Scientists reveal the 'catchiest song of all-time' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Scientists reveal the 'catchiest song of all-time'

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Lady Gaga had two songs make the Top 20 list of the "Catchiest Songs of All-Time" Lady Gaga had two songs make the Top 20 list of the "Catchiest Songs of All-Time"
KHQ.com - Scientists have just completed an important year-long study, and the results may surprise you. No, researchers were not studying a cure for a devastating disease. No, they weren't working to solve climate change. They were studying something that has plagued mankind for the last 70 years: What's the catchiest song of all-time?

Yes, that is correct. Scientists at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester spent the last year basically collecting data from an online game they put out there, where users were unknowingly contributing to research aimed at identifying what the catchiest song of all-time is.

How did they determine the catchiest song of all-time? The game contained clips from 1,000 hit songs from the past 70 years. Top 40 hits.

They then based the ranking on four factors taken from the four modes in the game. 

1.) Recognize that Tune: Users had to hum along with the song, continuing when the sound dropped out and the game gauged whether they were still in time when the sound resumed. 

2.) What's the Hook: In this mode, users had to listen to two different clips from the same song and choose which clip was catchier. 

3.) Time Trial: Basically, how many songs can you recognize in three minutes. 

4.) In a Row: How many songs in a row can you recognize? 

More than 12,000 people contributed to the data that was collected. 

"I work within a group that studies music cognition in general -- any way in which the brain processes music -- and we were particularly interested in music and memory and why exactly it is that certain pieces of music stay in your memory for such a long time," University of Amsterdam computational musicologist and designer of the survey Dr Ashley Burgoyne told the BBC.

So after playing the game, it was up to scientists to determine what made a song "catchy." So far, although he says additional research is needed, Dr. Burgoyne believes it is a hinged on a strong melodic hook. No kidding? 

Now let me inject some personal opinion in here for a moment if I may. After going through the list, it was clear to me that "catchiest" didn't necessarily translate into "good." I've been referred to as a "music snob" by my friends before. And that is probably true. But while there are a few exceptions, I'm fairly certain after you look at this list, you'll agree it's unlikely that anyone is jamming out to these songs with their windows rolled down cruising down Division, unless they are doing so sarcastically. But, if I'm wrong, and you legitimately enjoy one or more of these songs, more power to you! Let your flag fly! 

Now that that's out of the way... "OK! Enough!" you're saying, "What are the songs?!" 

Here you go.. The Top 20:

1.) Spice Girls - Wannabe: 2.29 seconds 

2.) Lou Bega - Mambo No 5: 2.48 seconds 

3.) Survivor - Eye of the Tiger: 2.62 seconds 

4.) Lady Gaga - Just Dance: 2.66 seconds 

5.) ABBA - SOS: 2.73 seconds 

6.) Roy Orbison - Pretty Woman: 2.73 seconds 

7.) Michael Jackson - Beat It: 2.80 seconds 

8.) Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You: 2.83 seconds 

9.) The Human League - Don't You Want Me: 2.83 seconds 

10.) Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing: 2.84 seconds 

11.) Lady Gaga - Poker Face: 2.88 seconds 

12.) Hanson - MMMbop: 2.89 seconds 

13.) Elvis Presley - It's Now Or Never: 2.91 seconds 

14.) Bachman-Turner Overdrive - You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet: 2.94 seconds 

15.) Michael Jackson - Billie Jean: 2.97 seconds 

16.) Culture Club - Karma Chameleon: 2.99 seconds 

17.) Britney Spears - Baby One More Time: 2.99 seconds 

18.) Elvis Presley - Devil in Disguise: 3.01 seconds 

19.) Boney M - Rivers of Babylon: 3.03 seconds 

20.) Elton John - Candle in the Wind: 3.04 seconds

Despite the 1940's being included in this study, the decade, along with the 1950's, failed to register any rankings in the Top 20. Apologies to Pee Wee Hunt and Glenn Miller. In fact, the earliest song to rank was Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never" from 1960.

No surprise to see a few 80's staples in there. 

Having cognitively lived through the 90's, it's no surprise to see a couple of those annoying anthems make this list. I don't like "Baby One More Time," but having been subjected to it on a daily basis throughout my freshman year in high school, I'm pretty sure I could identify it in under three seconds too. Again, "catchiest" does not equal "greatest." 

And with pop radio these days playing the same five or six songs in rotation for months at a time, over and over like some form of torture, I can't say I'm surprised to see Lady Gaga rank twice on this list. 

But really? No Beatles? No Rolling Stones? Come on!

What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KHQLocalNews

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