Never say I don't read the readers' comments. I see here that some of my devoted cult (hey, even Scientology had to start somewhere!) would like it if I told them what song was actually at #1 when the #2 hits stalled at their second-rate position. So, I've gone through the trouble of finding that out. Because I care.
I won't be going back in time to review the ones that I've already written about. C'mon folks, this is blogging! The only thing that exists is the next moment. Here is a list of another 25 songs that weren't good enough to be #1 hits, because We, The People decreed it so.
And you people want to vote!
25) The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- Gordon Lightfoot: That load of iron ore kept the Edmund Fitzgerald from hitting the top spot. Well, actually it was Rod Stewart's "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)," which held at #1 for 8 weeks. I don't want to disparage large swaths of today's listening public (oh, why not?), but I can't imagine a song this, uh, word-heavy, that isn't a rap making the top of any charts. Except in Canada, because they're like that.
24) Lyin' Eyes -- The Eagles: Elton John's "Island Girl" kept this tune from reaching the top slot. Considering how many Eagles there were and how there was only one Elton John, I gotta figure Bernie Taupin was the real heavy around here.
23) Smack That -- Akon (featuring Eminem): Leave it to Ludicris featuring Pharrell to chart-block Akon featuring Eminem with their "Money Maker" tune. Who's "Also Starring" here? Tom Bosley?
22) Blueberry Hill -- Fats Domino: All of Richie Cunningham's enthusiasm couldn't make it #1 on the Pop charts. Had Richie not been fictional, maybe it would've stood a chance. Or maybe people were just tired of the song, since it had been a #1 hit for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and was recorded six times in 1940 alone. What do people think? This song is "Yesterday"?
21) Dancing On The Ceiling -- Lionel Richie: Making the list of all-time dumb songs by other listmakers does make me feel a little defensive for Richie's gravity-defying ode. That doesn't mean I'm going to listen to it, just that in memory it doesn't make me angry, like other songs. Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" and Huey Lewis and His News' "Stuck With You" chart-blocked it. Huey? That's like losing to a car salesman!
20) Mellow Yellow -- Donovan: OK, the one week the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" stayed at #1, "Mellow Yellow" hung back in reserve. Kids from my generation remember it as a soda jingle for Mello Yello, the refreshment that gave us the energy to run around like maniacs in 90 degree heat!
19) 99 Luftballons -- Nena: This became the highest charting German song in U.S. chart history, since audiences preferred "Luft" to "Red." Had Van Halen and their Deutschland Uber Alles song "Jump" not dominated the charts, maybe we could've saved the world from nuclear annihilation.
18) 19th Nervous Breakdown -- The Rolling Stones: It was SSgt. Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets" that kept the nefarious Rolling Stones from yet another one of their incorrigible #1 hits. The bass line alone here was enough to impregnate females and to encourage young men to go directly to jail.
17) Daniel -- Elton John: Elton went to #1 with "Crocodile Rock," but Paul McCartney and His Wings blocked Elton from another #1 hit with the ever-sentimental "My Love." McCartney understands the power of positive thinking unlike...
16) Never My Love -- The Association: The use of the word "Never" proved to be too negative for pop audiences, who didn't listen close enough to the real message of the song and prevented the Association from wracking up a third #1 hit, after "Cherish" and "Windy." Instead, this song began the group's steady decline of hit singles. (The albums remain fab.) However, it was Alex Chilton and those Box Tops holding on to #1 with "The Letter" for four glorious weeks before Lulu came to town.
15) All I Wanna Do -- Sheryl Crow: Boyz II Men pretty much dominated the charts for the final third of 1994, so any song not named "Here Comes The Hotstepper" by Ini Kamoze, was stuck behind either the startingly-original song title, "I'll Make Love To You" or the other mind-meltingly brilliant and unexpected, "On Bended Knee." Sorry, Sheryl, it's a Man's Man's Man's Boyz II Men World out there.
14) Hurts So Good -- John Cougar: To be fair, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor was a better song and its six week reign at #1 was well deserved. The same can't be said for Chicago's excretious "Hard To Say I'm Sorry." Cougar got last laugh with "Jack & Diane" hitting the top for four weeks in October of 1982!
13) Without Me -- Eminem: There was no way anyone was going to top Nelly's brilliant "Hot In Herre" for a summer #1 hit. When Nelly finally did give up the top slot, he gave it to…Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland with "Dilemma." Why did anyone even bother releasing a record in the summer of 2002? Well, I guess, by then, most people weren't.
12) Soul Man -- Sam & Dave: Here she is in the media! "To Sir With Love" by Lulu was #1 for five weeks, stopping Sam & Dave's "Soul Man" from its rightful place atop the throne. Kanye West would surely bum-rush poor Lulu at an Awards Ceremony near you.
11) The Girl Is Mine -- Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney: You'd think it would be illegal for Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney to not be handed a #1 hit. And "Say Say Say" was a #1 hit later in 1983 for the duo, while Michael himself took "Billie Jean" to #1 for seven weeks. But when "The Girl Is Mine" attempted to top the charts, "Maneater" by Oates and Hall refused to give way. Conspiracy?
10) Boogie Nights -- Heatwave: Human beings like their ersatz sincere and sentimental, I guess. How else to explain Debby Boone's ten week reign at #1 with "War Pigs," I mean, "You Light Up My Life." Heatwave? You can take your boogieing elsewhere.
9) Manic Monday -- The Bangles: And their cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" would meet the same fate. This time around it's Prince holding off the ladies with his tune, "Nobody Got Nood 2-Nite." Scratch that. That's MY song. No, it was "Kiss." Not the band, folks, the song. By Prince.
8) Burning Love -- Elvis Presley: It was like the 1950s all over again. Elvis' song is blocked by Chuck Berry's only #1 hit, the momentous "My Ding-A-Ling."
7) Since U Been Gone -- Kelly Clarkson: "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent featuring Olivia stayed at #1 for nine weeks, ensuring Kelly Clarkson that "Since U Been Gone" stayed at #2. C'mon American Idolatry fans! You're supposed to support your heroes!
6) Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang -- Dr. Dre: At last check "Snow" was still alive, though it should be noted that "Informer" was his only #1 hit and that only "Girl I've Been Hurt" charted in the U.S. at #19, so maybe there was a message sent. Snow's native Canada has had to be nicer to him, since they force their citizens to listen to Canadian artists in return for national health coverage. So, was Dr. Dre OK with never having a #1 single under his name as the artist? I'm not asking him.
5) Express Yourself -- Madonna: "Like A Prayer" went to #1 in 1989, but not "Express Yourself." Simply Red's "If You Don't Know By Now" prevented it. Actually, if you look at Madonna's career, she's had plenty of #1 hits but also enough #2 hits to make her look like Creedence Clearwater Revival:Cherish, Material Girl, I'll Remember, Causing A Commotion, Frozen. And we won't even talk about the #3 hits!
4) Purple Rain -- Prince: Everyone knows Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" is the kind of song to keep the Purple People Eater at bay. The 80s sound a little better in retrospect, but that's only because everyone revises it, so all that obscure stuff that you had to spend all that money on to hear is considered as common as the crap you couldn't get away from. Prince was one of the few who made pop music interesting. Most just made it annoying.
3) Chain of Fools -- Aretha Franklin: "Hello Goodbye" said goodbye to #1 and Aretha looked to step right up when John Fred and His Playboy Band cut the line with "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)," which is a song that by logic wouldn't even register on my radar, except I grew up listening to a local "classic hits connection" AM radio station at work that had about 146 records and this was one of them. So I heard this song every day of every summer my entire teenaged life. It might be a perfectly fine song, but I don't care. I will take hostages if I have to.
2) Louie Louie -- The Kingsmen: Seeing "Louie Louie" on the charts in late 1963 gives one the impression that the Beatles' 1964 U.S. takeover wasn't that urgent, but then I see that "Dominique" by The Singing Nun was at #1 and I realize that America has always needed outside help to save us from ourselves.
1) Like A Rolling Stone -- Bob Dylan: The Beatles' "Help!" kept "Like A Rolling Stone" from becoming the back-to-school anthem of 1965. Fact is, for all the words written about Bob Dylan's alleged "greatness," he never had a #1 hit under his own name. Turns out people really do hate his singing voice!
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