Idol rival to jangling Keys

With <i>Lonely Boy</i>, former underground rockers the Black Keys dominated commercial radio playlists last year.
With Lonely Boy, former underground rockers the Black Keys dominated commercial radio playlists last year.

AUSTRALIA'S commercial radio stations are not a particularly patriotic group. In opting for an almost business-as-usual approach to programming their music in 2012, just one Australian artist, former Australian Idol contestant Matt Corby, made the list of the 10 most-played songs on radio for the year.

To add insult to injury, the track, Brother, was released in 2011, the year in which it was a huge hit on Triple J.

Usually the list of most-played tracks, compiled by the radio monitoring service AirCheck, indicates that album and download sales do not necessarily correlate to an act earning massive airplay from radio stations. Bland artists such as Maroon 5, Neon Trees and Train typically dominate.

Yet last year there was a subtle shift. For instance, the most-played song on Australian radio last year was Lonely Boy, a track by American rock band the Black Keys, an act that was once a cult favourite but which has become a blockbuster success story.

Indeed, Lonely Boy was unavoidable all year. According to AirCheck, the track was spun 16,244 times through the year on Australian radio.

Similarly, red-headed British singer Ed Sheeran enjoyed an emphatic breakthrough year, playing the biggest shows of his career and selling big numbers of albums. His tracks Lego House and The A Team were the second and 13th most-played tracks.

The best pop single of the year, Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe, was the third most-played track of 2012.

American pop act Fun. enjoyed a breakthrough year. They had two entries in the top 10: We Are Young and Some Nights.

There were some other notable pop moments included on the chart: Brokenhearted by Karmin (12); Take Care by Drake and Rihanna (30); Rita Ora's How We Do (Party) (40) and Taylor Swift's We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (44).

Somewhat surprisingly, the most-played track in Britain and the US, Somebody That I Used To Know, the huge pop breakthrough for Melbourne star Gotye, while still earning significant airplay last year, was only the 27th most-played track. In 2011 it was at number 55.

Other Australian acts that did well included Timomatic (21 and 91), Guy Sebastian (22 and 53), Justice Crew (26), Delta Goodrem (66), Hilltop Hoods (78), 360 (89) and Havana Brown (96).

Excellent tracks by Australian acts Oh Mercy, the Temper Trap, Emma Louise, Van She, Something for Kate, the Rubens, Flume and San Cisco were again under-represented on Australian commercial radio playlists.

The most-played songs on Australian radio in 2012

1. Lonely Boy - the Black Keys

2. Lego House - Ed Sheeran

3. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen

4. We Are Young - Fun. feat Janelle Monae

5. Brother - Matt Corby

6. Paradise - Coldplay

7. Drive By - Train

8. One More Night - Maroon 5

9. Blow Me (One Last Kiss) - Pink

10. Some Nights - Fun.

This story Idol rival to jangling Keys first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.