Hottest 100 by the Book

Machine Gun Fellatio are part of a small collective of artists that have managed have managed to feature in Triple J’s Hottest 100 for more than five consecutive years. MGF completed this feat between 1999 and 2004. Pinky and company charted at 59th place in ’99 with Mutha Fukka On A Motorcycle. They returned next year, higher up the chart at number 16, with the far-less jaunty Unsent Letter. The Girl Of My Dreams Is Giving Me Nightmares made an appearance at 30th place in 2001. 2002 was the band’s best year, making the 6th spot theirs with the ear-worm Rollercoaster. Voices In My Head made the 88th spot in 2003, and What the Fuck appeared at number 34 in ’04.

We know this, because Tyler knows this.

By day, Tyler Jenke is a Woolies Checkout Chick. By night, he’s an aspiring music journo and keeper of a database dedicated to facts on ‘the world’s largest music democracy’ – Triple J’s Hottest 100.

808Tyler Jenkie – Hottest 100 Rain Man.
Courtesy of Tyler Jenke

Tyler’s site – Hottest100.org – pays homage to the ABC’s event. It’s a procrastinator’s dream; a rabbit-hole of factoids for internet-browsing music nerds. Find one curiosity and you’ll want another.

The Hottest 100, began in 1989, a few years before Tyler even graced the Earth. His commitment to it, however, started in the mid 2000s. “I was always aware of Triple J growing up. I’d always seen ads for the yearly compilations and I’d always happened to find them at friend’s places here and there, but I’d never really paid much attention to them.”

It was Cornershop’s 1997 single Brimful of Asha that sparked Tyler’s interest in the countdown itself. “I was looking for a specific song (Brimful), but could only find the more well-known remix by Fatboy Slim. I bemoaned this fact to a friend of mine who said he had the 2003 ‘Hottest Box’ box set at his house which featured the song.

“He loaned me the set and I devoured it over the weeks of January 2005; I was just hooked on it.
“I read all the liner notes, researched the bands, and just absolutely became enamoured with this tribute to this musical entity I hadn’t had the chance to familiarise myself with. It also made me feel a sense of pride in a way. I felt proud of the Australian music scene and it’s ability to go toe-to-toe with the musical heavyweights of the world and, in most cases, come out on top.”

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“I think that’s still one of the reasons I love it so much. Especially now that it has gained so much international recognition and folks from other countries can take a look at the previous countdowns and enjoy the music that charted then.”

The burning question remains though – ‘why?’ Why dedicate nearly half a decade of life to building and maintaining a site dedicated to documenting and analysing a playlist derived from votes made by a public broadcaster’s listenership? Tyler explains, “the majority of the information that I had gained about the Hottest 100 had come from the Wikipedia articles about the countdown and the individual countdown years.

However, in 2011 there was some copyright issues with the 2010 list for some reason and it wasn’t allowed to be published on Wikipedia.

Tyler explains –

Over the years of using Wikipedia as a resource I’d also become somewhat annoyed at the fact that information I regarded as informative was disallowed on the site for being deemed ‘uninteresting’.

I remember wishing there was a way I could collate all the information I knew about the website into one location, away from the critics who would call my well-researched minutiae ‘uninteresting’. 
On the eve of the twentieth countdown, Tyler launched the first iteration of the site. Another year later and I took the original site down and replaced it with the sleeker, more accessible one that’s available now.

It’s forever a work in progress.

Of course, there have been detractors. I’ve had a few folks contact me in the past about the site, the majority of which are poorly worded insults telling me I’m wasting my life.The quote, often attributed to John Lennon, lurches to the fore – “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted”

In preparation for this year’s countdown, it’s highly recommended that you head to Tyler’s site.
Treat it as a form guide to peruse before laying down cash at the TAB – every great gambler has a system.

Swot up on factoids to drunkenly shout at your friends while shot-gunning tinnies.
Use it as you wish, but, do yourself a favour, and have a look.

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