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 (twelve 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 (twelve years ago) link

would be interesting to cross-reference this with licensing

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

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

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

notoriety was helped by banned video, no?

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

Bohemian Rhapsody was always Queen's biggest hit surely

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

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

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

yeah that's true

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

"Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

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

'Hallelujah' wins this thread, surely?

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

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

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

Lucinda Williams: "Fruits of My Labor" from World Without Tears is her top solo track, with 15 million spins, about 6 million more than runner-ups "Car Wheels..." and an all-star rendition of "This Train's Bound For Glory" from a Woody Guthrie tribute.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 18 April 2021 23:07 (one month ago) link

DMX’s “X Gon Give It To Ya” is def the champ of the streaming era thanks to Rick and Morty and Deadpool

bruce spr!ngisH3r3 (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 19 April 2021 04:02 (one month ago) link

really? i would have guessed "ruff ryders' anthem" if it wasn't "party up"

dyl, Monday, 19 April 2021 07:41 (one month ago) link

(i could just check but i can't be bothered)

dyl, Monday, 19 April 2021 07:41 (one month ago) link

The Lucinda Williams one is weird--I guess that song was used in a movie called Lost Girls? She never had chart hits so streaming numbers are probably overly impacted by use in other media.

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Monday, 19 April 2021 17:39 (one month ago) link

Not song, but artist based: Nina Simone has 6.5M monthly listeners, nearly twice what Joni Mitchell and Billie Holiday net, to pick two artists where I'd think there'd be similar listening patterns and esteem, and definately more influence on youtube singers. Maybe it's that the ambitious end of RnB leads so clearly back to Simone these days?

Citole Country (bendy), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 14:21 (one month ago) link

numbers from Spotify btw: Simone 6.5M, Holiday 3.2M, Mitchell 3.8M.

Citole Country (bendy), Tuesday, 20 April 2021 14:22 (one month ago) link

This is wild and makes me feel way less smugly advisory to the world.

Hunt3r, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 22:58 (one month ago) link

Doesn't seem quite as surprising to me as Nina has more big/famous songs, many of which seem to feature every week in one TV show or another

groovypanda, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 06:39 (one month ago) link

Mitchell probably should invest in a Netflix biopic or something though. I feel like she might be missing out on a lot of young fans, not sure what avenues through which they might discover her.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 11:53 (one month ago) link

Ellie Goulding's cover of Joni Mitchell's 'River' (which largely retained the style of the original) got to Number One in the UK in December 2019, so some younger listeners may have latched onto her then.

mike t-diva, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 12:05 (one month ago) link

Doesn't seem obviously true to me that Nina Simone had more big/famous songs than Joni Mitchell. Dr Casino probably otm.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 13:58 (one month ago) link

Wait until the kids see the cover of Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 18:22 (one month ago) link

just looked that up. YIKES.

(i assume that's been much-discussed? i've just never dug into her narrative/body of work as a whole, beyond the couple of albums i know and like.)

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 18:29 (one month ago) link

There's a long, recent tangent about it and her questionable racial views from that time on one of the ILM Joni threads.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 18:40 (one month ago) link

yeah casino otm, i dont think you can overstate how much a streaming biopic (or maybe these days a prestige podcast, too) impacts the visibility & legacy of artists like that with people these days.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 18:43 (one month ago) link

ELO has a whole handful of legacy tracks, but Mr Blue Sky seems to have some increased presence over the years, even before the GOTG movies.

Kim, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:11 (one month ago) link

I first heard it in a 2006 Dr Who episode.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:21 (one month ago) link

VW commercial

Jurassic parkour (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:58 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-aUBso-XuA

Jurassic parkour (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 21:59 (one month ago) link

i think i first heard it in the trailer for eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

voodoo chili, Wednesday, 21 April 2021 22:06 (one month ago) link

If it's in the film, then I heard it there, but had my memory wiped at the end of the movie

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 22:09 (one month ago) link

"Mr. Blue Sky" @ The Movies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAK1EErTyOc

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 22:10 (one month ago) link

I had to clip that VW ad out of my post. That campaign reignited interest in loads of songs: "Mr. Roboto"; "Pink Moon", "Da Da Da"...

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 22:12 (one month ago) link

"Four Horsemen" by Aphrodite's Child has just turned up in a car advert over here.

Authoritarian Steaks (Tom D.), Wednesday, 21 April 2021 22:21 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

John Mayer's top track is the 2018 single "New Light", which has more than 40 million spins than his #2 track...the live "Free Fallin'" cover (which itself is 22 million ahead of "Your Body Is A Wonderland").

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 4 June 2021 23:18 (one week ago) link

Huh

In Mexico, the song reached number 1 and was the second best selling-single of 2018.

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 4 June 2021 23:24 (one week ago) link

The biggest song on Spotify for Hall&Oates is "You Make My Dreams" (560 million), far ahead of "Rich Girl" (only 300 million), and it wasn't even one of their #1 hits (only #5).

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 12 June 2021 10:48 (three days ago) link

it’s a long-standing thing apparently, this is from 2010 upthread: q]I'm not sure it's their "legacy song," but Hall and Oates's "You Make My Dreams" is their best seller on iTunes.

As some dude noted on the H&O thread:

it's weird, i never heard that song a lot in the past or thought of it as one of their signature hits, but in the past two years it's picked up some kind of zeitgeist appearing in so much different stuff (that Days of Summer movie and the keyboard cat clip upthread, Step Brothers, episodes of Glee and The Office, etc.).

― Zsa Zsa Gay Bar (jaymc), woensdag 29 december 2010 22:44[/q\

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Saturday, 12 June 2021 11:51 (three days ago) link

(so much for my formatting skills while in public transport)

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Saturday, 12 June 2021 11:55 (three days ago) link

This is probably more a matter of me being inattentive in 1992 but I'm impressed that Pale Saints' non-album cover of "Kinky Love" is an order of magnitude more popular on Spotify than every other PS track bar "Sight of You". (Which at least has about 1/2 as many million plays as the former.)

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 12 June 2021 12:10 (three days ago) link

xpost ah thanks, I tried to cmd+F "Oates" here but didn't find that song.
And yeah, I like H&O a lot but I wasn't even familiar with that song, hence the surprise to find it's their biggest song now !

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 12 June 2021 12:17 (three days ago) link

Weird I don't think I even know "You Make My Dreams". Except for "Out of Touch", I can instantly recall every song in the rest of the H&O top 10 on Spotify.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Saturday, 12 June 2021 15:39 (three days ago) link

I feel like I hear it all the time somehow (and never intentionally (though it’s a good song))

like a d4mn sociopath! (morrisp), Saturday, 12 June 2021 15:48 (three days ago) link

every time this comes up i'm so shocked to think of ppl not knowing YMMD and loving it with all their hearts, and then i remember it's one i didn't really notice or dive into until like 2007 when i heard it once in a pizza place and became obsessed.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 12 June 2021 16:53 (three days ago) link

It feels like YmMD and Can’t go for that would be their most generation spanning songs

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Saturday, 12 June 2021 17:10 (three days ago) link

You Make My Dreams is kind of nondescript, which might account for its popularity. Could be by any number of acts really, unlike Maneater, Private Eyes et al which couldn't be by anyone else.

I gave it my all and my all wasn't enough (Matt #2), Saturday, 12 June 2021 17:51 (three days ago) link

I think it appeared in The Wedding Singer, the most high profile usage of it I can remember.

cancel culture club (Neanderthal), Saturday, 12 June 2021 17:51 (three days ago) link

Those songs are all good. My favs are "Rich Girl" and "Private Eyes."

I like big bunnies and I cannot lie (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 12 June 2021 17:57 (three days ago) link

"Private Eyes" was definitely on my "fav song" playlist as an 8 year old. cos at the time i thought it was about cops

cancel culture club (Neanderthal), Saturday, 12 June 2021 17:58 (three days ago) link

I always assumed part of "You Make My Dreams Come True"'s current appeal, is people realizing that it was clearly the basis for the theme song to Ducktales.

MarkoP, Saturday, 12 June 2021 18:11 (three days ago) link

lol

cancel culture club (Neanderthal), Saturday, 12 June 2021 18:12 (three days ago) link

I assume that H&O were reading Faraday’s Chemical History of the Candle when they wrote YMMD

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Saturday, 12 June 2021 18:23 (three days ago) link

OK, I listened to it and it sounds pretty generic so I'm sure I did hear it and didn't register it. (If it's in 500 Days of Summer, then I have heard it at least twice.)

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:03 (three days ago) link

Idk why this would be more popular than the rest of those singles, which are p much all great, but eh.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:07 (three days ago) link

really sounds like an Elton John song imo

building a hole (NickB), Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:07 (three days ago) link

If it's in 500 Days of Summer

See my YouTube just upthread...

blue whales on ambient (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:08 (three days ago) link

Oh, I did. Weirdly, I had no memory of the song, though, despite having seen the movie twice.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:10 (three days ago) link

Apparently it’s the official song of the Toronto Maple Leafs (this reporter sounds dubious about it as well):

If you're coming to the Scotiabank Arena to watch the Maple Leafs play, you'd better like Hall and Oates.

For whatever reason, the Leafs game operations people have chosen the "You Make My Dreams Come True" -- the ear-worm hit from the 1980s duo -- as the team's goal song.

And if Friday's exhibition game against Detroit -- a 6-2 Toronto win -- is any indication, you're going to hear that song a lot.

like a d4mn sociopath! (morrisp), Saturday, 12 June 2021 21:32 (three days ago) link


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