Posts Tagged ‘songs with numbers’

Accounting for much

15 January 2016

This exercise sounds familiar:

Lots of songs have numbers in their titles: from “5-4-3-2-1” to “99 Luftballons.” But what makes a great “number song”? Music journalist and self-appointed rock numerologist David Klein has spent years researching this very question for his new book If 6 was 9.

It’s a perfectly reasonable list. You may, or may not, want to compare it to the two compilations I’ve already done.

By the Numbers 2

7 March 2010

The sequel to the long-ago By the Numbers took a few liberties not taken in the original: an ordinal, rather than cardinal number (“21st Century Schizoid Man”); a song in which part of the title, but not the actual number, is mentioned (“5 D,” which uses the word “dimension”); and the Prince song, in which “4” is used in a sense other than numerical. Not to mention that the Brothers Johnson, as did Shuggie Otis in the original, don’t actually say “23,” but do say “22.” I figure that this departure from stylistic purity will help if ever I do By the Numbers 3.

Cover art, Wendex 111144-2Track listing for 111144-2:

  1. The Fixx: Saved by Zero
  2. Len Barry: 1-2-3
  3. Prince: I Would Die 4 U
  4. The Byrds: 5 D (Fifth Dimension)
  5. Dave Dudley: Six Days on the Road
  6. Rosanne Cash: Seven Year Ache
  7. Herman’s Hermits: I’m Henry VIII, I Am
  8. The Temptations: Cloud Nine
  9. The Yardbirds: Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
  10. Neil Sedaka: Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen
  11. Alice Cooper: I’m Eighteen
  12. Paul Hardcastle: 19
  13. King Crimson: 21st Century Schizoid Man
  14. The Brothers Johnson: Strawberry Letter 23
  15. Edwin Starr: Twenty-Five Miles
  16. Toni Basil: I’m 28
  17. The Showmen: 39-21-40 Shape*
  18. Little Carl Carlton: 46 Drums 1 Guitar
  19. Paul Simon: 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
  20. Sammy Hagar: I Can’t Drive 55
  21. Candy and the Kisses: The 81
  22. Nena: 99 Luftballons
  23. Wilson Pickett: Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)

* Occasionally shown as “39-21-46.”

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