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Which Artist Has The Largest Number Of Perfect Songs?

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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#1 | Posted: 10/14/2018 01:33 | Post subject: Which Artist Has The Largest Number Of Perfect Songs? Reply with quote
I see BEA is in a best songs discourse phase. So here's something related.

I have an offline playlist of every song that I've judged to be perfect. Today I went through it and tallied up all the songs by artist. As a caveat, this tally is very incomplete because there are many albums that I still have to score the tracks on. Anyway, so far it isn't close. The Beach Boys are the current leader with 31 songs, followed by Joni Mitchell with 14.

Which artist do you think has made more perfect songs than any other? Obviously I'm not expecting everyone to do a numerical tally like I did. Just curious to hear who you'd pick.

As a side note, in my opinion there's a big difference between perfect songs and songs that are simply very good. I expect my winner would change if I tallied up very good songs, but there are so many that I simply don't have the time.
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
United States

#2 | Posted: 10/14/2018 01:52 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, it has to be an artist with at least 5 to 10 consistently good albums. On my short list I would probably put,

Bob Dylan
Tom Waits
Nick Cave
Pink Floyd
Neil Young
Frank Zappa
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#3 | Posted: 10/14/2018 02:13 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Tha1ChiefRocka wrote:
Well, it has to be an artist with at least 5 to 10 consistently good albums. On my short list I would probably put,

Bob Dylan
Tom Waits
Nick Cave
Pink Floyd
Neil Young
Frank Zappa


Dylan is high on my list. Neil Young is on there too. As for the others, while I think they all have very good songs, I have yet to hear anything I'd consider perfect.

I don't necessarily agree with your premise. Some artists with ten consistently good albums never made a perfect song. And there are artists with lots of great singles who didn't have many consistently good albums.
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Antonio-Pedro
Subspace Highway Traveler


Gender: Male
Age: 19
Location: Rain forest Kingdom
Brazil

#4 | Posted: 10/14/2018 02:24 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I Mean if I count 5 stars rated songs, It would probably be Ariel Pink, I consider him a genius of contemporary pop music songcrafting, I mean he knows all the routes on how to create perfect songs, with Daft Punk coming really close and somewhere there is also The |Radio Dept close.

Ariel Pink (Put your number in my phone, Fright Night, ROund & Round, Picture me Gone, Feels Like Heaven, Another Weekend, Only In My Dreams etc).
Daft Punk (One more time, Da Funk, Rollin' & Scratchin, Face to Face, Digital Love, Music sounds better with you)
The Radio Dept (Where damage isn't already done, The Worst taste in music, Heaven's on fire, Your Father, Against The Tide, The City Limit, Pulling our Weight)
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rockinsteve



Gender: Male
Age: 58
Location: Indiana, USA
United States

#5 | Posted: 10/14/2018 02:28 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Great question! I'm thinking of artists that put out a LOT of music in their careers, so the odds would be better that they would have a larger amount of perfect songs to their credit. I'll go with Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and The Beach Boys, just to name 10 off the top of my head. Otis is kind of the odd one in that list because he died so young at age 26. But in his short time he put out a LOT of songs I would consider to be perfect. I'd also like to mention Chuck Berry, Van Morrison, Michael Jackson/The Jackson 5 and The Rolling Stones.
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rkm





#6 | Posted: 10/14/2018 02:35 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Neil Finn said something along the lines of, “you can spend a long time in the studio trying to make an average song work, but with a great song, you can do just about anything with it and it will still be great”.

I’d agree with that. With that in mind, I’d suggest a good test of “artists with the largest number of perfect songs” would be to see how many times those songs have been covered by other artists. A perfect song will be almost indestructible, and will transcend things like genre and generation.
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
United States

#7 | Posted: 10/14/2018 02:57 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, one of my favorite albums of all time is Spiderland, which is only 6 songs. I'd say 5 out of the 6 are perfect, but that's only 5.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#8 | Posted: 10/14/2018 02:59 | Post subject: Reply with quote
rockinsteve wrote:
Great question! I'm thinking of artists that put out a LOT of music in their careers, so the odds would be better that they would have a larger amount of perfect songs to their credit. I'll go with Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and The Beach Boys, just to name 10 off the top of my head. Otis is kind of the odd one in that list because he died so young at age 26. But in his short time he put out a LOT of songs I would consider to be perfect. I'd also like to mention Chuck Berry, Van Morrison, Michael Jackson/The Jackson 5 and The Rolling Stones.


Nice list. The Beatles, Otis Redding, and Marvin Gaye are definitely up there for me.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#9 | Posted: 10/14/2018 03:01 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Antonio-Pedro wrote:
I Mean if I count 5 stars rated songs, It would probably be Ariel Pink, I consider him a genius of contemporary pop music songcrafting, I mean he knows all the routes on how to create perfect songs, with Daft Punk coming really close and somewhere there is also The |Radio Dept close.

Ariel Pink (Put your number in my phone, Fright Night, ROund & Round, Picture me Gone, Feels Like Heaven, Another Weekend, Only In My Dreams etc).
Daft Punk (One more time, Da Funk, Rollin' & Scratchin, Face to Face, Digital Love, Music sounds better with you)
The Radio Dept (Where damage isn't already done, The Worst taste in music, Heaven's on fire, Your Father, Against The Tide, The City Limit, Pulling our Weight)


I need to check out more by Ariel Pink and The Radio Dept. Have liked what I heard so far and your chart definitely influenced my decision to listen.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#10 | Posted: 10/14/2018 03:02 | Post subject: Reply with quote
rkm wrote:
Neil Finn said something along the lines of, “you can spend a long time in the studio trying to make an average song work, but with a great song, you can do just about anything with it and it will still be great”.

I’d agree with that. With that in mind, I’d suggest a good test of “artists with the largest number of perfect songs” would be to see how many times those songs have been covered by other artists. A perfect song will be almost indestructible, and will transcend things like genre and generation.


According to that metric "Yesterday" by The Beatles would be the best song of all time. Does that ring true for you?
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