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Hit Songs No Matter What Year They Appear

Updated on May 19, 2013

Some songs have that It factor. The melody, the verse it somehow gets to the listener and time does not change their popularity. The songs listed below prove that some things never go out of date. Listed below are the songs that have that special something.

The Locomotion- This song was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. The song The Locomotion was first performed by Little Eva in 1962 and reached number one in the US, it was next released in 1974 by Grand Funk Railroad where once again it reached number one, and then it was released by Kylie Minogue where it reached number three on the US charts.

What is it about this song that made it so popular not only in the 60’s, but the 70’s and 80’s too? The main draw is this is a very danceable song, the lyrics are catchy with the lyric “come on baby do the locomotion” is weaved throughout the song and the music will have you singing along almost every time. Little Eva’s version had a pop sound to it while Grand Funk’s version is more rock and roll. Their version is gritty and powerful, and also very listenable. You can’t listen to this song without wanting to dance to it.

Kylie’s version is more dance music with synthesizers and drum beats throughout her version is a bit light weight, but still she sells the song and once more the song climbed to the top of the charts. Locomotion is a song about a fake dance, but it there is something so real about the song that will make it never seem dated no matter what decade it appears in next.

Always On My Mind- What a song this is. It has been hits for three different artists Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, and The Pet Shop Boys. The song was written in 1972 by Johnny Christopher, Mark James, and Wayne Carson.

Willie Nelson released the song in 1982 where it reached number one on the country singles chart and number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Willie poured out his soul in this song. It is song of regret for taking a loved one for granted, and not realizing it until it is too late. Willie has a great piano, guitar accompaniment with this song as well as his voice which is filled with sorrow. He really makes you feel this song.

Elvis Presley came out with his version of the song in 1972. It was as if the song was written for him because Elvis was going through a divorce from his wife Pricilla at the time it was released. Elvis loved Pricilla but he loved his life as a swinging bachelor too. It was hard for him to behave as he toured town to town. This was side B of his hit song Separate Ways. Always on My Mind reached the Country Hot Singles at Number 16 giving Elvis two hits on one record. One could feel Elvis was thinking of Pricilla when he sang his version of this beautiful song.

The next hit from this song came from the unlikely group The Pet Shop Boys in 1987 where it got to number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Their version has the techno dance beat to it, but it is as infectious as the slower versions of the song. I love the melody in their version of the song and they bring a touch of sadness to the song with their vocals too. Sometimes a sad song is just what the doctor ordered.

Keep Me Hanging On-is a Motown song written by Holland-Dozier-Holland in 1966. It was originally released by The Supremes in 1966 and hit number one in US Billboard Hot 100. It is easy to see why. It is a song with attitude with the singer requesting to be let out of a love affair that isn’t working and making the singer feel used. Diana Ross brings her soft vocals to this song and makes you feel her frustration at being neglected by her love.

The next time the song made its way to the top of the charts was just one year after the 1966 version by the Supremes. This version was done by the group Vanilla Fudge. This song could not be more different than the original. It was released as a psychedelic, hard rock version even with its differences the song struck a chord with listeners and it reached number six on the Hot 100 chart. Hard rock lovers have a heart too and could relate to the song’s plea to be released from an impossible love.

Almost a decade later in 1987 Kim Wilde released her version of Keep Me Hanging On where it placed number one on the Hot Top 100 and deservedly so. Kim’s version has a mix of disco and dance music, but don’t think her version of the song is light weight. She brings a raw emotion to the song as well. It seems all these singers have experienced a heart break or too in their lives to give this song such great power.

I Will Always Love You- this beautiful song by Dolly Parton was probably the best song she has ever written, if not her best her most successful song. She released the song in 1974 Dolly wanted to break out on her own as a singer and performer from her partner Porter Wagoner. It was song thanking him for their years together. It reached number one twice on the country music charts and number three on the Billboard Top 100. Dolly brings bittersweet memories of her time with her musical partner Porter Wagoner. He mentored her and did his job well because she went on to be very successful in her own right. Dolly wrote the perfect tribute song and she sings it with a wistfulness of great memories and the need to be free.

The next version of this song exploded in 1992 when the late great Whitney Houston created her rendition of the song for the film she was in entitled The Body Guard. It spent an incredible 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 100. Whitney’s version gave more listener’s a chance to hear this beautiful song and Whitney made it her own with her powerful vocals and runs that she brought to the song. One of her best songs ever she will be forever linked to this song because she made the song unforgettable.

Red Red Wine- a song about the wine and how it erases a painful memory was first a hit by Neil Diamond back in 1968. It reached number sixty-two on the Billboard Hot 100. Neil’s version reveals the sadness he is feeling over the loss of a love. The only thing he finds to relieve his pain is red, red wine.

This may seem like a song that would only have one rendition, but no a band put a new twist on the song in 1983 and their version beat Neil’s version by making it to number thirty-four on the Hot 100 Billboard charts. UB40 gave the song a reggae sound. Even though it still has a twinge of sadness to it this version will have your head bobbing and you will find yourself singing along.

Without You- This song was originally done by Harry Nielsen and it is a singer’s dream. You can hit some high and low notes and go through a range of emotions doing it. Any audience will relate to this song about how you feel you can't go on without that special someone. It was released in 1971 and was written by members of the band Bad Finger. Harry had a hit with the song it spent 4 weeks at number one.

The song made reappearance in 1994 when Mariah Carey decided to do a version of the song. She had loved the song when she was a child and this song is right up her alley giving the listener a chance to hear Mariah’s range and the feeling she put into the song. Mariah’s version made it to number three on the Billboard charts. This song was given the diva touch and it is divine.

Unforgettable- Nat King Cole released this song in 1951 and what a classic song. Nat sang it his mellow style, and it was a song that was unforgettable in the beauty of the music and lyrics. Years later his daughter Natalie recorded the song in 1992 and the song was edited to include her father’s voice singing the song as a duet with her. The song was magic once more it won three Grammy’s that year Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Traditional Pop Performance. Nat would have been proud to have seen that.

True Colors- Cyndi Lauper released this song in 1986 where it placed number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Cyndi didn’t write this song, but she sang it beautifully. The song is about being there for someone no matter what the person is going through even when they aren’t revealing their best self. It is a song that offers great encouragement and love and who couldn’t use that?

Phil Collins enjoyed a hit with the song when he released it in 1998. Phil’s version added a heavy drum beat to it and he came up with a jazzier version while Cyndi’s was more intimate with her vocals taking the front of the song. Both songs are great renditions.

Songs are special, but some are more special than others. These songs have that magic to them. They could drop into any year and be as popular as they were the day they were created. These songs are indeed timeless.


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    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 4 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thanks for your comments idigwebsites. I know I heard UB40's Red Red Wine more than I had Neil Diamond's version. After listening to Neil's version I have an appreciation for his take on the song. Neil is a great song writer and performer.

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

      Oh, I thought "Red Red Wine" is a B-52's original all along. I learn something new today! Thanks for posting. :)

    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 4 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you Alecia for your comments. It means a lot because you write great hubs all the time.

    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 4 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you platinumOwl4 for your kind comments. The three artists you mentioned are so talented their music will live on forever

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      You picked some really cool songs. My favorites are Without You and Red Red Wine. I know UB40's version of Red Red Wine simply because it was on the radio so often growing up. I also love I Will Always Love You even though it's hard to hear now that Whitney's gone. Great hub :).

    • platinumOwl4 profile image

      platinumOwl4 4 years ago

      Whitney Houston and Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole are my favorites, this does not mean the other are not good. You have a great selection of artist in your article.