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The Triple J Hottest 100 is an annual music poll, based on the votes of national Australian radio station Triple J listeners, in order to determine their favourite song of the year. Voting is conducted by SMS and the internet and begins on the new year for the previous year's songs. The 100 most popular songs are then counted down on Australia Day weekend - usually Australia Day itself, January 26. Australians have a public holiday on January 26 to celebrate Australia Day, and it has become an extremely popular way to celebrate Australia Day, with many traditions and party themes.

The poll had been conducted by 2JJJ in Sydneymarker starting in the 1980s, before Triple J became a national broadcaster. It was originally called the Hot 100 and ran on New Year's Day. The Brisbanemarker independent radio Station 4ZZZ had run a survey under the same name and on the same day since 1977 and owned the rights to the name Hot 100. Triple J was legally required to change the name of its annual survey.

The poll attracts over half a million votes every year (500,000 in 2004, 600,000 in 2005, 671,024 in 2006, 700,000 in 2007 and 800,000 in 2008). Triple J claims that it is the world's largest music poll. It began as a write-in poll; it then progressed to phone in, then they started listing the songs for the year so it could be done automatically via SMS and web voting. In 2003, it was only possible to vote on the Triple J web site; registration was required and limited to 10 votes. In 2004 this was expanded to 10 internet votes, and 10 SMS votes.

A compilation CD featuring a selection of the songs in the countdown is released a few months after the count; the first CD is still available .. More recently, a DVD featuring video clips for some of the songs is also released. These releases form a popular and effective source of income for the station.

During the poll's first few years (1989 to 1991), the eligible songs were not restricted to a particular year. The winner in the first two years (1989 and 1990) was "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, and 1991's favourite song was "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. After a hiatus, the poll returned in 1993, but was limited to songs released in that year.

In the 20 years since its inception, the artist who featured the most times (counting each song as appearing only once) has been Powderfinger.

Hottest 100 top fives and summaries

Year Top five Highlights
All time
  1. Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
  2. Hunters & Collectors - "Throw Your Arms Around Me"
  3. The The - "Uncertain Smile"
  4. The Jam - "That's Entertainment"
  5. New Order - "Blue Monday"
  • The first of the original series of Hottest 100s, in which songs could be selected from any year.
  • The list included two versions of the song "Kiss" the original by Prince at #34 and Tom Jones cover at #24.
All time
  1. Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
  2. Hunters & Collectors - "Throw Your Arms Around Me"
  3. The Smiths - "How Soon Is Now?"
  4. The The - "Uncertain Smile"
  5. New Order - "Blue Monday"
  • The second of the original series of Hottest 100s which allowed choices from any year.
  • The Cure had seven songs in the list, ranging from positions #11 ("A Forest") to #72 ("Inbetween Days").
All time
  1. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
  2. Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
  3. Nirvana - "Lithium"
  4. Hunters & Collectors - "Throw Your Arms Around Me"
  5. Andy Prieboy - "Tomorrow Wendy"
  • The third of the original series of Hottest 100s which allowed choices from any year.
  • The Cure had nine songs in the 1991 list, ranging from "A Forest" at #8 to "Love Cats" at #74 beating their own record for most songs in a Hottest 100 list; this record remains unbroken.
1992 No Hottest 100 Held
1993
  1. Denis Leary - "Asshole"
  2. Radiohead - "Creep"
  3. The Cranberries - "Linger"
  4. Blind Melon - "No Rain"
  5. The Breeders - "Cannonball"
  • Return after list hiatus in 1992.
  • Format altered only allowing songs released as singles within the list's calendar year.
  • The Cruel Sea scored three tracks in the list.
1994
  1. The Cranberries - "Zombie"
  2. Nine Inch Nails - "Closer"
  3. The Offspring - "Self Esteem"
  4. The Offspring - "Come Out and Play"
  5. Silverchair - "Tomorrow"
  • Soundgarden scored four tracks, Counting Crows scored three.
  • The Offspring scored back to back tracks at positions #3 and #4.
  • Tom Jones reached position #9 with "If I Only Knew".
1995
  1. Oasis - "Wonderwall"
  2. The Smashing Pumpkins - "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
  3. Coolio - "Gangsta's Paradise"
  4. The Presidents of the United States of America - "Kitty"
  5. Björk - "It's Oh So Quiet"
1996
  1. Spiderbait - "Buy Me a Pony"
  2. Tool - "Stinkfist"
  3. Ben Folds Five - "Underground"
  4. Butthole Surfers - "Pepper"
  5. Bush - "Glycerine"
1997
  1. The Whitlams - "No Aphrodisiac"
  2. Blur - "Song 2"
  3. Chumbawamba - "Tubthumping"
  4. The Verve - "Bitter Sweet Symphony"
  5. Pauline Pantsdown - "Back Door Man"
  • The most variety in a Hottest 100 to date, with no single artist getting more than two tracks in the list.
  • Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced the winning song, sung by "his eponym" The Whitlams.
  • Radiohead scored the highest double, at positions #7 and #9.
  • Pauline Pantsdown's track "Back Door Man", banned by a court injunction from Pauline Hanson, is voted #5.
1998
  1. The Offspring - "Pretty Fly "
  2. Ben Lee - "Cigarettes Will Kill You"
  3. Custard - "Girls Like That (Don't Go for Guys Like Us)"
  4. Hole - "Celebrity Skin"
  5. KoЯn - "Got the Life"
All Time
  1. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
  2. Hunters & Collectors - "Throw Your Arms Around Me"
  3. Pearl Jam - "Alive"
  4. Jeff Buckley - "Last Goodbye"
  5. Radiohead - "Creep"
1999
  1. Powderfinger - "These Days"
  2. Killing Heidi - "Weir"
  3. The Tenants - "You Shit Me to Tears"
  4. Fatboy Slim - "Praise You"
  5. Placebo - "Every You Every Me"
  • Powderfinger and Silverchair scored four tracks each.
  • #2 and #3 tracks were both previously winners of the Triple J Unearthed competition.
2000
  1. Powderfinger - "My Happiness"
  2. U2 - "Beautiful Day"
  3. Powderfinger - "My Kind of Scene"
  4. Wheatus - "Teenage Dirtbag"
  5. Coldplay - "Yellow"
  • Powderfinger became the first artist to have two Hottest 100 #1 tracks, in 1999 and 2000.
  • Rage Against the Machine scored three tracks.
  • Machine Gun Fellatio's "Mutha Fukka on a Motor Cycle" is entered a second time and reaches #67 where in 1999 it placed #59.
2001
  1. Alex Lloyd - "Amazing"
  2. Something for Kate - "Monsters"
  3. System of a Down - "Chop Suey!"
  4. Basement Jaxx - "Where's Your Head At?"
  5. John Butler Trio - "Betterman"
2002
  1. Queens of the Stone Age - "No One Knows"
  2. Grinspoon - "Chemical Heart"
  3. The Waifs - "London Still"
  4. 1200 Techniques - "Karma"
  5. The Vines - "Get Free"
2003
  1. Jet - "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
  2. OutKast - "Hey Ya!"
  3. The White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army"
  4. Powderfinger - " On My Mind"
  5. Coldplay - Clocks
2004
  1. Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
  2. Missy Higgins - "Scar"
  3. Eskimo Joe - "From the Sea"
  4. The Killers - "Somebody Told Me"
  5. Spiderbait - "Black Betty"
  • John Butler Trio and the Scissor Sisters scored four tracks each; Missy Higgins had two of her three tracks reach the top ten.
  • Two versions of "Take Me Out" were in this year's list - the Franz Ferdinand original, and the Scissor Sisters cover.
2005
  1. Bernard Fanning - "Wish You Well"
  2. Ben Lee - "Catch My Disease"
  3. Gorillaz - "Feel Good Inc."
  4. Foo Fighters - "Best of You"
  5. Gorillaz - "DARE"
  • Wolfmother had six tracks selected, the most ever by an artist, breaking a record set in 2003.
  • Bernard Fanning has now topped the Hottest 100 three times - twice with Powderfinger and once solo.
  • Gorillaz placed twice in the Top 5 (with a third song, "Dirty Harry", reaching #41), the first time this has been done since Powderfinger in 2000.
  • Ben Lee achieves #2 for the second time.
2006
  1. Augie March - "One Crowded Hour"
  2. Eskimo Joe - "Black Fingernails, Red Wine"
  3. Hilltop Hoods - "The Hard Road"
  4. The Killers - "When You Were Young"
  5. Scissor Sisters - "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"
2007
  1. Muse - "Knights of Cydonia"
  2. Silverchair - "Straight Lines"
  3. Kings of Leon - "On Call"
  4. John Butler Trio - "Better Than"
  5. Faker - "This Heart Attack"
2008
  1. Kings of Leon - "Sex on Fire"
  2. MGMT - "Electric Feel"
  3. Kings of Leon - "Use Somebody"
  4. Empire of the Sun - "Walking on a Dream"
  5. MGMT - "Kids"
  • Both Vampire Weekend and Kings of Leon scored four tracks each.
  • 48 of the Hottest 100 songs were by Australian artists.
  • Both Kings of Leon and MGMT placed twice in the top 5 - the first time two bands have done this. The last bands to achieve two songs placing in the top 5 were Gorillaz (2005), Powderfinger (2000), The Offspring (1994) and Nirvana (1991).
  • The song "Ice Cream" by Muscles which placed at #14 in the previous year's countdown is in again at #45 with a Triple J live acoustic version.
  • Kings Of Leon reach #3 for the second year in a row.
All Time
  1. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
  2. Rage Against the Machine - "Killing in the Name"
  3. Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"
  4. Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
  5. Radiohead - "Paranoid Android"
2009


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