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Greatest Billboard # 1's of All Time


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...or at least year by year...

Greatest Number One Hits

by Robert of the Radish in The Y! Music Playlist Blog

The Billboard Hot 100 chart began identifying the top songs in America back in 1958. The list takes airplay and sales into account and is a good measure of what the most popular songs are at a point in time. Songs that make to the very top of this list on any given week can claim the moniker "number one hit".

This playlist is a collection of the best of the best. The greatest hits to ever peak on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Now before you start whining about why a particular song did not make the grade please ask yourself if the song ever made it to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. If not, it will not be on this playlist.

It's easy to find a list of Billboard's number one hits, but how does one narrow it down from there? Do you select the biggest sellers, the most critically acclaimed, personal favorites? Well, ultimately I decided on some parameters to help me tailor the list into a chronological time capsule that represents the best of what planet earth had to offer in terms of popular music.

The list includes just one song for each year since the Hot 100 chart began in 1958 and I made the decision to not repeat artists. Although some (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones) could easily have multiple songs on this list, I thought giving other talented acts a chance would create a better cross-section of popular music.

One thing I noticed as I moved from decade to decade was that it got much harder to choose a song I could really identify with. To my ears the 60's and 70's and even the 80's were filled to the brim with timeless tracks, while both the quality and quantity of #1 hits took a nosedive in the 90's and 00's. I'm not sure if this is because I'm getting old and am out of touch with what the kids dig today, or if popular music is indeed dead.

What do you think?

Greatest Number One Hits

1958: All I Have To Do Is Dream - The Everly Brothers

1959: Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price

1960: Stay - Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs

1961: Surrender - Elvis Presley

1962: I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles

1963: Fingertips Pt. 2 - Stevie Wonder

1964: House Of The Rising Sun - The Animals

1965: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones

1966: Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

1967: Hello, Goodbye - The Beatles

1968: (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding

1969: Everyday People - Sly & the Family Stone

1970: The Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

1971: Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) - The Temptations

1972: Let's Stay Together - Al Green

1973: Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye

1974: The Joker - Steve Miller Band

1975: Island Girl - Elton John

1976: 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon

1977: Hotel California - The Eagles

1978: Stayin' Alive - Bee Gees

1979: Heart Of Glass - Blondie

1980: Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2 - Pink Floyd

1981: Starting Over, (Just Like) - John Lennon

1982: Jack And Diane - John Cougar Mellencamp

1983: Beat It - Michael Jackson

1984: When Doves Cry - Prince

1985: Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears for Fears

1986: Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel

1987: With Or Without You - U2

1988: Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses

1989: Like A Prayer - Madonna

1990: Vision Of Love - Mariah Carey

1991: Set Adrift On Memory Bliss - P.M. Dawn

1992: Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot

1993: I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston

1994: Bump N' Grind - R. Kelly

1995: Waterfalls - TLC

1996: California Love - 2Pac

1997: Mo Money Mo Problems - Notorious B.I.G.

1998: Doo Wop (That Thing) - Lauryn Hill

1999: Smooth - Santana

2000: Amazed - Lonestar

2001: All For You - Janet Jackson

2002: Hot In Herre - Nelly

2003: Hey Ya! - Outkast

2004: Yeah! - Usher

2005: Gold Digger - Kanye West

2006: SexyBack - Justin Timberlake

2007: Irreplaceable - Beyonce

2008: Whatever You Like - T.I.

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I'm with you groovy chick.

Oh MAN! When I read this I keep hearing this song in my head..

I dig Rock and Roll music

And I love to get the chance to play. (and sing it)

I figure it's about the happiest sound goin' down today.

The message may not move me,

Or mean a great deal to me,

But hey! it feels so groovy to say:

I dig the Mamas and the Papas at "The Trip,"

Sunset Strip in L.A.

And they got a good thing goin'

When the words don't get in the way.

And when they're really wailing,

Michelle and Cass are sailin'.

Hey! they really nail me to the wall.

I dig Donovan in a dream-like, tripped out way

His crystal images tell you 'bout a brighter day

And when the Beatles tell you

They've got a word "love" to sell you

They mean exactly what they say

I dig Rock and Roll music

I could really get it on in that scene.

I think I could say somethin' if you know what I mean

But if I really say it, the radio won't play it

Unless I lay it between the lines!

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I can dig it, he can dig it, she can dig it, we can dig it, they can dig it, you can dig it

Oh, let's dig it. Can you dig it, baby?

I can dig it, he can dig it, she can dig it, we can dig it, they can dig it, you can dig it

Oh, let's dig it. Can you dig it, baby?

grazin' in the grass, yes, baby, can you dig it?

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I was listening to "Gold Digger" by Kanye West at YouTube just now. I wondered who was singing, since Rappers can't/don't. I scrolled down the comments and found I'd been listening to a sample/loop of part of Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman." Quincy Jones got it right: Rappers make your OWN music, don't just sample stuff!

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You know that composers back in the day, like Beethoven, Handel, Brahms, etc. Liked to use their contemporaries melodies and play around with them, develop variations on their themes, right?

And that it's not like they take a dart to a board filled with different names of songs and wherever that dart lands, that's their sample.

It takes an ear, it takes know-how, to match a sample to a beat.

And lastly, I'm pretty sure that 'Gold Digger' has Jamie Foxx (a friend of West) singing the Ray Charles hook, so that makes it a cover, not a sample.

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