Zan Rowe’s Playlist

Before she jets off to discover Next Big Things at SXSW we asked triple j’s Zan Rowe to dig deep into her musical history and reveal some of the albums that have sound-tracked her life (and share a couple of Hottest 100 moments while she was at it)!


INXSKick. I saved up eight weeks of my 9 year-old weekly pocket money to purchase the vinyl at my local suburban Brash’s store. I still remember opening it and seeing that giant “KICK” inside the gatefold sleeve. I listened to it over and over again, flipping that record from side A to B and back again. Even as a pre-pubescent kid I could still hear the swagger in those songs. What an album.


TechnotronicPump Up The Jam: The Album. My big brothers had eclectic tastes. One of them got by on a steady diet of NWA and Metallica. The other, Boyz II Men all the way. But they didn’t let me get my mitts on any of their gear. Until this. My oldest bro listened to Technotronic’s debut at full volume until he could listen no more, and then I got a shot. I still reckon their rhyming of “Eric” and “lyric” is second to none.


The BeatlesThe White Album. It was more of a forced separation than a break-up. I’d fallen in love for the first time with an American boy, and had to part from my suitor after two months of Beatles-soundtracked road tripping throughout the Southwest. I’ve never dug Back in the USSR so I always skipped that first song. In fact I think this copy was a cassette dub I listened back to on my Walkman and, for me, really began with Dear Prudence. But that song begins with the airplane tyre screeches of USSR’s last notes. This will forever remind me of balling my eyes out on flight back home, as the plane taxied off the tarmac.


Less an album, more a song. I defy anyone to not feel empowered by Motion City Soundtrack’s Everything Is Alright. In fact, a lot of power-punk emo hits get me. See: Panic at the Disco, also. There’s something about those curled vocals, that musical theatre aspect to it all, that just draws me like a moth to the flame. Or a kid to a lolly-pop. Sometimes on Friday arvos when everyone’s wrecked in the office, I’ll play this loud and everything really is alright…


You Am IHi-Fi Way. This album came out the year I finished high school. I was growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne, having just finished one chapter of my life and about to enter another. And this was the perfect set of songs to carry me along. Rogers and co. totally captured what it meant to be a teenager while shaping these stories into hits. So many hits. All the yearning, stupidity, heart and angst of our collective formative years live on this record. How did they get it so right?


John ZornElegy. On high rotation after I left my suburban formative years. There is some crazy, wonderful stuff on this. Campfire moments, chanting, and Mike Patton pops up at one stage. It’s the last album in my alphabetical shelves too. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Click to page two to find out Zan’s favourite (and least favourite) Hottest 100 moments.

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