Are You Afraid Of The “Dark”? Songs In The Shadows

Lighting up the charts.

Lighting up the charts.

In the middle of a U.S. promotional tour and raking in some new stations at both the AAA and Hot AC formats, the singer and songwriter known as Passenger (born Mike Rosenberg) is looking to score his second big Stateside hit with “Scare Away The Dark”. Now, of course, when he’s had three #1 singles in a row on my personal chart, you can probably figure that “Scare” is bound to be another big record on my top 40. (Spoiler Alert: it looks like it’s going to be just outside the top ten on my next update.) However, when it comes to a national audience, things could look mighty different.

Sometimes, it’s a dark world out there, and in the world of charts, it can also be a “dark” one. Since the Hot 100 began back in 1958, there have been plenty of murky musical sensations to rank, but only a handful of them have cast their shadows up into the top ten. Grab a flashlight as we take a look back:

“Reach Out Of The Darkness”, Friend And Lover (#10, 1968)
This was only big single for this once-married duo of Cathy and Jim Post, the latter of whom was inspired to write this song from his experience at a peaceful gathering in New York City. The folky “Reach” spent three straight weeks at #10 in June.

“Dark Lady”, Cher (#1, 1974)
Nearly a decade after first charting as one half of Sonny & Cher, the legendary Mrs. Sarkisian put her solo career into full gear with two consecutive #1 singles, 1973’s “Half-Breed” and this. She’s currently performing on her Dressed To Kill tour.

“Dancing In The Dark”, Bruce Springsteen (#2, 1984)
They call him The Boss, and given the seven top ten singles in a row from Born In The U.S.A., that nickname was especially true then. “Dancing” stalled out in the #2 spot on the Hot 100 for four weeks, but it spent two weeks at #1 on rival Cashbox.

“On The Dark Side”, John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band (#7, 1984)
Originally from the soundtrack to Eddie And The Cruisers, “On” originally peaked at a lowly #64 in 1983 and the film didn’t do much better. Thanks to some help from HBO, the song earned a second run based on the repeat airings and went top ten.

“Piano In The Dark”, Brenda Russell featuring Joe Esposito (#6, 1988)
In perhaps one of the most interesting comeback stories of the 80’s, Russell trumped her #30 peak for 1979’s “So Good, So Right” with this big top ten ballad in 1988. It hit the top ten once again in 2012 as a sample on rapper Flo Rida‘s hit “I Cry”.

“Coming Out Of The Dark”, Gloria Estefan (#1, 1991)
After a pretty serious bus accident in March 1990 during the promotion of her Cuts Both Ways album, Estefan spent much time in rehabilitation before returning the studio to record Into The Light. “Coming” is her last #1 on the Hot 100 thus far.

“Dark Horse”, Katy Perry featuring Juicy J (#1, 2014)
Just a few weeks ago, this was the #1 single on both CHR radio and the Hot 100. It was the third to be released from Perry’s PRISM and is the biggest of the era so far. However, it’s now falling as “Birthday” unwraps the gift of fresh airplay and sales.

For more ditties that keep it “dark” and lyrics that let the light in, follow the blog below or find PGTC on social media by clicking the “Get Social!” tab.

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