Friday, July 10, 2009

feeling hot, hot, hot

I'm very excited because there is a new AS Byatt out! It's called The Children's Book, have justed started reading it and will report back later.

In other news, something that I would recommend checking out at the moment is Triple J's Hottest 100 of all time which can be found here in list format, and on the radio over the weekend if you want to listen to them count down. The top 20 are being revealed on Sunday. Hearing the ads for this on the radio, asking listeners to vote, I was incredibly dubious of the idea. How can you create something that tries to be so definitive? Reading the list however, I am sold. Not so much because I think they have actually managed to find the hottest 100 songs of all time, but because I think the execution is pretty impressive.

The concept is designed to celebrate 20 years of Triple J, playing on their annual Hottest 100 countdown. I'm relatively impressed with the range so far- there are quite a few decades represented, and we have punk, metal, grunge, rock and pop, electronica, reggae... But the thing I really like about it is the description of each song- drawing on historical backgrounds, interviews with band members and other information to give a snapshot of the song, it's significance etc. There's also a section on 'History', which gives an overview of musical developments from the 60's, which is quite fun.

I don't really want to rate the list at all, I myself have no idea what I would put into a 'Hottest 100 of all time', and I think that personal taste will play a very large part in what people think should be there- everyone will be quite critical. A few points though, it is very male dominated (someone pointed this out in the comments) with only around 2 female singers, both part of male dominated bands. Very men-in-bands-with guitars, although there are a handful of solo artists (including Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley). It also reads to me like a list for my generation- The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Clash feature, but I think these are bands we see as influential. The '90s is very over-represented, and grunge in particular- there's a bunch of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Silverchair features too.

While I think this is a list that will please no-one, it is an interesting concept, and I think they've executed it well, and this is why I think it is worth checking out if you have an interest. And you are welcome to come back here afterwards and complain that they don't have your favourite song/do have a song you hate. But bear in mind that I don't have to agree.


  1. Anonymous10/7/09 17:08

    There should never be the "hottest anything of all time". These lists always strike me as very much grounded in the moment.

    What about Greensleeves"? It's been around for a fair while, had a fair bit of air time no doubt. God Save the Queen (not the punk version)? "The Lord's my shepherd"?
    "Rule Britannia" was big for a long time.
    "Barney Google with the goo-goo-googlie eyes"? (Well, probably that one didn't last much beyond the 40's. I know it from a 78 of my grandmother.)

    Nah, this is a publicity seeking scam by an ignorant group for a culture with no sense of history.

    Cold water on your blog... :p

  2. Not at all, I completely disagree. For one thing, there have been 2 'Hottest 100's of all time' previously. If you don't see it as a definitive list, as how could it be when they have done it multiple times? But as a record of a particular point in time, it's very interesting.

    It's true that classical and jazz music don't get a look in, but I think the list is interesting as a kind of portrait of a what shapes a particular generation. And by calling it the 'hottest' 100 they can include whatever they want- 'hottest' being a word that is somewhat open to interpretation.

    If you look at the blog post I wrote, I did say I was sceptical of the list's achievement in producing a definitive list, but found the process and results interesting. So not particularly feeling the cold water?

  3. Wow, no U2, crowded house or live... sadness...

  4. Wait, I found a CH...

  5. I thought of you when Crowded House came on :)