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Number One With A Bullet!

Any idea what the Number One best-selling song in the country is today? No? Man, nobody seems to know the biggest song out anymore.

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by Andy Allison, for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2005
So check it, the Number One song this week is Kanye West's track "Gold Digger" with Jamie Foxx. Uh, yeah, great, okay, that song blows.

There was a time, years ago, that an enormous amount of people would've known that information right off the bat.  "It's Olivia Newton-John's 'Physical' right now, isn't?"  "Yeah, you're goddamn right - - it's 'Physical,' good for you!"


So check it, the Number One song this week is Kanye West's track "Gold Digger" with Jamie Foxx.  Uh, yeah, great, okay, that song blows.  But I say it's fun to know the country's most popular song at any given time.  Not that everyone needs to remember when Ray Stevens' "The Streak" was the biggest song in the land (it was a sad, sad time in 1974), but I think you know what I mean.  Pop music reflects us and other shopworn clich?©s, yo.  A Number One joint is kind of like a state of the union speech.  The Bee Gees ruled the 1978 charts because the country was feeling all discofied at that particular time.  By the same token, 1964 was all about the Beatles after a multi-song, 14-week run at the top.  I say chart watching makes for swell historical perspective!


Some motherfuckers might claim negligence because, well, "I don't know which chart to follow."  Fuck that!  Billboard is the one you need, duke.  It's the gold standard of charts, and don't give me that American Top 40 line.  No one's listened to that fool radio show in ages!  Casey Kasem isn't even on it anymore, is he?  Wait, is that show still in production?  I'm not sure, and it's not important.  Billboard, suckers!  Tune in to AT40 for the Long Distance Dedication, but tune out when he gets to his fucked up, poorly calculated Number One.  By his measure, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" probably would've been up there on top.  No way, Casey, that song was only ever Number Two!  Billboard, kids, gotta have standards.


Before the mp3 age, I spent a lot of time in thrift stores trying to collect all the rock and roll era Number Ones from 1955 onwards.  Just as a side hobby, you know, something different to have.  The trouble with that strategy is, you end up with a lot of Kay Starr, Leo Sayer and Vanessa Williams albums you don't really want.  Not to mention all the crummy compilations I bought trying to track down the original version of the Marcels' "Blue Moon."  Don't get me started on re-recordings featuring the original bassist and a handful of nutjob stand-ins!  Authentic versions only, please.


Anyway, I'm off-topic.  It's keen to know which song was Number One on your birthday.  Unlucky me, man, I got stuck with a fucking Roberta Flack song.  But look up your own Number One sometime, because you might have something groovy like John Denver's "Annie's Song" or "Keep On Truckin'" by Eddie Kendricks.  If so, that's solid fucking gold, kid, you sure were born on a cool motherfucking day!  However, be aware that you could've been birthed during Debby Boone's 10-week "You Light Up My Life" chart stranglehold.  Wait, you were?  Ha ha, that song fucking sucks!

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