The triple j Hottest 100 has just celebrated its 20th anniversary and as per usual, the announcement of 2012 winner was greeted with fiery debate (at least it was between a few commenters on our Facebook page and some kids we overheard on the bus). But despite the back-and-forth squabbling over Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's winning ode to opp-shopping, we as a collective music-loving community must have voted for it right?
This divisive response over "Thrift Shop" is pretty typical of how most Hottest 100-topping songs are initially received, and it got us thinking: what makes a great number one? What kind of songs do the wider voting public generally throw their precious votes to? Do we judge a song by its merit compared to all other songs on some intangible continuum or does it come down to how well it sums up the cultural zeitgeist of its time?
And how much does personal experience impact how you judge a song? AND, can subsequent experiences change our original opinions about a song? Should a novelty song be denied enduring cultural relevance because its unavoidable earworm status disguised its lack of substance or meaning? Were the white dudes who celebrated their flyness in 1998 the same guys who revelled in being an Asshole in 1993? And do they now shop exclusively in thrift shops?
So many questions, but together we can get one step closer to answering some of them. Please cast your vote for which song you think is the Greatest Hottest 100 Number One in the history of Hottest 100 Number Ones by taking the survey on Pedestrian TV.