The Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 1961

Okay, now we’re really in the thick of the pre-Beatles dry spell, and make no mistake folks, this year was rough. The 1960 Year-End Hot 100 is a veritable ocean of mediocrity, with precious few islands of quality to speak of. I can’t even write much here, I just want to get this over with.Continue reading “The Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 1961”

The Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 1960

In the intro to this year’s best list, I said 1960 was overall a bit better than the years surrounding it- particularly the doldrums of 1961-63. While I do think it’s true that the rot hadn’t fully set in at this point, it’s definitely getting there, and despite the standout cuts my overall impression ofContinue reading “The Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 1960”

The Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 1960

The start of the 1960s was a pretty far cry from what our collective memory of what the capital-S Sixties were. Pop music took its sweet time dragging itself groggily out of bed to face the dawn of the new decade, and in the meantime the listening public had to subsist on the dregs ofContinue reading “The Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 1960”

The Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 1959

I said in the intro to my best list that 1959-63 wasn’t a great time for pop music, and while 1959 certainly had its highlights, the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff was indeed pretty damn rancid, and it’s only grown moldier and more rotten in the intervening decades. From teen idols somehow even more insipid and trite thanContinue reading “The Top 10 Worst Hit Songs of 1959”

The Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 1959

We start our journey through the wacky world of American pop music in a pretty bleak place. The era between Elvis Presley’s enlistment in the U.S. military in 1958 and the British invasion of 1964 is generally recognized as a low point in the history of the Billboard charts, and even setting aside the relativeContinue reading “The Top 10 Best Hit Songs of 1959”