Tag Archives: greatest music

Smells Like the Hottest 100 of All Time. (Part 2)

This is what my blog is becoming folks. I get on a topic and then I try to stretch it out as long as I can.

In this case it is because of the Hottest 100 of All Time that Triple J is running again as a 20 year anniversary to the very first Hottest 100 in 1989.

In 1989 and 1990 Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ won the top spot. Then in 1991, Nirvana’s newly released ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ won No.1

Obviously the brains trust at Triple J quickly realised that whichever song was the most popular of the year would probably get into the ‘All Time’ list, so it was quickly decided to make the Hottest 100 an annual event which only covered the songs of the previous year.

Since 1991,  the All-Time countdown has been done one more time in 1998. Nirvana grabbed the top spot once again with Hunters & Collectors grabbing No.2 with ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’.

Now, what’s going to change in 2009? Will Nirvana win an unprecedented 3rd title?

The answer, my friends, is almost certainly, yes.

My second vote for this years Hottest 100 of all time is, you guessed it, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

Ok, stop rolling your eyes. It may be cliched and it may be too easy to vote for this, but hear me out.

The reason this song is so damn popular is because it changed a lot of people’s perceptions of what music could sound like.

Back in 1990 and 1991, music was desperately trying to claw its way out of the bright, electronic and synthetic sound of the 80’s. The radio was clogged with Roxette, Milli Vanilli and Guru Josh (It’s time for the Guru..)

I mean, did you know that MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This’ was the 2nd highest selling single in 1990?

All of sudden a new sound emerged from the least likely of places. Seattle? WTF is in Seattle?

As it turned out, A lot.

Green River, Temple of the Dog, Mother Love Bone, The Melvins, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees and Mudhoney all hail from Seattle.

Where the 80’s was surrounded around a cocaine infused LA rock club scene, Seattle was to become the centre of the Rock universe.

Except this time it was called Grunge.

Let me tell you about the first time I heard Grunge.

It was a night like any other, and I was listening to KIX 106 as I did most nights back then. This is before it was taken over by the Austereo network and before it turned into the ‘Classic Hits’ that we hear today. Back then it was not uncommon to hear Metallica’s ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ being belted out, or Skid Row’s ‘Youth Gone Wild’ being played way too loud. I even heard the uneditted version of ‘Killing in the Name’ on KIX 106.

I had heard ‘Bad’ Boyd Duczynski mention the band Nirvana and that he was going to play their killer new song. It was probably around 7pm (an hour till the Hot 8 at 8!)

It was then that the opening chords to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ hit my earballs.

I turned it up.


I have spoken to others since that still remember the first time they heard that song.

All of a sudden, instead of listening to Extreme, Vanilla Ice and The KLF, I was seeking out albums by Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.

There was also that video clip. The image of a dirty, messy 3-piece playing in front of a bored bunch of teenagers. In the next 5 minutes the kids turn into a unruly mob of ferals; moshing, head-banging and smashing the bands gear. (where are those kids from the film clip now?)

How awesome is that…

As a 15 year old, there was nothing better. I could shut my door, turn on my stereo and just forget everything else in the world except for those thrashy chords blasting out of  my ‘Sharp’ CD player (it cost me $500).

So, there’s my justification. I am not voting for it because it’s the ‘done’ thing, or because Triple J would want me to. I am voting for it because it has had a special effect on my life, as all of my Top 10 songs have.

Song No. 2 for the Hottest 100 of All Time voting. (in no particular order)

2. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

(to be continued…..)


All Time Baby. All TIME! (Part 1)

Today signifies the start of 2 things.

Winter (fucking brrr. 3 months more. Dangit.)

and, the Hottest 100 of All Time Voting at Triple J.

So this month, I dedicate myself to finding out the Top 10 songs of my life to vote for.

This is not going to be an easy task.

We all listen to thousands (probably tens of thousands) of songs in our lives. How to pick the best?

Is it your favourite to listen to? The ones that make you smile? The ones that you remember from pivotal points in your life?

The ones where you were sad? Happy? Angry?

But what about those songs that were released before you were born? Do you pick those ones that were successful? Do you have to include a Beatles track? A Nirvana track? A Michael Jackson track?

Each week I plan to dive headfirst into my musical history and pluck out a couple of worthy songs that will appear on my voting page.

This week I go old school. I go back to 1967.

I have never been a huge Bob Dylan fan, but while his voice may not be my cup of tea, his lyrics are something else, and his musicianship is outstanding.

What he did do back in 1967 is write a little song called All Along The Watchtower.

A little guitarist called Jimi Hendrix was then passed this track in 1968 and decided to give it a shot. He recorded it over and over until the Bass player gave up, so he recorded the whole thing himself.

The result? A beautifully structured, powerful but simple cover song.

Bob Dylan said it best;

“It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day”

Listen to the original version, as recorded by Jimi that day on Electric Ladyland as below

My first experience with this song would have been in my early teen years as I browsed through my dad’s record collection.

His Hendrix records always stood out for me, even if it was just for the cover-art originally.

In my first cover band during high school we also covered this song and it’s always been one of my favourites to play as well.

So there we go.

Song No. 1 for the Hottest 100 of All Time voting.

1. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

Stay tuned for more…

EDIT: News just in! Apparently Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager?