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Best Songs of All Time according to science

Updated: Jun 8

A computer scientist at the University of London has attempted to apply a formula to what decides the best songs of all time and has produced a list of the top 50 in his highly-scientific experiment.


Dr. Mick Grierson reportedly looked at a list of songs that were included in "greatest songs of all-time" lists published in newspapers, on music channels like VH1, and in music magazines like Q, NME, and Rolling Stone. Rock, Indie, Disco, and Anthems are all represented.

He was hired by the automaker Fiat to find a song to promote the FIAT 500, and he also employed analytical software to try to pinpoint what exactly made those songs so famous.


Before arriving at the list you can see below, it included taking into account elements like beats per minute, chord variation, lyrical content, and sound variance.


The Most Iconic Songs of All Time

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

  2. Imagine - John Lennon

  3. One - U2

  4. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson

  5. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

  6. Hey Jude - The Beatles

  7. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan

  8. I Can't Get No Satisfaction - Rolling Stones

  9. God Save The Queen - Sex Pistols

  10. Sweet Child O'Mine - Guns N' Roses

  11. London Calling - The Clash

  12. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks

  13. Hotel California - The Eagles

  14. Your Song - Elton John

  15. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin

  16. The Twist - Chubby Checker

  17. Live Forever - Oasis

  18. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston

  19. Life On Mars? - David Bowie

  20. Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley

  21. Over The Rainbow - Judy Garland

  22. What's Goin' On - Marvin Gaye

  23. Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen

  24. Be My Baby - The Ronettes

  25. Creep - Radiohead

  26. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel

  27. Respect - Aretha Franklin

  28. Family Affair - Sly And The Family Stone

  29. Dancing Queen - ABBA

  30. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

  31. Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

  32. Yesterday - The Beatles

  33. Jonny B Good - Chuck Berry

  34. No Woman No Cry - Bob Marley

  35. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

  36. Every Breath You Take - The Police

  37. A Day In The Life - The Beatles

  38. Stand By Me - Ben E King

  39. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - James Brown

  40. Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones

  41. What'd I Say - Ray Charles

  42. Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits

  43. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys

  44. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling - The Righteous Brothers

  45. My Generation - The Who

  46. Dancing In The Street - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

  47. When Doves Cry - Prince

  48. A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke

  49. River Deep Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner

  50. Best Of My Love - The Emotions


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