Number One with a Bullet

I have been a loyal follower of the Billboard music charts for decades. The weekly singles and albums charts kept me occupied for hours whenever the latest issue of Billboard came out. I spent a lot of time at record store newsstands, or at my own library where we had a subscription, poring over the Hot 100 singles chart and the top two hundred albums chart. In November of 1983 I produced my own top ten charts, to reflect my own personal tastes which were not always reflected in the American charts. It was a labour of love to track my favourite singles and albums, and I looked forward to each Sunday morning when I could legitimately compile each chart after the previous week had ended. I compiled these weekly charts for a longer time than I did writing my daily diary; my singles chart lasted until April 2001 and my albums chart lasted a full twenty years, ending in December 2003. 

A song that hit #1 on my own chart gained a legitimacy that felt even more significant than a song (especially one that I didn’t like) hitting #1 on Billboard. I can still tell you today a myriad of chart statistics for all the songs and albums that appeared on my own top tens, as well as the corresponding statistics for those same songs and albums that appeared on Billboard

One day (more like one month) when I have way more time on my hands I would like to create an Excel spreadsheet tracking the twenty years of my own personal charts. I like to reminisce and look at past charts, and see my favourite songs from several years ago. Even though every song that hit #1 on my chart got there because I wanted it there, I roll my eyes sometimes and wonder what the Hell was I thinking. 

For your listening pleasure, I present every song that hit #1 on my own Top 10 Singles Charts from 5 November 1983 to 7 April 2001. Songs are listed in chronological order when they hit #1, followed by song title, artist, and number of weeks spent at #1 in parentheses. If a song fell from #1 and returned to the top spot, I have marked that occurrence with an asterisk.

1983 

001. Say Say Say–Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson (13) 

1984 

002. Nobody Told Me–John Lennon (11)
003. I’m Stepping Out–John Lennon (8)
004. The Reflex–Duran Duran (2)
005. Borrowed Time–John Lennon (5)
006. When Doves Cry–Prince (2)
007. What’s Love Got to Do With It–Tina Turner (1)
008. She Bop–Cyndi Lauper (6)
009. Let’s Go Crazy–Prince and the Revolution (4)
010. No More Lonely Nights–Paul McCartney (11) 

1985 

011. Do They Know It’s Christmas?–Band Aid (3)
012. Valotte–Julian Lennon (3)
013. Tenderness–General Public (4)
014. Neutron Dance–Pointer Sisters (1)
015. Material Girl–Madonna (1)
016. We Are the World–USA for Africa (7)
017. Say You’re Wrong–Julian Lennon (2)
018. Everything She Wants–Wham! (4)
019. A View to a Kill–Duran Duran (4)
020. Head Over Heels–Tears For Fears (2)
021. Get It On (Bang a Gong)–The Power Station (5)
022. Summer of ’69–Bryan Adams (3)
023. Dancing in the Street–Mick Jagger/David Bowie (2)
024. Dress You Up–Madonna (1)
025. We Built This City–Starship (5)
026. Election Day–Arcadia (2)
027. Spies Like Us–Paul McCartney (8) 

1986 

028. She Sells Sanctuary–The Cult (11)
029. West End Girls–Pet Shop Boys (2)
030. Twist My Arm–Pointer Sisters (2)
031. All the Things She Said–Simple Minds (3)
032. Pretty in Pink–The Psychedelic Furs (1)
033. Nothin’ at All–Heart (1)
034. Peter Gunn–The Art Of Noise -Featuring Duane Eddy (2) [a]
035. On My Own–Patti La Belle and Michael McDonald (1)
036. Papa Don’t Preach–Madonna (5)
037. Venus–Bananarama (2)
038. Press–Paul McCartney (4)
039. Me, Myself & I–Chalk Circle (2)
040. When I Think of You–Janet Jackson (2)
041. Human–Human League (3)
042. The Way It Is–Bruce Hornsby and the Range (1)
043. Notorious–Duran Duran (5)* 

1987 

044. Walk Like an Egyptian–Bangles (2)*
045. Goldmine–Pointer Sisters (2)
046. Big Time–Peter Gabriel (3)
047. Shake You Down–Gregory Abbott (1)
048. Change of Heart–Cyndi Lauper (1)
049. Livin’ on a Prayer–Bon Jovi (2)
050. All I Know is the Way I Feel–Pointer Sisters (2)
051. I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me)–Aretha Franklin and George Michael (3)
052. With or Without You–U2 (1)
053. «Meet El Presidente»–Duran Duran (5)
054. (I Just) Died in Your Arms–Cutting Crew (1)
055. Looking for a New Love–Jody Watley (1)
056. Diamonds–Herb Alpert (1)
057. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)–Whitney Houston (2)
058. Funkytown–Pseudo Echo (1)
059. Wanted Dead or Alive–Bon Jovi (1)
060. Promised You a Miracle [live]–Simple Minds (2)
061. Heart and Soul–T’Pau (2)
062. Luka–Suzanne Vega (1)
063. Teenland–The Northern Pikes (2)
064. I Just Can’t Stop Loving You–Michael Jackson (2)
065. Bad–Michael Jackson (2)
066. Who Will You Run To–Heart (2)
067. U Got the Look–Prince (2)*
068. Little Lies–Fleetwood Mac (1)
069. Brilliant Disguise–Bruce Springsteen (1)
070. Got My Mind Set on You–George Harrison (6) 

1988

071. There’s the Girl–Heart (5)*
072. Julian–Alta Moda (1)
073. Never Gonna Give You Up–Rick Astley (4)
074. When We Was Fab–George Harrison (4)
075. Wishing Well–Terence Trent D’Arby (2)
076. He Turned Me Out–Pointer Sisters (3)
077. Shattered Dreams–Johnny Hates Jazz (1)
078. Pink Cadillac–Natalie Cole (1)
079. Together Forever–Rick Astley (2)
080. Dirty Diana–Michael Jackson (3)
081. Tall Cool One–Robert Plant (1)
082. Alphabet St.–Prince (2)
083. These Boots Are Made for Walkin’–Nancy Sinatra (4) [b]
084. Simply Irresistible–Robert Palmer (3)
085. Monkey–George Michael (1)
086. Sweet Child o’ Mine–Guns N’ Roses (3)
087. Don’t Worry, Be Happy–Bobby McFerrin (1)
088. Somethin’ Stupid–Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra (2) [c]
089. Bad Medicine–Bon Jovi (1)
090. Desire–U2 (1)
091. I Don’t Want Your Love–Duran Duran (1)
092. Wild, Wild West–The Escape Club (4)
093. In Your Room–Bangles (1)
094. Handle with Care–Traveling Wilburys (5) 

1989 

095. She Wants to Dance with Me–Rick Astley (5)
096. Left to My Own Devices–Pet Shop Boys (3)
097. End of the Line–Traveling Wilburys (3)
098. Like a Prayer–Madonna (3)
099. Belfast Child–Simple Minds (1)
100. Iko Iko–The Belle Stars (3)
101. Nathan Jones–Bananarama (1)
102. My Brave Face–Paul McCartney (4)
103. Express Yourself–Madonna (9)
104. Fight the Power–Public Enemy (2)
105. Cherish–Madonna (3)
106. Miss You Much–Janet Jackson (3)
107. Pop Song 89–R.E.M. (1)
108. Love Shack–The B-52’s (4)
109. Figure of Eight–Paul McCartney (5) 

1990 

110. Losing My Mind–Liza Minnelli (3)
111. Bye Bye Mon Cowboy–Mitsou (1) [d][e]
112. Opposites Attract–Paula Abdul Duet with the Wild Pair (1)
113. Roam–The B’52’s (7)*
114. This Side of Love–Terence Trent D’Arby (1)
115. Get Up! (Before the Night is Over)–Technotronic (2)
116. Vogue–Madonna (9)
117. Hold On–Wilson Phillips (1)
118. U Can’t Touch This–M. C. Hammer (1)
119. Friends’ Advice (Don’t Take It)–The Pointer Sisters (3)
120. She Ain’t Pretty–The Northern Pikes (2)
121. The Emperor’s New Clothes–Sinéad O’Connor (2)
122. Release Me–Wilson Phillips (3)
123. This is the Right Time–Lisa Stansfield (2)
124. Suicide Blonde–INXS (6)
125. Ice, Ice, Baby–Vanilla Ice (2)
126. Impulsive–Wilson Phillips (2)
127. Love Will Never Do (without You)–Janet Jackson (6) 

1991 

128. Wicked Game–Chris Isaak (5)
129. All the Man that I Need–Whitney Houston (1)
130. Being Boring–Pet Shop Boys (5)
131. Cry for Help–Rick Astley (3)
132. Losing My Religion–R.E.M. (3)
133. Where the Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You)–Pet Shop Boys (3)
134. See the Lights–Simple Minds (5)
135. Shiny Happy People–R.E.M. (5)
136. Unforgettable–Natalie Cole (4)
137. Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)–Crystal Waters (3)
138. Stand By Love–Simple Minds (3)
139. Cream–Prince And The N.P.G. (3)
140. Black or White–Michael Jackson (11) 

1992 

141. I’m Too Sexy–R.S.F (3)
142. Justified & Ancient–The KLF (8)
143. One–U2 (2)
144. My Love is a Fire–Donny Osmond (2) [e]
145. Smells Like Teen Spirit–Nirvana (2)
146. Come as You Are–Nirvana (2)
147. Jump–Kris Kross (3)
148. Good Stuff–The B-52’s (7)
149. Constant Craving–k.d. lang (1)
150. Even Better Than the Real Thing–U2 (3)
151. Baby Got Back–Sir Mix-A-Lot (3)*
152. Enid–Barenaked Ladies (2)
153. Erotica–Madonna (4)
154. Layla–Eric Clapton (3)
155. Winged Mammal Theme–R.E.M. (2) [a][f] 

1993 

156. Deeper and Deeper–Madonna (3)
157. I Don’t Care–Shakespears Sister (2)
158. Hope of Deliverance–Paul McCartney (7)
159. That’s What Love Can Do–Boy Krazy (2)
160. The Crying Game–Boy George (2)
161. Supermodel (You Better Work)–Rupaul (3)
162. Hot Pants Explosion–The B-52’s (1)
163. Looking Through Patient Eyes–PM Dawn (2)
164. Come Undone–Duran Duran (1)
165. Fever–Madonna (1)
166. Regret–New Order (6)
167. Back to My Roots–Rupaul (3)
168. San Francisco Days–Chris Isaak (2)
169. If–Janet Jackson (4)
170. Break it Down Again–Tears For Fears (2)
171. World (The Price of Love)–New Order (2)
172. Too Much Information–Duran Duran (3)*
173. I’m on My Way–The Proclaimers (1)
174. Can You Forgive Her?–Pet Shop Boys (2)*
175. Go West–Pet Shop Boys (3) 

1994 

176. Don’t Walk Away–Pointer Sisters (10)
177. I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing–Pet Shop Boys (3)
178. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart–Elton John & Rupaul (8)
179. I Want You–Juliet Roberts (5)
180. Where is My Man?–Eartha Kitt (6)
181. 100% Pure Love–Crystal Waters (6)
182. Tree Frog–Hope (2)
183. Swamp Thing–The Grid (4) [a]
184. Lucas with the Lid Off–Lucas (1)
185. Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)–US 3 (1) [e]
186. You Want This–Janet Jackson (3)
187. Turn the Beat Around–Gloria Estefan (5) 

1995 

188. True Faith-94–New Order (3)
189. Melody of Love (Wanna Be Loved)–Donna Summer (4)
190. She’s a River–Simple Minds (3)
191. Here & Now–Letters to Cleo (4)
192. Everlasting Love–Gloria Estefan (5)
193. Total Eclipse of the Heart–Nicki French (1)
194. White Lines (Don’t Do It)–Duran Duran (2)
195. Scream–Michael Jackson & Janet Jackson (8)
196. Open Your Heart–M People (2)
197. Baby Baby–Corona (4)*
198. Sick of Myself–Matthew Sweet (2)
199. Runaway–Janet Jackson (8)
200. Free As A Bird–The Beatles (10) 

1996 

201. Fantasy–Mariah Carey (2)
202. Get Away–Shauna Davis (7)*
203. Real Love–The Beatles (1)
204. Dub-I-Dub–Me&My (1)
205. 1979–Smashing Pumpkins (3)
206. A Girl Like You–Edwyn Collins (3)
207. Sexuality–k.d. lang (3)
208. Lucky Love–Ace of Base (3)
209. Wrap Me Up–Alex Party (2)
210. Fastlove–George Michael (3)
211. ooh aah…Just a little bit–Gina G (7)
212. Se a vida é (That’s the way life is)–Pet Shop Boys (3)
213. Ladykillers–Lush (1)
214. One By One–Cher (5)
215. Sleepy Maggie–Ashley MacIsaac featuring Mary Jane Lamond (2) [d] 

1997 

216. Blue–LeAnn Rimes (2)
217. Stupid Girl–Garbage (1)
218. Keep on Jumpin’–Todd Terry Presents Martha Wash and Jocelyn Brown (3)
219. It’s All Coming Back To Me Now–Celine Dion (1)
220. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina–Madonna (6)
221. Devils Haircut–Beck (2)
222. i want you–savage garden (5)
223. Say…If You Feel Alright–Crystal Waters (3)*
224. I Like It–The Blackout Allstars (1)
225. Star People–George Michael (1)
226. The Saint–Orbital (2) [a]
227. Rainbow High–Madonna (7) [f]
228. The World Tonight–Paul McCartney (2)
229. Young Boy–Paul McCartney (1)
230. Candle In The Wind 1997–Elton John (10)*
231. Something About The Way You Look Tonight–Elton John (5) 

1998 

232. Together Again–Janet Jackson (9)
233. Show Me Love–Robyn (1)
234. frozen–Madonna (7)
235. fantasy island–m people (1)
236. ray of light–Madonna (21)
237. If You Could Read My Mind–Stars on 54: Ultra Naté, Amber, Jocelyn Enriquez (10)
238. believe–Cher (14) 

1999 

239. testify–m people (3)
240. Heartbreak Hotel–Whitney Houston Feat. Faith Evans & Kelly Price (6)
241. Livin’ La Vida Loca–Ricky Martin (7)
242. beautiful stranger–madonna (6)
243. i want it that way–Backstreet Boys (6)
244. I don’t know what you want but I can’t give it anymore–Pet Shop Boys (8)
245. New York City Boy–Pet Shop Boys (3)
246. my love is your love–Whitney Houston (13)* 

2000 

247. love is the healer–Donna Summer (2)
248. American Pie–Madonna (5)
249. It Feels So Good–Sonique (11)
250. don’t call me baby–madisonavenue (1)
251. Crying at the Discoteque–Alcazar Starring Annikafiore  Andreas Lundstedt  Tess (4)
252. Sandstorm–darude (6)* [a]
253. “Music”–Madonna (4)
254. Holding On–Heather Small (3)
255. She Bangs–Ricky Martin (7)
256. Original Prankster–The Offspring (5)* 

2001 

257. Don’t Tell Me–Madonna (6)
258. Seelinnikoi–Värttinä (2) [d][g]  

[a] A true instrumental, or a song with a bare minimum of vocals.   

[b] Nancy Sinatra had experienced a revival with the rerelease and promotion of this 1966 hit. 

[c] Any song that was available as a single was eligible to appear on my chart, including oldies if they were in current release. I would often go to record stores and look for singles to make sure that they were available for sale, as my singles chart followed the same rules as Billboard in that a song was eligible to chart as long as it was commercially available. My chart however differed from Billboard in that I permitted songs to chart if they were released as singles anywhere in the world, not just domestically. I would always check the Billboard “Hits of the World” page, hoping that my favourite album cuts were released as singles somewhere, if only to render them eligible for inclusion.  

[d] Not sung in English. 

[e] This song was released the previous year; I was aware of it, yet it never charted. One year later, however, I came across it again and liked it better the second time around.  

[f] A B-side that hit #1. I believed that both sides of a single should be eligible to chart separately, should I like both songs enough. My chart sometimes featured B-sides. It was extremely rare though for a B-side to appear on my chart while its more prominent and promoted A-side didn’t, although that has happened. 

[g] An album cut from 1992. By 2001, as record companies produced fewer and fewer physical singles, relying on album-only tracks to promote at radio, the number of eligible singles for inclusion on my chart dwindled, even with an international marketplace to choose from. Chart runs within my top ten stretched for months at a time, as there were simply no other singles that were good enough to replace them. Billboard magazine had already changed its policy for eligibility on the Hot 100 by late 1998 to open it up to any songs, whether there was an individual retail component or not. I was a holdout in this change of policy on my own chart for over two years yet relented when I realized the state of retail singles sales was not going to change and airplay only, versus a combination of airplay and sales, was the ruling promotional philosophy. On 10 February 2001 I adopted an airplay-only chart, which by its resultant dramatic purge accurately reflected what I was listening to. Eight of the songs within my top ten dropped out, and were replaced by eight Finnish album-only tracks. Over the next two months, my airplay-only songs chart became an excruciatingly long task to compile, since I was ranking a list of any and all songs I liked and listened to over the previous week, versus using a strict eligibility criterion in ranking commercial singles. The chart ended up looking like an itemized mirror reflection of my albums chart, and on 7 April 2001 I discontinued my top ten airplay chart. I would produce a top ten albums chart until the end of 2003. 

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