'Smooth' Ranked As No. 1 Song Of Rock Era

"Smooth," the 1999 single by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, is the No. 1 song of the rock era based on chart performance on Billboard's Hot 100, according to a new book written by Billboard and Billboa

"Smooth," the 1999 single by Santana featuring Rob Thomas, is the No. 1 song of the rock era based on chart performance on Billboard's Hot 100, according to a new book written by Billboard and Billboard.com Chart Beat columnist, Fred Bronson. The third edition of "Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits" (Watson Guptill), just arriving in stores, includes a list of the top 5,000 songs of the rock era. The tally is based on an inverse point system developed by Bronson for his book and applied to Billboard's pop singles charts from July 1955 to June 2002.

"'Smooth' is not the longest-running No. 1 single of the rock era," says Bronson, "although it had a respectable 12-week run at the top [of the Hot 100]. The secret to its success is longevity. The single stayed in our top-10 for 30 weeks, setting a record for the longest top-10 visit by a No. 1 song." The higher a song peaked on the charts and the longer it stayed in the upper echelon, the more points it accumulated in Bronson's system.

"Smooth" was issued on the Arista label, the same company that claims the No. 2 single of the rock era. Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart," released on Arista's LaFace imprint, was No. 1 for 11 weeks in 1996.

Another single from that same year ranks No. 3: "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix) (RCA) by Spanish duo Los del Rio, the highest-ranked international hit of the rock era. "Macarena" was No. 1 for 14 weeks.

All of the songs in the top-10 of the rock era were No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, except for one. LeAnn Rimes' "How Do I Live" (Curb) only went to No. 2, but it was on the Hot 100 for 69 weeks, an all-time record.

"Smooth," "Un-Break My Heart," and "Macarena" topped all singles by Elvis Presley and the Beatles. The highest-ranked Presley single is the two-sided hit "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog" at No. 14. The highest-ranked Beatles single is "Hey Jude" at No. 41.

"Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits" includes the greatest hits of different artists, songwriters, producers, and record labels. Songs are also ranked year-by-year and decade-by-decade, as well as by subject matter (such as songs about animals and colors). There are also charts of the biggest hits by male and female solo artists, girl groups, and artists from the U.K., Australia, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Here are the top 40 singles of the rock era, as ranked in Bronson's book:

1. "Smooth," Santana featuring Rob Thomas (1999)
2. "Un-Break My Heart," Toni Braxton (1996)
3. "Macarena" (Bayside Boys Mix), Los del Rio (1996)
4. "One Sweet Day," Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men (1995)
5. "I'll Make Love to You," Boyz II Men (1994)
6. "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston
7. "Candle in the Wind 1997" / "Something About the Way You Look Tonight," Elton John (1997)
8. "How Do I Live," LeAnn Rimes (1997)
9. "End of the Road," Boyz II Men (1992)
10. "Too Close," Next (1998)
11. "The Boy Is Mine," Brandy & Monica (1998)
12. "The Sign," Ace of Base (1994)
13. "How You Remind Me," Nickelback (2001)
14. "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog," Elvis Presley (1956)
15. "Maria Maria," Santana featuring the Product G&B (2000)
16. "I'll Be Missing You," Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112 (1997)
17. "I Swear," All-4-One (1994)
18. "Mo Money Mo Problems," The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Puff Daddy & Mase (1997)
19. "The Twist," Chubby Checker (1960)
20. "You're Still the One," Shania Twain (1998)
21. "Independent Women Part I," Destiny's Child (2000)
22. "Gangsta's Paradise," Coolio featuring L.V. (1995)
23. "Family Affair," Mary J. Blige (2001)
24. "U Got It Bad," Usher (2001)
25. "I'm Real," Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule (2001)
26. "Fallin'," Alicia Keys (2001)
27. "On Bended Knee," Boyz II Men (1994)
28. "You Light Up My Life," Debby Boone (1977)
29. "You Were Meant for Me" / "Foolish Games," Jewel (1997)
30. "Whoomp! (There It Is)," Tag Team (1993)
31. "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock," Bill Haley & His Comets (1955)
32. "Love Letters in the Sand," Pat Boone (1957)
33. "Mack the Knife," Bobby Darin (1959)
34. "Breathe," Faith Hill (2000)
35. "Creep," TLC (1995)
36. "Foolish," Ashanti (2002)
37. "Physical," Olivia Newton-John (1981)
38. "Because You Loved Me," Celine Dion (1996)
39. "Endless Love," Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (1981)
40. "Singing the Blues," Guy Mitchell (1956)