Was the music better in the past?  Memories are not facts

Was the music better in the past? Memories are not facts

Casper Albers

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 70th year in government and she did so this month with the Queen’s Song we will Rock You to join’beat the drums† Queen Collector The most powerful songsthe first record I’ve ever bought, is in the UK’s Top 100 Albums for its 1,000th week this month.

In the mid-’80s – there wasn’t Spotify or YouTube yet – I listened to Top 40 hits every Friday afternoon, because that was the way to discover new music at the time. I had a preference for statistics from an early age: I would keep track of results every week (manually, since I didn’t have a computer yet), so that at the end of November I could very well predict what the annual list would look like.

The ’80s top ten seems to present a beautiful picture of the greatest songs from the ’80s, but there are still omissions in it. One of my favorite songs from the 80’s is suburbs From the boys pet store. its me go west The biggest hit of the popular duo however is not in any yearly overview. It hit at exactly the wrong time: the record was in the top 40 from November 22, 1986 to February 7, 1987. Both years separately, he scored very little for a place in the top 100: in 1986 he finished at 121, a year later at 105.

Especially now that you’re on spotify They can easily listen to the top 100 (not the top 105) of the year, and that leads to a loss. The solution would be to work with contract lists instead of year lists. In the contract list of 80s condition suburbs 295.

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But even with that wider interval, you have records falling by the wayside because they came out on the brink of the ’70s or ’90s. There are also records, especially albums, that have been a hit for more than a decade. These accomplishments, by definition, are reserved for older music.

Thanks to the popular Netfix series Weird things Is there a new interest in it ran that hill Written by Kate Bush. Before RTV North Reason to ask “Was music better in the past?” to assign. This question is a false comparison: “in the past” covers a long (and increasingly longer) period. The antithesis of the past is the “present”, which is a much shorter period of time. Saying that there was more good music produced in the past than there is today is like saying that there are more people in Italy than San Marino. It’s an open door, and it can be misleading: San Marinos’ population density is nearly three times that of Italy.

Moreover, our memory fails us in this kind of comparison: Memories are not factsAccording to my former colleague, Doi Draisma. You especially remember the beautiful things. For every immortal song of Kate Bush, Queen or Pet Shop Boys of the ’80s, there was also a song from, for example Reynolds girlsmixed feelingsor Baku in the list. And if these names mean nothing to you, that confirms my point. Everything was better!

Casper Albers Professor of Statistics at the University of Groningen

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