Monday, May 14, 2012

CCR, Elvis Presley, Madonna Tied for Most #2 Hits

One of my pet peeves is misinformation, and I recently came across some.  It concerns #2 songs, and Billboard magazine lists Madonna has having the most with 6.  I did some research on this.

Unfortunately the magazine doesn't even know the way it did its own charts back in the 60's and 70's.  Probably most of its editors weren't born yet.  Whatever the reason, back then, there were numerous singles in which both sides, the "A" side and the "B" side, both charted if both were strong and received significant airplay.

Creedence Clearwater Revival was famous for having #2 songs, and two of these were double-sided hits that both reached #2.  In other words, Billboard listed the double-sided hits as #2 songs; therefore they can't only count one of them.  Thus, CCR has had six #2 songs, the same as Madonna, and is tied for the Rock Era record.  Of course, the San Francisco group holds the record for most #2's without having a #1, since unbelievably, Billboard never saw fit to rank even one of their songs #1 despite them being one of the top groups in the world from 1968-1971.

CCR hit #2 with "Proud Mary", "Bad Moon Rising", "Green River", "Travelin' Band", "Who'll Stop the Rain" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door".  "Long As I Can See the Light" was the flip of the latter and originally charted with it.  But it wasn't as strong as "Lookin' Out My Back Door" and eventually was separated from it.

Elvis Presley has also had six #2 songs:  "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 has had the following #2 songs:  "Material Girl", "Causing A Commotion", "Express Yourself", "Cherish", "I'll Remember" and "Frozen".

Here is the list of the artists who have had more than one #2 song:

1.   CCR (6)

1.   Madonna (6)

1.   Elvis Presley (6)

4.   Carpenters (5--"We've Only Just Begun, "Rainy Days and Mondays", "Superstar", "Hurting Each Other", "Yesterday Once More")

5.   Janet Jackson (4--"Let's Wait Awhile", "Rhythm Nation", "Come Back to Me", "Any Time, Any Place")

5.   Elton John (4--"Daniel", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me", "I Don't Wanna' Go On With You Like That")

5.   Puff Daddy, Diddy, etc. (4--"It's All About the Benjamins" (with The Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim and the L.O.X.), "Satisfy You" (with R. Kelly), "I Need a Girl" (with Usher and Loon), ("I Don't Wanna' Know" (with Mario Winans and Enya))

8.   Ashanti (3--"Rock Wit You (Awww Baby)", "What's Love" (with Fat Joe and Ja Rule), "Mesmerize" (with Ja Rule))

8.   Beatles (3--"Twist and Shout", "Do You Want To Know a Secret", "Yellow Submarine")

8.   Blood, Sweat & Tears (3--"Spinning Wheel", "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "And When I Die")

8.   En Vogue (3--"Hold On", "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna' Get It)", "Don't Let Go (Love)")

8.   R. Kelly (3--"I Believe I Can Fly", "Ignition", "Satisfy You" (with Puff Daddy))

8.   Jackson 5 (3--"Mama's Pearl", "Never Can Say Goodbye", "Dancing Machine")

8.   Michael Jackson (3--"Rockin' Robin", "The Girl Is Mine", "Somebody's Watching Me" (with Rockwell))

8.   Prince (3--"Purple Rain", "Raspberry Beret", "U (sic) Got the Look")

8.   Linda Ronstadt (3--"When Will I Be Loved", "Somewhere Out There (with James Ingram), "Don't Know Much", with Aaron Neville))

8.   Usher (3--"You Make Me Wanna'...", "My Way", "I Need a Girl" (with P. Diddy and Loon))

18.  Air Supply (2--"All Out of Love", "Making Love Out of Nothing At All")

18.  Akon (2--"Smack That" (with Eminem), "The Sweet Escape" (with Gwen Stefani))

18.  Paul Anka (2--"Put Your Head on My Shoulder", "Puppy Love")

18.  Bangles (2--"Manic Monday", "Hazy Shade of Winter")
18.  Mary J. Blige (2--"Not Gon' Cry", "Runaway Love" (with Ludacris))

18.  Boyz II Men (2--"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday", "Water Runs Dry")

18.  Chris Brown (2--"With You", "Forever")
18.  Mariah Carey (2--"Can't Let' Go", "Endless Love" (with Luther Vandross))

18.  Chingy (2--"Right Thurr", "One Call Away" (with J-Weave))

18.  Ciara (2--"1, 2 Step" (with Missy Elliott), "Oh" (with Ludacris))

18.  Cowsills (2--"The Rain, the Park & Other Things", "Hair")

18.  Culture Club (2--"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", "Time (Clock of the Heart))

18.  John Denver (2--Take Me Home, Country Roads", "Calypso")

18.  Dion (2--"The Wanderer", "Ruby Baby")
18.  Duran Duran (2--"The Wild Boys", "Notorious")
18.  Eminem (2--"Without Me", "Smack That" (with Akon))
18.  Eve (2--"Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (with Gwen Stefani), "Gangsta' Lovin'" (with Alicia Keys))

18.  Everly Brothers (2--"Bye Bye Love", "Problems")
18.  Foreigner (2--"Double Vision", "Waiting for a Girl Like You")

18.  Aretha Franklin (2--"Chain of Fools", "Spanish Harlem")
18.  Glenn Frey (2--"The Heat Is On", "You Belong to the City")

18.  Kool & the Gang (2--"Joanna", "Cherish")
18.  Gary Lewis & the Playboys (2--"Count Me In", "Save Your Heart for Me")

18.  Leona Lewis (2--"Better In Time", "Happy")
18.  Lovin' Spoonful (2--"Daydream", "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind")

18.  Ludacris (2--"Runaway Love" (with Mary J. Blige), "Oh" (with Ciara))
18.  John Cougar Mellencamp (2--"Hurts So Good", "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.")

18.  Billy Ocean (2--"Loverboy", "When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)")

18.  Roy Orbison (2--"Only the Lonely", "Crying")
18.  Robert Palmer (2--"I Didn't Mean to Turn You On", "Simply Irresistible")

18.  Peter, Paul & Mary (2--"Puff the Magic Dragon", "Blowin' in the Wind")
18.  Pointer Sisters (2--"Fire", "Slow Hand")
18.  Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (2--"Young Girl", "Lady Willpower")
18.  Rihanna (2--"Pon de Replay", "Run This Town" (with Jay-Z & Kanye West")

18.  Roxette (2--"Dangerous", "Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)")

18.  Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs (2--"Wooly Bully", "Lil' Red Riding Hood")

18.  Paul Simon (2--"Kodachrome", "Loves Me Like a Rock")
18.  Spinners (2--"Rubberband Man", "Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl")

18.  Gwen Stefani (2--"The Sweet Escape" (with Akon), "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" (with Eve))

18.  Donna Summer (2--"Love to Love You Baby", "Dim All the Lights")

18.  TLC (2--"Baby-Baby-Baby", "Red Light Special")
18.  Tina Turner (2--"We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)", "Typical Male")

18.  Jody Watley (2--"Looking for a New Love", "Real Love")
18.  Kanye West (2--"Heartless", "Run This Town" (with Jay-Z and Rihanna))

18.  Stevie Wonder (2--"I Was Made to Love Her", "For Once in My Life")

18.  Gary Wright (2--"Dream Weaver", "Love Is Alive")


  1. This isn't an updated list- i.e. Mariah Carey has two others. Plus, double-sided singles would count as one entry, not two. Elvis had two pre-Hot 100 (pre-August 1958) No. 2 peaks.

    1. The "B" side of singles doesn't chart unless it's strong enough. For this reason, if two songs make the chart simultaneously, it counts for two #2 songs. The exception to this would be an occasion when one side falls behind the other, and the two sides are charted separately. As to your other point, you are correct--this was published in May of 2012. We will likely do an updated list soon.


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