The Final Episode Of “The Name Game:”

The Charts’ Hottest “Re-Run” Titles – The Top Ten!

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If you’ve been following along with this countdown of the most popular song titles on the charts:

You might wonder where the title that started this whole inquiry – “Midnight Blue” – ranks.

Sad to say, it didn’t even make the top 100!

With only three charted songs – admittedly great tunes from Lou Gramm, Melissa Manchester and Louise Tucker, it couldn’t catch up to the titles highlighted these past four weeks. (Lots of other great titles, including “Crazy Love,” “I’m on Fire,” “Just Between You and Me,” and “Holiday” didn’t make our Top 40 either.)

So: Which titles prevailed?

10. “Happy.” Pharrell Williams’ 2014 smash is by far the biggest song with this title, but I don’t care for it.

So, I’ll go with Leona Lewis’ song of five years earlier.


9. “Heaven.” The title of 10 tracks, it’s best known for Bryan Adams’ soundtrack flop, but the Reckless Number1 ballad from 1985.

Still, I’d listen more often to Los Lonely Boys’ 2004 hit.

(And, for anyone wondering: With only one Top 100 hit – Squirrel Nut Zippers’ 1997 track – “Hell” doesn’t come close to “Heaven.”)


8. TIE! “Forever.” I’ll take Kenny Loggins’ No. 40 peaker over bigger hits with this title by Mariah Carey, Kiss and Chris Brown.

And: “I Like It.” Dance and hip-hop compositions figure prominently here, with Cardi B. and her collaborators, the Blackout Allstars, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull, Sammie, and Dino all succeeding with this title.

I’ll go ’80s R&B with Debarge on this one.


7. “Someday.” Mariah shows up here, too.

And this time, I’ll go with her and her dog-whistle note at the end of this No. 1 romp.

Sugar Ray, Glass Tiger and Nickelback offer credible runners-up.


6. “Without You.” Lots of songs share this title, with artists from the world of country (Keith Urban,) rock, (Motley Crue,) dance, (David Guetta featuring Usher,) and R&B (Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle.)

The one that resonates with me the most is the composition originally a hit for Nilsson in 1972 and remade in 1994 by – who else?

Mariah Carey. Her version charted longer, so her points were what went into the total.


5. “You.” Of the 14 songs with this title, none is smoother than Jesse Powell’s 1999 R&B crossover.

It has “wedding dance” written all over it.


4. “Hold On.” So, if you Googled the “most popular song title on the Hot 100,” this is what you would get. But several of the 17 songs with this title weren’t very big, although 1979 and 1990 each had two Top 40 contenders with this title. I could go with any of those four:

Ian Gomm and Triumph from ’79, En Vogue and Wilson Phillips from ’90) as my pick, depending on the day.


3. “Crazy.” In the early days of the Hot 100, this title was synonymous with one composition: the country crossover that made Patsy Cline known on the pop chart. Even today, with strong contenders from Icehouse, Seal, K-Ci and Jojo, and Gnarls Barkley:

It’s hard to argue that any of them are more timeless than Cline.


2. “Angel.” With 13 hit compositions, including four different Top 5 songs, “Angel” takes the runner-up spot. (For those wondering, despite being included in the titles of more than a dozen compositions, “Devil” has never hit the chart as a one-word title.)

Of all the angels, I’d probably go with Sarah McLachlan’s when I’m in a contemplative mood…

… and the Shaggy/Rayvon chart-topper when I want a little more bounce.


And Number 1?

It’s such a hot title that it didn’t even need subtitled hits by U2 and Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories to factor into its total:

“Stay” is the title of compositions by artists as disparate as Shakespears Sister, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Florida Georgia Line, Eternal, and Zedd featuring Alessia Cara. Most recently, it was the title of a collaboration by The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber that rode the charts for 63 weeks.

I’m going to go with the 2013 collaboration by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko.


Thanks for joining me on a look at the biggest charting titles to date.

For anyone interested in the entire set…

It’s a countdown already changing!

This week’s Hot 100 includes songs titled “Everybody” and “Home” – neither of which was included in the calculations for this series.

… I had to stop somewhere!

Here’s a set of these top titles on Spotify:

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Chuck Small

Journalist-turned-high school counselor. Happily ensconced in Raleigh, N.C., with hubby of 31 years (9 legal).

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rollerboogie
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March 26, 2024 9:05 am
Reply to  cstolliver

Is Teague the evil cousin of Thegue? One can only hope.

rollerboogie
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March 26, 2024 12:20 pm
Reply to  cstolliver

Totally understandable. Janine Teagues is awesome.

rollerboogie
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March 26, 2024 8:54 am

Nice wrap up to a fun series, Chuck. My thoughts on some of these titles-

Happy– My daughter was 4 at the time the Pharrell song hit, and boy, as a parent I got sick of it quickly. It was used pretty much for every event that involved a preschooler. Now I need the Stones as a palette cleanser. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-QXotF03Yc

Heaven Give me the Psychedelic Furs here. It didn’t chart but I remember hearing it played somewhere in the day.

Hold On– Because “Can’t Hold Us” was the #1 covered by Tom last week, there was a Crilley’s (Not Crilley’s) Categories post asking for songs with “hold” in the title. “Hold On” came up many times. My offering was the one by Kansas, which did chart. It’s from their later, poppier years.

Stay– For charting songs, I’m partial to Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. For non-charting songs, it has to be David Bowie. I had never listened to Station to Station until people in the comment section turned me on to it about 5 years ago. The album needs to be taken in from start to finish but “Stay” in particular just blew me away. Stick around for the killer ascending funky bass line at the end.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGuu7NiALvo

Last edited 29 days ago by rollerboogie
Phylum of Alexandria
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March 26, 2024 10:08 am
Reply to  rollerboogie

Come for the coked-out Kabbalah, stay for the…”Stay.”

rollerboogie
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March 26, 2024 12:24 pm

Many years ago, a friend of mine told me he once saw Bowie quoted as not remembering the entire year of 1975. Station to Station was recorded that year and now having heard it, it certainly goes a long way toward authenticating that quote.

lovethisconcept
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March 26, 2024 3:10 pm
Reply to  rollerboogie

Hard (but not impossible) to go wrong with the Stones.

Virgindog
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March 26, 2024 9:12 am

Funny, just before checking TNOCS this morning, I found myself wondering, for no reason that I can remember, what Ian Gomm’s hit was. Lo and behold, here it is!

This has been a fun series. Great research, Chuck! I have to go with Nilsson’s “Without You” and Badfinger’s original isn’t bad either, but good choices all the way around.

Zeusaphone
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March 26, 2024 9:17 am

My picks

“Happy” – Joseph Smith and his orchestra

“Heaven” – Young Rascals

“Forever” – Sam Cooke (with honorable mention for Pete Drake and his talking steel guitar)

“I Like It” – Jane Turzy

“Someday” – The Ravens

“Without You” – Frankie Carle

“You” – Tommy Dorsey

“Hold On” – The Radiants

“Crazy” – Patsy Cline

“Angel” – Johnny Ace (though I was tempted to say Tommy Dorsey again)

Phylum of Alexandria
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March 26, 2024 10:26 am

Excellent series, Chuck! This must have taken a lot of time to come up with!

Too bad Talking Heads’ “Heaven” didn’t chart. Or David Bowie’s “Without You.” It’s not as good as his “Stay,” but it’s a nice slice of wannabe-Avalon Roxy smooth pop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXoD5Gz-Aak

rollerboogie
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March 26, 2024 12:27 pm

Another “Without You” popped into my head, an album cut off of Asia’s debut.
Not sure how I know this one, as I don’t remember knowing anyone who owned the album.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvjLJUviCTs

JJ Live At Leeds
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March 26, 2024 1:54 pm

I would have guessed at the word Love featuring in the top 10.

If you combine all those titles into lyrics it’s got to be a smash hit….or the blandest generic mulch.

Stay with me my Angel,
Cos being Without You makes me Crazy,
Someday we’ll be Happy,
If You only Hold On to me
We could be in Heaven Forever.

Generic mulch it is then.

Virgindog
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March 26, 2024 1:58 pm

You, sir, are a genius.

JJ Live At Leeds
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March 26, 2024 4:58 pm
Reply to  Virgindog

Thanks all. If you like that then you’ll love my my debut anthology; General Mulch and Assorted Banalaties. Coming soon to the bargain bin, obscured by the cleaning cart and hidden away at the back of all disreputable bookstores.

thegue
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March 31, 2024 11:33 am

Possible band name???

lovethisconcept
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March 26, 2024 2:58 pm

Brilliant.

mt58
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mt58
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March 26, 2024 4:51 pm

JJ > AI

Zeusaphone
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March 26, 2024 11:10 pm

I did a Google search on those lyrics. The first result was this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evx-u_rpX70

JJ Live At Leeds
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March 27, 2024 3:35 am
Reply to  Zeusaphone

That is not what I expected. There’s a good few clichés in there and a whole lot more religion but no plagiarising of my work.

lovethisconcept
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March 26, 2024 3:19 pm

Very nice series, Chuck. Thanks for the Spotify lists so that we can keep enjoying it.

thegue
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March 31, 2024 11:31 am

Late to the party, but arrived!

The Boys were a favorite R&B band of mine from the late 80s, and they had a few releases that fit the Top 10 here!

“Crazy” went to #29, while “Happy” only charted on the R&B charts (and only at #57), but don’t worry! I owned both.

I’m also a big fan of Ian Gomm’s “Hold On”. Great stuff Chuck!

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