The 10 best-selling singles since the mid-’50s are:
1. Candle in the Wind 1997, Elton John
2. In the Summertime, Mungo Jerry
3. Rock Around the Clock, Bill Haley & His Comets
4. Nel blu diinto di blu (Volare), Domenico Modugno
5. I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston
6. It’s Now or Never, Elvis Presley
7. We Are the World, USA for Africa
8. You’re the One That I Want, John Travolta and Olivia Newton John
9. Lambada, Kaoma
10. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You, Bryan Adams
Each of these single records sold at least 15 million copies. Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, his 1973 song Candle in the Wind with lyrics changed to suit the heartbreaking occasion, sold 33 million — second all-time to Bing Crosby’s White Christmas (50 million).
But what the heck do 50 million people know?
Steve Cameron, author of 14 books and a man of many musical tastes who now writes for this newspaper, challenged Press readers to come up with their Top 10 songs of the pop/rock era. Hundreds have, and this Sunday, Steve will announce Press readers’ Top 10.
Seeing as how the deadline is tonight at 5, in true journalistic fashion we’ve waited until the last minute to deliver our Top 10.
1. Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers
2. Teach Your Children, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
3. Baba O’Riley, The Who
4. Take It Easy, The Eagles
5. You Can’t Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones
6. Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
7. Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd
8. Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles
9. Don’t Fear the Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
10. Ripple, The Grateful Dead
OK, we know a lot of readers are going to shake their head at No. 10 — and no Bob Dylan or Elvis Presley — but don’t judge Ripple until you’ve heard it.
So what’s the point of this momentary music mania? Why conduct a Top 10 tally at a time like this, when there’s so much serious stuff going on in the world? Precisely because there’s so much serious stuff going on in the world.
Whether our favorite music makes us laugh, cry or sing out loud, whether we’re standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, or belting out “Teenage wasteland” in the shower, music moves us like nothing else can.
Blow up your TV.
Turn up the tunes.
What are your 10 favorite songs of the pop/rock era? Email your choices by 5 p.m. today to Steve Cameron: firstname.lastname@example.org