Spice Girls

Spice Girls song “most recognisable of last 60 years”

Spice Girls

Spice Girls: earworm power! Yeah!

Are you a ‘Wannabe’ pop songwriter? Then you might want to take a leaf out of the Spice Girls’ book…

According to new research carried out by the University of Amsterdam and the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, the Spice Girls’ 1996 debut single Wannabe is the most instantly recognisable tune since the 1940s. What remains unclear, of course, is whether that means it’s actually catchier than most other songs, or whether more people recognise it more quickly simply due its huge commercial success – the record went to No 1 in 15 countries, including the UK, USA, Australia and most of Europe.

The research was carried out by means of an online survey/game, in which over 12,000 participants were played song snippets and the time they took to recognise each one was recorded. Wannabe was recognised in an average of just 2.3 seconds, compared to around five seconds for most other tracks. Other songs notching up a sub-three second recognition time were Lou Bega’s Mambo No 5 and Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger.

The survey, Hooked On Music, is still ongoing – click here to take part. The results so far were announced at Manchester Science Festival on Saturday (1 November).

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