Here are 50 chart-topping singles that run the gamut from pop to R&B to straight-ahead rock and roll.
The list starts, appropriately enough, with Carole King, who wrote well over 100 hit songs between the 1950s and the end of the last century."It used to be so easy, livin' here with you / You were light and breezy, an' I knew just what to do / Now you look so unhappy, and I feel like a fool"This breakup song is painfully honest, but the upbeat flip side of the double-sided single, "I Feel the Earth Move"—also a No.
Apparently, many fans hadn't paid close attention to its lyrics, which suggest the dark obsession of a stalker."The first time ever I saw your face / I thought the sun rose in your eyes / And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave / To the dark and the endless skies"Hard to believe this soulful ballad started as a folk song performed by Peggy Seeger (Pete's half-sister).
Flack's single is the definitive version."What's the use in tryin' / All you get is pain / When I wanted sunshine I got rain / Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer / Not a trace of doubt in my mind"The band's biggest hit, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks."Oh my little pretty one, pretty one / When you gonna give me some time, Sharona / When you make my motor run, my motor run / Gun it coming off the line, Sharona"Inspired by the first time singer Doug Fieger laid eyes on Sharona Alperin, who ended up modeling for the sleeve of this single: "It was like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat; I fell in love with her instantly." Alperin became his girlfriend, and although they broke up a few years later, they remained friends until Fieger died of cancer in 2010."They say we're young and we don't know / We won't find out until we grow / Well I don't know if all that's true / 'Cause you got me, and baby I got you"Sonny Bono's sweetly romantic retort to Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe" became the hippie husband-and-wife duo's signature song."Why do stars fall down from the sky / Every time you walk by?
1 song by an all-female band who played their own instruments.