Cover image for The Billboard book of number 1 hits
The Billboard book of number 1 hits
Bronson, Fred.
Personal Author:
Updated and expanded fifth edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Billboard Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
xii, 980 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"The inside story behind every number one single on Billboard's hot 100 from 1955 to the present."
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML156.4.P6 B76 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
ML156.4.P6 B76 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
ML156.4.P6 B76 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The book that the New York Times called "a treasure trove of pop lore" just got better! Before MTV and VH1 . . . before books with "Stories Behind the Songs" of popular recording artists, there were Fred Bronson s stories behind the top chart hits. Now in its 5th edition, The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits once again provides the inside scoop behind every song since 1955 known to reach the pinnacle of the legendary and most respected record chart in the world--Billboard s Hot 100. Entries include vivid anecdotes from the hit-making artists, songwriters, and producers; a brief history of the song; the chart entry date and position; the number of weeks on the chart; the date the song reached number one; and much more. Fascinating and engrossing, this reference is the ultimate music source for every rock fan!

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Updating the 1985 first edition of the pop music bible's reference book [BKL S 15 85] to include chart-toppers up through June 18, 1988, Bronson adds the stories of 95 more hits to the original 605. Libraries that field lots of pop- music reference questions will have no choice but to acquire the second, and probably every subsequent, version of this title. Artist and song title indexes. RO.

Library Journal Review

All 605 singles to reach the top spot on Billboard 's pop charts during the rock era are profiled in this handsome reference work. Coverage begins July 9, 1955 with Bill Haley's ``Rock Around the Clock'' and ends April 13, 1985 with USA for Africa's ``We Are the World.'' Each full-page entry includes a picture of the artist(s) and lists label number, songwriter(s), producer(s), date first reached number one, weeks at top, and the top five hits for that first week. The accompanying essays give important background information on the songs and artists. Norm N. Nite's Rock On books are more comprehensive but not as detailed on the top hits and hitmakers as Bronson. Suitable for all but the smallest libraries and highly recommended as a worthy companion to Joel Whitburn's The Billboard Book of Top Forty Hits ( LJ 11/15/83). Thomas Jewell, Waltham P.L., Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA Songs which reached number one on the Billboard charts between July 1955 (Rock Around the Clock) and April 1985 (We Are the World) are covered. One page is devoted to each song, with a black-and-white photograph of the performer(s) (the same picture of the Bee Gees is used several times in different sizes and cropped differently), a short history of the song and performer(s) and a list of the top five songs for the week(s) it was number one. A ``top 40'' history of rock and pop during the last 30 years, not as complete as other rock encyclopedias or histories, but still useful as a supplement and a fun browsing item. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The prolific Bronson updates his fourth edition (1997) in an enormous volume offering a chronological history of the 933 songs that have reached top position on the Billboard "Hot 100" chart since the first acknowledged rock-and-roll song "We're Gonna Rock around the Clock," by Bill Haley and his Comets, reached number one in the summer of 1955. It ends with American Idol favorite Clay Aiken's "This Is the Night," summer 2003. Bronson gives each number one song a single page, describing the song's genesis and the artist's career. For every artist, a black-and-white picture is included along with a list of the top five songs of that particular week. Also included are artist, title, writer, producer, and label indexes, and charts of various music trivia. An entertaining book that presents the evolution of popular music in the US, early rock and roll through disco to modern hip-hop. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels. J. A. Badics Eastern Michigan University