Just like that, the French electronic duo named Daft Punk have scored their very first top 40 hit as a main act on the Hot 100, “Get Lucky”, featuring a vocal from Pharrell Williams. Though they’ve managed to chart here with other songs like “Around The World”, “One More Time”, and “Stronger” (as a featured artist on Kanye West‘s #1 single), the group still aren’t a household name here, though this is anticipated to be their biggest era ever. “Get Lucky” has already made it up to #14 and with an album, Random Access Memories, a few days away, I thought we could look back at the luck that we listened to when we were little (and still do today.) At least two dozen titles have crashed the top 40 with “luck” or “lucky” in their title, but only seven has gone as high as Daft Punk‘s current record. So, take seven of those, plus seven more that I like, and I think we’ve got a whole lot of good luck to contend with. Let me share some with you:
“Lucky Ladybug”, Billy & Lillie (#14, 1959)
The duo of Billy Ford and Lillie Bryant got together in 1958 to record for Swan Records. Their debut single, “La Dee Dah”, written and produced by Bob Crewe and Frank C. Slay, Jr., went to #9 on the Hot 100 in 1958 and sold over 1 million copies. That pairing also wrote their second and final top 40 hit, “Lucky Ladybug”, which went to #14. The group split shortly afterwards after a few failed singles.
“Happy-Go-Lucky Me”, Paul Evans (#10, 1960)
Queens-born Evans struck it big in his early 20’s with a handful of hit singles, including the 1959 record “Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the Back Seat)”, which went to #9. (You’d think it would’ve peaked at #7.) “Me” was his only other top ten hit, and after a couple more charting songs, he was done. He later went into songwriting and production of film and television scores, including CBS This Morning.
“Lady Luck”, Lloyd Price (#14, 1960)
R&B singer Price started making the R&B survey in the early 50’s, but it wasn’t until after a stint in the military that he began to crash the pop charts. He’s best known for his 1959 version of the song “Stagger Lee”, which went to #1 on the Hot 100. He last hit the top 40 in 1963 with a remake of the song “Misty”, though he continued to put out original music for some time. He continues to perform.
“Good Luck Charm”, Elvis Presley (#1, 1962)
He was the King of Rock and Roll and he was still at the top on his golden throne when this song came along, cut in 1961 and released the following spring. “Good” spent two weeks at #1 in April and was one of eighteen number ones on the Billboard Hot 100 for Mr. Presley. Long after his death in 1977, his songs are continually played on the radio, and his home, Graceland, remains a popular tourist spot.
“With A Little Luck”, Paul McCartney & Wings (#1, 1978)
1978 was another hot year on the charts for this group who released their latest studio album, London Town. This first single from the effort made a huge splash and quickly climbed into the #1 spot, which it held for two weeks, with its parent album going to #2. McCartney, having made music for over fifty years now, is still on tour frequently and making original material. There’s definitely no stopping him now.
“Lucky Star”, Madonna (#4, 1984)
The megastar from Michigan first made it into the top 40 a year prior with “Holiday”, but this was her first single to make the top 5 on the Hot 100. Featured on her self-titled album, it is one of her most remembered songs, thanks in part to a music video which established her as a fashion icon. It also prepared her for her forthcoming era, the Like A Virgin album, and a whole lot more luck on the singles survey.
“Some Guys Have All The Luck”, Rod Stewart (#10, 1984)
First done by R&B group The Persuaders in 1973, it became a minor single for them, peaking at #39 on the Hot 100. The Stewart version became the singer’s second top ten hit in a row from his Camouflage album, which was certified Gold in the United States. It still gets a bit of adult contemporary play today. Stewart recently released his first album of all original material in twelve years, Time, on Capitol Records.
BONUS: these singles could have used a little more luck (but I still enjoy them a lot):
“Hard Luck Woman”, KISS (#15, 1977) / remake by Garth Brooks (#45, 1994)
The original comes from the Platinum-certified Rock And Roll Over album; the Brooks remake appears on a tribute album, Classic KISS Regrooved.
“The Lucky One”, Amy Grant (#18, 1994)
Oh, baby baby, this one didn’t do as well as her #1 hit from 1991. This was one of her last major hits to see any attention from mainstream radio.
“Lucky”, Britney Spears (#23, 2000)
“This is a story about a girl named Lucky.” The down sides of fame couldn’t stop it from reaching the #2 spot on my personal chart in the summer of 2000.
“I Should Be So Lucky”, Kylie Minogue (#28, 1988)
She should be so lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky) to appear on the list. “Should” went to #1 in Australia and the United Kingdom, among other countries.
“Lucky Love”, Ace Of Base (#30, 1996)
Following “Beautiful Life”, which came and went, this single didn’t stay around for much time either. The group had one last top 40 hit here in 1998.
“Just Got Lucky”, JoBoxers (#36, 1983)
They were a little more “lucky” in their native United Kingdom where this hit #7 on the Singles Chart. This was their only charting release here.
“Lucky”, Jason Mraz featuring Colbie Caillat (#48, 2009)
This soft rock ballad blended their two voices perfectly and garnered a lot of adult contemporary airplay. It went to #2 on my personal chart for three weeks.
Which song is the luckiest of all in your book? Let me know! Comment below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.