Clearly, the most popular songs at any given time scale the upper ranks of the Billboard Hot 100. Still, America's singles chart of record for 51 years sports a history filled with well-loved classics that peaked at every position, from No. 1 all the way down to No. 100.
For renowned titles that stopped in the chart's lower rungs, perhaps they were not huge hits originally, but gained steam over time. Or, they were popular at particular formats such as country, R&B or rock, but did not cross over to complete mainstream success.
Each Tuesday throughout January, Chart Beat is combing through the Hot 100 peak position-by-position, highlighting songs that live on in iPods, movies, TV and/or radio, no matter how high they ultimately climbed on the survey.
Certainly, it's great to be No. 1. But, the Hot 100's rich archives reveal winners at every number.
And now, on with the countdown.
"Million Dollar Bill," Whitney Houston (2009)
Proof right off the bat that one chart's No. 100 song is another chart's No. 1. This track topped Dance/Club Play Songs in November and Adult R&B (viewable at billboard.biz) in December, becoming Houston's lucky 13th topper on the former tally and first since 2003.
"Judy," Frankie Vaughan (notable as the anchor song on the inaugural Hot 100 dated Aug. 4, 1958)
"Sweet Georgia Brown," Carroll Bros. (1962)
"Killer," Seal (1992)
"Saving Grace," Tom Petty (2006)
"Leave It All to Me (The iCarly Theme Song)," Miranda Cosgrove (2008)
"Kernkraft 400," Zombie Nation (2000)
Even if you aren't familiar with this song by title, chances are you've heard it following a goal at a hockey game or a buzzer-beater at a basketball game. Its composer, Florian Senfter, describes the track as "a quirky electro song" and muses that if he knew it would achieve such widespread popularity, "I would have chosen a friendlier name."
"In Between Days," the Cure (1986)
"Fat," Weird Al Yankovic (1988)
"Save the Last Dance for Me," Michael Buble (2006)
"Dreaming with a Broken Heart," John Mayer (2007)
"Chillin," Wale featuring Lady Gaga (2009)
"Bizarre Love Triangle," New Order (1995)
The iconic dance/alternative act took this song to No. 4 on Dance/Club Play Songs in 1986. When re-released in 1995, it reached the Hot 100 for the first time. By then, New Order had enjoyed a pair of top 40 hits: "True Faith" (No. 32, 1987) and "Regret" (No. 28, 1993).
"Sad But True," Metallica (1992)
"7 Seconds," Youssou N'Dour & Neneh Cherry (1994)
"Love Is Gone," David Guetta & Chris Willis (2008)
"Rehab," Glee Cast (2009)
"Wild Horses," Susan Boyle (2009)
"Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You)," Die Beatles (1964)
Should anyone ask the trivia question, "Of the Beatles 71 Hot 100 charted songs, which one peaked at the lowest position?," consider this your cheat sheet. At the height of Beatlemania, this cover of their second No. 1, recorded for release in Germany, spent a week on the chart dated June 27, 1964. The only other song the band reinvented in German? Its first No. 1, "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," Bon Jovi (1993)
"Vow," Garbage (1995)
"Daughter/Yellow Ledbetter," Pearl Jam (1996)
"Freedom," Paul McCartney (2001)
"Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own," U2 (2005)
"The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)," the Banana Splits (1969)
The trippy, Sid and Marty Krofft ("Land of the Lost")-designed "The Banana Splits Adventure Hour" ran for just 31 episodes on NBC from 1968 to 1970, but that was long enough for its sing-along theme song to reach the Hot 100. Liz Phair and Material Issue offered an amped-up cover on the 1995 album "Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits."
"The Race Is On," George Jones (1965)
"Electrolite," R.E.M. (1997)
"Citizen/Soldier," 3 Doors Down (2008)
"Something in Your Mouth," Nickelback (2008)
"On the Ocean," K'Jon (2009)