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Subject Topic: Top 4000 Radio Songs (1961-85) - Part 2 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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eriejwg
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Posted: 08 September 2020 at 10:28am | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

Any radio consultant would tell you just because it was #1
then doesn't mean people want to hear it now. Ugh lol.

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Paul Haney
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Posted: 08 September 2020 at 11:29am | IP Logged Quote Paul Haney

eriejwg wrote:
Any radio consultant would tell you just because it was #1 then doesn't mean people
want to hear it now. Ugh lol.


Yep, a lot of the songs on the list wouldn't "test well" with today's audience. :)
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Scanner
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Posted: 08 September 2020 at 12:28pm | IP Logged Quote Scanner

Paul Haney wrote:
Scanner wrote:
Do radio stations
even publish surveys or air their own local countdown
shows
anymore? Seems everything is national or syndicated
these days.


I don't think there's any of the old style printed
surveys anymore. However, we do know exactly
how many times a station played any given song each
week. I always thought it would be cool to
go back in time and monitor the stations for what they
actually played. Alas, the printed
surveys are all we have to go on.



The days of printed anything are long gone. (I'm
actually shocked when I see a print newspaper
anymore.) Online playlists showing spin numbers just
aren't the same as a chart to me.
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Santi Paradoa
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Posted: 08 September 2020 at 6:07pm | IP Logged Quote Santi Paradoa

Terrific list. You can compare it to what gets chosen by current listeners in 2020 (for example the SiriusXM decades channels have listener voted countdowns from time to time) to see which songs are still popular. A snap shot in time for sure.

Edited by Santi Paradoa on 08 September 2020 at 6:08pm


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LunarLaugh
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Posted: 24 September 2020 at 8:04pm | IP Logged Quote LunarLaugh

Santi Paradoa wrote:
Terrific list. You can compare it
to what gets chosen by current listeners in 2020 (for
example the SiriusXM decades channels have listener voted
countdowns from time to time) to see which songs are
still popular. A snap shot in time for sure.

Unfortunately, those SiriusXM listener voted countdowns
are limited by what they are licensed to play. That's why
you haven't heard The Turtles on their 60s channel in a
good while.

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EdisonLite
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Posted: 28 September 2020 at 2:59am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Then there's the opposite of hit songs that wear out. There are songs that didn't peak too high in the top 40 (say, 21 to 40) but then were included on a Greatest Hits album that sold extremely well - and then became much more known (and popular on the radio as oldies) because of that Greatest Hits album. One song that comes to mind is Eagles' "Already Gone". There are many others. I thought of one yesterday, that I'm forgetting at the moment.

And there are also songs that peaked in that range (21-40) that simply became huge hits a few years later when the artists became superstars - two such examples are "Born to Run" (#23) and "Piano Man" (#25). If Billy Joel never came out with "The Stranger" album, or got dropped from the label and never found another label deal, "Piano Man" would have gone the way of most other #25 peakers - into obscurity. Strange to think about ...
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Scanner
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Posted: 28 September 2020 at 12:07pm | IP Logged Quote Scanner

Back when Paul Grein had a Yahoo column, he noted that
Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" had sold 6 million
downloads. The song peaked at # 9 while the decade's
biggest hit, "Physical," was ruling the charts. Yet, at
that point, "Physical" had only sold 100,000 downloads.
I have always marveled how chart performance does not
usually translate in the long term. Just ask Debby
Boone...how many stations play "You Light Up My Life"
outside of specialty programming these days?
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Paul Haney
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Posted: 29 September 2020 at 7:18am | IP Logged Quote Paul Haney

Scanner wrote:
Back when Paul Grein had a Yahoo column, he noted that Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" had sold 6
million downloads. The song peaked at # 9 while the decade's biggest hit, "Physical," was ruling the charts. Yet, at
that point, "Physical" had only sold 100,000 downloads. I have always marveled how chart performance does not usually
translate in the long term. Just ask Debby Boone...how many stations play "You Light Up My Life" outside of specialty
programming these days?


That's why I always stress that the charts are there to show us what was popular at the time. There are plenty of
big hits that have not aged well, along with those that sound just as fresh (if not better) now then they did at the time.

Personally, I want to know what the situation was at the time.
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 01 October 2020 at 1:29am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Scanner wrote:
Back when Paul Grein had a Yahoo column, he noted that
Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" had sold 6 million
downloads. The song peaked at # 9 while the decade's
biggest hit, "Physical," was ruling the charts. Yet, at
that point, "Physical" had only sold 100,000 downloads.
I have always marveled how chart performance does not
usually translate in the long term. Just ask Debby
Boone...how many stations play "You Light Up My Life"
outside of specialty programming these days?


That's quite amazing. But not surprising. I've seen/heard the song on TV so many times in the last decades - including TV commercials likely. That will really increase downloads of a single. Plus, there are classic rock stations on FM radio - which is where "Don't Stop Believing" can have an extended life. But other than Sirius XM (80s channel), there really aren't classic Pop stations that would play "Physical".
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 01 October 2020 at 1:33am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

On a slightly different note, not quite the same situation as "Piano Man" and "Born to Run" (artists became superstars later) and "Already Gone" (included on a Greatest Hits that for a long time was the biggest selling album of all time) - there's another example of a low charting top 40 hit becoming much more famous later -- the #35 peaking "Mr. Blue Sky" by ELO. Who would have guessed back in the late '70s that would be their most known song in the '10s/'20s. But many young kids know it, without knowing a single other ELO song. And the reason is simple. It's been used in TV commercials so much the past 10 years (or more!)

So as Paul H says, the charts reflect how accurate songs are during their time of release. But there's really no chart that charts how well songs do in the decades after. (And how could there be? :)
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AutumnAarilyn
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Posted: 01 October 2020 at 5:02pm | IP Logged Quote AutumnAarilyn

Probably the most accurate gauge in the decades after is
listening surveys which aren't all that available for
public consumption but are reflected in what gets
played. Perhaps download count or average on Rate your
music may reflect current popularity. It's a start!

My local classic pop station, WALL (Middletown, NY)
plays "Physical" with about 2,000 others in their
rotation. They do go fairly deep but somehow they never
play Sade.
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PopArchivist
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Posted: 01 October 2020 at 5:31pm | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

EdisonLite wrote:
- there's another example of a low charting top 40 hit becoming much more famous later -- the #35 peaking "Mr. Blue Sky" by ELO. Who would have guessed back in the late '70s that would be their most known song in the '10s/'20s...So as Paul H says, the charts reflect how accurate songs are during their time of release. But there's really no chart that charts how well songs do in the decades after. (And how could there be? :)


Think about Modern English I Melt With You in Burger King commercials. That song was barely a Hot 100 hit back in the 80's and yet if you asked most kids growing up, they heard it in the commercial. Think I also heard I Like It Like That too. Burger King really used low charters to sell their commercials!

Forgot what commercial it was in, but the Beatles Getting Better was also another song that has become way more popular than when it was released in the 60's. While it didnt chart on the Hot 100, MANY hits did not chart back then.

Geico used for its caveman commercials Let Me Be Myself. That was not even a big charter for 3 Doors Down by any means!

A great advertising blitz can make any low charting song a hit and bring it back to life!

Edited by PopArchivist on 01 October 2020 at 5:32pm


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PopArchivist
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Posted: 01 October 2020 at 5:34pm | IP Logged Quote PopArchivist

LunarLaugh wrote:
Santi Paradoa wrote:

Unfortunately, those SiriusXM listener voted countdowns
are limited by what they are licensed to play. That's why
you haven't heard The Turtles on their 60s channel in a
good while.


That's why you own the CD or digital copy. No one can tell you it is unavailable or yank it from you when the rights holder comes around seeking more money and SiriusXM or another service says no. Taylor Swift is a perfect example.

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