This week, “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry knocked Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, thus becoming the 1,000th Number One single of the rock era. As the majority of music buyers (I didn’t say music *lovers* mind you, but music buyers) view music as a song-by-song medium, having a #1 single is a pretty big deal, so to have been one of those 1,000 songs means that, for better or for worse, your song has struck a chord with someone.
However, that’s not to say that the folks that put songs at the top of the charts always exhibit good taste. Of course, some of the most iconic songs in music history have made it all the way to the apex of Billboard’s charts- a look at the amount of chart-toppers by Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, to name a few, bears that theory out. But there are a pretty good amount of legendary artists who have never hit the top of the singles charts. Bruce Springsteen has never had a #1. Neither has James Brown. Or Led Zeppelin. Or The Who. Luther Vandross? Nope. The Clash? Elvis Costello? Run-DMC? Public Enemy? The Beastie Boys? 3 top ten singles between them.