songs that weren't a bands biggest hit, but have gone on to be their legacy song and biggest iTunes seller

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I saw the Prodigy last night and was surprised to find out that the biggest reaction wasn't for "Breathe" or "Firestarter" or "Poison", but for "Smack My Bitch Up." I checked on iTunes and it's their biggest selling track! Sometime in the last 10 years it became their legacy track. How? Why? What other bands is this true?

so, yeah. Please cross-reference with iTunes for this.

1. Prodigy - "Smack My Bitch Up"

donky tonk women (Whiney G. Weingarten), Friday, 27 March 2009 16:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

great thread idea, i definitely have sat around and figured this out w/ a few bands, will have to look some up when i get home tonight

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 16:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

would be interesting to cross-reference this with licensing

s1ocki, Friday, 27 March 2009 16:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

like maybe in the long run that impacts sales more than radio/video play

s1ocki, Friday, 27 March 2009 16:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

my guess is that there are a large number of people out there who did not know the band Prodigy but knew there was a song called "Smack My Bitch Up"

fight the real NME (Curt1s Stephens), Friday, 27 March 2009 16:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

i always thought smack my bitch was the big prodigy song!!

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Friday, 27 March 2009 16:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

it wouldn't have sold as well as nearly half their other 90s songs esp. the two #1s

Hard House SugBanton (blueski), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

notoriety was helped by banned video, no?

鬼の手 (Edward III), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

2. Elton John - "Tiny Dancer"
^^ someone can doublecheck this and refute it if necessary since i'm looking at a cached browser page of his top iTunes songs, but that's a very prominent example of a song that movie licensing turned into a much bigger part of the artist's legacy than it had been before

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

wouldn't be surprised if 'Wonderwall' was biggest-selling Oasis song online (was probably their biggest hit in the US if not in the UK tho)

Hard House SugBanton (blueski), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

Don't have iTunes right here, but just guessing on a few...

Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes (wasn't even a single from So)
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Lou Reed - Perfect Day

kornrulez6969, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

Bohemian Rhapsody was always Queen's biggest hit surely

Hard House SugBanton (blueski), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Bohemian Rhapsody" benefitted from the 90s re-release and Wayne's World, but it was always one of their biggest hits, I gotta veto that. xpost

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

Perfect Day? It must still be "Walk on the Wild Side"

President Keyes, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Journey's only two top 5 songs in the US were "Open Arms" and "Who's Crying Now."

"Don't Stop Believing," meanwhile, is the biggest-selling catalogue track in iTunes history.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

no way was bohemian rhapsody a bigger hit than "another one bites the dust" or "crazy little thing called love"

What about "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield?

obv I don't know the UK chart stuff much, but was that actually her biggest hit?

stank pony (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

ooh good call, put a 3 on that. xpost re journey

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Bohemian Rhapsody" held a sales record in the UK for almost a decade and was Queen's first US top 10. I would say songs that establish a band on that level count as one of their biggest hits whether there are higher charting songs or not.

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

Bohemian Rhapsody was always Queen's biggest hit surely

Not in the U.S., where No. 1 hits "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (!) and "Another One Bites The Dust" both charted higher. (So did "We Are The Champions," at first, but then "Rhapsody" came back in 1992 and hit No. 2 off of Wayne's World; it had only hit No. 9 on its original release.)

The Romantics' legacy song is almost certainly "What I Like About You" (big jock-rock hit, right?), though in their lifetime "Talking In Your Sleep" charted way higher (No. 3, compared to No. 49.)

xhuxk, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

what about "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond....again, i'm a lil ignorant of his history but wiki says "Song Sung Blue" was a bigger chart hit

stank pony (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah that's really interesting, i don't think i've ever even heard "Talking In Your Sleep" but I've heard "Like" a million times. xpost

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

this icon should be next to all these songs in the iTunes store: http://www.soulstrut.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/badassbuddy_com-slowburner.gif

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think I've heard those 2 about an equal # of times--but I guess "Like" is more of a party song.

President Keyes, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

what about "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond....again, i'm a lil ignorant of his history but wiki says "Song Sung Blue" was a bigger chart hit

Yeah, I think "Sweet Caroline" and "Cherry Cherry" are both more famous today than "Song Sung Blue" or "Cracklin' Rosie" -- but they were all in the top 5.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

Freebird? That's certainly Skynyrd's legacy song, but probably not their biggest iTunes seller (Sweet Home Alabama?).

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Meant to add "Song Sung Blue" and "Cracklin' Rosie" were his only two solo #1s.)

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh wow here's the ultimate one:

according to wiki, "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol only reached 102 on the U.S. charts and FAILED to chart in the U.K.

stank pony (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

usually a soundtrack or placement in a television show will raise a song out of the bands "hits" into a totally different demographic

cutty, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes (wasn't even a single from So)

This was released as a single off of the "Say Anything" soundtrack and received massive amounts of radio play.

BADGES DON'T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO WALTZ OFF WITH A BABY (HI DERE), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh wow here's the ultimate one:

according to wiki, "Dancing With Myself" by Billy Idol only reached 102 on the U.S. charts and FAILED to chart in the U.K.

― stank pony (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, March 27, 2009 1:27 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

yeah but "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding" are both bigger iTunes sellers

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean this could very easily turn into "early hits that established a band's identity but didn't chart as high as later singles when they were more famous" list and get away from the original idea

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah that's true

stank pony (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

i was more just shocked that that hadn't even charted at the time, being how catchy it was and all

stank pony (M@tt He1ges0n), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes (wasn't even a single from So)

...

This was released as a single off of the "Say Anything" soundtrack and received massive amounts of radio play.

"In Your Eyes" was released as a US single, peaking at #26 Billboard Hot 100 and #1 Billboard Mainstream Rock in 1986.

Say Anything gave "In Your Eyes" a second chart run in 1989, but it peaked at #41. No Top 40 for you!

...and became PG's first certified Gold single in 2005 lol

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Only You" did marginally better than "Situation" on the US charts (67 vs. 73) and much better on the UK charts (2 vs. wasn't even released), but "Situation" seems much more like Yaz's legacy song.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Born to Run!" Peaked at #23.

(Well, technically it's outsold by "Radio Nowhere" on iTunes, but I think that was thanks to some "Magic" promotion)

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah acts with recent singles kinda skew this, but i think it's safe to assume "Born To Run" ultimately sells more than "Radio Nowhere"

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Oh oh oh!

"American Girl" was the second single off Tom Petty's debut album, after "Breakdown," but did not even chart.

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

Radiohead. Creep is their biggest hit, but probably not their "signature" song. NOt sure what is, though.

Bruce's biggest chart hit is Dancing In The Dark

kornrulez6969, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Creep" is Radiohead's legacy song to millions of non-Radiohead fans

the worst breed of fong (some dude), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure what Bob Marley's legacy song is, but I have a feeling that "Roots, Rock, Reggae" (his only U.S. Hot 100 hit, peaking at # 51) isn't it. It might not even be in the Top 10.

xhuxk, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

(Well, Marley has lots of Legacy songs, obviously. Or at least an album full of them.)

xhuxk, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

Cheap Trick's only #1 is "The Flame." ("I Want You to Want Me" was #7, "Surrender" #62.)

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

What about remixes doing this with a song? Because Run DMC's It's Like That was just a b-side until it became like their biggest song (v. walk this way obv.)

Also presumably this must have happened by tunes that were sampled a bunch, although none come to mind immediately.

there's a big metaphor going on in which pussy is medicine (a hoy hoy), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

'Hallelujah' wins this thread, surely?

James Mitchell, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Run DMC's It's Like That was just a b-side

Not really. It was on side one of the 12-inch, and came before "Sucker MCs"; ditto with the instrumentals on side two:

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=257372

xhuxk, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

How do I find out Itunes sales numbers? Is there some page for them?

Tuomas, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

Talking Heads. Their biggest charting US single is Wild Wild Life. Biggest in UK is Road To Nowhere. Their signature/legacy song is clearly Once In A Lifetime, which never even charted.

kornrulez6969, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

I tried to a search for a specific tune on the Itunes store, but when I click on the song name, I'm thrown back to the Apple store home page.

Tuomas, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh and

Jackie DeShannon's 1968 pop music arrangement, debuting on the Hot 100 one week before The Band's, peaked at #55 in the U.S

new noise, Tuesday, 27 June 2017 02:06 (nine months ago) Permalink

"The Weight" is one of those songs that was an instant standard. Practically every interpretive singer who wasn't in the Sinatra school took a crack at it between '68 & '73-ish.

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 27 June 2017 02:21 (nine months ago) Permalink

Seeing that Faces 'Ooh La La' up above - surely there must be many Faces 'Stay With Me's attributed to Rod splitting the vote?

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 27 June 2017 12:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Seems preposterous to suggest Big Yellow Taxi is Joni Mitchell's legacy song, nonetheless it's her top streamer

niels, Sunday, 12 November 2017 10:16 (five months ago) Permalink

Why preposterous? That song is much more likely to be known by the average person than any of her others.

Kim Kimberly, Sunday, 12 November 2017 16:18 (five months ago) Permalink

"Help Me" was a bigger hit at the time, but agreed that at the least the "choooo bop bop" was probably what the average radio listener would conjure up if asked to do a Joni Mitchell impression.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 12 November 2017 16:30 (five months ago) Permalink

Yeah help me has the chart placing but I'm guessing taxi has had more sales (it was rereleased) and certainly had far more radio play.

Kim Kimberly, Sunday, 12 November 2017 16:34 (five months ago) Permalink

"Big Yellow Taxi" was in my Grade 7 English textbook!

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Sunday, 12 November 2017 16:35 (five months ago) Permalink

I'd have guessed Both Sides Now would be her legacy song.

kornrulez6969, Sunday, 12 November 2017 16:50 (five months ago) Permalink

Big Yellow Taxi was the first song of hers i remember from my youth, so dang catchy. there have been a number of crappy modern covers so makes sense that would be her big song rn.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 12 November 2017 17:20 (five months ago) Permalink

"Help Me" was a bigger hit at the time, but agreed that at the least the "choooo bop bop" was probably what the average radio listener would conjure up if asked to do a Joni Mitchell impression.

I've never heard of "Help Me" tbh.

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Sunday, 12 November 2017 19:00 (five months ago) Permalink

I would say "Both Sides Now".

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Sunday, 12 November 2017 19:00 (five months ago) Permalink

! "Help Me" is wonderful. Essential LA-sound early 70s pop imo.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 12 November 2017 19:03 (five months ago) Permalink

totally, it's a perfect song

Why preposterous?

well, maybe not preposterous then but BYT is kinda one of her children's song songs imo, it's a decent song but not very representative

niels, Sunday, 12 November 2017 21:37 (five months ago) Permalink

'Big Yellow Taxi' is the first song that I think of whenever someone brings up Joni Mitchell, so I'm not surprised to hear that it's her most streamed song. I hate it, though.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Sunday, 12 November 2017 21:44 (five months ago) Permalink

I wouldn't say I hate it but the songs on fx Hejira and Hissing are on an entirely different plane

niels, Sunday, 12 November 2017 21:51 (five months ago) Permalink

It put me off checking out her other material for the longest time.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Sunday, 12 November 2017 21:59 (five months ago) Permalink

have to say though, first 100 times I heard the refrain was on the Janet Jackson song where it works perfectly imo, Q-Tip on point

niels, Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:26 (five months ago) Permalink

damn I would've thought "A Case of You" or "Woodstock"

flappy bird, Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:31 (five months ago) Permalink

Judy Collins' version of "Both Sides Now" is the one that reached the Top Ten in the US

Brad C., Sunday, 12 November 2017 23:08 (five months ago) Permalink

...and "Woodstock" has two competing hit covers w/CSNY and Matthews Southern Comfort.

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 12 November 2017 23:43 (five months ago) Permalink

Everyone's covered "Both Sides Now".

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Sunday, 12 November 2017 23:46 (five months ago) Permalink

Letters To Cleo: "I Want You To Want Me" (a Cheap Trick cover from 10 Things I Hate About You) way outpaces "Here And Now" on Spotify (5 mil spins vs. 1 mil)

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 16 November 2017 03:01 (five months ago) Permalink

...and their other 10 Things cover (Nick Lowe's "Cruel To Be Kind") is almost at 2 million.

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 16 November 2017 03:03 (five months ago) Permalink

such a good movie

niels, Thursday, 16 November 2017 07:09 (five months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

while Heroes is probably Bowie's legacy song (and a good one!) if you count collabs Under Pressure is by far his best streamer with 200 million streams! (Heroes "only" at 90 million)

niels, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 18:51 (three months ago) Permalink

surprised at both of those - would have said that if he has a single "legacy song" (which isn't really ever going to fit perfectly for an artist with that many hits) it'd be SpaceOddity or Ziggy Stardust.

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:26 (three months ago) Permalink

Space Oddity over Ziggy, tho. But "'Heroes'" and schmaltzy covers of it have become ubiquitous in movies, tv, and advertising especially after his death. Under Pressure benefits from being a collaboration with another one of the biggest pop acts in history.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:29 (three months ago) Permalink

on a similar tip, Iggy Pop: The Passenger has 88 million plays and Lust For Life has 29 million plays on Spotify. I guess his biggest hit was real wild child? still would not have figured The Passenger would have such a massive play count

porg and bess (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:31 (three months ago) Permalink

again, ubiquitous syncs

flappy bird, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:37 (three months ago) Permalink

more ubiquitous than lust for life, though?

porg and bess (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:40 (three months ago) Permalink

i guess the numbers don't lie

porg and bess (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:40 (three months ago) Permalink

very close second

flappy bird, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:41 (three months ago) Permalink

i think more people take the lust for life drumbeat for syncs and that maybe splits the numbers

flappy bird, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 19:41 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

a weird streaming age story: so i was listening to some Eno earlier today and I was astonished at the ridiculously high play totals for some of his tracks...not his 70s solo tracks, not his collaborations with David Byrne, but his ambient stuff. "An Ending (Ascent)" has over 57 million streams! Why? A few of his ambient tracks made their way onto Spotify's "Sleep" playlist, which has well over 2 million subscribers.

MooVaughn.org (voodoo chili), Monday, 26 March 2018 02:15 (one month ago) Permalink

people just listen to that playlist on repeat for hours every night! it's probably earning some experimental composers some decent money.

MooVaughn.org (voodoo chili), Monday, 26 March 2018 02:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Ha, that's great.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Monday, 26 March 2018 02:55 (one month ago) Permalink

2 million users falling asleep to it is an uncapped bandwidth provider’s nightmare.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Monday, 26 March 2018 03:51 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm not sure how these Spotify rankings work exactly, but I see that Johnny's Cash's version of "Hurt" has double the plays of any of his other songs (188 million to "I Walk the Line"'s 92 million and "Ring of Fire"'s 94 million) but is only ranked as his second most popular track, hopefully because some Spotify bot is going "Nah, man."

President Keyes, Monday, 26 March 2018 12:57 (one month ago) Permalink

I think there's some recency element in the algorithm

MooVaughn.org (voodoo chili), Monday, 26 March 2018 13:00 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah i think glenn broke that down at some point, there's a special sauce, maybe also taking into account how much it's been searched for, how many playlists it's in, etc.

lol dis stance dunk (Doctor Casino), Monday, 26 March 2018 13:19 (one month ago) Permalink

I was shocked recently to see that "Mary Jane's Last Dance" is edging out "American Girl" for most played Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers song on Spotify. Both have half the plays of "Free Fallin'" but its credited to solo Petty. Just had no idea it was that popular.

sofatruck, Monday, 26 March 2018 16:00 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, I wouldn’t have guessed that one would be even in his top 5 songs...

absorbed carol channing's powers & psyche (morrisp), Monday, 26 March 2018 16:20 (one month ago) Permalink

that makes sense to me, that was the massive single from the Greatest Hits album, which sold 12 million copies and was maybe the first Petty album that for my generation was somewhat aimed in our direction. I was 18 when it came out and the previous albums several albums he'd released were all imo a bit more "adult" (Southern Accents, Full Moon Fever, Into the Great Wide Open, Traveling Wilburys.) I liked them but MJLD was a song definitely with an eye on younger listeners, if only for the video. which was huge.

omar little, Monday, 26 March 2018 16:31 (one month ago) Permalink

"An Ending (Ascent)" has over 57 million streams! Why?

I think this was in Trainspotting? pretty sure there was a film placement that kickstarted its popularity

sleeve, Monday, 26 March 2018 16:31 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah it's used in lots of TV shows/movies, including Traffic, which I think is what you're thinking of, but that still struck me as a crazy high number.

MooVaughn.org (voodoo chili), Monday, 26 March 2018 16:41 (one month ago) Permalink

xpost (re: Petty)
Interesting -- I see it came out in fall '93, and that was definitely a moment when the song/video would have fallen thru the cracks for me (my first year of college).

absorbed carol channing's powers & psyche (morrisp), Monday, 26 March 2018 16:42 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah I can see that in retrospect. That 93 GH package was actually my intro to Petty (was 15 or so) but that song never clicked that much for me then, so I guess I never picked up on how popular it was.

sofatruck, Monday, 26 March 2018 17:13 (one month ago) Permalink

"Deep Blue Day" is the Trainspotting selection. It's from Apollo, which for about 20 years has been my favorite ambient Eno – perfect for 9:30 p.m. weeknight writing.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 March 2018 17:17 (one month ago) Permalink


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