Musical Dice -- Biggest #2 Hits Of The Rock Era

     Welcome to the music section of my Musical Dice website! For you music trivia enthusiasts, and those who love to learn about the stories behind the music, you've come to the right place! I love sharing my knowledge of music trivia, so that's why I created this section.

     Today's topic is about the biggest hits of the Rock Era that did not reach #1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. With all the songs that become classic hits, unfortunately, there is not enough room at the top of the charts for all of them. Often times, a song that one would have thought had reached the #1 spot, was instead kept out of the top spot by either another classic, or a song that happened to be super trendy at the time. Today's blog is a salute to those songs that barely missed the #1 spot, and became the biggest #2 hits of the Rock Era.

Biggest #2 Hits Of The 1950's

     Admittedly, my knowledge of this decade's music isn't as robust as that of the four decades since then. I'm sure those who pay attention to my blog can point out other big #2 hits of the 50's than just the ones I'm mentioning here. The ones that I'm aware of include "Personality" by Lloyd Price (3 weeks at #2 in 1959), "Sweet Little Sixteen" by Chuck Berry (3 weeks at #2 in 1958), "Charlie Brown" by the Coasters (#2 for 3 weeks in 1959), "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" by Paul Anka (3 weeks at #2 in 1959), "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins (4 weeks at #2 in 1956), "Great Balls Of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis (4 weeks at #2 in 1957), and "Little Darlin'" by the Diamonds (8 weeks at #2 in 1957 -- a record which held for 24 years).

Biggest #2 Hits Of The 1960's

     I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention a #2 hit that nonetheless, was named the top tune of 1965, which was "Woolly Bully" by Sam The Sham & the Pharoahs (#2 for 2 weeks in 1965). Other noteworthy #2 hits include "Greenfields" by the Brothers Four (#2 for 4 weeks in 1960), "Can't Get Used To Losing You" by Andy Williams (#2 for 4 weeks in 1963), "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron" by the Royal Guardsmen (#2 for 4 weeks in 1967), "(Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls" by Dionne Warwick (#2 for 4 weeks in 1968), "Twist And Shout" by the Beatles (#2 for 4 weeks in 1964 -- behind one of their own songs!), "Return To Sender" by Elvis Presley (#2 for 5 weeks in 1962), and "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen (#2 for 6 weeks in 1963-1964).

Biggest #2 Hits Of The 1970's

     The most noteworthy #2 hits of this decade include "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters (#2 for 4 weeks in 1970), Dueling Banjos" by Eric Weissberg (#2 for 4 weeks in 1973), and "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty (#2 for 6 weeks in 1978).

Biggest #2 Hits Of The 1980's

     In case you didn't notice, I'm trying to only mention #2 hits that spent at least 4 weeks at that spot. There are a lot more of them in this decade. Those include "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross (#2 for 4 weeks in 1980), "All Out Of Love" by Air Supply (#2 for 4 weeks in 1980), "Don't Talk To Strangers" by Rick Springfield (#2 for 4 weeks in 1982), "Dancing In The Dark" by Bruce Springsteen (#2 for 4 weeks in 1984), "Hurts So Good" by John Cougar (#2 for 4 weeks in 1982), "Shame On The Moon" by Bob Seger (#2 for 4 weeks in 1983), "Say It Isn't So" by Hall & Oates (#2 for 4 weeks in 1983-1984), "The Wild Boys" by Duran Duran (#2 for 4 weeks in 1984), "Looking For A New Love" by Jody Watley (#2 for 4 weeks in 1987), "More Than I Can Say" by Leo Sayer (#2 for 5 weeks in 1980-1981), "Rosanna" by Toto (#2 for 5 weeks in 1982), "Open Arms" by Journey (#2 for 6 weeks in 1982), and "Waiting For A Girl Like You" by Foreigner (#2 for 10 weeks in 1981-1982 -- breaking the Diamonds' record from 1957).

Biggest #2 Hits Of The 1990's

     Lots of noteworthy #2 hits of this decade. These include "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Badd (#2 for 4 weeks in 1991), "I'll Remember" by Madonna (#2 for 4 weeks in 1994), "Don't Take It Personal (One Of Dem Days)" by Monica (#2 for 4 weeks in 1995), "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly (#2 for 4 weeks in 1996-1997), "Don't Let Go (Love)" by En Vogue (#2 for 4 weeks in 1997), "Tears In Heaven" by Eric Clapton (#2 for 4 weeks in 1992), "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes (#2 for 4 weeks in 1997-1998), "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" by Celine Dion (#2 for 5 weeks in 1996), "Baby-Baby-Baby" by TLC (#2 for 6 weeks in 1992), "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" by Patty Smyth feat. Don Henley (#2 for 6 weeks in 1992), "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow (#2 for 6 weeks in 1994), "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team (#2 for 7 weeks in 1993), "You Make Me Wanna..." by Usher (#2 for 7 weeks in 1997), "If I Ever Fall In Love" by Shai (#2 for 8 weeks in 1992-1993), "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here" by Deborah Cox (#2 for 8 weeks in 1998-1999), "Back At One" by Brian McKnight (#2 for 8 weeks in 1999-2000), "I Love You Always Forever" By Donna Lewis (#2 for 9 weeks in 1996), and "You're Still The One" by Shania Twain (#2 for 9 weeks in 1998). I THINK that's all of them!

Biggest #2 Hits Of The 2000's

     By the time this decade came around, I was paying a lot less attention to the music (most of nowaday's music, to me, is just pure crap -- my opinion, and I'm entitled to it!). Thus, I'm sure lots of long-standing #2 hits from the 2000's on, have slipped through the cracks, as far as I'm concerned. But here are the ones that I know of: "Hanging By A Moment" by Lifehouse (#2 for 4 weeks in 2001 -- also the top tune of that year!), "Breathe" by Faith Hill (#2 for 5 weeks in 2000 -- and also the top song of that year!), "Without Me" by Eminem (#2 for 5 weeks in 2002), "What's Luv?" by Ashanti feat. Fat Joe (#2 for 5 weeks in 2002), "Survivor" by Destiny's Child (#2 for 7 weeks in 2001), and "Work It" by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot (#2 for 10 weeks in 2002-2003).

     A handful of recording artists failed to reach #1, but had more than one song that topped out at #2. Here are some of those recording artists:

Bob Dylan

  • "Like A Rolling Stone" (1965)
  • "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" (1966)

Sam The Sham & the Pharoahs

  • "Woolly Bully" (1965)
  • "Little Red Riding Hood" (1966)

The Cowsills

  • "The Rain, The Park, And Other Things" (1967)
  • "Hair" (1969)

Gary Wright

  • "Dream Weaver" (1976)
  • "Love Is Alive" (1976)

The Pointer Sisters

  • "Fire" (1979)
  • "Slow Hand" (1981)

Glenn Frey

  • "The Heat Is On" (1985)
  • "You Belong To The City" (1985)

Jody Watley

  • "Looking For A New Love" (1987)
  • "Real Love" (1989)

Aaron Neville

  • "Tell It Like It Is" (1967)
  • "Don't Know Much" [with Linda Ronstadt] (1989)

Blood, Sweat & Tears

  • "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (1969)
  • "Spinning Wheel" (1969)
  • "And When I Die" (1969)

En Vogue

  • "Hold On" (1990)
  • "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" (1992)
  • "Don't Let Go (Love)" (1997)

Creedence Clearwater Revival

  • "Proud Mary" (1969)
  • "Bad Moon Rising" (1969)
  • "Green River" (1969)
  • "Travellin' Band" (1970)
  • "Lookin' Out My Back Door" (1970)

     VH1 had once asked its viewers, who's had the most #2 hits. They gave the answer, Creedence Clearwater Revival, with five, which would have been correct, if they'd added the caveat, without ever reaching #1. Without the caveat, that answer would actually be incorrect. Elvis Presley and Madonna each had six #2 hits (Elvis Presley's #2 hits include "Love Me," "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck,""(Now And Then, There's) A Fool Such As I,""Can't Help Falling In Love," "Return To Sender," and "Burning Love." Madonna's #2 hits include "Material Girl,""Causing A Commotion,""Express Yourself," "Cherish," "I'll Remember," and "Frozen."). Of course, Elvis Presley and Madonna also had almost 30 #1 hits between them. Also, the Carpenters had five #2 hits ("We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days And Mondays," "Superstar," "Hurting Each Other," and "Yesterday Once More"). Of course, the Carpenters also had three #1 hits.

     I will conclude this blog by giving my list of the top #2 of the Rock Era. I'd put together this list quite some time back, and there probably would be some changes, if I include data from all the way up to the present. Anybody with input to add to this blog, feel free to e-mail me at


  • 10. "You Make Me Wanna..." Usher, 1997 (#2 for 7 weeks behind "Candle In The Wind 1997" by Elton John)
  • 9. "Whoomp! (There It Is)" Tag Team, 1993 (#2 for 7 weeks behind "Can't Help Falling In Love" by UB40 and "Dreamlover" by Mariah Carey)
  • 8. "Little Darlin'" The Diamonds, 1957 (#2 for 8 weeks behind "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley)
  • 7. "If I Ever Fall In Love" Shai, 1992 (#2 for 8 weeks behind "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston)
  • 6. "Nobody's Supposed To Be Here" Deborah Cox, 1998 (#2 for 8 weeks behind "I'm Your Angel" by R. Kelly/Celine Dion, and "Have You Ever?" by Brandy)
  • 5. "Back At One" Brian McKnight, 1999 (#2 for 8 weeks behind "Smooth" by Santana feat. Rob Thomas)
  • 4. "I Love You Always Forever" Donna Lewis, 1996 (#2 for 9 weeks behind "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)" by Los Del Rio)
  • 3. "You're Still The One" Shania Twain, 1998 (#2 for 9 weeks behind "Too Close" by Next and "The Boy Is Mine" by Brandy/Monica)
  • 2. "Waiting For A Girl Like You" Foreigner, 1981 (#2 for 10 weeks behind "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John and "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" by Hall & Oates)
  • 1. "Work It" Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, 2002 (#2 for 10 weeks behind "Lose Yourself" by Eminem)