greatest number 2 hit songs
Well, aside from being three of the year's most popular and generally beloved pop singles, and three songs that all figure to rank pretty damn high on our eventual songs of the year list.
We bring them up here, of course, because they all peaked at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100—one spot away from true chart immortality, but high enough to forever earn a place in our heart just the same.
They're not alone. The tale of pop history is littered with classic songs that peaked at no. 2 on the charts—from oldies that rank among the most recognizable songs of the 20th century (Louie Louie, Can't Help Falling in Love, Like a Rolling Stone) to newer songs that have already come to define popular music in the 21st century (Ignition (Remix), Crazy, Bad Romance).
In retrospect, it's impossible to believe that some of these songs were only able to manage a second-best finish in their time.
In fact, in many cases, these hits have long outlived the chart-toppers who kept them from no. 1.
When was the last time you listened to 50 Cent's Candy Shop, whose incomprehensible nine-week run on top the charts in 2005 kept not only Since U Been Gone from the promised land, but also Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams and The Game's 50-featuring Hate It Or Love It?
Have you ever even heard of Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs, whose forgotten bubblegum love song Sugar Shack held The Ronettes' Be My Baby at no. 2?
Will you be able to sleep tonight knowing that Usher's breakout hit You Make Me Wanna was kept at no. 2 for seven weeks by the interminable run of Elton John's charity single for Princess Diana, Candle in the Wind 1997?
Anyway, we wanted to give these flawless pieces of pop silver their long-overdue moment in the sun by compiling the 100 best of them in one chronologically ordered playlist. We generally kept it to one per artist, to avoid having to choose how many of Credence Clearwater Revival's six—six!—#2 hits to include, among other reasons, though we did let Miley Cyrus sneak in a second one, with her album coming out today and all.
Unfortunately, since there are still some minor limitations to the Spotify library, we were unable to include such runner-up classics as The Beatles' Twist and Shout and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang, and because 100 isn't as big a number as you might think, we had to make some tough cuts, like TLC's Red Light Special, Ellie Goulding's Lights and Journey's Open Arms.
But the songs that remain are all killer no filler, and take you on a hell of a journey through a sort of alternative pop history.
Listen below, and let the chart injustice fill you with rage and wonder.
One final note: As great as this year has been for no. 2s, it's not even the best of recent years. That honor would have to go to 2009, which rates five songs on our list: Kanye West's Heartless, Drake's Best I Ever Had, Taylor Swift's You Belong With Me, Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA and Lady Gaga's Bad Romance.
Not a bad run of runner-ups, huh?)