Taking Peaks, Part 4: Nos. 25-1
Taking Peaks, Part 4: Nos. 25-1

No. 15
"Space Oddity," David Bowie (1973)

Bowie made his maiden top 40 voyage with this song, first rush-released in 1969 as Neil Armstrong made one small step for man. The classic rock staple has been covered by artists including Def Leppard, Dave Matthews and Natalie Merchant, while a song written in response to Bowie's famed track rose one notch higher on the Hot 100: Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)" rocketed to No. 14 in 1983.

Honorable Mentions:
"Little Deuce Coupe," the Beach Boys (1963)
"China Grove," the Doobie Brothers (1973)
"Cuts Like a Knife," Bryan Adams (1983)
"Policy of Truth," Depeche Mode (1990)
"Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)," A R Rahman & the Pussycat Dolls (2009)

No. 14
"Give Peace a Chance," Plastic Ono Band (1969)

While the song's message outweighs any chart feats, "Give Peace a Chance" is notable as the first single released as a solo project by a Fab Four member. The track debuted at No. 62 the week of July 26, 1969, the same week that the Beatles were peaking at No. 8 for a third and final week with "The Ballad of John and Yoko."

Honorable Mentions:
"I Saw Her Standing There," the Beatles (1964)
"Love the One You're With," Stephen Stills (1971)
"Brass in Pocket (I'm Special)," Pretenders (1980)
"What's Up," 4 Non Blondes (1993)
"Superman (It's Not Easy)," Five for Fighting (2001)

No. 13
"Do They Know It's Christmas?," Band-Aid (1985)

A song that featured such musical royalty as Bono, Sting, Phil Collins, George Michael, Duran Duran and its writers, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, marked the first hit charity recording of 1985. Two months later, USA for Africa's eventual four-week No. 1 "We Are the World" (set to be remade Feb. 1) bowed. The combined outpouring of support resulted in vital support for those in need: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are the World" have been certified Gold and four-times Platinum, respectively, by the RIAA.

Honorable Mentions:
"The Little Drummer Boy," Harry Simeone Chorale (1959)
"Oye Como Va," Santana (1971)
"Somebody to Love," Queen (1977)
"Where the Streets Have No Name," U2 (1987)
"Let's Talk About Sex," Salt-N-Pepa (1991)

No. 12
"1999," Prince (1983)

Prince's signature party song "1999" has, confusingly enough, logged chart runs in three separate years. A 12-week run beginning Oct. 30, 1982, resulted in an initial No. 44 peak. The song re-entered the Hot 100 on June 4, 1983, and reached No. 12 just six weeks later. On Jan. 16, 1999, the song spent a week on the chart at No. 40, thus making it the only entry to appear on the Hot 100 in the year synonymous with its title. Four others miss: James Blunt's "1973" charted in 2007, Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" in 1996, Spirit's "1984" in 1970 and Bowling for Soup's "1985" in 2007.

Honorable Mentions:
"I Fall to Pieces," Patsy Cline (1961)
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door," Bob Dylan (1973)
"Got to Be Real," Cheryl Lynn (1979)
"Faithfully," Journey (1983)
"Cryin'," Aerosmith (1993)

No. 11
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)," Dead or Alive (1985)

Not quite as disheartening as a peak at No. 41, No. 11 has managed to thwart superstars including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson and Madonna from padding their top 10 totals. Though Dead or Alive's dance classic couldn't penetrate the top 10 barrier, Flo Rida carried the song to a No. 1 reign for six weeks last year as the reinvented "Right Round," which introduced its backup vocalist, current Hot 100 penthouse resident Ke$ha. Similar to this feature's ode to songs that stopped one spot shy of the top 40, here is an expanded look at evergreen entries that climbed to a rung short of the top 10:

"The Way You Do the Things You Do," the Temptations (1964)
"Eleanor Rigby," the Beatles (1966)
"Reeling in the Years," Steely Dan (1973)
"Carry on My Wayward Son," Kansas (1977)
"Life in the Fast Lane," Eagles (1977)
"Disco Inferno," the Trammps (1978)
"Baby Hold On," Eddie Money (1978)
"Spirits in the Material World," the Police (1982)
"Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove)," Stevie Nicks (1982)
"Keep On Movin'," Soul II Soul (1989)
"The Humpty Dance," Digital Underground (1990)
"Voices That Care," Voices That Care (1991)
"Now That We Found Love," Heavy D & the Boyz (1991)
"What Is Love," Haddaway (1993)
"Because the Night," 10,000 Maniacs (1994)
"Who Will Save Your Soul," Jewel (1996)
"I Don't Want to Wait," Paula Cole (1998)
"Can't Fight the Moonlight," LeAnn Rimes (2002)
"Numb," Linkin Park (2004)
"Just Stand Up!," Artists Stand Up to Cancer (2008)

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