• Catchiness Level

“We Are the Champions”, the power ballad written by Freddie Mercury and recorded by British rock band Queen for their 1977 album News of the World, has lived up to its name. It has been voted the catchiest pop song of all time – by a team of scientists.

I am happy that Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ was voted the catchiest song as Queen happens to be one of my favorite rock bands. I had a huge poster of Queen in my room when I was studying in Montreal, Canada, about 30 years ago. And I even attended their live concert in Montreal, an experience that I will never forget.Their songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions are among my top favorite songs.

One of Queen’s most famous and popular songs, ‘We Are The Champions’ remains among rock’s most recognisable anthems.  In 2009, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and was voted the world’s favourite song in a 2005 Sony Ericsson world music poll. It has become an anthem for sporting victories, including as official theme song for 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The team of scientists observed thousands of volunteers to find out why certain songs inspired unabashed wedding guests and clubbers to belt out their favourites in public.

Singalong hits had four key elements, they concluded: long and detailed musical phrases, multiple pitch changes in a song’s ‘hook’, male vocalists and higher male voices making a noticeable vocal effort.

Dr Daniel Mullensiefen of Goldsmiths University, London, said: ‘Every musical hit is reliant on maths, science, engineering and technology; from the physics and frequencies of sound that determine pitch and harmony, to the hi-tech digital processors and synthesisers which can add effects to make a song more catchy.

‘We’ve discovered that there’s a science behind the sing-along and a special combination of neuroscience, maths and cognitive psychology can produce the elusive elixir of the perfect sing-along song.

‘We hope that our study will inspire musicians of the future to crack the equation for the textbook tune.’

Using this formula, the researchers then compiled a list of the 10 most singalongable hits.