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The Biggest Hot 100 Hits to Peak at Nos. 25-1

Before she became a top 10 mainstay, Madonna stopped at No. 16 with her first Hot 100 hit. Plus, classics by Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, the Beatles and much more. Enjoy the conclusion of our…

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 56 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 weren’t huge hits originally, but gained steam over time. Or, they were popular at particular formats, such as country, R&B/hip-hop or rock, but did not cross over to complete mainstream success.


Updating a favorite feature first posted five years ago, each Tuesday throughout January, Chart Beat is combing through the Hot 100 peak position-by-peak position, subjectively highlighting songs that live on in iTunes libraries, movies, TV and/or radio, no matter how high (or not) they ultimately climbed on the Hot 100.

Certainly, it’s great to be No. 1. But, the Hot 100’s rich archives reveal winners at every number.

Here’s the conclusion! Part one ran three weeks ago, covering classics that hit Nos. 100-76. Part two remembered well-worn hits that peaked at Nos. 75-51 and part three covered nuggets that reached Nos. 50-26.

No. 25
“Piano Man,” Billy Joel (1974)

With this fictional story song drawn from real life experience, Billy Joel made the first of his 42 Hot 100 entries to date, 33 of which have reached the top 40, including 13 top 10s and three No. 1s: “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” (1980), “Tell Her About It” (1983) and “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (1989). “I’ve always referred to my songs, or the music that I’ve written, as my children,” Joel says. “And these songs grew up. These kids – I’m very proud of them.”

Honorable Mentions:
“Try a Little Tenderness,” Otis Redding (1967)
“Macho Man,” Village People (1978)
“Rainbow Connection,” Kermit (Jim Henson) (1979)
“Hey Jealousy,” Gin Blossoms (1993)
“Come to My Window,” Melissa Etheridge (1994)

No. 24
“Big Yellow Taxi,” Joni Mitchell (1975)

Mitchell’s signature song reached No. 67 upon its initial release in 1970, the same year that a cover by the Neighborhood climbed to No. 29. “I wrote ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ on my first trip to Hawaii,” Mitchell has recalled. “I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart, this blight on paradise. That’s when I sat down and wrote the song.”

Honorable Mentions:
“Sister Mary Elephant (Shudd-Up!),” Cheech & Chong (1974)
“Only the Good Die Young,” Billy Joel (1978)
“One Way or Another,” Blondie (1979)
“Under the Milky Way,” the Church (1988)
“She Looks So Perfect,” 5 Seconds of Summer (2014)

No. 23
“Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen (1976)

With this track’s entrance on the Sept. 20, 1975, Hot 100, the Boss was off and running on a career that has produced an Academy Award, 20 Grammy Awards and U.S. album sales of 64.5 million, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Among male artists, only Garth Brooks (135 million), Elvis Presley (134.5), Billy Joel (81.5), Michael Jackson (76), Elton John (73.5) and George Strait (69) rank higher.

Honorable Mentions:
“Mustang Sally,” Wilson Pickett (1966)
“Forget Me Nots,” Patrice Rushen (1982)
“You Can Call Me Al,” Paul Simon (1987)
“Just a Girl,” No Doubt (1996)
“Brave,” Sara Bareilles (2014)

No. 22
“La Bamba,” Ritchie Valens (1959)

The early rock and roll classic peaked on the Hot 100 dated Feb. 7, 1959 – just four days after the Music Died, when Valens, a true pioneer of Latin rock, Buddy Holly and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in an Iowa plane crash. “Donna” would become the fallen teen idol’s biggest hit (No. 2) later that month. In 1987, “La Bamba” would reach No. 1 as covered by Los Lobos, whose version accompanied the hit Valens biopic starring Lou Diamond Phillips.

Honorable Mentions:
“Peaceful Easy Feeling,” Eagles (1973)
“FM (No Static at All),” Steely Dan (1978)
“Two Tickets to Paradise,” Eddie Money (1978)
“Ain’t Nobody,” Chaka Khan & Rufus (1983)
“Love You Like a Love Song,” Selena Gomez & the Scene (2012)

No. 21
“Theme From the Dukes of Hazzard,” Waylon Jennings (1980)

The TV theme song that preceded such axioms from Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane before each inevitable splash into Hazzard Pond after a foiled hot pursuit of the General Lee: “That put a quiver in my liver.” The CBS series that ran from 1979 to 1985, at its heart, promoted down home values. Credited as the program’s “balladeer,” Jennings summed up on the final episode, “So, you see, that’s the way it goes in Hazzard, where the Dukes will even help out their enemy when the chips are down. That’s plumb typical of the Dukes of Hazzard. Too bad it ain’t the same everywhere else, huh?”

Honorable Mentions:
“Werewolves of London,” Warren Zevon (1978)
“We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Twisted Sister (1984)
“Criminal,” Fiona Apple (1997)
“Beautiful Day,” U2 (2001)
“Dog Days Are Over,” Florence + the Machine (2010)

No. 20
“22,” Taylor Swift (2013)

Sure, chart fans might’ve appreciated the song peaking at its namesake rank (like Prince’s “7” reaching No. 7 – keep reading …) But, this No. 20-peaking hit does what Swift’s best songs do: paint a vivid picture of her life at a given point in time. Here’s how Billboard praised the track in a 2012 review of parent album Red: “Underneath the heel-clicking positivity and shiny production sits the line. ‘We’re happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way,’ a rather stunning meditation on being in your early 20s. Even when she’s having fun, Swift is succinctly communicating conflicting emotion.”

Honorable Mentions:
“Iko Iko,” the Dixie Cups (1965)
“Slow Ride,” Foghat (1976)
“Stay/The Load-Out,” Jackson Browne (1978)
“Our Lips Are Sealed,” Go-Go’s (1981)
“Black Horse & the Cherry Tree,” KT Tunstall (2006)

No. 19
“Free Bird,” Lynyrd Skynyrd (1975)

And requests at concerts would never be the same. Even the members of Lynyrd Skyryrd can’t remember the exact origins of the tradition of audience members bellowing for this song, no matter what act is gracing the stage. Johnny Van Zant recalled in 2005 accompanying his wife to a Cher concert and joining in on the “Free Bird!” chant himself. “My wife is going, ‘Stop! Stop!’ I embarrassed the hell out of her.”

Honorable Mentions:
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” Tony Bennett (1962)
“Stand By Your Man,” Tammy Wynette (1969)
“In the Air Tonight,” Phil Collins (1981)
“Insane in the Brain,” Cypress Hill (1993)
“Secret Garden,” Bruce Springsteen (1997)

No. 18
“Your Body Is a Wonderland,” John Mayer (2003)

For all his success, Mayer has yet to crack the top 10 on the Hot 100. But, he has plated seven top 20 hits, led by the No. 12-peaking “Say” in 2008. He’s visited the top of several Billboard charts, including Adult Contemporary, Adult Pop Songs and Adult Alternative Songs, the lattermost of which he’s scaled six times. He’s collected two No. 1 Billboard 200 albums and his career U.S. album sales stand at an impressive 14.9 million, according to Nielsen Music.

Honorable Mentions:
“The City of New Orleans,” Arlo Guthrie (1972)
“Always and Forever,” Heatwave (1978)
“Coming Around Again,” Carly Simon (1987)
“Circle of Life,” Elton John (1994)
“All of the Lights,” Kanye West (2011)

No. 17
“Sail,” AWOLNATION (2013)

The song has sold 5.5 million downloads, but it took a long time to reach that whopping sum. First a No. 5 hit on Alternative Songs in 2011, it rose to its Hot 100 peak more than two years later, with its 79-week Hot 100 run the second-longest all-time. Said the one-man act (Aaron Bruno) of the left-of-center synth-rock track in 2013, “I never actually expected people to hear the song at all. When I wrote it, I had thrown in the towel as far as anticipating any kind of commercial success.”

Honorable Mentions:
“Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips With Me,” Tiny Tim (1968)
“The Stroke,” Billy Squier (1981)
“I’ll Be There for You”/”This House Is Not a Home,” the Rembrandts (1995) (released as a commercial single after it had peaked at No. 1 on Radio Songs for eight weeks)
“Desert Rose,” Sting (2000)
“Soak Up the Sun,” Sheryl Crow (2002)

No. 16
“Holiday,” Madonna (1984)

Madonna began her assault on Hot 100 history when this cut bowed at No. 88 on Oct. 29, 1983. She didn’t reach the top 10 on her first try, but she did with her next 17 singles through 1989, and her 38 career top 10s are the most in the survey’s archives (the Beatles rank second with 34). Meanwhile, some of her other beloved hits didn’t reach No. 1 (read on …), reinforcing the mission of this entire piece: that classics have peaked at every Hot 100 position. Madonna has also notched a record 43 No. 1s on Dance Club Songs. If current single “Living for Love” (up 18-11 this week) becomes her milestone 44th, she’ll tie George Strait for the most leaders on any single Billboard chart.

Honorable Mentions:
“Tracks of My Tears,” the Miracles (1968)
“Teach Your Children,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)
“Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton (1978)
“Enter Sandman,” Metallica (1991)
“God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood (2001)

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 (plus a whole lot more here!):
“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)
“Red Solo Cup,” Toby Keith (2012)

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” 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)
“Let’s Talk About Sex,” Salt-N-Pepa (1991)
“My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up),” Fall Out Boy (2013)

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).

Honorable Mentions:
“I Fall to Pieces,” Patsy Cline (1961)
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Bob Dylan (1973)
“Faithfully,” Journey (1983)
“Cryin’,” Aerosmith (1993)
“Bailando,” Enrique Iglesias feat. Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona (2014)

No. 11
“Same Love,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert (2013)

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. We’ll spotlight this hit by Macklemore, Lewis and Lambert, since no chart peak could stop the song’s immeasurable pop culture impact. 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)
“You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” Dead or Alive (1985)
“The Promise,” When in Rome (1988)
“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)
“Coming Home,” Diddy – Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey (2011)
“Girl on Fire,” Alicia Keys (2012)
“Best Day of My Life,” American Authors (2014)

No. 10
“Brown Eyed Girl,” Van Morrison (1967)

This song served as the singer/songwriter’s Hot 100 introduction, starting at No. 99 on July 15, 1967. Amazingly, on the Billboard 200, Van Morrison didn’t reach the top 10 until four decades later. His 33rd studio album, Keep It Simple, debuted at No. 10 on the chart dated April 19, 2008 … 41 years, five months and two weeks after he first appeared with Blowin’ Your Mind! in 1967.

Honorable Mentions:
“It’s Not Unusual,” Tom Jones (1965)
“Layla,” Derek & the Dominoes (1972)
“Off the Wall,” Michael Jackson (1980)
“Borderline,” Madonna (1984)
“One,” U2 (1992)
“Loser,” Beck (1994)
“Roll to Me,” Del Amitri (1995)
“Whataya Want From Me,” Adam Lambert (2010)
“Ain’t It Fun,” Paramore (2014)
“Rather Be,” Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne (2014)

No. 9
“Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey (1981)

As Fox’s Glee nears the finish line, it’s worth remembering two of its most notable chart achievements. With 207 entries, the ensemble boasts the most appearances in the Hot 100’s history. Its first, meanwhile, outcharted Journey’s iconic original. The Glee cast launched at No. 4 with this remake, beginning its sales history that now stands at an astonishing 40.7 million downloads sold.

Honorable Mentions:
“Hit Me With Your Best,” Pat Benatar (1980)
“Born in the USA,” Bruce Springsteen (1985)
“Your Wildest Dreams,” the Moody Blues (1986)
“Just a Friend,” Biz Markie (1990)
“Beauty and the Beast,” Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson (1992)
“Oops!…I Did It Again,” Britney Spears (2000)
“Rehab,” Amy Winehouse (2007)
“Waking Up in Vegas,” Katy Perry (2009)
“The Way,” Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller (2013)
“Love Never Felt So Good,” Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake (2014)

No. 8
“Sweet Home Alabama,” Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)

Talk about a good driving song: as of 2009, the state of Alabama began printing the words “Sweet Home Alabama” as an official slogan on its license plates. The band’s overall appeal also remains timeless. Its 2012 album Last of a Dyin’ Breed reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200, marking the group’s highest rank with a new studio set since 1977.

Honorable Mentions:
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” the Beach Boys (1966)
“Strawberry Fields Forever,” the Beatles (1967)
“Margaritaville,” Jimmy Buffett (1977)
“Copacabana (At the Copa),” Barry Manilow (1978)
“U Can’t Touch This,” M.C. Hammer (1990)
“Bad Boys (Theme From Cops),” Inner Circle (1993)
“Wonderwall,” Oasis (1996)
“Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood (2007)
“Good Life,” OneRepublic (2011)
“Chandelier,” Sia (2014)

No. 7
“Titanium,” David Guetta feat. Sia (2012)

… picking up where No. 8 left off (with Sia’s “Chandelier”). Simply, her breakout in recent years has been as unlikely as it has been dominating, as she’d previously made her most notable mark with “Breathe Me,” which accompanied the haunting final sequence of HBO’s Six Feet Under in 2005. Despite her recent successes (including on Flo Rida’s fellow 2012 single, the No. 5-peaking “Wild Ones,” marking her highest-charting hit), the camera-shy singer/songwriter still famously prefers to avoid the spotlight. “I get to sit at home with the dogs on the sofa, record in a closet in the office, send them off and, if I’m lucky, make a million dollars.”

Honorable Mentions:
“I Just Want to Celebrate,” Rare Earth (1971)
“Rock and Roll Part 2,” Gary Glitter (1972)
“I Want You to Want Me,” Cheap Trick (1979)
“Human Nature,” Michael Jackson (1983)
“Welcome to the Jungle,” Guns N’ Roses (1988)
“7,” Prince (1993)
“Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” Kylie Minogue (2002)
“What I’ve Done,” Linkin Park (2007)
“I Love It,” Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX (2013)
“Summer,” Calvin Harris (2014)

No. 6
“I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz (2008)

The sunny love song passed the 69-week chart run of LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live,” living to the ripe old age of 76 weeks on the Hot 100 – a record until Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” (keep reading …) charted for 87 weeks. As it approached the then-unprecedented mark for most weeks spent on the Hot 100, Mraz marveled to Billboard, “I’m still blown away, humbled by the success of my happy little hippie song.”

Honorable Mentions:
“As Tears Go By,” the Rolling Stones (1966)
“Rocket Man,” Elton John (1972)
“Wicked Game,” Chris Isaak (1991)
“Life Is a Highway,” Tom Cochrane (1992)
“You Learn”/”You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette (1996)
“Breakaway,” Kelly Clarkson (2004)
“Paparazzi,” Lady Gaga (2009)
“Don’t You Worry Child,” Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin (2012)
“Summertime Sadness,” Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais (2013)
“Story of My Life,” One Direction (2014)

No. 5
“Let It Go,” Idina Menzel (2014)

The song that’s become an anthem for young female Frozen fans everywhere, and which netted Menzel Billboard‘s Breakthrough honor … at age 43. “I got to thinking about something my mom said to me,” she said upon accepting the award in December. “‘You’re not really going to make it ’til you build a thicker skin. The universe won’t give it to you until you’re ready.’ [I’m always] told a Broadway singer can’t cross over … ‘Who are you?’ And the answer is … I don’t know! I know I’m a cool chick, hard worker, good mom, pretty talented singer. It has taken me this long to realize that if you’re easily able to categorize yourself, you’re probably [shaping into] someone else’s opinion of you. I was given this amazing song at such a crossroads in my life. Thank you for noticing me. I finally had my breakthrough!”

Honorable Mentions:
“It’s the Same Old Song,” Four Tops (1965)
“More Than a Feeling,” Boston (1976)
“Brick House,” Commodores (1977)
“Cum On Feel the Noize,” Quiet Riot (1983)
“Summer of ’69,” Bryan Adams (1985)
“Love in an Elevator,” Aerosmith (1989)
“Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” Train (2001)
“Bring Me to Life,” Evanescence feat. Paul McCoy (2003)
“Rock Your Body,” Justin Timberlake (2003)
“Let Her Go,” Passenger (2014)

No. 4
“We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” Queen (1978)

Queen charted on the Billboard 200 in 2009 with an important release: Live in Ukraine. The set, recorded with Paul Rodgers, raised funds to combat AIDS, from which the Ukraine population suffers at an alarming level. Reflecting on the outdoor concert that garnered an estimated audience of 350,000, Rodgers recalled, “In my eyes, the only true benefit to having ‘celebrity’ status is to use it to make a difference. Ukraine is a special place with special people.”

Honorable Mentions:
“Stand By Me,” Ben E. King (1961)
“Unchained Melody,” the Righteous Brothers (1965)
“Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good),” Neil Diamond (1969)
“Thriller,” Michael Jackson (1984)
“Ironic,” Alanis Morissette (1996)
“Get the Party Started,” P!nk (2001)
“Love Story,” Taylor Swift (2009)
“Cruise,” Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly (2013)
“Wake Me Up!,” Avicii (2013)
“Turn Down for What,” DJ Snake & Lil Jon (2014)

No. 3
“Imagine,” John Lennon Plastic Ono Band (1971)

Lennon’s second revered anthem promoting peace on this list (see No. 14) reached one of the senses that few songs do: taste. In 2008, Ben & Jerry’s created “Imagine Whirled Peace,” an ice cream combining caramel and peace-sign shaped chocolate, with proceeds benefitting the Lennon Estate and non-profit organization Peace One Day. Said the company’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, “When Ben & Jerry’s decided to engage in a campaign about peace, we couldn’t think of a better person to exemplify the message than John Lennon.”

Honorable Mentions:
“California Girls,” the Beach Boys (1965)
“Build Me Up Buttercup,” the Foundation (1969)
“Last Dance,” Donna Summer (1978)
“Sexual Healing,” Marvin Gaye (1983)
“If I Could Turn Back Time,” Cher (1989)
“Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit Of…),” Lou Bega (1999)
“Hot N Cold,” Katy Perry (2008)
“Ho Hey,” the Lumineers (2012)
“Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons (2013)
“Bang Bang,” Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj (2014)

No. 2
“Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga (2009)

As with Nos. 41 and 11, a No. 2 peak can induce frustration for chart-watchers, artists and labels one position away from celebrating significantly greater chart glory. (Daryl Hall & John Oates, in fact, have seen titles stop at all three numbers). Still, a No. 2 peak hasn’t prevented a pair of songs from earning the honor of top Hot 100 title of the year: “Breathe,” Faith Hill (2000) and “Hanging By a Moment,” Lifehouse (2001). Meanwhile, Gaga’s modern classic has sold 5.6 million downloads and become one of Mother Monster’s signature songs.

Honorable Mentions:
“Dream Lover,” Bobby Darin (1959)
“Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Elvis Presley (1962)
“Louie Louie,” the Kingsmen (1963)
“Like a Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan (1965)
“Yellow Submarine,” the Beatles (1966)
“What’s Going On,” Marvin Gaye (1971)
“Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001),” Deodato (1973)
“Y.M.C.A.,” Village People (1979)
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper (1983)
“Dancing in the Dark,” Bruce Springsteen (1984)
“I Want Your Sex,” George Michael (1987)
“Pour Some Sugar on Me,” Def Leppard (1988)
“Wild Thing,” Tone Loc (1989)
“Express Yourself,” Madonna (1989)
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen (1992)
“Under the Bridge,” Red Hot Chili Peppers (1992)
“Whoomp! (There It Is),” Tag Team (1993)
“All I Wanna Do,” Sheryl Crow (1994)
“Frozen,” Madonna (1998)
“Without Me,” Eminem (2002)
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” Green Day (2005)
“Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson (2005)
“You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift (2009)
“Boyfriend,” Justin Bieber (2012)
“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams (2013)

No. 1
“All You Need Is Love,” the Beatles (1967)

Oh, that’s right, you can’t go any higher on the Hot 100 than No. 1. How, then, to select beloved songs whose legacies outweigh their chart positions when choosing from among 1,041 No. 1s all-time? Total weeks on top is one tiebreaker. Certainly, many huge hits have logged lengthy reigns, from Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s record 16-week rule with “One Sweet Day” to Whitney Houston’s 14-week command with “I Will Always Love You.” In keeping with the spirit of this feature, however, several No. 1s remain essentials of the rock era despite spending a single week at the summit. The most influential act in the annals of modern pop music takes top honors with “All You Need Is Love,” while the one-week No. 1s below (including, fittingly, “One Week”) have earned their places among the most heralded hits in the 56-year history of the Billboard Hot 100.

“My Girl,” the Temptations (1965)
“Good Vibrations,” the Beach Boys (1966)
“Ruby Tuesday,” the Rolling Stones (1967)
“Penny Lane,” the Beatles (1967)
“Someday We’ll Be Together,” Diana Ross & the Supremes (1969)
“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” Barry White (1974)
“Get Down Tonight,” KC and the Sunshine Band (1975)
“(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” KC and the Sunshine Band (1975)
“Dancing Queen,” Abba (1977)
“Hotel California,” Eagles (1977)
“Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac (1977)
“Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” Michael Jackson (1979)
“Let’s Dance,” David Bowie (1983)
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” Eurythmics (1983)
“You Give Love a Bad Name,” Bon Jovi (1986)
“The Way You Make Me Feel,” Michael Jackson (1988)
“Need You Tonight,” INXS (1988)
“I’ll Be There for You,” Bon Jovi (1989)
“One Week,” Barenaked Ladies (1998)
“With Arms Wide Open,” Creed (2000)
“Big Girls Don’t Cry,” Fergie (2007)
“Viva La Vida,” Coldplay (2008)
“Poker Face,” Lady Gaga (2009)
“Hold It Against Me,” Britney Spears (2011)
“Give Me Everything,” Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer (2011)