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Phil Spector’s Biggest Billboard Hits: ‘To Know Him Is to Love Him,’ ‘Be My Baby,’ ‘Unchained Melody’ & More

Phil Spector was a force like few others on the Billboard Hot 100 from the late '50s through the early '70s, producing five No. 1 songs, among 19 top 10s.

As previously reported, Phil Spector, who pioneered the “Wall of Sound” production style for classic Billboard Hot 100 hits in the 1950s, ’60s and beyond, died Saturday, Jan. 16, at the California Health Care Facility state prison in Stockton, Calif., where he’d been serving a 19-year sentence for a 2009 murder conviction. He was 81.

Spector was a force like few others on the Hot 100 from the late ’50s through the early ’70s, producing five No. 1 songs, among 19 top 10s, during his lifetime. He first appeared atop the tally nearly four months into the chart’s existence, when The Teddy Bears’ “To Know Him, Is to Love Him” began a four-week reign in December 1958, just before his 19th birthday.


Spector added two more Hot 100 No. 1s as a producer in the ’60s: “He’s a Rebel” by the Crystals and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ” by the Righteous Brothers. He also notched two in the ’70s: the last of The Beatles’ record 20 leaders, “The Long and Winding Road”/”For You Blue,” and the first solo No. 1 by a member of the group after its breakup that year, George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”/”Isn’t It a Pity.”

Below, Billboard has compiled a ranking of Spector’s 40 biggest Hot 100 hits as a producer. Among those 40 songs are six each by The Crystals, led by “He’s a Rebel,” and The Ronettes, paced by “Be My Baby.” The Righteous Brothers follow with five entries, with “Lovin’ Feelin’ ” joined in the top 10 by “Unchained Melody.”


Along with The Beatles’ “Road,” the group’s John Lennon shows with four titles below, and Harrison has three.

Spector’s influence is such that his name has contributed to Hot 100 hits from the chart’s first year, 1958, through 2021. Following the survey’s Aug. 4, 1958, inception, “To Know Him” debuted on the chart dated Sept. 22 that year. Most recently, two holiday chestnuts that he produced hit new highs earlier this month: The Ronettes’ “Sleigh Ride” and Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” The seasonal classics, originally released in the ’60s, reached bests of Nos. 13 and 19 on the Hot 100 dated Jan. 2 and rank at Nos. 28 and 36 on the retrospective below.

Phil Spector’s Biggest Billboard Hits
Rank, Title, Artist, Peak Position, Peak Date
1, TO KNOW HIM, IS TO LOVE HIM, The Teddy Bears, No. 1 (three weeks), 12/1/1958
2, MY SWEET LORD/ISN’T IT A PITY, George Harrison, No. 1 (four weeks), 12/26/1970
3, YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’, The Righteous Brothers, No. 1 (two weeks), 2/6/1965
4, HE’S A REBEL, The Crystals, No. 1 (two weeks), 11/3/1962
5, INSTANT KARMA (WE ALL SHINE ON), John Ono Lennon, No. 3, 3/28/1970

6, BE MY BABY, The Ronettes, No. 2, 10/12/1963
7, THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD/FOR YOU BLUE, The Beatles, No. 1 (two weeks), 6/13/1970
8, UNCHAINED MELODY, The Righteous Brothers, No. 4, 8/28/1965
9, IMAGINE, John Lennon Plastic Ono Band, No. 3, 11/13/1971
10, DA DOO RON RON (WHEN HE WALKED ME HOME), The Crystals, No. 3, 6/8/1963

11, CORINNA, CORINNA, Ray Peterson, No. 9, 1/9/1961
12, THEN HE KISSED ME, The Crystals, No. 6, 9/14/1963
13, I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE ME, The Paris Sisters, No. 5, 10/30/1961
14, EBB TIDE, The Righteous Brothers, No. 5, 1/8/1966
15, PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES, Curtis Lee, No. 7, 8/7/1961

16, ZIP-A-DEE DOO-DAH, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, No. 8, 1/12/1963
17, JUST ONCE IN MY LIFE, The Righteous Brothers, No. 9, 5/15/1965
18, SECOND HAND LOVE, Connie Francis, No. 7, 6/9/1962
19, BLACK PEARL, Sonny Charles and the Checkmates, Ltd., No. 13, 7/5/1969
20, WHAT IS LIFE, George Harrison, No. 10, 3/27/1971

21, UPTOWN, The Crystals, No. 13, 5/26/1962
22, HE’S SURE THE BOY I LOVE, The Crystals, No. 11, 2/16/1963
23, POWER TO THE PEOPLE, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, No. 11, 5/1/1971
24, THERE’S NO OTHER (LIKE MY BABY), The Crystals, No. 20, 1/6/1962
25, WALKING IN THE RAIN, The Ronettes, No. 23, 12/5/1964

26, BABY, I LOVE YOU, The Ronettes, No. 24, 2/1/1964
27, WAIT TIL’ MY BOBBY GETS HOME, Darlene Love, No. 26, 9/7/1963
28, SLEIGH RIDE, The Ronettes, No. 13, 1/2/2021
29, BANGLA-DESH/DEEP BLUE, George Harrison, No. 23, 9/11/1971
30, WHY DO LOVERS BREAK EACH OTHER’S HEART?, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, No. 38, 3/30/1963

31, HE KNOWS I LOVE HIM TOO MUCH, The Paris Sisters, No. 34, 3/10/1962
32, DO I LOVE YOU?, The Ronettes, No. 34, 8/1/1964
33, (TODAY I MET) THE BOY I’M GONNA MARRY, Darlene Love, No. 39, 5/11/1963
34, (THE BEST PART OF) BREAKIN’ UP, The Ronettes, No. 39, 5/16/1964
35, PUDDIN N’ TAIN, The Alley Cats, No. 43, 2/16/1963

36, CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME), Darlene Love, No. 19, 1/2/2021
37, EVERY BREATH I TAKE, Gene Pitney, No. 42, 9/11/1961
38, MOTHER, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, No. 43, 1/30/1971
39, UNDER THE MOON OF LOVE, Curtis Lee, No. 46, 11/27/1961
40, HUNG ON YOU, The Righteous Brothers, No. 47, 8/21/1965

Phil Spector’s Biggest Billboard Hits as a producer recap is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods. Research, in part, via Fred Bronson’s Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits book.