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Sebastian: Worldwide #1 by Songwriters06 Sep 2005 18:23
I'm compiling lists of songs that have hit the #1 in any part of the world, and sorting them by songwriters. Bee Gees've got an impressive list of 40 #1s, which are (all of them credited to the three of them unless otherwise stated)

Spicks And Specks (B)
I've Gotta Get A Message To You
I Started A Joke
Only One Woman
Saved By The Bell (R)
Don't Forget To Remember (B & M)
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? (B & R)
My World (B & R)
Saw A New Morning
Wouldn't I Be Someone
Jive Talkin'
You Should Be Dancing
Love So Right
I Just Want To Be Your Everything (B)
How Deep Is Your Love
Stayin' Alive
Love Is Thicker Than Water (B & A)
Night Fever
If I Can't Have You
Shadow Dancing (B, R, M & A)
Grease (B)
Too Much Heaven
Love You Inside Out
Woman In Love (B & R)
Islands In The Stream
Juliet (R & M)
Chain Reaction
You Win Again
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ghetto Supastar
You and I
IOIO (B & M)

Maurice is the only one who never wrote a #1 hit by himself. Indeed he's the only one of the three Bee Gess who didn't write a #1 lyric, even if many #1 song's music were by him from beginning to end. Shadow Dancing is the only track written and sung by the four Gibb brothers.


Freddie Mercury's credited for 6 #1's

Bohemian Rhapsody
Love Of My Life
Somebody To Love
We Are The Champions
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Living On My Own

Additionally, there are three #1s (Innuendo, Slightly Mad, Under Pressure) that have shared credit but were mainly Freddie, and one (DOOL) where he got shared credit but didn't participate in the writing process.

Freddie arranged some other #1s like Radio Ga Ga and Man From Manhattan.


Brian May by his side wrote two #1s (We Will Rock You, Las Palabras De Amor) and co-wrote one (Too Much Love Will Kill You). He's got part of the credit in 4 Queen #1s even though he didn't participate in the writing process per se.

Some sources say I Want It All was #1 somewhere, any confirmation?


John Deacon only wrote 2 #1 hits (Break Free, Another One Bites) and holds part of the credit of 4 #1s in which he didn't participate in the composition.

Roger Taylor's got sole credit for 3 #1s (Magic, Ga Ga and Heaven For Everyone), shared credit for 2 Queen #1s in which he didn't participate, shared in one #1 that he entirely composed, and in one for which he did most of the lyrics.


Sir Paul is without doubt the most successful songwriter in that matter, having penned by himself 30 #1 hits (even if several were credited to both John and himself):

A World Without Love
Band On The Run
Can’t Buy Me Love
Coming Up
Drive My Car (part of the Stars On 45’s medley which got to be #1 in the US in '81)
Ebony & Ivory
Eight Days A Week
Eleanor Rigby
Get Back
Hello Goodbye
Hey Jude
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Lady Madonna
Let It Be
Listen To What The Man Says
Love Me Do
My Love
Obladi Oblada
Paperback Writer
Penny Lane
Pipes Of Peace
She’s Leaving Home
She Loves You
Silly Love Songs
The Long And Winding Road
With A Little Help From My Friends
With A Little Luck
Yellow Submarine

Additionally Macca co-wrote seven more #1s:

Admiral Hasley
From Me To You
Girl’s School
Mull Of Kintyre
Say Say Say
Uncle Albert
We Can Work It Out (bridge by Lennon & partially Harrison)


John Lennon was a little less successful, but still he achieved a lot: 20 #1 hits composed only by himself is already more than all Brian, Roger, Freddie and John did together:

A Hard Day’s Night
All You Need Is Love
Come Together
Day Tripper
Do You Want To Know A Secret**
I Feel Fine
I Should Have Known Better**
I’ll Be Back**
Jealous Guy
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
No Reply**
Nowhere Man**
Starting Over
The Ballad Of John And Yoko
Ticket To Ride
Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
You’re Going To Lose That Girl**

** Part of the Stars On 45’s medley

Additionally, Lennon co-wrote three #1s: From Me To You, We Can Work It Out and Fame


Harrison only composed solely one #1 (Give Me Love), another one which was a subconscious rip-off (My Sweet Lord), and one with Ringo (Photograph).

Neither of them had more participation in composing #1s except for the fact that they both had lyrical input in Paul's Eleanor Rigby and George contributed to Come Together as well.
1.Bohardy 09 Sep 2005 14:38
Good idea, and great research Seb.

Where do you go to get the worldwide number 1 info? Is it simply just a question of visiting sites relative to the bands/artists in question, or is there some great website that lists all worldwide number 1s or something?
2.Sebastian 09 Sep 2005 22:14
There's indeed one website about Bee Gees with that (only about them of course), with singles that have been #1 in any part of the world, including translated covers and so on.

About Queen I got all or most from Casper's, still some mates have told me that I Want It All was #1 somewhere, it's possible, but I haven't confirmed it. As I know Barcelona wasn't even #1 in Spain so I doubt it was anywhere at all.

From Beatles that's still a quite incomplete list, I only took the #1s from UK and the States. There can be loads more considering that, for instance, a local band from Dacca could have done a cover version of, say, You Won't See Me, in Bengali (under another title of course), and scored #1 with that. Songs like Norwegian Wood or Blackbird are most likely to have been through that (neither of them was #1 in UK or the US). Then to make a complete list is, if not impossible, a rather long task. But who said life was gonna be easy...

Considering GnR's semi-god status in Latin America, it's likeable that perhaps in some Central or South American country they went to the top with virtually all of their single releases, which would add one more #1 to Macca (Live And Let Die). The only obstacle is that such thing's quite hard to prove.
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