Alanis Morissette Is Pregnant
Alanis Morrisette

A look at the chart's history reveals that Johnny Mathis and Metallica aren't so different after all. Plus, analysis of Alanis Morissette's sales and the new On-Demand Songs chart.

Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

THE MOST ENDURING SONGS OF THE ROCK ERA

Hi Gary,

More thoughts about the most enduring songs of the rock era, per your recent article.

One that has shown timelessness in returning to the Hot 100 is "Without You," first recorded by Badfinger in 1970, although it was Harry Nilsson who took it to No. 1 in 1972. Then, Mariah Carey sent it to No. 3 in 1994. Other charted versions include Air Supply's (No. 48) and Clay Aiken's (No. 28) on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Another such song is Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," which reached No. 24 in 1970 on the Hot 100. Amy Grant (No. 67, 1995) and Counting Crows and Vanessa Carlton (No. 42, 2003) have also charted with the song about protecting Mother Earth, a sentiment which certainly can't go out of style.

Similar to "I Will Always Love You" is a song that reached No. 57 for Jennifer Rush in 1985, No. 68 for Air Supply in 1985 and No. 26 for Laura Branigan in 1987. Only when Celine Dion recorded it did "The Power of Love" finally hit the top of the Hot 100 in 1994.

Who can also forget the timeless classic "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, a Hot 100 No. 1 in 1981. Luther Vandross and Carey famously covered it and took it to No. 2 in 1994 and the "Glee" cast peaked at No. 78 with its version in 2009. Now, "Love" is back, appearing on AC as a duet between Richie and Shania Twain.

Other songs worthy of the discussion: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler (No. 1, 1983), Nicki French (No. 2, 1995) and "Glee" (No. 16, 2010); "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper (No. 1, 1984), INOJ (No. 6, 1998) and Javier Colon (No. 65, 2011); "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen (No. 2, 1975), Dion (No. 4, 1997) and "Glee" (No. 87, 2011); and, "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders (No. 16, 1994), Carrie Underwood (No. 6, 2007) and "Glee" (No. 73, 2009).

Thank you,

Jesper Tan
Subang Jaya, Malaysia

Thanks Jesper.

All songs seem like great examples of songs that have stood the test of time, even those as relatively young as "I'll Stand By You."

One more '80s composition I'd add to the mix: "Alone." Since its arrival almost 25 years ago as a No. 1 for Heart (1987), the song has reappeared only once, by the "Glee" cast (No. 51) for one week in 2009.

Still, the ballad, written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly ("Eternal Flame," "So Emotional," "True Colors"), was a single for Celine Dion in 2007; became a dance song for Kim Sozzi in 2006; and, helped Carrie Underwood win "American Idol" after she performed it - to the praises of Simon Cowell, who correctly predicted she'd not only win that season, but become the best-selling "Idol" so far - in 2005.

And, just last year, Canadian singer Alyssa Reid reinvented "Alone" as a rap/pop song. Her clever "Alone Again," featuring P. Reign, reached No. 11 in a 41-week chart run on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100.

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