The 25 Worst No. 1 Rock Songs
In March of 1981, Billboard introduced Top Tracks, a new chart designed to measure the airplay of songs aired on “album-oriented rock radio stations.” Since then, the list’s had several face-lifts and name changes — from Top Rock Tracks to Album Rock Tracks to Mainstream Rock Tracks. Why tracks over singles? Because not all the stuff getting airplay on the radio was a single.
Over the past three decades, the chart’s seen its golden days (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “You Got Lucky”; Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield”), its proud moments (The Replacements’ “I’ll Be You”; R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”), its loud times (Soundgarden’s “Blow Up the Outside World”; The Offspring’s “Gone Away”), and its confusing twists (Kiss’s “Psycho Circus”; Eddie Money’s “The Love in Your Eyes”).
The chart’s also had its share of lousy stretches — many of them downright horrific. And because we’re pessimists, we decided to collect the very, very worst of them* and carve it down to a list of 25 scumbag tracks. So, as you click on through, remember that each entry we included was once on top of the world… of rock, that is.
* We opted to ignore Nickelback, namely because we wanted to challenge ourselves.
Artwork by Sam Moore; titles by Steven Fiche.
30 Seconds to Mars, Aerosmith, Asia, Bob Seger, Collective Soul, Creed, David Lee Roth, Eric Clapton, Everlast, Fred Durst, Godsmack, Lenny Kravitz, Linkin Park, Myles Kennedy, Puddle of Mudd, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Slash, Staind, Starship, Sting, Tantric, Three Doors Down, Tonic, Trapt, Van Halen, Velvet Revolver, ZZ Top