Everyone has their favourite song, depending on their taste in music or what they feel when they hear it. And the truth is, what you feel when listening to a song is a very personal matter. Music is closely related to memory and emotions, and the relationship between these is what determines whether a song will make us feel good or not. However, there are songs that are more successful among the public than others and sometimes nobody knows why. Songs that have become great classics that are still listened to everywhere, even decades later.

For many years now, the American music industry has used the popularity rankings such as the Billboard charts to measure the success of music. Their importance is such that many musical careers have been seriously affected by the changes those ranks showed when a certain artist released a new song. Over the last few years, they have published lists that reveal which have been the biggest music hits of the last 50 years. Songs that are considered total hits and that you can listen to on many of our night shows in Piero’s Music Café, in Fuerteventura. Musical taste is obviously very subjective, but the truth is that all of these songs have managed to stay at the top of the charts for longer than the rest.


1. The Twist (1960-1962) – Chubby Checker

This was one of the most popular songs in the 60s It was number one for three weeks in 1960. Two years later, Chubby Checker appeared on The Ed Sullivan show, becoming a success among adults and shooting him back to number one again.

2. Smooth (1999) – Santana feat. Rob Thomas

Santana’s classic guitar tone and Rob Thomas’ voice were the reasons this song became one of the greatest hits ever, making Santana the artist with the longest gap between his debut on the charts with “Jing” and this, his first No. 1 thirty years later.

3. Mack the Knife (1959) – Bobby Darin

Bobby Darin was inspired to record this song in 1959, by the Louis Armstrong version. Despite his initial refusal to make a single of it, it was finally released, becoming the most popular song of its day.

4. How do I live (1997) – LeAnn Rimes

Rime’s song was originally going to be featured in the film “ConAir”, but the producers finally chose Trisha Yearwood’s version. Despite that, this song stayed at the top for no less than 64 weeks and was not surpassed in its success until 2009 when Jason Mraz’s “I’m yours” was released.

5. Party Rock Anthem (2011) – LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennet & GoonRock

This has been one of the greatest hits of the present decade. With its cool beats and its catchy lyrics, this song managed to stay in the number one spot for six weeks. To add to its great popularity, it was chosen for the opening of the film “21 Jump Street”.

6. I gotta feeling (2009) – The Black Eyed Peas

If their previous hit, “Boom Boom Pow”, had managed to stay at the top for twelve weeks, this song outdid that previous by staying at the No. 1 spot for fourteen weeks. That made them the band that stayed at the No. 1 spot for the longest time in the history of the music charts.

7. Macarena, Bayside Boys Mix (1996) – Los del Río

Although the original version had been recorded in 1993 and was already very successful, Los Del Río were requested to add some bits in English. Patricia Alfaro recorded the English lyrics and the Bayside Boys did the remix, making this song the number one hit of all time of Latin songs on the Billboard chart and number 7 of the best songs of all time.

8. Physical (1981) – Olivia Newton-John

This song was originally offered to Rod Stewart, but when he rejected it, it was finally recorded by Olivia Newton-John. Although it created a bit of a stir at the time due to its highly charged lyrics, it ended up being the highest selling single in the 80s.

9. You light up my life (1977) – Debby Boone

Debby Boone managed to push Elvis Presley himself from the top with this song that made her a star and stayed in the charts for a long time.

10. Hey Jude (1968) – The Beatles

This is the longest song by the Liverpool quartet that ever featured in the Billboard charts. Seven minutes and eleven seconds, no less. But it was also the one that stayed there the longest, nine weeks. This was the first single released by their own record company, and one of the most successful songs by this band.

What do you think of this selection we have suggested? In your opinion, could you tell us what are your favourite music hits of the last five decades?