Ranking the Rolling Stones top forty hits, 1970s and 1980s

With the departure and death of their most committed blues acolyte and least likely to stand drug abuse, the Stones turned heavier at the dawn of the Nixon era. Their famously uneven seventies work has the kind of boring craft that makes distinguishing between them a mug’s game — few things are as meretricious as the Bowie-baiting “Angie,” none are awful until the title track to one of their best throwaways and a Smokey cover that’s Las Vegas at the Meadowlands (maybe Mick learned from Tina Turner after all). Continue reading

Ranking the Rolling Stones top forty hits, 1960s

Hyped as mad, bad, and dangerous to know, the Rolling Stones spend most of the sixties competing with the Beatles, the Who, and the Kinks in the writing and recording of pure pop singles, amalgamating rococo portraiture, straightforward blues rock, country, and unidentifiable swamp weeds with such concentration that when the competition faded they were the last quintet standing. Their run from The Rolling Stones (England’s Newest Hit Makers) through Let It Bleed still gets short shrift beside their monochromatic seventies achievements. Continue reading

Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 1964

“‘The Sixties’ were now a reactive force — a new conservative voting bloc,” Chris O’Leary writes in Ashes to Ashes; The Songs of David Bowie 1978-2016. “…Sixties music was the perfected strain of rock ‘n’ roll, to which no music afterward could compare.” As cultural hegemon and smothering aesthetic menace to its forebears, The Sixties did not begin, as Philip Larkin wryly remarked, with the Beatles’ first LP, but the presence of the Shangri-La’s, Supremes, Dave Clark Five, the Stones, and the Beach Boys suggest the first stirrings of a revolution, akin to Mario Savio’s Free Speech Movement, coalescing at the same time in Berkeley. Continue reading

Rolling Billboard top ten singles, 2007

The Hague

50 Cent – Ayo Technology
Alicia Keys – No One
Plain White T’s – Hey There Delilah
Daughtry – It’s Not Over
Chris Brown featuring T-Pain – Kiss Kiss
Fergie – Clumsy
Gym Class Heroes featuring Patrick Stump – Cupid’s Chokehold
The All-American Rejects – It Ends Tonight


Britney Spears – Gimme More
Timbaland featuring OneRepublic – Apologize
Gwen Stefani ft. Akon – The Sweet Escape
Carrie Underwood – I’ll Stand By You
Jordin Sparks – Tattoo
My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade
Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry
Akon – Sorry, Blame It On Me
Sean Kingston – Beautiful Girls
Unk – Walk It Out
Plies featuring T-Pain – Shawty
High School Musical Cast – What Time Is It?

Sound, Solid Entertainments

Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats
Pink – U + Ur Hand
Rihanna featuring Jay-Z – Umbrella
Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em – Crank That (Soulja Boy)
Ludacris featuring Mary J. Blige – Runaway Love
Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake – Give It to Me
Rihanna – Hate That I Love You
Keyshia Cole featuring Missy Elliott and Lil’ Kim – Let It Go
Mims – This Is Why I’m Hot
Lloyd featuring Lil Wayne – You
Rich Boy featuring Polow da Don – Throw Some D’s
Beyoncé and Shakira – Beautiful Liar
Justin Timberlake – Summer Love
T-Pain featuring Akon – Bartender

Good to Great

Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around…Comes Around
Amy Winehouse – Rehab
Kanye West – Stronger
Ne-Yo – Because of You
Dixie Chicks – Not Ready to Make Nice
Feist – 1234
Maroon 5 – Makes Me Wonder
Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend

Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 2006

Timbaland blows up pop with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, The Fray teach a nation of young millions that Pilot were okay, Hinder puckers their lips. The biggest news? “Weird Al” scored his only top ten.

The Hague

The Fray – Over My Head (Cable Car)
Christina Aguilera – Ain’t No Other Man
Hinder – Lips of an Angel
Nick Lachey – What’s Left of Me
James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
Fergie – London Bridge
Cascada – Everytime We Touch
Gwen Stefani – Wind It Up
Nickleback – Far Away
Zac Efron, Drew Seeley and Vanessa Anne Hudgens – Breaking Free
Daniel Powter – Bad Day
Fergie featuring will.i.am – London Bridge


The Fray – How to Save a Life
Diddy featuring Nicole Scherzinger – Come to Me
Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten
Chris Brown – Yo (Excuse Me Miss)
Bow Wow featuring Chris Brown and Johntá Austin – Shortie Like Mine
Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
Eminem featuring Nate Dogg – Shake That Ass
Taylor Hicks – Do I Make You Proud
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dani California
Dem Franchize Boyz featuring Lil Peanut and Charlay – Lean wit It, Rock wit It
Sean Paul – Temperature
LL Cool J ft. Jennifer Lopez – Control Myself
The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg – Buttons
Jibbs – Chain Hang Low
Field Mob featuring Ciara – So What
Ludacris featuring Pharrell – Money Maker

Sound, Solid Entertainments

Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z – Déjà Vu
Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland – Promiscuous
Akon featuring Eminem – Smack That
Danity Kane featuring Yung Joc – Show Stopper
Rascal Flatts – Life Is a Highway
Jamie Foxx featuring Ludacris – Unpredictable
Jay-Z – Show Me What You Got
Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
Yung Joc featuring Nitti – It’s Goin’ Down
Chingy featuring Tyrese – Pullin’ Me Back
Jim Jones – We Fly High
Panic at the Disco! – I Write Sins, Not Tragedies
Nelly Furtado – Say It Right
Justin Timberlake – Sexyback
Sean Paul featuring Keyshia Cole – (When You Gonna) Give It up to Me

Good to Great

Ne-Yo – Sexy Love
Ciara featuring Chamillionaire – Get Up
Rihanna – S.O.S.
Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie
Ne-Yo – So Sick
Mary J. Blige – Be Without You
T.I. – What You Know
T-Pain ft. Mike Jones – I’m ‘n Luv (wit a Stripper)
Cassie – Me & U
Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
Beyoncé – Irreplaceable
Bubba Sparxxx featuring Ying Yang Twins and Mr. Collipark – Ms. New Booty
Justin Timberlake – My Love

It’s Weird Al

“Weird Al” Yankovic – White & Nerdy

Ranking Billboard top ten singles, 2004

Hip-hop dominated 2004’s list to an extent that American radio listeners had never seen, mostly in the form of Lil Jon or Lil Jon-produced bass-heavy hits that surprised no one in Miami who grew up here fifteen years earlier. Starting in 2005, Billboard would count iTunes sales toward singles, resulting in the last great explosion of multiplatinum certifications that lasted for the rest of the decade through 2011 or 2012 but which peaked during the start of George W. Bush’s second term. Take a look again at the hits below: Nickleback, damp emo act Hoobastank, and would-be bizzers-for-life Maroon 5 were some of the few white rock acts to get any radio traction. As if acknowledging an aberration, the late ’00s charts would correct this development, hitting a new low in 2010, as chart expert Chris Molanphy remarked in 2012.

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