Over the past few years, Web Watch has covered all sorts of information about what makes a pop song a hit.
We’ve talked about how you ONLY NEED FOUR CHORDS TO WRITE THE PERFECT POP SONG, how the KEY OF A SONG CAN PREDICT ITS POPULARITY, that MOST POP SONGS ARE ABOUT SEX, and even what the PERFECT SONG LENGTH should be for a hit song.
But now we have some science to thank for proving that everything Web Watch has told you in the past is absolutely true. See? It pays to read Web Watch and be on the cutting edge of everything!
So what’s working in our favor is that Billboard magazine has been listing years and years of Top Ten charts, showcasing what the most popular songs have been over the past decades.
All it took was some enterprising Rutgers grad students to analyze that data and come up with their summary of WHAT MAKES A PERFECT SONG?
As you read their analysis, you’ll see that they’re the first ones to tell you that there are some flaws.
Well, more along the lines of flaws in their data. Their analysis is fine… but if the data is crap, then what they conclude can also have some bad assumptions in there. But there’s still enough quality data overall that trends can be determined, even if there are a few outliers that need to be ignored. After all, they had over 4,200 songs to look at — that should be more than enough to determine how music has changed over the years.
The folks behind the study haven’t come up with definitive conclusions yet, all they’re looking at are whether there are interesting correlations. They’re working on the conclusion portion, so just give them some time.
Think you can provide your own info? Play with their data yourself and see what trends you can find. For example, scroll through the “danceability” chart to see how songs have trended over time (the 80’s were definitely special, weren’t they?). Or check out how Journey’s DON’T STOP BELIEVING has been on the chart since 1982.
Who knows? With enough folks looking at the data that’s provided, maybe we can explain why Tubthumpin’ didn’t last as long as it should have.