Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lady Gaga - Billboard's 1000th #1

So, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" is the 1000th #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. That's a pretty momentous milestone for the chart, which goes back to 1958, the early days of the rock era. Billboard has a fun feature to celebrate the event. Here's a look back at some of the previous milestone #1s.

1. Poor Little Fool - Ricky Nelson (August 4, 1958). 18 year-old Ricky Nelson had been a child on his parent's television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet before he became a pop star. "Poor Little Fool" is a sweet little love song with a gentle guitar melody and rhythm good for slow dancing. Nine years after putting out this single, Nelson would give birth to twin sons Gunnar and Matthew, who would grow up to score the 727th #1 hit in 1990, "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection." Nelson himself would have one other #1 hit, "Travelin' Man" in 1961.

100. Deep Purple - Nino Tempo & April Stevens (November 16, 1963). Hear that harmonica? That's the sound of a good early '60s hit. This was the first and only #1 hit from the brother-and-sister duo from upstate New York. This also has a gentle, laid back feel compared to the pop music of today.

200. Honey - Bobby Goldsboro (April 13, 1968). "Honey" was the second and biggest top 10 hit for Bobby Goldsboro, a Floridian who later hosted a variety show. The song has a lush, strings-laden melody typical of the late '60s. This single spent 5 weeks at #1 and also topped the country chart. Despite this, the song is often derided as one of the worst of all time.

300. The Morning After - Maureen McGovern (August 4, 1973). "The Morning After" was the love theme from the film The Poseidon Adventure, a late 1972 release that became one of the most popular films of 1973, grossing nearly $100 million and garnering a best picture nomination. The song itself was nominated for the Best Song Oscar, but lost to Michael Jackson's "Ben," the 281st #1 hit. This was McGovern's only major hit--she had a second single that hit #18 in 1979, "Different Worlds."

400. Kiss and Say Goodbye - The Manhattans (July 24, 1976). That deep, silky spoken word intro screams "'70s R&B" I don't know much about The Manhattans--they only had one other top 10 hit. This seems like a pretty mellow song.

500. Keep on Loving You - R.E.O. Speedwagon (March 21, 1981). "Keep on Loving You" was the major hit from R.E.O. Speedwagon's Hi Fidelity, one of the biggest hit albums of the early '80s. This sounds like pretty typical early '80s rock. Not really what I'm into. The band would have a second #1 hit in 1985, "Can't Fight This Feeling."

600. There'll Be Sad Songs (to Make You Cry) - Billy Ocean (July 5, 1986). I remember Billy Ocean, but I can't say I remember this one. This was his second #1; his third, "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" in 1988 was a bigger hit.

700. Right Here Waiting - Richard Marx (August 12, 1989). Only 3 years spanned between this and the 600th #1 hit, owing to the rapid turnover at the top of the chart in the late '80s. This song was a massive hit in 1989 and became a staple slow song of school dances (I remember that well).

800. You Are Not Alone - Michael Jackson (September 2, 1995). This was Michael Jackson's final of 13 #1 hits, a run that started with "Ben" (see above). The R. Kelly-produced ballad was the best thing about Jackson's uneven 1995 album, History.

900. The Way You Move - Outkast (February 14, 2004). The Valentine's Day #1 hit from 7 years ago was the last '00 #1. Outkast's "The Way You Move" was the second single from their massively successful 2003 album, Speakerboxx/The Love Below, and the follow-up to the bigger #1 hit, "Hey Ya!" (#899), one of the decade's defining pop songs.

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