Musical Dice -- Classics By Numbers

     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.

     For all my talk about how high a song got on the chart, I think it's only fair for me to point out that for every high spot possible in the top 40, there's a song that topped out at that spot that has gone on to become a classic. For example, there's #40 hit you can probably think of that has become a classic, same with a #39 hit, and so on. Here's my list of such classics:

#40: "Video Killed The Radio Star" -- The Buggles, 1979

     I find it funny that out of all the videos MTV had available at the time, they'd choose this one to kick off their channel. It barely made the top 40, and there were much better songs and videos around at the time. But because this was the first to be featured on MTV, that's why it's become a classic, and that's why it's included on this list. And hey, whoever wrote the song, must have predicted something like MTV coming to fruition. Great vision creates great content.

     Other #40 hits that I think have since become classics include "Still Crazy After All These Years" by Paul Simon (1975), "Who Let The Dogs Out" by the Baha Men (2000), "Breakdown" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1978), and "Give It To Me Baby" by Rick James (1981). Only goes to show, you never know what's going to become a classic.

#39: "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" -- Meat Loaf, 1978

     Yes, I think this is a classic. Anyone who has seen Meat Loaf perform this song (either on TV or in concert, will know why. Plus, the best karaoke proposal I'd ever seen was while the couple in question was performing this song. That cements its place as a classic, right?

     Another #39 hit that I consider a classic is "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys (1966). Other #39 hits that I consider to be classics include "I Don't Care Anymore" by Phil Collins (1983), and "Last Train To London" by E.L.O. (1980). Just my opinion.

#38: "Get Ready For This" -- 2 Unlimited, 1995

     You need only look to the many many sporting events where this song was played, to know why I included this as a classic. The song first came out in 1992, but I think it wasn't until it was being played at sports arenas as a way to fire up the crowd, that the song caught fire. I can't believe it only topped out at #38.

     For other classic #38 hits, that depends on who you talk to. For some tastes, "White Liar" by Miranda Lambert (2009) would fit the bill. For others, "Love Stinks" by the J. Geils Band (1980) would do.

#37: "Gimme All Your Lovin'" -- ZZ Top, 1983

     It's hard to resist the infectious backbeat and lead guitar on this song. It has become a staple of classic rock radio stations, and for that reason, it deserves a spot here, despite its #37 peak.

     Another huge classic rock song that only peaked at #37 is "Back In Black" by AC/DC (1981). Another such song is "It Keeps You Runnin'" by the Doobie Brothers (1977). For easier listening, "Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes" by Jimmy Buffett (1977) would be considered a classic #37 hit.

#36: "As" -- Stevie Wonder, 1978

     I always loved this one from the first time I heard it. I felt that when they issued this as a single, cutting its length to about half, they really didn't do the song justice. But when it was featured in a movie some years ago, I think that's when radio stations started playing the full seven-minute version. And thus, it's become a classic. And the year is not a typo. Yes, I know the album came out in late 1976. The song was the fourth single from the album, and in very late 1977, it peaked at #39, fell out of the top 40, but a few weeks later, rebounded, and in January of 1978, peaked at #36. It deserved even better than that, in my opinion.

     For other classic #36 hits, again, it depends on who you talk to. Some would consider "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith (1975) a classic #36 hit, or Van Halen's remake of "You Really Got Me" (1978) to be a classic #36 hit. Others would consider "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang (1979) a classic. And "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & D.J. EZ Rock (1988) is worthy of classic consideration too.

#35: "You Shook Me All Night Long" -- AC/DC, 1980

     From the first time I heard this one in late 1980, I knew it had classic written all over it. It is so catchy that I cannot believe it only peaked at #35.

     There are other classic #35 hits to be considered as well. Those include "Turn Me Loose" by Loverboy (1981), "Crazy On You" by Heart (1976), and "My Best Friend's Girl" by the Cars (1978). For easier listening, "Memories" by Elvis Presley (1969) is to be considered a classic as well.

#34: "Holding Out For A Hero" -- Bonnie Tyler, 1984

     Apparently, songwriter and producer Jim Steinman has his name on two of these featured songs, since he wrote and produced "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" as well as this song. To me, this was one of the best songs from the "Footloose" movie soundtrack. It surprised me that it only managed a #34 peak, given that the other five top 40 hits from the movie, all did much better. But time has made this one a classic. It was also featured in a men's cologne commercial.

     Here are some other #34 hits that I think have since become classics: Those are "Creep" by Radiohead (1993), "The Entertainer" by Billy Joel (1975), and "Blessed" by Elton John (1995). All three of these have been sung karaoke -- the latter two by myself.

#33: "(Pride) In The Name Of Love" -- U2, 1984

     I admit, I hadn't paid close attention to this song until about a year later, I was watching a docunentary on Martin Luther King, and I noticed that they kept playing this song. At first, I wondered why they were doing that, but then it dawned on me that the song was talking about Martin Luther King! I think the song was already a classic by that time. And this was U2's first top 40 hit in the U.S.

     Here are some other #33 hits that I think have since become classics: "I'll Still Be Loving You" by Restless Heart (1987), "Just Like A Woman" by Bob Dylan (1966), and "(What A) Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong (1988, but recorded in 1968). And for good measure, there's also the classic instrumental "The Chase" by Giorgio Moroder (1979), featured in "Midnight Express."

#32: "Roxanne" -- The Police, 1979

     I can only imagine that when the Police hit the top 40 with this first U.S. hit of theirs, people didn't know what to make of either them or their song (which may explain why the song only peaked at #32). But I'm sure by now, this song has become a classic.

     Other classic #32 hits that I know of include "Fantasy" by Earth, Wind & Fire (1978), "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra (1980) and "There She Goes" by Sixpence None The Richer (1999). One that I think should be a classic, if it isn't already, is "Everybody Wants You" by Billy Squier (1982). Just my opinion.

#31: "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" -- The Gap Band, 1982

     This is another one I thought was a great song from get-go. I remember listening to American Top 40, and week after week, it was glued to the #31 spot. I was like, are these people crazy? This is a great effing song! Well, it's now a classic, regardless of what the charts say.

     Other classic #31 hits that I know of include "Shattered" by the Rolling Stones (1979), "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" by Linda Ronstadt (1978), and "Pure" by the Lightning Seeds (1990).

#30: "Moonshadow" -- Cat Stevens, 1971

     Not much to say about this song, except that it's a great song, and deserved better than its #30 peak.

     Other classic #30 hits that I know of include "In A Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly (1968), "Space Age Love Song" by A Flock Of Seagulls (1983), and "Lies" by the Thompson Twins (1983).

#29: "Under Pressure" -- Queen & David Bowie, 1982

     Sampled in the first U.S. #1 rap song ("Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice, 1990), it's hard to believe that it came from a mere #29 hit. But I don't think this song needed Vanilla Ice to make it a classic.

     Other classic #29 hits include "Working For The Weekend" by Loverboy (1982), "You're Still A Young Man" by Tower of Power (1972), "Get Ready" as originally done by the Temptations (1966), and "Foolin' Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" by Styx (1978).

#28: "Old Time Rock And Roll" -- Bob Seger, 1979

     Now let's be honest here. It was more Tom Cruise performing this song in his underwear in the movie "Risky Business," more than anything, that made this song a classic. It was only after the movie featured the song, four years after its initial run on the chart, that people really paid attention to this song, the fourth hit from Bob Seger's "Stranger In Town" album. The song was even re-issued as a single in 1983, when the movie came out, and for reasons unexplained, it even missed the top 40 the second time around! (#48) The songwriter, Joe Tex, couldn't have imagined that his composition would take on such a new life. Sadly, he didn't even live to see it. He died in 1982 at age 49.

     There are other classic songs that only topped out at #28 as well. Those include "Knock On Wood" by Eddie Floyd (1966), "Young Americans" by David Bowie (1975), "Learning To Fly" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1991), and "Point Of Know Return" by Kansas. One more #28 hit that should be a classic in my opinion, at least in the dance arena, is "Point Of No Return" by Nu Shooz (1986).

#27: "Just What I Needed" -- The Cars, 1978

     This song has been such a staple in classic rock, that it is hard to believe it only topped out at #27. But remember what was all the rage back then: Disco.

     Here's another big classic #27 hit: "My Way" by Frank Sinatra (1969). Some other classic #27 hits include "Hold On Loosely" by .38 Special (1981) and "Leave A Tender Moment Alone" by Billy Joel (1984).

#26: "It's All Over Now" -- The Rolling Stones, 1964

     The Rolling Stones are too good of a band not to be given one of these 40 coveted spots. In light of who I plan to have in some of the other spots, I felt it best to showcase their classic #26 hit Bobby Womack remake of "It's All Over Now." I'll mention other Rolling Stones classics I'm sure.

     For other classic #26 hits, it depends on who you talk to. For some, the two-time Grammy-Award-winning song "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" by Glen Campbell (1967) qualifies as a classic #26 hit. For others, "Take Me To The River" by Talking Heads and "Dream Police" by Cheap Trick (both 1979) would qualify as classic #26 hits. Others would say "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner (1982) qualifies as a classic #26 hit. Others still might say "Me So Horny" by 2 Live Crew (1989) qualifies as a classic #26 hit. Who's right?

#25: "Piano Man" -- Billy Joel, 1974

     Who can deny that this is a classic song? I sure as hell can't. The only possible explanation I can think of, why this only reached #25 was because back then, Billy Joel wasn't that well-known back then, but once he had some his bigger hits like "Just The Way You Are" and "My Life," people started paying attention to his older stuff, and realized what a gem this song is.

     There have been other classic #25 hits through the years that are worth mentioning. One huge classic #25 hit, which was a very popular long-distance dedication song on American Top 40, and would later be adaped as the theme from the sitcom "Golden Girls," was "Thank You For Being A Friend" by Andrew Gold (1978). Other classic #25's include "Tender Is The Night" by Jackson Browne (1983), "Found Out About You" by the Gin Blossoms (1994), and "Come To My Window" by Melissa Etheridge (1994).

#24: "In The Still Of The Nite" -- The Five Satins, 1956

     A classic oldie if EVER there was one! I can't even IMAGINE why this didn't get any higher. But to the song's credit, Boyz II Men did a great remake, and their version climbed to #3. A mark of a classic song is when someone else also makes the song a hit.

     Other classic #24 hits include "Taxi" by Harry Chapin (1972), "One Way Or Another" by Blondie (1979), "Tuesday Afternoon" by the Moody Blues (1968), and "Wedding Song (There Is Love)" by Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul, and Mary)(1971).

#23: "Born To Run" -- Bruce Springsteen, 1975

     Another super-classic song, and I'm sure, one of the first songs people think of when they think of Bruce Springsteen.

     As far as classic #23 hits go, "Born To Run" is among some great company. Those include "Money (That's What I Want)" as originally done by Barrett Strong (1960), "Love Potion Number 9" as originally done by the Clovers (1959), "Heartbreaker" by Pat Benatar (1980), and "Forget-Me-Nots" by Patrice Rushen (1982 -- the song that Will Smith sampled in his hit "Men In Black").

#22: "She's A Bad Mama Jama" -- Carl Carlton, 1981

     As far as I'm concerned, this song has been a classic since it came out in 1981, and it still pops from time to time. To me, the real surprise isn't that it only reached #22 on the pop chart, but that it didn't reach #1 on the R & B chart -- it was #2 behind "Endless Love" by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, the same song that was dominating the pop chart at that time.

     Two big classic #22 hits were actually B-sides of bigger hits. Those include "La Bamba" as originally done by Ritchie Valens (1958), which was the B-side of his #2 hit "Donna." The other classic #22 hit like that, was "Undun" by the Guess Who (1969), which was the B-side of their #10 hit "Laughing." Other classic #22 hits include "Peaceful Easy Feeling" by the Eagles (1973), "I Was Only Joking" by Rod Stewart (1978), "Dreams" by Van Halen (1986), and "Happy" by the Rolling Stones (1972), the one that Keith Richards sang lead vocals on. And let me also add "Two Tickets To Paradise" by Eddie Money (1978) to the mix.

#21: "I'm Every Woman" -- Chaka Khan, 1978

     As to why this song has become a classic, it's not just that Whitney Houston did a great cover of the song (reaching #4 in 1993), it's not just that I hear this version more often nowadays, but also, with this song, Chaka Khan became the first woman to have a top 40 solo hit while still a member of a group (she was still with Rufus at the time). And let's not forget that this is just a great song.

     Other classic #21 hits include "We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore" by Twisted Sister (1984), "The Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett (1965), "Heart Hotels" by Dan Fogelberg (1980), "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and "Werewolves Of London" by Warren Zevon (1978). Let me throw in a huge personal favorite of mine that should be a classic #21 hit: "Someone That I Used To Love" by Natalie Cole (1980). What do you think?

#20: "Our Lips Are Sealed" -- The Go-Go's, 1981

     This song was truly the top 40 hit that almost wasn't. I remember hearing this song in late 1981, and liking it, but when I saw it stall at #41 for a second week, I was like, so much for that pretty idea. For stalling out short of the top 40 in its 8th week on the chart is usually the end of the road for a song. But surprisingly, the song inched into the top 40 in its 9th week, and slowly moved up to #20, eventually racking up a robust 30 weeks on the chart. Me, I would have loved the song, regardless. I'm glad to see that it's become a classic.

     As for other classic #20 hits, the first two I'm going to mention are rather offbeat, but nonetheless, classics. First is "Ain't Got No Home" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry (1957). It was this song that gave Clarence Henry his nickname. Also, there is "Lies" by the Knickerbockers (1966), a song I first heard in a dog food commercial! Other classic #20 hits include "Forever In Blue Jeans" by Neil Diamond (1979), "Young Hearts (Run Free)" by Candi Staton (1976), and "You Got Lucky" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1983).

#19: "In The Air Tonight" -- Phil Collins, 1981

     Like "Old Time Rock And Roll," I think the path to this song becoming a classic began with its inclusion in the movie "Risky Business." Then it was featured in "Miami Vice." It took me a long time to like this song, but now, I'm glad that it's a classic, regardless of how it got there.

     To me, this was a very difficult decision, choosing which classic #19 hit to showcase. For the other song I was considering was "Send In The Clowns" by Judy Collins (1977 -- first reached #36 in 1975). But it definitely deserves an honorable mention here, as it too is a great classic (and another one that it took a long time for me to like). Other classic #19 hits include "Push It" by Salt 'n' Pepa (1988), "Don't Stop The Music" by Yarborough & Peoples (1981), "Don't Ask Me Why" by Billy Joel (1980), and "Pinball Wizard" by the Who (1969). For good measure, I'll throw in two more, leaning more toward the country side. Those songs are: "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynette (1969) and "I Know A Heartache When I See One" by Jennifer Warnes (1979).

#18: "Always And Forever" -- Heatwave, 1978

     As huge of a classic as this is, I find it incredible that this wasn't a top ten hit like Heatwave's other two top 40 hits ("Boogie Nights" -- #2 for 2 weeks in 1977, and "The Groove Line" -- #7 in 1978). What happened there? On a personal note, the first time I'd ever received a standing ovation for singing a song karaoke, was when I sang this one for the first time six years ago, even hitting the long high note at the end. All I can say was that enough people there liked the song, and felt that I did it justice.

     Other classic #18 hits include "Treat Me Right" by Pat Benatar (1981), "You're A Friend Of Mine" by Clarence Clemons and Jackson Browne (1985), "I Only Have Eyes For You" as covered by Art Garfunkel (1975), "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt (1992), and "Foolish Heart" by Steve Perry (1985).

#17: "Twist And Shout" -- The Isley Brothers, 1962

     I go back and forth with which version is better, this one or the Beatles' version (#2 for 4 weeks in 1964). Right now, I'd go with this version. Oddly enough, when it came down to where the songs placed on their respective year-end lists, they placed in almost the exact same position ("Twist And Shout" by the Isley Brothers landed at #38 on 1962's list of the top 100 songs of the year, while the Beatles landed at #40 on 1964's list with their version).

     Another classic #17 hit, for which there was an even more successful remake was "To Love Somebody" by the Bee-Gees (1967 for them, #11 for Michael Bolton in 1992). One other such song was the 50's classic "Tutti Fruitti" (#17 for Little Richard, then #12 for Pat Boone). Other classic #17 hits that come to mind include "I'm Doin' Fine Now" by New York City (1973), "Soak Up The Sun" by Sheryl Crow (2002), and "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" by Billy Joel (1978 -- the musical featuring his music was named after this song).

#16: "The Gambler" -- Kenny Rogers, 1979

     First of all, I have to say here, that the years I mention for these songs, are the years that the songs reached their peak on the chart. Yes, I know this song came out in 1978, but it didn't reach its high spot of #16 until early 1979. All that said, now, as huge of a classic as this has been, pretty much from the start, I find it very hard to believe that it only topped out at #16. Yes, it was a #1 country song for 3 weeks, but I think it had more pop appeal than its #16 peak would suggest.

     Other #16 hits that I find it hard to believe that that's as high as they got, given what classic songs they've become include "Super Freak" by Rick James (1981), "Holiday" by Madonna (1984), "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders (1994), "You're My Best Friend" by Queen (1976), "Flashlight" by Parliament (1978), "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton (1978), and "It Was Almost Like A Song" by Ronnie Milsap (1977).

#15: "Won't Get Fooled Again" -- The Who, 1971

     To be clear, this song was a classic LONG before President George W. Bush used it as his inauguration theme song. There is so much about this song that is just classic, that it's no wonder that it took 8½ minutes to get it all in.

     For other classic #15 hits, it depends greatly on who you talk to. Some people would label "Alfie" by Dionne Warwick (1967) and "Delilah" by Tom Jones as classics. Some others would say the same thing about "China Grove" by the Doobie Brothers (1973) or "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" by the Greg Kihn Band. (1981). Others still might say the same about "Love In The First Degree" by Alabama (1982), or "Nobody" by Sylvia (1982). Others, still, might choose "Thin Line Between Love And Hate" by the Persuaders (1973) or "It Was A Good Day" by Ice Cube (1993) as classic #15 hits. What do you think?

#14: "Whip It" -- Devo, 1980

     From the first time I heard this one, I knew this would be a classic, despite its being somewhat weird. I suspect strongly that this song inspired the Dazz Band's 1982 hit "Let It Whip" (#5) in some way.

     Especially as these numbers get smaller, it gets easier to find classic songs that match the particular number. The hardest part is choosing those that I think are the biggest and best ones to highlight. In this case, other classic #14 hits include "Free Ride" by the Edgar Winter Group (1973), "Who Are You" by the Who (1978), "Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor Doctor)" by Robert Palmer (1979), "It's A Shame" by the Spinners (1970), and "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel (1984).

#13: "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" -- The Temptations, 1966

     As many times as I've heard this on the oldies stations, it amazes me that it never got higher than #13 back in 1966 (yes, it was the Temptations' biggest R & B hit, spending 8 weeks at #1 on the R & B chart). I thought it had way more pop appeal than that. But to the song's credit, it's been covered a number of times by such artists as Rick Astley and the Rolling Stones (it even reached #17 for the Rolling Stones).

     Classic #13 hits that I think are worth mentioning include "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by McFadden & Whitehead (1979 -- a two-million seller!!), "Dancing In The Moonlight" by King Harvest (1973), "Finish What Ya Started" by Van Halen (1988), "Livin' Thing" by E.L.O. (1977), and "Walking In Memphis" by Marc Cohn (1991).

#12: "1999" -- Prince, 1983

     This is one of Prince's best-known songs, it's one that gets played a lot these days, and it only did WHAT?? Amazing. But this song has quite a history. It first came out in late 1982. That's when I first heard it, and I liked it even then. It did hit the top ten on the R & B chart, but for some inexplicable reason, it missed American Top 40 by four spots. But after "Little Red Corvette" was a top ten hit in early 1983, "1999" was re-issued, and it climbed up to #12 at that time. It should have gotten higher, I tell you! Nonetheless, it grew into a classic, like I always knew it would. And for good measure, the song was re-issued YET AGAIN, in 1999, where it got up to #40. Anybody who has listened to music in the past 40 years, has most likely heard this song!

     1983 has more classic #12 hits, like "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John and "Faithfully" by Journey. The anthemic "Rock And Roll All Nite" by Kiss (1976) definitely has to be considered a classic #12 hit. Others include "Takin' Care Of Business" by the Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1974), "Layla" by Eric Clapton (1992 unplugged version), "The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy (1976), "That's The Way Of The World" by Earth, Wind & Fire (1975), "Got To Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn (1979), "If I Can Dream" by Elvis Presley (1969), "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan (1973), and "How 'Bout Us" by Champaign (1981). And I have to throw in two karaoke songs I sang to my wife the night I proposed to her. Those are "Since I Met You Baby" by Ivory Joe Hunter (1956 -- the oldest karaoke song I ever sang), and "I Love You" by the Climax Blues Band (1981 -- I proposed to her at the end of this song).

#11: "This Is It" -- Kenny Loggins, 1980

     This is one that seems to never die on radio. It surprised me that it never got higher than #11 on the chart. Co-written by Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins (the same duo wrote "What A Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers), this was the biggest hit Kenny Loggins had in the 80's that wasn't from a movie!

     Another classic song that tends to surprise people that it never got higher than #11, is "Running On Empty" by Jackson Browne (1978). Another song like that is "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)" by Fleetwood Mac (1976). Other classic #11 hits include "The Way You Do The Things You Do" by the Temptations (1964), "Barracuda" by Heart (1977), "Just Remember I Love You" by Firefall (1977), "Baby Hold On" by Eddie Money (1978), "One Of A Kind (Love Affair)" by the Spinners (1973), "Into The Night" by Benny Mardones (1980), and "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad" by Meat Loaf (1978).

#10: "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" -- Michael Jackson, 1983

     Okay, I had to get the King of Pop in somehow. And lately, out of all the classic #10 hits I know, I've been hearing this one, written by James Ingram, the most. So that's how "P.Y.T." the sixth hit single from "Thriller" slipped in.

     Here are some huge classic #10 hits: "Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison (1967), "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac (1977), "Evil Woman" by E.L.O. (1976), "Don't Do Me Like That" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1980), "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" by the Lovin' Spoonful (1966), "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Bad Company (1975), "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones (1965), "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)" by Al Green (1973), and "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith (1977).

#9: "One In A Million You" -- Larry Graham, 1980

     One of the best ballads ever recorded? A huge classic, and in fact, me and my wife's theme song? Hell yeah, I'm showcasing this song! The song was even at its high spot of #9 the week my wife was born!

     Here are some more classic #9 hits: "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters (1984), "Cars" by Gary Numan (1980), "I Fought The Law" by the Bobby Fuller Four (1966), "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar (1980), "Sooner Or Later" by the Grass Roots (1971), "Somewhere My Love" by the Ray Coniff Singers (1966), "Crazy" by Patsy Cline (1961), "Rock Steady" by Aretha Franklin (1971), "Heart Full Of Soul" by the Yardbirds (1965), "Witchy Woman" by the Eagles, "My Maria" by B.W. Stevenson (1973), and "Wildflower" by Skylark (1973).

#8: "Johnny B. Goode" -- Chuck Berry, 1958

     I could hardly have thought of a more classic #8 hit to showcase! One of the greatest songs of the 50's by one of the most influential artists of the Rock Era? Why not?!

     Boy do I have some huge classic #8 hits to tell you about here! These include "U Can't Touch This" by M.C. Hammer (1990), "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran (1958), "Fever" by Peggy Lee (1958), "Your Song" by Elton John (1971), "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett (1977), "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood (2006), "Dance To The Music" by Sly & the Family Stone (1968), "Nadia's Theme (The Young And The Restless)" by Barry DeVorzin & Peter Botkin (1976), "Come Sail Away" by Styx (1978), "Love Hurts" by Nazareth (1976), "Jet Airliner" by the Steve Miller Band (1977), and "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac (1979). WOW!!

#7: "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" -- Jimmy Ruffin, 1966

     Apparently this is one of those songs that didn't get as high on the chart as one would think, but it stayed on the chart a relatively long period of time. As for the singer, Jimmy Ruffin passed up an opportunity to sing as part of the Temptations, instead, letting his younger brother David join the group. But fortunately, Jimmy was rewarded with this massive classic #7 hit.

     Of course, as one would suspect, there are lots of other classic #7 hits in the Rock Era. Here are just a few of them: "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty (1990 -- top Rock Album Track of 1989), "Low Rider" by War (1975), "Rock And Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter (1972), "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" by the Jacksons (1979 -- a two-million seller!), "Poison Ivy" by the Coasters (1959), "Beginnings" by Chicago (1971), "Love Is In The Air" by John Paul Young (1978), "You're Only Lonely" by J.D. Souther (1979), "For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey, What's That Sound)" by the Buffalo Springfield (1967), "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel (1980), "Turn Around, Look At Me" by the Vogues (1968), and "Rock Steady" by the Whispers (1987).

#6: "Land Of 1000 Dances" -- Wilson Pickett, 1966

     Okay, now you know what that Na-Na song is really called "Land Of 1000 Dances" (if you didn't already). This song has a funny history. It was previously recorded in 1963, and the lead singer of the group who first made it a hit, had forgotten the lyrics, and was just ad-libbing it. Apparently, that went over so well that when Wilson Pickett covered the song, he didn't bother to remember the original lyrics either. This song, of course, has been sampled in "Here Comes The Hotstepper" by Ini Kamoze (#1 for 2 weeks in 1994).

     As these numbers get smaller and smaller, there are more and more classics to choose from, so I think from here on out, I'm going to just mention a select few classics from different decades of the Rock Era. In this case, classic #6 hits from the 50's include "What'd I Say" by Ray Charles (1959), and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (1956). From the 60's, classic #6 hits (other than the showcased song) include "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick (1964), and "Cloud Nine" by the Temptations (1969). From the 70's, classic #6 hits include "Why Can't We Be Friends?" by War (1975) and "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel. From the 80's, classic #6 hits include "Steal Away" by Robbie Dupree (1980) and "The Heart Of Rock And Roll" by Huey Lewis & the News (1984). Also worthy of mention are "Move This" by Technotronic feat. Ya Kid K (1992) and "Said I Loved You...But I Lied" by Michael Bolton (1993). Enough.

#5: "Brick House" -- The Commodores, 1977

     I have to admit, that when I first heard this song, when I was 12, I had no idea what the song was talking about. Besides, I thought it was saying "She's a brick...Ow!" Of course, now I understand, and it's easy to understand why it became a classic #5 hit. This was the biggest uptempo hit the Commodores had, and they wanted to be known as a funk band. The truth is, out of their 10 top-ten pop hits, only two were funk songs (wuth "Lady (You Bring Me Up)" (#8 in 1981) being the other one. But one can argue, since I'm showcasing this uptempo song here, they're getting their just recognition.

     Some of the other huge classic #5 hits include "Maybeline" by Chuck Berry (1955), "Book Of Love" by the Monotones (1958), "Sunshine Of Your Love" by Cream (1968), "Hooked On A Feeling" by B.J. Thomas (1969), "Rock On" by David Essex (1973), "Come And Get Your Love" by Redbone (1974), "Ballroom Blitz" by the Sweet (1975), "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross (1980), "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates (1981), "Love Is A Battlefield" by Pat Benatar (1983), and "Control" by Janet Jackson (1987).

#4: "Shotgun" -- Junior Walker & the All-Stars, 1965

     What else can be said about this song? A huge classic, if ever there was one.

     Obviously, other huge classic #4 hits exist as well. Some of those include "King Of The Road" by Roger Miller (1965), "I Wish It Would Rain" by the Temptations (1968), "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)" by Neil Diamond (1969), "My Cherie Amour" by Stevie Wonder (1969), "All Right Now" by Free (1970), "Proud Mary" by Ike & Tina Turner (1971), "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple (1973), "Don't Bring Me Down" by E.L.O. (1979), "Cruisin'" by Smokey Robinson (1980), and "Urgent" by Foreigner (1981 -- featuring a sax solo by Junior Walker).

#3: "My Life" -- Billy Joel, 1979

     My all-time favorite song, as well as a huge classic? Hell yeah, I'm showcasing it! On a personal note, just two days after I bought the "52nd Street" album, I learned that the big hit from that album (this song) was adapted as the theme song from the sitcom "Bosom Buddies" -- it made its debut just two days after I bought the theme song!

     Obviously, many other huge classic #3 hits exist. Here are just a few of them: "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly (1957), "Surfin' U.S.A." by the Beach Boys (1963), "Rhythm Of The Rain" by the Cascades (1963), "Saturday In The Park" by Chicago (1972), "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band (1979), "Harden My Heart" by Quarterflash (1982), "Hungry Like The Wolf" by Duran Duran (1983), "Jump (For My Love)" by the Pointer Sisters (1984), "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe (1990), and "Remember The Time" by Michael Jackson (1992).

#2: "Can't Help Falling In Love" -- Elvis Presley, 1962

     I had six #2 hits to choose from, when it came down to Elvis, but I chose the one that I think was the most memorable. It couldn't reach #1 because people were too busy twisting. Yes, this song managed to get past "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, but it was "The Peppermint Twist" that vaulted over this song into the #1 spot, with this at #2 for a single week. Since then, this song has been covered numerous times, most notably, by Corey Hart, and UB40 (their version spent 7 weeks at #1 in 1993 -- go figure!).

     There are far too many huge classic #2 hits to list here, so I'll list some of what I hope are the most obvious ones. There's "Start Me Up" by the Rolling Stones (1981), "Great Balls Of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis (1957), "Personality" by Lloyd Price (1959), "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen (1963), "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People (1979), "Material Girl" by Madonna (1985), "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles (1966), "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung (1986), "Under The Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (1992), and "Water Runs Dry" by Boyz II Men (1995).

#1: "Yesterday" -- The Beatles, 1965

     So why this song out of all 20 of their #1 hits? No, it didn't spend the most time at #1 (it spent 4 weeks at #1, compared to 7 weeks for "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and 9 weeks for "Hey Jude"), but it holds the record for the most cover versions recorded -- over 2500 in fact!! A very influential and impactful song, to say the least, and that's why I'm showcasing it.

     I'm only going to list those #1 hits that I think were the most influential and impactful. Feel free to disagree with me, but here goes: "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & his Comets (1955 -- the song that started the Rock Era), "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley (1956), "Tequila" by the Champs (1958), "The Twist" by Chubby Checker (1960, 1962), "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones (1965), "My Girl" by the Temptations (1965), "Respect" by Aretha Franklin (1967), "I'll Be There" by the Jackson 5 (1970), "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers (1972). "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee-Gees (1978), "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer (1979), "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson (1983), "Every Breath You Take" by the Police (1983), "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder (1984), "Faith" by George Michael (1987), "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston (1992), and "Macarena" by Los Del Rio (1996).

     SPECIAL NOTES: Even with the dozens of songs and artists I covered in this article, I know there are some great artists and great classic songs I didn't cover--I couldn't possibly get them all here. I plan to have a future article devoted to fan favorite classics, and that will consist of songs you tell me are classics that you feel I should have covered. So if you have a classic song you want me to mention, email me at, and I'll include it in this future article. But for now, to quote a classic #6 hit I didn't mention: That's All!