Cardiff University Hospital conducted a survey, in which they asked doctors and surgeons to list their favorite songs to listen to while performing surgery. At the top of the list was Pink Floyd with "Comfortably Numb." The song was originally released on the iconic album The Wall, which released 35 years ago. So there's a good chance, according to this survey, that when you go under, your surgery team will be playing Pink Floyd as they work.
The next song on the list was the Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive," Sade's "Smooth Operator," "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham, and "Fix You" by Coldplay. At the bottom of the list was Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan (later recorded by Guns 'n Roses). Surprisingly, says Radio, "Don't Fear the Reaper" (Blue Oyster Cult) and "Killing me Softly" (The Fugees) aren't on that second list.
The results of the survey from Cardiff were published in Classic Rock Magazine, and while the results are largely tongue-in-cheek, the Pink Floyd choice as a background option is not actually too far off. The survey found that four of five surgery teams listen to music while they work, and have found that doing so "improves communication between staff, reduces anxiety and improves efficiency." The full study was published in the British Medical Journal print edition.
It's hard to imagine Pink Floyd not topping the list of choices for surgeons to listen to while they work, given the melodic sound and generally soft-touch sense of much of the band's music. Although The Wall might be a little too deep to play end-to-end in theater, surgery teams could hardly go wrong with Pink Floyd classics like The Dark Side of the Moon (whose logo is used in the photos herein). Ultimate Classic Rock agrees with our Pink Floyd assessment.
To recap, the most popular in-surgery songs, according to the Cardiff University study, are:
- Pink Floyd: "Comfortably Numb"
- Bee Gees: "Stayin' Alive"
- Sade: "Smooth Operator"
- Wham: "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
- Coldplay: "Fix You"
- Queen: "Another One Bites The Dust"
- Bob Dylan: "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"
- REM: "Everybody Hurts"
- Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Scar Tissue"
- Radiohead: "Knives Out"