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The Most Addictive Songs In The World


earworm1Scientists at the University of St Andrews in Scotland have put together a list of the 20 most addictive songs ever recorded (or earworms as they like to call them).

Research was collected by a number of the esteemed University’s members, mainly from the philosophy, anthropology and film studies departments. These researchers eventually developed a mathematical formula to identify the most addictive songs.

The songs have to meet a number of specifications to be classified as an ‘earworm’. The five key components are surprise, predictability, rhythmic repetition, melodic potency and receptiveness.

This is what the formula looks like: Receptiveness + (predictability-surprise) + (melodic potency) + (rhythmic repetition x1.5) = earworm

Perhaps unsurprisingly, rock band Queen feature three times in the Top 20 with their songs ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘We Are The Champions’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. ‘We Will Rock You’ actually tops the list because of its pleasing rhythmic pattern.

Here is what researcher Bede Williams had to say: “If you look at the songs which emerged from the research, they all have a distinctive rhythmic fingerprint. If we remove the melody, they’re still recognisable by their rhythm alone.”

And here is the full list of songs:

1) Queen – ‘We Will Rock You’
2) Pharrell Williams – ‘Happy’
3) Queen – ‘We Are The Champions’
4) The Proclaimers – ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’
5) The Village People – ‘YMCA’
6) Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
7) Europe – ‘The Final Countdown’
8) Bon Jovi – ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’
9) James Pierpoint – ‘Jingle Bells’
10) Baha Men – ‘Who Let The Dogs Out?’
11) Psy – ‘Gangnam Style’
12) Rick Astley – ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’
13) Journey – ‘Don’t Stop Believin’
14) Mark Ronson – ‘Uptown Funk’
15) Taylor Swift – ‘Shake It Off’
16) Michael Jackson – ‘Beat It’
17) Kaiser Chiefs – ‘Ruby’
18) The Rocky Horror Show – ‘The Timewarp’
19) Meghan Trainor – ‘All About The Bass’
20) Culture Club – ‘Karma Chameleon’

Photo: Getty


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