Awful truths, sad facts, whatever you wish to call them… the pop charts are full of unfortunate facts. Work that has stood the test of time, and/or inspired others in countless ways, doesn’t always mean they were a “success” (whatever that means these days). For example:
- Did you know that Chuck Berry, the man who basically invented rock n’ roll, only had one hit single? Yeah, that one. The novelty song ‘My Ding-a-Ling’.
- Technically speaking, Jimi Hendrix was a one hit wonder (“an act that has won a position on [the] national, pop, Top 40 just once”). His big hit, ‘All Along the Watchtower’ climbed all… the… way… to number 20. Yeah, that’s all.
- The Verve‘s only hit, ‘Bittersweet Symphony,’ went platinum in the UK, but they’ll never get paid a single penny. A couple former Rolling Stones managers are makin’ bank though.
Here are 7 more interesting factoids about popular music.
01. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix remains one of the most influential guitarists of all time, but he’s no match for Creed’s 28 million US record sales. Maybe all that crazy panning on Hendrix albums is too much for some people. And sorry to the UG reading Creed fans, but Hendrix really deserves better.
03. Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” sold more copies than ANY Beatles single
Ke$ha’s debut single broke the record for the biggest single-week sales of all time for a female artist, selling 610,000 digital downloads in one week. John Lennon and George Harrison turned in their graves at 45rpm.
05. The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” is more popular than any Elvis or Simon & Garfunkel song
At least Garfunkel can rest easy, knowing that his name doesn’t seem quite as silly next to Will.I.Am or apl.de.ap. Seriously, that’s what two people from the Black Eyed Peas have named themselves.
06. Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You” sold more copies than any Queen, Nirvana, or Bruce Springsteen record
The same applies to Shania Twain’s “Come On Over”, proving that there’s big money in making boring music. Hey, why did Celine Dion cross the road? To get to the middle.
07. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles from an album
Both artists had five number one singles from one album, but only one artist could moonwalk. And since moonwalks trump dressing up like bubblegum, MJ wins.
09. The cast of “Glee” has had more songs chart than The Beatles
But The Beatles don’t care, because they didn’t need to resort to extreme social engineering and produce advertisements that last a full hour every week. And wrote their own songs. In fact, The Beatles pretty much invented the concept of artists writing their own songs.
Read ’em and weep.