Top 500 Songs?

Ever try to figure out something simply and entirely just for the hell of it?

After a long day of house packing, I was in the mood for some mental work, but it was going to have to be pretty darn mechanical at this hour of the night...

So, as a lark, I went to see how many of the top 500 songs ranked by listeners of our local radio station were also included in the Rolling Stone ranking of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Not that this discovery is going to change the course of human history or anything, but the results are nevertheless in and the answer is... (ta da!)

Less than 20%. Now, of course, the RS list isn't limited by genre, but even so, only one of the songs in the local version of the top ten even show up in the Stone's top 100, and three don't even make the list at all.

On the heels of others' detailed analysis of the RS 500 greatest, here is the local top ten (with its Rolling Stone rankings)...
1. "Sweet Home Alabama" (198)
2. "Dream On" (172)
3. "More than a Feeling" (500)
4. "Taking Care of Business" (not ranked)
5. "Freebird" (191)
6. "Satisfaction" (#2!)
7. "We Will Rock You" (330)
8. "Go Your Own Way" (119)
9. "Don't Bring Me Down" (not ranked)
10. "The Joker" (not ranked)

For some inexplicable reason, I find it interesting that eight other songs besides "Satisfaction" are - despite all these differences - ranked within ten spots on both charts. Heaven knows I'm no math whiz, and that may well be completely statistically probable, but still it would seem that layfolks' tastes in these few, rare occasions coincide more or less with those of music industry cognoscenti!

They are:
11. "Born to Run" (21)
21. "Layla" (27)
87. "Every Breath You Take" (84)
96. "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (100)
121. "Honky Tonk Woman" (116)
137. "Maggie May" (130)
222. "Fire and Rain" (227)
268. "Something" (273)

What is this all supposed to mean? In the immortal words of Pee Wee Herman,

"Supposed to mean? Supposed to mean?! I think everyone here knows what this is supposed to mean. When you've gone over something again and again and again and again, like I have, certain questions get answered.Others spring up! The mind plays tricks on you. You play tricks back! It's like you're unraveling a cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting..."

UPDATED: And at least four of these songs have intelligible backmasking. (Coincidence?!) Enjoy!


planettom said...

I think that just shows that people of good Maine stock don't put much creedence in that there ROLLING STONE magazine, ayuh.

Speaking of radio stations... where you live, you probably can't pick up Stephen King's radio station, can you? I'd heard that, he'd bought a local radio station and automated it and stocked it with his favorite albums, played randomly. He started this years ago, but the idea was sort of akin to broadcasting your IPOD so others could hear your selections.

Hmmm, a websearch reveals that Stephen King may own several radio stations.

WZON AM 620 seems to be more a sports station.

But I think the one I'd heard about was WKIT. 100.3 FM

Michelle said...

Nope, you can't get to that radio station from hiyah...

planettom said...

I see from that WKIT webpage my info is a little out of date. I think when that station first started, it was just an automated station randomly playing Stephen King's favorite albums, now it seems to be a real radio station, with real disc jockeys, commercials, promotions, etc.