I was doing some research for a blog idea I have about ‘The Barefoot Boy from the Boondocks:, My career as a DJ that never happened”, when a link led to a link which led to a link listing the Best-Selling Singles of all time. Now, I could simply put the link right here and save me a lot of typing but as originality is the art of concealing your source and I’ve never been known for passing up the opportunity to express an opinion, here’s the list complete with occasional editorial comment.
#1 – “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” (1942) Bing Crosby
Written by Irving Berlin, it has sold 50 million copies.
#2 – “Quando, quando, quando” (1962) Tony Renis
I think I’m more familiar with the Engelbert Humperdinck version of 1968. The original version sold 50 million copies world-wide as well.
#3 – “Candle in the Wind 1997″/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight” (1997) Elton John
The tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales sold 33 million copies.
#4 – “Silent Night” (1935) Bing Crosby
“Stille Nacht” was composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. In 1859, the Episcopal priest John Freeman Young, then serving at Trinity Church, New York City, wrote and published the English translation that is most frequently sung today. Bing’s version has sold 30 million copies.
#5 – “In the Summertime” (1970) Mungo Jerry
Are you busy??!! This one-hit wonder in North America (nine charted singles in the UK) is the fifth best-selling single of all time, at 30 million?? I need to get into the song-writing business.
See top of blog for video.
#6 – “Rock Around the Clock” (1954) Bill Haley and His Comets
Haley’s recording became an anthem for rebellious 1950s youth and is widely considered to be the song that, more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world, selling 25 million copies to date.
#7 – “Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)” (1958) Domenico Modugno
In the United States, “Volare” debuted at number 54 on the very first Billboard Hot 100, on 4 August 1958, and the next week it climbed at number two, marking the biggest jump to the runner-up spot in the chart’s history. On 18 August 1958, it topped the Hot 100, becoming the second song to reach the top spot on the chart, after Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool”. The song later completed a run of five non-consecutive weeks at the top of the chart, selling 2 million copies in the United States during 1958 and becoming Billboard‘s Song of the Year.”Nel blu dipinto di blu” was the first non American, Canadian or British single to achieve this honor in the rock era, and it was the only one until 1994’s “The Sign” by Swedish group Ace of Base. 25-million copies.
#8 – “I Will Always Love You” (1992) Whitney Houston
Written and originally recorded in 1973 by Dolly Parton, the country version of the track was released in 1974 as a single and was written as a farewell to her one-time partner and mentor, Porter Wagoner, upon Parton’s decision to pursue a solo career.
Whitney Houston recorded her own version of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard. Her single spent 14 weeks at number one. It also hold the record for being the best-selling single by a woman in music history. Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” re-entered the charts in 2012 after her death, making it the second single ever to reach the top three on the “Billboard Hot 100” in separate chart runs. 20 million.
#9 – “It’s Now or Never” (1960) Elvis Presley
“It’s Now or Never” is one of two songs based on the Italian song “‘O Sole Mio”, the other being “There’s No Tomorrow”, recorded by U.S. singer Tony Martin in 1949, which inspired Presley’s version. In the late 1950s, while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, Presley heard Martin’s recording. Elvis told his music producer, who got two lyric writers to pen the lyrics in a half an hour.
Selling more than 20 million records, the song became number one in countries all around the world and was Presley’s best selling single ever.
#10 – “We Are the World” (1985) USA for Africa
A song and charity single recorded by the supergroup United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa, it was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones. 20 million.
#12 – “You’re the One That I Want” (1978) John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
Written for the 1978 film version of the musical Grease, it has sold 15 million copies.
#14 – “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991) Bryan Adams
Adams won a Grammy for this song, used in the soundtrack for the movie “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”, Kevin Costner’s second association with this list. 15 million.
#15 – “My Heart Will Go On” (1997) Celine Dion
Also known as “The Love Theme from the Titanic”, it is considered Celine Dion’s Signature Song, as well as her best-selling song at 15 million copies.
This song is not to be confused with “Where Does My Heart Beat Now” which asks the question, “Where do the lonely hearts go?” If you were in Farmington Hills Michigan in 1980, it was McFrock’s.
Other songs in the 10 to 15 million selling category that I found interesting:
Mariah Carey – “All I Want for Christmas Is You” I’m not much of a Mariah Carey fan but I sure do appreciate a fresh Christmas Song. If I never hear “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” again, it’ll be four days too soon. Go for it, Mariah.
Gloria Gaynor – “I Will Survive” Now 67 and worth $20 million, she’s surviving quite well here.
Kyu Sakamoto – “Sukiaki” The original version here.
Trio – “Da Da Da” Lord have mercy. It hurt just to search for this.
Gene Autry – “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Village People – “YMCA” Guilty. Bought the album. Young man…
Carl Douglas – “Kung Fu Fighting” – Really? I liked this song, got a kick out of it… but 11 million copies? Relive it here.
Abba – “Fernando” Hear Fernando hearing the drums here.
Roy Acuff – “Wabash Cannonball” She came down from Birmingham on the Wabash Cannonball
Paul Anka – “Diana” The first cougar?
Los Del Rio – “Macarena” A wedding staple. Ahh-ight.
Middle of the Road – “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” Are you busy???? (#2) Another song that I like to this day, but a top seller of all time? Some people’s children. Love the ‘Hot Pants’, though.
Patti Page – “Tennessee Waltz” Listen to the lyrics… how to get dumped.
The Penguins – “Earth Angel” From 1954
Procol Harem – “Whiter Shade of Pale” Catchy tune but I could never be bothered to figure out the lyrics. Here. Lyrics might have been like McArthur Park… ‘someone left the cake out in the rain and I’ll never have the recipe again’. Are you busy?? (#3)
And to round things out….
Las Ketchup – “The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)” This tune should be ringing in your head immediately. Who could forget this 7 million selling song from 2002? Never heard of it. But it’s better than Rap.
Aserejé ja de je de jebe tu de jebere
Bugui til you throw up.