My Votes for the Triple J Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years

My Votes for the Triple J Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years

jjj-hottest-100-past-20-years[image source]

This afternoon, Triple J begins their countdown of the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 years, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their yearly countdowns.  I managed to get my vote in right on the midnight deadline last Sunday night, and I figured that I’d share my choices today before the official countdown begins.

It’s always difficult to choose songs for these things – should I be voting for the songs that I personally love and think are the absolute best, or songs that I love and also think have a chance of making it onto the list?  This year, I tried to do a bit of both, but mainly focused on the latter.  There are three songs [all of which are mentioned below] that are probably my favourite songs of all time, but I know, based on their past performance that they aren’t going to make it.  For the rest of them, however, I mainly stuck with proven high performers.

So, in chronological order based on the year of release, here are my votes:

1993
REM – “Everybody Hurts”

Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1993:  #11
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

This is the best song to listen to during a traffic jam.  Also, “Losing My Religion” wasn’t valid, due to being released in 1991, and I really like REM.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Maybe.

1995
You Am I – “Purple Sneakers”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1995:  #24
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

This is a rare example where I did choose my favourite song by a particular band, rather than going with something more obvious.  I’m not sure why.  I got into You Am I embarrassingly late.  They were one of those bands that I knew about, but never properly listened to until I was around 18 or 19.  At first, I only listened to them because I was trying to impress somebody, but I very quickly realised why they have such a legacy in the Australian music scene, and they’ve been one of my favourite bands ever since.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  No, but “Berlin Chair” definitely will.

Oasis – “Wonderwall”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1995:  #1
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  #12

This song is a shoe-in, and deservedly so.  I could have just as easily picked “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, but “Wonderwall” is probably going to make the top ten, and unlike my usual Hottest 100 contributions, this time I wanted to include songs that actually had a chance of winning.  In other news, did you know that “Gangsta’s Paradise” came in at #3 in 1995, but didn’t make it into the Hottest 100 of All Time?  I guess for most people the novelty eventually wore off.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Yes.  Most certainly.

Pulp – “Common People”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1995:  #38
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  #81

“Rent a flat above a shop / Cut your hair and get a job / Smoke some fags and play some pool / Pretend you never went to school / But still you’ll never get it right / ‘Cause when you’re laying in bed at night / Watching roaches climb the wall / If you called your Dad, he could stop it all…”  With lyrics like that, how could this song not make it into the countdown?!  Although, honestly, if I were to pick my favourite Pulp song, I’d actually go with “This is Hardcore”.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Why, yes.

Alanis Morissette – “You Oughta Know”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1995:  #39
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

As a woman who sometimes gets angry, it only seems fair that I vote for the number one angry woman song of all time.  When I was living in Geelong, I remember sitting in front of our stereo, listening to Jagged Little Pill.  It’s been one of my favourite albums ever since.  I know that these days it somehow lacks the credibility to be a part of a Triple J countdown, but it did come in at #12 in VH1’s top 100 songs of the 90s.  At least that counts for something.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  No.

1997
Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life”

Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1997:  #29
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

I know this is another throw away vote, but although this song lacks the credibility necessary to make it into another Triple J countdown [damn pretentious music snobs], it is a great piece of music.  Go on, try to get that “do do do, do do do doo” refrain out of your head.  You can’t, can you? It’s impossible.  Crystal Meth is an awful drug, but in this case it inspired one hell of a pop song.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  No.

Foo Fighters – “Everlong”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1997:  N/A
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  #9

Amazing that “Everlong” didn’t make it into the 1997 Hottest 100 [although that was a pretty strong year, so the song did have some stiff competition], yet made it to #9 in the Hottest 100 of All Time.  This is another guaranteed entrant, although I would have voted for it anyway – “Everlong” is easily my favourite Foo Fighters song.  It’s just brilliant.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Yep.

No Doubt – “Don’t Speak”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1997:  N/A
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

Apparently, No Doubt are one of those bands that aren’t cool enough for Triple J.  “Don’t Speak” spent almost two months at the top of the ARIA chart in 1997, but didn’t make it into the Hottest 100 of that year.  Yet “Thrift Shop” was able to make #1 last year.  File under: ‘Things That I Will Never Understand’.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Sadly, no.

The Living End – “Prisoner of Society”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1997:  #15
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  #34

The Living End’s debut is one of the albums that sums up a period of my childhood.  I remember listening to it on camping trips by the Murray.  And, damn it, I was a brat who knew everything and talked back – so for a time, this was my song.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Yes.

Kylie Minogue – “Did it Again”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1997:  #81
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

A lot of people don’t realise that once upon a time Kylie had enough credibility to be played on Triple J.  I’ve written before about Impossible Princess, also known as the greatest Kylie album of all-time, so I’m not going to go into that again right now.  There’s no way that this song will make the countdown [unfortunately], but it’s nice to remember that there was a time that Triple J acknowledged Kylie and thought her worthy of their station.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  No.

1998
Ben Folds Five – “Brick”

Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1998:  #12
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  #67

I’ve always considered myself to be a fan of rock music, but when it comes to picking my favourite songs, or the ones that I think are the best, I tend to find my lists overflow with ballads.  As Shirley Manson sings in “Only Happy When it Rains”, “I only listen to the sad, sad songs”.  I think it’s because ballads have the ability to connect with you on an emotional level, and those are the songs that really stick.  “Brick” is an incredibly heartbreaking song, and seeing it performed live at Harvest last year was amazing.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Yeah.

1999
Garbage – “When I Grow Up”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1999:   #12
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

This isn’t my favourite Garbage song.  It’s not even the most successful Garbage song in Australia in terms of chart position or Hottest 100 ranking.  But, based on its overall popularity, I feel like it’s the only Garbage song that has a chance of making it into the countdown.  Even though it probably won’t.  Still, I couldn’t vote for the best songs of the past 20 years without including one by my favourite band of all time.  Also, this song was probably the most memorable performance of the entire Garbage Aus/NZ tour this year, when Shirley did this gesture at me, after I helped her with the lyrics [don’t worry, she meant it in a loving way], so even though it’s not my favourite, it’s still pretty special to me.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  No.

Blur – “Coffee + TV”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1999:  #47
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

When I was choosing bands to vote for, Blur were a given.  They’re definitely one of the best acts of the past 20 years.  But picking a song was difficult.  Unfortunately, the one definitely going to make it into the countdown is “Song 2”, and while it’s technically a Blur song, I just can’t vote for it.  I do love “Song 2”, but it’s not really Blur.  In that song, they’re making fun of another genre, rather than making their own music.  I wanted to vote for a Blur song that is quintessentially Blur.  And, “Coffee + TV” has a damn awesome video clip.  That should be worth something.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Maybe.  But “Song 2” definitely will.

Killing Heidi – “Mascara”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 1999:  #14
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

For a band that was ‘Unearthed’ by Triple J, I was surprised at the lack of Killing Heidi in 2009’s Hottest 100 of All Time.  But then again, there was an overall surprising lack of female vocalists.  For this countdown, I’ve voted for seven.  Fingers crossed at least one of them will make it.  Anyway, back to Killing Heidi.  When I was in grades five and six, I loved this song.  I wanted to be Ella Hooper.  She’s one of Australia’s best rock chicks, and “Mascara” deserves a place in this countdown.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  There is a slight possibility.

2000
Ryan Adams – “Come Pick Me Up”

Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2000:  N/A
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

This is the first of the three songs that I had to vote for despite knowing that they have absolutely no chance of making it.  In this case, I guess I can understand why – the song does have a harmonica solo.  But that doesn’t make it a bad piece of music.  Still, even its inclusion on the soundtrack to Skins isn’t enough for Triple J to pick up a Ryan Adams song.  But despite its lack of recognition, this is in my top three songs of all time.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  No.

2003
The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”

Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2003:  #3
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  #20

This one is a given.  I almost didn’t vote for it because it’s just too obvious, but I was tossing up between a bunch of different songs to fill the 20th position on my list, and “Seven Nation Army” seemed like the most deserving of a place.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Yes.

2004
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Maps”

Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2004:  N/A
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

“Maps” is quite possibly my favourite song.  Ever.  It’s the most heartbreaking piece of music that’s ever been written, and I love it.  Most of the music world seems to agree with me – maybe not about it being the best song ever, but certainly about its emotional power.  In 2009, NME named it the best alternative love song of all time.  Last year they included it in a list of songs that are guaranteed to make you cry.  Pitchfork ranked it #6 in their top 500 songs of the 2000s.  Rolling Stone placed it at #7 in a similar countdown.  Yet, it somehow didn’t make it into the Hottest 100 of All Time.  I just don’t understand it.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  No, but it should.  I have no idea why it is continually overlooked.

The Killers – “Mr Brightside”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2004:  #13
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  #38

Here is a not-so-interesting fact: I learnt to play this song on the piano after watching a series of YouTube tutorials.  Why did I do this?  Because “Mr Brightside” is amazing.  It’s the perfect example of The Killers’ ability to craft epic story songs.  Also, the irrational jealousy captured by the lyrics is so real and relatable.  Nice work, Mr Flowers.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Hell yes.

2009
Florence + the Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”

Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2009:  #10
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

Probably not the best Florence + the Machine song, but again, I was just following my own vague guidelines in trying to choose songs that might actually make it.  That said, it’s a great song and I do not at all regret this choice.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Yes, I think so.  At least one Florence song has to make it.  This seems like the obvious choice.

Arctic Monkeys – “Cornerstone”
Position in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2009:  N/A [although it was later announced that this song came in at #101]
Position in the 2009 Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time:  N/A

And now we’ve reached the third song that I felt like I absolutely had to vote for despite the fact that there was no way in hell that it would make it.  “Cornerstone” is the best thing that Alex Turner has ever written, and I honestly don’t know why other people don’t seem to agree with me about its merit.  Alongside “Come Pick Me Up” and “Maps”, this is one of my top three favourite songs.
Do I think it will make it into the Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years?  Unfortunately not.

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