Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rush featured in Google Research Music Timeline project
11:27AM EST | comments (9) |

Last week the Google Research team created a Music Timeline which uses aggregated data from Google Play Music to show the changes in music genres over the decades. The visualizations show which albums from past eras are still in our music libraries today, and within each broad music category they have sub-genres and highlight albums representing each. Rush's Moving Pictures was selected as one of the featured albums within the Rock music genre for the Progressive/Art Rock sub-genre. You can also conduct a search for specific bands based on keyword; the result of a search for RUSH brings up Rush and any other bands with the word rush in them (Mahogany Rush, Otis Rush, Big Time Rush, etc.). You can read more about the project in this blog post. Thanks to Phil Simon and Jason H for the heads up.



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#9 - Posted 1/20/14 @8:44AM by deslock [contact]

This is an nifty visualization, though it'd be interesting if we could get more details. The year labels look slightly off (they're shifted a bit to the left), so I did a little interpolation assuming the points for the albums are correct, and 37.9 pixels/year (on my "retina" screen). For the smaller, post Moving Pictures peaks, I came up with:

Peak 1: 1984-1985 (Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows)

Peak 2: 1990 (Presto and Roll the Bones)

End of red segment: 1994 (just after Counterparts)

Dead zone: 1994-1996

1st red island: 1996-1999 (Test for Echo, Different Staged)

2nd red island (tiny spot at lower tip of Coldplay's peak): 2002 (Vapor Trails)

3rd red island (tiny spot between 2nd and 3rd Coldplay peaks): 2003 (Rush in Rio - a huge video hit, but only a spec on this music graph)

4th red island (there's a thin slit in the middle of it, but I counted it as one): 2004-2008 (R30, Snakes and Arrows, Snakes and Arrows Live)

5th red island: 2010-2013 (Caravan single, Time Machine, Clockwork Angels, The Studio Albums collection)


Presto and Roll the Bones are only slightly smaller than Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows. Late 1985-1988 was a lull, and Presto and Roll the Bones were a resurgence. Though Counterparts sold more than Hold Your Fire at the time, it's smaller on this graph.

Test for Echo/Different Stages is smaller than anything before it.

VT is minuscule by comparison, and RiR is even smaller than that. R30 increases a tad, but is still small.

Snakes and Arrows and S&AL pick things up a bit, but it's still smaller than Test for Echo/Different Stages.

The last peak is the first once since the hiatus to be larger than Test for Echo. I suspect most of that is because of The Studio Album collection.
#8 - Posted 1/20/14 @7:41AM by hazlnut [contact]

Art rock?

As opposed to Pop (crap) rock.
#7 - Posted 1/19/14 @9:44PM by CraigJ [contact]

This is some pointless research right here.
#6 - Posted 1/19/14 @9:34PM by jaeger [contact]

See how Bugs does on the timeline: link
Is there a normalization?
#5 - Posted 1/19/14 @9:34PM by jaeger [contact]

with his head up his...
#4 - Posted 1/19/14 @7:18PM by Alexfan [contact]

#2 - how do you interpret it?
#3 - Posted 1/19/14 @4:41PM by Ian Harris


Where does the data come from? Google says: "The Music Timeline is based on album and artist statistics aggregated from Google Play Music - we define popularity by how many users have an artist or album in their music library." has nothing to do with overall sales or concert ticket sales. It makes sense I guess that people - if they use Google Play Music at all - downloaded Rush tunes from that 76-81 period more than others.
#2 - Posted 1/19/14 @4:02PM by jaeger [contact]

Ha! Just got the meaning of Neil's line ``with his tail between his ears"!
#1 - Posted 1/19/14 @11:54AM by Will Collier [contact]

Hah... looking at that timeline reminds me of flipping through album racks back in the day. "Dammit, I don't give a crap about Jennifer Rush or Rundgren! Where's a damn Fly By Night with the lyrics sheet...?"

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