The 100 Most Immortal Tracks on Spotify Right Now

immortalPopular music trundles ever onward, picking up new styles and trends as it discards the old.

Except when it doesn’t.

Some art holds sway over the popular consciousness for many years — in music, these would be songs for the ages. Now that we’re in the future, here in 2015, we wondered: Which music from the past still attracts an outsize portion of attention?

To find out, Glenn McDonald, data alchemist for The Echo Nest at Spotify, started with the most buzzed-about songs on the web (according to The Echo Nest’s “hotness” technology, which analyzes what people are saying about music on thousands of websites), and then pulled the top 100 that are not recent releases, with a big emphasis on pre-2000 music.

Out popped The 100 Most Immortal Tracks on Spotify Right Now, a.k.a. ENtro to Immortality:


Plenty of these songs are FM or karaoke standards, like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Bittersweet Symphony,” “The Next Episode,” or “Eye of the Tiger.”

But you’ll also find some news-related tracks, like Joe Cocker’s classic cover of “With A Little Help From My Friends,”  because this “hotness” rating updates in real-time. Spotify listening to that song spiked on December 23, the day after he passed away; his listening boost continues.

It might seem odd that a playlist of “immortal” music would change. But from the standpoint of people today paying attention to music from back then, that is exactly what happens, as artists get more or less attention from fans over time. Enjoy!