Rock VORP / by Rollie Agado

This entry by Chuck Klosterman is great for people who have a fondness of both statisticians and music.

In short… Chuck Klosterman was asked to create a formula that mirrored the popular baseball statistic VORP, an acronym for “Value Over Replacement Player.” The VORP metric (popularized by MIT-schooled Baseball Prospectus writer Keith Woolner) attempts to isolate the merits of a particular hitter or pitcher in comparison to a fictional “replacement player” — a hypothetical strawman who’s an average fielder and a mediocre hitter. “Would it be possible,” pondered the ever-pondering Simmons, “to create an identical statistic for music in the popular genre of rock ‘n’ roll?” In other words, is there a mathematical way to calculate how essential a given musician is to his or her band, and would it then be possible to extrapolate that artist’s value in comparison to other artists in competing groups?