Friday, April 04, 2014

The Beatles' Historic High Five

The Beatles did something 50 years ago today that no one — not Elvis, not Mitch Miller, not Bob Dylan — had ever done — and no one has done since.

Their recordings occupied the top five spots in Billboard's Top 100.

"Can't Buy Me Love" was in the top spot. "Twist and Shout" was second.

Number three on the list was "She Loves You," followed by "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Please Please Me."

All five songs are among the Beatles' all–time Top 20 hits, according to Billboard.

The Beatles were less than two months removed from their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, but they were thoroughly dominating the music scene in America as Billboard's chart clearly demonstrated. Along with the top five spots, the Beatles held an additional seven positions in the Top 100:
  • #31 — "I Saw Her Standing There"
  • #41 — "From Me to You"
  • #46 — "Do You Want to Know a Secret?"
  • #58 — "All My Loving"
  • #65 — "You Can't Do That"
  • #68 — "Roll Over Beethoven"
  • #79 — "Thank You Girl"
A week later, the Beatles placed two more hits in the Top 100 — "There's a Place" and "Love Me Do" — giving them an incredible 14 songs on the list. In the last half–century, only the Bee Gees have come close to matching the Beatles' accomplishment, charting five songs in the Top 20, thanks to the wave of popularity for the music from "Saturday Night Fever" in March 1978.

Three of those top five songs (plus "A Hard Day's Night," "Love Me Do" and "I Feel Fine") were #1 at some point in 1964, setting a record for the most #1 hits in a single calendar year. (The exceptions were "Twist and Shout" and "Please Please Me.")

Five of their songs reached #1 in 1965.

Beatlemania was for real.