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A Computer Scientist Analyses the Most Popular Songs throughout History (50 pics)

Posted in Random » Interesting   29 Sep 2015   / 4632 views

Dr. Mick Grierson from Goldsmiths, University of London took the “all time best” lists produced by the likes of Rolling Stone, VH-1 and Q magazine and used software to analyse the similarities between them. He discovered that most of these songs all had around 500 beats and their chord changes were low.


50. “Best Of My Love,” The Emotions

49. “River Deep Mountain High,” Ike and Tina Turner

48. “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke

47. “When Doves Cry,” Prince

46. “Dancing In The Street,” Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

45. “My Generation,” The Who

44. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” The Righteous Brothers

43. “God Only Knows,” The Beach Boys
42. “Sultans of Swing,” Dire Straits
41. “What’d I Say,” Ray Charles
40. “Gimme Shelter,” The Rolling Stones
39. “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” James Brown
38. “Stand by Me,” Ben E. King
37. “A Day in the Life.” The Beatles
36. “Every Breath You Take,” The Police
35. “Hallelujah,” Jeff Buckley
34. “No Woman No Cry,” Bob Marley
33. Jonny B Good,” Chuck Berry
32. “Yesterday,” The Beatles
31. “Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix
30. “Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys
29. “Dancing Queen,” ABBA
28. “Family Affair,” Sky and the Family Stone
27. “Respect,” Aretha Franklin
26. “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Simon & Garfunkel
25. “Creep,” Radiohead
24. “Be My Baby,” The Ronettes
23. “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen
23. “What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye
21. “Over the Rainbow,” Judy Garland
20. “Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis Presley
19. “Life on Mars,” David Bowie

18. “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston

17. “Live Forever,” Oasis

16. “The Twist,” Chubby Checker

15. “Stairway to Heaven,” Led Zeppelin

14. “Your Song,” Elton John

13. “Hotel California,” The Eagles

12. “Waterloo Sunset,” The Kinks

11. “London Calling,” The Clash

10. “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Guns N’ Roses

9. “God Save the Queen,” Sex Pistols

8. “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” Rolling Stones

7. “Like a Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan

6. “Hey Jude,” The Beatles

5. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen

4. “Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson

3. “One,” U2

2. “Imagine,” John Lennon

And the big winner is… “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” by Nirvana.

All of this was commissioned by FIAT so they could utilize the information to select a song to promote their new car.

After the hard work, Dr. Grierson admits “even by applying scientific process, what is considered iconic is ultimately up to the individual. My conclusion is that if you want a formula for creating great music, there is one: you just have to make something that sounds great.”

Comments (2):

oldchrome 2 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
#24 “Respect,” Aretha Franklin
#26 “Creep,” Radiohead
... need swapped ;)
BuzzBuzzBuzz 2 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
Advice: Don't allow the record companies to force your music into easily forgettable mediocrity...