Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
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Monday, August 15, 2005
 

Lists: Most Played Songs In Pop History

Here's a list of songs that have been played the most times on the radio, according to BMI, which has collected such data for artist royalty payment purposes since 1939. Striking about this list is how the best-selling singles of all time are not necessarily the most played on the radio. Naturally, older songs dominate the list; it takes time to play a song 8 million times. The Righteous Brothers hold the top spot with their 1960's recording. The Police are highest among performers from the 1980's; "Every Breath You Take" has been played a whole lot, judging from the company on the list. Also from the 1980's is Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings", which I somehow never heard until she did it at a 9-11 requiem for firefighters. The Beatles and the Association (!) are the highest ranked rock groups, albeit with very middle-of-the-road pop songs. Bette Midler, Gladys Knight, and Rita Coolidge (!!) have the most played songs by female artists.


The Righteous Brothers: You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (1965)   The Association: Insight Out (1967)   The Beatles: Yesterday And Today [U.S.] (1965)   Ben E. King: Don't Play That Song (1961)


How many times has your favorite song been played on the radio?

Over 8 Million Times

The Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

Over 7 Million Times

The Association - Never My Love
The Beatles - Yesterday
Ben E. King - Stand By Me
Otis Redding - Dock Of The Bay

Over 6 Million Times


Simon and Garfunkel - Mrs. Robinson
Johnny Rivers - Baby, I Need Your Loving
Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Roy Orbison - Oh Pretty Woman
Gladys Knight - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
The Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream
The Platters - Only You
The Chi-lights - Oh Girl
Elton John - Your Song
James Taylor - How Sweet It Is
Rita Coolidge - Higher & Higher
Ray Charles - I Can't Stop Loving You
Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings
The Beatles - Michelle
The Fifth Dimension - Up, Up and Away
The Drifters - On Broadway
The Platters - Twilight Time
Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the Night
Neil Sedaka - Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
The Drifters - Save the Last Dance for Me

Over 5 Million Times

Roberta Flack - Killing Me Softly With His Song
Marcello Ciorciolini - More
Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You
Percy Sledge - When A Man Loves A Woman
Glen Campbell - Gentle On My Mind
The Beatles - Something
Simon and Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence
Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon and Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair
Glen Campbell - By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Merilee Rush - Angel Of The Morning
The Association - Cherish
The Supremes - You Can't Hurry Love
Credence Clearwater Revival - Proud Mary
Bobby Hebb - Sunny
Nilsson - Everybody's Talkin'
Little Anthony and The Imperials - Goin' Out Of My Head
Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
The Classics IV - Traces
Guy Lombardo - Canadian Sunset
The Turtles - Happy Together
Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind
Johnny Rivers - Baby I Need Your Lovin'
The Cascades - Rhythm Of The Rain
The Four Seasons - Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You
Willie Nelson - Always on My Mind
Bette Midler - The Rose
Don Henley - The Heart of the Matter
The Box Tops - The Letter
The Casinos - Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye
Englebert Humperdinck - Release Me
The Drifters - Up on the Roof
Eric Clapton - Layla
Sam Cooke - You Send Me

Over 4 Million Times


Ray Price - For the Good Times
The Carpenters - We've Only Just Begun
Sam Cooke - What a Wonderful World
Anne Murray - Snowbird
Carl Carlton - Everlasting Love
The Vogues - My Special Angel
Charlie Rich - The Most Beautiful Girl
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
Stevie Wonder - My Cherie Amour
The Association - Windy
Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes - If You Don't Know Me By Now
Jimmy Buffett - Margaritaville
Engelbert Humperdinck - Spanish Eyes
The Monkees - Daydream Believer
Elton John - Daniel
The Eagles - Take It Easy
The Bellamy Brothers - Let Your Love Flow
Elvis Presley - Don't Be Cruel
The Doobie Brothers - Listen to the Music
Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders - A Groovy Kind of Love
Roy Orbison - Crying
Jackie DeShannon - Put A Little Love In Your Heart
Elton John - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Sami Smith - Help Me Make It Through the Night
Eagles - Best of My Love
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mr. Bojangles
James Taylor - Fire and Rain
Roy Orbison - Blue Bayou
Matt Monroe - Born Free
Brook Benton - It's Just A Matter Of Time
The Beatles - Let It Be
Olivia Newton John - I Honestly Love You
Lynn Anderson - I Never Promised You A Rose Garden
Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now

Over 3 Million Times


Engelbert Humperdinck - After The Lovin'
Gilbert O'Sullivan - Alone Again, Naturally
The Beatles - And I Love Her
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
Charlie Rich - Behind Closed Doors
The Everly Brothers - Bye Bye Love
The Beach Boys - California Girls
The Everly Brothers - Cathy's Clown
Mason Williams - Classical Gas
Elton John - Crocodile Rock
Sam Cooke - Cupid
B J Thomas - Hooked On A Feeling
Eagles - Desperado
Orleans - Dance With Me
Martha Reeves - Dancing In The Street
The Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe In Magic
Diana Ross - Do You Know Where You're Going To
Jackson Browne - Doctor My Eyes
Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds - Don't Pull Your Love
Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop
The Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby
Credence Clearwater Revival - Down On The Corner
Bobby Darin - Dream Lover
Stevie Nicks - Dreams
Eddie Rabbit - Drivin' My Life Away
Kansas - Dust In The Wind
Marty Robbins - El Paso
Don Henley - The End Of The Innocence
Bryan Adams - Everything I Do, I Do It For You
Harpers Bizarre - Feelin' Groovy
Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
The Carpenters - For All We Know
Stevie Wonder - For Once In My Life
Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
The Youngbloods - Get Together
Donnie Osmond - Go Away Little Girl
The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Chicago - Hard To Say I'm Sorry
Olivia Newton John - Have You Never Been Mellow
Eagles - Heartache Tonight
Todd Rundgren - Hello It's Me
The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun
The Beatles - Hey Jude
B.J. Thomas - Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song
Steve Winwood - Higher Love
Simon and Garfunkel - Homeward Bound
Michal Bolton - How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
The Bee Gees - How Can You Mend A Broken Heart
The Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your Love
The Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself
Eagles - I Can't Tell You Why
Elton John - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Eddie Rabbitt - I Love A Rainy Night
Barrie Manilow - I Write The Songs
England Dan and John Ford Coley - I'd Really Love To See You Tonite
John Lennon - Imagine
Bertie Higgins - Key Largo
Roger Miller - King Of The Road
Steam - Kiss Him Goodbye
The Beach Boys - Kokomo
Neil Sedaka - Laughter In The Rain
Bill Withers - Lean On Me
Olivia Newton John - Let Me Be There
Little Eva - The Loco-Motion
The Beatles - The Long and Winding Road
Elvis Presley - Love Me Tender
Captain and Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together
Barrie White - Love's Theme
Rod Stewart - Maggie May
Barrie Manilow - Mandy
Chuck Berry - Memphis
Tommy James - Mony Mony
Frankie Valli - My Eyes Adored You
George Harrison - My Sweet Lord
Frank Sinatra - My Way
Eagles - New Kid In Town
Carly Simon - Nobody Does It Better
Stephen Bishop - On and On
The Beatles - Penny Lane
Johnny Rivers - Poor Side Of Town
Paul Anka - Put Your Head On My Shoulder
The Four Tops - Reach Out, I'll Be There
Little River Band - Reminiscing
The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
The Supremes - Someday We'll Be Together
Dan Hill - Sometimes When We Touch
The Righteous Brothers - Soul and Inspiration
Glen Campbell - Southern Nights
Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel
The Classics IV - Spooky
Orleans - Still The One
Seals and Crofts - Summer Breeze
Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues
Eagles - Tequila Sunrise
Buddy Holly - That'll Be The Day
Tony Orlando - Tie A Yellow Ribbon
The Zombies - Time Of The Seasons
The Bee Gees - To Love Somebody
The Byrds - Turn Turn Turn
The Drifters - Under The Boardwalk
The Everly Brothers - Wake Up Little Suzie
Dave Mason - We Just Disagree
The Fifth Dimension - Wedding Bell Blues
The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go?
Michael Murphy - Wildfire
Joe Cocker - You Are So Beautiful
Firefall - You Are The Woman
Roy Orbison - You Got It
Blood, Sweat and Tears - You Made Me So Very Happy



     

 
Comments:
I happened to be blogazoo surfing and found your blog! Dang, it's good to think about you again. I hope all is well with you.
 
Gah. I can't stand the Righteous Brothers - Don't know why, just a thing.

I'm also a little bit surprised. I'd thought that "Yesterday" was - wait no.. I think that's one of the top covered songs of all time... not sure.

And the Association kicks butt. They were the first band I ever saw live. At a county fair. I think it was only one original Associate onstage, but I cherish the memory nonetheless. Get it? "Cherish"? Ah. I crack me up.
 
I like to say that's a great find.As for You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' now that's a great song. It brings back some great memories..
 
I like to say that's a great find.As for You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' now that's a great song. It brings back some great memories..
 
That Righteous Brothers song bites ass.

But I've heard a few people say that Yesterday is the greatest song of all time as far as melody, chord progression, etc. I guess it just fits the mold of what people want to hear.

Oh... and I read that Louie Louie is the most covered song ever (re: kachina's comment). Not sure if that's true.
 
dea--

Hey dea, missed you too! Haven't been back at the "old" place much; I need to go there and raise hell one day, for old times' sake ;-)

Kachina!

Another sight for sore eyes. I'm going to look into the most covered songs and make a definitive list; maybe a with-capsules playlist for that. Trouble with counting cover versions is that many are string versions for elevators and dentist offices; I hard "Something" by the Beatles has something like 2000 cover version, although probably under a hundred are rock/pop covers.

I think I'm with joe on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", more for Phil Spector's production than the "Brothers'" vocals, although of those 8 million plays, I may have cught at least a half mil myself, and I'm in no hurry to cue it up on Media Center...

jj- I think those who nominate "Yesterday" as the greatest song generally are people who don't listen to much rock music; I wouldn't put it among McCartney's top 30 songs, let alone the Beatles.

I am willing to bet that "Louie Louie" is high on the covers list, particularly among rock groups; Rhino records once issued a compilation that was nothing but Louie Louie covers, and barely scraped the surface.

A useful disc, but after the third or fourth track it starts to get pretty tedious ;-)
 
I am not there at the "old" place either. I am running my own board now, and it's keeping me busy. Take care of yourself hun.
 
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