WXPN's 885 Song Countdown - The Final Tally or Welcome to Brucetown

It's hard to remember when a week of radio was this much fun to listen to, and WXPN deserves a lot of credit for coming up with this deceptively simple concept and then playing all 885 songs. The simultaneous discussion on the WXPN bulletin board only served to amplify the excitement that grew day by day as the songs counted down. There were many great moments, including yesterday when both "Supper's Ready" by Genesis and "Close to the Edge" by Yes were aired in their full album side entirety. That the Yes masterwork was followed by a great Stevie Wonder tune was one more unexpected pleasure that resulted from this programming. Even though WXPN added server capacity to accommodate 4,000 listeners online, the demand overwhelmed the station's website during the final day of the countdown, and the site is still down as of 11:15pm. When it comes back online, I'll update this entry with the vital statistics, final top ten, and I'll list how my top ten selections did.

Springsteen still apparently owns this town as not one but two songs from the classic Born to Run album made the final top ten, with "Born to Run" at #6 and "Thunder Road" coming in at #1. As it played, I too rolled down my car windows to let the wind blow back what's left of my hair, and thought about the fact that this is truly the quintessential Springsteen tune, which is probably why it was also the Springsteen song on my list. The WXPN site came back online Sunday, so here's the top twenty-five:
  1. Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road
  2. John Lennon – Imagine
  3. Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
  4. The Beatles – In My Life
  5. Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil
  6. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
  7. Van Morrison – Into The Mystic
  8. The Beatles – A Day In The Life
  9. The Beatles – Hey Jude
  10. U2 – One
  11. Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue
  12. The Beatles – Let It Be
  13. Marvin Gaye – What's Going On
  14. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
  15. Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You
  16. Derek And The Dominos – Layla
  17. The Band – The Weight
  18. Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watch Tower
  19. Van Morrison – Moondance
  20. The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
  21. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
  22. Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita
  23. Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry
  24. Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
  25. The Who – Won't Get Fooled Again

I was initially amazed that only one female artist, Joni Mitchell, was represented in the top twenty five, and she's also the only female artist on the list below of artists with the most songs on the list. But then I checked my own top ten and she's the only female artist on it (hmmm). Five out of my ten placed on the 885, two in the top five. I'm kind of surprised that my Creedence and Del Amitri songs didn't place. Amazingly, there was only one Creedence song in the whole 885 ("Fortunate Son" #367). Here's my top ten and where they placed.

  1. Beatles - In My Life (#4)
  2. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River
  3. Yes - Close to the Edge (#271)
  4. Genesis - The Cinema Show
  5. Jackson Browne - For a Dancer (#207)
  6. Joni Mitchell - Urge for Going (#438)
  7. Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road (#1)
  8. Chris Rea - Fool (If You Think It's Over)
  9. Del Amitri - Always the Last to Know
  10. Average White Band - Work to Do

Some of the more industrious bulletin board participants (or those with too much time on their hands) kept us stoked with constant statistical updates, at least until the xpn site crashed. Here's the ten artists with the most songs in the 885:

  1. The Beatles - 48 Songs
  2. Bob Dylan - 33 Songs
  3. Bruce Springsteen - 27 Songs
  4. Rolling Stones - 26 Songs
  5. Grateful Dead - 20 Songs
  6. Joni Mitchell - 19 Songs
  7. Led Zeppelin - 19 Songs
  8. U2 - 18 Songs
  9. Neil Young - 16 Songs
  10. Van Morrison - 14 Songs

Here's the top ten Beatles songs, as they placed in the 885:

  1. Imagine (John Lennon, #2)
  2. In My Life (#4)
  3. A Day In The Life (#8)
  4. Hey Jude (#9)
  5. Let It Be (#12)
  6. Blackbird (#39)
  7. Here Comes The Sun (#40)
  8. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (#46)
  9. Yesterday (#48)
  10. Across The Universe (#64)
  11. Norwegian Wood (#67)

You can analyze the results in as much detail as you want with this nice database, courtesy of Claire & Michael Smith from their family website: http://www.smithnj.net/885counts.asp

You can see the entire list of the 885 songs on the WXPN site: http://www.xpn.org/885_GSAT.php

Here's the WXPN bulletin board: http://xpnonline.org/bb/viewforum.php?f=44

Thanks, xpn. Nice job.


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