A statistical breakdown by Max Lavergne:
Everybody loves a list. That’s something we like to keep in mind here at triple j, in board meetings and everyday collegial banter between friends: “Everybody loves a list.” This world we live in is a strange and complicated place, and without a clearly defined raison d’etre it’s very easy to lose sight of the things that matter, and when you’re in the business of reviewing, ranking and playing songs for other people to enjoy or not enjoy, depending on the person and the song, lists matter VERY MUCH. That’s why back in 1993 we decided to broadcast an annual list of the songs that people loved the most out of all the songs released in a particular year. We decided that we would let people vote, and we would count the votes that they submitted, and we’d make a big fuss over the whole thing and do a big countdown on Australia Day. That’s what we did, and it worked GREAT.
But it’s one thing to do stuff and an entirely different thing to analyse the stuff you’ve just done and maybe, just maybe, learn a thing or two about yourself from it. Two different things right there, no doubt about it! And now that the 2011 list has been compiled and broadcast and enjoyed from coast to coast, let’s take a closer look at how it all went down, via the first ever triple j Post-Countdown Statistical Analysis Featurette!
36 artists who had never been in the Hottest 100 before got songs in the Hottest 100 in 2011! Matt Corby, Lana Del Rey, San Cisco and 33 other bands popped their Hottest 100 cherry this year. (That’s a sex reference. Please ask your parents if you don’t know what this means.)
FACT ATTACK: that’s up a whole six artists on the Hottest 100 of 2010! Also, 41 songs that made it into this year’s countdown were lifted from debut albums. What those two factoids mean is that the state of new music in 2011 was VERY healthy indeed and that next time you see your obnoxious uncle who insists that music was only good in the ’70s you can show him this webpage (ALTERNATIVELY: print this out and tell him it’s a newspaper if you’d like to make him feel comfortable) and watch as his pathetic arguments crumble into pathetic bits of pathetic dust.
Of course, the countdown also featured a bunch of triple j favourites from years past, like Florence + The Machine and The Black Keys. Amazingly, there were also a handful of legends who celebrated 10+ years of Hottest 100 appearances: The Strokes, who made it in this year at #41 (‘Under Cover of Darkness’) and #96 (‘Macchu Pichu’), but first stormed our 2001 countdown with three songs (‘Last Nite’ at #12, ‘Hard To Explain’ at #59, ‘New York City Cops’ at #66); Jebediah, who snuck in this year at #70 with ‘She’s Like A Comet’, but made their debut with two songs (‘Leaving Home’ at #10 and ‘Military Strongmen’ at #33) in 1997; Foo Fighters got two songs in the 2011 countdown (‘Rope’ at #63 and ‘Arlandria’ at #97), but made it in for the first time at #37 with ‘This Is A Call’ in 1995; Beastie Boys, who crept in at #90 this year with ‘Make Some Noise’ after breaking in with ‘Sabotage’ at #16 way back in 1994; and Radiohead, whose ‘Lotus Flower’ made it in at #61, after originally debuting at #2 with ‘Creep’ 19 years ago in 1993.
For the first time since 2005, not a single band featuring the Birds Of Tokyo and Karnivool frontman made it into the countdown. Very disappointing, Mr Kenny. Please try harder in 2012.
Only 10 artists had two entries in the Hottest 100, down from 19 in 2010. Eight artists had three songs in the list, steady on last year, and two artists had four. In total, 22 acts had multiple entries in this year’s list, accounting for 50% of the Hottest 100 in total.
Not one song in the top 20 had cowbell in it. What is wrong with you people?
In 2011, triple j Unearthed became a digital radio station. You know that! Congratulations on knowing that. We’re very, very proud of you. Did you know that several songs by Unearthed bands made their way into your heart, and from there, to the Hottest 100? Check out these stone-cold truth bombs: ‘All I Want Is You’ by Ball Park Music (#38). ‘Lay It Down’ by The Rubens (#57). ‘Air’ by Snakadaktal (#22). ‘Jungle’ by Emma Louise (#23). And ‘Awkward’ by San Cisco (#7). All true. All available now on triple j unearthed.
Not every band can include an animal in their name. That would be ridiculous! Bands would have to start doubling up on animals and everyone would get confused. It’d be a nightmare, actually. But it’s totally reasonable for SOME bands to include an animal in their name; let’s say about 10%. That’s a manageable figure. And that’s what happened: out of 69 unique artists in this year’s Hottest 100, seven of them - Boy and Bear, Owl Eyes, Husky, Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats, Little Dragon and Noah and the Whale - had animals in their names. Then there was Snakadaktal, whose name sounds like some sort of winged dinosaur. Possibly made of crispbread. They are the 1%.
As usual, Australian artists dominated the Hottest 100. BOOM. IN YOUR FACE, WORLD. 44 songs on the list were by Aussies, down slightly on last year’s 51, but still WAY ahead of second place: the USA, which mustered up 24 songs. The big loser of the year was Canada, who dropped down from five songs in the Hottest 100 of 2010 to just a single entry this year (City and Colour’s ‘Fragile Bird’ at #91).
Out of the songs contributed by Australians, NSW and Victoria tied with 16 songs each, thrashing the living heck out of Canada, Norway, Italy and France; Queensland came in third with 5 songs; South Australia gave us four; and Western Australia contributed three tracks.
Eight songs which featured featured artists made it into the countdown in 2011: ‘Somebody That I Used To Know feat. Kimbra’, by Gotye; ‘Boys Like You feat. Gossling’, by 360; ‘I Love It feat. Sia’, by Hilltop Hoods; ‘Bounce feat. Kelis’, by Calvin Harris; ‘Otis feat. Otis Redding’ by Jay-Z and Kanye West; ‘Bali Party feat. Nfa’ by Drapht; ‘Wildfire feat. Little Dragon’ by SBTRKT; and ‘Throw It Away feat. Josh Pyke’ by 360. Coincidentally, all of these featured artists were also alive in 2011 - with the exception of Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash in 1967.
If you believed the hype, you were probably expecting the Hottest 100 of 2011 to be one long procession of SKREEEEEE BRROWRRR WUB WUB WUB BWOOMP BRWOOAR-BROW WOMP WOMP GZZZASSHSHHH SKREEEEEE BOWWWW etc. Clearly, that didn’t happen: the defining genre of 2011 landed just five songs (by Skrillex, Example, Skream & Example and Nero) in the countdown. Six if you count James Blake, but with his tuneful singing and sensible hair, who would?
Yessirree, 2011. What a year! Thanks for listening to triple j and voting in the Hottest 100. And also for reading this statistical analysis of the results. May all your data be extrapolated warmly and accurately in 2012!
The 2011 triple j Hottest 100!
100. The Suburbs - Mr Little Jeans
99. You Should Consider Having Sex With a Bearded Man - The Beards
98. Niggas in Paris - Jay-Z & Kanye West
97. Arlandria - Foo Fighters
96. Machu Picchu - The Strokes
95. Naked Kids - Grouplove
94. Our Perfect Disease - The Wombats
93. Two Way Street - Kimbra
92. The Wilhem Scream - James Blake
91. Fragile Bird - City and Colour
90. Make Some Noise - Beastie Boys
89. Santa Fe - Beirut
88. Shuffle - Bombay Bicycle Club
87. In Your Light - Gotye
86. Light All My Lights - Seeker Lover Keeper
85. Gay Pirates - Cosmo Jarvis
84. Throw It Away (featuring Josh Pyke) - 360
83. Future Starts Slow - The Kills
82. Ritual Union - Little Dragon
81. Biding My Time - Busby Marou
80. The Truth - Pnau
79. Wildfire (featuring Little Dragon) - SBTRKT
78. History’s Door - Husky
77. The Look - Metronomy
76. Dreamshaker - Redcoats
75. Shot Yourslef in the Foot Again - Skream & Example
74. Bali Party (featuring Nfa) - Drapht
73. First of the Year (Equinox) - Skrillex
72. Foreign Language - Flight Facilities
71. Arnold - Luke Milion
70. She’s Like A Comet - Jebediah
69. Calgary - Bon Iver
68. Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair - Arctic Monkeys
67. Zimbabwe - Navy
66. Perth - Bon Iver
65. Re-wired - Kasabian
64. Raiders - Owl Eyes
63. Rope - Foo Fighters
62. Black Water Rising - Stonefield
61. Lotus Flower - Radiohead
60. Gabriel - Joe Goddard
59. Holy Moses - Washington
58. I Follow Rivers - Lykke Li
57. Lay It Down - The Rubens
56. China - Sparkadia
55. Escapee - Architecture in Helsinki
54. Turn Me On - The Grates
53. Holocene - Bon Iver
52. Good Intent - Kimbra
51. Money - The Drums
50. Part Time Believer - Boy & Bear
49. Milk and Sticks - Boy & Bear
48. A.I.M. Fire! - Art vs Science
47. Mary - Sparkadia
46. Hanging On - Active Child
45. Junk of the Heart (Happy) - The Kooks
44. Speak of the Devil - Hermitude
43. Itchin’ on a Photograph - Grouplove
42. What the Water Gave Me - Florence + the Machine
41. Under Cover of Darkness - The Strokes
40. Houdini - Foster the People
39. Cinema (Skrillex remix) - Benny Benassi
38. All I Want Is You - Ball Park Music
37. Killer - 360
36. No Light, No Light - Florence + the Machine
35. Cigarettes - Illy
34. I Feel Better - Gotye
33. Otis (featuring Otis Redding) - Jay-Z and Kanye West
32. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. - Noah and The Whale
31. It’s Nice To Be Alive - Ball Park Music
30. Bounce (featuring Kelis) - Calvin Harris
29. Sing It (The Life of Riley) - Drapht
28. Pumped Up Kicks (Like A Version) - Owl Eyes
27. Changed The Way You Kiss Me - Example
26. Techno Fan - The Wombats
25. Cameo Lover - Kimbra
24. 1996 - The Wombats
23. Jungle - Emma Louise
22. Air - Snakadaktal
21. Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex
20. Act Yr Age - Bluejuice
19. Promises - Nero
18. Jump Into The Fog - The Wombats
17. Even Though I’m A Woman - Seeker Lover Keeper
16. Tongue Tied - Grouplove
15. Helena Beat - Foster The People
14. Call It What You Want - Foster The People
13. Shake It Out - Florence + The Machine
12. Contact High - Architecture in Helsinki
11. Feel So Close - Calvin Harris
10. I Love It (featuring Sia) - Hilltop Hoods
9. Endless Summer - The Jezabels
8. Boys Like You (featuring Gossling) - 360
7. Awkward - San Cisco
6. Video Games - Lana Del Rey
5. Midnight City - M83
4. Feeding Line - Boy & Bear
3. Brother - Matt Corby
2. Lonely Boy - The Black Keys
1. Somebody That I Used to Know (featuring Kimbra) - Gotye