The Secret Science of Pop
Professor Armand Leroi, an evolutionary biologist, explores the 'scientific history of pop music' and attempts to use the data to create a hit record with producer Trevor Horn.
Evolutionary biologist Professor Armand Leroi believes data science can transform the pop world. He gathers a team of scientists and researchers to analyse over 50 years of UK chart music. Can algorithms find the secret to pop success?
When the results are in, Armand teams up with hit producer Trevor Horn. Using machine-learning techniques, Armand and Trevor try to take a song by unsigned artist Nike Jemiyo and turn it into a potential chart-topper.
Armand also takes a scientific look at pop evolution. He hunts for the major revolutions in his historic chart data, looking for those artists who transformed the musical landscape. The outcomes are fascinating and surprising, though fans of the Fab Four may not be pleased with the results. As Armand puts it, the hallmark of The Beatles is 'average'.
Finally, by teaming up with BBC research and development, Armand finds out if his algorithms can discover the stars of the future. Can he predict which of thousands of demo tracks uploaded to BBC Introducing is most likely to be a hit without listening to a note?
This is a clash of science and culture and a unique experiment with no guarantee of success. How will the artists react to the scientist intruding on their turf? And will Armand succeed in finding a secret science of pop?
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
Baby One More Time
13th Floor Elevators
You're Gonna Miss Me
Video Killed The Radio Star
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Ice Ice Baby
Ice Ice Baby
Someone Like You
The Plastic Age
Simon & Garfunkel
You Really Got Me
It's Not True
Love Me Do
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Can't Get You Out Of My Head
God Save The Queen
We Are Family
Anarchy In The U.K.
You Don't Own Me (feat. G‐Eazy)
Never Gonna Give You Up
Take On Me
Earth, Wind & Fire
Boogie Wonderland (feat. The Emotions)
The Bay Rays
|Executive Producer||Steve Crabtree|