‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is named as the most iconic song of all-time in a new University of London study
Hello, hello, hello, what’s this? Grunge legends Nirvana are responsible for the most iconic song of all-time? Apparently so, according to a new study by researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London.
The band’s epochal Nevermind single Smells Like Teen Spirit came-out top in a list of the 50 most iconic songs compiled by computer scientist and musician Dr. Mick Grierson. Grierson’s research technique took songs included in seven ‘best of’ lists and compared their, BPM, chord variety, lyrical content, timbral variety, and sonic variance by using analytical software. The result of this was a list of the 50 most iconic songs of all-time, with Smells Like Teen Spirit taking the top-spot. John Lennon’s Imagine was named the second most iconic song, with U2’s One the third, Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean the fourth and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody completing the top five.
Explaining what made a song ‘iconic,’ Grierson said: “We found the most significant thing these songs have in common is that most of them use sound in a very varied, dynamic way when compared to other records. This makes the sound of the record exciting, holding the listeners attention. By the same token, the sounds these songs use and the way they are combined is highly unique in each case.”
He added: “Ultimately, there is no ‘formula’ for this, other than to make your song sound as different, diverse and exciting as possible.”
You can watch the iconic video for Smells Like Teen Spirit below: