Best higher charting song: Ordinary World - Duran Duran
Worst higher charting song: Saving Forever For You - Shanice
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #88
Mr. Wendal manages to be philosophical hip hop of the best kind. It speaks starkly of class differences without layering too much race or political solution. It merely acknowledges and presents with relentless honesty. As an old school hip hop top ten (let's remember that Run-DMC had only a cover and Bell Biv Devoe and Another Bad Creation were still practically novelty acts), though, it truly broken down the walls and bridged what was to what would be and, don't worry, we'll get into this even further higher on the list.
Best higher charting song: Black Magic Woman - Santana
Worst higher charting song: One Less Bell to Answer - The 5th Dimension
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #72
John & I have this theory that even artists we cannot stand have one good hit that we can latch onto. Manilow has Copacabana, Mariah has Fantasy and Someday, Whitney has Love Will Save the Day, etc. This is our hit like that for Streisand. A top ten career marred by over enunciated words and AC music that at best slumps into neutral or worse tries to be disco. Streisand was a good singer weighted down by the conventions of the time. But recording Laura Nyro's Stoney End was a good way to establish Streisand as a pop force and not just the singer of People and the star of Funny Girl. The serviceable backing musicians and singers allow Barbra to get out in front of the lyrics and shine without being showy, except at the end. But unlike most Streisand selection, this one has rhythm and zips along at a good clip. Nyro's words and music rise above, too, as theme of longing for childhood when confronted with uncomfortable adulthood plays out without pause or hesitation.
Like most Fats Domino tunes, this one seems to start in medias res. Somehow, Fats has been spurned by his lover and now must walk back to his home. Which is OK because his call is answer by the strings that suggest that his prayer for deliverance may indeed be reaching his Higher Power. The drip drop at the beginning of the song also sets the tempo for the walk and New Orleans seems as close to heaven as Fats can find in this world, which is why after a great fall it is where he is headed and such clarity in a song is why Fats dominated the charts in the early rock era. Plus: a self-referential "Ain't That a Shame" shout-out for the cherry on top.
Best higher charting song: Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
Worst higher charting song: All Out of Love - Air Supply
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #67
Paul's last top ten is a perfect example of both why he was such a genius and why popular tastes (Graceland notwithstanding) shifted so oddly against him. Here, Simon' vocals about being raised on rock end up submerged by peppy brass and hot drum licks that sound like they've been imported from somewhere else. While it is commendable that his sonics always sounded fresh, the American public was about to turn image into seriousness with the rise of MTV (this a man who's most famous music video involves him making face with Chevy Chase). So Late in the Evening, stands as the end of an era: A song by the Radio Star that Video Killed. It's fortunate that all of the little McCartney-esque pieces that make up this song are fun because otherwise this would be a slog.
Best higher charting song: Lean on Me - Bill Withers
Worst higher charting song: The Candy Man - Sammy Davis Jr.
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #56
Sure, it's just a funky retrograde novelty song about a caveman. Despite having some of the hottest R&B guitar work the other side of Prince, Troglodyte has a hard time overcoming its inherent novelty-ness until you step back and realize some things that are almost nuts:
This was Castor's second top 40. His third top 40 was a sequel to this song that reached the top 20 called "The Bertha Butt Boogie". What?
The phrase "What we're gonna do now is go back...way back into time" has become hip hop shorthand for any retro track about "back in the day" type feelings and it shows up constantly in random locations.
Neneh Cherry sampled this song in her top ten hit Kisses on the Wind.
Without this song, about a third of the top ten charting cut-in record Convention '72 would have been absent.
The record itself has enough early 70s slang that the then-en-vogue "Right On" seems like something a caveman might have said.
Best higher charting song: Umbrella - Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
Worst higher charting song: Part Like a Rock Star - Shop Boyz
Top 100 #6 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: NEW SONG
Here goes.... Find someone born between 1990 and 2000. Play them this song and then maybe Crimson and Clover or Groovin' or anything off the first four Chicago album. See which one inspires the sing-a-long and dancing. Sure, it's vapid... but catchy and mixing that with Mouse means that thing gets legs.