Chart Watch Extra: Close But No Cigar
There's a saying in the music business that the worst places to peak on the Hot 100 are #2, #11 and #41. The reason, of course, is that an artist came so close to #1, or the top 10 or the top 40, and just missed. The artist won't get the headlines, congratulatory messages and (most important) credit for the greater hit in posterity. Maroon 5 knows what I'm talking about. "Payphone" (which features Wiz Khalifa) spent six weeks at #2, but wasn't able to overtake Carly Rae Jepsen's smash "Call Me Maybe" and become the group's third #1. This week, "Payphone" slips to #3. Barring a miracle, it won't follow the group's "Makes Me Wonder" or "Moves Like Jagger" (featuring Christina Aguilera) to #1.
This got me thinking: What records spent the most weeks at these and other "unlucky" positions without moving up that last crucial notch? Here are the records since 1955 that came the closest to #1, the top five, the top 10, the top 20, the top 40 and the Hot 100 without getting there.
Longest runs at #2
Foreigner's 1981 hit "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott's 2002 hit "Work It" both spent 10 weeks at #2 without reaching #1. Foreigner's tender ballad spent nine weeks at #2 stuck behind Olivia Newton-John's "Physical." When that trendy hit finally fell, "Waiting…" spent a 10th week at #2 behind Daryl Hall & John Oates' blue-eyed soul smash "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)." Group members Lou Gramm and Mick Jones co-wrote "Waiting…," which was featured on the band's fourth album 4. In 1985, Foreigner finally landed a #1 hit with another ballad, the gospel-edged "I Want To Know What Love Is."
Elliott's song spent all 10 weeks at #2 behind the same monster hit: Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Elliott co-wrote the song with Tim Mosley, better known as Timbaland. The sassy hip-hop smash, which remains her biggest hit, was featured on her fourth album, Under Construction. In 2004, Elliott had another long run at #2 as a featured artist on Ciara's "1,2 Step." That song spent seven weeks in the runner-up spot without reaching the top. While Elliott has yet to reach #1 as an artist, she did reach #1 as a co-producer of the all-star 2001 remake of "Lady Marmalade."
Donna Lewis' 1996 hit "I Love You Always Forever" and Shania Twain's 1998 hit "You're Still The One" are runners-up. Each spent nine weeks at #2 without reaching #1.