The debut solo single of Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning on Thursday (Jan. 26) topped Australia’s most significant radio poll, the Triple J “Hottest 100.” Listeners of the national youth radio network voted Fanning’s “Wish You Well” (Dew Process/Universal Music) as the best track of 2005.
The song is taken from Fanning’s album “Tea & Sympathy,” which opened at No. 1 on the Australian Recording Industry Assn. last year and has sold 210,000 units (triple platinum), according to Dew Process.
Australian singer songwriter Ben Lee’s crossover hit “Catch My Disease” (Five Fingers/Inertia) was No. 2 on the list. Sydney-based power trio Wolfmother (Modular/Universal) had a record six tracks in the “Hot 100,” with two in the Top 10.
“This was another exciting year musically for Triple J,” said program director Richard Kingsmill. “There is a wave of excitement for a lot of the new bands coming through, and much of that excitement surrounds the up and coming Australian bands.”
Domestic artists accounted for 50% of the list, a significant figure when considering that home-grown acts garner about 20% of radio airplay on commercial radio.
The government-run Triple J plays non-commercial music, does not accept advertisements, and has a listening audience that is one third of that of other commercial radio networks. However, it is considered such a taste-maker for its 15-25 demographic that record labels here see airplay on it as a significant part of their marketing campaigns.
Since its introduction in 1989, the countdown of the “Hottest 100” is considered an integral part of the Jan. 26 Australia Day national holiday festivities.
A record 606,060 votes were cast through online services and through text messaging. Last year, the poll drew 470,000 votes, the station said. Australia’s population is currently estimated at about 20 million.
In other Australia Day festivities, Victorian country singer songwriter Reg Poole and Adelaide-based 1960s pop singer Bev Harrell were awarded Order of Australia medals by the government for their contribution to entertainment and for charity work.