The old ones are the best, according to The Current's '893 Essential Songs'

Prince was No. 1 .. obviously.
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The results of 89.3 The Current's "893 Essential Songs" proved one thing: The old ones are the best.

The Twin Cities radio station on Thursday came to the end of its 893-song countdown compiled on submissions from its listeners.

In first place, probably unsurprisingly, was Prince's "Purple Rain," which got the nod ahead of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and David Bowie's "Heroes."

In 4th place was John Lennon's "Imagine," which in this writer's opinion renders the entire list null and void, with Lennon's little-known band, The Beatles, rounding out the Top 5 with "A Day in the Life."

You can find the full list here.

Take a look at the highest ranked tracks in the list and it shows that when it comes to identifying popular music's "best" songs, most yearn for the past.

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In the Top 50, there are only seven songs that have been released since 1990.

Of those, six were released between 1990-1997, with only one song in the last 20 years making the list – and that was a Nine Inch Nails cover by Johnny Cash, who was hardly an up-and-comer.

  • 6th: Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (1991)
  • 15th: Everlong – Foo Fighters (1997)
  • 16th: Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (1994 - cover)
  • 31st: Paranoid Android – Radiohead (1997)
  • 37th: One – U2 (1991)
  • 39th: Sabotage – Beastie Boys (1994)
  • 41st: Hurt – Johnny Cash (2002 - cover).

The obvious reason for this is that the list was compiled by Current listeners, and I dare say the Top 50 would be radically different – and more modern – were it chosen by the listeners of a hip-hop and rap focused station.

That's not to say recent artists didn't make the top 893 either, this cool data analysis shared by Derek Johnson on Twitter shows the dispersal of song years by their ranking in the list.

But hey, that's the subjectivity of music for you. Which is why it's fine for me to wonder in writing how in the world "Imagine" ranked 4th, or how U2 inexplicably feature on no fewer than five occasions in the Top 100.

We're fine with it, you do you...

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