Backwards Bullets: This Week In Charts 1991
Backwards Bullets: This Week In Charts 1991

No. 45
"Handle With Care" Traveling Wilburys (1988)

When George Harrison needed a B-side for a single from his album "Cloud Nine," he called upon friends in high places: this potential throwaway song proved the catalyst for the supergroup Traveling Wilburys, comprising Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. The act charted on the Hot 100 with this song and follow-up "End of the Line" (No. 63, 1989). On the Billboard 200, the band sent "Vol. 1" to No. 3 in 1988 and "Vol. 3" to No. 11 in 1990. A 2007 re-release of material from both sets, plus bonus cuts, reached No. 9.

Honorable Mentions:
"Go West," Village People (1979)
"Should I Stay or Should I Go," The Clash (1982)
"Weird Science," Oingo Boingo (1985)
"Hot Hot Hot," Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blue (1988)
"The Cup of Life (The Official Song of the World Cup, France '98)," Ricky Martin (1998)

No. 44
"Show Me," the Cover Girls (1987)

The late '80s brought the heyday of freestyle to the Hot 100, and this track represented the first chart ink for one of the genre's cornerstone acts. The title cut from the trio's debut album also rose to No. 4 on Dance/Club Play Songs. Freestlye acts often scored their biggest hits on the Hot 100 not with their uptempo songs, but with ballads: the Cover Girls reached the top 10 with "We Can't Go Wrong" (No. 8, 1990) and "Wishing on a Star" (No. 9, 1992), while Stevie B, who in recent years has organized the Freestyle Rush Tour with the Cover Girls and TKA, among others, similarly ascended to his greatest Hot 100 heights with the slow dance classic "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)" (No. 1, 1990).

Honorable Mentions:
"Love T.K.O.," Teddy Pendergrass (1981)
"Tom Sawyer," Rush (1981)
"Love My Way," Psychedelic Furs (1983)
"Trouble Me," 10,000 Maniacs (1989)
"Hero," David Crosby & Phil Collins (1993)

No. 43
"Those Were the Days," Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton (as the Bunkers) (1972)

The "All in the Family" TV theme song that preceded such exchanges as the following:

Mike Stivic: That's what's wrong with this country, nobody asks questions anymore!
Archie Bunker: Can I ask you a question?
Mike: Sure.
Archie: Why don't you shut up?

Honorable Mentions:
"Somewhere," Barbra Streisand (1986)
"Spring Love (Come Back to Me)," Stevie B (1988)
"Selling the Drama," Live (1994)
"Wanted Dead or Alive," Chris Daughtry (2006)
"Break the Ice," Britney Spears (2008)

No. 42
"Torn," Natalie Imbruglia (1998)

One of the biggest smashes of the '90s spent only two weeks on the Hot 100, at Nos. 42 and 47. Why? The song, along with fellow hits such as No Doubt's "Don't Speak," was a radio-only promo single, as labels withheld commercial availability for certain airplay hits in hopes that consumers would instead purchase albums. According to rules in place for much of its run at radio, "Torn" was ineligible to chart on the Hot 100. Only when Hot 100 policy was revised to allow songs not available at retail to appear as of Dec. 5, 1998, did "Torn" show. The song spent 11 weeks atop Hot 100 Airplay/Radio Songs beginning in May 1998.

Honorable Mentions:
"Handbags and Gladrags," Rod Stewart (1972)
"Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," Waylon & Willie (1978)
"Badlands," Bruce Springsteen (1978)
"Destination Unknown," Missing Persons (1982)
"Dreams," Cranberries (1994)

No. 41
"Tiny Dancer," Elton John (1972)

Peaking at No. 41 is similar to being the caller before the correct caller in a radio contest. Or, the 999,999th customer at the supermarket, just missing out on a free shopping spree (which maybe happens only in '80s sitcoms). In any case, chart-watchers (and artists and labels) have long lamented those entries denied the esteemed descriptor of "top 40 hit" on the Hot 100 by a mere spot. To help ease the sting, No. 41 receives special treatment in this feature with an expanded list. Perhaps most importantly, these songs remain memorable today:

"From Me to You," the Beatles (1964)
"Mission-Impossible," Lalo Schifrin (1968)
"Okie From Muskogee," Merle Haggard and the Strangers (1970)
"La Grange," ZZ Top (1974)
"Changes," David Bowie (1975)
"Rock and Roll Never Forgets," Bob Seger (1977)
"Ease On Down the Road," Diana Ross Michael Jackson (1978)
"Good Times Roll," the Cars (1979)
"It's All I Can Do," the Cars (1979)
"Workin' for a Livin'," Huey Lewis & the News (1982)
"We Close Our Eyes," Go West (1985)
"Pretty in Pink," Psychedelic Furs (1986)
"Knocked Out," Paula Abdul (1988)
"It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be," Aretha Franklin/Whitney Houston (1989)
"Love Is All Around," Wet Wet Wet (1994)
"Closer," Nine Inch Nails (1994)
"That Thing You Do!," the Wonders (1996)
"Wide Open Spaces," Dixie Chicks (1998)
"Alive," P.O.D. (2002)
"Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven," Kenny Chesney With the Wailers (2008)

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