Pearl Jam March Madness – A Statistical Analysis

by John Reynolds on February 28, 2008

“Porch” is the greatest song Pearl Jam has ever written. Fans love it the most. Scratch that, “Corduroy” and its never-say-die attitude is the most popular amongst fans. And No Code is the fourth most popular album, way behind Ten which is and always will be Pearl Jam’s best album and it can be proven.

Do these opinions sound like complete madness?

Well, you’re right, it’s all about “Pearl Jam March Madness”! – an interactive, online tournament that pits Pearl Jam’s songs against each other in a tournament bracket until fan’s votes declare an ultimate winner.

Based on the annual tournament to crown the U.S.’s top men’s and women’s college basketball teams, our friends at The Sky I Scrape have hosted the March Madness tournament on the Red Mosquito forum since 2004. The tournament includes seedings of Pearl Jam’s songs, and songs go head-to-head against each other in the form of fan voting. Winners move on and losers stay put. The different seedings each year make it tough for even the elite Pearl Jam songs to ever repeat as winners.

Fan Greger Larson has participated in all of these events and has put together an incredibly thorough and interesting analysis of the past tournaments, and how the popularity of individual songs from Pearl Jam’s albums help shape the popularity of the albums themselves. We at Two Feet Thick are grateful for Greger’s contribution and we’re pleased to provide his article for download:

Ten to the Avocado:

A statistical measure of the best Pearl Jam albums
and a comparison of favorite songs across the fanbase

© Greger Larson 2008

[ DOWNLOAD (237Kb) ]

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Greger’s 17-page(!) old-school manifesto is best enjoyed with your favorite latte or energy drink. Enjoy the madness!

About Greger Larson: Greger’s friends say that Greger knows more about Pearl Jam than is healthy in an otherwise well-adjusted adult. They are probably right. Though he would love to have carved out a career doing something explicitly Pearl Jam related, he’s instead fallen back on his other interests for a steady income. Greger got his PhD in Zoology in 2006 working on domestication using modern and ancient DNA, and as a result he’s spent a lot of time working with statistics he doesn’t completely understand while building evolutionary trees depicting the relationships of pigs and chickens and cows. Greger likes looking at things in different ways and so he was very excited when he hit upon the idea of combining his analytical skills with his Pearl Jam passion. He currently lives in Uppsala, Sweden but will be moving to Durham, UK by year’s end.

John Reynolds ( Twitter: @jjjrrr )
A New Jersey based programmer, John handles TFT’s programming and technical aspects. He also conceives and writes his share of TFT’s articles and sections. John’s first Pearl Jam show was at Lollapalooza on August 12, 1992.

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