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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

would be interesting to cross-reference this with licensing

s1ocki, Friday, 27 March 2009 16:54 (ten years ago) link

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

s1ocki, Friday, 27 March 2009 16:55 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

notoriety was helped by banned video, no?

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

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

Bohemian Rhapsody was always Queen's biggest hit surely

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

"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 (ten years ago) link

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

President Keyes, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:13 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

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

"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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

Bianca Jagger (jaymc), Friday, 27 March 2009 17:27 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

yeah that's true

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

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 (ten years ago) link

"Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:33 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

"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 (ten years ago) link

"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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

"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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

xhuxk, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:48 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

'Hallelujah' wins this thread, surely?

James Mitchell, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:50 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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

Tuomas, Friday, 27 March 2009 17:54 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

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 (ten years ago) link

I think the vocals don’t start until like a 1:00 in, which is another unusual feature for a popular song.

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Saturday, 27 April 2019 23:19 (two months ago) link

More songfacts: same three chords the whole way through, despite the varied vocal melody. There was some wacky instrument-switching (Tina on guitar and David on keys etc.)...

Pontius Pilates (Ye Mad Puffin), Sunday, 28 April 2019 00:01 (two months ago) link

each instrument/voice is introduced incrementally, as in "Just Like Heaven," which occupies the same space in the culture as TMBTP

flappy bird, Sunday, 28 April 2019 01:09 (two months ago) link

Wow... feel like fgti/Arcade Fire had a lot to do with the resurgence of that song... and making Talking Heads into an Important Band for the young '00s indie set as well

maffew12, Sunday, 28 April 2019 05:05 (two months ago) link

um

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Sunday, 28 April 2019 05:14 (two months ago) link

I Know, Right?

flamboyant goon tie included, Sunday, 28 April 2019 05:34 (two months ago) link

There was some wacky instrument-switching (Tina on guitar and David on keys etc.)...

I may be misremembering, but isn't the playing of unfamiliar instruments part of the reason for calling it "Naive Melody"?

Hideous Lump, Sunday, 28 April 2019 06:03 (two months ago) link

ok, mid 00s. jeez.

maffew12, Sunday, 28 April 2019 06:20 (two months ago) link

The SMS/live version of TMBTP with Jerry on minimoog key-bass & Alex Weir on guitar absolutely destroys the LP version.

/startrekman

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Sunday, 28 April 2019 09:08 (two months ago) link

Most-played Sonic Youth songs on Spotify, in order:
Teen Age Riot, Superstar, Kool Thing, Incinerate (!). Highest modern rock chart placements, in order: 100%, Kool Thing, Bull in the Heather, Teenage Riot, Superstar

Was "Incinerate" in a movie or something? I do really like it but I had no idea it was this popular. Is this "Superstar" thing about Juno? "Teen Age Riot" was in one of those Rock Band video games, right?

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Sunday, 12 May 2019 02:18 (two months ago) link

Don’t know about a game, but I do feel like “Teen Age Riot” has become their signature song over time.

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Sunday, 12 May 2019 02:46 (two months ago) link

(Or to put it another way — the first three hits you listed feel very “of their time,” but not timeless...)

get your hand outta my pocket universe (morrisp), Sunday, 12 May 2019 02:48 (two months ago) link

Teen age Riot was the first of thir time and timless song i heard

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Sunday, 12 May 2019 03:56 (two months ago) link

Tbc, I wasn't extremely surprised about "Teen Age Riot"; I just thought it was a good example for the thread. I was surprised about "Incinerate" and to a slightly lesser extent about the Carpenters cover.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Sunday, 12 May 2019 03:59 (two months ago) link

I would have assume top three 100% Bull in the heather Superstar

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Sunday, 12 May 2019 04:11 (two months ago) link

The popularity of the Carpenters cover is definitely due to Juno

i think ur a controp (voodoo chili), Sunday, 12 May 2019 04:11 (two months ago) link

I'll grant that reaching #26 on the alternative/modern rock chart in 1994 probably meant more in terms of popularity/exposure than reaching #20 in the same chart in 1989.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Sunday, 12 May 2019 04:59 (two months ago) link

Just checked up on Beck, and--no surprise--"Loser" is far and away his biggest Spotify song (141 mil spins). HOWEVER, his next biggest songs are: "Dreams" (almost 46 mil); "Morning" (31 mil); "Wow" (30 mil); and "Up All Night" (26 mil). "Where It's At" lags behind w/14 mil*, "Devil's Haircut" at 12, and "Debra" at almost 12.

*Apparently the Odelay track totals are combined from the reg and deluxe editions.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 25 May 2019 03:09 (one month ago) link

And just because, I looked up Jeff Beck, whose top track is "Cause We've Ended As Lovers", which I wouldn't have thought would be that big.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 25 May 2019 03:13 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

ok how tf is a) "I Need My Girl" the most popular song by The National and b) how does it have 81 million plays? that's nearly 50 million more than their next biggest song (don't look at their top ten, it's full of new songs)

old cloud yells at man (voodoo chili), Thursday, 13 June 2019 18:48 (one month ago) link

must've been a movie or a show

flappy bird, Thursday, 13 June 2019 21:03 (one month ago) link

...or multiple curated playlists.

The gap between it and their other songs isn't as big, but a similar thing has happened with Sleater-Kinney & "Modern Girl".

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 13 June 2019 21:07 (one month ago) link

And just because, I looked up Jeff Beck, whose top track is "Cause We've Ended As Lovers", which I wouldn't have thought would be that big.

What would you expect his top track to be?

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Thursday, 13 June 2019 22:49 (one month ago) link

must've been a movie or a show

― flappy bird, Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:03 PM (two hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it was on the soundtrack to the Entourage movie lol

(not that I think this explains it)

jaymc, Friday, 14 June 2019 00:00 (one month ago) link

XP Probably "Freeway Jam" or a Rod-era track.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 14 June 2019 01:20 (one month ago) link

Oh, that is interesting that it has more than twice as many plays as "People Get Ready", although idk how much life that one had outside the 80s. I don't see Truth on Spotify. I guess it didn't strike me as surprising that a Stevie Wonder song would be Beck's most-played song but Blow by Blow is almost what I listen to most by him, by far.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 14 June 2019 03:00 (one month ago) link

almost = also

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 14 June 2019 03:00 (one month ago) link

that's crazy about "modern girl." is it an effect of brownstein's memoir using it for the title, or the other way around? i've heard it out in the world here and there but so weird to think of them even HAVING one single "legacy song."

Good morning, how are you, I'm (Doctor Casino), Friday, 14 June 2019 03:06 (one month ago) link

could one make an argument for “good things” by the bodeans ? nearly tied with for spotify plays with “closer to free” — which i concede is probably the “bigger” song, though i feel it’s more closely associated with the TV show than the band, whereas “good things” feels very linked to the bodeans, this whole adult contemporary aesthetic, and the song is stamped into my memory for reasons i couldn’t explain (never released as a single, no ads i know of)

does anybody else remember this song, or have any insight into why it’s “big” ?

wiki says this:

Though not a single, the album's first track, "Good Things", achieved some success and became one of the band's best-known songs.

how / why ?

budo jeru, Monday, 24 June 2019 22:55 (three weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

The most-played Pavement song on Spotify is not what I would expect.

― All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, July 12, 2019 1:01 PM (four minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:06 (five days ago) link

Seriously, was "Harness Your Hopes" used in a movie? It sounds decent on first listen but how did a B-side from the Terror Twilight era become so popular?

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:07 (five days ago) link

That is weird. I tried searching for answers, but just found a Reddit thread asking the same question (and requests for gtr tabs, etc.)

stan by me (morrisp), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:14 (five days ago) link

I'm not even sure I remember what this sounds like!

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 12 July 2019 18:36 (five days ago) link

it's probably on some like 'erudite indie for studying' playlist or something

global tetrahedron, Friday, 12 July 2019 19:34 (five days ago) link

last.fm is a better arbiter of track popularity imho:

https://www.last.fm/music/Pavement/+tracks?date_preset=ALL

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 12 July 2019 19:44 (five days ago) link

"Athena" was the Who's last top 40 hit in the US (#28, 1982), but "Eminence Front" (#68, 1982) is far more streamed/downloaded/well-known.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 12 July 2019 20:01 (five days ago) link

spotify also ended easy last.fm scrobbling within the client, so i imagine that there is a gulf between the stats on each

global tetrahedron, Friday, 12 July 2019 20:05 (five days ago) link

I know nothing about Pavement, but a word of caution about Last.fm play counts: because as a site it’s dwindled so much in popularity (far less users), those counts are heavily skewed in favour of older material and current real-world popularity is poorly reflected (though with Spotify numbers it’s the other way around to some extent).

xp

breastcrawl, Friday, 12 July 2019 20:11 (five days ago) link

any Apple Music subscribers in the house? what do Pavement's top tracks on that service look like?

stan by me (morrisp), Friday, 12 July 2019 22:39 (five days ago) link

Pavement on Apple Music:

Cut Your Hair
Goldsoundz
Spit on a Stranger
Range Life
Shady Lane

flappy bird, Saturday, 13 July 2019 04:01 (four days ago) link

Thanks, no real surprises there (other than maybe “Spit”; I didn’t know it was that popular).

stan by me (morrisp), Saturday, 13 July 2019 04:12 (four days ago) link

Spit has added recognition due to the Nickel Creek cover.

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 13 July 2019 08:16 (four days ago) link

"I want Candy" ny Bow Wow Wow.

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Saturday, 13 July 2019 10:09 (four days ago) link

The only thing close to a single hit that Jeff Buckley ever had in his lifetime was "Last Goodbye".

That Cohen cover was never even a single, although it was a huge digital downloads hit ages later.

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Saturday, 13 July 2019 10:15 (four days ago) link

No one loves anything from Slanted & Enchanted?:(

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Saturday, 13 July 2019 12:10 (four days ago) link

« Grace » was a hit single, wasn’t it ?
That’s the first thing I heard from him anyway.

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 13 July 2019 12:43 (four days ago) link

I think I Want Candy was BWWs only hit in America

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Saturday, 13 July 2019 13:36 (four days ago) link

"Go Wild in the Country" beat "I Want Candy" by two places in the UK chart but otherwise IWC was by far their biggest hit internationally.

Kim Kimberly, Saturday, 13 July 2019 14:03 (four days ago) link

No one loves anything from /Slanted & Enchanted/?:(


Summer Babe is #6 or #7

flappy bird, Saturday, 13 July 2019 15:51 (four days ago) link

A lot of prog acts belong obv. Their best known "song" usually too lomg for single relesse.

For instance, I am pretty sure ELP are better known for "Tarkus" than for "Fanfare Forthe Common Man".

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Saturday, 13 July 2019 16:07 (four days ago) link


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