The Rolling Stones: Top 3 No. 1 Billboard Hits
While the band has recorded a plethora of songs that any devout fan can recite with ease, some of their most well-known songs just never snagged the number one spot. This list will select three No. 1 hits as “the best.” In order of importance, “the best” recordings will be selected based on the number of weeks the song was in the peak spot, the number of weeks the song was on the chart, and the song’s influence over pop culture.
3) “Paint It, Black:” 1966
The Rolling Stones released “Paint It, Black” in 1966, and it stayed in the peak position on Billboard’s Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks. Furthermore, “Paint It, Black” spent a total of 12 weeks on the chart. While it was a huge success when released, “Paint It, Black” would go on to become one of The Rolling Stones’ most frequently covered songs, as U2, Anvil, Vanessa Carlton, Glenn Tipton, and more have all covered this Stones number.
“Paint It, Black” was a risky move for the band, according to Rolling Stones Magazine, as it was the first song the band recorded that incorporated a sitar (a plucked string instrument used in Hindustani classical music). While many critics argued that The Rolling Stones were ripping off of The Beatles when they chose to incorporate this instrument, it definitely proved to be a wise decision. So, bonus points for risk!
2) “Brown Sugar:” 1971
When it comes down to the number of weeks in the peak position, as well as the number of weeks spent on the charts, “Brown Sugar” and “Get Off of My Cloud” tie; however, unlike “Get Off of My Cloud,” “Brown Sugar” was selected as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 500 songs of all time (#495), as it manages to traverse intense topics, such as masochism and slavery, while infusing a catchy tune.
Both “Get off of My Cloud” and “Brown Sugar” spent two weeks in the peak position and twelve weeks on the chart in total. “Brown Sugar” was also covered by Little Richard while he was signed to Reprise Records.
1) Tie: “Honky Tonk Women:” 1969 and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction:” 1965
“Honky Tonk Women” spent four weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and 15 weeks on the chart! “Honky Tonk Women” was initially a single release; however, it was later included on the album Let It Bleed. The record topped the charts in both the UK and the United States and has since been covered by some of the most famous musicians of all time.
Billy Joel, Joe Cocker, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Waylon Jennings are just a few of the big names who have taken on this classic Rolling Stones hit. When it comes to the Stones, nothing quite defines the band as well as “Honky Tonk Women.” Well, let us not forget about “Satisfaction.”
While “Honky Tonk Women” spent an extra week in the peak position, it’s ridiculous to state that it retains more pop culture influence than “Satisfaction.”
Also in the Billboard’s peak position for four weeks, “Satisfaction” was later covered by Otis Redding, Britney Spears, The Residents, Devo, and more. With musicians spanning vastly different genres taking a shot at this number, it goes to prove that the Stones’ fan base defied genre boundaries, reaching musicians and everyday listeners of all flavors.