It’s as Australian as sausage sizzles, the Boxing Day Test and Acca/Dacca. Triple j’s Hottest 100 is back, and this year will be bigger than ever.
So, how do you tune in to a marathon playlist of 2016’s best tunes? And what’s so special about the poll anyway?
How do I listen in, and when?
The countdown begins at 12:00pm (AEDT), but you don’t have to be in Australia to tune in.
Hottest 100 parties around the world can all listen in no matter where they are — just follow triple j’s handy timezone guide.
For those partying at home, you can of course tune in on radio. Here’s a frequency finder to make sure you’re dialled in.
When did it all start?
In perhaps history’s greatest contribution made by an intern, triple j producer Lawrie Zion is credited with the poll’s creation in 1988.
Zion wanted to create a listener poll to determine their 100 favourite songs of all time, inspired by polls run by Rolling Stone magazine.
Through to 1991, the Hottest 100 were votes on ‘all time’ favourite songs, before the poll was rested in 1992.
From 1993, the poll took on the form we know now, with listeners voting for their favourite songs of the year, with the occasional all-time poll popping up in 1998 and 2009.
Who was the first Australian winner?
It took until 1996 for a local to take out the top prize, but Aussie rockers Spiderbait hold that honour for their song Buy Me A Pony.
That win saw the floodgates open for home-grown talent, with Australian bands and singers now dominating the polls every year
“Ever since then, through the end of the 90s and into the noughties, Australian music has registered really strongly on the Hottest 100 charts,” said triple j music director Richard Kingsmill.
What’s so special about this year’s list?
First up, triple j has revealed this year’s Hottest 100 is the biggest ever, with voting records broken as 2,255,110 votes were cast in the 2016 ballot.
A 7.6 per cent increase on the 2015 vote, 2016 will also see 66 Australian songs in the list, the most to ever feature.
Twenty-three artists will be making their Hottest 100 debut, with 26 artists in total having first emerged from triple j Unearthed.
Of the 34 non-Australian entries, 13 different countries are canvassed.
This year has also seen the Hottest 100 team up with AIME, an Indigenous school mentoring program aiming to help Indigenous students finish school at the same rate as non-Indigenous kids.
Triple j says listeners last year helped raise over $100,000 for the program, and it is hoped that AIME will reach 10,000 kids by 2018.
Weren’t there plans to move the Hottest 100 date away from January 26?
A review of the date for the Hottest 100 was announced in September last year.
As things stand, that review is still in progress, with triple j continuing to consult with the ABC Bonner Committee (the ABC’s primary advisory board on Aboriginal issues), as well as various Indigenous media, language groups and artists.
Later in 2017, listeners will get their chance to have their say on the prospective date going forward.
In a September 2016 statement, triple j said it wanted the Hottest 100 to be a celebration of the year’s best music on a day everyone could enjoy.
“We want the Hottest 100 to be an inclusive and respectful event for all Australians, including all the incredible Indigenous artists making great Australian music, and the listeners from all cultural backgrounds who love it.”
What kind of artists are the most successful?
First up, if you’re a female solo artist, you’re going to have to break some serious ground to take out number one.
No female solo artist has taken top spot in the poll — Lorde was widely tipped to do it in 2014 for her hit song Royals, but she was pipped to the post by Vance Joy’s Riptide.
Similarly, Missy Higgins’ Scar finished runner-up to Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out in 2004.
Bands make up the vast bulk of wins at 75 per cent, with solo artists (15 per cent) and collaborations (10 per cent) completing the mix.
As far as top-10 finishes since 1993 are concerned, bands continue to make up the vast majority of artists.
The band that has made the most appearances in the poll’s top 10 since 1993 is Powderfinger, comfortably ahead of the Hilltop Hoods, John Butler Trio and Tame Impala.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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