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Old 01-17-2019, 01:10 PM
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Billboard's Top 100 songs of the past 60 years...

The Billboard Hot 100 had its 60th anniversary a few months ago, so BB decided to compile a list of the top 600 songs of that span (1958-2018):

https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot...th-anniversary

Here is a video compilation (21 min) of the top-100, in case you need refreshing on some of these titles.

Questions (really, as the title indicates, focused on the top-100):

1. WTF???

(That's the usual response to these sort of things, so I thought I'd get it out of the way...)

Seriously:

1. What is the highest ranking song which you (never heard)/(have no memory of never hearing)?
2. Who is underrepresented in your view?
3. What is the "That song was THAT popular? Really?" champion in your opinion?
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:18 PM
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To answer my questions:

1. #28, Low, by Flo Rida.

Even sought this one out on YouTube, but have no memory of ever hearing this one at all.

2. I was going to say Madonna (0 top-100 songs), but... and I understand it's a timing (1958-2018) issue... but NO Elvis? Really?

3. If you had come to me and said "John, I'm a Billboard expert and "Smooth" is the #2 song of all time, and LeeAnn Rimes holds strong at #5", I would have just laughed and laughed and laughed...

Was Boyz to Men really that big? I remember all the listed songs, but 3 in the top-100 songs of all time?

Ed Sheeren has as much representation in the top-100 as Elvis, Madonna, U2, and Elton John combined. (Elton has 2, but one was a quartet and the other was a remake. None of his original work made it no higher than 192.)
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
1. What is the highest ranking song which you (never heard)/(have no memory of never hearing)?
#4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13 and 16. don't register with me. That's just from the top 20.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:31 PM
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Almost certain that you would recognize snippets of #4 - lord knows I hear "Don't believe me, just watch!" all the damned time outside of the song.

Yeah, and #13 was a stunner. I would've named two thousand songs before I guessed "Closer" as the 13th biggest song of all time.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-17-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:31 PM
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Of the top 10, I have never heard/heard of 3, 4, 6 and 7. I feel out of touch.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:35 PM
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Almost certain that you would recognize snippets of #4 - lord knows I hear "Don't believe me, just watch!" all the damned time outside of the song.
I just listened to it on YouTube. I had maybe heard it once before a while back. It seemed vaguely familiar. Definitely should not be #4.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:41 PM
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Definitely should not be #4.
I believe the list is an objective ranking by sales, not subjective based on quality.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:42 PM
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Objective as they could be, given the varying ways Billboard has tabulated the Top-100 over the years. I think they just decided to go by a descending point system where a week @ #1 was 100 points, #2 was 99, #3 was 98, etc. Reading the descriptions, it's pretty obvious that songs that hung around forever did better than those which shot to #1 and then dropped like a rock.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-17-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:46 PM
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Sorry! Forgot the link for the video compilation!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doZNCjyV-Js
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:00 PM
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There's only one song that I see in the Top 100 that I'm completely unfamiliar with: #30 Next - "Too Close." I was out of the country from 1998-2003, so that's my excuse. Otherwise, I recognize everything else (if not always by title--but pulling it up on Youtube, I knew it.)

Some surprises:

Uptown Funk is really #4? I know it was a popular tune, but it didn't seem more popular than songs like Blurred Lines (#51) or Happy (#79). I wonder if it has to do a bit with how Billboard tallies the number one hits now, with the pop music scene and the ways of getting to music (radio, streaming, etc.) being so fractured.

I am also shocked that "Rush Rush" is Paula Abdul's biggest hit. I was a Paul Abdul fan during the Forever Your Girl (and she had I think, what four #1s from that album, and two more charters--looke like "The Way That You Love Me" at #3, and "Knocked Out" at #41). And, really, "Rush Rush" is the big one? I'm surprised. I owned Spellbound, but it was largely forgettable to me.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:03 PM
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1) #2. Don't know how I missed a Santana. Maybe it was on easy listening stations?
2) Elvis
3) Nothing surprises me. The Macarena? Whoomp there it is? Carly rae Jepson?
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:09 PM
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I don't know if I'm more shocked that the #13 song is "Closer" by the Chainsmokers, or that I've never heard it.

I kind of hate myself right now.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
3) Nothing surprises me. The Macarena? Whoomp there it is? Carly rae Jepson?
I actually expected to see "The Macarena" in the Top 5, if not 3. I was surprised it was only #8.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:14 PM
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1) #2. Don't know how I missed a Santana. Maybe it was on easy listening stations?
That's pretty weird, man. It was a pretty pervasive song, considering it also featured Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20. It woulda been on every top 40 radio station, not "easy listening." I'm trying to remember if it was on the alternative rock stations I listened to at the time. Probably not... but man, it was out there.

I worked in a movie theater when it came out and it was on the in-house soundtrack. So I heard it about 30 times each shift as I swept popcorn. It's quite possible that I have a very skewed sense of this song. I also feel that I could play it on guitar without knowing how to play guitar, I've heard it so much.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:26 PM
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I pretty certain I've never heard #2 - the Santana track. It's possible I've never heard any Santana track, to be honest.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:33 PM
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I pretty certain I've never heard #2 - the Santana track. It's possible I've never heard any Santana track, to be honest.
"Black Magic Woman", at least? Or Oye Como Va?

But, yeah, "Smooth" was everywhere. I actually didn't realize until fairly recently (like within the last five years) that it was nominally a Santana track. It was just kind of generic background top 40 Latin-influenced pop rock to me.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-17-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:36 PM
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I was surprised that Gangnam Style by Psy (aka "Open Condom Style") never made it to #1 on the Hot 100 chart in the US. But even more surprised it made it to #1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:45 PM
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Ha, you know what - I'm not sure I've ever heard the original Black Magic Woman, but I've sure as hell heard umpteen pub cover-bands doing it.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
#4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13 and 16. don't register with me. That's just from the top 20.
Same exact list for me. Since they didn't provide links, I wasn't going to bother to see if I really knew some of them, but just didn't recognize by name or artist.

FWIW, "Smooth" is really more of a Rob Thomas song with Santana being his backup band, than a Santana song. Totally different era, totally different sound from "Black Magic Woman" and the like.

ETA: Going through the top 50, I recognized 5 or 6 out of each group of 10. Going through the last 50, it was down to more like 3-5 out of every 10. A lot smaller drop-off than I would have figured.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 01-17-2019 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:02 PM
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I did link to a compilation video for the top-100 in post 9 to make searching for these songs easier.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-17-2019 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:11 PM
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Having now watched the top 20 from the link, I have to admit I've heard 6 and 7 before. I'm still blissfully ignorant of 4, 5, 9, 13, and 16.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:18 PM
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I'm reasonably pleased I've never heard of #4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 15 or 16 in the Top 20. The artists, maybe, the songs never.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:39 PM
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Ha, you know what - I'm not sure I've ever heard the original Black Magic Woman, but I've sure as hell heard umpteen pub cover-bands doing it.
Actually, Santana's is not the original version...it's originally a Fleetwood Mac (the original Peter Green lineup) recording.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:43 PM
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Another surprise: No songs from Fleetwood Mac on the top-600.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:47 PM
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1. It's another vote for #2
2. Bowie - and that's a single entry at #583
3. #10 - Physical by Olivia Newton-John. I mean............inconsequential.

Can I suggest a fourth category of "Partially restored my faith in humanity"? Which would be:

4. #24 - Le Freak by Chic. Maybe there is hope.

j
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:05 PM
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Actually, Santana's is not the original version...it's originally a Fleetwood Mac (the original Peter Green lineup) recording.
That explains, perhaps, why cover bands in Scottish pubs don't have much of a Latin tinge to their versions of Black Magic Woman. This has been quite a learning experience this evening!
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
There's only one song that I see in the Top 100 that I'm completely unfamiliar with: #30 Next - "Too Close." I was out of the country from 1998-2003, so that's my excuse. Otherwise, I recognize everything else (if not always by title--but pulling it up on Youtube, I knew it.)
I'm at least vaguely familiar with most of the songs in the top 100, but this was the top one that I draw a complete blank on. And I never left these United States during the time it was popular.
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Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
I don't know if I'm more shocked that the #13 song is "Closer" by the Chainsmokers, or that I've never heard it.
I know I've heard this song, but it's so undistinguished I couldn't tell you what it sounds like, other than "random song".

Every title in the list is all-caps, except #43, Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust". Conspiracy?

Last edited by whitetho; 01-17-2019 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Add critical apostrophe
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:44 PM
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What an incredibly random bunch of songs. "The Twist" is a fun Oldie but would be an odd choice for #1 in anyone's book. Having toiled in the radio biz for about 48 years, I've played, or at least heard, the vast majority. That said, I have no recollection of #6, but then have to go to #28 before I draw another blank.

Andy Gibb places two but the Beatles only have ONE?

Andy Gibb.

That about says it all.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:54 PM
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Beatles have 2 songs in the top-100 at 13 & 48, and She Loves You, Get Back, and Let It Be are in the back-500. This represents 25% of their songs which went to #1, but it definitely feels like they ought to have more.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-17-2019 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:58 PM
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One thing in this lists defense is that the ranking system is mathematical and not some guesswork by random celebrities. While the formula may need tweaking, at least it is improvable.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:04 PM
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What an incredibly random bunch of songs. "The Twist" is a fun Oldie but would be an odd choice for #1 in anyone's book. Having toiled in the radio biz for about 48 years, I've played, or at least heard, the vast majority. That said, I have no recollection of #6, but then have to go to #28 before I draw another blank.
The Twist is #1 because it was released twice with both releases having full chart rise, top, and fall, effectively allowing the song to lap the field by being counted twice. Being a... fan? ... of the charts since a kid, I knew The Twist would be #1 before I even clicked the link. It's Billboard's version of Jimi Hendrix in the discussion of "who is the greatest guitarist of all time" - all others are vying for #2.

You and me on #28. What were we doing in 2008?

Oh, yeah, watching the economy crash.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-17-2019 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:26 PM
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I’m certain that those of you who say you’ve never heard of #4 and 7 have heard those songs before, you just don’t know them by name. They were everywhere. You’d have to be living in a cave and never watch TV, movies, commercials, go into stores that play music, etc.

Of course, this is the SDMB, where people think claiming to have never heard of “popular thing” makes you somehow better.

Last edited by Eyebrows 0f Doom; 01-17-2019 at 10:28 PM.
  #33  
Old 01-17-2019, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyebrows 0f Doom View Post
I’m certain that those of you who say you’ve never heard of #4 and 7 have heard those songs before, you just don’t know them by name. They were everywhere. You’d have to be living in a cave and never watch TV, movies, commercials, go into stores that play music, etc.

Of course, this is the SDMB, where people think claiming to have never heard of “popular thing” makes you somehow better.
To me, it does seem mind-boggling to have avoided "Uptown Funk" and "I Got A Feeling" all these years but, on the other hand, I am 99% certain my parents, for instance, would not recognize those songs at all if I played it for them. I'm sure they may have heard it in passing on a commercial or something, but I doubt they've heard it enough to register.

So I can believe the folks here who have no memory of the song. I know it well because I do listen to Top 40 radio, I do consume a lot of pop culture, I go to bars, I go to weddings, and generally work in the event industry where these songs are modern standards. I can certainly imagine a lifestyle where exposure to these songs would be minimal.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:07 AM
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Andy Gibb???

Sonny Tufts???????
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:43 AM
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#5 is my pick for 'never heard', and I suspect it may just not have made it out of the US

My WTF moment ... Bohemian Rhapsody is number FIVE hundred and seventeen??? And it's listed as 1992??? Was that just not released as a single in the US?
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:49 AM
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Bohemian peaked at #9 when it was released, made it to #2 in 1992 (its peak position and likely why the year is listed as 1992). Kinda like The Twist, but I am surprised that it isn't higher than 517. Sounds like a top-100 to me.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:34 AM
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How is it the Goo Goo Dolls are nowhere to be found on the list? Wikipedia entry for "Iris" says

Quote:
In October 2012, "Iris" was ranked number one on Billboard's "Top 100 Pop Songs 1992–2012" chart, which ranked the top songs of the first 20 years of the Mainstream Top 40/Pop Songs chart. The list also featured the Goo Goo Dolls' hits "Slide", ranking at number nine, and "Name" at number 24.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:31 AM
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1. #23 - the theme from A Summer Place. Maybe my age (late 30s ) or I just don't recognize the title. That's the only one in the top 100 that I can't immediately hum or mumble a few words to upon seeing the artist and title. I'm sure I've heard #128 at some point but I have no instant recollection. Same with the Drake song at #150 and I think that's it in the top 200.

2. I don't know. Seems like an objective thing and I can't say I can think of any hits any more deserving than others.

3. #19 - Rod Stewart "Tonight's The Night." Know of it, heard it, just didn't know it was that big.
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:35 AM
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How is it the Goo Goo Dolls are nowhere to be found on the list? Wikipedia entry for "Iris" says
It was not eligible for the Hot 100. This song was released during a time when many of the most popular songs were not released commercially as singles during the time when record labels were trying to increase CD "album" sales and there was no widely available legal commercial download service or chart methodology allowing for non-commercial singles and/or incorporating streams, airplay, downloads. See also songs like No Doubt's "Don't Speak" or many many radio singles from the late '90s to early 2000s that were only eligible for genre charts and airplay charts. It's a chart methodology quirk, mainly.

This is even addressed directly in the link you posted.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:41 AM
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1. What is the highest ranking song which you (never heard)/(have no memory of never hearing)?
37 - The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton
Quote:
2. Who is underrepresented in your view?
No Britney, no Pink and only 2 Christina Aguilera (one of which is a collaboration)? Was Billboard shut down in 2000-2001?
Quote:
3. What is the "That song was THAT popular? Really?" champion in your opinion?
30 - Too Close by Next , TIL never to underestimate the public's love of unsubtle erection-based double entendres in their R&B jams.

Last edited by MrDibble; 01-18-2019 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:47 AM
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A lot of the recentness of some of the top songs here is just due to the fact that the audience for pop music now is so much bigger than it's ever been.

The official video for "Uptown Funk" has 3.4 billion views on YouTube. There weren't even that many people living in Elvis' day, let alone people with access to American pop music.

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Old 01-18-2019, 08:10 AM
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#14 is the first one I don't recognize. I'm sure I've heard it, but it sound like pretty generic pop R&B to me. Probably just blended into the background. #37 is the next one I don't know, and the first that I don't think I've ever heard before.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:09 AM
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I’m certain that those of you who say you’ve never heard of #4 and 7 have heard those songs before, you just don’t know them by name. They were everywhere. You’d have to be living in a cave and never watch TV, movies, commercials, go into stores that play music, etc.

Of course, this is the SDMB, where people think claiming to have never heard of “popular thing” makes you somehow better.
Sorry to defy your world view, but I have never heard them until just now. And I do all those things. Apparently just not the TV shows, movies, commercials or stores that you do.

Of course this is the SDMB, where people think whatever they experience is the only valid experience in the world.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by actualliberalnotoneofthose View Post
1. #23 - the theme from A Summer Place. Maybe my age (late 30s ) or I just don't recognize the title.
Oh, I didn't recognize it by name, either (there's actually a good number I didn't know by name), but within hearing the first second or two of the clip, I instantly knew the song. If the question is what was the first song I didn't recognize by name, then "Closer" would be my answer, but I've heard that song like a zillion and a half times; just never knew the name of it.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Sorry to defy your world view, but I have never heard them until just now. And I do all those things. Apparently just not the TV shows, movies, commercials or stores that you do.

Of course this is the SDMB, where people think whatever they experience is the only valid experience in the world.
To be honest, this is a quality which is universal to humankind. Just ask my daughter, and she's not even on the Dope.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:26 AM
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1. #23 - the theme from A Summer Place. Maybe my age (late 30s ) or I just don't recognize the title. That's the only one in the top 100 that I can't immediately hum or mumble a few words to upon seeing the artist and title.
Every time I hear it, I think of the Simpsons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OhkhBwrK_w

There were a handful of songs I didn't recognize in the top 100, mostly in the soul/R&B category.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:35 PM
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I didn't count them to be exact, but I'm guessing that I have NEVER heard at least one-third of these songs. (I'm in my mid-60s and listen to classic rock almost exclusively.)

It would be interesting to see a similar list created based on the %age of audience/market at the time the song was popular. For example, a song released in 1968 might have represented 1% of all singles sold that year, but still have sold fewer than a single that sold twice as many in 1998 that was only 0.5% of the singles sold that year. In my list, the 1998 single would be ranked much lower than the 1968 single, even though the 1998 single sold many more copies.
  #48  
Old 01-18-2019, 01:49 PM
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Dahnlor Dahnlor is offline
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In spite of the fact that I haven't paid much attention to the Billboard charts since the mid-1980s, I'm surprised that the highest-ranked song that I didn't recognize was all the way up at #5. I pulled up that Leann Rimes song up on YouTube to see if it was one of those songs I've heard enough to recognize but never knew artist/title (like LMFAO at #6), but nope, just some generic sappy love ballad that I couldn't discern from any other of the legions of generic sappy love ballads out there.

Looking into the additional details Billboard provided, I see that it peaked at #2...how the hell is that ranked higher than songs that had been #1 for months? This one is definitely my answer to both questions 1 and 3 in the OP.

Elsewhere in the top 20: 7, 9, 13, 14 and 16 are all artists I've heard about a lot but couldn't place the songs.

As to question #2, I was somewhat surprised that "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey was nowhere on the list of 600, though that was more of a pop-culture hit long after it was new. No other Journey songs made the list, not even "Open Arms" which I remember being a pretty big hit in its time (which their Billboard page confirms as their best-charting song with a top position at #2).

The same could be said for "Africa" by Toto, but at least they have "Rosanna" on the list...which is also somewhat baffling since "Africa" actually was a #1 hit while "Rosanna" peaked at #2.
  #49  
Old 01-18-2019, 01:54 PM
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Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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#9 - "Shape of You" by Ed Sheeran

I simply do not understand his popularity. Auto-tune city.
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Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 01-18-2019 at 01:54 PM.
  #50  
Old 01-18-2019, 03:02 PM
casdave casdave is offline
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What a complete pile of shite, songs that are poor covers of far better versions are in there, even when the cover is not as well known as the original.

Not one heavy rock song, almost no rock and roll, virtually no funk as played by funk artists, overly heavy reliance on Madonna and Adele, and not even their best material. Can't see any reggae , no Bob Marley - really?

Entire genres of music are not included .

This list has zero credibility.
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