WXPN’s 885 Greatest Rock Songs Countdown, by the numbers

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As of yesterday evening, the annual WXPN countdown is a wrap. Thanks to everyone who voted, we celebrated immense volumes of rock and roll nostalgia over the past week, and exactly one brilliant practical joke was played by afternoon host Dan Reed – “Close To You” by The Carpenters at number one? Seriously? Of course not, it was “Born to Run“! With the dust settled, it’s time to take a look at the stats behind the 885 Greatest Rock Songs Countdown.

There were 338 artists represented.

The ten most popular bands were:
Led Zeppelin, with 37 songs
The Beatles, with 37 songs
The Rolling Stones, with 31 songs
Bruce Springsteen, with 26 songs
David Bowie, with 17 songs
The Who, with 16 songs
Bob Dylan, with 16 songs
The Clash, with 14 songs
Jimi Hendrix, with 14 songs
The Grateful Dead, with 14 songs

One entire album was played (its songs showed up at different times)…it was Close To The Edge by Yes:
“Close To The Edge” was song #363
“And You And I” was song #378
“Siberian Khatru” was song number #645

The most current songs in the countdown were “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers (#439), “Dark Star” by Polica (#656), and “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes (#396). Each of these songs came out this year.

The oldest song in the countdown was “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston (#431), which was released in 1951.

There were two rap / hip-hop artists in the countdown: Beastie Boys with “Fight for Your Right” at #647 and “Sabotage” at #250, and Run DMC (and Aerosmith) with “Walk This Way” at #867.

There were two versions of “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo” played (Rick Derringer‘s at #658 and Johnny Winter‘s at #432).

There were two versions of “Walk This Way” played (Aerosmith‘s at #79 and Run DMC w/ Aerosmith‘s at #867).

There were 20 women (solo or as front woman for the band) represented. They are:
Alabama Shakes, Aretha Frankin, B-52s, Blondie, Bonnie Raitt, Breeders, Cranberries, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Ike and Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Lucinda Williams, Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benetar, Patti Smith, Pretenders, The Runaways. (You might also add mixed-gender bands The White Stripes and The Pixies.)

The shortest song was “Judy Is A Punk” by The Ramones at 1 minute, 30 seconds.
The second shortest song was “Eruption” by Van Halen at 1 minute, 43 seconds.

The longest song was “Echoes” by Pink Floyd clocking in at 23 minutes, 31 seconds.

Thanks again for your votes, and for tuning in, and hopefully you’re as excited as we are for the 2013 885 Countdown!

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  • http://twitter.com/joshpincus joshpincus

    I turned off the countdown after the opening bars of “Close to You”. I was satisfied with that being number one.

  • swanny

    Great job! Keep it comin’.

  • John

    I loved this but wish the last 100 could have been played on the weekend as I work and missed all of Monday’s song.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tina.scheller.3 Tina Scheller

    It was great , but I’d love to know just how many people voted and how many votes did Born to Run get to be number 1?

  • http://www.facebook.com/GuyCampo Guy Campo

    an awesome event

  • Rhea

    That’s wonderful to hear about Yes. Close to the Edge is one of my all-time favorite albums. I’m glad those songs are still remembered.

  • Greg

    I thought the Green Day picks were a bit strange. I can understand American Idiot, but the only other song was Brain Stew? No Longview?