The results are in. Science has spoken.
Have you been unable to get the song “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls out of your head since 1996?
Well this might be the reason why. The number one hit that was released 18 years ago (feeling old, huh?) has just been named the world’s catchiest song of ALL TIME.
After comprehensive testing, a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, U.K., has determined the top 20 “catchiest” songs over the past 7 decades.
With Wannabe of course, taking out the top place.
Testing determined that the somewhat repulsively named “earworm effect”, a listener’s ability to identify a song and continue the tune once the song has stopped playing, is what causes a song to be catchy. Interesting, we know.
In case you were wondering, here is a comprehensive list of the top 20 "catchiest" songs as determined by 12 000 individuals' responses:
- Spice Girls, "Wannabe"
- Lou Bega, "Mambo No. 5"
- Survivor, "Eye Of The Tiger"
- Lady Gaga, "Just Dance"
- ABBA, "SOS"
- Roy Orbison, "Pretty Woman"
- Michael Jackson, "Beat It"
- Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You"
- The Human League, "Don't You Want Me"
- Aerosmith, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing"
- Lady Gaga, "Poker Face"
- Hanson, "Mmmmbop"
- Elvis Presley, "It's Now Or Never"
- Bachman-Turner Overdrive, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet"
- Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean"
- Culture Club, "Karma Chameleon"
- Britney Spears, "Baby One More Time"
- Elvis Presley, "Devil in Disguise"
- Boney M., "Rivers of Babylon"
- Elton John, "Candle in the Wind"