Peaking at No. 11 on a Billboard chart can be a frustrating fortune for an artist or record label, as a top 10 rank for such a title remains ever-elusive.
"No one wants to wind up at No. 2, 6 or 11. But, of those, No. 11 is probably the worst," says Adrian Moreira, RCA senior VP/adult music. "If you peak at No. 2, at least you can brag about reaching the top five. If you hit No. 6, a label can still market a track and/or artist as 'top 10.'
"But, if you peak at the dreaded No. 11, then the best you can boast is 'top 15,' which obviously doesn't sound as prestigious."
Since, however, today is Nov. 11, 2011, i.e., 11-11-11, let's celebrate songs that, while they stopped just short of the Billboard Hot 100's top tier, remain beloved hits.
In honor of today's once-in-a-century date, here are 11 No. 11 Hot 100 hits for 11-11-11.
"Baby I Need Your Loving," Four Tops, 1964
The legendary R&B group's first of 45 Hot 100 entries paved the way for its first No. 1, "I Can't Help Myself," the following year. In 1966, the act added its second leader, "Reach Out I'll Be There."
"Eleanor Rigby," the Beatles, 1966
In addition to this song, the Fab Four likewise peaked at No. 11 with its last Hot 100 entry to-date, 1996's "Real Love." Still, the Beatles boast the most top 10s (34) among groups in the Hot 100's 53-year history.
"Love Her Madly," the Doors, 1971
Following the No. 1s "Light My Fire" (1967) and "Hello, I Love You" (1968), the Doors returned to the top 10 with "Touch Me" (No. 3, 1969). While their last two top 40 hits missed the top 10, they remain essential entries in the Jim Morrison songbook: this track and its No. 14 follow-up, "Riders on the Storm."
"Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)," Fleetwood Mac, 1976
The eventual supergroup twice stopped at No. 11, with this ballad and next single "Say You Love Me" (also in 1976), before reeling off its first top 10, "Go Your Own Way" (No. 10, 1977). The lattermost song became the first of four top 10s from "Rumours," making the set the first album by a group to yield a quartet of Hot 100 top 10s.
"Running On Empty," Jackson Browne, 1978
Browne sent "Doctor My Eyes" (No. 8, 1972) and "Somebody's Baby" (No. 7, 1982) into the Hot 100's top 10, but neither title proved as perfect a companion as this song to Forrest Gump as he zig-zagged the country on foot in the 1994 Tom Hanks classic blockbuster.
"I Wanna Be Your Lover," Prince, 1980
Before becoming chart royalty with 19 top 10s, including five No. 1s, Prince peaked at No. 11 with this song, as well as at No. 12 with "1999" in 1983.
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)," Dead or Alive, 1985
In 2009, Flo Rida reworked the dance anthem into his second No. 1, following 2008's "Low," as "Right Round." The latter track doubled as the introduction of (an uncredited) Ke$ha on the song's chorus.
"What Is Love," Haddaway, 1993
"What is love?," asked the Trinidadian-American singer. By the end of the '90s, Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan offered their answer, in the form of a decade-defining "Saturday Night Live" skit that spurred the 1998 movie "A Night at the Roxbury."
"I Don't Want to Wait," Paula Cole, 1998
Cole peaked at No. 8 with her breakout prior single, "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" While its follow-up stopped three rungs lower, this song remains synonymous with the weekly dramas of Dawson, Joey, Jen and Pacey as the theme to the TV series that effectively launched the career of Katie Holmes, "Dawson's Creek."
"Numb," Linkin Park, 2004
Despite its No. 11 peak, this song sports, among its resume, a 12-week reign on Alternative Songs, a rebirth as the remixed "Numb/Encore" with Jay-Z and a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, making the track the only composition by a rock act to claim the latter honor.
"Forget You," "Glee" cast featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, 2010
Following this version's premiere on "Glee," Cee Lo Green's original zoomed to a new peak, eventually reaching No. 2, and earning Grammy Award nominations for Record and Song of the Year. How ingrained in pop culture did the song become? Even children's act Kidz Bop Kids covered it (with, quite obviously, a few lyrical adjustments).
And, in tribute to a hip-hop legend who we lost earlier this week, an honorable mention:
"Now That We Found Love," Heavy D & the Boyz, 1991
How fitting, that on the week that the hip-hop star passed, the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 - Rihanna's "We Found Love" - borrows from the title of Heavy D's highest-charting hit.
Know your Hot 100 history? What other well-worn songs overcame No. 11 peaks to remain on radio and in iPods worldwide? (If you listen to the music, your knowledge might grow stronger, allowing you to more easily recall songs that turned discos into infernos ...)
Add your favorite No. 11 Hot 100 hits in the comments section below!