The Guardian in the UK recently wrote a piece on “hit song science,” or HSS, a new statistical analysis of pop singles that claims to predict their hit potential with startling accuracy. (Hmmm, we sez, hmmmm.) The article contained this fascinating U2-related tidbit:
It’s all in the clusters, you see. Hit songs, typically, fall into one of a number of groupings – there are around 50 in the US and 60 in the UK where, traditionally, tastes have been more diverse. Belonging to the same cluster does not mean songs sound the same, though, more that they are mathematically similar. And the analysis has thrown up some very unlikely musical bedfellows: Some U2 songs are in the same cluster as Beethoven, while spandex ultra rocker Van Halen sits right alongside MOR piano babe Vanessa Carlton.