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Tabloid science

Apparently publisher of British tabloids Trinity Mirror has nothing better to do than pretend doing scientific work. Their “data unit” conducted a study of lyrics to over 6,000 songs by British and Irish bands:

Sentiment analysis involves picking out emotive words or phrases in a given text and placing them in context with the words around them to form an overall impression of the mood of the passage.

Afterwards, various publications of the concern jumped on it declaring a local artist as most something or another. Deep Purple were given the dubious honour of ‘most miserable lyrics’ by the GetWestLondon:

…Deep Purple’s songs are 67.8 per cent negative making them more miserable than Leonard Cohen.

Only 6.5 per cent of their material was deemed to be positive while the remaining 25.6 per cent was found to be neutral in tone.

Blood From a Stone and Nasty Piece of Work were two of 16 songs written by Gillan, born in Chiswick, to achieve a negativity score of 90 per cent – the highest that can be achieved.

The Smiths were likewise mentioned by the Manchester Evening News, while The Enemy was declared ‘ideal for caraoke’ by the Coventry Telegraph.

We would like to see the peer review of the study.

Thanks to Paul Gribnau for the info.

11 Comments to “Tabloid science”:

  1. 1
    Ignacio Dinamita says:

    They drove it, they crashed against a tree. Hey you bunch of morons, go find the cure for Ebola while doing cheap science …

  2. 2
    edoep says:

    I would so much like to comment in detail on that report, but i am way too depressed ….

  3. 3
    kraatzy says:

    What a bullshit …




  4. 4
    Jake L says:

    This is not a scientifically proved result and results are not evaluated by scientific peer review process. But anyway it is well-known, that any hard rock bands’ success is based on their realistic and rebellion style of communicating against society’s rotten institutions or personal struggles of life etc.. It is also well-known that both views are important in society. Views which describe what is good and positive and views which describe what is wrong and negative. So what… song can be good, even it has couple negative or positive words : ). I like Deep Purple songs, because music and lyrics fit well together.

  5. 5
    purple69 says:

    What a bullshit this is !
    OK , some of Ian`s word or phrases may be harsh , cynical or threatening but
    what about the passion and positive vibration that Purple`s unique mixture of
    words, music and passion gives to the listener ? – that`s by far more important.
    And – isn`t Child in Time an anti-war song ?

  6. 6
    Scott W. says:

    If DP can get the worst negative score of 90%, then what score do death metal bands like Slayer and Cannibal Corpse get…? -90%?!??

  7. 7
    MacGregor says:

    So many people take certain lyrics the wrong way. It depends on what ‘they’ want to hear. Are lyrics to be taken seriously? At times indeed they do, but so many times they are simply a take on life’s journey, good or bad, positive or negative, as that is the way it is.
    Are they autobiographical at times? Jethro Tull’s ‘Too Old To Rock ‘n Roll, Too Young To Die’ album is a classic example!
    They can be political also, environmental protest, mythology, science fiction & also the hedonistic traits that can go with a rock ‘n roll lufestyl!! Who is to judge what is happy or sad? It just doesn’t matter most of the time, but for myself, I do like lyrics that actually say something, other than man’s hedonistic pleasure & the like! Cheers.

  8. 8
    JohninNJ4you says:

    So what? You mean Gillan doesn’t write boring AOR love songs? Big deal. I wonder what they think of the original Black Sabbath …

  9. 9
    nupsi59 says:

    “…dig yourself a hole and jump in it…”
    (from ‘Mary Long’)

    Have a nice Day!

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    John@ 8- As you may well know, many of the early Sabbath lyrics are actually rather positive. But unfortunately Sabbath are branded with the ‘dark side’ fear rubbish, from a certain side of the ‘congregation’. ‘Judging a book by it’s cover’ I think would be a good analogy of the Sabs, They certainly had that ‘look’ about them at times. Geezer was a very good lyricist, as was RJ Dio later in their career.
    Alas, as we know, it depends on one’s interpretation of the ‘story’ that is being told. Cheers.

  11. 11
    Ian Gillan\'s Pants says:

    Gillan writing negative lyrics? Never!!

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