Earlier this year, a data analyst decided to find out who the most literate rapper was by taking the first 35,000 words of artists’ lyrics, figuring out how many unique words they used, and extrapolating that data. It found Aesop Rock the most literate and DMX the least. So another data analyst decided to do that with rock acts. Off the bat, it’s nowhere near as comprehensive as the rap one. Only 10 artists are examined at as opposed to the 105 rappers.
The study, by Brian Chesley, looked at KISS, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, the Eagles,the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, U2, Metallica and Pink Floyd. Of, KISS used the fewest average words per song. That’s a little odd, in that we thought that they would never run out of ways to say “let’s bone.” His study finds that most artists use about 210 words per song, with about 2,000 unique words overall. KISS averaged about 1,400. Chesley says that common theory is that you should know about 2,000 words to converse at the most basic level. There you have it.
Of the ten bands ranked, Pink Floyd were the most literate, with over 2,600 words used throughout the songs he examined. Metallica is the second most-literate according to his date, with over 2,200. Bon Jovi and AC/Dc are on the low side. You can see the whole study here.
[via Consequence of Sound]