Listening to the Billboard Top 100 Charts (1946 - Present)

Songs NOT of the future! Kenny G top 100 hits (this one and Forever in Love) are sui generis as far as I can tell in the Billboard top 100. Occasionally you'll get a lyric-less song, but none that are this chill and this mellow that I can recall.

#forgottensong ! Finding top 100 eighties songs that make my standard for a forgotten song (less than 1M views on youtube) has been hard but this one counts! At 725k it's below the limit but what is even more bizarre is that it stars and is sung by Bruce Willis! Like Eddie Murphy, 1987 was apparently a time when big movies stars could have a top 100 song just because they were big movie stars. I don't think that is remotely possible today

I learned from that link that Willis made TWO full albums in the 80s.

In 1987 Bruce Willis wasn’t a movie star yet. He was mostly known for Moonlighting which was a huge tv show at the time. Die Hard was still a year away from existing.

I just read through this thread, and I've loved following along with you on your journey, jrralls. I feel like you would really appreciate his podcast, Hit Parade. Each episode is kind of a deep dive into the story of hit songs from various eras. It should be right up your alley.

Don Johnson put out an album or two also.

Squeaking in at #98 we have another contender for #songofthefuture I think. The beat, the rhythm, the power, and the confrontational nature all seem like they signs that the eighties are ending and the 90's are going to be a different time, musically speaking. Man, 1987 had a ton of future-ish songs, more so than most years. I wonder why? It is getting close to, but not yet at, the end of the decade. I wonder if that helps? Or perhaps just pure coincidence?

Also, it looks like every single last member of the Beastie BOYS is now eligible to join the American Association of Retired Persons.

So the Billboard top 100 is NOT a static judging system. It was designed to flow and change to adapt with the changing face of music. So the standards that Billboard uses for it's top 100 in 1958 are different from those in 1968 which are different from this in 1978, which are etc etc right up until 2018. But so far I haven't been able to find any google reference that shows year by year what the standards were. That's a bit irretiating so if anyone's google-fu is up to it, let me know if you can find it.

I bring it up because this song MAY (or may not) be THE version of the top 100 song and yet it's a version I've never heard before. The version I've heard a million times on the radio cuts off at the 3:15. BUT if I were to have physically bought the single in 1988 and played it as shown here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFQS... ) then the version I would have heard a million times is one with what is today usually considered a second separate song called, Meditate, basically a free verse rhyming session. Now the top 100 used a combination of radio play and single sales in 1988 to award this the number 2 spot but my GUESS (and it's only that) is that the radio version they used was the short, Meditate-free version. So which version should be considered a top 100 song? . ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

*sigh* Should I quit #allpopsongs ? It's taking a fair amount of time and sometimes I just want to say eff it. I mean, listening to every single top 100 song from 1946 to today? Why? Who cares?
Look, I could get into great detail about how I'm feeling about this experiment, but this says it all;
http://bit.ly/1GhsV8i

Reggae is not well represented on the top 100. This is only the second (I Shot the Sheriff, 1974) reggae song to ever make the top 100, unless you count Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" as reggae which some people do (but I don't).

jrralls wrote:

Reggae is not well represented on the top 100. This is only the second (I Shot the Sheriff, 1974) reggae song to ever make the top 100, unless you count Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" as reggae which some people do (but I don't).

The Hit Parade podcast actually did an episode on Red Red Wine. It was pretty interesting.

Simply Irresistible is another one of those 80's songs that, to me, is inseparable from the music video.

We've found 15 supermodels that can dance in unison, but they're feeling pretty bored and totally don't want to be here today.

Perfect! Let's start filming.

It is a different experience listening to songs at damn near 40 than it is at 18, shocking I know, but it really is true. This song is pretty obviously about a back break up and . . . yeah. I can still remember how much it sucked to have a break-up but it's pretty faded, remembered in flashes rather than with any narrative. And when I hear break-up songs it's with that boring old 40 year old mindset tempered by experience: "OK Johnny, it sounds like you feel she broke some sort of promises to you, but when people say they'd die for you that should actually be warning signal to you that they are prone to dramatics, plus there are two sides to every break-up and I don't hear a single bit of culpability in your tale which raises red flags for me."

Your text to link here...

Man in the Mirror is my favorite Michael Jackson song of all time, bar none. I've quoted it to others and myself because it speaks to me on a pretty powerful level.

It is not often that artists have top 100 songs separated by 20+ years or more, but it does happen and it's interesting to see what allows them to do that. In this case, it almost didn't. "It was the Beach Boys…and yet, not the Beach Boys. Not all of them, anyway. Drummer Dennis Wilson had drowned five years earlier. The emotionally fragile Brian Wilson, estranged from the group he guided to greatness in the ’60s, was recording his own comeback album with therapist/caretaker/Svengali Dr. Eugene Landy.

The Beach Boys had been recruited to record a tune for ”Cocktail,” a cheesy romantic comedy about a studly bartender in the tropics. Tom Cruise — fresh from success with ”Top Gun” and ”The Color of Money” — was set to star. It wasn’t exactly a glamour assignment, but the Beach Boys needed the gig — in the late ’80s the band was floundering. Label-less and without a new album since 1985, they paid the bills playing oldies gigs at state fairs and amusement parks. In 1987, they had been reduced to recording a cover of ”Wipeout” with corpulent rappers the Fat Boys.

The Beach Boys took on the assignment, but they were only partially involved in its composition. That task mostly fell to a weird trio of well-respected California-rock veterans. There was the late Mamas and the Papas founder John Phillips, the man who brought us ”California Dreamin”’ and ”Monday, Monday.” Also on board: Scott McKenzie, a longtime Phillips collaborator who’s best known for his 1967 smash ”San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”" - http://ew.com/article/2004/05/28/tru...

There is a factor in a song's longevity that I know I haven't brought up before but that I can definitely see playing a role in it remaining known over time. Based upon the fact that I'm bringing this factor up for Pour Some Sugar on Me, anyone want to guess what that factor is?

So the Loco-Motion song appears on Billboard twice, 1962 and 1988. Again, the 80's were a huge time of nostalgia for the '50's (which in zietgiest terms includes the non-counterculture 60's) so this makes sense. But it's also part of a rather small subset of top 100 songs; the specific dance songs. Now most songs can be danced _to_, but only maybe a dozen top 100 songs are about one, and only one, very specific dance /dance move; ( “Teach Me How To Dougie” “Y.M.C.A.” “The Humpty Dance”) and this is one of them.

Side note: I really of hope we get a huge new version of the Macarena in 2022!

Hair Metal top 100 hits are pretty rare on the top 100. Hell, metal of any type is pretty rare.

So 1988 saw a new covers of Elvis' Don't Be Cruel reach the top one hundred, as done by Cheap Trick.

This is one of only three Cheap Trick songs to make the top one hundred, the other two being I Want You To Want me and The Flame. Having them do a 1980's version of a 1950's song just feels ... weird? Odd? When I think of them I think of Surrender (not in the top 100) and I just don't _hear_ them in this cover.

I guess the equivalent today would be if Kendrick Lamar did a cover of Lionel Richie's Say You, Say Me that tried really hard to be faithful to the original sound and succeeded in doing so.

So I'm on the lookout for the very first Rap/Hip-Hop song to make it to the top 100 and this song struck me as closer than any other I've heard so far. What I'd really like to do is find the first Rap song and the first Hip-Hop song but the problem is that Rap and Hip-Hop seem to have huge overlap (itunes lists them in the same category, for instance: https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/mu... ). Nonetheless based upon my own personal standards I'm going to call this as the first hip-hop song in the top 100, but NOT the first rap song. That is yet to come. #songofthefuture

Was not expecting this but I really need a second opinion here. Go to the 2:30 second mark of this video.

That's rap! No ifs ands or buts about it, for 20 seconds this song features rap and nothing but rap. The rest of the song is R&B/proto-Hip-Hop which I have heard before but that 20 seconds flow? That is the first time that I have heard straight up rap on the top 100 list.

And it makes sense that I'd hear it as part of a song rather than a unique song before it because this is studying the progression of popular music and so it's not usual for new types of music to blend into old. But man is 1988 looking like a way way bigger year in pop music history than I would have ever expected.

I think it is definitely a #songofthefuture but I'm unsure if I should call it the first rap song in the top 100 because it's only a small part of the song, not even 10%.

What do you think?

I agree it is rap, but I wouldn't say it is a rap song. Just like songs that have a few seconds of orchestra are not orchestra songs.

LeapingGnome wrote:

I agree it is rap, but I wouldn't say it is a rap song. Just like songs that have a few seconds of orchestra are not orchestra songs.

Point. Still, I _think_ I've heard orchestra parts in other top 100 songs, but I know I've never heard rap before.

Right, I believe you that is the first one featuring a rap segment. Just saying I would not count it as 'the first rap song' of the top 100. I'm interested to see when you get there what you find it really is.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Right, I believe you that is the first one featuring a rap segment. Just saying I would not count it as 'the first rap song' of the top 100. I'm interested to see when you get there what you find it really is.

Me too!

Wait... did Run-DMC not make the Top 100 with "It's Tricky" or "Walk This Way"? I'm kind of shocked.

From Wikipedia:

"Rapture" is a song by the American pop rock band Blondie from their fifth studio album, Autoamerican (1980).
.

In January 1981, "Rapture" was released as the second and final single from the album. The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for two weeks. It was the first No. 1 song in the U.S. to feature rap vocals. The song peaked at No. 4 in Australia and No. 5 in the United Kingdom.

Tscott wrote:

Wait... did Run-DMC not make the Top 100 with "It's Tricky" or "Walk This Way"? I'm kind of shocked.

DMC's Tricky was not a top 100 hit.

Walk this way ... I don't think I can give the title of "first rap song" to a cover of a song that wasn't a rap song.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

From Wikipedia:

"Rapture" is a song by the American pop rock band Blondie from their fifth studio album, Autoamerican (1980).
.

In January 1981, "Rapture" was released as the second and final single from the album. The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it stayed for two weeks. It was the first No. 1 song in the U.S. to feature rap vocals. The song peaked at No. 4 in Australia and No. 5 in the United Kingdom.

That's true! I hadn't caught that, thanks!