You’ve probably heard it on the air by now or on the best-selling album in the country for the past two weeks. It’s “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake from The 20/20 Experience, and it’s already gone as high as #11 on the Hot 100. Timberlake’s song becomes the sixth song in the history of the Hot 100’s top 40 portion to contain the word “mirror” and the (lucky) thirteenth entry for the word overall. So, let’s look back into the looking glass and magnify those monster mainstream hits, from Mac Davis to Michael Jackson to M2M.
“MAN IN THE MIRROR”, Michael Jackson (#1, 1988)
He’s the late and great King Of Pop and he sure could make those ballads pop. “Man” spent two weeks at #1 and was the fourth chart-topping single from the Bad album, which became the first to have its first five singles all hit the top of the chart. It’s one of the singer’s most oft-covered songs and became one of the top sellers after his death in 2009. Two other versions of Jackson’s song also hit the Hot 100 in 2011, both from television shows. In the summer, The Voice season 1 winner Javier Colon and coach Adam Levine went to #45 and just before Christmas, the cast of Glee took their version to #76.
“MIRROR”, Lil Wayne featuring Bruno Mars (#16, 2011)
From the rapper’s album Tha Carter IV, the song was initally just a track on the deluxe edition of it, which normally would have never seen the light of day as a commercially released single. However, “Mirror” became a sales hit after the album debuted, and was eventually issued to radio as the sixth single from it. It also became the biggest hit for him (thus far) in many countries outside of the States; certainly didn’t hurt with Mars singing the hook. The rapper recently released the album I Am Not A Human Being II, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200.
“MIRROR MAN”, The Human League (#30, 1983)
After a set of classic new wave hits, “Don’t You Want Me?” (1982) and “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” (1983), crashed the top tier of the Hot 100, this Motown-inspired effort issued from the EP Fascination! only shuffled up to a #30 peak during the fall of 1983 and is largely forgotten today. It was released a year earlier in the United Kingdom where it got to #2 around the holidays. The group scored top-40 hits until 1995 (including the #1 single “Human” in 1986) and the trio is back together today, last releasing an album in 2011.
“MIRROR MIRROR”, Diana Ross (#8, 1982)
From leading The Supremes to singing her own, she’s a legend. After making the jump from her longtime home of Motown Records to RCA, Ross put out her first album with her new label in 1981, Why Do Fools Fall In Love. After the title track (and remake) went top ten on the Hot 100, “Mirror Mirror” became the second single from the effort, climbing to #8 in early 1982. Ross continued to chart with a number of moderate-sized top 40 hits until 1985, last entering the lower rungs of the Hot 100 in 1986. She occasionally tours today, though rarely puts out new music.
“OBJECTS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR MAY APPEAR CLOSER THAN THEY ARE”, Meat Loaf (#38, 1994)
I’m guessing no one could have predicted that the singer born Marvin Lee Aday could make a stellar comeback with 1993’s Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell. This third single and epic power ballad from the multi-Platinum album just dented the top 40 in the spring of 1994. It remains one of the longest song titles to hit the Hot 100 at twelve words in length. Though he only had one other top 40 single the following year, he’s charted on the Billboard 200 several times since then. He is currently working on a new album, Brave And Crazy, his followup to 2011’s Hell In A Handbasket.
The rest of the reflectors:
“Dancing With My Mirror”, Corey Hart (#88, 1987)
“Mirror Mirror”, M2M (#62, 2000)
“Mirror Star”, Fabulous Poodles (#81, 1979)
“Stranger In My Mirror”, Randy Travis (#81, 1999)
“Texas In My Rear View Mirror”, Mac Davis (#51, 1980)
So, which song is your selection for the best reflection? Let me know! Comment below or contact me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.