An old friend, and music professional, noted that when an artist’s song stalls at #2, they take a certain amount of grief. I replied, “Unless they’re Creedence Clearwater Revival. They had 5 or 6 #2 songs but never had a #1.”
My friend laughed because she knows well it’s just the kind of arcane knowledge stuck somewhere in my brain, just waiting to bubble up.
Here are the CCR songs that went to #2 on the Billboard pop charts, and the songs that kept them from the top slot.
First charted on January 25, 1969
Hit #2 on March 1, 1969
Kept out of the #1 slot: first by Everyday People – Sly and the Family Stone in their fourth and final week at the top
THEN, on March 8 and 15, CCR was still #2, kept out of the top by Dizzy – Tommy Roe for two weeks in a row
Bad Moon Rising
First charted on May 3, 1969
Hit #2 on June 28, 1969
Kept out of the #1 slot by Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet – Henry Mancini
First charted August 2, 1969
Hit #2 on September 27, 1969
Kept out of the #1 slot by Sugar Sugar – The Archies
The Archies spent 4 weeks at #1, blocking CCR in the song’s second week, and Jean – Oliver in weeks 3 and 4.
Travelin’ Band/ Who Will Stop The Rain
First charted January 31, 1970
Hit #2 on March 7, 1970, and again on March 14, 1970.
Kept out of the #1 slot by Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel in its second and third weeks at the top. In the S/G week 4 reign, it stopped The Rapper – The Jaggerz from reaching #1. In weeks 5 and 6, it even temporarily blocked Let It Be – The Beatles, before the Fab’s single finally broke through
Lookin’ Out My Back Door
First charted August 8, 1970
Hit #2 on October 3, 1970
Kept out of the #1 slot by Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross, in her third and final week at the top.
There’s no shame in being blocked from the top slot by Paul and Artie or Diana or Sly. And The Archies were a commercial force, even if they were cartoon characters.