Going the Distance: The Hot 100's 10 Longest-Charting Songs

Categories: Chart Check

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Let us hop in our time machine and head back to a magical place in the past known as December 23, 2010. Here is a snapshot of things going on at the time: Rocks Off was making wishes for the year 2011; Kanye West was knee-deep in Album of the Year wins for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; Eddie Vedder turned 46; and a little song by the name of "Rolling in the Deep" entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Usually when someone uses the phrase "that song is everywhere," they don't mean everywhere, and yet Adele's tune was everywhere. It's sold over 7 million digital copies; it appeared on the Rock Songs, Dance Airplay, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Hot Latin charts; it spent 65 weeks on the Hot 100.

That's a year and three months, a.k.a. a long time. It made Rocks Off curious about the songs' place in chart history. If you had to guess the ten songs with the longest sustained popularity, what would you pick? The songs on the list might surprise you.

Tie-9. Santana feat. Rob Thomas, "Smooth"
Weeks on Chart: 58
Jars of Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter Sold in 58 weeks: 60 million

When history looks back at the year 2000 in music, this is what they will see. Not only was this song on the chart for over a year, but it also won Grammys for Song and Record of the Year. How will we explain to the kids of the future that Santana was more than just Matchbox 20 with better guitars and drumwork? Here's hoping those kids (black) magically discover the joys of Abraxas.


Tie-9. Song: The Fray, "How to Save a Life"
Weeks on Chart: 58
Emergency Room Visits in 58 Weeks: 138 million

Have a band and a television show ever been so tied together as The Fray and Grey's Anatomy? The song didn't really take off until it appeared on the show, which was right around the same time that the show became a big deal. 2006-07 was a peak year for both, although they continue to carry on to this day.

This frequently leads to someone asking, "They haven't broken up/been canceled yet?"


8. Los del Río, "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)"
Weeks on Chart: 60
Times You Can Play Macarena Nonstop in 60 weeks: 14,400

The Bayside Boys do not have a Wikipedia entry, which leads me to believe they might not actually exist. What is the Macarena exactly -- a silly dance or just part of a shadowy government conspiracy to brainwash us?

It appears the next stage in our re-education was to come in the form of a single featuring Los del Río, Baha Men and MC Hammer; and yet, much like the Bayside Boys, there is no record of this song on the Internet other than a mention in the Los del Río's biography.


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