Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hottest 100 songs of the last 20 years

On the weekend Triple J counted down, as voted by their listeners, the Hottest 100 songs of the last 20 years. It could have been the fact I'd just turned 29 and as we know, that went exceptionally well, but I got quite nostalgic listening to the countdown.

You can read the full 100 here, but the purposes of brevity, here is the top 10.

1 Oasis- Wonderwall
2 The White Stripes- Seven Nation Army
3 Jeff Buckley- Last Goodbye 
4 Hilltop Hoods- The Nosebleed Section
5 The Verve- Bittersweet Symphony
6 Foo Fighters- Everlong
7 The Killers- Mr Brightside
8 Powderfinger- These Days
9 Gotye ft. Kimbra- Somebody That I Used to Know
10 Powderfinger- My Happiness

I admit, I was genuinely shocked to see Wonderwall come in at number 1. Even though I think of myself as a Mancunian and even though there a lot of dudes still rocking the Gallagher haircut in Manchester, Oasis were not my pick. I'll tell you my top 10 later, but first, let's break down my highs and lows, starting with the lows.

I don't begrudge anybody else a place in this countdown, but Wheatus, the fact you're in there at number 82 with Teenage Dirtbag makes me curse the day you were all born. There's not a single Tori Amos song in this list and let me tell you, the woman can play two pianos at the SAME TIME wearing heels. Also, Where was Smells Like Teen Spirit? I mean...are you kidding me? That's like not inviting the groom to your wedding (or bride, to cover all orientations. Of course this is when FINALLY somebody in Australia grows the balls to allow all our citizens to marry. I can't find a husband, if you can, you should be allowed to marry him.) Let's move on...
**amendment- it's been brought to my attention that Smells like Teen Spirit is not eligible because it was released in 1991...but I'm leaving it mine, because let's face it, I can**

I did breathe a huge sigh of relief when we reached the end and we hadn't heard Offspring's Pretty Fly for a White Guy. I was 14 the year it came in at number 1 and even as a teenage geek I knew it didn't deserve it. Self Esteem is my favourite Offspring track and I was pleased to see it come in at number 47.

Hell yes to Modest Mouse Float On at 45, this song still gets me through any of life's hiccups. For the record, I've never crashed my car into a cop car. Inanimate objects mostly. Bins, get my drift.

Coolio rocked in with Gangsta's Paradise at number 85, well done buddy. Basically the only reason I know a single line from the bible, albeit only 10 words. But hey, those kids in Dangerous Minds learned about poetry through song thanks to Michelle Pfeiffer, so I think Coolio made his point. (Please if you do nothing else click on the link above to visit Wikipedia and read the plot of Dangerous Minds. It is truly hilarious.)

Stoked to see Franz Ferdinand take out number 29 with Take Me Out. We saw them live at Splendour in the Grass in 2004 and I remember thrashing around like a crazy person with my friends to this song. It was one of the best weekends of my life. It was also the weekend I learned that people over 35 should not take drugs when I was approached by a very high, very unattractive couple in the line for the portaloos. They thought I was very pretty and wondered if I would join them for a threesome. Should have just quoted Franz 'I know I won't be leaving here with you...'

I had a bit of a weep in the car when Bernard Fanning introduced his pick as Massive Attack's Teardrop, which came in at number 31. You can't argue with that, it's a truly beautiful song and no matter how many times I hear it, I am still touched by it.

There were quite a few more recent songs in the countdown, Gotye being one of them. If you've been through a breakup in the last two years don't pretend you have not cried listening to this song. Wally's a good kid and I find him very attractive, so well deserved. I was also pretty happy to see my favourite lady Lana Del Ray sneak in at number 99 with Video Games.

I didn't vote for a recent song, because for me the real test is how I feel about the song after many years and hundreds of listens. The songs I picked for my top 10 (they are in no particular order) all mean something personal to me. They are songs that no matter how many times I listen to them, I have a physical response to them. Some of them, like Middle of the Hill, I still cry every time I listen to it. It's a special combination of the melody and the lyrics and the memories that they bring back.

Tori Amos- Cornflake Girl
Nirvana-Smells Like Teen Spirit
Silverchair- Israel's Son
Jeff Buckley- Last Goodbye 
Smashing Pumpkins- Tonight, Tonight
Amy Winehouse- Back to Black
Bright Eyes- First Day of my Life
Portishead- Glory Box
Josh Pyke- Middle of the Hill
Elliot Smith- Waltz #2 (XO)

A lot of you who read my blog aren't from Australia, so I would love to hear your thoughts on what made it into our countdown and how it might be different in your country. Also, let me know what your favourites from the last 20 years have been and why.


Image via Tori Amos

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