Is This the Greatest Feel-Good Song of All Time?

Oh, those British. They’re always conducting surveys that cloak the fact that they’re actually ads for various manufacturers and retailers. And we fall for them every single time.  Case in point: a new survey of “feel-good” songs commissioned by Alba, a manufacturer of electronics.

Two thousand adults across the UK were asked about songs that made them feel good. I’m not entirely sure how the interrogations went, but the Huffington Post reports that the majority of those asked came back with this 1978 song from Queen.

From HuffPo:

When cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij, who completed the data analysis for Alba, examined the elements of the 1978 single, he identified the trifecta mentioned above as the equation that gives a song its feel-good quality.

“My analysis confirmed very nicely what we already knew from the literature: Songs written in a major key with fast tempo are best at inducing positive emotions,” Jolij, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Groningen, told The Huffington Post in an email. “Virtually all ‘feel good’ songs were in major key (save one or two), and all of them were at least 10 BPM faster than the average pop song.”

What other songs made the list? “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel. The Beach Boys and “Good Vibrations.” And yes, ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” was mentioned. Anything you care to mention?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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