April 4, 2014

50 years ago today, The Beatles held the top 5 spots on the Billboard 100.

And the accompanying story in Billboard read: "Just about everyone is tired of the Beatles... Disk jockeys are tired of playing the hit group.... The writers of trade and consumer publication articles are tired of writing about them and the manufacturers of product other than the Beatles are tired of hearing about them."

Who has come the closest to matching this Top-5 showing? Clue: The year was 2005 and the spots occupied were ##1, 4, and 5.

31 comments:

richlb said...

I think I remember reading that dying the Disco Era the Bee Gees had like 5 songs they either sang or wrote in the top 10. I may be a bit off on the specifics, but it was a pretty impressive stat to say the lease.

Saint Croix said...

Kelly Clarkson?

richlb said...

Hey, Wikipedia says I was right:

On the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for 25 March 1978, five songs written by the Gibbs were in the US top ten at the same time: "Night Fever", "Stayin' Alive", "If I Can't Have You", "Emotion" and "Love is Thicker Than Water".

Rocketeer said...

Tired of the Beatles? 50 years on, and that article still holds up.

Roger Ireland said...

Shakira???

mccullough said...

Kelly Clarkson

Bob Ellison said...

The Beatles were annoying in 1964. "She Loves You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", etc. I would not have guessed, were I judging pop music back then, that the Beatles were capable of growing into the band they became.

Austin said...

The Beatles were, I think, more of a visual phenomena than musical one, at lest at first. The stylistic devices which reduced their audiences to hysterics were all about movement and appearance. The seamless and engaging manner in which the left-handed Paul McCartney shared a microphone with right-handed George Harrison, the unique violin-shaped bass guitar, the handsome lettering on the bass drum all contributed to that visual effect. As for the music, it was cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat, a perfect combination for the visuals.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Barack Obama?

tim maguire said...

I would have guessed Michael Jackson, but not in 2005. I have no idea who was popular 9 years ago.

Alex said...

Amazingly enough they outgrew this Fab 4 girl screamfest and became a real innovative band in 65-67. I still think "Revolver" is their crowning achievement.

kfb said...

I do recall a lot of talk, "back in the day", about the Beatles and their physical appearance, especially the hair. However, years down the road, a lot of analysis has been done to breakdown how the Beatles altered the technique of how songs were written, especially in terms of revising basic song structure. Btw, I like your new photo. :-D

kfb said...

I do recall a lot of talk, "back in the day", about the Beatles and their physical appearance, especially the hair. However, years down the road, a lot of analysis has been done to breakdown how the Beatles altered the technique of how songs were written, especially in terms of revising basic song structure. Btw, I like your new photo. :-D

Titus said...

what happened to your previous pic Mary?

SeanF said...

Wikipedia says you're wrong, Ann. It gives The Bee Gees in '78, Usher in '04, and Adele in '12 as the only artists other than the Beatles to have three songs in the Top 10 at the same time.

It doesn't say which, if any, of them were simultaneous Top 5s.

That doesn't include duets/collaborations, though. Are you?

Doug said...

Not long ago, I rented a DVD of Beatles Ed Sullivan performances - and I was shocked at the (low) level of stagecraft and musicianship. Watched "Gimme Shelter" and "The TAMI Show" and thought the same thing.

That said, the Beatles were the phenomenon that the world needed.

Ann Althouse said...

"Wikipedia says you're wrong, Ann."

I'm getting my info from Billboard, where my link goes.

The answer is given there.

richlb said...

I think the discrepancy between the Billboard article and Wikipedia has to do with the fact that 50 Cent was "featured" in one of those songs. So the song wasn't credited to him as the main artist. A lot of rap and hip hop artists appear on each other's recordings.

surfed said...

Dean Martin's always said his proudest moment was when "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime" knocked the Fabs out of the #1 spot in 1964. Who would have thought Dean could've slated that four headed dragon?

Anthony said...

If you want to goose the sales of your book which could have been titled "One Hundred Years of American Pop Music", you title it How the Beatles Destroyed Rock'n'Roll. (By the way, your Amazon Althouse Portal post links back to the blog, not your portal.)

The author does make the case that the Beatles marked a definitive break between popular music for listening versus popular music for dancing, and in that sense, "destroyed" rock music. But that was after they had all top 5 songs.

Paco Wové said...

"On the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for 25 March 1978, five songs written by the Gibbs were in the US top ten at the same time"

Take it from me, one who was there — it was hell, sheer hell.

Patrick O said...

So, who do you like on this year's American Idol?

This is the first full season I've watched since the 1st.

The Godfather said...

I graduated from law school in 1968, and that's about when popular music ended for me. I've been an oldies guy since then.

But still, the Beatles were a remarkable phenomenon. The 5 pop favorites on Billboard were great for what/when they were -- and the Beatles had the top 4 spots the week before, and the top 3 spots the two weeks before that. I thought they reached their peak with Rubber Soul and Sergeant Pepper (but that's probably a function of when I left school and entered the grown-up world).

David said...

My answer was so far off that Althouse seems to have mediated it, out of embarrassment perhaps for my already meagre reputation regarding knowledge of pop culture.

madAsHell said...

I've always thought the top 10 list was a little like 7 million Obamacare sign ups. The numbers are fudged.

Carter Wood said...

1964 was such a great music year, with all sorts of variety. From Billboard's top 100 for the year:

1. I Want to Hold Your Hand The Beatles
2. She Loves You The Beatles
3. Hello, Dolly Louis Armstrong
4. Oh, Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
5. I Get Around The Beach Boys
6. Everybody Loves Somebody Dean Martin
7. My Guy Mary Wells
8. We'll Sing In the Sunshine Gale Garnett
9. Last Kiss J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers
10. Where Did Our Love Go The Supremes
11. People Barbra Streisand
12. Java Al Hirt
13. A Hard Day's Night The Beatles
14. Love Me Do The Beatles
15. Do Wah Diddy Diddy Manfred Mann
16. Please Please Me The Beatles
17. Dancing In the Street Martha and the Vandellas
18. Little Children Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas
19. Love Me With All Your Heart The Ray Charles Singers
20. Under the Boardwalk The Drifters

Wilbur said...

"Please Please Me" remains one of the greatest pop singles I've ever heard.

Great musically, great production and you can dance to it.

Big Mike said...

Fifty years ago?!? As in half a century?

I'm getting old.

Ann Althouse said...

n.n said:

"The intellectual progression of a pro-choice cult."

Ann Althouse said...

Fandor said:

"In 1933, Bing Crosby held 20 top spots on the Billboard 100. Impressed?"

Roger Smith said...

It went into overdrive in 2012 when love me do was to go into the public domain...I think the brits extended their copyright laws to address this