08 June 2006

In a recent fit of procrastination, I decided to download all of the #1 singles from the Billboard Hot 100 from the past ten years, as a rough way of filling in the gaps in my knowledge of pop music. Listening to all of these songs, which takes about six hours, is an interesting experience. There's a lot of awful music here, but I was also reintroduced to great songs that I'd forgotten ("Ms. Jackson") and favorite songs that I never even knew had hit #1 ("Everything You Want"). A few random opinions:
Favorite Song That I Hadn't Heard Before: "Bills, Bills, Bills" by Destiny's Child. I'm not sure what I was doing on July 17, 1999, but apparently I wasn't listening to the radio.
Guilty Pleasure: "SOS (Rescue Me)" by Rihanna. Normally, I try not to indulge in songs that are little more than R&B vocals hitched to a shrewd sample, but if you're going to cannibalize something, it may as well be "Tainted Love."
Biggest Surprise: "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, which charted this past March, is the first rock song in more than four years to hit the #1 position. Longer, if you refuse to recognize Nickelback.
Best #1 Single of the Past Ten Years: I was going to be boring and go with "Lose Yourself," but I was blindsided by a little number called "Crazy in Love," and I'm sticking with it.
Also, for what it's worth, I can never hear Savage Garden's "Truly, Madly, Deeply" without experiencing a disorienting flashback to my high school prom. I'll bet I'm not the only one.

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