Best higher charting song: Hip to Be Square - Huey Lewis & The News
Worst higher charting song: The Next Time I Fall - Peter Cetera
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #38
Back when hip and proto-rap was kind of goofy (remember The Fat Boys?), Cameo acted as one of the first bridges behind the curtain of R&B that wasn't as polished as Michael. Surely, this track has a wonderful sheen, but the pop beats are almost entirely missing replaced by long held open chords and strange lyrics almost spoken in their syncopation. I'm not gonna draw a straight line from Cameo to The Weeknd, but you can see them on the same bus route.
Best higher charting song: Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
Worst higher charting song: Just a Lil Bit - 50 Cent
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: NEW SONG
Kelly Clarkson was quickly crowned the queen of the pop break-up song. (A crown she only lost to Taylor Swift only because gossip columns like to speculate about who the song is really about.) Clarkson's treatments, though, belies her vulnerability as opposed to Swift's venom. This fits more in the Temptations I wish it would rain category than Swift who seems to be coming from the Waitresses I Know What Boys Like category most of the time. I must I prefer the Clarkson treatment and the hand waving in the direction of rock is more appreciated than the faux earnestness of Swift's country.
Best higher charting song: Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
Worst higher charting song: Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #50
The Frat Rock of the Sports album is well-represented here. (If This Is It was bumped from the top 100 since three Huey songs from one album is probably overkill). Here we have the song that probably was best remember from the album, especially since it would show up in the charts again a couple of months later as Ghostbusters. Huey opines for his need for something that will help him feel like his woman did. That's fine, as far as it goes, but the full band backing that the News provide is the really feature here. Brass and winds accompany traditional guitar and drums alongside an 80s keyboard mix to provide the kind of full sounds that EDM tries for by mixing everything louder. Sometimes the real thing is the real thing.
Best higher charting song: Poor Little Fool - Ricky Nelson
Worst higher charting song: Hard Headed Woman - Elvis Presley
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #36
Duane Eddy's big instrumental hits were always somewhere between power rock, easy blues and updated country. Rebel Rouser is the best of these combining and interlocking the various parts into a glorious whole that powers dance floors, running or driving. A classic that kicked off the wave of truly great instrumental tunes that bridged the gap between Elvis and the Beatles.
Best higher charting song: Sowing the Seeds of Love - Tears for Fears
Worst higher charting song: Cover Girl - New Kids on the Block
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #99
As rock, especially harder rock, recedes further and further from the national conversation (I know the Mainstream Rock chart has plenty of major artists, but the chart itself is not really top 40 at this point). It, thus, stands to reason that high points of hard rock may stand out even higher in retrospect. Motley Crue's highest charting hit is a little poppy, but doesn't sell out like the ballad's of other late 80s rockers and for that reason alone bears mentioning. Also, the jug-jugga-jug rhythm guitars have never had as good an outing as the counterpoint to the searing lead guitar. And the lyrics are wonderfully stupid.
Worst higher charting song: Whatever You Like - T.I.
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: NEW SONG
While the island vibe and nonsense lyrics laden I'm Yours would normally be considered a footnote had it not held the record for most weeks on the charts at one point. This sucker spent 76 weeks in the top 100 breaking an 11 year old record. And part of the reason it did so was by not wearing itself out by being a top 5 hit. It was a pleasant tune without having become overexposed like so many big hits. And really that is the word for it: pleasant.