Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Which #1 Song Kept The Most #2's From Ever Reaching The Top?

Von Palaganas had an interesting question.  Von writes "Which #1 song kept the most different #2 songs from hitting the top?"

We've already answered the question of which artists have the most songs which peaked at #2, even helping Billboard interpret their own historical charts in the process.  But as for which song is to thank (or blame) for the most songs peaking at #2?

There are two.  Percy Faith's classic "The Theme From 'A Summer Place'" was a #1 smash from February 22 through April 18 of 1960, a total of nine weeks.  It is one of The Top 10 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*, and a solid member of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* club.  "Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning was #2 for one of those weeks, a #1 song prior to Faith's reign.

But "A Summer Place" kept five songs stuck at #2 that never were able to climb to #1:  "Handy Man" by Jimmy Jones, "He'll Have To Go" by Jim Reeves, "Wild One" by Bobby Rydell, "Puppy Love" by Paul Anka, and "Greenfields" by The Brothers Four.

Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" is the other #1 to prevent five songs from reaching #2 in 1991.  It peaked at #1 from July 27 through September 7 of 1991, a total of seven weeks, and also is one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  We've certainly had plenty of examples of songs that peaked for that length of time or longer in the Rock Era.  But amazingly, in seven weeks' time, this song kept five songs out of the top spot that would reach #2 yet never go to #1.

The songs that peaked at #2 during Bryan's reign:  "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones, "P.A.S.S.I.O.N." by Rhythm Syndicate, "Every Heartbeat" by Amy Grant, "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" by Lenny Kravitz, and "Fading Like A Flower" by Roxette.

There are many examples of #1 songs that kept three different #2 songs from reaching the top, but there are three that kept four #2 songs in their place:  Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life", "I Gotta' Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas, and "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha.  Boone had a ten-week hold on #1 from October 15 through December 17, 1977.  In that time, she forced "Keep It Comin' Love" by K.C. & the Sunshine Band, "Nobody Does It Better" from Carly Simon, "Boogie Nights" by Heatwave, and "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" by Crystal Gayle to stall at #2.

The Pease shut out these #2 songs from July 11 to October 10, 2009:  "Best I Ever Had" by Drake, "Party In The U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus, "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift" and "Run This Town" by Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West.

Ke$ha had the #1 song from January 2 of 2010 through February 27 (nine weeks), and presided over four #2 songs as well:  "Today Was A Fairytale" by Taylor Swift, "Bad Romance" by Lady GaGa, "Replay" by Iyaz, and "We Are The World 25:  For Haiti" by Artists For Haiti.

Often times in the Rock Era, there is either a former or future #1 directly behind a current #1 song, or a solid contender to the throne that is simply outlasted, such as Brian McKnight's "Back At One", stuck at #2 for 11 weeks behind "Smooth" by Santana, Foreigner's "Waiting For A Girl Like You" (#2 for 10 weeks), "Work It" by Missy Elliott (also #2 for 10 weeks), "I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis, a #2 song for nine weeks, Shai's "If I Ever Fall In Love", a #2 smash for eight weeks, or Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street", Journey's "Open Arms" or "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough" by Patty Smyth and Don Henley, all #2 songs for six weeks.  Which is what makes this topic fascinating.  Great question.

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