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> What is a "hit single"?, We often see this term thrown about loosely - but what does it mean?
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Sales vs Chart Peak vs Cultural Impact
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MusiqqisuM
post Jan 17 2015, 12:51 PM
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Hi all,

I am still relatively new here so hope I am posting this correctly! Anyways, I was in the supermarket the other day and I lost count as to how many times I saw the term "hit single" plastered on the front of cds as nothing more than marketing tactics. I then saw a topic on here just now which lead me to think - what actually is a "hit" and how do we determine what qualifies as one? There are a few definitions online that refer to a "popular song" or "successful song"..But they are very vague, popular/ successful in what sense?

I think during the Top of the Pops era it was easy to assume all top 20 songs were hits, but I think over time this was narrowed down to the top 10, and even number ones in some cases. But with that said, there are numerous songs that have not had the best chart peak (e.g. "Set Fire to The Rain" and "I'm Yours") but were still being able to outsell a chunk of no. 1 singles. Similarly, singles like "Single Ladies" were huge phenomenons, but again didn't even make the top 5. Other songs were "popular" for a week or 2 and peaked in the top 3 and then dropped like a rock (Union J spring to mind but I know there are loads!)

I just wanted to know your thoughts on what you consider/ or think we should consider most when determining a hit single? Do the phrases "top 10" and "number 1" receive too much praise these days, when in actual fact neither tell us much at all in terms of how popular (sales) a single has been!

I would also be curious to see, if anyone has the data, a list of best selling singles that didn't reach the top 10, and a list showing the best selling that didn't reach top 20. I'm aware "Set Fire to the Rain" and "I'm Yours" are the two best selling that didn't reach top 10, but unaware of any others? biggrin.gif


This post has been edited by MusiqqisuM: Jan 17 2015, 01:14 PM
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Joe ho ho!
post Jan 17 2015, 01:25 PM
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Id say it's elements of all of above. If call anything that has sold 200k+ plus a hit, though obviously there were some causalities there in the 2002 - 2008 period, so I'd go more for chart peaks around then.
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UltraReputation
post Jan 17 2015, 01:52 PM
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QUOTE(MusiqqisuM @ Jan 17 2015, 12:51 PM) *
I would also be curious to see, if anyone has the data, a list of best selling singles that didn't reach the top 10, and a list showing the best selling that didn't reach top 20. I'm aware "Set Fire to the Rain" and "I'm Yours" are the two best selling that didn't reach top 10, but unaware of any others? biggrin.gif


Queen Idina- Let It Go (she could actually be the biggest now I think)
I also think radioactive is up there as well
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liamk97
post Jan 17 2015, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE(MusiqqisuM @ Jan 17 2015, 12:51 PM) *
I would also be curious to see, if anyone has the data, a list of best selling singles that didn't reach the top 10, and a list showing the best selling that didn't reach top 20. I'm aware "Set Fire to the Rain" and "I'm Yours" are the two best selling that didn't reach top 10, but unaware of any others? biggrin.gif

This was posted by Andy on Haven on 31 December 2013; estimates are his own and correct to the date published:

Jason Mraz – I’m Yours (#11) 736,000
Adele – Set Fire To The Rain (#11) 670,000
Christina Perri – A Thousand Years (#11) 551,650
Linkin Park/Jay Z – Numb/Encore (#14) 529,000
Bruno Mars – Marry You (#11) 521,000
Birdy – Skinny Love (#17) 519,615
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird EP (Sweet Home Alabama) (#21) 510,000 (300,000 + 210,000 downloads)
DJ Fresh – Gold Dust (#22) 494,000
Jason Mraz – I Wont Give Up (#11) 497,215
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now (#15) 490,000
Train – Hey soul sister (#18) 489,000
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (#12) 472,045
Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over (#23) 445,000
Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay - 212 (#12) 440,000
The Script – Breakeven (#21) 427,460
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (#13) 425,000
MGMT – Kids (#16) 416,000
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (#24) 414,000
Disclosure featuring Sam Smith – Latch (#11) 410,000
Lonestar – Amazed (#21) 406,000
Foster the People – Pumped up kicks (#18) 405,000
Mumford and Sons – I will wait (#12) 404,840
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird EP (Freebird) (#21) 401,000 (300,000 + 101,000 downloads)
Pink – Raise Your Glass (#13) 396,000
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (#12) 384,000
Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette – Hello (#13) 381,000
Skrillex - Bangarang (#24) 379,000
Stevie Wonder – Superstition (#11) 373,000
Mumford and Sons – The Cave (#32) 353,000
Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69 (#42) 353,000
MIA – Paper planes (#19) 337,000
Katy Perry – The One That Got Away (#18) 331,000
Miley Cyrus – The Climb (#11) 327,000
Steps – 5-6-7-8 (#14) 316,000
Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know? (#11) 305,965
Bruno Mars – Treasure (#12) 300,000
Shakira featuring FreshlyGround – Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) (#21) 299,000
N-Dubz featuring Mr Hudson – Playing With Fire (#14) 295,000
Paolo Nutini – Pencil Full of Lead (#17) 294,000
Beyonce – Love on top (#13) 292,000
Pixie Lott - Cry Me Out (#12) 290,000
Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound (#13) 287,000
Florence and the Machine – Shake It Out (#12) 283,000
Blondie – Union City Blue (#13) 275,000 (or 295k if you include the 1995 remix of Union City Blue)
Tinie Tempah feat. Ellie Goulding – Wonderman (#12) 274,000
Kanye West featuring Drake & Rihanna - All of the Lights (#15) 273,000
Noah and the Whale - L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. (#14) 260,000
Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of your life) (#11) 260,000
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow (#46) 255,000
Chiddy Bang – Opposite of adults (#12) 253,000
The 1975 – Chocolate (#19) 252,300
David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi – Memories (#15) 252,000
Andy Stewart - A Scottish Soldier (#19) 250,000
Evelyn "Champagne" King – Shame (#39) 250,000
Semisonic – Secret Smile (#13) 250,000
Rihanna – Te Amo (#14) 250,000

http://fatherandy2.proboards.com/thread/80...ng-non-top-hits
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JSG
post Jan 17 2015, 04:58 PM
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I chose Other. To me a hit is most likely different to what other people define as a hit and so on but in general I think people see that it has wide appeal and reaches the top 10?
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t=SpunderfulXmas
post Jan 17 2015, 05:00 PM
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Sales obviously tongue.gif

IMO peak is just dependent on the competition on other tracks each week teresa.gif

Also a hit track can also be defined by the weeks it has spent in the chart smile.gif
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JosephCarey
post Jan 17 2015, 05:02 PM
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I think it depends on the artist really. For a new artist or a less mainstream artist, overall sales will be what counts, whereas for a pop act, it's typically the chart peak, hence why they enter high and drop relatively fast.
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JSG
post Jan 17 2015, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE(SPINUMINATI ADAM @ Jan 17 2015, 05:00 PM) *
Sales obviously tongue.gif

IMO peak is just dependent on the competition on other tracks each week teresa.gif

Also a hit track can also be defined by the weeks it has spent in the chart smile.gif


It's not really dependant on other tracks cause what about those weeks on end where sales are low and a new entry could hit the #1 spot with 50,000 sales. That to a lot of people wouldn't be a hit. I think the word hit just has a different meaning to everyone though.
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MusiqqisuM
post Jan 17 2015, 10:30 PM
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QUOTE(liamk97 @ Jan 17 2015, 02:02 PM) *
This was posted by Andy on Haven on 31 December 2013; estimates are his own and correct to the date published:

Jason Mraz – I’m Yours (#11) 736,000
Adele – Set Fire To The Rain (#11) 670,000
Christina Perri – A Thousand Years (#11) 551,650
Linkin Park/Jay Z – Numb/Encore (#14) 529,000
Bruno Mars – Marry You (#11) 521,000
Birdy – Skinny Love (#17) 519,615
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird EP (Sweet Home Alabama) (#21) 510,000 (300,000 + 210,000 downloads)
DJ Fresh – Gold Dust (#22) 494,000
Jason Mraz – I Wont Give Up (#11) 497,215
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now (#15) 490,000
Train – Hey soul sister (#18) 489,000
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (#12) 472,045
Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over (#23) 445,000
Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay - 212 (#12) 440,000
The Script – Breakeven (#21) 427,460
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (#13) 425,000
MGMT – Kids (#16) 416,000
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man (#24) 414,000
Disclosure featuring Sam Smith – Latch (#11) 410,000
Lonestar – Amazed (#21) 406,000
Foster the People – Pumped up kicks (#18) 405,000
Mumford and Sons – I will wait (#12) 404,840
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird EP (Freebird) (#21) 401,000 (300,000 + 101,000 downloads)
Pink – Raise Your Glass (#13) 396,000
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (#12) 384,000
Martin Solveig featuring Dragonette – Hello (#13) 381,000
Skrillex - Bangarang (#24) 379,000
Stevie Wonder – Superstition (#11) 373,000
Mumford and Sons – The Cave (#32) 353,000
Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69 (#42) 353,000
MIA – Paper planes (#19) 337,000
Katy Perry – The One That Got Away (#18) 331,000
Miley Cyrus – The Climb (#11) 327,000
Steps – 5-6-7-8 (#14) 316,000
Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know? (#11) 305,965
Bruno Mars – Treasure (#12) 300,000
Shakira featuring FreshlyGround – Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) (#21) 299,000
N-Dubz featuring Mr Hudson – Playing With Fire (#14) 295,000
Paolo Nutini – Pencil Full of Lead (#17) 294,000
Beyonce – Love on top (#13) 292,000
Pixie Lott - Cry Me Out (#12) 290,000
Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound (#13) 287,000
Florence and the Machine – Shake It Out (#12) 283,000
Blondie – Union City Blue (#13) 275,000 (or 295k if you include the 1995 remix of Union City Blue)
Tinie Tempah feat. Ellie Goulding – Wonderman (#12) 274,000
Kanye West featuring Drake & Rihanna - All of the Lights (#15) 273,000
Noah and the Whale - L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. (#14) 260,000
Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of your life) (#11) 260,000
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow (#46) 255,000
Chiddy Bang – Opposite of adults (#12) 253,000
The 1975 – Chocolate (#19) 252,300
David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi – Memories (#15) 252,000
Andy Stewart - A Scottish Soldier (#19) 250,000
Evelyn "Champagne" King – Shame (#39) 250,000
Semisonic – Secret Smile (#13) 250,000
Rihanna – Te Amo (#14) 250,000


Wow, that's astonishing re Azealia Banks. I'm a massive fan of 212 and know it's really popular in the clubs, but never knew it had sold as much as 440,000...I thought it was more an "underground hit". Paper Planes is another surprise, that song was EVERYWHERE, I assumed charted higher! Very interesting. I

I personally would go for sales, based on this list. So many good, popular songs that charted poorly due to poor scheduling or, in Adele's case, a lack of effort wub.gif
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Paramore
post Jan 17 2015, 11:50 PM
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How is 'love will tear us apart' so LOW. I would have thought that would have been a major download beneficiery. Its a classic. One of the best songs ever written...not even platinum yet!
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Popchartfreak
post Jan 18 2015, 11:59 AM
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Not sure of the accuracy of the awards at the time, but I seem to recall during 1977-79 quite a few records getting silver discs for 250000 sales without hitting the top 10, such as one of Dollar's (Shooting Star) during the peak sales over xmas 78 and new year 79 which surprised me - but then sales were VERY high in those weeks (just look at the number of subsequent million sellers in the charts then!)
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MusiqqisuM
post Jan 18 2015, 07:32 PM
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I guess airplay is also a strong consideration. Did "I'm Yours" top the airplay charts? I assume so to be able to rack up those sales!
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