Infographic: Rock ‘N’ Roll Is On Its Way Out

A chart visualizing 10 years of Australia’s favorite music reveals a shift in musical taste.

As Americans resign themselves to the first real winter in years, Australia’s easing into summer. That means beaches and all-day barbecues this weekend, as the nation gathers for the radio countdown of the Triple J’s Hottest 100, an annual survey of Australia’s favorite songs from the past year. In anticipation of the event, The Guardian has released an interactive chart showing the change in genres making up the Hottest 100 since 1992.


Hovering over the streamgraph’s colored bands shows the year’s proportion of Hottest 100 songs from specific genres. The biggest story is rock and alternative’s fall from grace. Together they tumbled from a 50% share in the early 2000s to less than 15% in 2012. Young Australians just don’t want to hear any more guitars, it seems, preferring hip-hop, rap, and the tens of sub-genres that make up electronic music. Other trends include the steady rise of folk and pop.

The Guardian’s designers made two UI choices that ease users into the graphic. First, a “next” button invites you to step through trends the editors have identified, isolating certain genres on the way. Second, selecting a genre drops that stream to the X-axis, making it much easier to follow individual change over time.

The indexable database below the chart is also worth checking out. Tragically, many of the Land Down Under’s hits never made it to America over the last decade. It seems we were wasting our time with Sugar Ray and Limp Bizkit while the Aussies were blasting songs like “You Shit Me to Tears” by a band called The Tenants and “You Should Consider Having Sex with a Bearded Man” by (who else?) The Beards.

At the very least, it’s fun to see what moves the continent that gave us Kylie and Ja’mie. And if the cold’s really got you down, you can meet some Aussies and expats at one of the Hottest 100 listening parties happening all over the world on Sunday.


About the author

Gus Wezerek is a UI developer at Fast Company.