“bad guy” and the other 99 songs – what triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown has taught us

In my post last week I gave you quite a comprehensive overview of what the Triple J’s Hottest 100 is. On Saturday, 25 Jan, the radio station counted down the songs chosen by the public vote as planned. And, as usual, the were some good things, some bad things and some ugly things about it.

I’m not going to do another summary and analysis of what’s already been said many times since the results were revealed. Instead, in this post I want to talk to you about what could and should have happened in the countdown but – for some reason – didn’t. And I mean talking literally because I recorded you another video.


Some things need to be mentioned here before you watch the video, though.

The Hottest 100 is, obviously, a very subjective and unpredictable ranking of songs that – in my humble opinion – defies any logic. But because it’s based on people’s preferences, it’s also heaps of fun. And it is a good indication of the trends and main direction Aussie music is currently taking. Whilst you can challenge the industry’s choices when it comes to award ceremonies, you cannot actually argue with people’s music tastes. So when I say that things “should” or “could” have happened, I’m expressing my own opinion that is not carved in stone or scientifically proven. Bear that in mind, please.

My observations regarding the results are not meant to criticise anybody but are simply some thoughts that I have about the current state of things which – I reckon – might be surprising to not only me. So you’ll hear me talk about the absence of some genres, social groups or locations on the music map in the countdown. Some of my findings are a clear sign that something’s not exactly right in the way music is distributed or access to it is made possible. Some others might be just random things without any real foundation. Either way, I reckon it’s also in Triple J’s interest to crunch some numbers in a bit more depth and see if there’s anything they could do as an influential and opinion-forming medium to help bring more diversity to the countdowns in the years to come.

One thing is for sure: 2019 was the year of Billie Eilish who – as you surely know – is not Aussie but released a pretty special and innovative album. That fact alone determined certain things that happened in the Hottest 100 countdown already. But there’s more interesting or shocking stuff as well.

Just so you can follow me when I talk about it, the full countdown is here and more stats from Triple J are here.

And here’s me trying to make sense out of it:

Any thoughts?

Cover image: Wikipedia

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Love playlists?
Here are some I’ve put together:

If you care about lyrics in Aussie songs, this post is for you

Let me pose a few questions to start. When you hear a new song, what do you listen to first, the melody or the lyrics? How often do you check out instrumental music? Can a shallow message throw you off a track, even if it’s got an awesome beat? Do the lyrics matter to you…

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