We as a nation are great at taking a stand if it doesn't inconvenience us too much. Personally, I've always marveled at people who carry signs. Nowhere else they'd rather be? Arms don't get tired? I mean, gets a sports package already! Or a gym membership! Or a job! Or something!
As great as the songs listed below are, they either weren't good enough to be true #1 hits on the Billboard Pop Charts, or there were other songs at #1 and #2 that deserved to be there more. Or the factors that be were just plain wrong. Seeing as to how readers didn't care much when I gave them the actual #1 hits in my previous blog about #2 hits, I've decided to provide the least amount of information possible! So you can complain! Unlike some other blogs around here, I give the people what they want!
25) Don't Stop the Music -- Rihanna: She'd have three straight monster #1 hits right after this one, so consider it a warm-up. Or maybe it was a typo over at Billboard.
24) Can't Smile Without You -- Barry Manilow: I will never come to terms with the idea that Barry Manilow albums had a symbol next to them denoting "portions may offend sensitive listeners" when his records were offered through those six-for-a-penny record clubs. Did he have Tourette's?
23) Down On the Corner -- Creedence Clearwater Revival: Though Creedence were known for their string of #2 hits without ever having a #1, "Down on the Corner" did even worse. Maybe it was the band name. It does sound like some lame Chamber of Commerce sanctioned recording project. You half expect to see, "Give a hoot, don't pollute" on the back of their albums.
22) Lay Down Sally -- Eric Clapton: At Classic Rock Radio, this was a #1 in spirit. Insider tip: the best way to hear this song is in a hall with a natural echo. It makes the rhythm sound like horses clopping through the auditorium. Nobody could dance to it. Hire me to DJ your next wedding!
21) In the Ghetto -- Elvis Presley: Not every Elvis song could go to #1. A shame this one didn't make it, since it's one of his best. It even made it on to the new I Am An Elvis Presley Fan album where the songs were picked from an online poll of Elvis fans. So the Elvis fans are alright. It's the rest of you I have to wonder about.
20) Tell Me Something Good -- Rufus featuring Chaka Khan: Honestly, I'm a little surprised this did so well. It's a great song, don't get me wrong. But there are plenty of great songs that don't make the charts. This one is slow and funky and weird and just not what my golden ears would figure for mass consumption.
19) Back Stabbers -- The O'Jays: Now this number sounds like a surefire #1. I'll assume a clerical error, since believe me having an apostrophe in your last name ain't no picnic. Not in the system? Try again. Without the apostrophe! No, O is not my middle initial. Yes, I'm sure.
18) Wildfire -- Michael Murphey: It was an Adult Contemporary #1 hit, which gives you some idea just how smooth it is. I've seen people get annoyed with this song, but unless you live somewhere where the radio is too high on the shelf for you to reach, I think you can control your own destiny!
17) November Rain -- Guns N' Roses: At like two hours long, this song is an unlikely candidate for a #1 hit. You have to play it less since it takes up more time. Where if it were a three minute single, you could play it twice as much and take up less time. Join my new consulting agency today!
16) Fire and Rain -- James Taylor: Well, "Sweet Baby James," the song, didn't even make the Top 40. But this staple of campfire singers, hippie school psychologists and youth group counselors the world over surely deserved to be #1. It has both fire and rain covered. Edwin Starr's "War" went to #1 and he didn't even think to include the "and Peace" part!
15) Hungry Like The Wolf -- Duran Duran: It went to #1 on Rock radio, which was a sign that MTV had forced FM radio to awake from its classic rock slumber long enough to play something new. These gents were always a "The men don't know, but the little girls understand" kind of band.
14) The Devil Went Down To Georgia -- The Charlie Daniels Band: I was always convinced the only reason people liked this song was to hear the words "son of a bitch" come over the radio. But maybe not. I was little.
13) Pimp -- 50 Cent: You mean not every song the 50 Cent Corporation releases makes it to #1?
12) Touch Me -- The Doors: I remember thinking this song was a #1 hit in 1981! And in 1989! And in…you get the idea. If you listened to classic rock radio in the 1980s for even a few minutes, you came away thinking, "Touch Me," "All Right Now" by Free (a #4 hit in 1970) and "Layla" were all #1 hits for a full decade. I remember it as the years when time stood still.
11) Jenny From The Block -- Jennifer Lopez featuring Jadakiss and Styles: I always forget, was she an actress who became a "musician" or a musician who became an actress? Or a dancer who became a singer and an actress? Or a model who...
10) The Safety Dance -- Men Without Hats: The Doroschuk Brothers Band were techno before techno was cool? Try before anyone knew what techno was, period.
9) Secret -- Madonna: What's wrong here? The song isn't catchy enough? I've had this song stuck in my head for weeks, with no way of getting it out. And I tried! Sometimes I feel like the corporate power structure doesn't have my best interests in mind! Sometimes I feel like we should rise above as a people and…ooh, look at that shiny iPhone…ooh, it's so shiny!
8) Pleasant Valley Sunday -- Monkees: All things considered #3 isn't a bad placing. The pop Svengali overlooking the project (morning, Mr. Kirshner!) was probably frustrated. We all know the band were, but for completely opposite reasons.
7) Hot N' Cold -- Katy Perry: The other day I drove by a car wash and thought to myself, I wonder if owning a car wash is now cool thanks to Skyler White and the Breaking Bad crew. Or does the coolness only extend to Jesse Pinkman, yo? I don't figure Pinkman would listen to Katy Perry. By extension then, Katy Perry is not cool. Is this how people figure these things out?
6) Peggy Sue -- Buddy Holly: With his second charting single, after the #1 hit "That'll Be the Day," Buddy Holly was quickly losing his chart appeal. "Oh, Boy!" would be his last top 10 single at #10. And he didn't even get a posthumous bump to #1 after "The Day The Music Died." He might've had to wait until about 1972 and have a hit with "My Dong-A-Long" had he lived.
5) My Humps -- Black Eyed Peas: Considering how completely these robots dominated the charts with their other tunes, I'm not conceding the general public any "taste" points for disallowing this maniacal tune installation at #1. We here at Yahoo! only like them because Fergie often doesn't wear pants. That's important around here. Don't ask.
4) Let 'Em In -- Paul McCartney and Wings: "Silly Love Songs" took #1 and this follow-up single settled for #3. Maybe were people were a little exhausted. The Adult Contemporary crowd didn't feel that way, putting both songs at #1. But that crowd is too busy working to make any real judgements.
3) Instant Karma / Imagine -- John Lennon: Whoa! OK, "Instant Karma" might've rocked a little too hard for the AM radio folks, but "Imagine"? That song is the National Anthem for somewhere! Even if J. Len did declare, "Imagine no countries." It was only "imagine," not put the work order through.
2) My Life -- Billy Joel: Once the theme for Bosom Buddies, a sitcom so great it only lasted two seasons and launched the career of Peter Scolari, "My Life" was also a radio hit that if you were alive in 1978 you probably heard a thousand times on the AM radio. As a moderately terrible piano player, I am often scoffed at for not knowing how to play this song. Because it's what the people want to hear.
1) Luka -- Suzanne Vega: Suzanne Vega's one shot at being #1 and she's denied. Singer-songwriters got it bad. Even when they added a trip-hop beat to "Tom's Diner," it only got to #5. Librarians will never be as popular as porn stars, for obvious reasons. Even if you're the cool teacher at school, you're still the teacher.