“Wannabe” Is World’s Most Catchiest-Hit

From The Guardian:

Almost two decades after they zig-a-zig-ahed their way to their first number one, the Spice Girls have achieved another smash: their debut single Wannabe is the catchiest UK hit.

The song, which sold 7 million copies worldwide and topped the chart in 22 countries, was rated the most recognisable track of more than 220 bestselling songs since the 1940s, according to research by the University of Amsterdam in association with Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry.

The researchers set up an interactive online game, called Hooked On Music, in which participants recorded how recognisable the selected songs – divided into about 1,000 clips – were. Users recognised Wannabe in an average of 2.3 seconds, compared to an average of 5 seconds for other tracks.

The “citizen science experiment” idea was conceived by Dr John Ashley Burgoyne, a computational musicologist from the University of Amsterdam, and produced by Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry.

The data from more than 12,000 participants was analysed by the academic and colleagues and their initial findings will be presented in Manchester on Saturday night.

The UK’s top 10 catchiest songs
1. Wannabe – Spice Girls
2. Mambo No 5 – Lou Bega
3. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
4. Just Dance – Lady Gaga
5. SOS – ABBA
6. Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
7. Beat It – Michael Jackson
8. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
9. Don’t You Want Me – The Human League
10. I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith