December 13, 1999
BMI Announces Top 100 Songs of the Century
'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' ' Is Number One
BMI today announced the Top 100 Songs of the Century, listing the most played songs on American radio and television. Leading the list is the anthemic "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector and Cynthia Weil, which recently passed the historic 8 million performance plateau. It was originally recorded by The Righteous Brothers and produced by Spector.
The second, third and fourth place songs have all attained more than 7 million airplays. They are: "Never My Love," written by Donald and Richard Addrisi; "Yesterday" by John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney; and "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Rounding out the Top 10 are the six-million-plateau performers: "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio; "Sitting On the Dock Of the Bay" by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper; Paul Simon's "Mrs. Robinson"; "Baby I Need Your Loving" by the legendary Motown writers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland; John Gummoe's "Rhythm Of The Rain"; and the evergreen "Georgia On My Mind" written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell.
John Lennon and Paul Simon each have four songs in the Top 100. Lennon's contributions are his Beatles's classics "Yesterday," "Michelle" (#42), and "Let It Be" (#89), all co-written by McCartney, as well as his solo outing "Imagine" (#96). In addition to "Mrs. Robinson," Simon is represented on the list with "The Sound of Silence" (# 18), "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (#19), and "Scarborough Fair" (#31), co-written by his long-time partner Art Garfunkel. Other songwriters with multiple listings include, with three songs each, Norman Gimbel, Mark James, Barry Mann, McCartney and Roy Orbison, as well as the teams of Holland-Dozier-Holland and Sir Elton John-Bernie Taupin (PRS). Mann, co-writer of the #1 song, is also co-writer (with Dan Hill-SOCAN) of the #100 song, "Sometimes When We Touch." With two songs each, Sam Cooke, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Kris Kristofferson, Joe Melson, J.D. Souther, Jimmy Webb and Cynthia Weil made the list, along with the teams of Leiber-Stoller and Bert Kaempfert (GEMA)-Eddie Snyder-Charles Singleton.
Most of the songs became hits several times over when they were "covered" by various artists. However, as performers of the Top 100, The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel scored the most spots with four original versions of the songs. The Association was responsible for three ("Never My Love," "Cherish" #22 and "Windy" #61), as were The Drifters ("On Broadway" #45, "Save the Last Dance for Me" #49 and "Up On the Roof" #92), Elton John ("Your Song" #37, "Daniel" #66 and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" #76), and Roy Orbison ("Oh Pretty Woman" #26, "Crying" #74 and "Blue Bayou" #85).
BMI is a performing rights organization that represents more than 250,000 songwriters, composers and publishers with a repertoire of more than 3 million songs and compositions from around the world and in all genres of music. The company annually monitors approximately 450,000 hours of commercial and non-commercial radio airplay and more than 6,000,000 hours of television programming. BMI collects license fees from the commercial users of music and, after deducting operating costs, distributes those fees to its affiliates as royalties.
One million continuous performances of a song of the average length of 3 minutes represents 5.7 years of continuos airplay. The 8 million performances of "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling' " equals more than 45 years of back-to-back play.
Letters appearing in parentheses connote original membership in a foreign performing rights organization.