Triple J Top 20 Songs of the Last 20 Years

Trip Start May 31, 2012
Trip End Aug 08, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Saturday, May 25, 2013

So a national radio station called Triple J is holding a contest to list the top 20 songs of the last 20 years. Kara and I were discussing what our picks would be, and we may go online and vote (if only to limit the number of Powderfinger songs chosen).

Think about it, 20 years.... Some of the initial ones we thought of are just a little too old to be on the list. Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit wouldn't make it, nor would Jeremy by Pearl Jam. Michael Jackson's Black or White is too old, as is I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. So we just started listing bands that we would include; bands who, over the last 20 years have shown their longevity or their influence on music. The main ones we came up with are Beck, Nirvana, the Beastie Boys, Fiona Apple, Pearl Jam, Portishead, Beyonce, Alanis Morisette, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Fatboy Slim, Daft Punk, Dandy Warhols, OutKast, and the White Stripes.

Now, obviously there are more influential bands and singers over the last 20 years, but these are the ones that we like most and listen to. Also, ones that we like and listen to that may not be included on the 'influential' list are Keren Ann, the Kills, Elliot Smith, Nick Cave, Weezer, Ben Folds, Silverchair, Foo Fighters, Motley Crue, Gorillaz, Blonde Redhead, Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes and the eels.

And yet still, there were other songs that we liked, but we maybe weren't huge fans of much else that the artist had done. Ones that sprung to mind were Gnarls Barkley (Crazy), Cee-Lo Green (Fuck You), the Verve (Bittersweet Symphony), Wheatus (Teenage Dirtbag), Gotye (Somebody That I Used to Know) and Blur (Song 2).

Obviously, we didn't agree on all of these. Some are Kara's picks and some are mine. I argued with Kara's inclusion of Motley Crue on the list but she just wouldn't budge, she loves them so much.

So, without further ado, here are our lists of the top 20 songs of the last 20 years.


I think the rules with the radio contest state that you can only vote for one song per year, but since this is our blog, we're doing it our way. Also, I had way too many songs on my list and had to cut some classics by the White Stripes, the Refreshments, Butthole Surfers, Foo Fighters, Alanis, Silverchair, Fatboy Slim, Veruca Salt, and Harry Connick Jr., so now I'm in a bad mood. And it broke my heart to leave Teenage Dirtbag off the list. Thank you very much Triple J.

And now here's Kara's list!

Kara's List:

So there you have it! Kara and I agreed on quite a few bands/artists and a smaller number of actual songs to include. I had to cut the White Stripes out of my list and Kara had to cut the Dandy Warhols off of her list, but it was really cool to discuss our reasons for inclusion and rejection and also to reminisce about what these songs meant to us at the time. It's been a lot of fun going back and listening to these songs; some songs are better than I remember and some don't quite cut it, but you can be sure that if a song brings tears to your eyes then it warrants inclusion on this list.

Now, the comments section is wide open for your your own lists, your additions/criticisms/corrections to our list and just general anecdotes. But please, if you have something to say about Moby, just keep it yourself.


Triple J just announced the winners of their song contest. They did a countdown all weekend on the radio of the top 100 finalists. Here is the list of the top 20 songs of the last 20 years, according to 940,000 voters in the Triple J Song Contest;

1) Oasis - Wonderwall
2) The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
3) Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
4) Hilltop Hoods - The Nosebleed Section
5) The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
6) Foo Fighters - Everlong
7) The Killers - Mr Brightside
8) Powderfinger - These Days
9) Gotye - Somebody That I Used to Know
10) Powderfinger - My Happiness
11) Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
12) Gotye - Hearts a Mess
13) Radiohead - Paranoid Android
14) Mumford & Sons - Little Lion man
15) The Prodigy - Breathe
16) Bon Iver - Skinny Love
17) Silverchair - Tomorrow
18) OutKast - Hey Ya
19) Blink 182 - Dammit
20) The Living End - Prisoner of Society

Kara got 4 right and I got none. But I kind of misunderstood the assignment.

     Here's a link that shows the top 100 songs;

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davidcombden on

I forgot one; Redemption Day by Sheryl Crow - 1996

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