Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hummingbird/Hottest100Women overall

So, how many songs did we have in common, and how many were different?

Well, 24 songs appeared in both lists. These songs were more likely to occur in the second 50 of the Hummingbird 100, and in the first 55 of the Hottest 100. That is to say - the songs we had in common were more likely to be the more popular alternative songs, which were less popular than the standard pop songs. So to speak.

Also, there were 64 artists appearing in the Hummingbird, compared to 69 in the Hottest 100 (which we should point out here, is actually 110). This equals a 64% uniqueness ratio (yes, that's the official term) for the Hummingbird, and 63% for H110 - ie, Hummingbird has a slightly higher ratio of individual artists.

Of those 64 artists, 22 were in the Hottest110 - meaning we had a much higher overlap of artists, than of songs. Which makes plenty of sense.

Hummingbird/Hottest100Women Top 10s

Okay, so, comparing the top 10s.

The top 10 for the two countdowns, and their corresponding rankings in the other countdown:

ArtistSongH100W positionHummingbird position
Aretha FranklinRespect11
Kate BushWuthering Heights247
Tori AmosCornflake Girl371
PortisheadGlory Box468
BreedersCannonballEqual 5--
Janis JoplinAnother Piece Of My HeartEqual 5--
Sinead O'ConnorNothing Compares 2 U748
Dusty SpringfieldSon Of A Preacher Man863
Veruca Salt Seether9--
BjorkHyperballad Equal 10--
Mazzy StarFade Into YouEqual 10--

ArtistSongHummingbird positionH100W position
Aretha FranklinRespect11
PinkSo What2--
Gloria GaynorI Will Survive3Equal 96
AbbaDancing Queen4--
MadonnaLike A Prayer5Equal 28
Lady GagaPokerFace6--
BanglesEternal Flame7--
FergieBig Girls Don't Cry8--
BlondieHeart of Glass9Equal 16
MadonnaLike A Virgin10--

What can we read into this? Well, it looks like songs which were massively popular in the H110W countdown were more likely to be popular across the board - regardless of whether people prefer pop or alternative. Whereas songs that were massively popular in the Hummingbird100 countdown were more likely to be popular only within the pop fan base. Half of the Hummingbird100 top 10 songs which didn't make it into the H100W at all, were from the 2000s. IE Hummingbird is more likely to have more recent songs which are more likely to be popular only among people who are more likely to like more recent songs! A more specific top 10, I guess.

What I like about the Hummingbird100 top 10 is the totally disco feel, in fact. Madonna, Abba, Gloria Gaynor, and Blondie. I could dance to those songs all night long! I can't really say the same for the H100W top 10 - they're more bottle-of-wine and good-cheese and rage-til-the-morning kinda songs. Songs that say "I used to rock really hard. Now, I reminisce." *grins* Sorry, but it's true!

Hummingbird 100 results

So for those who felt that the Hottest 100 Women countdown was too 90s-heavy and too alternative-ish, head over to the Hummingbird 100 and enjoy their very very pop-py countdown! Some artists they included which we didn't, are P!nk (crazy popular in Australia), TLC (awesome R&B), Bic Runga (local-ish!), Kylie Minogue (we loved her when she was Charlene), Beyonce (that woman is astonishing - watch the Single Women video and tell me she isn't half Amazon!), and Kate Miller-Heidke (I think we're all ashamed she wasn't in the H100W). There is a clear focus on songs from the last decade or so, suggesting that the average Hummingbird voter was younger than the average H100W voter. There's also a preponderance of "mainstream"y music - songs you'd hear on Fox rather than on 3RRR (here in Melbourne).

Hey, it's not a countdown I would like to listen to - because I am a 90s alternative fan! But that's not to say that it isn't just as valid a countdown, or as valid a set of results (they had almost 10 times the votes that we did, after all). Are we all into "Women's Music - but only if it is Artistically Valid, which means She Can't Show Her Boobs, and There Will Be No Pop Melodies"? I admit there are elements of some of the Hummingbird artists that I dislike - the "raunch is empowerment" philosophy of Christina Aguilera, the "shock doesn't need to have meaning" of Lady Gaga (though I may be misinterpreting her whole schtick). But that doesn't mean that they are not artists. Their art is not my art. Their values are not my values. But hell, they are still artists, and their music IS music! Whether the countdown promotes as much of a variety of music styles - as much of a feminist flavour to the music - and as much musical invention and creativity as the H100W countdown - well, that's really a personal call. And as you could expect, as a left-leaning, feminist, alternative woman, I do prefer my own countdown. I don't like raunch culture. I don't like Fox FM. I don't like "post feminist" culture. But hey. That's me.

Just as the JJJ countdown should really have been called "Top 100 songs of all time by men", the Hummingbird countdown can be called "Top 100 noughties-heavy pop songs of all time by women", and the H100W countdown can be called "Top 100 90s-heavy alternative-cred songs of all time by women". We all have biases. There is no such thing as "better" music. Sorry!

(BTW, there will be another post with some fun comparisons in more detail.)