Now the fun starts! Too bad I came up with this right before I’m going on a vacation. But when I get back I’ll update the standings. A brief explanation is in order. The primary focus of these blog post will be on the Top 100 Phish Songs Ever Played. Now, this isn’t a subjective list. It isn’t what song I think is or isn’t best. No, it is based strictly on numbers of times played. Now, you can go to Phish Stats and see this list as well, but it isn’t enumerated. You will also notice that it is in alphabetic order. So, instead of strictly importing the list from Phish Stats and putting a number by each song 1, 2, 3 and so on I ranked the songs in a PGA style. So if two or more songs are tied, I list them in the same position. So theoretically it could be 1, 2, 2, 2, 5. That way a song isn’t awarded a better number simply because it comes first in the alphabet.
If something happens interesting further down the list, like a song rises fast over the course of the tour, or a big log jam at a certain rank is broken out, I’ll do my best to share that information. Finally, if you’re wondering why I’m doing this, well it seems like fun and I know many Phish fans enjoy their numbers so I figured why not share my little pet project. That is all for a deep meaning to all of this.
With all of that preliminary information out of the way, let’s break down the Top 100 and see if we can’t predict a few things.
The Top 5
1 You Enjoy Myself – 568 (37%)
2 Possum – 496 (32%)
3 Mike’s Song – 475 (31%)
4 Golgi Apparatus – 449 (29%)
5 Bouncing Around the Room – 447 (29%)
Stating the obvious, nothing will be unseating YEM anytime soon. It is cool, however, that Possum could conceivably reach the 500 mark during Summer tour. It’s kind of amazing that with all of the songs Phish has played, only one and soon to be two will have reached that milestone.
The position between Golgi and Bouncing could swap this tour as well. Golgi will surely reach 450 plays and Bouncing will too. I’m still interested to see how things end up after Dick’s this year.
6 Weekapaug Groove – 444 (29%)
7 David Bowie – 432 (28%)
8 Cavern – 431 (28%)
9 Chalk Dust Torture – 430 (28%)
10 Run Like an Antelope – 424 (27%)
One of the first little nuggets that make this so entertaining to me. As any follower of Phish knows, Mike’s Song usually begins a suite of songs that always ends in Weekapaug, except when it doesn’t. It is a pretty rare occurance, only 31 times, but still common enough to happen, on average about once a year (give or take.) I also like it because my personal favorite version of Mike’s does not have a Weekapaug finish. Since it was my third show I didn’t realize at the time it was such a rare thing.
The other striking fact about the top ten is that two songs from the third studio album crack the list. Whereas some other, older and popular songs, like Reba and Bathtub Gin, are pretty far down the list relatively speaking.
11 Suzy Greenberg – 409 (26%)
12 Divided Sky – 399 (26%)
14 Stash – 395 (26%)
15 Runaway Jim – 370 (24%)
Most interesting here is Divided Sky cracking the 400 club. Stash has an outside chance at doing the same, but 5 Stashes in one tour seems like a reach. The drop off from Stash to Jim is a little surprising too. Other than the huge gap from 1 to 2, up until this point things are pretty close.
Rounding out the Top 20 (and this post)
16 Reba – 366 (24%)
17 Harry Hood – 346 (22%)
18 The Squirming Coil – 344 (22%)
19 Foam – 341 (22%)
20 Tweezer – 339 (22%)
I’m always surprised to see Tweezer so far down the list. But looking at Phish Stats a little deeper a few things become clear. First, Tweezer as a jam vehicle is playing catch-up on other jams, like YEM, Mike’s and David Bowie which got started years before Tweezer was on the scene. Second, after coming out like gangbusters, after 1994 the song became a less frequent visitor.
So that’s it for this part of the introduction. I’ll follow up with another post soon about the rest of the Top 50 and from there, it will be show time!