Monday, November 12, 2007

Damned Lies

A while back I did a Random Top Ten of my favorite bands/artists. But after finally finishing ranking all the rock and pop music on my iPod, I got to wondering - in terms of percentages, who do I really love? Which of my favorite artists have the highest batting average for me - the most percentage of their songs that I have ranked as a 4-Star or 5-Star song? So, I crunched the numbers, and this is what I came up with. The artist whose songs I ranked the highest proportion of as 4 or 5 star songs was not U2, as I would have guessed/assumed, but Aimee Mann, at 60%, who I only put at #8 on that earlier list. On the other hand, I rated only 6% of Mann's songs at 5-star ratings, which ties for the lowest 5-star share. Clearly, I like most of Mann's songs a lot, but love only a handful.The artist with the highest share of 5-star rated songs was, remarkably enough, Dire Straits. Except that figure is heavily skewed by the fact that I have a Dire Straits best-of, but only two actual albums. So if we discount that, the easy winner is Bob Dylan - I have 234 songs of his songs in my collection, and have rated over one in f as a 5-star song, one of my all-time favorites.

In any case, this is a fun little exercise for the more obsessive-compulsive music fans among us. Give it a try! (You know who you are).

The percentages for all the biggies in my collection:

Aimee Mann
4- and 5-Star - 60%
5-Star - 6%

Bob Dylan
4- and 5-Star - 50%
5-Star - 21%

Dire Straits
4- and 5-Star - 57%
5-Star - 27%

Elvis Costello
4- and 5-Star - 26%
5-Star - 6%

John Mellencamp
4- and 5-Star - 42%
5-Star - 14%

Neil Young
4- and 5-Star - 45%
5-Star - 15%

4- and 5-Star - 57%
5-Star - 18%

Paul Simon (including Simon & Garfunkel)
4- and 5-Star - 45%
5-Star - 18%

4- and 5-Star - 32%
5-Star - 12%

The Who
4- and 5-Star - 35%
5-Star - 9%

Tracy Chapman
4- and 5-Star - 44%
5-Star - 17%

4- and 5-Star - 49%
5-Star - 16%

Until Whenever


bill said...

I'm impressed with people who rank their music. I don't understand it, but it still impresses me. I started on this once, then stopped after about 5 songs. Just the idea of carefully considering the difference between a 3 and 4, or wondering if there should be a limit to 5 stars, because if everything is awesome then everything is mediocre, and then thinking of the time and effort for a library of 8,000 songs was too much.

Of course I also rarely mess with genres or playlists, it's just a giant pot of musical stew.

Tosy And Cosh said...

I found that it only worked if I decided upfront not to fret too much about a rating. And, for me, the ratings basically boil down to:

1 Star - Dialogue or somesuch. I think the only actual "song" I've rated 1-Star is a bootlegged copy of Clay Aiken doing Where the Streets Have No Name, which I have for much the same reason I slow down when passing an accident.

2 Star - Short musical interludes that aren't really songs, or songs I actually dislike. Not too many of these either.

3 Star - The bulk of my music. A song I like but don't love.

4 Star - A song I love.

5 Star - A song I adore.

So, sure, the line between a 4 and 5 can be pretty thin, but that's cool. Also, I never would have rated as many songs as I have if you couldn't do it on the iPod itself. I just created playlists of all unranked Rock/Pop, Musical Theater, and Jazz Vocal songs and I rate them as I walk to the PATH.

Roger Green said...

I'd think the quantity would somehow factor in there. I'd say off the top that, percentagewise, there are more 4s and 5s for some artist I have but one or two albums, esp. a greatest hits, but the Beatles, say, would figure higher with more 3s, but also more 4s and 5s.

But I ain't gonna calculate it, because it'll give me a headache.