That Santana Song With Rob Thomas: It Was Even More Popular Than You Thought

Sep 11th, 2008 // 26 Comments


The geekier music fans among you might want to pick up the current issue of Billboard, which is devoted to the 50th anniversary of the Hot 100 and has put together a ton of commemorative listings. Among them, of course, is the All-Time Hot 100, which–through some tricky data-weighing–placed Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” at No. 1. Right behind it is the unofficial song of Mets ace Johan Santana, “Smooth” by the Rob Thomas-assisted Santana; that track was also the No. 1 rock song of the modern era, so now you can all relax in the knowledge that, yes, it really was haunting your every moment for a period of time at the end of last century. But wait, there’s more! The top 25 of the All-Time Hot 100–plus a few other tidbits from said chart–after the jump.

1. Chubby Checker, “The Twist”
2. Santana feat. Rob Thomas, “Smooth”
3. Bobby Darin, “Mack The Knife”
4. LeAnn Rimes, “How Do I Live”
5. Los Del Rio, “Macarena”
6. Olivia Newton-John, “Physical”
7. Debby Boone, “You Light Up My Life”
8. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”
9. Mariah Carey, “We Belong Together”
10. Toni Braxton, “Un-Break My Heart”
11. Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris, “Yeah!”
12. Kim Carnes, “Bette Davis Eyes”
13. Diana Ross & Lionel Richie, “Endless Love”
14. Rod Stewart, “Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)”
15. Jewel, “Foolish Games” / “You Were Meant For Me”
16. Bryan Adams, “(Everything I Do (I Do It For You)”
17. Boyz II Men, “I’ll Make Love To You”
18. Percy Faith & His Orchetra, “Theme To A Summer Place
19. Chic, “Le Freak”
20. Bee Gees, “How Deep Is Your Love”
21. Survivor, “Eye Of The Tiger”
22. Andy Gibb, “I Just Want To Be Your Everything”
23. Flo Rida feat. T-Pain, “Low”
24. Next, “Too Close”
25. The Police, “Every Breath You Take”

Other notable placements:
Highest-placing Michael Jackson song: “Say Say Say” (No. 35)
Highest-placing freestyle artist: Stevie B. (“Because I Love You (The Postman Song),” No. 55)

Highest-placing American Idol judge: Paula Abdul (“Rush Rush,” No. 60)
Highest-placing Madonna song: “Like A Virgin” (No. 95)
Highest-placing Celine Dion song: None. No, even “My Heart Will Go On” didn’t make the big board. But will you settle for Fergie (“Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal),” No. 89) or Dionne Warwick and her pals (“That’s What Friends Are For,” No. 61)?

Also, I have never heard that Andy Gibb song, I think. I’m dead serious here.

The All-Time Hot 100 Top Songs [Billboard]
Santana ft. Rob Thomas – Smooth [YouTube]

  1. dog door

    im pretty surprised that Bryan Adams song isn’t higher… if we’re going by perceived ubiquity and lingering trauma….

  2. Audif Jackson Winters III

    I’m actually really shocked that “That’s What Friends Are For” isn’t higher … that fucker was around forever in ’86 (thanks to overall schmaltz and charity benefit tie-ins), and I’m pretty sure it was the #1 single for the year.

  3. Rob Murphy

    I feel a little sorry for you for not having heard Andy Gibb’s song.

    Also, yo dawg, did any Journey tracks make it higher than 60? Cuz you know Randy Jackson used to be a member of Journey, and “Rush, Rush” was just a’ight for him.

  4. sicksteanein

    15. Jewel, “Foolish Games” / “You Were Meant For Me”

    Why are these two listed together?

  5. Maura Johnston

    @Rob Murphy: Nope.

  6. Rob Murphy

    @sicksteanein: If Chris Molanphy is not too busy, he’ll stop by and explain that. But he’s written about it a couple of times in his “100 And Single” column.

  7. Anonymous

    @dog door: I think I still have that cassingle. Embarrassing…

    I’m genuinely surprised that “Yeah” is up that high — I guess cause it’s the only song I can still stand on that list.

  8. futurehorse

    I had no idea “Too Close” was as big as it was, but I must say I’m pretty happy about it making the list.

  9. Chris N.

    “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” is one of those songs that you probably have heard even though you think you haven’t.

  10. ObtuseIntolerant

    Dionne Warwick is NEVER settling.

  11. ghostyhead

    Check out the comments that people are leaving on the list pages at Billboard. People are going NUTS that their favorites weren’t included, and they’re all completely deluded. The back and forth is hilarious.

  12. Audif Jackson Winters III

    “Also, I have never heard that Andy Gibb song, I think. I’m dead serious here. “

    I think Jason Castro covered it last season on “American Idol.”

  13. Audif Jackson Winters III
  14. Rob Murphy

    @Audif Jackson Winters III: @Audif Jackson Winters III: Ding! Ding! Ding! During the semi-finals, “Top 20″ Week (10 dudes, 10 dudettes)…

    [idolator.com]

    Maura called a Bee Gees song in her write-up, which is technically not completely untrue, because big brother Barry wrote it for him. And they are, well, the “brothers Gibb”.

  15. Rob Murphy

    And while we’re talking about Andy Gibb, although I couldn’t stand him at the time, mostly because I wasn’t a teen/tween girl, and my big sister absolutely freakin’ lurved him, ya gotta say the man really could handle a great pop love song. Barry Gibb always thought Andy was the real talent in the family.

    It’s a such a shame what he did to himself. He was on the verge of mega-stardom when he sniffed it all away.

  16. Chris Molanphy

    @Rob Murphy: Thanks, I am a little busy today, but: fear not, fellow geeks! We’ll be talking about this list tomorrow in my column.

    In the meantime:

    @sicksteanein: From an old “100 & Single” last November:

    The influx of all-Christmas playlists [at A/C radio] will inevitably lead to a dropoff for Underwood’s ["Before He Cheats"], probably by next week. Which is a shame, because she’s just two weeks away from taking over second place on the all-time list from its undeserving holder: Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me/Foolish Games,” a “two-sided” hit that exploited a mid-’90s chart technicality to combine the runs of two separate radio hits into a 65-week chart listing. Underwood’s more impressive, single-song hit will also fall well short of beating the champ, icky wedding staple “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes (69 weeks).

    @futurehorse: “Too Close” — the No. 1 single of 1998, baby! Only spent five weeks atop the Hot 100 (impressive, but not earth-shattering), but it climbed slowly and then fell slowly, a great formula for year-end and all-time chart placement. It actually beat that year’s Brandy and Monica duet, which topped the Hot 100 for more than a dozen weeks but exploded quickly and died quickly.

    @Chris N.: Yeah, I agree, Maura has clearly had “Everything” inflicted on her in a drugstore checkout line at some point (poor choice of verb, sorry — I actually really like all of Gibb’s vintage hits). The shocker of its placement on Billboard’s all-time list is that it beats “Shadow Dancing,” a seemingly bigger Gibb hit that topped the Hot 100 longer and was named the No. 1 single of 1978.

    @ghostyhead: Oh, man, you don’t know the half of it — the sense of entitlement of most chart-followers (I hesitate to honor them by calling them “chart geeks,” because that would imply that they know how the charts actually work). One of the many reasons I love writing about the charts here (love you guys!) and don’t envy Fred Bronson at Billboard his job is the relative intelligence level of the feedback. Bronson has hinted more than a few times that his e-mail consists largely of Mariah Carey and Madonna fans endlessly bickering with each other, punctuated by the occasional crotchety Boomer gassing on about how much better music was in his day, charts be damned, blah-blah-blah.

  17. betablog

    I’m willfully handing in my laminated ‘cred’ card and admitting that –inexplicably– I like “Smooth.”

  18. Rob Murphy

    @Chris Molanphy: Thanks, Chris. I did some searching for that but couldn’t find it.

    Also, we focused so much on Andy Gibb that I somehow didn’t even notice that song one spot below him on the chart. Z.O.M.G. you guys! That f’n song is number 23 on “The All-Time Hot 100″ list? Are you FREAKIN’ kidding me???

  19. dog door

    Smooth is a great song. THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT HAS TO BE PLAYED TWENTY TIMES A DAY. I hope that settles it.

  20. bcapirigi

    @DocStrange: “You Fell In Love With The Man Above” was the title of SO MANY MIXTAPES that I made in high school.

  21. Anonymous

    Pop music is awful. There’s about 5 songs on this list that I would actually want to hear again. The Beatles, Elvis, Marvin Gaye, and Wild Cherry tunes, and that’s about it.

  22. Anonymous

    I have Smooth and Every Breath You Take on my iPod.
    None of the rest.

  23. sicksteanein

    @Chris Molanphy: Thanks, Chris!

    Also may I add that that is laaaaAAAAAME!

  24. Maura Johnston

    @betablog: you sure johan isn’t influencing your decision here?

  25. DocStrange

    @Chris Molanphy: You beat me to explaining the Jewel two-sider. Blast!

    @Chris Molanphy (yes, again): I feel bad for Fred Bronson, too, also because he gets mail from people who don’t understand the charts as well as Chris and I do (which essentially means that we merely understand the charts). I remember one question that was confused about Triple A and Modern Rock and why it didn’t include any R&B on it and a Brit who Bronson had to explain that Kate Nash’s #1 on the Hot Single Sales chart did not mean that she (unfortunately) didn’t have the #1 song in America because unlike the British chart, the Billboard charts aren’t compiled exclusively by sales information.

    This list is essentially the same one that’s in the back of the most recent Joel Whitburn Book of Top 40 Hits (Whitburn is the patron saint of Chart Nerds and the only man in his seventies who knows the lineup of Soup Dragons off the top of his head. Or as a matter of fact, the only person aside from myself who remembers the Soup Dragons in 2008).

  26. cheesebubble

    That list is a hodgepodge of nasty. Turn that into a play list and see how long you can stand it.

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