So today I turn 43. Yay. Let there be dancing in the streets…and for the street-dancing, I can provide a handy songlist!
SamuraiFrog and Roger both did this, and I’m never one to let something like this pass, so here’s a look at the songs that were topping the Billboard charts on each of my birthdays, starting with Birthday Zero, September 26, 1971. Roger and SamuraiFrog did a more extensive thing, looking at the songs on either side of their birthday chart-topper, but I’m just going to list the ones that were Number One ON my birthday. It’s just easier.
1971: “Maggie May”, Rod Stewart. (I’m not a huge Rod Stewart fan, but I don’t dislike him, either.)
1972: “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me”, Mac Davis. (This does not ring a bell at all.)
1973: “Delta Dawn”, Helen Reddy. (My main familiarity with this song springs from its use on an episode of Friends.)
1974: “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”, Barry White. (Barry White falls into the same general category for me as Rod Stewart: singers I never go out of my way to listen to, but whose appearance on the radio never makes me want to change the channel, either. This is a good song, anyway.)
1975: “Fame”, David Bowie. (Nothing to add here.)
1976: “Play the Funky Music”, Wild Cherry. (Heh! I actually do like this song.)
1977: “Best of My Love”, The Emotions. (I missed, by five days, having my birthday’s Number One be Meco’s disco rendition of the theme from Star Wars. Can you believe that!)
1978: “A Taste of Honey”, Boogie Oogie Oogie. (Huh?! Never heard of this.)
1979: “My Sharona”, The Knack. (This song had some staying power, didn’t it? It was number one starting a full month before my birthday that year, and stuck around for ten days or so after. As for the song…not a favorite of mine. I find it kind of annoying, actually.)
1980: “Upside Down”, Diana Ross. (Don’t know this one. The next Number One, a little over a week later, would be Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”, which is classic.)
1981: “Endless Love”, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. (This was Number One for even longer than “My Sharona”, from August 15 to October 17. I don’t care for this song.)
1982: “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, Chicago. (I have never liked Chicago.)
1983: “Tell Her About It”, Billy Joel. (Not my favorite Billy Joel song, but I do like it. It’s catchy and fun.)
1984: “Missing You”, John Waite. (I shrug my shoulders, as this rings no bells at all. A couple days later, “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince would take over.)
1985: “Money for Nothing”, Dire Straits. (Oh yeah! I love this song. In fact, this whole album is fantastic.)
1986: “Stuck With You”, Huey Lewis and the News. (I am just fine with this. In fact, I’ve always kind of felt that Huey Lewis’s bubblegum-for-the-1980s act has been underrated for years.)
1987: “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, Whitney Houston. (This became Number One right on my birthday that year. I guess it’s OK. I was never big Whitney Houston fan…she’s in the Rod Stewart category for me.)
1988: “Don’t Worry Be Happy”, Bobby McFerrin. (Oh God, this song was so irritatingly ubiquitous that year. I can live out the rest of my days and never hear it again, thank you very much.)
1989: “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You”, Milli Vanilli. (Huh. Wouldja look at that. You know, I’ve always wondered, if the songs were good, they didn’t stop being good just because it turned out that the guys we thought were singing them weren’t, right? Why didn’t the world just track down the folks who actually did the songs and make them the New Big Thing?)
1990: “Release Me”, Wilson Phillips. (Unfamiliar with this, and given my personal history with popular music, I expect that to be mostly the way of it from here on out.)
1991: “I Adore Mi Amor”, Color Me Badd. (Yup. No idea at all.)
1992: “End of the Road”, Boyz II Men. (I couldn’t hum a note of this if you held a gun to my head.)
1993: “Dreamlover”, Mariah Carey. (I think I can name two Mariah Carey songs. This is not one of them.)
1994: “I’ll Make Love To You”, Boyz II Men. (If by some miracle I managed to hum a note of the last Boyz II Men song on this list, this one would get me killed. I’m noticing by this point that songs stay Number One for a lot longer, so I’m wondering how the metric changed. This song would be replaced by another Boyz II Men song, by the way, which marks the first time in my life that my birthday’s Number One was replaced by a song by the same artist.)
1995: “Gangsta’s Paradise”, Coolio. (Wow, I know this one! Huzzah! Incidentally, it was replaced a few days later by one of the two Mariah Carey songs I can name, “Fantasy”.)
1996: “Macarena”, Los Del Rio. (This was Number One for three months, starting August 3 of that year. Wow. This was probably because of the dance fad, I’m assuming. The song itself has this odd earwormy thing going on.)
1997: “Honey”, Mariah Carey. (No clue.)
1998: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, Aerosmith. (Yeah, I know this one…and yes, I kinda like it. It definitely belongs in the pantheon of arena rock band power ballads.)
1999: “Unpretty”, TLC. (No idea. The only TLC song I’m familiar with is “Waterfalls”.)
2000: “Music”, Madonna. (No clue whatsoever. Aside from her much-derided cover of “American Pie”, I have no idea what Madonna has done musically since she starred in Evita.)
2001: “I’m Real”, Jennifer Lopez. (No idea.)
2002: “Dilemma”, Nelly. (I have no idea who Nelly is.)
2003: “Shake Ya Tailfeather”, Nelly, P Diddy, and Murphy Lee. (??? Although this is the first repeat artist from one year to the next on my birthday.)
2004: “Goodies”, Ciara. (???)
2005: “Gold Digger”, Kanye West. (??? I sense a theme forming here….)
2006: “SexyBack”, Justin Timberlake. (Now I’m wondering at what point this exercise becomes a waste of time.)
2007: “Crank That (Souja Boy)”, Soulja Boy Tell’em. (An artist who topped the charts less than a decade ago. I’ve never heard of him until now. In fact, is it a “him”? Or is this a woman, or a group? I have no idea whatsoever.)
2008: “Whatever You Like”, TI. (???)
2009: “I Gotta Feeling”, the Black Eyed Peas. (Wow, one I’ve actually heard. Kinda catchy, in the “I can take it or leave it” category. This song was Number One for over three months, starting in July that year.)
2010: “Teenage Dream”, Katy Perry. (This isn’t leaping to mind, but at least I’ve heard of Katy Perry.)
2011: “Someone Like You”, Adele. (Holy shit, a song I’ve heard from an artist I like! Adele makes me happy.)
2012: “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, Taylor Swift. (I don’t know this song, but I do like Taylor Swift, believe it or not. I like her voice.)
2013: “Roar”, Katy Perry. (Not familiar with this one.)
2014: “All About That Bass”, Meghan Trainor. Yeah…who’s she? Never heard of her. The number two song this year is by Taylor Swift. Come on, Taylor. If you’d worked a little harder we could’ve had another year of confluence. Oh well, maybe later I’ll track down this Meghan Trainor’s song and see what it’s all about.
Well, that’s that, folks. We’ll check back in a year, and in the meantime, as Mr. Kasem always said, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!”
Not that it's likely to jog your memory, but I think you've got the artist and title reversed for 1978.
Not that it's likely to jog your memory, but I think you've got the artist and title for 1978 reversed.
Happy birthday, Jaquador. I hope you have a good day.
Excuse me. Happy birthday, Jaquandor!
It never ceases to amaze me how people of approximately the same age can have such different experiences with popular music. I'm not talking about differences in taste, but rather just knowing certain songs. You've never heard Diana Ross' "Upside Down?!" But then I realize you're two years young than me and possibly did not have a disco-loving mother like I did. But then you say "Missing You" doesn't ring a bell?! The song was well-nigh ubiquitous in its day and has remained a staple of "80s flashback" radio… it appears on nearly every 80s compilation CD I'm familiar with. (Oh, and full disclosure, I love that one.)
It's no big deal of course… I just find it interesting in the same way that it's interesting my best friend, who has a literature phD, never encountered many of the novels I read in my own lit studies.
Jason: In my defense, I tend to be really bad with song title and/or lyrics. Many times I'll think I've never heard a song because I don't know its title, but play a few bars on the radio, and I'm saying, "Oh yeah, this song." Weird. I didn't make much (OK, any) effort when writing this post to see if this was the case with the ones I didn't know.
Which Billboard chart did you use, the Hot 100?
Firstly, happy Birthday! Hope it was a great one and that you treated yourself to something that you truly enjoy today!
This was fun to read as you are about one year older than me (I turned 42 in August) – "Missing You" is such a fabulous song, and was remade by Tina Turner at a later point (although never as good as the original)
I now have "Upside Down" stuck in my head, thanks 😉
Oh, my! You are such a youngster. I know all the 70's songs on you list some of the 80's, only one in the 90's and none after that.
Billboard Top 100 was the list Frog and I used, so I reckon it was the same for Jaquandor. Missing You and Upside Down seemed ubiquitous to me. And I OWN some Boyz II Men, including both of these songs.
What Roger said; I actually wrote most of this post a month ago and then just Google'd "Billboard Number One Song" for the one on the 26th. This wasn't the most methodologically rigorous bit of research I've ever done, but it works for a tossed-off blog post!