Triple J radio in Australia conducts an annual listener poll, the Hottest 100, that attracts 1.3 million votes. It is one of the largest music polls in the world. The vote covers songs released in the previous calendar year.
The results for the 2011 poll have just been announced. Lonely Boy was voted the number 2 most popular song of 2011 in Australia.
For past results regarding The Black Keys in this poll see this post. The Black Keys’ previous best result was number 54 in 2004 for 10am Automatic.
It’s a significant result since The Black Keys cancelled their 2011 tour of Australia to concentrate their efforts on recording the new El Camino album, of which Lonely Boy was the first single. The decision to cancel the Australian tour cost the band $100,000 but the time off has created a hit record around the world. Clearly any resentment fans might have felt for the Australian tour cancellation was irrelevant to the result. Arguably, the band have now created a new fan base that wasn’t even aware of The Black Keys prior to the El Camino release.
The number 2 position is all the more significant since Lonely Boy was only released in early December 2011. It was therefore competing with songs that had been publicly available for alot longer. The result will surely fuel additional speculation regarding a tour of Australia in 2012. Current scheduling and comments by the band would suggest, however, that a tour is unlikely until early 2013.
The result shows again how important radio still is to breaking a band and popularising their music. Especially in a country where one radio station is as influential as Triple J is, since it can be listened to anywhere in Australia. In a brief audio interview with Pat Carney prior to the announcement of the number 2 position, he noted the support of Triple J in championing The Black Keys’ music in 2003 which created the band’s largest fanbase in Australia during their early years. The same phenomenon of radio support, of course, propelled Tighten Up to the top of the charts in the USA in 2010.
Interestingly, the artist who had a song at the number 3 in the countdown, Matt Corby, recently did a version of Lonely Boy live to air on Triple J. Pretty impressive it was too.