According to a new study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles out-ranked other famous pop singles, recorded between 1958 and 1991, as being the song most close to ‘perfection’.
Yes, you read correctly. The song John Lennon famously declared “granny music shit” is scientifically proven to be the most perfect pop song.
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles is the most perfect pop song ever written, because science said so.
How did science determine the perfect pop song? They started with 80,000 different chord progressions from 700 songs and, via machine learning, were then assigned a score based on how surprising the chord progressions were.
Once they whittled the results down to 30 songs, the pieces were gutted of lyrics and melody and the chords were played to a group of volunteers who were asked to rate how enjoyable they were. This information was supported by data that charted brain activity of whenever the listener was taken aback by the progressions of the songs, associated with musical pleasure.
Speaking with The Times, student Vincent Cheung said “It is fascinating that humans derive pleasure from a piece of music just by how sounds are ordered over time.”
“Songs that we find pleasant strike a good balance between us knowing what is going to happen next and surprising us with something we did not expect.”
Other scientifically viable tunes in the running included the likes of I Want You Back by The Jackson 5, Hooked on A Feeling by Blue Swede, There She Goes by The La’s and Red Red Wine by UB40.
But now, without further adieu, please enjoy this wholesome scientific slice of pop perfection.