Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Toppermost but not Poppermost

I shouldn’t harp on too much about the Triple JJJ Hottest 100 of all Time that was counted down at the weekend. Everyman and his blog has given an opinion and as with all lists people are annoyed about what got in, angry about what got left out and convinced that their own list is better. However as a lover of all things listy it would be remiss of me not to say anything…

Overall there were few surprises. Smells like Teen Spirit was always going to win, people are still overly-obsessed with the limited talents of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead are now officially this generation’s Pink Floyd. It was slightly strange to see Elton John’s Tiny Dancer in there and in a list which rather depressingly was mostly about boys-with-guitars it was surprising to see that U2 - until recently the consensus as ‘biggest band in the world’ - didn’t get a single song in the 100.

Triple JJJ is ostensibly an alternative rock music station and this poll was only ever going to tell us that Australians love to rawk. However, even acknowledging the limitations of both the JJJ listenership and the very nature of public polls, it’s still a bit boring that there were no female artists. Save for the guest vocals of Liz Fraser and Shara Nelson on the two Massive Attack entries the top 100 was a Boys Only zone.

Even if we stick to (ahem) ‘proper’ music was there really no room for JJJ playlisted artists like Björk, PJ Harvey, Missy Elliott, Hole, Elastica, the Breeders, L7, Stereolab, Cat Power, MIA and Portishead? And whither the first ladies of pop? I can tell you for nought that Kylie and Madonna have turned in better songs than the Foo Fighter’s Evermore or Banquet by Bloc Party.

This lack of pop sparkle only served to make the chart duller and a bit too worthy. Just Billie Jean and Thriller made the count on behalf of the pop camp and no doubt even they benefitted from a late post-Jacko-death poll surge. I still can’t believe there wasn’t a place for Outkast’s Hey Ya! – surely one of the songs of the decade of any genre.

Dance music got equally short shrift. JJJ isn’t shy in supporting dance of all genres yet voters could only find room for a couple of Daft Punk tracks (although not Da Funk), the Prodigy’s Breathe (which might as well be a rock song) and Born Slippy by Underworld. Really? 21 years since acid house went mainstream and that’s the best people can do? The fucking J**n B****r T*io made it into this list so don’t tell me there isn’t some room for improvement.

Anyway, you say tomato, I say potato – a list is a list is a list. The only way to stop people griping about one list is to make another one. I propose a new poll, one that puts a 50 metre exclusion order on all boys with guitars. And when our poll is finished all those angst-ridden rockers will only be able to peer through the perimeter wire fence as we dance on inside in our sequins, feather boas and Kylie’s hotpants. Now that smells like teen spirit…

No comments: