It might be a downer, but it’s rising up the chart for singer Lana Del Rey, who appears to finally be accepted by a mainstream audience in the United States. A Cedric Gervais remix has fueled the sudden hit status of “Summertime Sadness”, which is currently up to #16 on the Hot 100 as of last week. It could very well go top ten because it continues to make significant gains on both the airplay and sales chart. Should it achieve that, it would be only the seventh song in the history of the chart to reach that portion with a depressing ditty, at least in its title, sadly. In fact, all of those prior singles have gone top 7, so the lucky seventh one has to go to top, right? Maybe. We’ll have to wait and see. Grab onto these big hits and maybe a box of tissues as well:
“So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)”, The Everly Brothers (#7, 1960)
Don and Phil Everly were all over the place as the rock era began, cranking out material that charted on the adult contemporary, R&B and pop national surveys. In the middle of the terrific twosome’s hit streak in the 50’s and 60’s came this single, and while it’s not one of their most remembered, it did spend a few weeks in the top ten with a peak of #7. The b-side to it, “Lucille”, also cracked the top 40, going as high as #21.
“Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)”, Sue Thompson (#5, 1961)
Missouri-born Eva McKee first made a name for herself as Thompson in 1961 with this debut single, which went to #5 on the Hot 100. It was written by John D. Loudermilk, who was also behind the hits “Indian Reservation”, “Tobacco Road” and Thompson’s followup to “Movies”, the #3 “Norman”. After the pop charts ignored her efforts by the middle of the decade, she returned to Country music to some minor success.
“Sad Eyes”, Robert John (#1, 1979)
John first made the Hot 100 as 12-year-old Bobby Pedrick, Jr. in 1958 with a minor single, which was followed by a few more under a change of name in 1968. After garnering his first big hit with a cover of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in 1972, which went to #3, he fell off the radar. This unexpected comeback song climbed the charts slowly, going top 40 in June and to #1 in October, rare for the time. He last charted in 1983.
“Sad Songs (Say So Much)”, Elton John (#5, 1984)
Now, from one John to another. The English star created some pretty sad songs in his career, but this was his only single release to contain the actual world. “Songs” was the first release from his 1984 album Breaking Hearts and it went to #5 on the Hot 100, his first leadoff single to make the top 5 in four years. It also managed high peaks in Austria, Canada, and Switzerland. A music video for it was filmed in Australia.
“There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)”, Billy Ocean (#1, 1986)
It was in 1984 that Ocean first saw the top of the charts with “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)”, his first top 40 single in eight years. Two years after that massive song, he went back to the #1 spot with this big ballad. After a single frame at the top, it was knocked out by Simply Red‘s “Holding Back The Years”. Ocean would go to #1 for a third and final time in 1988 with “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”.
“Another Sad Love Song”, Toni Braxton (#7, 1993)
She’s one of the stars of Braxton Family Values and her music career took off in a big way in the 90’s. “Love” was the first single from Braxton’s self-titled debut album in 1993. The single went top ten and the album went to #1 for two weeks in 1994. Braxton is currently promoting a duets project with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who featured Braxton on his 1992 hit, “Give U My Heart”, becoming her first top 40 single.
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