It’s only taken us just over 73 years to do it, but this week Australia has placed its 1000th number one song on the top of our charts, albeit with a song that most people would screw their nose up at and say “what the hell is that noise doing at No.1?” I’m talking about “Harlem Shake” by US DJ who goes by the name Baauer.
The Australian charts can be traced back to January of 1940 thanks to the chart-compiler and author David Kent, whose chart books contain invaluable information about our countries tastes in music, and although the Top 20 charts from 1940 to 1948 were issued monthly, they do track our chart history.
#1 to #100: The first listed number one song in Australia was “South of the Border” by Gene Autry, with further versions of the song listed at No.1 by Joe Loss & His Band and Carson Robison & His Pioneers.
At this period in music history, it was sheet music and record sales (78rpm), thus the many versions of the same song could all be listed at the top of the charts. And with the charts being monthly, it took Australia eleven years to achieve its 100th number one song. Initially there were around five to six songs at No.1 for a year, with Glenn Miller, The Andrews Sisters, Joe Loss & His Orchestra, Vera Lynn, Bing Crosby and The Ink Spots all enjoying multiple number ones, with the longest running No.1 single of all-time occurring during this period, “White Christmas” for Bing Crosby. The song stayed at the top from June 1943 until the end of October 1943, a total of 23 weeks, whilst this period also saw “In the Mood” for Glenn Miller (1942) and “The Anniversary Song” for Al Jolson (1947) stay atop for 22 weeks apiece.
Frank Sinatra had the first of his eleven No.1’s in 1944 with “Sunday, Monday or Always”, Ella Fitzgerald claimed a couple of chart-topping tracks, Judy Garland was the queen of the screen and also landed two No.1 singles, Perry Como racked up ten No.1’s, whilst The Andrews Sisters achieved eleven, but it was Bing Crosby who scored 27 No.1 singles, accumulating 208 weeks at the top, his nearest rival in history didn’t come until The Beatles achieved 26 No.1’s by 1970.
In 1949 the charts became weekly, and by that stage we’d racked up our 59th No.1 song, with country and western music starting to make its influence felt alongside crooners and musical darlings like Dinah Shore, Teresa Brewer, Doris Day, Patti Page and Jo Stafford. And whilst the male singers of the time were the big hitters on the charts, the ladies started to make a name for themselves, alongside new artists such as Nat King Cole, Guy Mitchell, Tony Bennett and the longtime coming Louis Armstrong. By the end of 1951 (24-Nov) Australia had racked up its first one hundred number ones, the number 100 honor going to Guy Mitchell with his track quaint little number entitled “My Truly, Truly Fair”.
101 to 200: Although it had taken us eleven years to achieve 100 No.1’s, it took us only six years to achieve the next tonne. The early fifties moved along with acts such as Johnnie Ray, Eddie Fisher, Al Martino, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza, Frankie Laine, and of course Frank Sinatra still, whilst the new ‘groups’ of the time started doo-wop and continued multi-harmonies in their singing that their solo predecessors had done, with groups such as The Four Aces, The Ames Brothers and The Crew Cuts.
Some people point to one song that changed the course of modern music, that being “Rock Around the Clock” for Bill Haley & His Comets, which was the #159th No.1 in Australia occurring in August of 1955, with it also being one of the first 45rpm singles to achieve massive sales. It was followed by one of the first Australian performed number ones, “A Man Called Peter” (Oct 1955) by Darryl Stewart. But also in 1955 we had other such classics as “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes (April), the instrumental “Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White” by Perez Prado (Jul-Aug), the original “Unchained Melody” by Al Hibbler (Oct) and ended the year with “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” by Fess Parker and/or ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford (Dec), so the year was mixed bag of hits.
This mixture of styles continued on throughout the rest of the decade with popular singers alongside movie themes, instrumentals, ballads and pop(ular) hits all jumping to the top of the Australian charts, and a new era of male solo stars like Pat Boone, Paul Anka, Marty Robbins, and Elvis Presley were charting alongside older favorites like Perry Como, Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole. And by 1958 Australia had started its own Top 40 charts, initially in Sydney and then soon after Melbourne and the rest of the country, plus we also had another No.1 single by a local artist, country singer Slim Dusty with his dry-ode; “A Pub With No Beer” (#197), which was followed soon after by our 200th No.1 song “Bird Dog” by The Everly Brothers (Oct.1958).
201 to 300: The first Eurovision winner kicked off our next 100 No.1’s with the original Italian version of “Volare” by Domenico Modugno charting alongside an English version by Dean Martin. Folk music hit the top at the end of 1958 with The Kingston Trio and “Tom Dooley”, with ‘new sensation’ Elvis Presley scored the first of his fourteen No.1 songs in Australia during May 1959 with “(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such as I”. Our first local group to crack a No.1 hit came at the end of 1959 with Col Joye & The Joy Boys’ version of “Oh Yeah Uh Huh” (Nov 59), and the decade was rounded out by Bill Haley again, this time with the instrumental track “Joey’s Song” (#214).
Johnny O’Keefe had his first No.1 in February of 1960 with “She’s My Baby” and another later again in Oct. with “Come on & Take My Hand”, whilst Elvis had three more in that year, in fact of all of the No.1’s in 1960, eleven of the seventeen chart-toppers were by Male solo artists, with the one female at the top being Connie Francis. The diversity reigned too, with acts like Rolf Harris (Aust), Lonnie Donegan (Comedy), Bobby Rydell and Elvis (pop), Jim Reeves (country), Jimmie Rodgers (spiritual), The Ventures (instrumental) and The Drifters (soul) all landing atop the Australian charts that year, with a new dance craze ‘The Twist’ just around the corner in 1961 and 1962.
With a new template in place for the burgeoning teen market, the trend of popular (now pop) music took hold over the charts, and by 1963 several new sounds had appeared that would start to shape the next few years. In 1963 the instrumental sounds of guitars were flooding the airwaves, with The Shadows and Duane Eddy having been pioneers of the sound for the past four years, but it was infused into the surf culture of America and later Australia, thus giving us No.1 hits like “Pipeline” by The Chantays (#275), “Surf City” by Jan & Dean and Australia’s own The Atlantics and “Bombora” (#284). Whilst another couple of sounds emerged that year, from the USA girl-groups were becoming big, and from Britain, the Mersey sound, lead by The Beatles.
What was to become known as ‘The British Invasion’ started out small in 1963 with Gerry & The Pacemakers being the first of the invasion force to reach No.1 with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (#289 Dec 63) followed straight after by the first of 26 No.1’s by The Beatles and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (28-Dec-63). In fact The Beatles stayed at No.1 until the start of June 1964 with five consecutive No.1 songs (24 weeks in total), with only Bing Crosby doing it with six back-to-back No.1s from 1945. Also during 1964 the Beatles occupied the No.1 spot for 39 of the 52 weeks, with the 300th No.1 coming right after the bands eight chart-topper for the year, going to Roy Orbison and “Pretty Woman”.
301 to 400: The remainder of the 1960’s was littered with new styles and sounds, with The Beatles and now The Rolling Stones holding court over music, and Elvis continuing to hit No.1, even Frank Sinatra landed one more No.1 (albeit with his popular daughter Nancy). Locally the visit of The Beatles in 1964 helped spawn a new generation of local singers, with Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Normie Rowe, The Easybeats making it to No.1, and overseas we were making inroads, with The Seekers and Frank Ifield scoring chart topping hits in England.
As the decade progressed, new stars started to rise such as Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Petula Clark and later our own Johnny Farnham and The Bee Gees, with novelty recordings, and longer running (over three minutes) hits making it to the top. By October of 1968 we had the longest run at the top for the 1960’s as The Beatles spent 13 weeks at No.1 with “Hey Jude”. The following year the boys spent nineteen weeks at No.1 with four chart-topping hits, while Elvis had his best year since 1965, landing two No.1’s with “In the Ghetto” (Aug) and the final No.1 of the decade, “Suspicious Minds” (27-Dec-69 #381).
In 1970 The Beatles had their final No.1 with “Let it Be” (April) and new sounds came along from Led Zeppelin, The Carpenters, and Creedence Clearwater Revival had two chart topping hits in that year, along with local act The Mixtures who outsold the overseas version of “In the Summertime” during September. With George Harrison in early 1971 becoming the first (of eventually all four) Beatle members to land a No.1 with “My Sweet Lord” (Jan-Mar #397) it was a female country singer who landed the 400th No.1 here in April of 1971, Lynn Anderson with “Rose Garden”.
401 to 500: The recently departed (at the time) Janis Joplin knocked Lynn off the top with her song “Me & Bobby McGee” (May 1971), whilst later that year we saw the longest run at No.1 for an Australian artist in the 70’s, Daddy Cool and “Eagle Rock” (June to Aug), which was followed by a song called “Daddy Cool” by Adelaide’s Drummond (Sep-Oct) and then a third successive Aussie followed with her second single, Olivia Newton-John and “Banks of the Ohio” (Nov 71). The scene was set for Aussies to occupy the No.1 spots at home just as much as the rest of the world. Whilst Gary Glitter, The Sweet and Suzi Quatro were racking up No.1’s, it fell to the local acts like Blackfeather (Oct 72), Col Joye (July 73), Helen Reddy (Aug + Dec 73), Grahame Bond (aka Aunty Jack) (Feb 74), Stevie Wright (Aug 74), Olivia Newton-John again (Nov 74) to keep our flag flying, right up until 1975 when we had many and varied acts like William Shakespeare (Feb), Skyhooks (March-April), Bob Hudson (April), and Sherbet (May) at No.1, but it was again a foreign act who took us all by surprise.
1974 Eurovision song contest winners ABBA had their first hit with that winning song “Waterloo” in 1974, but their first No.1 single here was in October of 1975 with “I Do, I Do, I Do”, and they followed that with two more back-to-back No.1’s “Mamma Mia” (Nov-75 to Jan-76) and “SOS” (Jan 76), after which local act the Ted Mulry Gang told us to “Jump in My Car” (Jan-Feb 76) and then squeezed in for two weeks were Queen with “Bohemian Rhapdsody” (Mar 76) after which the longest running No.1 for the decade occurred; Abba with “Fernando”, which started its fourteen week run at the start of April and left at the start of July, knocked off by Sherbet with “Howzat” (July 76 #470). Abba would spend thirty accumulated weeks at No.1 during 1976, with “Dancing Queen” (Sept-Oct) and “Money Money Money” (Nov-Dec) being their last of six chart-topping songs here in Australia.
With more and more music styles creeping into the charts, disco was the next major influence, with Donna Summer landing two No.1’s, firstly with “I Feel Love” (Oct 77) and later in July 1979 with “Hot Stuff”, it was the end of 1977 when former Beatle Paul McCartney landed the third and final 10+ running No.1 of the decade as from December to Feb 78 he spent eleven weeks at the top with “Mull of Kintyre”. But the rest of 1978 was dominated by two movies, the first being ‘Saturday Night Fever’ which saw former 60’s group The Bee Gees dominate the charts, landing at No.1 here with “Stayin’ Alive” (Apr-May 78) and in late June the song from ‘Grease’ “You’re the One That I Want” would spend nine broken weeks at the top (Jun/July and again from Aug to Oct 78). Breaking that run at the top was disco-based group Boney M with their massive hit “Rivers of Babylon” (Jul-Aug 78) who also picked up the 500th No.1 here with “Rasputin” in early December of 1978.
501 to 600: With the disco era kicking off several years prior to 1979, it came to a fore that year with The Village People, Chic, Blondie, Racey, Donna Summer, M, and Patrick Hernandez mixed in with local sports themed hits by The Mojo Singers and Mike Brady’s Two Man Band, with New Zealand band Mi-Sex playing “Computer Games” at the end of the year, and The Buggles telling us that “Video Killed the Radio Star” at the turn of the decade.
The 1980’s kicked off with some more disco from Michael Jackson and later in the year The Village People told us we “Can’t Stop the Music” (July), before we took a trip to “Funkytown” (Aug) with Lipps Inc., and “Moscow” (Sept) for the Olympics thanks to the band Genghis Khan. But it was a newer sound breaking out with factions laying in either a Rockabilly sound or the New Romantic styles, but as far as No.1’s goes they did not occur until 1981 with Adam & The Ants, The Swingers, Stars on 45 and Devo up against Shakin’ Stevens and The Stray Cats. We lost a Beatle at the end of 1980 which gave John Lennon his second solo No.1 here with “(Just Like) Starting Over” (Jan 1981) which was held off the top spot by Joe Dolce’s “Shaddup You Face” (Nov 80 to Jan 81), after which locals acts to top the charts included Slim Dusty (Duncan, Feb 81), Rick Springfield with Jessie’s Girl (Aug 81), Billy Field (Nov 81), who was followed by Olivia Newton-John and her massive single “Physical” (Nov-Dec 81), which was in-turn knocked off by Men at Work’s “Down Under” (Dec 81 to Jan 82).
1982 saw Joan Jett talking about how much she loves Rock N Roll, whilst new romantics Soft Cell, a Flock of Seagulls and Adam Ant were flaunting themselves at No.1. Survivor had a massive hit thanks to the Rocky film with “Eye of the Tiger”, but new gender-bending group Culture Club took things to a new level by the end of the year with “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, the next year they did it again with “Karma Chameleon” (Oct 83). Michael Jackson by 1983 was all grown up, so he told is about “Billie Jean” (April) and Redgum helped us to remember the forgotten soldiers in “I Was Only 19” (May) after which a “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (May-July) for Bonnie Tyler was over shadowed by Irene Cara’s “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (July-Aug), but it was local comedian Austen Tayshus who made us laugh at the top of the charts for eight weeks with “Australiana”, followed in late November by Australian Crawl’s massive hit “Reckless” (#570).
As the music world kept producing newer and different sounds, we in Australia took them to the top of the charts with such diversity, like Cyndi Lauper and Pat Benetar to INXS and The Twelfth Man. Nena with her “99 Luftballoons” (April 84) to Wham! with “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” (July-Sep 84). Stevie Wonder finally hit the top in Australia with “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (Oct-Dec 84) as too did Tina Turner with “What’s Love Got to do with it” (Sep 84), but it was a new singer at the end of 1984 who became the future superstar we know today; Madonna. Her first four singles had been hits in Australia throughout 1984, and she finished off the year by spending five weeks at No.1 with “Like a Virgin”.
Madonna would go on to rack up five No.1’s throughout the rest of 80’s, and in 1985 she became the first act since ABBA (and not seen again until 2009) to have back-to-back No.1 singles, as “Angel”/”Into the Groove” (June-July 85) was followed by “Crazy for You” (July-Aug 85). Also that year world famine was helped by songs that raised money for relief efforts in England (Band Aid) and America (USA for Africa), culminating with Live Aid later in the year, which spawned two further No.1’s “Dancing in the Street” for David Bowie and Mick Jagger followed straight after by UB40 and The Pretenders’ lead singer Chrissie Hynde with their cover of “I Got You Babe” which became the 600th and 601st No.1 single in Australia.
602 to 700: The first song/entry to debut at No.1 in Australia occurred at the end of 1985, as Midnight Oil’s “Species Deceases” EP debuted in the first week of December, a feat which has happened (up to this week) 101 times. 1986 saw the return of many former stars to the top of our charts, with Dionne Warwick scoring her only No.1 in Australia in March with “That’s What Friends are For”, followed by 70’s disco star Billy Ocean (Mar-Apr), Diana Ross (April) with “Chain Reaction”, sixties singer Cliff Richard teamed up with TV show comedy troupe The Young Ones for “Living Doll” (May-June) and by the end of the year we saw the return of 60s/70s pop star John Farnham (minus the Johnny) with his comeback song “You’re the Voice” (Nov-Dec 86).
But the mid to late 80’s were bringing an old sound back with a new flavor, disco became dance music, and helped along by Bananarama, Pseudo Echo, and later into 1987 acts like Kim Wilde (Feb) Paul Lekakis (April), Whitney Houston (June), Mel & Kim (July), Kylie Minogue (Aug-Sept) and Rick Astley (Nov 87 to Jan 88) we interspersed acts like Dave Dobbyn (May 87), The Party Boys (July), Los Lobos with “La Bamba” (Oct) and local acts Icehouse and Jimmy Barnes up to the No.1 spot.
This trend continued for the rest of the 1980’s with dance and pop music making it to the top here, with more hits coming for Kylie Minogue, Billy Ocean, Madonna and John Farnham, it was the oddities that stick in your mind sometimes. Bill Medley from The Righteous Brothers landing at No.1 with the theme to summer blockbuster film ‘Dirty Dancing’, or Louis Armstrong scoring a chart-topper with his 1968 Top 20 hit “What a Wonderful World” (June 1988). Bobby McFerrin told us to “Don’t Worry Be Happy” (Nov-Dec 88), and The Beach Boys landed their third and biggest No.1 in Australia with “Kokomo”; both songs taken from the film ‘Cocktail’. As the decade closed out the variety continued, with Scotland’s The Proclaimers also sharing the top spot with Sweden’s Roxette, and 60’s singer Cher asking “If I Could Turn Back Time” at the same time that Jive Bunny were melding together the hits of the earlier decades on “Swing the Mood”. We had Fine Young Cannibals up against New Kids on the Block whilst the whole decade was capped off by The B 52’s and their “Love Shack” which took us into the 1990’s.
This mixing of many styles continued for some time, with new acts making new sounds thus making new No.1 songs. Madonna landed her only No.1 of the 1990’s in the first year of the decade with “Vogue” (May) and 70’s rockers and 80’s balladeers Heart scored their only No.1 that year with “All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You” (June), after which MC Hammer told us “U Can’t Touch This”, the song doing something which would become common place in later years, sampling an old tune and remixing it for your own benefit. By years end we’d seen the return of Skyhooks to No.1 in Australia, and thanks to another Patrick Swayze film (Ghost), The Righteous Brothers took their 1965 hit “Unchained Melody” all the way to No.1 from November to early January 1991.
Dance had turned to House, which later turned to Techno and then Trance, all of which was bubbling away in 1991 as Vanilla Ice kicked off the year with “Ice Ice Baby”, with Dimples D sampling the ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ theme for her one and only hit “Sucker DJ”. An Aussie surge mid year was kicked off by two Ratcat No.1’s and returning 70’s icon Daryl Briathwaite with “The Horses” (May). These were all followed by another seventies memory, the ‘Grease Megamix” for films stars Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta (June) and rounded out by local actress Melissa (Tkauz) and her single “Read My Lips”. After that one song became the talk of the year, Bryan Adams with “(Everything I Do) I Do it for You”, which stayed atop for eleven weeks.
Rock morphed into Grunge and helped acts like Nirvana and Soundgarden to No.1 albums, but rock was kept alive by LA’s Red Hot Chili Peppers who landed their only number one in April 1992, “Under the Bridge”, alongside other rock stars as U2 and to a lesser extent Mr. Big with “To Be With You”. The 700th No.1 single did occur in late July of 1992 with Richard Marx and his second chart-topper here, the haunting ballad “Hazard”.
701 to 800: The theme for the 1992 Olympics started off the next batch of 100 No.1’s, as “Amigos Para Siempre” for Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras spent six weeks at the top here, followed soon after by the country boot-scootin’ hit “Achy Breaky Heart” for Billy Ray Cyrus (Oct to Nov 92), after which Boyz II Men took us to the “End of the Road”, and then another long run at the top saw Whitney Houston cover a 1982 Dolly Parton song for her movie debut ‘The Bodyguard’ with the ten-week running No.1 song “I Will Always Love You” (Dec 92 to Feb 93).
Rock and Pop were continually sitting side-by-side with Ugly Kid Joe, Lenny Kravitz and Faith No More holding court with UB40, Snow, Culture Beat and Ace of Base whilst older acts like Meat Loaf, Billy Joel and Prince were still topping the charts. Boy bands had made some inroads with NKOTB, and with Boyz II Men they were joined by East 17, All-4-One, Take That and later on Backstreet Boys and Westlife. Not to be outdone the girls came back with The Spice Girls who spent eleven weeks at the top with “Wannabe” (Nov 96 to Jan 97). We also saw a foreign language track take another run at the top with the “Macarena” (Sept to Oct 96) and the longest run at the top for the decade was Coolio with “Gangsta’s Paradise” (Oct 95 to Jan 96) for thirteen weeks.
Australia’s Silverchair and Savage Garden scored multiple No.1’s here, with Elton John landing his biggest hit ever in 1997 with his tribute to Diana entitled “Candle in the Wind ‘97”, after which we were subjected to a deluge of Aqua and their hits “Barbie Girl” (Nov 97) and “Doctor Jones” (Dec 97 to Feb 98). Celine Dion landed her third No.1 with the theme to the biggest film of all time ‘Titanic’, the song “My Heart Will Go On” was deleted from sale whilst it was still at the top to make people buy the soundtrack album, the song later being re-issued as a remix single where it went back to No.2. Shania Twain, All Saints and Ricky Martin were new to the charts but 70’s rockers Aerosmith had one of the biggest hits of the year with their ballad “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. And as the end of the decade and century rolled around, we were rocking with The Offspring and Pearl Jam at No.1, whilst giving Cher another hit with “Believe”, but also paving the way for the next hit makers like Britany Spears, Jennifer Lopez and to a lesser extent Lou Bega and Eiffel 65 who had the last No.1 of the century with “Blue (Da Be De)” (#786).
Only three previous No.1 artists made it to the top again in 2000, Madonna, Kylie and U2, it was all about new music, and what better way to get some new music than to put it on TV and make the population vote for it. As 2000 had the first Music TV Reality series which by April had produced the group Bardot, with other new acts to first hit No.1 in 2000 being Macy Gray, Killing Heidi, Destiny’s Child, Madison Avenue, Bomfunk MC’s, Anastacia, Pink and Wheatus, with the last big hit of the year being Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out”. In that year we also hit the 800th No.1 single, this time an Aussie took it out in September, Kylie Minogue’s “On a Night Like This”, which took two stabs at the top, the second happening after her opening ceremony performance of the song at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
801 to 900: Like the 1950’s, we took only six years to claim our next 100 No.1’s, and in that time we saw the rise of Reality TV, Eminem, Shaggy, Christina Aguilera, Bob the Builder, Enrique Iglesias, Pink, Shakira, Kasey Chambers, and the return of Elvis Presley to the No.1 spot with “A Little Less Conversation” (#830 June 200), battling it out and swapping the top-spot with Eminem on his track “Without Me” (#828, May-July 2002). Eminem landing six No.1 songs by the end of the decade, he also scored the longest run at the top for the decade as “Lose Yourself” stayed atop for twelve weeks (Dec 2002 to late Feb 2003).
The Black Eyed Peas were the biggest group of the decade, scoring seven No.1’s, and also the first act since Madonna in 1985 to land back-to back No.1’s in 2009 with “Boom Boom Pow” (May 2009 #947) followed by “I Gotta Feeling” (June 2009 #948), but their first was August 2003’s “Where is the Love” (#846), but they were outdone by a local singer who took eight songs to No.1, Delta Goodrem, who kicked it all off in December of 2002 with “Born to Try”.
The decade rolled on with more local TV Reality singing stars making No.1 inroads, with Guy Sebastian being our first Australian Idol and landing the highest selling song by a local for the 2000’s decade, “Angels Brought Me Here” (Dec 2003 #852), and the following year runner-up Shannon Noll went to the top with his cover of the 1982 No.1 single “What About Me” (#856 Feb 2004), the first time a former local No.1 had gone back to the top of the charts. Later in 2004 swearing took to the top of the charts, with Eamon and Frankee answering each other back, and more Idol acts landing No.1 songs from Paulini, Cosima and the new season winners Casey Donovan and runner-up Anthony Callea.
The mix of No.1’s stayed varied into 2005, with Nitty, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, The Black Eyed Peas, Akon, Will Smith, Kanye West, 2Pac and Mariah Carey handling the Rn’B and Soul, but Jesse McCartney, Delta, Madonna and Backstreet Boys giving us pop, it was unusual stuff that again stuck in our mind, I’m talking about Crazy Frog with his cover of “Axel F” (July-Aug 2005) and later in the year The Pussycat Dolls asked “Don’t Cha” (Aug-Oct 2005). Our 900th No.1 came just after the 2005 Australian Idol winning single by Kate DeAraugo’s “Maybe Tonight”, as runner-up Lee Harding took his debut single “Wasabi” to the top for five weeks (Kate was only there for two weeks).
901 to 1000: Chris Brown’s debut single “Run it!” was the 901st No.1 single here in Australia, with his future girlfriend Rihanna landing her first that year too in April with “SOS” (#906). 2006 was the year when digital downloads were selling equally alongside physical singles, with some of the longest running No.1’s of the decade in that year, “Hips Don’t Lie” for Shakira (9 weeks from June) and Sandi Thom’s “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (with Flowers in My Hair)” (10 weeks from Sept). “Lips of an Angel” for Hinder (7 weeks from Jan 2007) and both “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne and “Umbrella” by Rihanna spending six weeks each followed in mid-July by the nine-week running “Big Girls Don’t Cry” for Fergie.
“Apologize” for Timbaland and OneRepublic stood atop for eight weeks from November 2007 up until early 2008, after which we saw our first UK X-Factor winner land a No.1 single here in the form of Leona Lewis with “Bleeding Love” (from Jan 2008). Rihanna kept having No.1 songs, but was joined by new females like Colbie Cailatt, Gabriella Cilmi, Jordin Sparks and in July Katy Perry declared that “I Kissed a Girl”, after which Pink said “So What” (Sept #937) and Lady GaGa landed two No.1’s, the first with “Just Dance” (Sept 2008) and then for seven weeks with “Poker Face” (Nov 2008 to Jan 2009).
In 2008 Flo Rida landed his first No.1 with “Low”, and the following year made it to the top with “Right Round”, introducing a new singer called Ke$ha, who by years end had the last No.1 of the decade with “Tik Tok” (9 weeks from Nov 2009). The Fray (Feb 2009) were the only rock act to hit No.1 that year with future superstars Jessica Mauboy, Taylor Swift and David Guetta landing their first No.1 in 2009.
The 2010’s saw some “Fireflies” (#954) by Owl City at No.1 at the start of the decade, whilst former established stars continued to land number ones, like Rihanna, Usher, Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Pink, Ke$ha, The Black Eyed Peas and Guy Sebastian. They were joined by other newcomers such as Iyaz, Jason DeRulo, Taio Cruz, Bruno Mars, and in 2011 Wynter Gordon and Pitbull.
There were seven No.1 singles in the first four months of 2011, but only five for the rest of the year, as dance group LMFAO spent seventeen weeks of the year at No.1 with two songs, “Party Rock Anthem” (10 weeks from mid-April) and from mid-October they took “Sexy and I Know it” to the top. Squeezed in-between those two were long running No.1’s from Adele and “Someone Like You” (7 weeks from late June) and future Grammy winner Gotye with “Somebody That I Used to Know” (8 weeks from mid-August). Kelly Clarkson spent one week at the top in October with “Mr. Know it All”, and newly crowned ‘X-Factor Australia’ winner Reece Mastin spent four weeks at the top from late November with his winning single “Good Night”, broken during it’s run by LMFAO’s second No.1 single.
2012 started by featuring two No.1’s for Flo Rida and new group FUN. Carly Rae Jepsen, Gym Class Heroes, Foster the People, Karise Eden, Justice Crew, PSY and Swedish House Mafia all landed chart-topping songs during the year, with Guy Sebastian scoring his sixth No.1 single with “Battle Scars” (Aug-Sept #993) to become the first Australian Male Solo Singer to land that many chart-topping singles, whilst we also saw the 100th No.1 debut on our charts, X-Factor 2012 winner Samantha Jade with “What You’ve Done to Me” (Nov, #996). From December 2012 through until mid-February 2013, a duo called Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dominated the No.1 spot in the country with two songs, “Thrift Shop” (Dec 12 to Jan 13, #997) and “Same Love” (Jan-Feb 3, #998), being knocked off by the 999th No.1 single last week, Pink and her seventh No.1 hit “Just Give Me a Reason”.
The UK reached their 1000th No.1 single back in January of 2005 when the re-issued “One Night” by Elvis Presley went to No.1, their charts starting in 1952, which you can see at link here. America reached theirs only a couple of years ago when “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa hit the top at the end of February 2011. And although the US charts can be traced back to 1890, they started their measuring from the Top 100 inception in 1958.
Now we have finally reached our 1000th No.1 single in Australia, and it’s by a US DJ whose real name is Harry Rodrigues, but goes under the name Baauer, the song entitled “Harlem Shake” and although people might find it annoying and weird, just remember all of the previous number one songs in Australia, they might have been annoying other people too, but they do make up our rich and diverse landscape of music.
To see a list of the previous number one songs either go to Facebook and type in “1000 Australian Number One Songs” (there is a part 1 and 2) or check out the link to the www.australian-charts.com website. There are also YouTube playlists with 100 songs in each, just search for ‘Australian Number One Songs’ and there are ten playlists in total.
Gavin Ryan reports with thanks to Australian-Charts.com
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