Thursday, September 03, 2009

How To Count To 100

What's the number one hard rock song of all time?   If you were to ask me, the number one hard rock song would be "Back in Black" by AC/DC.  In fact, let me give you a top ten:
  1. Back in Black - AC/DC
  2. Crazy Train - Ozzy Ozbourne
  3. Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
  4. Enter Sandman - Metalica
  5. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
  6. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
  7. Foxy Lady - Jimmi Hendrix
  8. Top Of The World - Van Halen
  9. Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
  10. Paraniod - Black Sabbath
According to VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs the all time number one is "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns n' Roses.  Not a bad choice I suppose and it would have been easier to accept had I not watched the previous 99 tracks roll out in bizzare fashion.  There were songs that I wouldn't have put in the list at all, bands that were not (or were scarecly) represented while groups/songs that barely qualified as rock songs were occupying spaces on the list.  For example:  Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" was number 63 while Black Sabbath's "Heaven and Hell" was number 81.  It seemed that popularity played a greater role in the choices than style or quality.  

Perhaps the internet is to blame.  You see, I learned that the list was not chosen by industry moguls (like the oscars) but was schleped together from an online poll.  The results therefore made more sense, but it left me wondering: can internet voting provide a broad enough response group to jusitfy the results of a poll?  Granted, the subject matter is not the most imparative, but can the methodology be considered genuine or is it discareded immediately as being incindiary and unreliable?

I might not care usually but I lived in the basement of a professor who was head of statistics at Purdue University and had my mind repeatedly twisted in new ways by the science of statisics. You see, wouldn't people's perceptions of what qualifies as Hard Rock would sway the results?  On the other hand, does the pure mass of the sample offset any variance?  Furthermore can the reslts be skewed by users influencing friends/peers to vote in a particular way (i.e. Vote for President Hinkly for Man of The Century!)  or again, does the extreme number of votes balance any attempt to hijack the winning spots?  I'm dubious at best and would love to hear from the interwebs on this topic.

Perhaps the better topic to comment on would be what songs you think should have been on top of the list.  Click on the title of this blog post to see the VH1 list then let me know what should/shouldn't be on the list and where they truly deserve to be ranked.

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