Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs

Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs of All Time
Of late, every few months or so the Rolling Stone magazine has been coming out with its Top XYZ of All Time lists - guitarists, top albums, etc. and now The Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs of All Time. The newspapers seemed to full of which were the top 10 songs. Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' was nominated as the Best Song Ever and it immediately got the conspiracy theorists busy saying that this was no coincidence - 'Just like the Rolling Stone to come up with a stunt like this to boost its sales and popularity!'.
At the end of the last century we had a profusion of these lists and there seems to be no end of them even now. I find all lists of this sort quite idiotic if taken beyond a point. Lists are fine as long you use them lists, as things to do or see. To treat them as merit lists is to overemphasize some particular person/groups subjective thoughts. Compare any two lists of the same by two 'authorities' and see the amount of difference of opinion.
Rolling Stone has employed the 'safety in numbers' principle in making this list, by taking not the top 10 but top 500, so that no one is going to feel too bad about songs being left out. The panel they selected was quite distinguished and had an impressive range. Full credit for that. I found reading the personal favourites of people like Ray Manzrek of the Doors or James Hetfield more interesting. I agree with the reasons for choosing 'Like a Rolling Stone', the folk-rock transition and all that. Though personally, I would have chosen Jimi Hendrix's 'Along the Watchtower'. Why? For the sheer musical intensity and the sense of drama as Jimi rambles on crazy and then finally hits the correct key at the very end. Needless to say, that Dylan's lyrics are simply awesome. The best guitarist and the best lyricist ever combined.

After having slammed all lists in general, I must admit that they are fascinating. I have come up with a Rolling Stone Song Quotient or RSQ. I thought it was a fun exercise, even if a pointless one. This is my metric to gauge well you know your music. Since the list is heavily 60s and 70s (only 3 songs from this decade made it), a person who listens to the Top 20 or MTV will have a lower quotient. (Personally - Serves you right!)

Look at the list and check songs that you have heard before, originals only, and list the # of songs in the following blocks and calculate values of a, b, c, d, e, f.
a = [1-20]; b = [21-100]; c = [101-200]; d = [201-300]; e = [301-400]; f = [401-500];

RSQ = (a+b+d+e+f)/500* 0.8 + 0.2 *(a*0.1/20 + b*0.3/80 + c*0.3/100 + d*0.2/100+ e*0.1/100)

Why this formula?
I felt that simple average alone is not a good enough. So I grouped songs into blocks, making songs within a block to have equal importance. It modifies the simple average by giving more weight to blocks of higher-ranked songs. If you have heard every song you should have a perfect score of 1. More just weights can be obtained by using an non-linear curve for the modifier instead of the brutal quantization, but that's too much complication for what is an idiosyncractic metric anyway.

Listen to all the 500 songs, improve your RSQ and waste more time at work
@Rolling Stone Top 500 Radio

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