Bet you didn’t guess “The Twist.” Last month, Billboard celebrated the 50th anniversary of their all-important Hot 100 chart, so they crunched a lot of numbers and found out that Chubby Checker’s immortal 1960 ode to vaguely uncomfortable-looking dance moves (below) came in ahead of all other singles from the past half-century. The rest of their “Hot 100 All-Time Songs” is online here for your perusal, and a whole bunch more cool historical info can be found here. Billboard’s methodology was a little strange – they based their point values on a combination of chart position and length of time spent on the chart, then weighted everything so that older songs scored higher than new ones. (Their reasoning for that was something about wanting “to compensate for the differences in the faster turnover rates from those earlier decades…”) So that’s how “The Twist” landed in first place, even though it only spent three weeks total at No. 1 on the real Hot 100 at the time and has since been massively outsold by lots of other songs. Meanwhile Mariah Carey, who holds the record for most No. 1 singles by a solo artist on the Hot 100, doesn’t come in here ‘til No. 9 (“We Belong Together”), a full four spots below the flippin’ “Macarena.”
But hey, numbers don’t lie! Or something. So head over to Billboard’s list and chime in: Which songs are you surprised to see there? And what do you think is missing from their charts – are there songs that you think ought to have been more richly rewarded in terms of radio play and sales?