There are so very, very many songs in the world, but only some of them remain popular for decades after they were first released. Remember, just because a track is a hit doesn’t mean it’s going to stick around (we’re looking at you Nickelback).
In a search to discover which songs are the world’s most timeless, data scientist Matt Daniels has analysed all Spotify plays from 2014 to determine which tracks remain the most listened-to, and while his results seem pretty accurate, there are a few surprises.
Daniels originally set out to prove that Blackstreet’s No Diggity — yes, the one covered by Chet Faker — is a timeless tune. While Daniels did prove that No Diggity is timeless, the song came 24th on his list of today’s most-listened-to Billboard hits from between 1950 and 2005.
The rest of the list is made of up classics like the most-played ’90s song, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit; the most-played ’80s song, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing; and the most-played ’70s song, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Daniels says that his data is “skewed” because Spotify users tend to be young, meaning his list “more-or-less represents a generation in their mid-20s”. What’s more, The Beatles aren’t on Spotify. Nor is Taylor Swift, for that matter.
That said, there is one clear winner in Daniels’ study, and the final result might surprise you. Catch the list of the 25 most timeless songs according to Spotify, below.
Catch the rest of Daniels’ interactive Spotify data, including the most timeless rappers from 1986 to 1999, over at Polygraph.
Gallery: The 25 Most Timeless Songs From 1950 To 2005, According To Spotify