Can Science Create The Ultimate David Bowie Song?

University of Hertfordshire Psychologist Gives It A Try      27/08/09

Can science improve on David Bowie?

University of Hertfordshire psychologist Dr Nick Troop thinks so.

Troop analyzed the language used, and the chart success, of Bowie's 26 albums and 266 songs. Troop found that Bowie songs with positive emotion and social processes had been more successful.

Based on this analysis, Troop created his version of the ultimate Bowie song. Troop explains his process in the video above, and follows it up with a performance of "Team, Meet Girls; Girls, Meet Team."

Troop is either the most awesome psychology lecturer ever.....or he's come up with a flimsy excuse to pimp his Bowie fanboy song.

Give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts....

via news:lite


James Lewin
Twitter @podcasting_news


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8 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
fight mp3    Said...

I am not sure if he´s talking about the David Bowie I know. Nice joke though.

28-Aug-09 12:39 AM

The Guvnor    Said...

I find it hard to believe that you can predict the effects of the music-buying public based on key words in the song lyrics. Sure, lyrics including words such as coffin, death, etc are going to sell less with certain demographics, but it doesn't need a psychologist to figure that one out.

Does this guy even take into account the actual MUSIC of the song or is that just the lyrics that sell it? If this was the case, surely there would be add-ons to our favourite DAWs to analyse the lyrics of our songs and underline them in red if they were potential sources of contention?

Besides, my missus loves a good Bowie choon but cant make out half the lyrics without reading the album liners anyway and I'm sure she's not alone (and nor is Bowie)...

28-Aug-09 08:53 AM

Richard    Said...

Lecture after your song!

28-Aug-09 10:17 AM

Colin    Said...

Fun stuff. Yeah yeah you can say it's hard to blah blah blah blah, but with a body of songs that large, if statistically significant trends emerge then there tends to be something there, in the same way that on the whole male vs female writing can be predicted based off frequency and use of small words.

It's not about the BEST David Bowie song, just the most popular. The song that he wrote is just a fun end to the lecture.


*and a little sad too based off how... interesting the song lyrics are

Anyways rock on academics, rock on!

28-Aug-09 12:08 PM

L56    Said...

Bowie, Rock? I feel the urge to find a huge rock and jump of it after hearing this.

Sorry, but a theory is a theory, nothing more ;)

28-Aug-09 05:25 PM

James    Said...

I don't buy the idea that you can use statistics or psychology to create a great Bowie song (or any style of song).

It's reasonable, though, to believe that songs about topics that people like are going to sell a lot better.

You can often tell songs that are going to be popular hits the first time you hear them, and psychology and word choice are surely part of that.

28-Aug-09 09:29 PM

the Spiders form Mars collective    Said...

I'm not sure the guy's talking about David Bowie we use to know. And I'm not sure the guy's talking about what we call human psychology on Red Planet

31-Aug-09 03:06 PM

Dan-O    Said...

I think his song is really good actually. I love Bowie, and I like his song... so that says something, I think.


14-Sep-09 08:56 PM

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