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The Name Game:

The Charts’ Hottest “Re-Run” Titles – Part One…

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Welcome to a look at Evergreen Titles:

Names that come back… via widely divergent compositions. 

​Our journey down this rerunning rabbit hole began a few weeks back, when our tnocs.com friend and Contributing Author rollerboogie wrote about pop songs with classical roots:

That day in the comment section…

​Oh, rb...

You don’t know what a monster you’ve created..

Monster’ ? No way. In fact, you look fabulous in red.”

​Creating this look at song titles “with the strongest, completely different compositions” took a few weeks of calculating.

While perusing Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles 1955-2015” and Billboard online, the end result was a calculation of 82 common titles from the ’50s onward. 

In true Casey Kasem fashion, I boiled that list down to 40. 

We’ll go over them for the next four weeks: 10 at a time.

You could easily Google the song title that has appeared the most often.

But that won’t get you to Number One in this countdown! 

  • Here, we’re looking not just at the titles that appeared most often but those whose compositions racked up long chart runs.
  • For a subjective twist, I supplemented Billboard Hot 100 chart runs (1 point per week) with listings from my personal charts from 1981 to 2002 and 2006 to 2018 (0.5 point per week).

Spelling, punctuation, and articles (“a,” “an,” “the”) made a difference: “An Everlasting Love” and “Everlasting Love” are different titles, as are “All Right” and “Alright,” and “Trouble” and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E.”

Finally, only one version of each composition counts. (Apologies to those expecting to see “Yesterday,” Baby Face,” “Hallelujah,” and “My Way.”)

Now that we have explanations out of the way: 

Here’s the first batch! From 40-31:


40: “Alright.” As a longtime copy editor, I’m not a fan of this spelling. But it is a common one, the title of tracks by Jamiroquai, Electric Light Orchestra, Darius Rucker, Kendrick Lamar, Janet Jackson, and Kris Kross. 

My pick:
Jamiroquai’s 1997 track.


39: “One.” As opposed to “The One” (which placed at No. 50), this title was used by acts as divergent as the Bee Gees, Metallica, Ed Sheeran, and Three Dog Night.

My pick:
U2’s 1992 classic.


38: “Drive.” This title (along with the next one) belongs the fewest compositions in the countdown, four. But Miley Cyrus’ one-week track aside, each of the songs with this title had long chart runs, and it’s hard for me to choose between Incubus, R.E.M. and the Cars. 

So I won’t.


37. “Hold My Hand.” Unlike the quartet at No. 38, this quartet really boils down to one enormous hit and three runners-up. Sorry, Jess Glynne, Don Cornell, and Akon – and the posthumous Michael Jackson.

My pick: Hootie and The Blowfish’s 1994-95 track.


36. “Human.” A few contenders here among six songs with this title.

But I’m going to give the slightest edge to the Human League’s 1986 No. 1 over The Killers’ 2008 track.


35. “Free.” Another motley set of artists share this title. I like Chicago’s early ‘70s jam and Deniece Williams’ slinky R&B from later that decade.

But The Zac Brown Band’s 2010 country crossover hit is the one that sticks with me.


34. “Talk to Me.” Most of the tracks with this title were minor chart hits. (One, from Babyface, only charted on my survey, not in Billboard.)

The big exception was Stevie Nicks’ Top 5 hit from 1985-86.


33. “Love Me.Lest anyone think that Yvonne Elliman’s only Gibb-penned hit was “If I Can’t Have You…”

This slow burner from 1976-77 – a year before Saturday Night Fever – is precursor to that smash. 


32: “Dreams.” It’s hard to argue with a Fleetwood Mac chart-topper that has been popular in both the 20th and 21st centuries.

And still, if only for its insistent beginning and the incredible voice of Dolores O’Riordan, The Cranberries’ 1994 hit gets my nod.


31: “I Need You.” Unlike the showdown at No. 32, this set of 11 songs features no one song that stands out. The America and LeAnn Rimes tracks are not among the artists’ best, and the goofy similes of the Paul Carrack track weaken it (“I need you/Like a shot needs to shoot”?). 

I’ll pick The Pointer Sisters’ 1984 track, knowing that they have at least three stronger songs from that album, aptly titled Break Out.


For a more complete look at these titles, check out this Spotify playlist: 

Next week: 

We’ll take on 30-21!

Let the author know that you liked their article with a “Green Thumb” Upvote! 

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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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LinkCrawford
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March 5, 2024 7:27 am

Hey, this is a good idea for an article! I for one am thankful that we won’t discuss “Hallelujah”.

And mt, that photoshop on the main picture for the article is…well, it’s something. 🙂

mt58
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March 5, 2024 8:59 am
Reply to  LinkCrawford

Coming soon:
Yours truly, cosplaying as Brett Somers.

It’s only fair. I have to take one for the team, too, right?

Virgindog
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March 5, 2024 9:03 am
Reply to  mt58

I see you as more of a Fannie Flagg type.

Virgindog
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March 5, 2024 9:07 am
Reply to  cstolliver

As long as I can be Debralee Scott at her most feathered.

mt58
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March 5, 2024 9:13 am
Reply to  Virgindog

Well, now, we’re getting somewhere.

OK. We need a perturbed and bitter Richard Dawson. Anyone? Anyone?

ISurvivedPop
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March 5, 2024 10:55 am
Reply to  mt58

You mentioned Richard Dawson, so I have to ask:

During what month of pregnancy does a woman begin to look pregnant?

Last edited 1 month ago by ISurvivedPop
Virgindog
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March 5, 2024 11:18 am
Reply to  ISurvivedPop

September.

Ozmoe
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March 6, 2024 8:04 am
Reply to  mt58

I’ll be happy to be Richard Dawson!

mt58
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March 5, 2024 9:06 am
Reply to  Virgindog

I get that a lot.

As you would imagine, my reactions vary wildly, depending on the exact context of the situation.

lovethisconcept
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March 5, 2024 1:52 pm
Reply to  LinkCrawford

I second that emotion about “Hallelujah.” Now that would be a good song title. I wonder if anyone has used it…

ISurvivedPop
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March 5, 2024 2:43 pm
Edith G
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March 5, 2024 8:18 am

Good piece Chuck and great picks, even when I don’t know all of them. I’ll give a listen to the playlist as soon as I can.

Virgindog
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March 5, 2024 8:40 am

Great idea for a series! What are the other four “Humans” and the other “Love Me’s?”

ISurvivedPop
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March 5, 2024 10:42 am
Reply to  cstolliver

The Bieber track is a pretty terrible rewrite of the Cardigans’ “Lovefool.”

Weezy’s is really interesting in its mixed message – it’s on paper a diss track about haters, but then comes the line “Can’t treat these hoes like ladies” so he doesn’t come across like a likable person here.

rollerboogie
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March 5, 2024 8:48 am

Yeah, that was totally in your wheelhouse. It’s off to a nice start! You didn’t want to pick a “Drive” so I will- it’s Incubus, hands down. That song is amazing.

I’m glad I didn’t see Red Chuck right before I went to bed. I have trouble sleeping as it is. That guy definitely knows where the bodies are buried.

ISurvivedPop
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March 5, 2024 10:54 am

Van Halen’s “Dreams” and Creed’s “One” (probably their best song) are two jams from the playlist I forgot about. Thanks for reminding me of them, Chuck.

JJ Live At Leeds
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March 5, 2024 12:56 pm

Great idea and glad you followed up on it.

All the titles so far are fairly basic; one word or a simple phrase. Which is understable but I’d like to see if there are any more unexpected titles that come up.

To all the Alright’s I can add one from this side of the water. It was a #13 hit for the Liverpool Britpop band; Cast. As far as I can tell they never troubled Billboard.

https://youtu.be/IYazPsxSbt8?feature=shared

ISurvivedPop
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March 5, 2024 12:59 pm

There’s also Supergrass of course (not in Chuck’s playlist)

JJ Live At Leeds
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March 5, 2024 1:50 pm
Reply to  ISurvivedPop

How did that slip my mind? A much bigger and more iconic hit. Came out two months before the Cast; Alright.

Virgindog
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March 5, 2024 1:03 pm

Not a bad song! For those of us on this side of the Atlantic, here’s a different link.

https://youtu.be/AtP_-knmRqc

Last edited 1 month ago by Bill Bois
thegue
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March 6, 2024 6:58 pm
Reply to  Virgindog

Great start to a series Chuck! This is the song that helped me get thru the summer of 1997, when my girlfriend ended things between us.

I wasn’t fine, but that was alright.

Low4
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March 5, 2024 2:19 pm

Ohhh, you missed a real gem from that group of lads from Liverpool.

https://youtu.be/8qf8y7v0WIE?si=wfHxHWBLGWBsqo4N

ISurvivedPop
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March 5, 2024 2:44 pm
Reply to  Low4

I thought you were going to post this one
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t24nX_sak8

Low4
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March 5, 2024 2:51 pm
Reply to  ISurvivedPop

No, but please remember how I feel about you.

ISurvivedPop
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March 5, 2024 2:49 pm

I assume “My Way” just missed given Sinatra, Usher, Limp Bizkit, and Fetty Wap.

cappiethedog
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March 5, 2024 5:04 pm

Greatest foreign language cover of an English language song? Faye Wong’s take on The Cranberries’ “Dreams” is a good candidate. The filmmaker, Wong Kar-Wai, and this is sort of rare in a non-musical, allows the entire song to run in Chungking Express. Wong is sort of a minor deity in the “art house” world. She scores herself. “Dreams” plays while her character moves things around in a man’s apartment like a ghost.

That’s the tiebreaker between the late Dolores O’Riordan and Stevie Nicks. The latter’s “Dreams” is featured in the made-for-television film Forever, starring Stephanie Zimbalist. In a normal world, I would not know that.

Ozmoe
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March 6, 2024 8:07 am

You do know that we’ll want the full 82 revealed at the end of your series, right, Chuck?

Zeusaphone
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March 6, 2024 9:04 am

I haven’t researched properly to get a total, but there are far more than 82 titles that have charted with multiple songs.

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