And we have our qualifiers!

First of all, a recap on what we did: for four weeks to 11 June 2023, anyone could vote on any number of random ‘Song A vs Song B’ matchups, so that we could eventually order the songs based on the percentage of matchups that they won. Hundreds of people took part: we can’t know how many, but they voted from 2,357 different IP addresses, so it was almost certainly over 2,000 people. The raw data showed 484,618 matches. During the first evening of voting, the votes were coming in at over 25,000 per hour – that’s 7 votes per second!

The final data was adjusted in a couple of ways. There were 24,090 possible matchups between 220 songs; all of them came up at least 5 times, but a few came up an exceptional number of times, possibly due to the random tie generator not being that good, or possibly something to do with stuff being held in website browser memory. So for those few ties which came up over 100 times, the results were ‘downsampled’ to that level. This lost us about 1,200 votes (0.25% of the total). Also, although some people voted an astonishing number of times, we decided that this was fine if there was no extraordinary pattern in their voting. One person did show this trait, so those votes were discarded. Again, this was only a fraction of a percent of the overall vote total.

Overall, after the adjustments, every song showed up between 4,210 and 4,651 times.

Once we had a table, there was one further rule to apply to decide the qualifiers, as announced in the Tournament Preview. This was to guarantee that at least six songs would qualify for the final 32 from each of these ‘eras’ in the band’s history: 1985–1993, 1995–2000, 2001–2008, and 2011–2022. The years are slightly arbitrary, but each has about the same number of songs. Those 24 songs would be joined by the 8 highest ranked songs not otherwise qualifying. In the end, this meant that the songs that ranked 28, 30 and 31 did not qualify, instead being replaced by the songs ranked 37, 39 and 50, which are from eras which had fewer than 6 songs in the top 32.

As in previous competitions, we haven’t shown the rankings of the 32 qualifiers at this stage, because we don’t want to influence the knockout stages.

The Qualifiers

  • 1985–1993

  • 99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
  • All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
  • Dickie Davies Eyes
  • Everything’s AOR
  • Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus
  • Outbreak of Vitas Gerulaitis
  • The Trumpton Riots
  • Time Flies By (When You’re A Driver Of A Train)
  • 1995–2000

  • Bottleneck at Capel Curig
  • Eno Collaboration
  • Irk The Purists
  • Look Dad No Tunes
  • Paintball’s Coming Home
  • Twenty Four Hour Garage People
  • 2001–2008

  • Bob Wilson – Anchorman
  • Evening Of Swing (Has Been Cancelled)
  • For What Is Chatteris…
  • Joy Division Oven Gloves
  • National Shite Day
  • Restless Legs
  • She’s In Broadstairs
  • Tending The Wrong Grave For 23 Years
  • The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the Light of an Oncoming Train)
  • Them’s The Vagaries
  • We Built This Village On A Trad. Arr. Tune
  • When The Evening Sun Goes Down
  • 2011–2022

  • Every Time a Bell Rings
  • Knobheads on Quiz Shows
  • Midnight Mass Murder
  • Oblong of Dreams
  • Rock And Roll Is Full Of Bad Wools
  • Terminus

The Full Table

28The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman66.1%
30Bad Losers on Yahoo Chess65.9%
31Westward Ho! – Massive Letdown65.9%
33Joy In Leeuwarden (We Are Ready)65.6%
34Running Order Squabble Fest64.7%
35Swerving the Checkatrade64.1%
36I’m Getting Buried In The Morning64.0%
38Man of Constant Sorrow (With a Garage in Constant Use)63.6%
40Asparagus Next Left63.1%
41Depressed Beyond Tablets63.0%
42Descent Of The Stiperstones62.7%
43Took Problem Chimp To Ideal Home Show62.6%
44Surging out of Convalescence62.5%
45The Referee’s Alphabet62.3%
46Vatican Broadside62.2%
47Slipping The Escort62.0%
48Lord Hereford’s Knob62.0%
49Turned Up Clocked On Laid Off61.9%
51The Unfortunate Gwatkin61.6%
52Tommy Walsh’s Eco House61.4%
53Dead Men Don’t Need Season Tickets61.3%
54Renfield’s Afoot61.2%
55A Country Practice60.9%
56If I Had Possession Over Pancake Day60.8%
5727 Yards Of Dental Floss60.5%
58Awkward Sean60.0%
59Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo59.9%
60In a Suffolk Ditch59.6%
61What Made Colombia Famous…59.5%
62Tess of the Dormobiles59.1%
63A Lilac Harry Quinn58.9%
64Alehouse Futsal58.9%
65I was a teenage armchair Honved fan58.7%
66Upon Westminster Bridge58.6%
67Monmore, Hare’s Running58.5%
68God Gave Us Life58.3%
69Harsh Times in Umberstone Covert58.2%
70CORGI Registered Friends58.2%
71Hedley Verityesque58.2%
72Grafting Haddock In The George58.2%
73Keeping Two Chevrons Apart57.3%
74Totnes Bickering Fair56.8%
75The Len Ganley Stance56.7%
76Fix It So She Dreams Of Me55.8%
77Bad Review55.8%
79Thy Damnation Slumbereth Not55.4%
80Four Skinny Indie Kids54.7%
81San Antonio Foam Party54.6%
82Little In The Way Of Sunshine54.6%
83Old Age Killed My Teenage Bride54.3%
84Paradise Lost (You’re The Reason Why)53.8%
85The Bane Of Constance53.7%
86It Makes The Room Look Bigger53.6%
87Rogation Sunday53.5%
88Adam Boyle Has Cast Lad Rock Aside53.4%
90Left Lyrics In The Practice Room52.6%
91Friday Night And The Gates Are Low52.5%
92Mate of the Bloke52.1%
93Uffington Wassail51.9%
94When I Look At My Baby51.9%
95Gubba Look-a-likes51.9%
96Used To Be In Evil Gazebo51.8%
97Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be with Jesus51.8%
98Even Men With Steel Hearts51.8%
99King of Hi-Vis51.2%
100Improv Workshop Mimeshow Gobshite51.2%
101I Left My Heart In Papworth General50.7%
102Prag Vec at the Melkweg50.7%
103Urge For Offal50.7%
104Breaking News50.6%
105Something’s Rotten In The Back of Iceland50.5%
106It’s Cliched to be Cynical at Christmas50.4%
107L’Enfer C’Est Les Autres50.2%
108Ode To Joyce50.2%
109Mathematically Safe49.9%
110Tour Jacket with Detachable Sleeves49.3%
111Persian Rug Sale At The URC49.3%
112Ordinary to Enschede49.0%
113Mod. Diff. Vdiff. Hard Severe48.8%
114I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)48.5%
115Blue Badge Abuser48.1%
116This Leaden Pall47.7%
117P.R.S. Yearbook – Quick, The Drawbridge47.6%
118Stuck Up A Hornbeam47.6%
119Floreat Inertia47.5%
120Bladderwrack Allowance47.3%
121The Best Things In Life47.2%
122A Shropshire Lad47.2%
123Secret Gig47.1%
124The Coroner’s Footnote46.7%
125Albert Hammond Bootleg46.7%
126Blood on the Quad46.7%
127CAMRA Man46.7%
128The Ballad of Climie Fisher46.4%
129Reflections in A Flat46.4%
130Yipps (My Baby Got The)46.2%
131Fun Day in the Park46.1%
132Rod Hull Is Alive – Why?45.8%
133The Announcement45.6%
1341966 And All That45.5%
135I Love You Because (You Look Like Jim Reeves)45.4%
136My Outstretched Arms45.4%
137Give Us Bubblewrap45.1%
138Baguette Dilemma For The Booker Prize Guy45.1%
139Big Man Up Front44.9%
140With Goth On Our Side44.5%
141Beneath This Broken Headstone (There Lies A Broken Heart)44.3%
142David Wainwright’s Feet44.0%
143Petty Sessions43.8%
144Deep House Victims Minibus Appeal43.7%
145Twydale’s Lament43.5%
146Lark Descending43.4%
147Mileage Chart42.7%
148Venus in Flares42.3%
149Sensitive Outsider41.8%
150You’re Hard41.7%
151Turn A Blind Eye41.2%
153Whit Week Malarkey41.0%
154Excavating Rita40.8%
155Letters Sent40.8%
156Sponsoring the Moshpits40.7%
157D’Ye Ken Ted Moult?40.6%
158On The ’Roids40.3%
159Fear My Wraith40.2%
160Reasons To Be Miserable (Part 10)39.6%
161Bogus Official39.3%
162Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes39.2%
163Let’s Not39.0%
164I Went To A Wedding…38.8%
165Token Covid Song38.7%
166Emerging From Gorse38.6%
167Jarg Armani38.4%
168See That My Bike’s Kept Clean37.7%
169He Who Would Valium Take37.4%
170Tyrolean Knockabout37.1%
171On Passing Lilac Urine37.1%
172Quality Janitor37.0%
173Arthur’s Farm37.0%
174Architecture and Morality Ted and Alice37.0%
175Fretwork Homework36.7%
176Our Tune36.5%
179Mars Ultras, You’ll Never Make The Station35.7%
180Girlfriend’s Finished With Him35.3%
181Hair Like Brian May Blues34.1%
182Nove on the Sly34.0%
183Whiteness Thy Name Is Meltonian34.0%
184Emergency Locksmith33.7%
185This One’s For Now32.2%
186Styx Gig (Seen By My Mates Coming Out Of A)31.9%
187Soft Verges31.8%
188Third Track Main Camera Four Minutes31.8%
189Ecclesiastical Perks31.6%
190Busy Little Market Town31.2%
191Song of Encouragement for the Orme Ascent31.1%
192Moody Chops30.7%
193On Finding The Studio Banjo30.6%
194Ready Steady Goa30.5%
195Worried Man Blues30.5%
197I, Trog30.2%
198Numanoid Hang-glide29.1%
200On Reaching The Wensum28.0%
201£24.99 From Argos27.9%
202Malayan Jelutong27.8%
203Christian Rock Concert27.4%
205New York Skiffle26.8%
206Carry On Cremating25.3%
208False Grit25.1%
209Frequent Electric Trains24.9%
210Mr Cave’s a Window Cleaner Now24.7%
211Split Single With Happy Lounge Labelmates24.6%
212Children of Apocalyptic Techstep22.7%
213Get Kramer22.5%
21413 Eurogoths Floating In The Dead Sea21.7%
215Song For Europe21.6%
216Theme Tune For Something Or Other18.7%
217Stavanger Töestub17.8%
219Slight Reprise10.3%
220Visitor for Mr Edmonds8.6%

What’s next?

The first knockout round of 32 will be later in the summer. Watch this space for the draw and the voting details. If you want to compare the results to previous competitions, you can find the results here: