*According to science.
Science has the definitive word on quite a lot of things, but given that it’s is so open to interpretation and taste, music is certainly not one of them.
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Despite that, a computer scientist in the University of London has sought to apply a formula to what determines the greatest songs of all time and, in his highly-scientific experiment, he’s come up with a definitive list of the top 50.
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According to the Daily Mail, Dr Mick Grierson examined a whole host of songs that appeared in ‘greatest songs of all-time’ lists in newspapers, on music stations like VH1 and in iconic music publications such as Q, NME and Rolling Stone. Indie, Disco, Anthems and Rock, they’re all in there.
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Commissioned by car manufacturer Fiat, who wanted to identify a song they could use to promote the FIAT 500, he also used analytical software in an attempt to put a finger on what exactly made those tunes iconic.
That involved taking into account factors such as beats per minute, chord variety, lyrical content and eh, timbral variety and sonic variance before arriving at the list you can see below.
We’re certainly not going to argue with number one.
Turns out science doesn’t have a bad taste in music after all.
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The Top 50 most iconic songs of all time
- Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
- Imagine – John Lennon
- One – U2
- Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- Hey Jude – The Beatles
- Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
- I Can’t Get No Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
- God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols
- Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns N’ Roses
- London Calling – The Clash
- Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
- Hotel California – The Eagles
- Your Song – Elton John
- Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin
- The Twist – Chubby Checker
- Live Forever – Oasis
- I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
- Life On Mars? – David Bowie
- Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
- Over The Rainbow – Judy Garland
- What’s Goin’ On – Marvin Gaye
- Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
- Be My Baby – The Ronettes
- Creep – Radiohead
- Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
- Respect – Aretha Franklin
- Family Affair – Sly And The Family Stone
- Dancing Queen – ABBA
- Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
- Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix
- Yesterday – The Beatles
- Jonny B Good – Chuck Berry
- No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley
- Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
- Every Breath You Take – The Police
- A Day In The Life – The Beatles
- Stand By Me – Ben E King
- Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown
- Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
- What’d I Say – Ray Charles
- Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits
- God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
- You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – The Righteous Brothers
- My Generation – The Who
- Dancing In The Street – Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
- When Doves Cry – Prince
- A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
- River Deep Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner
- Best Of My Love – The Emotions
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