Battle for the Best Rock Song In History Rules

LTDMT I Champion Ben E. King, who bested over 580 songs with his classic tune “Stand By Me.” Can he repeat here?

1) What is this? First, it’s LTDMT VII- our seventh music tournament we’ve run on this site. It’s a music tournament of the most important songs in the history of rock and roll. Of 1,037 songs, one will emerge victorious.

2) How does that work? Every day we post four new match-ups. A match-up is a group of songs competing to advance. We set up a playlist using Spotify for your convenience so that you can listen to all of the songs in a row (we recommend music tournaments as a “bored at work” or “pre-gaming” activity, take your pick.

Sometimes some songs aren’t available on Spotify, so we’ll include a link to another outlet for listening to those match-ups. Each of the match-ups .

3) So how does a song win? Anyone that wants to vote should listen to a group of songs in order, and then stop and think about what score they would give each song between 0 and 10. Not objectively, just how you literally felt about it in that moment. Log your scores and go on to the next match-up. When you have given scores to all the songs and submitted the ballot, please make sure to comment on how your felt about the songs on the blog.

For the first round, the top scorer in each of the 259 group matches will automatically advance to the Round of 512. The remaining 253 slots will be at-large for songs with highest average scores. Songs will only compete with other songs in their Group up to the Round of 256, at which point we will do a reseed based on the scoring data we get and set up a single elimination bracket.

4) How did you pick the songs? Guillermo took an online course on “The History of Rock” over the summer and wrote down every song, artist, or album mentioned- that constitutes the entirety of 94% of the tournament. We made no adjustments besides choosing representative songs in the case the professor provided an album or band without a recommended track- this happened for approximately 100 songs in the tourney.

For songs after the year 2000, Gmo and Janos collaborated with LTD regulars like AdRock, DemAdam, Lindsay, and JoeD along with inviting nominations from music loving friends. Rather than popularity, we focused as the course did on innovative styles and evolutions in rock music this century and tried to represent such trends accordingly.

5) I’ve seen this before on other websites, but I’ve never seen it with scoring- just with picking one song over another. Giving scores allows you to reward (or punish) songs that only lost by a little (or a lot) for you personally. If picking between two songs is incredibly difficult, you can acknowledge that in the scores. Or if you just simply can’t decide on a match-up, you can even give them both the same score (since the voting pool will inevitably break the tie.)

One question we get often is “What does a 10 mean? What does a 5 mean?” Honestly, the answer is that it means whatever it means to you. Everyone uses their standards for voting. However, we do discourage votes like “10 for the song I like, 1 for the song I don’t like,” since voting like that undermines the scoring system.

6) Why are you doing this? Because it’s fun. For us, music tournaments have always been a great way to pass the time on road trips, at the office, or in regular group settings. Online, the Living The Dream Music Tournament has been a really rewarding way to begin building a community of music lovers across the world, across nationalities, and across genre loyalties.

7 ) Can I get involved now? Yes! There is absolutely no on-going commitment, you can just vote when you feel like it. Just scroll down and make sure that voting hasn’t closed on those match-ups. For this tournament, we’ll be aiming to do a 16 song group twice a week, with new match-ups posting on Mondays and Fridays.

8 ) A Note On The Honor System: Music tournaments are built out of a staunch history of, in Stephen Colbert’s words, truthiness. The idea is to give every song a fair shot from start to finish, not to only vote for artists you like, or skip songs halfway through.

We can’t force anyone to do any of this of course but we and all of our regular voting base stick to this tenet and we invite you to do the same. Each day there are four matches, each match featuring anywhere from 2 to 4 competitors depending on what round we are in, and unless you are running out of time to vote and don’t have time for the other matches, you should give them all a shot. Who knows, you might discover (as many of us have) that those songs you might have skipped end up being awesome new gems.

The whole point is to have fun and listen to music both new and old. If this sounds like something you are interested in, listen to today’s match-ups and submit your scores!

1 Response to Battle for the Best Rock Song In History Rules

  1. Pingback: Battle for the Best Rock Song In History: Day 1 | Living the Dream

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