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50 Years Ago: The Beatles Hold The Top Five Positions On Billboard’s Hot 100

Billboard

It’s possible that one day another band could come along and have every bit of an impact on the world as the Beatles did. However, there is one mark the “Fab Four” set 50 years ago today that, in all likelihood, will never be topped.

On April 4, 1964, the Beatles held the Nos. 1-5 spots on the Billboard Hot 100. In its second week on the charts, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ shot up from No. 27 to the top. The other four songs, in order, were ‘Twist and Shout,’ ‘She Loves You,’ ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and ‘Please Please Me.’ On top of that, they had seven other songs in the Top 100: ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ (No. 31), ‘From Me To You” (No. 41), ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret ‘ (No. 46), ‘All My Loving’ (No. 58), ‘You Can’t Do That’ (No. 65), ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ (No. 68) and ‘Thank You Girl’ (No. 79).

Beatles Bible also states that the chart that week also included two novelty records about the Beatles: ‘We Love You Beatles’ by the Carefrees (No. 42) and ‘A Letter to the Beatles’ by the Four Preps (No. 85. And the next week’s chart saw the debut of two other Beatles tunes: ‘There’s a Place’ (No. 74) and ‘Love Me Do’ (No. 81), giving them 14 of the Top 100 songs in America.

There were a couple of reasons why the market was flooded like this. The Beatles hit America a little more than a year after they broke in England. Capitol responded by issuing as much of their back catalog — as well as their singles from ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ — as possible. In addition, there was an ongoing legal dispute with Vee-Jay Records as to who owned the rights to the songs on ‘Please Please Me’ (read more about that here). Knowing that they had a limited amount of time to make as much money as possible, Vee-Jay put out as many singles as they could afford. Two of the Top Five songs, and five of the Top 100 songs, were released either on Vee-Jay or their subsidiary, Tollie.

Billboard says that the closest any other artist has come to getting near the Beatles record was a two-week spell in 2005 when rapper 50 Cent held the No. 1 and No. 5 slot with ‘Candy Shop’ and Disco Inferno,’ respectively. And he was a guest on the Game’s track ‘How We Go,’ which was at No. 4.

Next: The Beatles' U.K. vs. U.S. Album Guide

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