Top 20 catchiest songs of all time

woman listening to music

If you had to listen to 1,000 hit songs from the past 70 years, which one would you recognize quickest? That’s what researchers at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) set out to answer. They did so through a year-long study where they asked people to play Hooked on Music, an online game where people are timed to see how quickly they recognize a song.

12,000 people later the results are in. Click the Next button to run through the list of the top 20 catchiest songs of all time, along with the average time it took the participants to recognize the song.

20. Candle in the Wind – Elton John

Candle in the WindAverage time to recognize song:
3.04 seconds

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19. Rivers of Babylon – Boney M

Rivers of BabylonAverage time to recognize song:
3.03 seconds

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18. Devil in Disguise – Elvis Presley

Devil in DisguiseAverage time to recognize song:
3.01 seconds

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17. …Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

...Baby One More TimeAverage time to recognize song:
2.99 seconds

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16. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

Karma ChameleonAverage time to recognize song:
2.99 seconds

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15. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Billie JeanAverage time to recognize song:
2.97 seconds

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14. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet – Bachman-Turner Overdrive

You Ain't Seen Nothin' YetAverage time to recognize song:
2.94 seconds

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13. It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley

It's Now Or NeverAverage time to recognize song:
2.91 seconds

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12. MMMbop – Hanson

MMMbopAverage time to recognize song:
2.89 seconds

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11. Poker Face – Lady Gaga

Poker FaceAverage time to recognize song:
2.88 seconds

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10. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

I Don't Want to Miss a ThingAverage time to recognize song:
2.84 seconds

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9. Don’t You Want Me – The Human League

Don't You Want MeAverage time to recognize song:
2.83 seconds

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8. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

I Will Always Love YouAverage time to recognize song:
2.83 seconds

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7. Beat It – Michael Jackson

Beat ItAverage time to recognize song:
2.80 seconds

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6. Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Pretty WomanAverage time to recognize song:
2.73 seconds

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5. SOS – ABBA

SOSAverage time to recognize song:
2.73 seconds

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4. Just Dance – Lady Gaga

Just DanceAverage time to recognize song:
2.66 seconds

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3. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Eye of the TigerAverage time to recognize song:
2.62 seconds

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2. Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…) – Lou Bega

Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of...)Average time to recognize song:
2.48 seconds

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1. Wannabe – Spice Girls

WannabeAverage time to recognize song:
2.29 seconds

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