Research Finds ‘bad To The Bone’ Is The Most Popular Song For Bikers

  • George Thorogood & the Destroyers is the most popular biker song, according to Spotify data
  • AC/DC are the best-loved biker band/artist across all Spotify biker playlists analysed
  • Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ is the most popular biker album
  • Soundtracks of the 80s continues to dominate the top biker tracks of all time
  • Avicii and Calvin Harris are two surprising artists to feature in the top 10 biker band/artists list
  • Spotify API data finds louder songs are more preferred by bikers, but fast songs are not

New research by Vertu Motorcycles finds Bad to the Bone (1982) by George Thorogood & the Destroyers is the most popular biker song, according to Spotify data.

Reviewing 392 tracks across Spotify’s top biker playlists (51,428 total Spotify followers), Vertu Motorcycles have uncovered the most popular biker songs, artists, and albums of all time. Loudness and tempo data was also collected via Spotify API (loudness/tempo audio features) across all 392 songs.

Best known as the soundtrack to the iconic motorcycle scene in Terminator 2 (1991), Bad to the Bone beats out notable biker tracks, including Born to be Wild (Steppenwolf) and Highway to Hell (AC/DC).

AC/DC are the best-loved biker band/artist
Despite missing out on the top spot in the Spotify biker songs list, AC/DC are by far the most popular artist across all 392 songs analysed. Comprising 5% of the total list, AC/DC feature across all playlists, with Highway to Hell and Thunderstruck the two most popular biker tracks by the band.

Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ is the most popular biker album
‘Slippery When Wet’ (1986) is the most popular biker album according to our Spotify data, closely followed by ‘Appetite for Destruction’ (1987) by Guns ‘N’ Roses.

Of the top-ranking biker tracks on these albums, Wanted Dead or Alive (#9) is the most prolific biker track from the Bon Jovi album and Welcome to the Jungle (#4) is the most popular from the GNR album.

Bikers prefer listening to Avicii and Calvin Harris more than Motörhead or KISS. (We’re not so sure about this: SBN)
Overall, 80s era bands/artists and tracks dominate Spotify biker playlists. Four out of five of the top biker albums were released in the 80s, with only a handful of artists from the 21stcentury.

Two of the artists breaking the norm are Avicii (#9) and Calvin Harris (#10); the data finds motorcycle owners prefer these two dance/house artists vs typical ‘biker bands’ like Motörhead and KISS.

The featured Avicii ‘biker tracks’ include Wake Me Up, Levels, I Could Be the One, The Nights and Waiting for Love; for Calvin Harris, the most popular were My Way, Slide, Summer, Feel So Close, and How Deep Is Your Love.

It’s more important that a biker song is loud vs fast
Our data finds the top three most popular biker songs (Bad to the Bone, Born to be Wild and Le Grange) are also the three loudest songs of the top 10.

As for speed, our data busts the myth that fast tempo makes a biker song as 50% of the top 10 sit below the average tempo line across all the tracks analysed.

Most notably, however, none of the top 10 most popular biker songs are the fastest or loudest of the biker genre. This shows that perhaps biker hits are more diverse than they are given credit for (i.e. they don’t always need to be the loudest or the fastest – but being loud helps to break through to bikers).

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