Best #1 Single of the Year: 2018

It’s that time again! The final Billboard charts of 2018 are out, and we have twelve number-ones on our poll this year, including one song that topped the charts in two different versions, and the first posthumous #1 since 1997.

It’s kind of a mixed bag, really. 2018 has been a pretty uneventful year for pop music, and a lot of what’s topping the charts these days doesn’t seem to have a lot of oomph to it, but IMO there’s a couple of alright songs in here. I think that, like a lot of my elders here on this board, I’m starting to outgrow the pop charts to the point where the industry is targeting people younger than myself.

So, for those of you still paying attention to what’s on the radio - cast your vote, keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

For the weeks ending 1/3-1/13, the duet was #1; for the week ending 1/20, Sheeran’s original was #1

Best #1 single polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010-2014 All-time (1956-2014)

I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think I like any of these songs, so I haven’t voted. What a terrible year for chart music!

My favorite song of 2018 is lovelytheband’s “Broken.”

I’ve got no opinion about the songs on the list of #1 songs.

Tier 3: “This is America” (my vote), “Havana”, “I Like It”
Tier 4: “Nice for What”
Tier 5: “Perfect”, “Girls Like You”, “God’s Plan”
Tier 6: “In My Feelings”, “Sicko Mode”, “Thank U, Next”
Tier 8: “Psycho”, “Sad!”

Songs that reached the top ten in the top few tiers:

Tier 1: none; that’s not unusual for me
Tier 2: “All the Stars”, Kendrick Lamar and SZA; “No Tears Left to Cry”, Ariana Grande
Tier 3: “Pray for Me”, The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar; “New Rules”, Dua Lipa; “High Hopes”, Panic! at the Disco; “Filthy”, Justin Timberlake

Not sure of my personal favorite of the year, but it’s probably by Mitski.

I Like It is probably the best song of the bunch but I’m not a big fan of latino music, so I went with Maroon 5 w/ Cardi B - Girls Like You.

Not that I particularly like it, it’s just a bit above ok IMO but half of the other songs in the list are snoozefests, including Havana, which in addition is also one the most annoying hits I’ve heard in years.

I know less and less of these songs every year. That said, I liked Havana and it almost got my vote, but I opted for This is America because of the video.

Camila Cabello w/ Young Thug - “Havana” gets my, “okay, I guess” vote. What I find somewhat perplexing is why such a simple tune required ten (!) songwriters. My best guess is a series of conversations like the following: “Hey Starbucks manager, we’d like a couple of lattes, but we don’t have any money. Would you take a songwriter credit instead.” “Deal! And be sure to rhyme ‘Atlanta’ with ‘Havana’.”

Although this does make me wonder how much better the Beatles would have been if Lennon and McCartney had taken on eight more collaborators.

Alright, after each of these a chance… I voted for XXXTentacion. Nice minimalist track, nothing special. I’m surprised that a sparse arrangement would be a hit in this day and age.

The guy from Degrassi should be ashamed of how he sounds.

It’s got to be Drake’s Nice For What - proper earworm material, and a nice sentiment in the lyric. It helps that the earworm is the sample of one of my all-time favourite tunes, right enough.

If Ariana Grande’s No Tears Left to Cry had made number 1 in the US, then I’d have picked that.

If it was for the video I think Drake’s “God’s Plan” is more uplifting.

As for the vote, I gave it to “Habana” but Maroon 5 w/ Cardi B - “Girls Like You” was a close one for me.

Given how much I heard them, I am shocked that “The Middle”, “New Rules”, and “Never Be the Same” didn’t hit #1. Same with Ari’s “No More Tears…”.

I guess I’ll be the first to admit it: I don’t know a single damn one of them.

But I’m going to make myself a Spotify playlist of the list and listen with an open mind. I will check back into the thread once I’m better acquainted with the offerings.

The fact that he was killed right around the tim the single came out probably contributed.

For me it was a toss-up between “Havana” and “I Like It”, and I went with the latter.

Can’t say anything about the others, but “The Middle” was a hit for Jimmy Eat World back in 2001.

It seems to have been getting a burst of airplay over the past year or two, compared to the intervening decade and a half. I was thinking it must’ve been part of a movie soundtrack, and Wikipedia says I wasn’t that far off: “Taylor Swift lip-synched the song in an Apple Music commercial that debuted on April 18, 2016.”

“The Middle”:

I don’t know a single one of these songs.

I am familiar with “Havana” only because Remy created a parody of it.

And honestly, I really don’t care that I don’t know them. I might even be a little proud of it.

The world-famous Ponch8 Music Rating System has “God’s Plan” just ahead of Drake’s “Nice for What.” I may have considered “Havana” if it weren’t for that abominable Young Thug rap verse that they insisted on playing on some stations. At least 2018 was a slight improvement over 2017, when I couldn’t even pick a single song I liked.

I don’t know if anyone else agrees with me, but I’m so sick of hearing Ariana Grande’s helium balloon voice or Post Malone’s mumbling every single time I turn on a Top 40 station.

“Havana” was an absolute earworm for me this spring. I couldn’t not vote for it.

I agree.

This is going to be one of the years where I think “This? This is the best that people could come up with?” As there were songs in the 2016 and 2017 lists that I actually liked, I don’t think it’s that I’m old, yet. But if it continues, then it’s me. If this is just an aberration, then it’s the chart’s fault.

Do you watch Todd in the Shadows? You might enjoy his rundown of the worst hits of 2018. Post Malone makes the first entry (as #10 worst hit song of 2018). Ariana Grande doesn’t make his list. But he seems to agree that 2018 isn’t the worst, just completely mediocre.