March 1, 2011

What are the 200 best #1 songs — going all the way back to 1955?

List-a-Beefy has figured it out and has been posting one song per day, with fascinating/trivial details, since the middle of last week. The person compiling this list has a mind-boggling fixation on the details of the Billboard charts, and this is not just thrown together, believe me. Understand the task: You have a huge group of songs when you look at 52 weeks from 55 years, but you are limited to the songs that made #1. You have to compare songs from vastly different eras. He's got Dean Martin, "Memories Are Made of This" at #199, and "TiK ToK" by Ke$ha at #198.

I mean, if I tried to do this, at least half of it would come from the 60s and there'd be whole years where I feel no emotional attachment to anything. List-a-Beefy is not like that. List-a-Beefy knows what he's doing. And he puts things into a historical framework. For example, when "It's My Party" — #196 — was #1 for 2 weeks in June 1963, replacing Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy," later to be shunted out, in turn by "Sukiyaki," by Kyu Sakamoto, Israel executed Adolf Eichmann. Think about it. I'm inclined to practice my skill at mnemonics with those sets of facts: There's Jimmy Soul, happily scarfing down sukiyaki at a party, while Lesley Gore is crying... over the death of — sorry, Lesley, this is mnemonics — Adolf Eichmann, whose soul drifts by...

22 comments:

Ron said...

Meade! Meade! Take her back to the Capitol!

Lucius said...

Lesley Gore is GOD.

MadisonMan said...

I can hardly wait to see where You Light Up My Life comes in. I wonder how many #2s it prevented from being #1. My recollection is that it was #1 for 10 or 12 weeks.

M said...

#1? Satisfaction.

Scott M said...

Alice In Chains' Nutshell isn't going to be on there, but it should. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd probably go with something safe like Stairway To Heaven.

Of course, in hindsight, I'm rock-centric anyway. Given all songs since 1955 across all the main genre's...ugh.

Carol said...

#1: Born to be Wild. Strong rock beat, funky rhythm guitar, cool B3 organ, nihilistic lyrics. True to the rock genre.

(Doesn't have to be the greatest band ever to have the greatest song.

Fred4Pres said...

Sukiyaki!

Fred4Pres said...

Get Meade some press credentials!

Bob From Ohio said...

""TiK ToK" by Ke$ha at #198"

No need to look any further at his list.

I mean, really --"TiK ToK" by Ke$ha at #198 of all time.

The screechy voice alone makes paint blister.

jr565 said...

Where does the Pixies Monkey Gone to Heaven rate?

Scott M said...

Where does the Pixies Monkey Gone to Heaven rate?

As good as that tune is, probably not in the top 200. If Nutshell or Solsbury Hill isn't, faggeddaboudit...

LordSomber said...

Feh. Who cares about charts?

"The Stripper" by David Rose always makes me smile though.

Shanna said...

I mean, really --"TiK ToK" by Ke$ha at #198 of all time.

Seriously. I mean, there is obviously always a bias towards newness on these lists, but KeDollarSignHa in the top 200 songs of all time? No way. Nobody will even remember that song in a year or two.

Revenant said...

I did a similar project along these lines, selecting three great songs from each year.

1. No act can appear on the list more than once, no matter how great they were.

2. The song counted if it was released OR became a hit in the year in question.

It started in 1956 with "I'm in Love Again", "Maybelline", and "Love Me Tender". I had to stop when I reached the mid-90s, as there weren't three good songs in some of those years.

Richard Fagin said...

We'll see which of the 200 best songs listed still sound fresh and new in another 55 years. Methinks most of them will have been recorded in 1955-1966 or so. There were plenty of duds and silly songs (even amazingly popular ones) from that time, but like Victorian homes, the good ones have craftsmanship in the production that doesn't exist any more. Sorry, professor, The Kinks don't cut it in that department.

Revenant said...

KeDollarSignHa in the top 200 songs of all time? No way.

The 200 best songs that reached #1, not the top 200 songs of all time.

There are tons of great songs that never reached #1 at all, for whatever reason. "Solsbury Hill" was mentioned earlier -- I love that song too, but it never came anywhere near the #1 spot on the charts and thus doesn't qualify for this particular list.

MadisonMan said...

The TikTok with the Star Trek accompaniment at the link is great.

Fred4Pres said...

This song so rocks over Ke$ha

edutcher said...

Ann sounds as if Meade's having all the fun while she's stuck conlawproffing.

R.L. Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.L. Hunter said...

Best Song Evar!!!11!!!1!!

AST said...

Bye bye, Love. By the Everly Brothers.

Pretty woman, Roy Orbison

Summertime Blues - Eddy Cochran