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The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (Billboard Book of Top Forty Hits) 8th Edition Paperback – July 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An essential reference that can quickly tell you everything from how many No. 1 hits Roy Orbison had (two) to the name of the group that did "I'm Too Sexy" (Right Said Fred)." - Boston Herald; "I love paging through it, looking for songs I know and songs I should know." - Keyboard"

About the Author

Joel Whitburn, the foremost authority on charted music, has published nearly eighty books based on Billboard charts both for the trade market and for his own mail-order company, Record Research, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Billboard Books; 8 Exp Rev edition (July 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823074994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823074990
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,223,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on May 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
It was during my pop music Renaissance in high school that I encountered the concept of how all those singles that I had been awakened to were on Billboard's Hot 100 charts, and those that entered the Top 40. It was my buddy Keith Webster who turned me onto that concept and how Casey Kasem's American Top 40 was aired every Sunday on our local radio station. Then of course, the highlight was finding out who the Top Ten were, and finally, at the end of the show, who was the new No. 1 or still at No. 1. There was this horserace dynamic going on. Yes, having any Billboard book may make one a music nerd, but I consider that epithet a compliment.

Of the two Billboard tomes I consider essential to any pop music buff, not having Joel Whitburn's Billboard Book of Top 40 hits, revised every now and then, is tantamount to having green tea leaves and no hot water and cup. I cannot stress how vital this tome is. Whitburn's book consists of all singles that hit the Top 40 from Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock," up through 2003, when Outkast's "Hey Ya" was at the top of the charts. The book is lexically indexed by artist or group, with a brief blurb of the group, including members, instruments they played, DOB, and info on if any of them died, or if any entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

From there, the columns under each artist/group consists of when the song debuted on the Top 40, its peak position, its duration in the Top 40, the title of the song, and the song's record label and number. If a single hit the Top Ten, it is highlighted in bold so one can count how many Top Ten hits a particular artist had.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on February 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have purchased each new edition of this book and have never been disappointed. The 7th edition chronicles every Top 40 hit through the end of the millenium. I'm not in the music business, but love seeing what hits each artist has had and how how they went on the chart. This book does a great job of cross-referencing songs, so if a song is officially credited to Puff Daddy featuring Mase, then it is listed in this book under both artists. This is incredibly helpful given the recent proliferation of guest artists on chart singles. Whenever I hear an unknown oldies hit on the radio, I can't help but look it up in this book and find out the artist. A must for every fan of music.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By STEPHEN T. McCARTHY on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
What is America? How does one go about comprehending the "American Ideal"? Where would you send a foreigner who sought to gain a tangible understanding of the most influential and powerful nation on Earth over the course of these last two hundred and thirty years? Me, I'd send him to three written sources: The Declaration Of Independence; The U.S. Constitution; and THE BILLBOARD BOOK OF TOP 40 HITS. The first one explains the premise upon which this country was founded. The second illustrates the dynamic system under which it was organized. The third recounts the progression (or regression) that the country experienced under the world's longest-running Republican form of government.

OK, OK! Maybe I have overestimated the social importance of this tome, but why not aim as high as we can, and see if we can't make some of it stick? (Besides, some suckers will fall for ANYTHING!) Truth is, I almost feel a little embarrassed writing a review for a book like this, but then - to borrow a line from those old geezers who really do seem to "gather no moss" - I know it's only Rock 'N' Roll, but I like it!

Of course, it's not really ONLY Rock 'N' Roll. American Pop music encompasses a wide range of musical styles: There's FOLK ('The City Of New Orleans' by Arlo Guthrie. #18 in '72); COUNTRY ('Good Hearted Woman' by Waylon and Willie. #25 in '76); BLUES ('The Thrill Is Gone' by B.B. King. #15 in '70); JAZZ ('Take Five' by Dave Brubeck. #25 in '61); SOUL ('I'll Be Doggone' by Marvin Gaye. #8 in '65); DISCO ('Hot Stuff' by Donna Summer. #1 in '79); and RAP...Oh, never mind. Don't get me started! And of course, it's not really ONLY American either. Afterall, those four blokes from Liverpool were from...well...Liverpool.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a mobile disc jockey and former radio announcer, I couldn't survive without this book. Joel is the BEST! I have almost 20,000 songs in my collection and was able to find all the important info such as year, chart position, and who was in the groups that made the songs famous. I love using this book to play trivia during parties as I know the info is always correct. I'm on my third edition and it's the only book I use. I can't wait for the next one to be published. If you love music like I do, then this book is the one that will answer all your questions and needs for music trivia or just information for your own personal use. Steve Whateley, "Steve The D.J."
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By P. Sullivan on October 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a good book if you don't have one of his previous editions. If you do, and you despise hip hop as much as I do, don't waste your money, or get an earlier version.

Up until the early 90's, the Billboard charts actually were a true gauge of the top songs in the USA. If a song made the top 40, you had heard of it, and by the time it made the top 10, you were often starting to get sick of it. Then things changed, and within a few years, songs were going top 10, even to #1, that I'd never even heard of (thankfully in most cases).

Every now and then a song came along that was a worthy mass hit (some Madonna, Boys II Men, U2 etc.), but they are much harder to locate in this book due to the thug rap and all the songs by artists "featuring" another thug/hip-hop star(who are both given hit credit here, which makes it even harder to find the good stuff from years past). So from 1990-2000 (which this book goes up to), finding "household songs" that everybody knows is tough (Macarena & Whoomp..There It Is come to mind), unlike prior decades, when there were dozens in any given week that you could hum to, sing to, or smirk and say..."I hate that song".

The main reason while I'll never buy another BB of Top 40 Hits is that most music and radio has become so splintered, and the songs that I like don't get played and thus don't get charted. At this point I would settle for songs that I simply know of. But given the crude titles and filthy language of today's "hits", I don't really want to know these songs. The Billboard Hot 100 has lost any credibility as an accurate measure of what songs are truly popular; personally, I wish Whitburn would retire the franchise, as each new edition gets watered down with every new printing.

Just my opinion of course.
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