What is the most iconic song of all-time? You could spend hours arguing about this, speaking from the heart, stating your opinion, all that sort of stuff. Or, you could use computer analysis, as Dr. Mick Grierson did. Then, you’ll find out it’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
So, how did Grierson and his computer come to their conclusion? Grierson started with songs taken from seven “greatest songs of all-time” lists, which makes sense, because a song can’t be “iconic” if it’s not highly thought of. Then, he analyzed the songs in terms of “key, the number of beats per minute, chord variety, lyrical content, timbral variety and sonic variance.” Grierson came out with all sorts of interesting information, including that the average song he analyzed had 125 beats per minute, and 80 percent of them were in a major key.
In the end, Grierson crafted a top 50 list, and Nirvana ended up on top. “Imagine” by John Lennon came in second, and U2, Michael Jackson, and Queen rounded out the top five. Now, it should be noted that Grierson did not do this out of the goodness of his heart. He was commissioned by FIAT to find the most iconic song so that they could use a cover version of the winner to promote the FIAT 500. That’s the kind of practical business thinking that the late Kurt Cobain loved.
Congratulations, Kurt. You have the most iconic song of all-time, and FIAT couldn’t be happier about it.
(Via The Daily Mail)