Completely spoiler-free! Fresh! Original! It’s the first ever Model Triple J Hottest 100

MH100

Patrick on Twitter / Intstagram / Facebook

Back in November 2015 I posted a little 4,000-odd-word post, complete with end notes, analysing trends in Triple J’s Hottest 100s from years past and attempting to predict, before a vote had been cast, what the Top 10 might be. It was a joy to research and write, and when it caught the attention of Triple J, MusicFeeds, ToneDeaf, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian, among others, I was surprised and thrilled. My goal was to write an essay demonstrating my love of the Hottest 100 and the songs inherent and to spread some of that love to this website’s readership. After the negativity that surrounded the 2014 countdown, I wanted to promote the Hottest 100’s positive attributes, like its fostering of friendships shared listening to music, the promotion of Australian music and the unmatched brilliance of a day spent beer in one hand, sausage sandwich in the other, one eye on the cricket, the other eye on the tennis, both feet in the pool and 100 songs blasted through your aural canals. I am very pro-Hottest 100 and my post was in many ways the manifestation of my rejection of the cynicism that has laced recent criticisms of the event.

This follow-up post is the follow-up to that first prediction, which was only the Top 10, and includes a full 100 songs. I want to make a couple of points clear about the Model Triple J Hottest 100 (MH100), which I am bolding in the next few paragraphs so people skim reading still catch the gist…

My list is not based on counting votes harvested from shared ballots on social media. Whilst I have seen quite a few ballots on Twitter and Instagram in my normal social mediaing, I have not counted any of these votes, nor have I attempted to recognise trends. Because I actually enjoy the surprise factor of the countdown, I have actually tried to avoid sighting these shared votes (and the betting markets, for that matter), though I have naturally absorbed some of these franchising opportunities by osmosis and some of this will no doubt have filtered through subconsciously to my list.

My countdown is not intended to be especially accurate. I’m calling my list a Model Hottest 100 because it’s a bit like when Lisa joined the Model United Nations in The Simpsons: it’s a hypothetical approximation of the Hottest 100. It might be spot on, it might be way off, chances are it’s somewhere in the middle (my personal pride over/under market is 65.5 of the tracks make the actual Hottest 100, with my Top 10 all in the Top 30). I’ve built it based on historical trends, taking into account the sex of the vocalist(s), the performers’ nationalities, the genre, commercial performance, Feature Album status, the number of singles released from the album, the number of unique artists and countries making the cut, and many more statistical quirks besides.

My countdown is supposed to be fun! One of the major changes from my original Top 10 to my revised list is that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have gone Downtown, quite literally, from the penthouse to, well not quite the outhouse, but a more affordable apartment nonetheless. Pretty much the only negative feedback I got from the first post was that I had shamefully included Downtown in the Top 10. I definitely overestimated the resilience of Macklemore’s appeal, and while I am certain Downtown will make the actual cut, I have lost all faith in Downtown’s ability to take out a flagship position. Please don’t take this too seriously! I welcome any comments and witty feedback but know that this is all so inconsequential — you’re not Kendrick — you don’t gotta have a bone to pick!

For all these reasons, my countdown is not meant to spoil the Hottest 100! I actually hope I’m wrong — very wrong — so that the countdown is a surprise for me and for everyone else as well. When I first fell in love with the Hottest 100 (and it’s been a loving, caring relationship that has lasted longer than any interpersonal one!), the surprise factor was a huge part of the appeal. Until the advent of betting markets and Warmest 100s and Spotify playlists and sharing on social media and Buzzfeed campaigns — that is, before the build-up of the Hottest 100 industrial complex — it really was a guessing game as to which songs would end up where. I remember a music-loving friend having never heard of The Whitlams, let alone having heard No Aphrodisiac, when Gough himself announced his namesakes had overcome favourites Blur and Chumbawamba to the big prize. Although I don’t share my contemporaries’ retrospective cultural cringe for The Offspring’s Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), a song I still like, I was desperate for Cigarettes Will Kill You, Ben Lee’s masterpiece of late 90s shoegazing ante-emo whinging, to hit #1. I’ll even admit to having no idea what song had vanquished Straight Lines, surely an unbeatable winner from the day of its release, when Silverchair was played in the penultimate position for 2008 (in my defence, Knights of Cydonia was released by Muse 18 months earlier — how was I to know it was still eligible?!). Simply put, a lot of the surprise factor, and with it the fun factor, has evanesced over the past five years, and I lament that change, and I was intrigued and affirmed to hear Triple J employees telling me that they actually actively avoid seeing the votes come in because they (a) don’t want it ruined and (b) are terribly afraid they’ll give something away to others, spoiling it for them.

There used to be a time when you listened to the Hottest 100 as one last chance to hear all your favourites before the new year brought with it a new release schedule to wash them all away. Six months later (!) the CD would be released and you could indulge again in the ~40 curated songs; a compendium of the year that you would listen to on repeat until you couldn’t listen to it anymore and then you would shelve it in your CD tower stacker underneath all the previous ones you’d collected. Then, after a patient wait, you thought you had forgotten the words to Walking On The Sun and you excitedly tore it out again and slipped it into your Sony Discman, pumped up the volume and realised “it ain’t no joke I’d like to buy the the world a toga”, or at least that’s what I thought the line was as a naive schoolboy. With instant access to every song ever, via music streaming services, YouTube, piracy, or a la carte iTunes song purchasing for only $2 and change (in my day, a CD single cost $7.95!), we don’t have to rely on radio stations or compilation CDs to get our fix. And of course this Spotify Age is miles better than our slave-to-the-machine recent past, but just because you’ve gained a lot from advances doesn’t mean the obsolete technology was completely without merit: there’s a reason people still like wearing watches with hands and dials and no Apple logo.

Hopefully this wall of text acts as a suitable alert for people not wanting to see my Model Hottest 100, for fear it will spoil the big day, despite my best intentions. Here follows is my list, with more stats and analysis and prose to follow afterwards (and please forgive my very basic multimedia user experience)…

Patrick’s Model Hottest 100 of 2015

100 MajorLazerPowerful
100. Powerful – Major Lazer, Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley
99 Highcover
99. Another World – Royal Headache
98 Ratchet Commandments
98. Ratchet Commandments – Tink
97 Cream
97. Cream On Chrome – Ratatat
96 DitmasMumford
96. Ditmas – Mumford & Sons
95 Walk
95. Walk The Wire – Boy & Bear
94 Distant_Past_single_cover
94. Distant Past – Everything Everything
93 Foals_-_Mountain_at_My_Gates_cover_art
93. Mountain At My Gates – Foals
92 Queen_of_Peace_song
92. Queen Of Peace – Florence + The Machine
91cmn
91. Call My Name – Mosquito Coast
90 bodyache
90. Bodyache – Purity Ring
89 Long Loud Hours
89. Long Loud Hours – Urthboy & Bertie Blackman
88 FIDLARtoo
88. West Coast – FIDLAR
87 CaliforniaNightsBestCoast.jpeg
87. Heaven Sent – Best Coast
86 SnakeHipsAllMyFriends
86. All My Friends – Snakehips, Tinashe & Chance The Rapper
Mercy_muse_single
85. Mercy – Muse
84dyr
84. Do You Remember (Like A Version) – Wombats
83 scud
83. Scud Books – Hudson Mohawke
82 MØ_-_Kamikaze
82. Kamikaze – MØ
81 no great myster
81. No Great Mystery – My Own Pet Radio
80 Eves-The-Behavior-Electrical
80. Electrical – Eves The Behavior
79 The_Blacker_The_Berry_Kendrick_Lamar_Art
79. The Blacker The Berry – Kendrick Lamar
78 Alabama_Shakes_-_Dont_Wanna_Fight_single_cover
78. Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes
77 breathe life
77. Breathe Life – Jack Garratt
76 Omen_(Disclosure)_cover_art
76. Omen – Disclosure & Sam Smith
75 Bring_Me_The_Horiozn_Happy_Song_Cover
75. Happy Song – Bring Me The Horizon
74 tattoo
74. Tattoo – Tuka
73 hallelujah
73. Hallelujah – Rubens
72 apollo
72. Apollo – Last Dinosaurs
71 nobody
71. Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party – Courtney Barnett
70 Regardless_Jarryd_James_and_Julia_Stone_cover_art
70. Regardless – Jarryd James & Julia Stone
69 Downtown-Macklemore-Ryan-Lewis
69. Downtown – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis & Friends
68 Unknown_Mortal_Orchestra_-_Multi-Love_album_cover
68. Multi-Love – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
67 Greek_Tragedy_single_cover.jpeg
67. Greek Tragedy – Wombats
66 Blieveimgoindown
66. Pretty Pimpin – Kurt Vile
65 emoticons
65. Emoticons – Wombats
64 wave racer
64. Flash Drive – Wave Racer & Baby
63 Give_Me_A_Try_single_cover.jpeg
63. Give Me A Try – Wombats
62 Embracing_Me_by_SAFIA
62. Embracing Me – SAFIA
61 Yes I'm Changing
61. Yes I’m Changing – Tame Impala
60 Counting_Sheep_by_SAFIA
60. Counting Sheep – SAFIA
59 dumb
59. Dumb – Seth Sentry
58 kooky eyes
58. Kooky Eyes – Jungle Giants
58 evie
57. Evie – Last Dinosaurs
56 Something_About_You_by_Hayden_James
56. Something About You – Hayden James
55 restraint
55. Radioface – Gang Of Youths
54 Bend_by_Chet_Faker_(cover)
54. Bend – Chet Faker
53 alright
53. Alright – Kendrick Lamar
52 Ocean Drive
52. Ocean Drive – Duke Dumont
51 Jamie_xx_-_In_Colour
51. Loud Places – Jamie xx & Romy
50 CHVRCHES_-_Every_Open_Eye
50. Clearest Blue – CHVRCHES
49 Obelisk
49. Obelisk – Northlane
48 run
48. Run – Alison Wonderland
47 Florence_and_the_Machine_-_How_Big_How_Blue_How_Beautiful_(Official_Album_Cover)
47. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence + The Machine
46 Magnets_single_cover
46. Magnets – Disclosure & Lorde
45 too much time
45. Too Much Time Together – San Cisco
44 vice grip
44. Vice Grip – Parkway Drive
43 What_went_down_cover
43. What Went Down – Foals
42 shot fox
42. Shot Fox – Alpine
41 dead fox
41. Dead Fox – Courtney Barnett
40 soon we won't exist
40. Soon We Won’t Exist – Tiny Little Houses
39 monday
39. Monday – Matt Corby
38 swear jar
38. Swear Jar – Illy
37 anchor
37. Anchor – Birds Of Tokyo
36 shine on
36. Shine On – Amity Affliction
35 damn baby
35. Damn Baby – Alpine
34 forces
34. Forces – Japanese Wallpaper & Airling
33 cause i'm a man
33. Cause I’m A Man – Tame Impala
32 lay down
32. Lay Down – DMAs
31 FleshWithoutBlood
31. Flesh Without Blood – Grimes
30 Halsey_-_Ghost
30. Ghost – Halsey
29 deception bay
29. Deception Bay – Boo Seeka
28 true friends
28. True Friends – Bring Me The Horizon
27 young
27. Young – Vallis Alps
26 Fire_and_the_Flood_by_Vance_Joy_cover
26. Fire And The Flood – Vance Joy
25 snow
25. Snow – San Cisco
24 depreston
24. Depreston – Courtney Barnett
23 Rufus-You-Were-Right-news
23. You Were Right – RÜFÜS
22 some minds
22. Some Minds – Flume & Andrew Wyatt
21 leave a trace
21. Leave A Trace – CHVRCHES
20 Ship_to_Wreck_single_cover
20. Ship To Wreck – Florence + The Machine
19 The_Hills_single_cover
19. The Hills – Weeknd
18 Can't_Feel_My_Face_by_The_Weeknd
18. Can’t Feel My Face – Weeknd
17 eventually
17. Eventually – Tame Impala
16 say my name
16. Say My Name – Peking Duk & Benjamin Joseph
15 good times
15. I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) – Jame xx, Young Thug & Popcaan
14 twilight driving
14. Twilight Driving – Methyl Ethel
13 like soda
13. Like Soda – Violent Soho
12 the buzz
12. The Buzz – Hermitude, Young Tapz & Mataya
11 What_Kind_of_Man
11. What Kind Of Man – Florence + The Machine
10 Drake_-_Hotline_Bling
10. Hotline Bling – Drake
9 less i know the better
9. The Less I Know The Better – Tame Impala
8 magnolia
8. Magnolia – Gang Of Youths
7 pedestrian at best
7. Pedestrian At Best – Courtney Barnett
6 trouble with us
6. The Trouble With Us – Marcus Marr & Chet Faker
5 hoops
5. Hoops – Rubens
4 Do_You_Remember_by_Jarryd_James
4. Do You Remember – Jarryd James
3 king kunta
3. King Kunta – Kendrick Lamar
2 Tame_Impala_-_Let_It_Happen_cover_art
2. Let It Happen – Tame Impala
1 Major_Lazer_and_DJ_Snake_-_Lean_On_(feat._MØ)
1. Lean On – Major Lazer, DJ Snake & MØ

Model Hottest 100 Stats

  • Using broadly applied genre classifications, the MH100 contains 60 Indie/Alternative/Rock tracks, 26 Electronic/Dance songs and 14 Hip-Hop/Rap/RnB jams. This is very much in keeping with the persistent trend away from traditional Triple J guitar-based music and towards more MacBook Air-based music production, which my good friends at ToneDeaf covered earlier this month.
  • The 100 songs are belted out by 63 male voices and 29 females; there are 6 male/female combos and 2 instrumentals. The male count is well short of the all-time mean of 79.14 per cent, while 6 combos is in keeping with the past five years’ major surge in both sexes singing on a track (30 combos have placed over the past 5 H100s; there were only 9 in the 5 years before that). Two instrumentals would equal the all-time records set in 1994 and 1997 (Sweetness & Light / Mathar; Nightmare / Da Funk). It might be wishful thinking but my modelling of 29 female songs would make Hottest 100 history and, incidentally, would track with the steady but slow trend towards greater sex equality in the Hottest 100. The current record-holding year is 2011, when 26 songs carried only female voices. Over the 22 years of the Hottest 100, 17.18 per cent of the tracks have carried female-only vocals (378 songs).
  • Eight different countries are represented in the MH100: Australia (55), United Kingdom (27), United States (19) Canada (4), New Zealand (3), Denmark (2), Jamaica (2) and France (1) [the numbers add up to 113 because of collaborations and the like]. Over the past five countdowns, there have been (2014 first) 10, 7, 10, 9 and 7 different countries making the cut. The countries in question are broadly on trend: Australia, the UK and the US have long been the Big 3; we know New Zealanders will do anything to disrupt anything Australian; and — would you believe?! — one of the five Scandinavian/Nordic/North Sea countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) has been repped in 20 of the 22 Hottest 100s, only missing out in 1998 and 2001! If it’s not MØ from Denmark it will be Iceland’s Of Monsters And Men, Norwegians Highasakite, hard rocking Finns Lordi or beloved Swedish troupe Miike Snow (and yes I know Andrew Wyatt is American).
  • I’ve got Major Lazer at #100 and #1, mirroring Powderfinger’s tops and tails from 1999.
  • Triple J Unearthed High winners Mosquito Coast sneak in at #91. Japanese Wallpaper, the year prior Unearthed High victor, was at #97.
  • Both Jarryd James’ original and Wombat’s Like A Version cover of Do You Remember make the list. This last happened in 2013, when Get Lucky hit #3 (Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams) and #39 (San Cisco), and it has happened twice before as well (Harpoon & Take Me Out). On that note, I only have one Like A Version in the MH100, down from three last year. Again: wishful thinking.
  • I have Weeknd with consecutive hits at #18 and #19. An act having back-to-back tracks in the Hottest 100 has occurred in 12 of the 22 previous countdown. Never has an act gone 3-in-a-row, though Quan Yeomans hit #26, #27 and #28 as part of Regurgitator and Happyland.
  • Shot Fox by Alpine at #42 leading into Dead Fox by Courtney Barnett at #41 recalls Ramona Was A Waitress by Paul Dempsey at #32 leading into The Waitress Song by Seth Sentry at #31 in 2009. These are the only two song in H100 history have ‘waitress’ in the title.
  • There are 71 distinctly different acts in the MH100. There was 72 in 2014 (this happened by pure serendipity). There were 84 in 1993 — we’re becoming boring!
  • Former winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are back for their first appearance since topping 2012 with Thrift Shop. Their return means Denis Leary is the only winner to appear in only one Hottest 100. Other past winners to make the MH100 are Muse, Chet Faker, Vance Joy, Julia Stone and Mumford & Sons. Six former winners is up from two in 2014, one in 2013, two in 2012 and zero in 2011.
  • Lean On at #1 will mean France and Denmark become the sixth and seventh countries to provide a winner, after (in order) United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. France’s record highest is #3 Get Lucky by Daft Punk in 2013. Denmark’s is, and you’ll like this, #72 Lucas With The Lid Off by Lucas in 1994.
  • There are two Australian #1 hits in the MH100 (Downtown & Lean On) and that tracks with all but one Hottest 100 (2009) including a chart-topper.
  • Tame Impala has five tracks in the MH100, while Courtney Barnett, Florence and Wombats all have four. This aligns with those artists’ historically strong performance, appearance in the Triple J 2015 Albums Poll and Feature Album status.
  • Just for fun, Hoops is at #5 in the MH100 and in my #P100. We both had Surrender by Smith Street Band at #69 last year!

And for the record, here is my ballot:

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 3.34.13 PM

Don’t forget to vote!

One thought on “Completely spoiler-free! Fresh! Original! It’s the first ever Model Triple J Hottest 100

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