a small picture of great music released during the last 20 years. Interestingly, while a lot of the music selected has filtered through to commercial radio in this country, there is still one hell of a lot of it that hasn't, and the mainstream still has a lot of catching up to do.

I'd love to see the list of the next 100 songs - the 101-200 list. That would be very interesting...

You can listen to the list below via Spotify. 


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