Friday, November 07, 2008

Pop Music Quiz

Wikipedia maintains a list of musical artists ranked by how many #1 singles they've had on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100 singles chart. Don't search for it right now, because that would spoil this quiz! The list counts group releases separately from solo/duet releases, so, for example, Beyonce would be counted separately from Destiny's Child, but if Beyonce did a duet with, say, Slim Thug, it would count under the Beyonce total (it's just an example; neither she nor her group made the list).

What I would like you to do for this quiz is to guess the artist based on four pieces of information: the number of #1 hits, the total number of weeks at #1, the year of the artist's first #1 hit, and the year of their most recent #1 hit. There are nine artists with ten or more #1 hits.

1. 20 songs, 59 total weeks, 1964 - 1970
2. 18 songs, 79 total weeks, 1990 - 2008
3. 17 songs, 79 total weeks, 1956 - 1969
4. 13 songs, 37 total weeks, 1972 - 1995
5. 12 songs, 32 total weeks, 1984 - 2000
6. 12 songs, 22 total weeks, 1964 - 1969
7. 11 songs, 31 total weeks, 1985 - 1995
8. 10 songs, 33 total weeks, 1986 - 2001
9. 10 songs, 25 total weeks, 1963 - 1986

Note that this is for singles, not albums. Some of these should be a lot more obvious than others. Also note that there was a lot more volatility in the chart in the old days... the average number of weeks at #1 per song gets a lot longer for the more recent artists. Oddly enough, if you study the album charts, you'll notice that the opposite holds true --- albums used to spend longer at the top of the charts but now often only spend a single week at the top.

Post your answers in the comments. Feel free to do research on artists, but for this question, avoid the page that shows this compiled information until after you've posted your guesses. Have fun!

SPOILER WARNING! - Two people have made very good guesses so far in the comments. Refrain from looking at the comments if you don't want a lot of the answers spoiled.

UPDATE (11/8/08) - We have a winner! Check the comments.

16 Comments:

At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM PST, Blogger Paul C. said...

I pooled my resources with a friend and we came up with this:

1. Beatles
2. Mariah Carey
3. Elvis
4. Michael Jackson
5. U2
6. Supremes
7. Whitney Houston
8. Janet Jackson
9. Rolling Stones

As it turns out, we got 7 out of 9 right, which all in all was pretty kind of okay.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 8:06:00 AM PST, Blogger Bjorn said...

1. The Beatles
2. Mariah Carey
3. Elvis Presley
4. The Eagles
5. Madonna
6. The Supremes
7. Whitney Huston
8. Janet Jackson
9. The Rolling Stones

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 9:43:00 AM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Bjorn also got 7/9.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 10:24:00 AM PST, Blogger scarequotes said...

Trying not to look at other answers:

Beatles
Mariah Carey
Elvis Presley
Michael Jackson
Madonna
The Supremes
?
Whitney Houston
The Rolling Stones

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 11:11:00 AM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

squarequotes got 6/9 in the right position, plus one in the wrong position.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 11:18:00 AM PST, Blogger Bjorn said...

Whups... meant to change #4 to Michael Jackson. I'm thinking Janet Jackson is my other wrong one but I can't come up with who else started hitmaking in 1986.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 12:57:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

There's one nobody's got right yet. The most recent hit for that artist was a one-off collaboration (not USA for Africa) that gets counted in this artist's tally.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 12:58:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Replacing the Eagles with Jacko gives Bjorn 8 correct.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 1:42:00 PM PST, Blogger Paul C. said...

Yeah, I considered putting the Mystery Guest on my list, but for some reason I didn't. Oh well. At least it's a slightly more understandable exclusion than Madonna.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 1:46:00 PM PST, Blogger scarequotes said...

After posting, I checked the Wiki list. I might've got around to guessing Janet, but I never would've thought of the one that's still missing.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 8:15:00 PM PST, Anonymous Joshua said...

The one nobody has gotten right yet is #9, Stevie Wonder.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 10:49:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner.

Wonder's first #1 hit was "Fingertips Part 2" when he was but 13 years old, and didn't have another until "Superstition" in 1972.

The Rolling Stones had eight Billboard #1s, the first being "Satisfaction" in 1965, the last being "Miss You" in 1978. They last had a top ten hit when "Mixed Emotions" hit #5 in 1989.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 11:17:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Artists with 9 #1s:
Paul McCartney, if you combine his Wings output with his true solo output, 1971 - 1983.

Bee Gees, 1971 - 1979, including six consecutive singles from 1977 to 1979.

Elton John, 1972 - 1997.

8 #1s:
George Michael (1985 - 1991), plus 2 more credited to just Wham!; "Careless Whisper," credited to "Wham! featuring George Michael," is counted in the 8.

Usher (1998 - 2008), including all four singles he released in 2004.

The Eagles had 5 #1s, and U2 only had two in the U.S., both off of The Joshua Tree.

 
At Friday, November 7, 2008 at 11:24:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Phil Collins had seven #1s as a solo artist (1984 - 1989), plus one #1 with Genesis in 1986 ("Invisible Touch").

 
At Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 4:38:00 PM PST, Anonymous lance said...

I know it's over, but I haven't checked yer blog in a few days. I couldn't get 6 or 7, and am still unsure about some of the others, but here it is:
1)Beatles
2)Mariah Carey
3)Elvis Presley
4)Michael Jackson
5)Madonna
6)
7)
8)U2
9)Rolling Stones

 
At Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 4:44:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Just to put all the answers in one place, they're:

1. Beatles
2. Mariah Carey
3. Elvis Presley
4. Michael Jackson
5. Madonna
6. The Supremes
7. Whitney Houston
8. Janet Jackson
9. Stevie Wonder

 

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