All the Facts, Stats & Winners of Triple J’s Hottest 100 of the Decade

Nostalgia was the biggest theme of Saturday’s countdown of the top 100 songs of the last 10 years, as Triple J listeners tuned in from around the world to relive the memories and times associated with their favourite tracks. It seemed an impossible task to narrow down 10 years worth of music into a simple 100 songs, but somehow when the countdown ended we couldn’t be happier. For this 27-year-old writer the countdown was the soundtrack to my 20’s and was a trip down memory lane that got me and my friends very emotional.

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Image Credit – ABC

Unlike the usual yearly countdown, music lovers across the world had no clue as to who would take out the top spot and what would be crowned ‘Song of the Decade’. Hot picks were M83’s ‘Midnight City’, Azealia Banks ‘212‘, Tame Impala’s ‘The Less I Know the Better’, RÜFÜS DU SOL’s ‘Innerbloom’ and Violent Soho‘s Covered in Chrome’.

The Top 10 songs saw nearly an entirely Australian showing with big hitters form each respective year. At the party I was at, every passing song met with screams of adoration and excitement. The top ten went as follows:

#10 Matt Corby – Brother – (2011) Original placement #3

#9  Angus & Julia StoneBig Jet Plane – (2010) Original placement #1

#8 Flume Never Be Like You(Feat. Kai) – (2016) Original placement #1

#7 Foster The People Pumped Up Kicks– (2010) Original placement #32

#6 Gang of Youths  – Magnolia – (2015) – Original placement #21

#5 RÜFÜS DU SOL Innerbloom – (2015) – Original placement #105

#4 Violent Soho Covered in Chrome – (2013) – Original placement #14

#3 Arctic Monkeys Do I Wanna Know? – (2013) Original placement #4

#2 GotyeSomebody That I Use To Know (Feat. Kimbra) – (2011) Original placement #1

In the end it was Kevin Parker who claimed the top spot with the aforementioned ‘The Less I Know the Betterat #1. It was a poetic ending for the Western Australian natives, as Tame Impala have had a career heightening decade. With their debut album Innerspeaker released at the dawn of the decade, we were introduced to the rift heavy, yet dreamy inside of Parker’s brain. With songs like ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind’ and ‘Solitude Is Bliss’ it felt like we were seeing the start of something extraordinary. The band’s second record Lonerism was released to wide critical acclaim in 2012, shooting the band from local bigwigs to a band that was a must-have on any festival line-up. The album included songs that are now ingrained into the lineage of the band’s career, with feel-good tracks like ‘Elephant’ and ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’.

But of course the breaking point was the release of 2015’s Currents, a display of Parker’s undeniable musical genius. The ebb and the flow of the record was a mixed bag of dream pop and synthesised 90’s samples that took inspiration from records like The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The album cemented Tame Impala as international superstars, jetissoning them to the top spot at Splendour in the Grass and Coachella. With tracks like ‘The Moment’, ‘Eventually’, ‘Past Life’, ‘Cause I’m A Man’, ‘Let It Happen’ and of course ‘The Less I Know The Better’, there was no doubt Currents was a masterpiece and worthy of its status.

So why was a song released all the way back in 2015 considered the song of the decade? Simply put, ‘The Less I Know The Better’ had the staying power that others didn’t, continually playing on Triple J all the way up until the countdown played. The song itself is an amalgamation of all the styles the band has displayed through it’s evolution: heavy bass rifts, walking drum beats, 90’s stylised samples, distorted guitars, dreamy synthesis and sweet melodic keys, all topped off with Parker’s extraordinary falsetto. The song is a constantly changing and evolving journey as Parker sings about that one dude, Trevor, who stole his girl.

When speaking with Triple J, Parker chalked up the song’s popularity to its longevity.

“It’s a song that hung around for long enough…I think it has aged well”.

Tame Impala have appeared in the Hottest 100 eleven times over the duration of the decade but this win was the first time for Parker. “I can’t describe how much of a big thing that is to me” Parker said.

Every number one track that conquered its respective years was featured in the decades list, including publicly criticised Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ ‘Thrift Shop’, and controversial dark horse The Rubens with ‘Hoops’. ‘Hoops’ topped the countdown all the way back in 2016, to the surprise of many fans of Kendrick Lamar, who was tipped to take out the top spot with ‘King Kunta’. However Kung-Fu Kenny got his revenge when he came in at #23, beating out ‘Hoops’ which grabbed the 45th spot on the countdown.

Almost every #2 song made the countdown as well, with just Little Red’s ‘Rockit’ and Flume’s ‘Rushing Back (Feat. Vera Blue)’ missing out. They snuck into the 200 at #113 and #152 respectively.

Nine songs that had never appeared in a Hottest 100 made there debut with Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’ at #97, ‘m.A.A.D City’ by Kendrick Lamar at #60, ‘Loving Is Easy’ by Rex Orange County at #91, ‘212’ by Azelia Banks at #68, ‘No Role Modelz’ by J.Cole at #85, ‘Dancing On My Own’ by Robyn at #74, ‘Levels’ by Avicci at #38, ‘Rum Rage’ by Sticky Fingers at #33 and ‘Innerbloom’ by RÜFÜS DU SOL hitting the 5th spot on the countdown.

The largest appearance for any Artist was none but our Sydney boy himself Flume, with seven songs. The Iconic ‘You & Me (Feat. Eliza Doolittle) {Flume Remix}’ , ‘Sleepless (Feat.Jezzabell Doran)’, ‘On Top (Feat. T-Shirt)’, the collaborative masterpiece with Chet Faker ‘Drop The Game’, ‘HyperParadise (Flume Remix)’, ‘Holdin On’, and of course his 2016 winner ‘Never Be like You (Feat. Kai)’.

Second Highest goes to Kanye West with five songs, Tame Impala and Kendrick Lamar grabbed four spots respectively. Arctic Monkeys, Gang of Youths, Sticky Fingers, Hilltop Hoods and Childish Gambino earned three spots each.

2012 produced the most entries into the countdown with 20 songs, followed by 14 songs for 201 and 13 for 2013. 67 tracks came from the first half of the decade. 63 songs came from male artists or all male groups; 11 from females or all-female groups and 26 songs involved both genders.

Two artists went back to back with winners Tame Impalagetting the #65 & #66 spot with ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ and ‘Elephant’. Childish Gambino had the other double up with #27 and #28 for ‘3005’ and ‘Redbone’. The only like a version went to DMA for their cover of Cher’s ‘Believe’, which nabbed them the number 6 spot back in 2016.

Only one song got the exact same position as the previous countdown; Kanye West’s ‘Runaway (Ft Pusha T)’ landed the #14 spot again as it did 10 years ago in 2010.

The countdown allowed us to share stories and moments from the past ten years. We’ve seen artists come and go in that time, and they’ve helped form our music taste for this era. Here’s to the next 10!

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