Is there any way to scientifically prove what makes the best song ever? Music’s always been a subjective art form, but technology site Gizmodo attempted to take on the challenge earlier this week. They asked a number of professionals in the scientific field for their opinion, with very interesting conclusions drawn regarding the brain’s activity, how early years impact our music tastes, and how personality traits can dictate an individual’s love of music. However, perhaps most interesting was their verdict on the best song ever created.
The conversation was initiated when author Tom Cox claimed that there was no definable way to judge such a feat, but many took to social media to state that it was in fact “Africa” by Toto. It prompted a debate concerning exactly what the criteria is for determining such a personal belief.
There is no concrete best song ever. The best song ever is an ever-shifting concept, coloured by weather, hope, disappointment and the moon.
— Tom Cox (@cox_tom) June 30, 2017
David Poeppel – a Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University – told Gizmodo: “Actually, Toto turns out to be remarkably good and sophisticated according to musicians. Toto was a group of hardcore, highly respected studio musicians. They crafted those songs pretty carefully and were incredibly successful with those four albums. And musicians actually really love Toto.”
It’s easy to see why such a large contingent see the pop-tastic track as being up there in the upper echelons of modern music – it ticks all the boxes. From its stunning production to its phenomenal musicianship – the attention-grabbing single fails to put a foot wrong while delivering one of the most iconic choruses ever concocted in music.
Toto’s popular ‘80s hit “Africa” reached the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 upon release, as well as shooting to number 3 on the UK Singles Charts. The song has since been popularized by its inclusion in pop culture with video games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and TV shows like Stranger Things using it.