Friday, February 13, 2009

Ranking the Beatles my damn self: the final analysis

The top 12 Beatles songs (subjectively) break down like this:

Magical Mystery Tour: 3 songs
Revolver: 3 songs
Sgt. Pepper: 1 songs
For Sale: 1 song
Past Masters vol. II: 1 song
Abbey Road: 1 song
Rubber Soul: 1 song
The Beatles: 1 song

Obviously, there are issues with the stats; Hey Jude was a single, and so were some of the songs that also were on albums, most notably the songs on Magical Mystery Tour. But we have to work with the data we have.

Let's expand it to the top 25:

Revolver: 5
Abbey Road: 4
The Beatles: 4
Magical Mystery Tour: 3
For Sale: 3
Sgt. Pepper: 2
Past Masters vol. II: 2
Rubber Soul: 1
Help!: 1

Wouldn't have thought Abbey Road would be that well represented. I knew the heavy For Sale representation was coming, but I'm surprised there isn't more from Rubber Soul and Help! Probably worth doing a top 40:

Revolver: 6
Abbey Road: 6
The Beatles: 5
For Sale: 4
Sgt. Pepper: 4
Help!: 4
Magical Mystery Tour: 3
Let It Be: 2
Past Masters vol. II: 2
Rubber Soul: 1
With the Beatles: 1
Yellow Submarine: 1
A Hard Day's Night: 1

Definitely worth noting that there are four more Rubber Soul songs from 41 through 50, which explains a lot. I'm still surprised by Abbey Road, and happy that they went out on top. Help! is more where I expected it, too. But I didn't know Abbey Road would be right there with Revolver. Revolver, I probably knew.

Know what? Let's do down to the point just before where I stop loving songs. That's the top 100, conveniently enough:

White Album: 16
Abbey Road: 12
Sgt. Pepper: 9
Revolver: 8
Past Masters vol. II: 7
Rubber Soul: 7
Magical Mystery Tour: 7
Past Masters vol. I: 6
For Sale: 6
Help!: 5
With the Beatles: 5
Let It Be: 4
A Hard Day's Night: 3
Yellow Submarine: 3
Please Please Me: 2

Thoughts: I bet your list is mostly in that order ... I might have Rubber Soul a little higher than you and Past Masters vol. I, Let It Be, and Please Please Me a little lower ... Most albums flesh out between the top 40 and the top 100 pretty much the same, with the exceptions of the White Album, which explodes; Abbey Road, which continues its dominance; Sgt. Pepper, which I probably rate lower than most (meaning you might have it higher in the top 40, and therefore not growing as much over the next 60 slots); Rubber Soul, which has a real solid great middle; and With the Beatles, which I think I appreciate more than most.

You'll also remember we promised to revisit the songwriter charts. I broke down my bottom half like this:

Paul: 28
John: 26
George: 13
Ringo: 9

Well, here's the top half, unofficial count:

John: 72
Paul: 49
George: 12
Ringo: 0

Not giving Ringo credit for songs John and Paul wrote. I counted these backwards too, and things were pretty even until the end, which means I suspect John dominates the top 25 and 40, if not the top 10. Let's find out:

Top 40
John: 28
Paul: 10
George: 2

Top 25

John: 19
Paul: 4
George: 2

Top 10
John: 7
Paul: 3

But the top 6:

John: 3
Paul: 3

The data speak for themselves.

So that's it, I think. Thanks for exploring this extremely unimportant side of me with me.

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