A 17-year old ballad whose meaning was never quite explained by its now-defunct British creators is officially the biggest song of the past 20 years in Australia.
Oasis’ 1995 hit “Wonderwall” is the surprise No. 1 on the state-funded Triple J youth network’s “Hottest 100” countdown of the past 20 years, which reached its apex on Sunday evening.
More than 940,000 votes were cast for the poll, which Triple J declares to be “the world’s biggest music democracy.”
The poll was modelled on Triple J’s popular annual “Hottest 100” survey, which is typically counted-down to coincide with Australia Day, on Jan. 26. Voters on the 20-year poll could choose any song released between Jan. 1, 1993, and Dec. 31, 2012.
There are a few takeaways. The U.S. accounted for the lions’ share of songs with 41, ahead of Australia (29), the U.K. (25), France (3), Ireland (1) and Iceland (1).
Several artists had multiple entries: Daft Punk, Silverchair and The Killers had three songs each, while Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, Gotye, Jebediah, Jeff Buckley, MGMT, Powderfinger, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead each placed two songs in the list.
The year 1997 was the most-popular musically, with 11 songs from that 12-month period showing up in the countdown.
And age apparently hasn’t tarnished the tunes. Songs from the 1990s (49) were only narrowly less popular than those from the 2000s (51).
There’s little chance Australian audiences — or fans anywhere for that matter — will get a chance to hear Oasis perform “Wonderwall” anytime soon. The Gallagher brothers have had a huge falling out and currently aren’t on speaking terms. Younger brother Liam has recently hinted that his cold war with Noel could thaw-out in years to come. Speaking to the NME for last week’s cover story, Liam said there was “unfinished business” with his former band and that he would consider reuniting the group to mark the 20th anniversary of the band’s debut album “Definitely Maybe” — for no financial reward.
“Wonderwall,” from the group’s sophomore album “(What’s the Story) “Morning Glory,” topped the annual “Hottest 100” in 1996, a time when Oasis were at the peak of their powers. The band’s Australian tour in support of their 1997 third album “Be Here Now” generated a lot of publicity, much for the wrong reasons. En route to Perth, Australia from Hong Kong in early 1998, Liam Gallagher was involved in an “air rage” incident which resulted in the airline Cathay Pacific handing Oasis a lifelong ban. Later in that tour, Liam Gallagher was arrested and charged with breaking the nose of an English fan during a headbutting incident in Brisbane.
The full list from Triple J’s Hottest 100 of the last 20 years can be found here.