As the Pink and Nate Ruess duet, “Just Give Me A Reason”, spends a third week at #1 on my chart, as well as becomes the brand new #1 song on iTunes, I figured it was a good time to dip into the archives to see where it fit among the other voices of “Reason”. It turns out that the song becomes the eleventh title in the history of the Hot 100 (1958 onward) to feature the word and make the top 40. It’s currently at #8 thanks to already strong sales and a major lift at radio. Will it eventually beat some of these reasonable releases? Let’s take a look back at what’s happened so far.
The top tens:
“THE REASON”, Hoobastank (#2, 2004)
After a few years of charting on Alternative radio and one minor crossover single (2002’s “Running Away”), this California band had a huge pop breakthrough with this ballad. It remains the band’s biggest crossover single, spending eight weeks at #1 on CHR radio. They never recovered from the success of it; their singles had lower peaks on rock radio and album sales diminished. They still remain together.
“GIVE ME ONE REASON”, Tracy Chapman (#3, 1996)
In 1988, Chapman released her debut album, a self-titled effort which hit #1 on the strength of the story song “Fast Car”, which went to #6 on the Hot 100. Fast forward to 1996 and in a surprisingly return, “Give” managed to peak even higher with this bluesy number, going so far as the #1 spot on mainstream radio. It also achieved some R&B success. Chapman’s last studio album, Our Bright Future, was released in 2008.
“YOU’RE THE REASON I’M LIVING”, Bobby Darin (#3, 1963)
In an accomplished career full of big hits like “Mack The Knife” and “Splish Splash”, “Living” was another of Darin’s ten top ten and twenty-two top 40 hits between 1958 and 1966. He last made the Hot 100 in 1973 with the #67 “Happy” and died several months later during a heart operation. He received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
“SIXTEEN REASONS”, Connie Stevens (#3, 1960)
Best known as an actress, Stevens starred on the television show Hawaiian Eye from 1959 to 1962. She also appeared in several movies. In 1958, she recorded her first album, and launched several songs onto the Hot 100 over the next few years. This was her biggest single to make the chart. She occasionally directs now.
“LOVE ME FOR A REASON”, The Osmonds (#10, 1974)
The brothers from Utah became huge starting in 1971 with songs like “One Bad Apple” (#1) and “Yo-Yo” (#3), but as fast they took the charts by storm, they were dumped pretty quickly as well. “Love” was their last top ten hit. Brother Donny continued to hit the charts with sister Marie and also as a solo act. The other four brothers took on a Country sound and had some limited success on that survey in the 80’s.
The top forties:
“YOU’RE THE REASON”, Bobby Edwards (#11, 1961)
Edwards was born in Alabama and had a number of regional singles before scoring his biggest hit with Crest Records in 1961. It was one of two singles to make the Hot 100 for him, though “You’re” was the only one to hit the top 40. He retired from music shortly afterwards after his singles failed to chart. He’s still around, currently at the age of 87, though he hasn’t performed live in some time.
“REASON TO BELIEVE (UNPLUGGED)”, Rod Stewart (#19, 1993)
Stewart’s original version of “Believe” was released in 1971 from Every Picture Tells A Story, peaking at #62. It also became the b-side of his #1 hit “Maggie May” after the two swapped sides. However, it finally became a top-40 hit on its own in 1993 when it was released as a single from his MTV Unplugged performance. Stewart’s latest album, Time, is out May 7; believe that it’ll sell well on the album chart.
“ONE GOOD REASON”, Paul Carrack (#28, 1988)
Carrack’s voice has been behind classics for Ace (“How Long”), Mike + The Mechanics (“Silent Running” and “The Living Years”) and Squeeze (“Tempted”), but he scored the most U.S. top-40 hits as a solo act. “Good” was the title track to his third solo album and the followup to “Don’t Shed A Tear”, which went to #9 a few months earlier. Carrack still records and performs today.
“TO GIVE (THE REASON I LIVE)”, Frankie Valli (#29, 1967)
In era where both his solo records and his songs with the Four Seasons were charting concurrently, this became a minor hit for the singer. Shortly after this, he and the group would not make the to 40 again until the mid-70s, when they enjoyed several big charting singles. Valli still performs today and his songs, along with many by the Four Seasons, are featured in the musical Jersey Boys.
“I’LL THINK OF A REASON LATER”, Lee Ann Womack (#38, 1999)
Beginning in 1997, Womack had a string of singles make the top 40 on the Country chart, including this one, which became her fourth #2 on that survey. She finally hit #1 the next year with “I Hope You Dance”. Womack last released an album in 2008, Call Me Crazy, best known for the single “Last Call”. She currently has a new full-length effort in the works.
Honorable Mention: Though this came way before the Hot 100 even existed, one of the best known “Reason” titles is “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons”, which was written back in 1945. A version by Nat King Cole went to #1 when Billboard had a Best Sellers Chart (only ten positions) in early 1947 and versions by Eddy Howard, Dinah Shore and Charlie Spivak also made the top ten.
Keep watching the charts to see how “Just Give Me A Reason” ranks among not only these titles, but the current big national hits as well. For more chart stories just like this, follow the blog using the tab below or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.