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(io9)   You probably won't know this graph, it's pretty obscure   (io9.com) divider line 62
    More: Interesting, miller, Clay Aiken  
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13007 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jul 2014 at 3:39 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-24 12:50:26 AM  
I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Big Four Quartet (1901) was on the obscure list. Where has this so-called 'writer' been the past 113 years???
 
2014-07-24 03:59:02 AM  
it's pretty obscure dull and pointless

FTFY
 
2014-07-24 04:28:55 AM  
I need to hear 'If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me)' just for that title.
 
2014-07-24 04:33:35 AM  

Smashed Hat: I need to hear 'If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me)' just for that title.


Apparently it's about Irish people beating the crap out of each other and it's only slightly more obscure than a Clay Aiken song.
 
2014-07-24 04:53:23 AM  
I'd kind of like to see the dataset.
 
2014-07-24 04:53:55 AM  
That... was actually kind of interesting.  Good job, subby.
 
2014-07-24 04:54:58 AM  
Maybe they should have adjusted for time a little more.
 
2014-07-24 04:56:07 AM  
Someone put "Chant of the Jungle" on YouTube.

Now that I've listened to it, am I a hipster?
 
2014-07-24 04:56:23 AM  
I am more than a little surprised Gangham Style isn't there... It has, what, 2 BN views on YouTube?
 
2014-07-24 05:00:30 AM  

uberaverage: Maybe they should have adjusted for time a little more.


I'd like to see a non-linear correction.  From the corrected graph, you can see that recent non-obscure songs can never be among the least obscure since there seems to be a maximum level of non-obscurity.  Something like an obscurity model would be needed to really compare recent to old--even then it'd be a guess.  Only time will really tell.
 
2014-07-24 05:51:25 AM  
Nothing's more obscure than Little Bobby Tables' one-hit wonder.
 
2014-07-24 06:00:23 AM  
Wow, an interactive char...oh, no, it's crap.
 
2014-07-24 06:29:12 AM  

aerojockey: uberaverage: Maybe they should have adjusted for time a little more.

I'd like to see a non-linear correction.  From the corrected graph, you can see that recent non-obscure songs can never be among the least obscure since there seems to be a maximum level of non-obscurity.  Something like an obscurity model would be needed to really compare recent to old--even then it'd be a guess.  Only time will really tell.


I so like to see confounding factors - scatter plots without data behind them make my head hurt. I'd also like to see a straight assessment of more than just two mediums, which are relatively new. Youtube, which would have fairly decent statistical information (since it tracks plays), would seem to be a more credible source than last.fm. Straight "hits" just means someone was searching on the terms, right? So that could also result in inaccurate data spread. It's missing some of the largest songs in the past century - Thriller, Born in the USA, Gangham Style, etc., are all high sellers. Also, looking at the yearly distribution, it indicates that songs from 1900 have more hits / requests than those from 2000-2014. It just looks like a study that is neither credible nor reliable.
 
2014-07-24 07:16:36 AM  
Bill Murray had a hit in 1905? How old is he?
 
2014-07-24 07:23:39 AM  
I...have no idea what that chart is trying to say.

And don't even get me started on using Wikipedia, Google, and last.fm to measure the "obscurity" of a song.
 
2014-07-24 07:24:27 AM  
Spoilers...:

Songs from over 100 years ago are obscure.
Songs from 50 years ago are obscure-ish, unless they're from Elvis, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles.
Recent songs are not obscure.

img.fark.net
 
2014-07-24 07:26:12 AM  
Somebody called Elvis Presley was apparently pretty big back in the day.
 
2014-07-24 07:29:32 AM  
 
2014-07-24 07:30:17 AM  
I had to google The Glenn Miller Orchestra, yep I knew it.
 
2014-07-24 07:30:40 AM  

aerojockey: uberaverage: Maybe they should have adjusted for time a little more.

I'd like to see a non-linear correction.  From the corrected graph, you can see that recent non-obscure songs can never be among the least obscure since there seems to be a maximum level of non-obscurity.  Something like an obscurity model would be needed to really compare recent to old--even then it'd be a guess.  Only time will really tell.


Check out the original graph on  http://www.verysmallarray.com/. It looks like this:

www.verysmallarray.com

I hate the Gawker network's habit of just posting watered-down versions of things the writers ran into while browsing more interesting websites.
 
2014-07-24 07:31:20 AM  
I'd like to see the least obscure songs for any given year, so you get an idea of what was in people's heads. But Google data can't do that yet.
 
2014-07-24 07:37:13 AM  

bobug: I am more than a little surprised Gangham Style isn't there... It has, what, 2 BN views on YouTube?


Exactly my thoughts when I read the list. There were at least 6 songs on that list more obscure (IMO) than Gangham Style. (Heck, I don't even recognize the titles of 3 of them, but I haven't listened to them on YouTube to see what the tracks are yet).

(From the "Least Obscure" datasets, obviously)
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-07-24 07:37:27 AM  
I do not approve of their methodology, or definition of obscure.

For my generation and the one before, Wagner's "Kill the Wabbit" was not at all obscure, yet neither was it anything we would listen to or scribble about on our cuneiform tablets.  My piano teacher talked about tunes that were "in the air". Everybody had heard them, but they didn't spend a lot of time on our gramophones.
 
2014-07-24 07:40:43 AM  

ZAZ: I do not approve of their methodology, or definition of obscure.

For my generation and the one before, Wagner's "Kill the Wabbit" was not at all obscure, yet neither was it anything we would listen to or scribble about on our cuneiform tablets.  My piano teacher talked about tunes that were "in the air". Everybody had heard them, but they didn't spend a lot of time on our gramophones.


How do you know how to use a computer?
 
2014-07-24 07:48:41 AM  
Well that was a waste of time

THANKS OBAMA
 
2014-07-24 08:08:29 AM  
Where does Barnacle Bill fit in?
 
2014-07-24 08:16:06 AM  

ZAZ: I do not approve of their methodology, or definition of obscure.


this.
 
2014-07-24 08:25:48 AM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-07-24 08:35:51 AM  

Smashed Hat: I need to hear 'If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me)' just for that title.


Enjoy.
 
2014-07-24 08:38:18 AM  
I liked Marguerite Farrell's  'If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me)' before it was popular.  Now everyone is listening too it.
 
2014-07-24 08:42:41 AM  

Muta: I liked Marguerite Farrell's  'If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me)' before it was popular.  Now everyone is listening too it.


We were just curious whether you had good or bad taste.

Now we know.
 
2014-07-24 08:55:09 AM  
not just awesome and obscure, they were local heroes in Baltimore.  good stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tguZGd41fLA

see you downy oshun.
 
2014-07-24 08:55:58 AM  
Funny, my grandparents had the sheet music to 'If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me)'. I thought it was funny as a kid.

/They were pure English
//Maybe they like the Irish beating the hell out of each other
 
2014-07-24 08:57:17 AM  
This one is probably pretty obscure: Peter the Meter Reader

Found the 45 for the song in a bunch of mud at the bottom of a lake in Alabama that had drained a few days before. My guess as to how the record ended up at the bottom of a lake in rural Alabama is that the song was so awful that this was considered the best disposal option to keep it from ever falling into human hands again. But thanks to YouTube, the ears of the world can once again be exposed to this screechy gem.

/Bet it was played on Dr. Demento at least once or twice
 
2014-07-24 09:02:58 AM  

war lobster: aerojockey: uberaverage: Maybe they should have adjusted for time a little more.

I'd like to see a non-linear correction.  From the corrected graph, you can see that recent non-obscure songs can never be among the least obscure since there seems to be a maximum level of non-obscurity.  Something like an obscurity model would be needed to really compare recent to old--even then it'd be a guess.  Only time will really tell.

Check out the original graph on  http://www.verysmallarray.com/. It looks like this:

[www.verysmallarray.com image 562x539]

I hate the Gawker network's habit of just posting watered-down versions of things the writers ran into while browsing more interesting websites.


It's obvious from seeing both  that the 'time correction' was done by simply tilting the graph, which seems like bad math.
 
2014-07-24 09:03:05 AM  
FTA:

1 Mina Hickman: Come Down, Ma Evening Star, 1903
2 Big Four Quartet: Good-Bye, Dolly Gray, 1901
3 Olive Kline: Hello, Frisco!, 1915
4 Marguerite Farrell: If I Knock the 'L' Out of Kelly (It Would Still be Kelly to Me), 1916
5 Horace Wright: My Own Iona, 1917
6 J. W. Myers: On a Sunday Afternoon, 1902
7 Orpheus Quartet: Turn Back the Universe and Give Me Yester Day, 1916
8 J. W. Myers: Way Down in Old Indiana, 1902
9 Alan Turner: Till the Sands of the Desert Grow Cold, 1913
10 Roy Ingraham Orch: Chant of the Jungle, 1930

So, using google and wiki hits to measure obscurity yeilds hits from before 1920 to be obscure?  Who knew people aren't googling "Good Bye Dolly Gray" from 1901.
 
2014-07-24 09:27:14 AM  

FoonFlake: I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Big Four Quartet (1901) was on the obscure list. Where has this so-called 'writer' been the past 113 years???


I'm surprised it hadn't gotten more wikipedia and google hits back in the 1900-1910s, like other songs back then. Are the study's authors sure the data from those searches is good from that time?
 
2014-07-24 09:34:14 AM  

stuhayes2010: 2 Big Four Quartet: Good-Bye, Dolly Gray, 1901

Good-Bye, Dolly Gray

had a huge second life as a hit during World War I.

You probably haven't heard of World War I, it's not nearly as well known as World War II.
 
2014-07-24 09:44:03 AM  

FoonFlake: I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Big Four Quartet (1901) was on the obscure list. Where has this so-called 'writer' been the past 113 years???


decomposing.
 
2014-07-24 09:47:35 AM  
So what is the definition of a "hit song"?
 
2014-07-24 09:51:05 AM  
List of obscure hits is no good without "Sirey Petes"
 
2014-07-24 10:04:57 AM  

EngineerAU: This one is probably pretty obscure: Peter the Meter Reader

Found the 45 for the song in a bunch of mud at the bottom of a lake in Alabama that had drained a few days before. My guess as to how the record ended up at the bottom of a lake in rural Alabama is that the song was so awful that this was considered the best disposal option to keep it from ever falling into human hands again. But thanks to YouTube, the ears of the world can once again be exposed to this screechy gem.

/Bet it was played on Dr. Demento at least once or twice


Yep, Doctor Demento played it for sure. I could hum the tune just from seeing the title of the song in your post. Probably haven't heard it in 35 years.
 
2014-07-24 10:06:05 AM  
I tell you how out of it I am. I've never heard of some of those recent hit songs. Or even their singers.

It's still all obscure to me.

/Bongo Bongo Bongo (I Don't Want to Leave the Congo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xw1w2F-8jc

This links to 4 Gershwin songs from an early hit musical of his. (Oh, Kay) Before you click, sing "Do-do-do" or "Clap Your Hands" and win a prize.
 
2014-07-24 10:07:23 AM  
List fails without Dargomyshsky's "In Church We Were Not Wed".
 
2014-07-24 10:13:08 AM  
Thank God someone did this. I can finally die happy.
 
2014-07-24 10:18:43 AM  

cefm: So what is the definition of a "hit song"?


A hit would be any song that you've heard about. However, now that you've heard it, the singer is nothing but a sellout and is no longer cool.
 
2014-07-24 10:49:26 AM  
sparrowism.soc.srcf.net
 
2014-07-24 10:54:33 AM  

red5ish: Wow, an interactive char...oh, no, it's crap.


Either the interactive chart isn't working in my browser (Chrome on Windows) or I just don't understand how to work it. I get a crosshair mouse pointer when I hover over it, and when I click on a data point it brings up some comment form (?).
 
2014-07-24 11:15:54 AM  

yakmans_dad: I tell you how out of it I am. I've never heard of some of those recent hit songs. Or even their singers.

It's still all obscure to me.

/Bongo Bongo Bongo (I Don't Want to Leave the Congo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xw1w2F-8jc

This links to 4 Gershwin songs from an early hit musical of his. (Oh, Kay) Before you click, sing "Do-do-do" or "Clap Your Hands" and win a prize.


Bongo Bongo Bongo got featured in one of the Fallout games, I think, just like Anything goes,  so former classics are getting attention from gamers.
 
2014-07-24 11:44:31 AM  

Fano: Where does Barnacle Bill fit in?


In the public domain.

Great song for any novelty music fans out there
 
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