The ARJ Hottest 100 – 2014

January 27, 2015

Was 2014 the best single year for music in the last 30 years?

The answer may very well be a resounding yes, as soul, avant-garde and Top 40 converged in ways not seen in quite a while. Influential hipster stations like KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif. introduced the world to Hozier nearly 12 months ago. Today, he’s on Top 40 stations across the U.S. and central Europe.

Meanwhile,Alternative evolved in ways not even KYSR and KROQ could imagine, as Cox MediaGroup’s Florida stations 97X in Tampa and WXXJ 102.9 in Jacksonville paced the entire nation in what “Alternative” means today. At the same time, Toronto’s newest radio station – Indie 88 – may very well be the “Power Pig” of Alternative, as it successfully attacked stalwart 102.1 The Edge at its then-unknowingly most vulnerable point.

Meanwhile, it was the year of Sam Smith, and of Robin Schulz. A wave of German alt-dance paced by Milky Chance flooded the airwaves, mixed in with a pop effort from Taylor Swift that sealed her place as the queen of the airwaves.

Still, there were many under-the-radar songs and acts worthy of greater exposure in 2015, including all of the saints (Saint Motel, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and St. Paul and the Broken Bones), Frank Turner and Tove Lo, perhaps the biggest surprise pop star of the year.

And now, with Australia Day on January 26, we have the Triple J Hottest 100 for 2014. Always a bit avant-garde, this year’s list puts a Chet Faker song at the top with Australian EDM act Peking Duk — an incredible act I’m in love with after not hearing any of their music prior to three hours ago — at No. 2.

It was a great year. So, without further ado, I present THE ARJ HOTTEST 100. These top 100 songs aren’t based on airplay, sales or likes to the act’s Facebook page. It’s a strictly opinionated look at what’s been playing on my iTunes all year, along with my personal preferences. You’ll see some songs released in 2013 that didn’t make it to my corner South Florida until well into 2014.You’ll see some songs released only overseas. You also won’t see Ariana Grande or 1D.  No Maroon 5 or One Republic?Sorry … Just because it’s a hit doesn’t mean I like it.

Don’t know some of these songs? Go to YouTube  or SoundCloud to hear the song in question.

THE ARJ HOTTEST 100 – 2014

1              MAGIC!                               Rude

2              MILKY CHANCE             Stolen Dance

3             SAM SMITH                      Stay With Me

4             TOVE LO                             Habits(Stay High)

5             HOZIER                               Take Me To Church

6             BIG DATA f/JOYWAVE                Dangerous

7             LILLYWOOD & THE PRICK f/ROBIN SCHULZ Prayer In C

8             SPOON                               Do You

9             MR. PROBZ f/ROBIN SCHULZ                Waves

10           CLEAN BANDIT f/JESS GLYNNE            Rather Be

11            ST. LUCIA                          Elevate

12            NICO & VINZ                    Am I Wrong?

13           TAYLOR SWIFT              Shake It Off

14           GEORGE EZRA                Budapest

15           SIA                                         Chandelier

16           SAM SMITH                      I’m Not The Only One

17           FOSTER THE PEOPLE  Best Friend

18           NEW PORNOGRAPHERS          Brill Bruisers

19           PHANTOGRAM              Fall In Love

20           ED SHEERAN                   Don’t

21            COMMON LINNETS    Calm After The Storm

22           ALT-J                                    Left Hand Free

23           SOMEKINDAWONDERFUL     Reverse

24           ST. VINCENT                    Digital Witness

25           BANKS                                                Beggin’ For Thread

26           ST. PAUL& THE BROKEN BONES        Call Me

27           VANCE JOY                      Riptide

28           ARCTIC MONKEYS       Do I Wanna Know?

29           BLEACHERS                     I Wanna Get Better

30          BLACK KEYS                     Fever

31           JUNGLE                              Busy Earnin’

32           MARLON ROUDETTE When The Beat Drops Out

33           SAINT MOTEL                 My Type

34          TENNIS                               I’m Callin’

35           ENO + HYDE                     Daddy’s Car

36          BASTILLE                           Bad Blood

37           MR. LITTLE JEANS       Good Mistake

38          INTERPOL                         All The Rage (Back Home)

39          LANA DEL REY               West Coast

40          JACK WHITE                     Alone In My Home

41           CAPITAL CITIES              One Minute More

42           LADY ANTEBELLUM   Bartender

43          TAYLOR SWIFT              Blank Space

44          GEORGE EZRA                Blame It On Me

45          ANNIE LENNOX             I Put A Spell On You

46          ALLE FARBEN f/GRAHAM CANDY      She Moves (Far Away)

47          DISCLOSURE f/SAM SMITH     Latch

48          MEGHAN TRAINOR     All About That Bass

49          ZHU                                      Faded

50          AMERICAN AUTHORS               Best Day of My Life

51           BASTILLE                           Pompeii

52           ELLA HENDERSON       Ghost

53           SHEPPARD                       Geronimo

54          ECHOSMITH                     Cool Kids

55           ARCTIC MONKEYS       Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High

56          SIGMA                                 Nobody To Love

57           KASABIAN                        Eez-eh

58          KONGOS                            Come With Me Now

59          JOHN LEGEND                All Of Me

60          NAUGHTYBOY f/SAM SMITH La La La

61           DJ SNAKE AND LIL JON            Turn Down For What

62           JACK WHITE                     Lazaretto

63          BASTILLE                           Flaws

64          ASEGIR                               King And Cross

65          IGGY AZALEA  f/CHARLI XCX                  Fancy

66          “WEIRD AL”YANKOVIC           Word Crimes

67          JAMES BAY                      Let It Go

68          CHARLI XCX                     Boom Clap

69          RAY LAMONTAGNE    Supernova

70          RIXTON                              Me And My Broken Heart

71           ED SHEERAN                   Sing

72           KLINGANDE                     Jubel

73           LP          Night Like This

74          MIKKY ECHO                   Smile

75           TV ON THE RADIO        Happy Idiot
76          THE WAR ON DRUGS     Red Eyes

77           KNOX HAMILTON        Work It Out

78          COLDPLAY                       A Sky Full Of Stars

79          FAUL & WAD AD & PNAU        Changes

80          BIRDY                                  Wings

81           ENRIQUE IGLESIAS f/SEAN PAUL        Bailando

82           LONDON GRAMMAR                Hey Now

83          KIESZA                                Hideaway

84          sElf                                        Runaway

85          TODD TERJE f/BRYAN FERRY Johnny and Mary

86          CHROMEO                        Jealous (I Ain’t With It)

87         BEA MILLER                     Young Blood

88          GRISWOLDS                    Beware The Dog

89          WATERMǺT                     Bullit

90         BLEACHERS                     Rollercoaster

91          TIZIANO FERRO             Senza Scappare Mai Più

92          NICK MULVEY                                Cucurucu

93          THE AVENER                    Fade Out Lines

94          ARCADE FIRE                  Afterlife

95          PARRA FOR CUVA f/ANNA NAKLAB Wicked Games

96          PHARRELL WILLIAMS               Happy

97          AVICII                                   Hey Brother

98          SAM SMITH                      Money On My Mind

99          ED SHEERAN                   Thinking Out Loud

100        THE MAGICIAN f/YEARS & YEARS       Sunlight


Originally posted to followers on Facebook in late November 2015.

POST-SCRIPT: The choice of “Rude” by Magic! as the No. 1 song of 2014 was based on early exposure to the track on San Diego radio stations, which gave the song massive airplay and helped spread the story well before mainstream radio in South Florida began to play the record. Hence, iTunes spins of the song outnumbered all other songs for 2014. Additionally, “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX was debated for its inclusion but appears as it was a “night out” track. Absent is Future Islands’ “Seasons (Waiting On You),” which has built in airplay thanks to a remix featured on KCRW in January 2015 and is a potential low entry into the 2015 list.


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